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Internet Edition, June 3, 2009, Page 1


Burson-Marsteller has won a contract to market the state of Iowa to businesses, following a review by the Iowa Dept. of Economic Development.

Burson, which does not have an Iowa office, aligned with public affairs firm Larson Shannahan Slifka Group, which will act as its local representative on the account.

The Iowa Dept. of Economic Development split its $6M between Burson and Des Moines-based Integer, an incumbent which will handle the tourism portion of the business.

LSSG is well connected in Iowa circles. Chuck Larson is a veteran of the Iowa legislature who chaired its economic development committee for five years. He was recently U.S. Ambassador to Latvia from 2008-09. Joe Shannahan was communications director for Gov. Tom Vilsack.

In a statement about the decision, the Dept. of Economic Development praised Burson for offering a local partner, as well as its global network of offices, which the state sees as key as 39% of Iowa’s business prospects now come from international companies.


Bob Pearson, a veteran of Dell, Novartis and GCI, has joined WeissComm Group as chief technology & media officer.

As VP-communities & conversations, Pearson ran Dell’s social media operation. That shop created and maintained 25 blogs, forums and community sites in seven languages. Pearson directed the computer company’s approach to Facebook and Twitter, and launched “Ideastorm,” which is billed as the first external idea community for a Fortune 500 company.

Prior to Dell, Pearson headed global corporate and pharma communications at Novartis and was responsible for GCI’s healthcare practice before being promoted to the president of the Americas slot. Most recently, Pearson was running Common Sense Media Group.

Jim Weiss also announced a strategic alliance with Rule 13, a social media education, training and research shop founded by George LeBrun. It has worked with Fox Interactive Media, Accenture and Best Buy.

Christina Pearson, who was assistant secretary for PA at the Dept. of Health and Human Services, is now at Fleishman-Hillard’s Washington, D.C. office. She is senior VP. Bill Pendergast, GM of F-H’s Capital City office, praised Pearson’s “sterling reputation as one of the most experienced healthcare communicators inside the beltway.”


U.K.-based Pensions and Investment Research Consultancy has knocked WPP Group’s Leadership Equity Acquisition Plan III bonus plan as “excessive.”

The program allows top WPP executives to receive up to five times the amount of shares they invested in the program.

The bonus payout is based on WPP’s total shareholder return as measured against its peer group, which includes Omnicom, Havas, Publicis Groupe and Interpublic and others.

WPP would have to rank in the top 10 percent of its sector to trigger the full awards. CEO Martin Sorrell’s maximum contribution is capped at $19M, which translates into a $95M bonus if WPP is the top performer over a five-year period, according to the Financial Times.

In its statement, PIRC said: “Although we consider the maximum target set to be stretching, we have concerns that the potential awards to be excessive under the scheme on a standalone basks and also taking the overall potential reward under all schemes under operation.”

Ireland’s WPP held its first annual meeting in Dublin on June 2


The U.S. Olympic Committee has brought on former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer as its chief communications officer prepares to depart.

Darryl Seibel, who held the top comms. slot for the USOC, resigned on May 5 after serving as the key PR figure for more than six years, although he has been around Olympic PR for several years in various PR roles. He exits on June 5.

Fleischer, who runs a sports communications firm and served as President Bush’s spokesman from 2001-03, will be a communications consultant to the USOC and advise the group on the search for Seibel’s replacement.


Mary Barber, 2008 secretary of the PR Society, argues on the PRSAY blog that the Society should "Open our doors to all—assuming they have, or have had, a job in PR that requires a substantial amount of time performing some combination of 16 different skills that include marketing communications and institutional advertising."

Barber, director of communications, Alaska Community Foundation, Anchorage, posted her comments May 22.

The bylaws task force of PRS, headed by Dave

(continued on page 7)


Internet Edition, June 3, 2009, Page 2


Los Angeles PR firm Griffin Schake is supporting the high-profile legal challenge to California’s Proposition 8 backed by former Bush vs. Gore adversaries Theodore Olson and David Boies.

Griffin Schake, headed by Clinton White House alum Chad Griffin and California First Lady Maria Shriver’s top communications advisor Kristina Chake, has traditionally supported progressive clients.

Griffin said he initially approached Olson about taking up the case. “Whatever discrimination California law now might permit, I can assure you, the United States Constitution does not,” Olson said at a press conference last week announcing the case.

The lawsuit was filed in federal district court on May 22 by two same-sex couples challenging the California proposition, which codified marriage as between a man and woman only.

National media have been drawn to the narrative of Olson and Boies working together on the case.

“Mr. Olson and I are from different ends of the political spectrum, but we are fighting this case together because Proposition 8 clearly and fundamentally violates the freedoms guaranteed to all of us by the Constitution,” Boies said.

Olson was appointed U.S. Solicitor General after winning the 2000 Supreme Court case that decided the presidency for George Bush. Boies is one of the most prominent trial attorneys in the country.

Yusef Robb, director of messaging & campaign strategy for GS, is handling the account, which is backed by the American Foundation for Equal Rights.

Sacramento PR firm Schubert Flint Public Affairs played a key role in the campaign to have Proposition 8 passed by the state in November 2008.


The City of Los Angeles Harbor Dept. has hired Gephardt Group Government Affairs to handle environmental matters at the country’s largest seaport.

The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. says “environmental remediation” is a challenge facing the port.

A May 13 LACED report says the “ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach can claim to be the greenest ports in the nation,” according to Jack Kyser, the organization’s economist. “Many of the solutions (including on-dock rail, use of low sulfur diesel and low-emission trucks and diesel locomotives) are being closing watched by other ports,” he added.

Tom O’Donnell, former chief of staff to former Majority Leader and Democratic Presidential contender Gephardt, is handling the environmental work.

The Port joins a blue-chip roster assembled by Gephardt. GE/NBC Universal, Visa Inc. and Anheuser-Busch are $30K a-month clients.

Delphi Corp., the former General Motors parts unit, kicked in $230K during the first quarter.

GGG earned other Q1 fees from Peabody Energy ($150K), Boeing ($110K), FutureGen Industrial Alliance ($90K), Waste Management ($80K), Ameren Services ($50K), Malaria No More ($30K) and Enterprise-Rent-A-Car ($20K).


The European Commission has selected Edelman to spearhead a $2M PR drive by a quartet of firms to convince Ireland to approve the “Treaty of Lisbon,” a pact that would strengthen the power of the European Union.

The Treaty must be okayed by each of the EU’s 27 members before it goes into effect. Ireland, the only state where the Treaty was put to a popular vote, turned down the measure by a 53 to 47 percent margin last June. A revote is slated for the fall.

Proponents of the Treaty say it will allow for increased coordination in areas such as economic development, global warming and anti-terrorism.

Teamed with EPS Consulting, Zoo and PHD Media, Edelman is charged by the EC to “give the Irish public more information about how the EU works.” It is to organize a “series of listening events and public discussions,” according to the EC statement.

The PR contract runs through next May.


Murray Consultants of Dublin is working with the Christian Brothers’ congregation as the Catholic entity endures global scrutiny following a report of decades of abuse in its Irish schools.

The so-called Ryan Commission, named after Justice Sean Ryan who chaired the probe, released a scathing report last month detailing abuse – including beatings and rape — of children by priests and nuns at Christian Brothers’ institutions in the Catholic country.

“We recognise and accept our culpability along with our moral obligation to former residents, to present and future generations of children and to society as a whole,” said a statement issued through the PR firm, which also pledged to commit “substantial” resources for reparation of past abuses.

That pledge could reopen a 2002 settlement that capped payouts from religious groups to abuse victims.

MC, a 35-year-old independent firm, last year handled the PR contract to push the Lisbon Treaty, which was rejected by Irish voters.


MWW Group is handling the Chapter 11 filing of Anchor Blue Retail Group, which operates more than 175 clothing stores in a dozen states.

“The unprecedented sustained economic downturn and a related drop in consumer spending, especially in the teenage market,” triggered the bankruptcy, according to CEO Thomas Sands.

Anchor Blue, which is based in Ontario, CA, says it markets “well-priced fashion basics with a west coast style in a fun environment.”

It also holds the exclusive U.S. license with Levi Strauss & Co. to run Levi’s and Dockers outlet stores. Under the reorganization, those stores are being sold to Levi Strauss.

The Chapter 11 game plan calls for the shutdown of about 50 “underperforming” Anchor Blue stores. The stores are in California, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Nevada, Washington and Utah.

MWW’s Susan Kenney and Rich Tauberman handle the Anchor Blue business.


Internet Edition, June 3, 2009, Page 3


Walter Pincus, veteran Washington Post newsman and consultant, says journalism is in trouble due to its pursuit of the “false idols of fame and fortune.”

Too many editors and reporters are making TV appearances or are more focused on winning industry awards rather than breaking stories about issues and how they impact American society.

The Columbia Journalism Review (May/June) has the essay by Pincus, which was adapted from a speech that he made at the American Academy in Berlin in February. The essay is entitled “Newspaper Narcissism.”

Pincus points to Watergate, the “high water mark for newspapers,” as playing a big part in ultimately triggering their downfall.

The “celebrity of Woodward and Bernstein, along with their financial rewards” set new goals for the profession.

Watergate also aroused conservative supporters of the Nixon Administration. They demanded more conservative columnists and "equal treatment" in news columns for politicians and experts on both sides of the issue.

That was an informal way of applying the fairness doctrine, which was required of the electronic media, to print, according to Pincus.

Pincus notes that American newspapers historically had a political point of view or were launched to back business or labor.

Today’s mainstream media strive to be “neutral, presenting both or all sides as if they were refereeing a game in which only the players-the government and its opponents can participate.”

The media are reduced to “common carriers, transmitters of other people's ideas and thoughts, irrespective of import, relevance, and at times even accuracy.”

Pincus says newspapers fail the public because they don't set an agenda for candidates to take up. “At a time when it is most needed, the media and particularly newspapers have lost their voice.”

Pincus takes on the media for being the “echo chamber” of government, which was not the intent of the First Amendment.

His concern is that “American journalism has turned away from its own hard-won expertise when readers are looking to us to explain the context of what is happening and what will happen next.”

Pincus raps the emergence of a “PR society” in which “headlines come from events created by public relations-press conferences, speeches, press releases, canned reports and, worst of all, snappy comments by ‘spokesmen’ or ‘experts.’”

He wants reporters with the expertise and support to dig out their own news.


Tom McGeveran is taking over for Peter Kaplan as editor of the New York Observer. He joined the salmon-colored weekly in 2000 from the New York Blade.

McGeveran covered real estate, media and politics before becoming managing editor and editor of

Kaplan, who announced plans to depart a month ago, says McGeveran has the “intellectual depth” to handle the post, but most of all “he is a New Yorker.”

Publisher Jared Kushner says McGeveran’s “interim editor” post could very well wind up as a permanent position.

Kaplan is moving to Conde Nast Traveler as creative director.

NYO reports that McGeveran praised Kushner for a willingness to “trust this enterprise enough to continue to fund it when this entire industry is falling apart.”


BBC Worldwide slates a cable channel aimed at pre-schoolers in an effort to replicate its success of “CBeebies” in the U.K.

Susanna Pollack, senior VP-children’s and children’s business development, is charged with leading the launch. Lining up cable distribution for the program is among Pollack's challenges.

Variety reports that the BBC is shifting Matt Forde, director of content acquisition from London to New York. He is joining its sales and distribution team.


Time Warner announced May 28 it is spinning off its AOL online subsidiary, ending an ill-fated marriage of the leading players in "old" and "new" media.

TW CEO Jeff Bewkes called the separation "another crucial step in the reshaping of TW" and a move "enabling us to focus to an even greater degree on our core content business." He expects AOL as a standalone company has "a better opportunity to achieve its full potential as a leading independent Internet company."

AOL reaches more than 105 million unique visitors each month. Its online display network covers more than 90 percent of the domestic market.

CEO Tim Armstrong sees a bright future due to AOL's "global brand, a committed team of people, and a passion for the future of the web."

TW owns 95 percent of AOL. It expects to purchase the remaining five percent stake from Google during the third quarter and complete the spin-off by the end of the year. Former AOL chief Steve Case made the move on TW in 2001 when his company's stock was near its $100 peak during the dot-com boom. He found a willing partner in former TW chief Gerry Levin.

TW, which engineered a one-for-three reverse stock split in March, trades at $22.95. The 52-week range is $17.81 to $50.70.


Daniel Honigman , social media and editorial engagement strategist for Tribune Interactive, is slated to join Weber Shandwick’s Chicago office as a digital communications supervisor on June 8th.

Honigman created “Colonel Tribune” the Chicago Tribune’s “web ambassador” on Twitter.

Last year, he co-founded Old Media, New Tricks, a site for people working in “mainstream” media that provides tips about social and new media.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, June 3, 2009, Page 4


Enter as many relevant film award programs as possible and aggressively promote the winning entries, said panelists at an Entertainment Publicists Professional Society session in Hollywood.

Moderator Hollace Davids, senior VP-Special Events at Universal Pictures, presented “Slumdog Millionaire” as the poster film for capitalizing on a “little buzz at the film festivals.”

“There are major film festivals in Toronto, Tribeca and Los Angeles, but directors, writers and producers also pick up awards in Santa Barbara and Palm Springs,” said Davids. “There’s a film festival in almost every city of the universe.”

Leonard Morpurgo, VP at Murray Weissman & Assocs., recently attended the Newport Beach Film Festival on behalf of “Follow the Prophet,” which is looking for distribution.

His firm promoted “Crash,” which scored success at festivals for being mentioned in the same breath as the runaway winner. “At the festivals, all the talk was 'Brokeback," Brokeback and Crash,” he explained.

The tide, however, turned on MW&A this year. “It was the other way around. We were on the film team of ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,’ which got a lot of buzz and grabbed 13 nominations. And then this damn Slumdog came along and took it all away from us. It was the opposite of what happened last year,” he said.

Morpurgo has just penned a book, “Of Kings and Queens and Movie Stars,” available for $16.95 at “For more than 40 years I’ve traveled the world as an international film publicist, acting as father confessor, whipping boy, friend-and sometimes enemy to Hollywood celebrities,” he said in way of introduction.

Labor of love

“Film festivals don’t make a lot of money, organizers do it because they love them. Success is really about relationships and a lot of prayer,” said Tanya Kersey, executive director, Hollywood Black Film Festival. “Universal and Showtime used to be huge sponsors, but festivals are struggling and many are going into debt. Struggling General Motors, for instance, used to support ‘Women in Film.’”

Kersey is celebrating her 10th anniversary managing the festival that is billed as the “Black Sundance.” It draws celebrities such as Forest Whittaker, Sidney Poitier and Denzel Washington.

About 100 film screenings (features, shorts, student, documentary, animation, music video) run annually at the Beverly Hills festival. It also features an array of workshops, panel and roundtable discussions.

“Filmmakers use the festival to get their films out there, letting the industry know about them,” said Kersey. “They look for agents, managers and production deals. Studios use them to build additional buzz for films written and directed by African-American filmmakers for a competitive program,” said Kersey. She also noted that non-blacks can enter works carrying African-American themes.

“Different films have different reasons to be in these festivals,” said Davids. “Since I work at Universal, we don't have a lot of movies for the festivals because we have big popcorn movies that are not looking to go under the microscope of the film festival. If a movie goes to a film festival and is not well received, it can get killed. If the movie goes there looking for distribution and inks a deal it's on its way,” she said.

Other films end up going the self-distribution route, noted Alice Zou, account executive at mPRm Public Relations, which handled “Atonement” and “The Visitor” for theatrical distribution and festivals. Video on-demand and online are other options, she added.

David Magdael, David Magdael & Associates, who works mostly independent films and documentaries, likes to “get into the head of the filmmaker to discover his or her expectation for the work.” He then tailors what the angle and strategy will be for working the sales team and producers.

Documentaries today aren’t enjoying the same success as recent blockbusters like “Fahrenheit 9-ll” and “Super Size Me,” so Magdael says the important questions to ask are: “What do you want; what do you see?”


The Village Voice, via PR firm LaunchSquad, took a whack at Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster last week for an attack on the paper and its online classified site,

A statement from Launchsquad called Buckmaster’s blog critique a “deliberate, unnecessary and wholly inaccurate shot across the bow.”

Buckmaster alleged that politicians are attacking Craigslist but not Village Voice Media and other media outlets because they have a “need for positive stories and campaign endorsements from those very same newspapers.”

VVM noted in the statement that Craiglist is under fire for its “adult” services sections, but called Buckmaster’s claims “inexcusable” and displaying a “remarkable lack of sound judgment.”

The paper said it does not endorse politicians, “and rarely have anything nice to say about them.”

The company says its is the No. 2 free classifieds site in the U.S.


Writer and TV pundit Tucker Carlson said he’s planning to launch a right-leaning website like The Huffington Post called The in the near future.

Carlson says he hopes to add to the conversation of reporting on the Obama administration with a newspaper format.

According to The Hill, he told a Heritage Foundation gathering that “there just aren't enough people covering this administration and telling the people what's going on.” The site's motto, Carlson said, according to The Hill, is “every seven minutes,” and seeks to be “even faster than Drudge.”

Briefs ____________________

New York Times regional editor Jennifer Preston has been named social media editor for the paper.

Internet Edition, June 3, 2009, Page 5


New York Jets safety Kerry Rhodes on May 25 hired MGP & Associates PR to correct media reports that he is the center of rape allegations, according to Mike Paul, head of the New York-based firm.

A Canadian tourist told New York City police that she met Rhodes and another man at a Manhattan hotspot and was raped by two men at the football player’s townhouse in Morristown, N.J. over the weekend.

Morris County prosecutor Robert Bianchi released a statement May 25 to “correct misleading media reports” that Rhodes is the subject of an investigation.

Bianchi said that information is “factually untrue and wholly inaccurate and has capacity to unfairly damage the reputation of Mr. Rhodes.”

The Daily Record reports that New York Daily News and New York Post photographers doing a media stakeout at Rhodes’ townhouse were chased away by a neighbor “screaming expletives and threats.”

Rhodes signed a five-year $33M contract extension with the Jets last year.


Burson-Marsteller is leveraging the social networking phenomenon Twitter to track and analyze upcoming elections in Europe.

The firm has produced a website,, which feeds tweets referencing European elections in near-real-time and crunches statistics about most-discussed candidates, countries and other data.

Jeremy Galbraith, CEO of B-M’s Europe, Middle-East and Africa operations, said the upcoming contests are the first-time Twitter is being used during European Parliament elections and noted it is too early to say what impact this it will have on voter interest or turnout long term.

News channel France 24 is providing video coverage of the elections to the site and Burson pointed out that viewers can watch the elections play out with tweets alongside video coverage.

Stephanie Bonnet, Managing Director-Burson Digital EMEA called the service “the ultimate form of political campaigning and voter engagement in the digital age.”


Sard Verbinnen is doing media surrounding the shutdown of Pequot Capital Management in wake of insider trader allegations lodged against founder Arthur Samberg.

The Wall Street Journal called PCM “a pioneering and well-connected hedge fund that gained fame for racking up years of strong returns.”

In 2001, PCM managed $15B, “making it one of the largest hedge funds in the world,” noted the WSJ.

The Securities and Exchange Commission reopened a probe in January into whether Samberg’s funds made illegal gains based on inside information about Microsoft.

Samberg wrote a letter to investors May 27, in which he said “public disclosure about the continuing investigation have cast a cloud over the firm and have become a source of personal distraction.”


New York Area

Bullfrog & Baum, New York/Allen Brothers, Chicago meat purveyor, as AOR for comms. and brand strategy. The firm has also picked up Edwards Virginia Ham, Virginia-based ham products producer; L’Age de The, artisanal tea line; Purista, mojito cocktail mix; Sprinkles, cupcake bakery in Beverly Hills; Susie’s Supper Club, meal perparation and delivery service; Terra Plana, sustainable shoe manufacturer, for media relations and other PR.

LVM Group, New York/The Builders Group, construction firm, for PR.

G.S. Schwartz & Co., New York/Fashion Fantasy Game, online game and social network founded by New York fashion designer Nancy Ganz; 10Vox Entertainment, Florida-based online gaming for children and young adults, and It’s Just Lunch, San Diego-based dating service for busy professionals.


Birnbach Communications, Marblehead, Mass./Acronis, storage management and disaster recovery software, as AOR in the Americas, including media relations, social media marketing, product reviews, awards and analyst relations.

IMRE, Baltimore/Behr, paints and varnishes, for media relations and creative marketing services targeting contractors, remodelers and painters.

The Brandon Agency, Myrtle Beach, S.C./Crescent Bank, for a social media campaign including Facebook, covering how to choose a checking account, online banking safety and identity theft.

Tara, Ink., Miami/InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball; Tommy Hilfiger, for media relations for its 2009-10 retail plan for Miami Beach, Aventura, Las Vegas and Puerto Rico; Apple/Kore, for launch of Miami eatery; The Wellness Community Gala; Guerlain Spa Waldorf Astoria and Bar Harbour; Spa Chakra at the Palmer House Hilton and Short Hills, as well as Miami and San Francisco spa locations.

The Investor Relations Group, Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Sanswire Corp., Pinksheets-traded aerial vehicle designer, for IR and PR.


Fahlgren Mortine PR, Columbus, Ohio/Elmer’s Products, for media relations and social media support for its Elmer’s Glue Crew with Wal-mart.

Y&L PR, Indianapolis, Ind./Ortho, for launch of a new rodenticide business. The work includes a consumer education campaign for the national launch of the product this fall.

Nicholson Kovac, Kansas City, Mo./Grundfos Pumps, pump manufacturer, for integrated communications targeting the agricultural market.


Mayo Communications, Los Angeles/University of Southern California, for media relations and placement of the results of an impact study.

mPRm, Los Angeles/The OC Super Fair, for consumer awareness for the July to August fair, and Outfest 2009: The 27th Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, for PR targeting film enthusiasts, filmmakers and industry leaders.

Internet Edition, June 3, 2009, Page 6


PainePR, working with Iams and the Helen Woodward Animal Center, earned the coveted Best of the Best award at the annual Big Apple Awards given out for the 22nd year by PR Society’s New York Chapter on May 21.

Paine’s work on the 10-year holiday campaign with Iams (part of Procter & Gamble) and the Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.-based non-profit animal center set a goal to get one million pets adopted and resulted in more than 1.2M adoptions.

Irene Maslowski, president-elect of the New York chapter, said the awards received 186 entries, up 37 percent from last year despite the difficult economy.

MS&L PR Worldwide took top honors in the cause-related marketing category for Procter & Gamble’s “Protecting Futures” campaign, which targeted unsanitary conditions for girls using its Tampax and Always brands.

Big winners include Coyne PR (six), Weber Shandwick (five), and three agencies with four -- Ruder Finn, Ketchum and Carmichael Lynch Spong.

The American Kennel Club won three awards for its campaign for the First Family’s search for a dog, a PSA campaign involving “Marley & Me,” and a push about protecting pets from theft.

Emanate and Coyne PR earned Apples for work in community relations – the former for its work with Bank of America in the Bay Area and Coyne for its “We Can’t Let This Bank Fail,” a push for the Community FoodBank of New Jersey that included Bruce Springsteen.

Weber Shandwick won in the corporate social responsibility category for its work on the MAC AIDS Fund and Chandler Chicco Company’s Brandtectonics unit won an Apple in the financial/IR category for ethanol producer Verenium Corp.

The chapter also gave out three prominent individual awards.

Valerie Di Maria, former VP/comms. at Motorola who is now senior VP at Willis Group Holdings, was given the John W. Hill Award for leadership in PR and ethical conduct.

Consultant William Doescher took home the Philip Dorf Award for mentoring practitioners and students, and Sandra Fathi of Affect Strategies earned the President’s Award for service to the New York chapter.

Complete list of winners is at


WestGlen Communications has launched a “microsyndication” service for video, audio and other content to reach more targeted online and “terrestrial” outlets like blogs, schools, senior citizen centers and doctor’s offices.

Called i-Blitz Interactive, the service has been put to work for clients like American Express, Eli Lilly and Honda.

Ed Lamoureaux, senior VP at WestGlen, said many clients see reaching small but more active audiences is equally or even more effective than traditional advertising or PR.



Nina Devlin, a Brunswick Group partner whose husband was charged and pleaded guilty to insider trading late last year after allegedly using confidential info related to Devlin’s work , has moved to Edelman, New York, in its financial unit. Devlin, who was never charged in the alleged scheme, was previously with Citigate Dewe Rogerson and Taylor Rafferty.

Richard Windram, a 19-year veteran of Verizon, has been named director of government and external affairs for New York City. He’ll oversee public policy development and advocacy for the telecommunications company with city agencies, elected officials and other groups. He also administeres the Verizon Foundation, which gives grants to local non-profits. He started out with Verizon predecessor New York Telephone in 1990.

Bladimiar Norman, VP of interactive marketing at Paramount Studios until January, to 42West, New York, as head of its digital marketing and communications unit. Norman will split time in Los Angeles. 42West COO Tom Reno noted the growth of social media like Facebook and Twitter and the role played in connecting people in announcing the hire. At Paramount, he handled digital campaigns for film releases like “Babel” and “There Will Be Blood,” as well as award campaigns and studio pushes. He was previously with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Jennifer Driscoll, VP of investor relations, Best Buy, to Campbell Soup Company, Camden, N.J., as VP of IR. She takes over for Leonard Griehs, 62, who is retiring at the end of July after nearly 20 years.

Deirdre Blackwood, VP, corporate comms. and IR for satellite telecomms. company TerraStar Networks, to Arbitron Inc., Columbia, Md., as senior VP, corporate communications, reporting to Alton Adams, executive VP and chief marketing officer. Blackwood is charged with consolidating the corporate communications group, including marketing communications, PR and IR, among other tasks. She was formerly a director in the Washington, D.C., office of Burson-Marsteller and press Secretary for U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), as well as a senior staffer for former New York Sen. Alfonse D’Amato. She began her career in TV at CNN and “Good Morning America.”

Lori Russo, VP in Stanton Communications’ D.C. office, has been named managing director of its office in Baltimore, Md., where she started her career as a journalist. The Maryland Office of Tourism, Western Maryland’s Adventure Sports Center International and Columbia-based education technology company eInstruction are local clients.

Tony Bullock, former chief of staff to the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.), to Ogilvy Government Relations, Washington, D.C., as senior VP. He had been with parent company Ogilvy PR Worldwide for the last four years as an executive VP in its public affairs practice and was previously comms. director and press secretary to D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams.


Internet Edition, June 3, 2009, Page 7

PRS EYES AD MEMBERS (Cont’d from 1)

Rickey, has been proposing that advertising, marketing and other people working in communications be allowed as full members.

Only about 15% of those in the Society currently have “PR” as part of their titles, noted Barber.

She wrote: “There is no limit on the types of professionals our mission encompasses, nor on where geographically those professionals practice their craft. The programs and opportunities offered by the Society help all communication professionals…senior, junior and new professionals, specialists and generalists alike.”

Her essay, titled, “Opening the Door to Our Tent,” said the Society should “embrace anyone who is interested in learning about our profession, help them to gain the knowledge they need to be better professionals and enable them to advocate for what we do day in and day out.” She noted that membership “is already open to professionals who work at companies that sell important services to the PR industry…”

She said she looks forward to greeting the ad people and others as members and “growing our active membership to include more and more communications professionals who advocate daily for the ethical practice of PR and communications.”

Ad Group Drops Term ‘Advertising’

The American Assn. of Advertising Agencies announced last month that it was dropping the term “advertising” from its name because the term has too many bad connotations.

“The common perception of our business in the U.S. continues to be so negative for so many people,” president and COO Nancy Hill told the annual conference of what is now known as the “4A’s” in San Francisco in April.

Hill, a career advertising person (the 4A’s staff is always headed by an ad careerist), said the industry needs a better image. Advertising had been in the title of the group since 1917.

A study of ad people and ethics, published in 2005, found that ad professionals tend not to employ “ethical reasoning” when considering what course of action to take.

Business considerations outrank ethical considerations in advertising decisions, the study found.

Two journalism professors, Lee Wilkins and Renita Coleman, authored the study, titled: “The Moral Media, How Journalists Reason About Ethics.”

The PR Society's Code of Ethics stresses the importance of ethical behavior (“ethical practice is the most important obligation of a Society member” says the code, which mentions “ethics” or “ethical” 12 times on its first page.

PRS last year spent $2,317 on “ethics,” a decline of 46% from spending in 2007.


The International Association of Business Communicators will kick off its annual four-day World Conference on June 7 in San Francisco with Cisco Systems senior VP/comms. Blaire Christie slated as the opening speaker.

Christie will discuss communication in a “rapidly changing environment” to open the conference, which will cover myriad topics from social media news releases to Shell Oil’s quest to regain trust.

IABC, which has more than 16,000 members, expects more than 1,500 business communicators from 50 countries to attend the conference, which includes networking sessions, more than 80 learning sessions, an exhibit hall and other events.

Communications strategies for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver will be the focus of a June 9 session.

How organizers and the PR team are approaching accountability, the environment, economics and social inclusion are the focus of that case study.

Lyndon Cao, director of Ogilvy PR, China, will lead a session on tapping into the Chinese market, Shel Holtz will discuss news release in the social media era, and Chris Bozman, communication manager for Shell Oil, will lead a session called “When Everybody Loves to Hate You: One Oil Company’s Hand-to-Hand (shake) Battle to Regain Trust.”

IABC will also draw from outside the PR world for some of its sessions.

Brian Dunn, president and COO of Best Buy, is slated to receive the goup’s 2009 Excel Award on June 8 for contributions to business communication by a non-member.

Tony Schwartz, president and founder of The Energy Project, will lead a session on June 8 on how to “generate positive energy in tough and trying times.”

Author Ken Robinson (“The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything”) will lead the closing general session of the conference.

A blog has been set up to cover the event:


Fleishman-Hillard has a more than $300K contract with Japan's Office of the Prime Minister to keep the plight of its citizens kidnapped by North Korean agents in the 1970s and ’80s in the public spotlight.

The firm's Vox Global Mandate unit is poised to contact American officials, legislators, media and academic circles about the abduction of its citizens.

Following the election in November, President Bush urged President-elect Obama to be a strong advocate for the return of Japan's kidnapped people.

Japan's ties with the U.S. were frayed a bit with Bush's decision to remove North Korea from his “axis of evil” list.

Korean leader Kim Jong-II admitted his country kidnapped people to teach the Japanese language and culture in Korean spy schools. Only five of the possible 80 victims have been returned to Japan.

F-H has not yet kicked off a PR program in the U.S., but has registered its intentions with the Justice Dept. The firm may “possibly” engage in political activity for the Japanese, an action that would require a revised federal filing.

A budget for a U.S. program has not been determined.


Internet Edition, June 3, 2009, Page 8




The 2008 audit of the PR Society, approved by the PKF CPA firm, raises questions about the totals reported for certain categories. Far more information is needed for certain other categories.

For instance, salaries/fringes for the five staffers who put out Tactics and Strategist are given as $789,544, which averages out to about $158K each.

Most of the articles in both publications are written by volunteers including PR professors who need to publish their works.

The cost of “media relations” was $428K in 2008 after being $398K in 2007 (total $826K).

The Society’s 60th anniversary was celebrated in both years but we saw no mention of this in any major media, no recapping of PRS’s history, no vision of plans for the future.

What are these staffers working on if not media relations?

A senior member or a group of senior members working full time at PRS would be able to keep an eye on how PRS funds are spent. They must not be under the thumb of h.q. management.

Since 1980, when members mostly from their own or small firms took control of PRS, only one or two “PR” staffers have been allowed at h.q. They have been under the tight control of staff.

Outside CPA firms double-check financial reports provided by staff but such reports are no substitute for daily hands-on supervision and tracking by senior members.

“Travel” actually covers travel, meals and hotel expenses. The latter two sub-categories are not broken out. Total “travel” expenses in two years were $1.13M ($563K in 2008 and $571K in 2007).

We wonder in this day of the telephone, e-mail, web, etc., whether more than a half million a year is needed for “travel.”

How much is really meals for leaders and staff needs to be broken out.

Board “travel” is said to be $210K but figuring five board meetings a year for the 17 directors and estimating $300 in air fare for each gives a total of only about $30,000.

Especially needful of reporting is the chair’s travel, meals and hotels. PRS pays all of the chair’s expenses but only certain travel expenses of the directors.

Members should know what “common stocks” were purchased by PRS. They are only told that $1.1M was invested in stocks in 2008 and the overall loss in the “investment portfolio” was $383K.

How do we know whether directors or staff had any connections with the stocks that were purchased? While some stock market investing by an organization is not unusual, it was unusual for PRS to invest 57% of its cash in the market. That put too much of the members’ money at risk.

Publication salaries/fringes are reported as $789K and national conference salaries/fringes as $227K.

We’re happy to see PRS acknowledging more staff costs for the conference but we still think it under-reports staff involvement in the conference. In 2003 and 2004, staff conference costs were reported as only $108K and $103K, respectively.

Since 35 or more staffers typically attend the conference for about a week or more, and arrangements have to be made during the year for more than 200 speakers, 50+ exhibits, Assembly of nearly 300, and two nearly 100-page glossy conference programs have to be produced, we believe past treasurer’s estimates to us that well over $1M is spent on staff salaries/fringes for a conference.

We wonder if work on the two conference programs is included in the “publications” category.

Leaders (almost all from across the country) and staff like to travel to distant cities for the conference although it gets a bigger turnout and makes more money in New York (where the meeting was in 1990 and 2004).

So it seems there is a bias toward showing the conference is a money-maker (profit of $366,080 claimed for 2008).

Members suffer severe consequences when they don’t pay attention to h.q.’s financial “management.”

Losses of $426K in 1999 and $678K in 2000 had to be taken to make up for under-reported expenses in the 1990s including failure to pay taxes on ads and product sales.

The deferred dues account was drawn down from $904K in 1991 to as low as $169K in 1995 and $350K by 1998 to offset high-spending.

Members, for the first time, did not get the Blue Book directory of members in 2000 because of lack of funds. Staff costs on “media relations” were only $4,470 in 2000 and other services were hit by tight budgets.

PRS has a history limiting financial information.

In 1992, it decided to eliminate (with the approval of CPA firm Ernst & Young) the 1991 Statement of Functional Expenses (12 categories of spending for 27 types of services or 324 statistics in all).

Members forced a return of the Statement in 1992 but nine categories were missing including board expenses ($177K in 1990); cost of districts ($35K), and committee/task force support ($72K).

[Ernst & Young in 1992 paid $400M to settle claims that it made improper audits; PRS audits were not involved].

In 2005, the board removed $2.0M in “overhead” from 13 categories of 2004 spending. Biggest sum removed was for “publications,” which had $457K in such costs in 2003.

The 2003 costs of publications, previously reported as $1,428,564, were then restated as $970,726.

“Administrative” costs removed from the 13 categories in 2008 totaled $2,643,617.

Chair Mike Cherenson, speaking on the “For Immediate Release” audio program in December 2008, promised a “full-fledged” PR for PR program in 2009. That has not happened. He also said that PR operates “somewhat in the shadows” and “people may never truly understand what we do…many of my clients don’t understand what we do…as our tool box gets bigger and larger, actually, it’s going to be more and more difficult to explain what we do.”

How he can explain something to the public that he himself has difficulty explaining is a mystery to us.

PRS COO Bill Murray, in winning the 2009 “Outstanding Assn. Executive of the Year Award” of the New York Society of Assn. Executives, was praised for “developing and driving a multi-year, multi-level ‘thought leadership’ platform for the PR profession, called ‘The Business Case for PR.’”

Instead of a PR for PR program, the board and Assembly are engrossed in an unnecessary re-write of the bylaws. The only change needed is ousting the APRs from power, which they have held since the 1970s.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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