The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, June 17, 2009, Page 1
PR Worldwide has named its Asia chief, Christopher Graves,
to succeed Marcia Silverman, 65, as CEO of the WPP unit
50, a veteran journalist, is credited with growing the firms
Asia Pacific operations by roughly two-fold since joining
the firm in 2005.
Kong-based Graves joined Ogilvy from 23 years in the news
business, many at Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal
in several editing and executive posts in Asia and Europe.
who has been with Ogilvy for 28 years, will slide into a
chairman role after seven years at the helm, playing a role
with clients and global strategy for the firm.
took over for former CEO Bob Seltzer, who resigned in August
PUSHES FOR CALIF. OFFSHORE DRILLING
Novellis Sacramento office is representing Plains
Exploration & Production, which is pushing for a state
permit to drill offshore California. There has been a ban
on drilling since the catastrophic spill in 1969 off the
Santa Barbara coast.
Houston-headquartered oil and gas company faces spirited
protests from environmental groups and key politicians like
Sen. Barbara Boxer.
Schwarzenegger Administration, however, favors drilling
as a potential revenue-generator for the cash-strapped Golden
State, which is struggling to deal with a $24B budget shortfall.
wants control over offshore leasing authority, which has
been the duty of the State Lands Commission since 1938.
The Commission voted against a lease proposal in January.
expects its drilling activity will raise almost $2B for
the state and more than $300M for Santa Barbara county.
It has properties in the Gulf Coast, Colorado and Vietnam.
could not be reached for comment.
DIES AT 55
Swords died of a heart attack on June 7 while bicycling
with friends in Virginia. He was 55.
is remembered as part of W.R. Grace & Co.s PR
team that was headed by Fred Bona.
left in 1985 for Texaco just before Grace began its downsizing.
then worked at The Dilenschneider Group before leaving for
Washington for spots at Computer Sciences Corp. and Satyam
CHAMBER PICKS BELL
Bell, former CEO of Burson-Marsteller and its parent Young
& Rubicam Inc., has been elected vice chairman of the
U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
elevation comes as Chamber CEO Tom Donohue launches its
biggest marketing/lobbying campaign to support free
enterprise, which the powerful business group believes
is under attack by the Obama Administration.
says the Chamber will spend tens of millions of dollars
annually to counter inroads made by union leaders,
some environmentalists and a growing force of anti-business
activists that are pushing to close trading
markets, lock down capital markets, expand entitlements
and raise taxes and debt to unsustainable levels.
exited Y&R following its acquisition by WPP. Currently
CEO of Cousins Properties Inc, Bell also chaired the Committee
on the Next Agenda, a group that advised the second Reagan
Administration, and was chief of staff to ex-Senator Bill
ANTES $250K FOR ECO TOURISM
Mexico, in an effort to boost travel to the so-called Land
of Enchantment, is seeking proposals to create an eco-tourism
state has allocated $250K to pay a vendor to develop the
outline of a program by early 2010, when the legislature
will be pitched on further funding.
New Mexico sees its Native American tribes and history,
Spanish legacy, art communities and vast parks as potential
assets for such a program.
goal is to build on the estimated $5.2 billion impact tourism
has on the state.
for pitches is July 10. The RFP is at www.newmexico.org/department/rfp/index.php.
SPJ ETHICS MEMBER HITS PAGE/PR
Peter Sussman, a
member of the Ethics Committee of the Society of Professional
Journalists, while emphasizing it is his own personal opinion,
has criticized the cozy relationship of the
press and PR executives at PR Seminar, more than half of
whose members also belong to the Arthur W. Page Society.
Sussman, who was
an editor for 29 years at the San Francisco Chronicle
and who describes himself as a vocal advocate on issues
of journalism ethics, diversity and freedom of information
on his own website, answered Yes to the question:
Is Big Press too cozy with Big PR?
(continued on page 7)
Edition, June 17, 2009, Page 2
WRECKS TARGET OF PR
federal government is looking for new PR ideas to reverse
an upward trend in motorcycle accident fatalities. The National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that despite
substantial progress in reducing vehicle crashes and fatalities
through seat belt and drunken driving education efforts,
motorcycle wrecks are the key reason that overall safety
trends are heading in the wrong direction.
deaths have more than doubled since 1997, offsetting gains
in overall road safety.
federal agencys office of communications and consumer
information recognizes the need to continue its current
efforts, but has put out the RFP to produce new strategies
and campaigns pointing out that some efforts in the past
have been off-target.
NHTS said it will review a swath of disciplines, from market
research and advertising to media relations, government
relations, partnerships and Web 2.0. Experience and knowledge
with the Hispanic population is singled out.
agency plans to award an open-ended, two-year contract,
known as an IDIQ pact, carrying a minimum per-assignment
fee from $25K to $3.5M.
are due by July 11. The RFP has been posted online and can
be linked from odwyerpr.com.
NHTSA has worked with several firms in recent years, including
Ogilvy PR Worldwide, Carmen Group, and Fleishman-Hillard/Strat@comm,
LEADS PR VS. ROYAL DUTCH SHELL
Communications handles PR for the Center for Constitutional
Rights, which scored a landmark victory June 8, when Royal
Dutch Shell agreed to pay $15.5M to settle a lawsuit alleging
human rights violations in Nigeria during the early 1990s.
New York Times reports the settlement was made days
before the start of a trial in New York, proceedings that
were expected to reveal extensive details of Shells
activities in the Niger Delta.
co-founder David Lerner told ODwyers that his
New York-based firm began work on the case shortly after
the 1995 hanging of environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa
by Nigerias military regime.
death of Shells No. 1 environmental critic triggered
international outrage among activist groups. Shell denies
any role in the death of Saro-Wiwa.
oil company rejects charges that it bankrolled violence
in the region. It says the settlement will provide money
for plaintiffs, including Saro-Wiwas family for their
loss, and for an educational and social trust.
was press officer for CCR before setting up his progressive
Caplan Communications was active on a parallel front.
Caplan generated publicity (New York Times blog, WBAI radio
in NYC and NPRs Democracy Now) for ShellGuiltyCampaign.com,
a coalition of Oil Change International, Friends of the
Earth and Platform/Remember Saro-Wiwa.
represented FOE in that effort.
WORK STANFORD CASE
legal team of alleged Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford has engaged
Qorvis Communications as it defends against a civil suit
from the Securities Exchange Commission charging the Texan
of defrauding investors to the tune of $8 billion.
CEO Michael Petruzzello is leading the research and litigation
59-year-old financier, whose assets have been seized and
placed under the guidance of a receiver pending an outcome
in the SEC case, denies the charges and has said he is a
scapegoat for the governments inability to discover
the Bernie Madoff fraud.
court-appointed receiver raised eyebrows last week with
a request for $20M in fees.
those charges are $150K in fees and $15K in expenses through
April 12 for the services of Texas PR firm Pierpont Communications.
work has included sorting through correspondence (12,000
emails), media and blog monitoring, comms. strategy, and
updating the receivers website.
Lilly has recruited the former Democratic mayor of its hometown
Indianapolis, Bart Peterson, to serve as senior VP of corporate
affairs and communications.
duties at the drug maker encompass government relations,
communications and PR, CSR and other aspects, but the company
said a significant part of his role will be heading its
interactions in the public health sector and among other
payers globally as healthcare reform has become
a priority of the Obama administration.
DIES AT 85
Gerrity, the press savvy right-hand man of former ITT CEO
Hal Geneen, is dead at 85.
Wall Street Journal credits Gerrity with putting
a happy face on both Geneens acquisition
spree of more than 250 companies and ITTs reputation
for corporate ruthlessness.
transformed the sleepy telecommunications gear and Latin
American phone company operator into a conglomerate that
included Hartford Insurance, Continental Baking and Avis
was ensnared in ITTs effort to block the election
of leftist Salvador Allende as Chiles president in
1970. The PR pro was charged with perjury and obstruction
of justice connected with his testimony before Congress.
Those 1978 charges were dropped after the Justice Dept.
concluded that it would have to release sensitive national
security information during a public trial.
WSJ remembers Gerrity as an old school style
handler of the press that reflected his friendships
with such legends as saloon proprietor Toots Schor and sportswriter
in 1964, Gerrity organized the annual Brussels Boys Club
press bash. The affair was named after a fountain in Belgium,
called Manneken Pis, a stature of a boy urinating. A replica
of the statue went to the newsman Boy of the Year.
Edition, June 17, 2009, Page 3
Boston Globe is getting some interest from local
groups that may be willing to take the money-losing paper
off the hands of the New York Times Co. and its chairman
Pinch Sulzberger, who rejected a plea for "mercy"
from Guild members.
NYTC is using Goldman Sachs to line up bids for the Boston
Globe, which is no longer slated for shutdown, according
to spokesperson Catherine Mathis.
do not foresee closure at this time and are focused on executing
the Globes turnaround plan, she said in a statement
following the companys victory in wrestling $20M in
concessions from labor. Those givebacks include an imposed
23 percent wage cut for members of the Boston Newspaper
Globe reports that former Hill, Holliday, Connors Cosmopulos
co-founder executive Jack Connors, Boston Celtics part owner
Stephen Pagliuca and Stephen Taylor, a member of the family
that owned the Globe, are among interested parties in taking
over the Globe.
union concessions, while a financial windfall to the NYTC,
make the Globe a more attractive property to buyers.
management will entertain bids during the next couple of
weeks and will explore various options over the summer.
A package deal with the Worcester Telegram & Gazette
is a possibility.
Sachs is also peddling the NYTCs 17.5 percent stake
in the Boston Red Sox.
to Sulzberger is rejected
reporters penned a letter to Sulzberger asking him to drop
plans to cut pay by 23 percent.
asked Sulzberger to call off the lawyers, head off
a bitter fight and come forward with a plan that would attract
a bit more support from the Guild.
reporters stand ready to take painful cuts and do
what it takes to preserve the long-term future of the Boston
23 percent cut, however, would be disastrous for many
of us who have worked tirelessly for the Globe for years.
Not only would many of us lose our homes and our child care,
but too much of our top talent might no longer be able to
afford to work for a newspaper that theyve given their
hearts and souls for so long.
reporters never expected high salaries; we just wanted
reasonable pay, enough to make ends meet."
praised Sulzberger for his fair-minded leadership,"
and believe he wants to do the right thing because he is
his response, Sulzberger said he is gratified by the staffs
commitment to the Globe and journalistic excellence. You
are correct that I had hoped this would work out differently,
and that a timely solution would be found for the Globe
to achieve the necessary savings without Guild employees
suffering a huge wage cut.
his concern for staffers, all dealings on this subject
must be with and through the Guild, which, under law, is
the employees sole and exclusive bargaining representative.
wrote that Globe negotiators worked tirelessly to iron out
a deal with the Guild as they did with other unions:
are now left with no alternative other than to proceed with
the wage reduction. Without that, the Globe will be unable
to effectuate the savings already ratified by its other
unions, in which case it simply cannot survive.
to Guide Editorial Page
Canellos, 46, is taking over for Renee Loth as editor of
the Boston Globes editorial page. He was D.C. bureau
chief for the past six years.
has been with the Globe since 1988, serving as City Hall
bureau chief, and metro editor. He edited the Globe's book,
The Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy,
which was based on a seven-part series that ran in the paper.
56, is retiring July 3. She plans to freelance a weekly
op-ed piece for the Globe. She took on the editorial page
job in 2000, after writing for the Sunday magazine, serving
as political editor and deputy editor of the editorial page.
ARE ALIVE & KICKING
percent of the nation's 1,422 daily newspapers are solidly
profitable and in no danger of collapse, according to newspaper
analyst John Morton.
papers average a 12K circulation and represent the newspaper
business to millions of Americans in smaller towns and cities.
smaller papers operate in less complex and competitive markets
than their big brothers, according to Morton.
are much closer to readers and advertisers. That means smaller
newspapers are just not as vulnerable as large dailies are
to the national economic meltdown.
notes that high-profile shutdowns of the Rocky Mountain
News and Seattle Post-Intelligencer do not represent
a faltering business model. Both were weak sisters in two-paper
markets. Morton is surprised they lasted as long as they
did, according to his column in the American Journalism
believes newspapers will not rebound as sharply as they
did in the last recovery of `02 because the Internet is
much more dominant today.
large dailies will be thinner and the smaller papers will
be more hyper-local.
can only hope that newspapers will figure out a way to stop
giving away information online that they charge for in print
and that they will be more successful than they have been
in capturing Internet advertising, he writes.
Public Broadcasting Service is trimming staff by 10 percent
(45 people) and ordering a six-month pay cut of about four
percent beginning July 1.
hiring freeze, benefit cuts and reductions in travel are
other measures used to deal with a budget shortfall of more
impact on programming is promised by Michael Jones, COO.
news continued on next page)
Edition, June 17, 2009, Page 4
CUTS NEWSPAPER COSTS IN CT
has cut 44 jobs at its ten Connecticut newspapers and may
slice 80 more in coming months in order to reduce costs
announcement appeared on the web of the Hearst-owned Stamford
Advocate but did not appear in any of the print editions
of the ten papers.
Greenwich Time and the other papers were purchased
in late 2007 by Hearst, which was partnered at that time
with MediaNews Group of Denver, then owner of the Connecticut
Post, based in Bridgeport.
owner or part owner of more than 100 papers, has run into
financial problems, its credit lowered in December 2008
to CCC from B-.
Tribune Co., which owned the GT and Stamford Advocate,
had been trying to sell them for many months. Printing of
the two papers was shifted to Bridgeport.
also owns the Danbury News-Times and six weeklies
in Fairfield county.
McCumber, managing editor of the Post-Intelligencer,
at first was hailed by a local Greenwich blog as "a
prize-winning investigative editor with plenty of guts,"
has been named editor of Time/Advocate and editorial director
of the Connecticut Hearst newspapers.
a critic of the Hearst Connecticut papers, blogged that
"Greenwich politicians and insiders are shaking in
their boots that Steven Swartz (president of Hearst Newspapers)
brings in a big gun to cover Greenwich."
blog, which has traded angry e-mails with Hearst lawyer
Ravi Sitwalla on copyright issues, says that "All voices
in Greenwich society will be heard" because of McCumber's
the blog expressed disappointment with Hearst's new Connecticut
blog, asking, "Who is going to read this crap?"
and suggesting that McCumber might be "on drugs."
said its Connecticut blogs will cover "favorite restaurants,"
"parenting in 2009," "toxic soil in our communities,"
"high school bands," and "the New York Yankees."
GT editors were Joseph Pisani, who was dismissed in 2007
after more than ten years; David Warner, Jim Zebora and
Bruce Hunter. Hunter continues as managing editor.
series of back-and-forth e-mails between Hearst and greenwich.roundup
indicated that Hearst was unable to document copyright violation
charges and the blog claimed victory in the dispute.
provides extensive coverage of news, community events, local
ads and also provides hard-hitting opinions and analysis.
Readers are invited to become contributors to the blogs
which represent formidable competition to print newspapers.
Christopher Fountain real estate blog received a letter
from a lawyer threatening legal action because the blog
pointed out negatives in a house that was for sale. The
blog reprinted the letter as well as a dozen comments from
readers supporting the right of the blog to make its criticisms.
were sent to Hearst officials, GT editors, and MediaNews
officials. These include Debra Shriver, VP/chief communications
officer of Hearst; Dave Swartz, Hearst Newspaper president;
Mark Aldam, SVP, Hearst Newspapers; McCumber, and the PR
dept. of MediaNews.
MediaNews PR dept. acknowledged receipt of the e-mail and
McCumber said he would return our call when able.
polls were released last week gauging public and consumer
opinion on issues from the communications budgets to gay
and lesbian readership of blogs and social media.
percent of respondents to an International Association of
Business Communicators and Buck Consultants study said their
communication budgets have decreased, while 35 percent reported
cuts to their communication staffs over the past year.
those doldrums, nearly half said communication with staff
has stayed the same and many are turning to social media
to engage them.
survey of 1,500 participants across various industries found
that 79 percent reported using social media to communicate
with employees, while 75 percent cited email.
blogs are the top social media tool and were cited by 47
percent, while discussion boards were said to be the top
tool on the horizon at 33 percent.
(21%), Yammer (20%) and Facebook (18%) were also mentioned
and organizations cited plans to use such tools more down
social media use among top executives, 56% are not using
such tools and about half (46%) said they are not monitoring
social medias effectiveness.
Draw More Gay Readers
than half of gay and lesbian adults read blogs, compared
with only 38 percent of heterosexuals, according to a Harris
Interactive/Witeck-Combs Communications poll of 3,000 adults,
404 of whom said they were gay or lesbian.
figure is up from 51% in March and 32% in November 2006.
the blogs drawing interest were news and issue blogs (34%
gay-22% hetero), entertainment and pop culture (25%-15%),
politics (28%-14%) and travel (14%-8%).
strong blog readership from the gay/lesbian community also
translates to social networks, where 55% of the group participates,
compared with 46% of heterosexuals.
trend follows from entertainment-oriented sites like MySpace
(43% gay-30% hetero) and Twitter (20%-12%) to professional
sites like LinkedIn (23%-13%).
Witeck, CEO of Witeck-Combs Communications said companies
looking to make the most of their advertising budgets need
to consider blogs and social networking sites as an even
more powerful cross-section of opportunities today
when reaching out to the gay and lesbian market.
Edition, June 17,
2009, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
OFFERS FREE APP
Group has developed and released a mobile application, M.insight,
that aggregates news and opinion articles in marketing fields
like PR, advertising and social media.
president and CEO Michael Kempner hopes the app will
make it easy for PR, marketing and advertising professionals
to discover and track news that is most relevant to them.
service was developed for the iPhone but can also be used
on WindowsMobile and Blackberry devices.
app can be downloaded at mww.com/minsight
or via the iTunes store.
BOSTON COUNSELOR, RETIRES
Paul Luongo, after a 45-year career in which he represented
financial and other clients including Charles Schwab &
Co., Federated Securities, Dataram Corp., Nymox Pharmaceutical,
Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Newbury College, has closed
his firm and will live in a retirement home.
the fourth time in my career, my lease has run out and the
landlord will not let me renew it, said Luongo, who
for many years lived in the Copley Plaza Hotel, Boston.
who made hundreds of appearances on local and national TV
and radio shows, including The Today Show, in
1980 authored Americas Best, which focused on the
best hotels, restaurants and hundreds of other
products and services.
is moving at the end of the month to a senior citizens facility
in midtown Boston.
hobbies earlier in life included playing the trumpet and
horseback riding. He was in a number of competitions that
involved jumps but he doesnt see any such activities
in his future.
PR counseling scene today is one of keen competition,
he said. Asked what the C stands for in his
name, he said his parents named him Carmine at birth and
it was a name he always detested. He picked Paul upon Confirmation,
since he was an admirer of St. Paul, but he retained the
C in honor of his parents.
York, has moved from its Third Avenue home of 17 years to
60 East 42nd Street, 44th floor, across from Grand Central
Terminal. Info: gibbs-soell.com.
has revamped its website, apcoworldwide.com,
to include advanced search and a more in-depth look
into what we can do for our clients. ...Koroberi
Hill, N.C., has been tapped by Sweden-based consumer design
group Chislett Productions as its U.S. interactive marketing
services. partner. The firms said they will engage
in a technology and cultural exchange to create a global
team offering state of the art integrated marketing solutions.
Angeles, has aligned with event and entertainment marketing
firm The jLine
Group to officially
collaborate after previously working on joint projects in
the entertainment sector.
Edstrom, New York/Toshiba America Consumer Products,
as agency of record for its North American television and
digital A/V products, following a review. WEs consumer
marketing practice leads the account partnered with the
firms consumer subsidiary, Maloney & Fox. Account
covers strategic counsel, new product launches, media and
analyst relations, communications planning, and long-term
branding initiatives. Brodeur Partners handled the account
as Toshibas global AOR.
Davidson PR, New York/Dream Escape, Scotland, as
AOR for PR. The five-year-old travel company is based in
Edinburgh and puts together one of a kind experiences
in Scotland for clients.
PR, New York/The Light Group, hospitality development
and management, for PR for the company and its affiliated
properties like The Beatles Revolution Lounge and Bare Pool
Lounge at The Mirage Hotel & Casino.
Drinks, New York/Vermont Spirits, for marketing and
PR to support its Vermont Gold and Vermont White vodkas.
Waltham, Mass./Venyu, Louisiana-based data protection company
formed by merger of Amerivault and Network Technology Group,
and PRQA, software quality assessment services, both as
AOR for PR.
Whitmyre, Sharon, Mass./Howard Leight-Sperian Hearing
Protection, for global PR for its services and hearing conservation
programs. Work includes media relations, SEO and web 2.0
social media strategy.
Group, Atlanta/OB10, e-invoicing network, for PR
for its North American business unit based in Atlanta.
PR, Raleigh, N.C./Clinipace, digital clinical research,
for PR for its clinical trial technology and service offerings.
Mills Agency, Atlanta/SourceMedia, for PR for its
publications, including American Banker, Bank
Technology News and Financial Insights.
Communications, Tallahassee, Fla./McDavid Sports
Medicine, for media relations.
Investor Relations Company, Chicago/Spicy Pickle
Franchising Inc., Denver-based restaurant company with 38
locations in 12 states, for an investor contact program
which started on June 1. Market value tops $10M. SPF was
developed by the creator of the PretzelMaker franchise,
which was sold to Mrs. Fields Cookies.
Group Advertising and PR, Milwaukee/St. Aemilian-Lakeside,
family services non-profit, for strategic communications
including PR and branding.
Pollack PR Marketing Group, Los Angeles/the Santa
Monica Pier Restoration Corp., for a PR program supporting
its three centennial events between June 20 and Sept. 9.
The famous pier was built in 1909.
Edition, June 17, 2009, Page 6
TO HIRE THE NEWSMARKET
U.S. Dept. of State said June 10 that it plans to award
online video service The NewsMarket a sole source contract
to support its foreign policy objectives and messages.
State Dept. said it requires the services of a contractor
to place video content produced by the government as it
faces limitations in its ability to reach a growing global
TV and video audience.
said The NewsMarkets platform allows TV stations anywhere
in the world to access, preview and order broadcast standard
claiming a sole source pact, the government
said The NewsMarket is the only company that can offer the
service and therefore does not need to seek bids.
the release distribution service owned by Nasdaq, has created
a network targeting retail investors.
is working with MUNCmedia to use a network of 200 financial
magazines, newspapers and portals online as its base of
Doug Ventola, senior VP of Nasdaqs OMX unit which
oversees GN, said the service allows public companies to
deliver information to individual investors while they are
actively researching investments in a particular sector.
EVENT SET FOR JULY
fifth annual Public Relations & Communications Summit
is slated for July 27-28 at Pfizers headquarters in
event, produced by ExL Pharama, includes PR executives from
dozens of pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies.
include Restoring Public Trust, with executives
from Biogen, Amgen and AstraZeneca; Building an Effective
Relationship between the Pharmaceutical Industry and FDA
in a Changing Environment, and The Changing
Face(book) of PR, which includes execs from Schering-Plough,
AstraZeneca and Bayer.
is $2,000. Info: http://www.exlpharma.com.
a social-media based PR platform, said it has added social
media and search engine optimization tools.
features include improved tracking and analytics for release
distribution, an ability to mass invite a list
to join a newsroom or pitch targeted journalists with a
single click, as well as the ability to build an online
newsroom with tools like Twitter, PR Newswire distribution
Wire said its releases
and multimedia assets are now available on The Associated
Press AP Mobile, the app utilized by users of iPhones,
Blackberrys and other smartphone devices.
noted that AP Mobile is chalking up monthly visitation in
the 38 million page view range.
Snell has joined Weber Shandwick as senior VP in
its digital communications practice. He had been senior
VP at Racepoint Group, which is a unit of Larry Weber's
W2 Group, and co-leader of its much acclaimed One
Laptop Per Child program. Prior to joining Racepoint,
Snell was director and senior consultant at ML Strategies
and reporter at the Telegram & Gazette in Worcester,
Rothman, VP for Ogilvy PR Worldwide in Denver, to
Turner PR, Denver, as a VP focused on travel/hospitality
and real estate. She was previously a VP for Robinson Lerer
& Montgomery in New York and earlier was with Ruder
Weber-Leaf, managing editor for 201 magazine,
to The Marcus Group, Little Falls, N.J., as an A/E. She
was previously a reporter for the Herald News (West
Paterson, N.J.) and Journal News (White Plains, N.Y.).
She also has a J.D. and masters degree in environmental
Martin, head of North American PR and marketing comms.
for All Nippon Airways, to Wonacott Communications, Los
Angeles, as an account director. He was previously with
Rogers & Cowan. Racheal
Caswell, a gaming PR pro previously with Bender/Helper
Impact and Pacific Media Partners, joins as a senior A/E.
She previously reviewed games for Hollywood Previews.
Garth, 35, has been promoted to director, investor
relations, Alcoa, New York, replacing Elizabeth
Besen, who recently resigned. He joined the company
in 2002 as manager, IR.
Rizo to head of digital media for Ketchum London.
He was a senior interactive specialist and founding member
of the firms interactive strategies unit in New York.
He handles social media planning, digital partnership realization
and digital media education, as well as online issues and
crisis counsel. Rizzo specializes in advising clients with
matters related to Wikipedia, where he has been an administrator
Cear, managing director of G.S. Schwartz & Co.,
to president of the New York Women in Communications Foundation
board. The non-profit arm of NYWICI supports student communications
career education programs and scholarships.
Edition, June 17, 2009, Page 7
MEMBER HITS PAGE/SEMINAR
said failure of the press to cover Page/PR Seminar is atrocious
journalism of the very kind that has lowered the credibility
of journalists among the public.
who says his opinion should not be construed as a
consensus of the committees views, also noted
that many or most of my opinions were shared by various
ODwyer report on the May 20-23 Page/PR Seminar meeting
listing speakers such as Alan Murray, executive editor,
Wall Street Journal Online, was sent to the chair of the
SPJ Ethics Committee who distributed it to the other 13
also noted that he has not contacted anyone from either
Page or PR Seminar and that he is only expressing his own
preliminary views on the annual meeting of PR
executives at which editors from major media are speakers
(New York Times, Washington Post, Wall
Street Journal, Financial Times, Bloomberg, MSNBC,
CNN, etc.). He noted his views are based on facts
you provided and without access to reactions to participants
at these events.
14 member committee is headed by Andy Schotz, a reporter
for The Herald-Mail in Hagerstown, Md., who covers
city hall, police beat, courts and the Maryland statehouse.
member is Jane Kirtley, Silha Professor of Media Ethics
and Law, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University
of Minnesota. A lawyer, she was executive director of The
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Arlington,
Va., for 14 years until 1999 when she joined UofM.
member is Jerry Dunklee, journalism professor at Southern
Connecticut State University, New Haven.
of Coverage Unethical
who answered the questions via e-mail, said he agreed that
Big Press is too cozy with Big PR, adding: The
best possible face you can put on it would be that failure
to cover the meetings is unethical and attendance at the
meetings may or may not be unethical but is certainly atrocious
journalism of the very kind that has lowered the credibility
of journalists among the public.
To elaborate somewhat, this is, as Mr. ODwyer
states, a very good example of the way that news organizations
have failed their readers, listeners and viewers.
the recent mortgage/home/price/debt securitization bubble;
in the buildup to the Iraqi war and on many other occasions
in recent years, the news media have failed to seek
truth and report it [the first category in our Code
of Ethics] because they have been too cozy with those powerful
and rich enough to buy their camaraderie, their insider
access and their good will.
Code Articles Quoted
then listed nine articles of the SPJ Code and said Page/PR
Seminar appeared to break all of them, including two of
two are Remain free of associations and activities
that may compromise integrity or damage credibility,
and Be vigilant and courageous about holding those
with power accountable.
says the SPJ Code, are to Give voice to the voiceless,
but Sussman said the journalists at Page/PRS seem
more intent on giving voice to the voiced. If they were
half as conscientious in seeking out the voiceless, we would
have very different news narratives in this country.
journalists, he continued, are also failing to Recognize
a special obligation to ensure that the publics business
is conducted in the open and failing to Avoid
conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
whether journalists are telling the story of the diversity
and magnitude of the human experience boldly, Sussman
said, Actually, they are telling the story of the
powerful meekly. No answers were also
given to whether Code articles are being obeyed that say
Disclose unavoidable conflicts and Deny
favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and
resist their pressure to influence news coverage.
criticisms have been sent to Page president Maril MacDonald
of Gagen MacDonald, Chicago, and executive director Tom
Nicholson but no replies had been received as of press time.
Ethics Committee Listed
members of the SPJ Ethics Committee are vice chair Fred
Brown, media training and consulting firm of Hartman &
Brown, and who retired from the Denver Post in 2002
although he continues to write for it and for the NBC TV
affiliate; Robert Buckman, prof. of comms., University of
Louisiana; Casey Bukro, who retired in 2007 after 45 years
at the Chicago Tribune; Mike Farrell, director, Scripps
Howard First Amendment Center, Univ. of Kentucky; Irwin
Gratz, anchor, Public Radio, Portland, Me.; Liz Hansen,
comms. prof., Eastern Kentucky Univ.; Paul LaRocque, retired
J prof, Texas Christian Univ.; Sara Stone, J prof, Baylor
Univ.; Adrian Uribarri, writer, Orlando Sentinel,
and Nerissa Young, asst. J prof., Marshall Univ.
VOTING LEGAL AT PRS
PR Society would not need to reincorporate in another
state in order for the 22,000 members to vote electronically
on candidates for the board and officer positions, bylaws
chair Dave Rickey has announced on the PRS website.
Society has been saying for many years that its Assembly
could not vote electronically because it would be against
New York State law.
major plank in proposed new bylaws is that The membership
directly elects the board of directors and officers.
latest statement on the bylaws proposals notes that Other
associations incorporated in New York are successfully using
technology to legally facilitate electronic popular voting.
leaders and staff have been asked why member voting is now
deemed to be legal when it wasnt before but they have
bylaws committee has yet to spell out details of how candidates
would run for office including whether they would have to
state their views on issues to the membership.
Edition, June 17, 2009,
Sussmans criticism of the press
for failure to cover or even mention the existence of the
Arthur W. Page Society/PR Seminar meeting (page one) is
a watershed moment for the press and PR. Press and PR appear
to be far too cozy with each other.
one of the creators of the Ethics Code of the Society of
Professional Journalists, has emphasized that this is his
personal opinion and not the opinion of the entire 14-member
also notes that he has not talked to anyone from the meeting.
chance, we say. In our nearly 40 years of covering the meeting
of Big PR and Big Press we have never once received
an official communication from anyone connected with the
first order of business is making all attendees swear that
what happens at Seminar stays at Seminar.
Sussman or any of his committee members gets anyone to say
anything official including providing lists of speakers
and members and/or what was said, that will surprise us.
About the only thing official anyone will get
from Page/PRS is a no comment from a spokesperson.
of the leaders will pick up the phone or answer an e-mail.
like the PR Society, does not have an enforceable code.
But it does point out right and wrong.
hoping the committee will take a thorough look at our Page/PRS
reports and also about the campaign of defamation the PR
Society has conducted against us for many years.
Sussman e-mail said that many if not most of
his opinions about the meeting were shared by various
dont see how anything but a fence post could fail
to be shocked by Big Media failing to report on Big PR.
nation is in nearly economic free-fall because our institutions
have failed us including congress, government regulators
like the SEC; banks and financial institutions; rating services
such as Fitch, Moodys and S&P; academics; the
press and PR.
much-heralded Sarbanes-Oxley flopped.
was too much coziness between Wall St. and the
SEC. The press failed to catch onto the burgeoning real
estate disaster whose roots were in local banks lending
to just about anyone because they immediately off-loaded
the loans to Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and others.
main culprit in the economic meltdown
is the failure of boards of directors to do their jobs.
regular critic of boards is the New Yorkers
James Surowiecki, who noted June 1 that even though fewer
than 20% of corporate directors are now insiders and are
supposed to be independent, service on a board
is often still a cushy gig that few want to
endanger by challenging the CEO who appointed them.
trumps independence, he wrote.
directors usually depend on the CEO for information, doing
little or no research on their own, says Surowiecki, who
quotes a survey showing that half of directors wish they
had more information.
theres the average board of directorsan ill-informed
group that meets probably eight times a year (four times
for the PR Society) and its a social engagement as
much as anything else.
even harsher critic is Nell Minow of the Corporate Library
and an expert on corporate boards. She once said that otherwise
decent people lose half their I.Q.s and all
of their nerve when they join a board.
now also writes as the Movie Mom for the Chicago
Tribune and other outlets about movies, TV, the internet
is a key period for the PR Society
since nominations will be made for the board which is deeply
of change started to blow last year when Gary McCormick
of Scripps, who was not even on the board, won the nomination
for chair-elect from Rosanna Fiske, who as treasurer was
an almost automatic choice as chair-elect.
die-hard APRs dominate the board, McCormick said that while
he is proud of his APR, the content knowledge in APR
is not indicative or instructional on serving as an effective
member of a board
even for PR.
would put the question to the Assembly which has never been
allowed to consider dropping APR for board service.
words as well as those of Don Kirchoffner, who flatly said
APR should not be required for national service, no doubt
incensed the APR hard-liners.
many years of a board dominated by solo or small firm practitioners,
members from large organizations joined the board in 2009
Travelers, National Education Assn., Western &
Southern Financial, Mayo Clinic, and City College of New
such new blood does not yet have enough votes
to control the board.
has done an amazing flip-flop
on the legality of members voting electronically.
many years, despite Assembly polls showing such a desire,
PRS has said the Assembly could only meet and take votes
in person. Electronic voting was strictly forbidden by New
York State law, it said.
however, when it wants to remove the power of the Assembly
to elect board and officers (turning the Assembly into a
propaganda arm of the board), the board says that electronic
voting by members is perfectly legal and there is no need
to move the charter to another state.
like to hear the legal reasoning involved in this remarkable
flop is PRS turning its back on recommendations made
by a nominating committee reform group in 2000.
That group found blatant
interference in the selection of directors and officers
by the directors themselves.
The group said the bylaws
make it as clear as can be that the board is to be
separate from the nominating process and the board is not
to elect its own officers.
The stranglehold of the
APRs on PRS continues to be evident.
A bylaw proposal is that
non-APRs can come on the board if they can prove they have
more than 20 years in PR in posts with ever higher degrees
In other words, the APRs
are saying that passing a three to four-hour multiple choice
test about PR on a computer is the equivalent of more
than 20 years of PR experience with increasing levels of
What municipality would
hire a lifeguard without a swimming test or an orchestra
a musician without hearing him or her play?