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Internet Edition, May 27, 2009, Page 1


Interpublic has revamped its credit line to protect against the potential bankruptcy filing of General Motors, one of its biggest clients.

The amendment, filed on May 18 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, modifies the agreement to allow IPG to exclude from its calculation of earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation (EBITDA) potential losses triggered by the “event of bankruptcy or related event respect to GM or any of its affiliates.”

IPG entered the revised agreement “solely as a matter of sound financial management,” according to the document.

It has “no nonpublic information concerning any GM-related bankruptcy proceeding or related event and continues to operate to the full extent of its relationship with GM.”

Under the agreement, IPG can exclude up to $150M in cash charges and $100M in non-cash charges related to GM.

The ad/PR combine notes that it has not drawn on its credit line since it went into effect in 2003.

Names GM Marketing Czar

Martin Walsh, former general manager of GM’s Hummer division, is joining Interpublic to handle all its business with the troubled automaker. [GM has been looking to unload its Hummer and line of “super” SUV brands.]

Reporting to CEO Michael Roth, Walsh is responsible for making sure that GM gets the best value for its marketing dollars and access to IPG’s top talent.

Roth says the hire is “an opportunity to come forward with a new way in which to deliver value for this key client.”

According to Roth’s statement: “We felt it made a lot of sense to add a high-level IPG resource that will give GM access to the best talent across our network, ensure that our agencies are collaborating on fully integrated solutions and deliver thought leadership in vital areas such as digital marketing and marketing analytics,” he said.

“As we thought through this new model for working more effectively and efficiently with GM, Martin became an obvious choice to lead it,” he added.

Walsh is a 30-year-plus veteran of GM. He gets the title of senior VP and president of the GM relationship. Prior to joining Hummer in `06, Walsh was executive director of vehicle sales, service and marketing support for GM.

Walsh joins June 15.


Lawyers for former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick have hired crisis pro Judy Smith to handle media hoopla surrounding his May 20 release from Leavenworth federal prison.

Vick, who cut a deal to rep The Humane Society, will serve the final two months of his 23-month sentence for bankrolling a dogfighting operation at his home in Virginia. A spokesperson for Smith’s firm, Impact Strategies, told that Smith was hired very recently to work the Vick case.

Smith is a player in the high stakes communications game. According to the IS site, Smith’s resume includes the Iran Contra investigation, prosecution of former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry for drug possession, Clarence Thomas Supreme Court confirmation hearings, the Chandra Levy investigation, Enron, and communications during the Washington, D.C., sniper case.

Prior to IS, Smith was partner at Weber Merritt & Smith, and Qorvis Communications, where she worked the Saudi Arabia business. In 1997, Smith handled Monica Lewinsky and her family during the Bill Clinton impeachment.


MWW Group is handling a nearly $120M bid by Emerisque, a London-based investment company, to lift the parent of Hart Schaffner Marx and Hickey Freeman men’s wear brands out of bankruptcy.

The bid came amid rising fears that 122-year-old Hartmarx Corp. may be driven into liquidation by creditors led by Wells Fargo, recipient of $25B in U.S. bailout funds.

Emerisque has revived apparel brands such as Puma and Ben Sherman. It issued a statement May 20, saying it is committed to the growth of Hartmarx and recognizes the “value of a ‘Made in America’ label in the U.S. and around the world.”

Rich Tauberman and Carreen Winters lead MWW’s Emerisque team.


The PR Society, showing the effects of the current economic downturn, reported an 11.3% revenue decline in the first quarter to $2,678,512.

Dues fell 12.2% to $1,550,064 while ad income plummeted to $64,670 from $183,680 in the same 2008 quarter, a decline of 65%. First quarter net fell 39% to $458,645 from $752,045. Q1 is traditionally one of the Society’s strongest quarters.

(continued on page 7)


Internet Edition, May 27, 2009, Page 2


The California Supreme Court gave new life last week to a 12-year-old class-action, false advertising and promotion suit brought against major tobacco companies and Hill & Knowlton.

The original complaint was filed on June 10, 1997 and reached class-action status in 2001 with its seventh amendment. The case was brought against Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, Lorillard and H&K, part of WPP, but was stalled by a 2004 California law, Proposition 24, aimed at making class-action suits tougher to file.

The Supreme Court last week reversed a Court of Appeals decision that cited Prop 24 and required the plaintiffs to each file suit against the companies individually.

Included in the 52-page, 4-3 ruling, the majority on the high court shot down one of the defendants’ arguments that would have required each plaintiff to cite individual harm from the alleged fraud.

A plaintiff, the majority said, “is not required to necessarily plead and prove individualized reliance on specific misrepresentations or false statements where, as here, those misrepresentations and false statements were part of an extensive and long-term advertising campaign.”

The ruling said Prop 24’s aim was to curb “shakedown” lawsuits that benefited lawyers and was not intended to limit consumers' ability to redress grievances.


Brainerd Communications is handling the re-launch of Circuit City as an e-commerce site of Port Washington, N.Y.-based Systemax Inc.

The bricks & mortar electronics chain went bankrupt in 2008 and Port Washington, N.Y.-based Systemax purchased CC's trademarks, customer lists and other information May 19 in a deal worth $14M.

Richard Leeds, CEO of Systemax, calls CC "one of the iconic brands in U.S. retailing with a 60-year old legacy."

New York Stock Exchange-listed Systemax registered $752M in first-quarter revenues. It earned $8.7M.

BC senior VP Denise Roche and assistant VP Bill Douglass handle Systemax.


Patrick Muttart, who was deputy chief of staff to Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper, has taken a managing director post at Omnicom’s Mercury Public Affairs. He will lead its new Canada-U.S. practice.

Muttart served as chief marketing strategist for the Conservative Party during the ’06 and ’08 elections. He has been called the “main brain” behind Harper's quest for the top job.

Kiernan Mahoney, managing partner of Mercury, touts Muttart’s “expertise as a messaging expert” and likes his “experience gained on the political campaign trail and in parliamentary environments.”

Muttart will work closely with former U.S. Congressman Max Sandlin (D-Tx), who co-chairs Mercury's IGR (International Government Relations) Group.


The Tennessee Valley Authority is expected to foot the bill for a two and a half-year, $1.9M campaign with two firms to repair PR damage to Roane County, Tenn., after a coal-ash spill last December.

The slurry spill, the largest such release ever in the U.S., occurred at the TVA's Kingston Fossil Plant in Tennessee on December 22, an environmental disaster that was covered nationally as surrounding land and homes were contaminated as the ash spread via the Emory River.

Nashville-based McNeely Pigott & Fox won an RFP process with Cooley Public Strategies last month. Their campaign is budgeted at $726K/year and includes issue advertising and a news bureau to gauge the impact of the incident and repair the region's reputation for tourism and economic development.

Following the spill in December, the TVA worked with Washington, D.C., firm The WadeGroup, headed by former Cohn & Wolfe/D.C. CEO Terry Wade.


Lee Solters, who handled clients and assignments like the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson and “The Graduate” in a decades-long PR career spanning Walter Winchell to the gossip blog, died on May 18 at home in his sleep. He was 90.

Solters was well-known for a raspy voice and old-school approach to publicity that combined the unexpected, ambitious or even absurd to get ink for clients. In 2001, he helped produce a photo op that included the Harlem Globetrotters and Pope John Paul II. He once had actress Carol Channing drop an enormous matzo ball into a vat of chicken soup at the opening of the Carnegie Deli in New York and orchestrated the "Who Shot JR?" campaign for “Dallas” in the 1980s.

Born in Brooklyn in 1919, Solters earned his stripes on the campus newspaper at New York University and worked at the New York Times before starting out on Broadway as a publicity agent. He was drafted in the Army and served in San Francisco for four years while repping entertainment clients and shows in his free time.

In 2001, he partnered with Jerry Digney, who started out working for Solters, and morphed The Lee Solters Co. into Solters & Digney PR to create an independent West Coast publicity powerhouse.


Chris Perrin, chief operations officer at Adfero Group, has moved to the conservative digital PR firm David All Group as a managing director.

Perrin, a former special assistant at the Small Business Administration and private sector staffer for ex-Rep. J.C. Watts (R-Okla.), will oversee internal company operations and handle client work at D.C.-based DAG.

Perrin was a VP at the J.C. Watts Companies, the former Congressman’s business holding company which includes a government/public affairs firm and two John Deere dealerships. He was also former director of operations for the House Republican Conference under Watts.

At the SBA, he was a special assistant in the chief counsel’s office.


Internet Edition, May 27, 2009, Page 3


The Detroit Media Partnership is slashing 150 jobs in its latest bid to cope with the recession.

The parent of the Free Press and Detroit News had already scaled back distribution of the papers.

The Partnership employs 1,600. The layoffs are slated across-the-board with about 25 set for the newsroom.

Michigan has the highest U.S. unemployment rate, 12.9 percent.


The New York Times has reminded staffers of its policy about accounting for outside speaker fees because “we have all become lax in complying with the parts of the ethics guidelines that require annual accounting of income from speaking engagements,” according to a memo from Bill Keller (executive editor) and Andy Rosenthal (editorial page editor).

The paper requires staffers to account for fees that total $5,000 a-year. They must consult with an editor before accepting any single fee in excess of that amount.

For staffers promoting a book, proposed promotional material must receive the approval of supervisors.

Keller and Rosenthal believe “you are all adhering to the spirit of the guidelines.”


The Associated Press Baghdad bureau chief is moving to Kabul to report on developments in Afghanistan and Pakistan as the U.S. winds down operations in Iraq.

Bob Reid was dispatched to Afghanistan in 2001, and will return there during the next few weeks. He covered the overthrow of the Taliban and the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

Reid, 62, was named Baghdad chief in ’08. In ’79, he was among the first American reporters to reach Afghanistan following its invasion by Russia.


Larry Roberts, investigations editor of the Washington Post for the past five years, has been hired to head an investigative fund sponsored by the Huffington Post.

He joined the Post in ’95 and is a founding member of its website. Roberts also worked at the Hartford Courant and United Press International in Madrid.

The HP launched the fund in March with a $1.75M budget. It is to produce anything from long-form investigative pieces to short-breaking news stories using text, video and audio components. Stories will be free to pick up by other media.


Ray Chelstowski, who spent nine years at Entertainment Weekly before moving to Rolling Stone as publisher, is back at the Time Inc. property.

He replaces ex-publisher Scott Donaton, the Advertising Age veteran who exited in March.

Chelstowski was bounced from Rolling Stone, a Wenner Media publication, last year.

Most recently, he published Prestige New York, which is owned by CR Media of Singapore.

Paul Caine, who is head of Time Inc.’s style & entertainment group which houses EW, called Chelstowski a “true professional with strong experiences in all areas and mediums we are focused on.”


Editor Jon Meacham promised Newsweek readers the redesigned magazine doesn’t pretend to guide them through the “chaos of the information age,” but rather will help them discover new facts and prompt “unexpected thought.”

A weekly publication, in his view, holds promise “in a world running at a digital pace.” The Internet has assumed the traditional role of newspapers, while dailies are struggling to churn out “big picture pieces” but “there is only so much wisdom one can summon in a few hours.”

Meacham sees Newsweek’s role as offering as “intellectually satisfying and as visually rich an experience as the great monthlies of old did,” but on a weekly basis. The magazine is structured into four sections: Scope (short pieces), The Take (columnists), Features (essays and narratives) and The Culture.

The Back Story is a graphic on the last page that promises to flesh out an important issue.

The Back Story debut lists things that can be bought with President Obama’s proposed budget. They include everything produced in Italy during ’08, refunds for Bernie Madoff’s victims, all the tea in China, King Tut’s tomb, electric cars for every 16 and 17-year old American, $300M worth of iTunes downloads, Saudi Arabia’s oil and more.


Ed Moss is the new president/publisher of the San Diego Union-Tribune, which was recently bought by Beverly Hill’s investment firm Platinum Partners.

He was CEO of the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, owner of the Los Angeles Daily News.

Earlier, he presided over the Akron Beacon-Journal. Moss says his priority is to line up local advertisers.


The Wall Street Journal has issued a conduct code covering the social media scene for its staffers.

According to the guidelines put together by deputy managing editor Alix Freedman, openly “friending” sources is “akin to publicly publishing your Rolodex.”

The Journal warns reporters that sharing political views in the online world could open the WSJ open to “criticism that we have biases and could make a reporter ineligible to cover topics in the future for Dow Jones.”

The memo says discussing future articles or interviews is not allowed.

The WSJ encourages reporters to appear on TV and radio properties as long as they get supervisor approval.

Speaking engagements require a similar approval. No honorariums or payments can be expected.

The Journal is to pick up the cost of travel and lodging.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, May 27, 2009, Page 4


“The Newshour with Jim Lehrer” becomes the “PBS Newshour” in September as Jim Lehrer will be a co-host with a rotation of senior correspondents Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff and Jeffrey Brown.

Margaret Warner and Ray Suarez will focus on “out of studio” reporting.

The Newshour will add an online correspondent to post four-to-five minute video news summaries throughout the day and anchor a news summary section on the broadcast.

There also will be collaboration with “Frontline” and National Public Radio.


Sports bloggers are reviled by many veteran journalists and misunderstood by just as many marketers. But their connection to and loyalty from millions of fans has created a digital medium of enormous influence.

Some of the more prominent of the lot will bring their style, controversy and snark to New York in June for a gathering dubbed “Blogs with Balls sponsored by Yardbarker” to reach out to the old guard media, marketers and one another.

Don Povia, who created the popular sports blog and is a co-creator of the event, said in an interview that the tongue-in-cheek title is meant in part to convey the “sort of the attitude that exists between the new and the old media with regard to blogging.”

Povia said part of the impetus for creating BWB was ham-handed marketers looking to tap the huge audiences drawn to sports blogs.

“After major events like the Super Bowl and March Madness, we were being contacted by big PR companies on behalf of major clients looking to get blog mentions,” he said. “The problem was they were speaking a different language and offering things that weren’t relevant to what we do.”

Povia said a key goal of the conference is to engage marketers and bring them into the conversation with a more interactive, Q&A-type format not generally associated with professional conferences.

“We’re looking at what the marketers and companies are looking for and what they’re comfortable advertising on, but also what the bloggers and, more importantly their readers, are interested in,” he said.

Taylor, GolinHarris and Fleishman-Hillard are among PR firms sending representatives or taking part in the BWB event, which has attracted several major sponsors and is expected to draw as many as 400 participants to the cellar of Stout on 33rd Street in Midtown.

Sports and entertainment marketing giant Octagon is also dispatching a speaker.

Povia said the gathering is also intended for bloggers to share tips and best practices, as well as spark a dialogue, and possibly an understanding, with “old media” covering the sports field.

He mentioned last year’s HBO showdown on Bob Costas’ show between writer and author Buzz Bissinger and former editor Will Leitch as evidence of hostility that he says shouldn’t exist.

“It was clear from that that there’s a divide, but there really shouldn’t be,” he said.

He also added that sports marketing events typically ignore the tremendous audiences that bloggers draw. “You’d have these high-profile types, but not the little guy working at his computer that has hundreds of thousands of readers each day,” he said.



Only five percent of respondents in a national survey said they have “a lot” of confidence in the media while half said they had “little” confidence, according to Capstrat-Public Policy Polling.

The media fared worse than corporations, which got a nod for “a lot of confidence” from eight percent of the 568 respondents polled.

A relatively whopping 13 percent put that same level of confidence in banks, although 51 percent said they had “little” confidence in the financial institutions.

Capstrat CEO Ken Eudy said media retrenchment, staff reductions and shutterings are likely having an impact on its perception, but he also noted that “it’s been true through the generations that some consumers blame the messenger for bad news.”

Institutions drawing a lot of confidence from Americans include churches (50%) and small business (40%).

Government gets little confidence from half of Americans, while labor unions fared worse at 57%.

The polling was conducted in late April.


The family of a 16-year-old girl attacked by a peer has hired a PR firm and is waging an online campaign to have the alleged attacker tried as an adult.

Sarah DeIuliis was allegedly attacked with a hammer in 2007 by a former boyfriend when both were 16 years old in a crime that has drawn significant media interest in the Pittsburgh area.

The ex-boyfreind, Robertino DeAngelis, is now 17 and charged with attempted homicide.

The victim's family has hired Pittsburgh-based Forge Communications, headed by former Ketchum and Euro RSCG VP Daryl Clemmens.

An online campaign, including a blog and Facebook page, with the tagline “Adult Time for Adult Crime” is aimed to pressure the district attorney's office into reconsidering its decision not to press for DeAngelis' trail as an adult. [A judge decided earlier that he should be tried as a juvenile and the D.A. decided not to appeal.]

DeIuliis is said to have permanent damage to her eye as well as emotional trauma.

The family notes that DeAngelis, who is under house arrest, could be free in three years or less if convicted as a juvenile.

DeAngeles jumped in front a light rail train after the alleged hammer assault was broken up by an off-duty detective. He has undergone multiple surgeries, his lawyer told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Internet Edition, May 27, 2009, Page 5


A longtime environmental client of Tallahassee-based Ron Sachs Communications said last week that it would no longer work with the PR firm because of its support for offshore drilling in the Sunshine State.

Everglades Trust, a non-profit group and client of Sachs for several years, said the PR firm’s work in the recent legislative session to open up coastal waters to oil and gas drilling was "inconsistent" with its own mission. Thom Rumberger, an attorney who is chairman of the ET, called the split a "hiatus," although the group does not currently have a contract with the PR firm and Sachs will continue to represent Rumberger’s law firm.

"We believe energy exploration can co-exist with environmental protection," Michelle Lagos Ubben, chief operating officer of Sachs, told O’Dwyer’s.

A measure to open coastal areas from three to 10 miles offshore to energy drilling passed the state’s House, 70-43, in late April but died after the Senate failed to act and Gov. Charlie Crist said he was concerned about it.

RSC is working with two key groups that were pushing the measure -- Florida Energy Associates, a lobbying group supporting offshore drilling, and Associated Industries of Florida, an 86-year-old business advocacy group.

Ubben said the firm took a "very careful look" when the opportunity to work on the issue arose. "Florida is really in dire economic straits and the idea of opening up an entire energy sector could solve a world of problems," she said.

Despite the measure’s defeat in the legislature, Ubben sees signs that the opposition to drilling could be thawing. "It’s really been a taboo topic for the last 20 years to where it was not even discussed," she said. "So for the full Florida house to vote to allow energy exploration in state waters is a pretty dramatic step and I think it signals a change in Florida."

BRIEFS: Rogers & Cowan is deploying Los Angeles-based executive VP Nikki Parker to London in a shuffling of its film division. Parker is adding a renewed emphasis on business development in Europe but will continue to oversee the L.A. film unit as well. R&C said senior VP Lesley Bates-Bainbridge now heads faith-based and family film, while executive VP Elliot Fischoff leads marketing and PR for film, TV and cable and VP Jennifer Fader continues to head digital and social media. The firm also promoted Meghan Gambler to associate VP in Los Angeles and said L.A. and London will work more closely together. R&C, which has 15 staffers focused on film publicity, counts clients like IMAX, Rentrak and Heineken USA. ...The PR Global Network has added three new firms to its ranks. CooperKatz & Company, New York, Ground Floor Media, Denver, and The Harrell Group, Dallas, bringing the network up to 40 members on six continents. The group recently elected its first president from South America, Jose Luiz Schiavoni, who is CEO of Brazil-based S2 Comunicacao Integrada. ...Allegro Communications, Chicago, has a new social media-optimized website at


New York Area

The Dilenschneider Group, New York/Seoul Metropolitan Government, for a project with its South Korean affiliate to promote cultural attractions and environmental initiatives to potential North American visitors. Joan Brower, Joan Bloom and Andrew Osterland lead the account.

MGP & Associates, New York/Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation, for strategic comms. and media relations in the U.S., and Thomas Baia and William Atlas, for reputation and crisis mgmt. for a legal case in Wilson, N.Y., for alleged hazing in a public school.

MS&L Worldwide, New York/International Marketing Council of South Africa, as global strategic communications advisor following a review that included 16 responses to an RFP and a six-way competitive pitch among finalists. MS&L handles 10 markets globally, including China, India, Brazil, UAE, Egypt, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, U.K., European Union and U.S.

MWW Group, East Rutherford, N.J./BMW Motorrad USA, for a national campaign supporting its lead model, the R 1200 GS motorcycle. The firm will target lifestyle and niche media, as well as celebrity and entertainment outreach. Its consumer lifestyle marketing and DialogueMedia pratices will participate.


Duffy & Shanley, Providence, R.I./U.S. Mills, marketer of Uncle Sam Cereal and Skinner’s Raisin Bran, among other brands, for PR and marketing after redesigning the company’s website.

IMRE, Baltimore/Erickson Retirement Communities, for digital marketing, including SEO, for its 20 retirement communities in the U.S.

A. Brown-Olmstead Associates, Atlanta/Callawassie Island, for PR for the 880-acre, member-owned community in Beauford County.

Arketi Group, Atlanta/Sophicity, IT services formerly named Mimsware, as AOR for a new corporate brand.

Jackson Spalding, Atlanta/John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods, for PR and media relations for its “Get Housing Moving” tour; Cousins Properties, for PR and graphic design services; Urban Realty Partners and Regent Parters, for PR for a new high-rise, and Dominum Benefits, employee benefits brokerage, for branding, design and multimedia via the firm’s JS Creative division.

The Cervelle Group, Winter Garden, Fla./
NanoTherapies, cancer treatment and detection technology, for investor relations and PR.

Treskoi PR, Miami/Sea and Sun for the Ed Hardy and True Religion fashion shows during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim; Miami International Wine Fair; Mia at Biscayne; Maya Tapas & Grill; ABonita Scarf; Café Prima Pasta; Healthy Exotic Foods; International Design Concepts; Yacht Clubs of the Americas, and Tiki Harbour Yacht Club.


Bob Gold & Associates, Los Angeles/Bay Harbor Podiatry Group, for marketing and PR for launch of a new laser treatment.

Internet Edition, May 27, 2009, Page 6


Counterfeiting and online brand attacks are among the central concerns of chief marketing officers, according to a study by the CMO Council.

Nearly 30 percent of 206 marketers polled by MarkMonitor cited the digital world as their chief vulnerability, compared with only 23 percent who see the biggest threat offline.

More than 30 percent said their companies have a specialized “brand protection” group, while 17 percent said those efforts are outsourced or left to a trade association. Among the digital threats seen are phishing attacks, cyber squatting, email scams, trademark abuse and copyright infringements.

“Marketers have awakened to not just the threat to bottom line business issues posed by trademark trespassing, but also the costs of lost brand value, integrity and consumer trust,” said Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council.

The study noted that many marketers don’t have the power to enact change as most companies cede “brand protection” to legal counsel. The CMO Council found that only 15 percent of marketers said they lead brand protection programs, while 42 percent delegate that responsibility to legal, finance or IT.

The most vulnerable market segments for abuse cited are digital media, luxury goods, software, footwear/apparel, Internet commerce, and consumer electronics.

Frederick Felman, CMO of MarkMonitor, noted digital attacks are particularly impactful because they often affect customer perception, which he called “the heart of what contributes to underlying brand value.” He called digital brand abuse “unchartered territory” for many marketers.

Despite the economic downturn, the CMO Council study did find that more than 30 percent of marketers said they planned to increase spending and more than 33 percent said they expected no change in spending on brand protection.

BRIEFS: The Society for New Communications Research is seeking submissions of papers for its peer-reviewed publication. Submission deadline for the fall/winter edition of the Journal of New Communications Research is June 30. The group notes that papers should be based on original empirical research, as well as focused on theory, strategy and use of new media, social media or other information communication technology. Info: [email protected]; 650/331-0083. ...The Nielsen Company and CLIO Awards have created a healthcare category of CLIOs to honor communiations in the sector. The awards will be given out in New York in October. Details are at ...Business Wire has added three states to its biosciences corridor bringing its total up to 18 markets. ...MarketNet, Dallas, worked with the Kennedy Space Center on the relaunch of its new website at MN incorporated social networking tools, user-generated content and interactive features into the design.



Christian Scarborough, president, Inventive PR and Strategic Marketing, to Dresner Corporate Services, Austin, Tex., as a VP. He was formerly director of the Austin practice for Ryan Communications and an A/S for Niehaus Ryan Wong.

Christopher Hardwick, former director of comms. and public affairs at the Wharton School, to Carnegie Communications, Westford, Mass., as executive VP/ communications strategy. He was previously VP of marketing & comms. at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and started out at Burson-Marsteller.

Connie Partoyan, chief of staff for Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), to Direct Impact, Washington, D.C., as executive VP. She was chief of staff to Rep. Rick White (R-Wash.) and counselor and senior advisor to the Dept. of Commerce/ Technology Administration. Partoyan was government affairs counselor for Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds and executive VP and COO of TechNet. Earlier, she was director of comms. for the Information Technology Industry Council.

David Selby, executive director and co-leader of the marketing officers practice at search firm Russell Reynolds Associates, to Schafer Condon Carter, Chicago, as president, a new post. Selby, 52, was previously the top marketing officer at Sars, Roebuck and Co.

Rene Ridinger, senior executive for 42West PR, to mPRm PR, Los Angeles, as a VP overseeing the firm’s film practice and consulting on TV and DVD accounts. She previously handled award campaigns for “Revolutionary Road,” “No Country for Old Men” and “The Queen.” She was previously president and CEO of Wallman/Ridinger PR.

Greg Werbowski, IR consultant, to Compliance Energy Corp., Vancouver, as an in-house IR advisor on a $4K/month retainer and share options.


Kathy Tunheim, principal and CEO of Tunheim Partners, Minneapolis, was elected president worldwide of the IPREX network of independent PR firms. She serves a two-year term taking over for Jim Walsh of Walsh PR in Ireland. Other principals elected at its May 14-16 meetings in New York include John Scheibel of Scheibel Halaska, Milwaukee (secretary-treasurer); Carolyn Mayo, Vollmer PR, Houston (president, IPREX The Americas); David Ketchum, Upstream Asia, Hong Kong (president Asia-Pacific), and Christian Hannestad, The Communications Business, Edinburgh (president EMEA).


Nancy Hicks, senior VP and associate director of Ketchum’s North American healthcare pratice, has received the PR Society Health Academy’s Frank J. Weaver Lifetime Achievement Award. Hicks was honored for her work developing patient advocacy groups and guiding women’s health communications programs.


Internet Edition, May 27, 2009, Page 7


As usual, PRS deferred only a small amount of dues income.

This amount is allocated toward its Tactics and Strategist publications ($331,144).

The rest of the dues is booked as cash, a practice at variance with most trade associations and apparently with requirements described in accounting guides.

Wiley’s “Financial & Accounting Guide for Non-Profit Organizations” lists 13 reasons that dues income should be deferred and almost all 13 apply to PRS.

Dues are to be booked over the period of time in which services are provided, says Chapter 5 and Appendix 17-A (page 351).

“This is a significant requirement,” says the book’s chapter.

The Society provides services throughout the year and recently said it would start offering free professional development activities.

A chief indication of need to defer dues is whether the dues provide membership in a group whose “benefits are directly related to matters of central concern to the member’s daily activities, such as one’s employment or profession.”

Other indications include:

—Whether dues payment confers benefits for a defined period of time after which benefits cease.

—Whether those seeking to join must meet certain criteria.

—Whether benefits vary for different levels of membership (non-accredited members of PRS cannot seek national office).

—Whether the organization operates a facility that can be used by members.

—Whether membership provides values to the member that can be objectively measured.

PRS Does Not Provide Refunds

Dues might not be deferred if an organization does not refund them in case of withdrawal.

Wiley and other accounting books note that no one rule is decisive in determining whether dues income should be deferred or not.

Non-deferment of dues is allowed if the benefits are negligible or peripheral to the person “joining” the organization (such as “joining” the Red Cross) and when the solicitation specifically refers to a contribution or gift to the organization.

There may be no “membership requirements” for joining an organization like the Red Cross.

Examination & fees of the PR Society rose to $442,862 from $381,425 and “miscellaneous” rose to $181,091 from $150,866.

On the cost side, salaries and fringes rose 8% to $1,359,644 from $1,255,577 while rent, utilities and maintenance fell to $168,647 from $184,622.

As of March 31, the Society reported $5,406,111 in current assets, up from $5,152,036 as of Dec. 31, 2008.

“Accrued rent” is $648,566 (the Society was allowed to defer the first year of rent at 33 Maiden Lane). Investments at the end of the first quarter were worth $3,082,902 vs. $3,476,195 three months earlier.

Cash rose to $1,862,056 from $1,156,790.


FirstStrategic Communications & Public Affairs of Phoenix is working with the ownership of the Phoenix Coyotes as the National Hockey League team negotiates a high-profile Chapter 11 filing and battles with the league to sell the franchise.

Steve Roman, a founding partner of FirstStrategic and former Western region head of public affairs for Bank One, is speaking for Jerry Moyes, CEO and managing member of Dewey Ranch Hockey LLC, the holding company for the hockey team.

Moyes said he has worked to keep the team in Glendale, Ariz., but the holding company ironed out a deal to sell the team to Research in Motion’s Jim Balsillie, who wants to move the team to Hamilton, Ontario.

That deal between Moyes and Balsillie has set up a high-profile fight (and PR dilemma) pitting the NHL against one of its franchises.

Veritas Communications of Canada is speaking for Balsillie through the ordeal.

The NHL, which is owed $35M by the franchise, is fighting that agreement and wants to keep the team in Glendale. It has reportedly been trying to ink a deal with Jerry Reinsdorf, who owns the baseball franchise Chicago White Sox, which holds spring training in Glendale.

The league has also received support in its legal battle from the major sports leagues like Major League Baseball, the National Football League and the National Basketball Association.

The court ordered the league and Coyotes ownership to mediation last week with a mid-June deadline.

FirstStrategic was recently renamed from Hamilton, Gullett, Davis & Roman.


Director and actor Woody Allen has agreed to accept a $5M settlement from American Apparel after he sued the retailer for using his image in ads, store banners, website and corporate headquarters.

A statement from Allen’s publicist, Leslee Dart of 42West, called it the largest amount ever paid under the New York Right to Privacy Statute.

Allen blasted the retailer for trying to “smear” him in the legal tussle.

American Apparel said in a statement that the “vast majority” of the payment will be picked up by its insurance carrier, which was handling the case.

“American Apparel calculatingly took my name, my likeness, and image and used them publicly to promote their business,” Allen said in the statement from Dart.

“Threats and press leaks by American Apparel designed to smear me did not work and a scheme to call a long list of witnesses who had nothing to do with the case was disallowed by the court,” he added.

American Apparel’s founder and CEO Dov Charney, said he harbors a “sense of remorse and sadness” for not arguing the First Amendment protection for invoking the likeness of a public figure in a satiric and social statement.


Internet Edition, May 27, 2009, Page 8




PR and communication grads are writing to tell us about their experiences in the job market and asking for advice.

It’s pretty late in the day for advice, we tell them. Only a few will get jobs and the rest are victims of broad forces of which they have little understanding.

They certainly didn’t learn about these forces from their “professors,” almost all of whom practice PR on the side or even as their main jobs.

Almost none of the students who contact us ever heard of any of our five news and informational products including O’Dwyer’s Directory of PR Firms, a basic job-hunting tool.

Professors generally don’t like students reading the PR trade press because a different picture of PR emerges from what they’re teaching. The 10,000 students who are in the PR Student Society never see any O’Dwyer ads in Tactics because PRS won’t allow them. O’Dwyer products are competitive with the Society’s own products. Politics is being played at the expense of the students.

Although PRS bans our ads and won’t even let us join, the nearly identical IABC is running a full page O’Dwyer ad in its current Communication World and lets us join.

Tactics interviewed eight grads or near grads for its May issue and its results were similar to what we are hearing. Only one of the eight even has prospects of a job.

One grad complained that “many” of the unpaid internships require 40 hours a week while another said “most recruiters at career fairs” are pushing internships rather than jobs. Our advice is that if you going to work 40 hours a week for nothing, do it for a local business rather than a PR firm.

Those interested in PR careers should have developed a specialty in college and particularly in healthcare, tech or financial. We tell the jobseekers to “Remember the three P’s—press, politics and personal.”

Politics and reporting are good routes to PR jobs. So is getting to know local movers and shakers and helping them with all sorts of personal issues.

Ben Sonnenberg, one of PR’s biggest success stories, helped clients with their personal lives. His mantra was you’ll never lose a client if you do a favor for a spouse, son or daughter. He got to know what was in clients’ “heart of hearts” (which may have nothing to do with marketing or profits) and the result was a 12-story New York townhouse filled with art treasures.

Grads should avoid looking for jobs in the big cities. Stay in your own backyard, we tell them, and be a volunteer for local charitable and civic groups. Get to know business leaders and their spouses. Deal with CEOs, not marketing people.

Other advice is contact local restaurants and businesses and see what help you can give such as building a website for them. Many PR people started by doing PR for a restaurant in exchange for meals.

PRS COO Bill Murray’s contract is up Jan. 22, 2010 and must not be renewed.

PRS staff leadership by a non-PR professional is a disaster for PR as well as the Society. A poll on is running about 60-40 against Murray being renewed.

PR is squashed in its own house as PRS’s history amply demonstrates. Assn. types hire non-members, PR juniors, keep PR staffers under lock and key, or simply have no one on PR at all (there was no PR staffer from June 1994 to June 1995).

The PR coup by the smaller chapters that was completed in 1980 with the election of Pat Jackson as president included bouncing all PR pros from the staff.

COO Betsy Kovacs, an assn. careerist, hired in 1980, did not hire PR director Donna Peltier until 1984. A tight rein was kept on Peltier who was not allowed to lunch with the press without Kovacs present (we had three such lunches in the ten years Peltier headed PR).

Kovacs was succeeded in mid-1993 by Ray Gaulke. Peltier stayed until June 1994 and it took Gaulke a year to find a successor, Steve Erickson, who joined in June 1995. He was the only staffer among 50 at h.q. from PR.

Erickson lasted just over a year, exasperated by media-averse policies of staff and board. Erickson quit just before the October national conference when his services were most needed.

Next up as PR director was Richard George, a 1990 graduate who was with Weightman Advertising, Philadelphia. George, hired eight months after Erickson’s departure (April 1997), also became exasperated with the same policies and quit just before the 1999 conference. There was no PR person at all in 2000 when payroll costs for media relations fell to $4,770 from $85,619 in 1999.

A new regime headed by counselors Kathy Lewton and Joann Killeen (2001 and 2002 presidents, respectively), took control in 2000 and vowed not only to “clean up the books,” taking losses of $426,288 in 1999 and $678,893 in 2000, but to stop hiring juniors for the PR post.

Killeen, as treasurer in 2000, had discovered financial irregularities including years of failure to pay taxes on advertising income and product sales. PRS’s “auditors” failed to catch them.

Catherine Bolton, VP-communication, International Copper Assn., became PRS’s first “chief PR officer” in September 2000 at a salary of $150K.

Bolton became president/COO at the start of 2001 after Gaulke was switched to the PRS Foundation. She was PRS’s first PR pro as head of staff since 1979 when Rea Smith was executive VP.

Libby Roberge, a PR veteran of 13 years and most recently with media-oriented G.S. Schwartz & Co., became director of PR in August 2001.

Roberge was the best media contact at the Society since the 1970s when Rocco Sacci and Art Young held that job. Roberge not only lunched and talked with us but gave us numerous important documents including the transcript of the 2002 Assembly and the list of chapter membership counts.

However, the leadership that succeeded Lewton and Killeen went back to the old ways of limiting press access.

Reed Byrum was president in 2003; Del Galloway in 2004; Judith Phair in 2005 and Cheryl Procter-Rogers in 2006.

Roberge didn’t come back after taking maternity leave in June 2003. Janet Troy, who was VP, marketing and PR, New York Board of Trade, joined as PR director in May 2004. She was not a member of the Society and told the Bergen Record that she was “flabbergasted” that PRS even existed and was “clueless to it.”

Troy left in May 2008 after four years on the job. Arthur Yann is currently VP-PR assisted by Joseph DeRupo, associate dir., and Diane Gomez, mgr.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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