The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, July 1, 2009, Page 1
Fourth of July to all our readers. The next issue will be
July 15. Follow breaking news on odwyerpr.com.
ISSUES RFP FOR BIG PR PUSH
has issued an RFP for a PR campaign to tout its low-cost
auto insurance program intended to reduce uninsured drivers
in the vehicle-centric state.
10-year-old program provides insurance to low-income drivers
in good standing and was expanded over the last decade from
Los Angeles and San Francisco Counties to encompass the
state plans to award a year-long contract with three possible
option years and wants to hear from PR and advertising agencies
with plans to reach low-income and economically eligible
consumers, particularly uninsured drivers and seniors.
budget is $1.2M, which includes the costs of any ad buys
and expenses. Firms are required to have a Golden State
office and five years of PR experience, including at least
three examples of running a statewide public awareness campaign.
are due by July 28. Lori Nelson ([email protected])
is point of contact.
LANDS IRAQ PACT
Communications is doing media relations, strategic PR and
Internet consulting for the Kurdistan Regional Government
firm is charged with educating and informing the U.S. media
about the restive energy rich section of Iraq, which is
locked in a dispute with Baghdad over control of oil fields.
Qorvis job also includes changing travel advisories
of the State Dept. when KRG deems them inaccurate.
lauded States June 17 update that noted the Kurdish
region is more stable than the rest of Iraq, experiencing
fewer terrorist attacks and lower levels of insurgent violence.
Assocs. and BGR Group have represented KRG. BGR had a three-year
contract worth $700K annually that expired Jan. 31.
MOVES TO GLOVER PARK
PR pro Larry Kamer has joined politically savvy Glover Park
Group in Washington as managing director and PA chief.
had been at Fleishman-Hillard as west region director and
co-chair of its corporate communications group. Earlier,
Kamer was president/North America at MSL Worldwide and founder
with Sam Singer of Kamer-Singer, the high-tech outfit. GCI
Group acquired K-S in `99.
Home Depot, Reebok, Harvard University and General Motors
have been advised by Kamer.
STEPS DOWN AT P&G
Otto, global external relations officer at Procter &
Gamble, will step down this month into a scaled back role
as the consumer products giant transitions to a new CEO.
55, plans to retire in February 2010.
recently chaired the meeting of top PR executives known
as PR Seminar at Laguna Nigel in California and has been
with P&G for 33 years, the last 13 heading external
CEO A.G. Lafley stepped down last month from the company
and will serve as chairman.
will serve on special assignment reporting to
Lafley, supporting his board role as well as his chair role
of the 2009 Cincinnati community United Way campaign.
Hassall, also 55, has been named to replace Otto. He is
currently VP of corporate communications and reputation,
and head of North American external relations.
will serve two bosses Robert McDonald, P&Gs
new president and CEO, and Marc Pitchard, global brand building
has worked for P&G across the world and headed its cause
relief program following the May 2008 earthquake in Sichuan,
brands range from Crest toothpaste to Duracel batteries.
2008 revenue topped $83 billion.
HEAD AT POORLY ATTENDED SEMINAR
W. Page Society president Maril MacDonald and 62 other Page
members attended the 2009 PR Seminar May 20-23 at the Ritz-Carlton,
Laguna Niguel, Calif. Attendance was a record low 127 PR
executives, down from 162 at the 2008 Seminar at Four Seasons
Troon, Scottsdale, Ariz.
record class of 46 freshman was inducted, indicating
high turnover in a group that at one time only admitted
a half dozen new members a year. Seminar, faced with low
attendance, opened the door wide to new members.
(Continued on page 7)
Edition, July 1, 2009, Page 2
TAPS TRIO FOR PR
American Chemistry Council, the trade group for the chemical
industry, has tapped a new partnership of firms Racepoint
Group, Digital Influence Group and Squier Knapp Dunn
to guide its communications efforts with a new emphasis
on social media as part of a multimillion-dollar PR account.
and DIG are part of Larry Weber's W2 Group. The account
is in the $8M-$12M range and the W2 firms will get a significant
portion of the budget, according to Jackie Lustig, senior
VP at Racepoint.
new agencies -- hired in May as a partnership known as W2SKD
-- are part of a shift for the trade association away from
its current advertising and PR push -- a $20M a year effort
known as essential2 handled by Ogilvy PR and Ogilvy &
Mather-- toward newer forms of communications.
going to be de-emphasizing the essential2 ads you see on
television and billboards and will focus more on advocacy
and social media, Randy Dearth, who chairs the ACCs
communications committee, told the chemical industry trade
journal ICIS, which first reported the hiring of the three
firms. Youre not going to see our message on
CNN or CNBC, but Facebook and Twitter, for instance.
is the Washington, D.C.-based public affairs firm that played
a key role in Barack Obamas presidential campaign.
Racepoint and Digital Influence Group are based in Waltham,
ACC has been working to engage more in the digital realm,
especially after it was outmaneuvered in a crackdown on
the compound bisphenol A in a handful of U.S. cities in
the past year.
trade group hosted its second annual blog summit last month
and has embraced outlets like Twitter and Facebook of late.
hiring of SKD also has an eye on Obama administration efforts
to re-enforce the Superfund tax as the 33-year-old Toxic
Substances Control Act is headed for a revamp.
SPENDS $1.4M AT APCO
will pay APCO Worldwide $1.4M under terms of its one-year
contract that officially went into effect April 1.
biggest independent firm has assigned 15 staffers to work
the Mexico Tourism Board business.
VP Charles Krause is project manager of the team that includes
former Congressman Don Bonker, APCO Insight president Mark
Benson, APCO online director Evan Kraus, and New York managing
director Nelson Fernandez.
pact calls for focus groups, phone surveys of the general
public and interviews with political elites
about their perception of Mexico. Other components are outreach
to journalists and rapid response media relations.
staffers meet weekly or as often as required with Mexicos
Ambassador or his designees.
also coordinate communications made on Mexicos behalf
by other ad agencies or PR firms.
bills monthly and assesses an 18 percent late charge on
invoices outstanding for more than 30 days.
GUIDES U.N. CLIMATE PUSH
is the lead PR firm on a multi-agency, global campaign kicked
off June 23 by the United Nations in support of its climate
change conference in Copenhagen in December.
campaign, dubbed Hopenhagen, was launched at
the Cannes Lions advertising festival in France June 23
with the backing of the International Advertising Association,
Ketchum (PR), Ogilvy & Mather (creative), and Colle+McVoy
campaign will complement the U.N.s Seal the
Deal! campaign in support of a global treaty and is
modeled as an open source campaign which will
include content from users generated online and off.
consumer launch is slated for September but ads started
to run last week in Cannes, JFK Airport in New York, Los
Angeles International Airport and London Heathrow.
FLOATS RFP FOR MEDIA RELATIONS
City, which has seen casino revenue and hotel occupancy
plummet in the economic downturn, has released an RFP for
media relations help.
A.C. Convention & Visitors Authority, the non-profit
agency that promotes the New Jersey seaside resort, is seeking
proposals for media relations support through July 9.
Hammond & Associates has handled the account for the
past two years and will pitch to defend it. Weber Shandwick
was its previous firm.
account is worth about $150K a year.
though the tourism entity feels Atlantic City has fared
better than other destinations in the current economic climate,
the RFP notes that 2008 proved to be one of the most challenging
years in recent memory for the city, a reality which intensified
in early 2009. Hotel occupancy fell from 92% in 2007 to
less than 87% last year. Casino revenue plunged 15 percent
in May to its lowest levels since the 1990s.
RFP can be downloaded at http://www.atlanticcitynj.com/about/bid_opportunities/default.aspx.
Firms must register to do business in New Jersey to be eligible
BRUNSWICK WORK CHINA DEAL
Public Relations & Marketing represented Bain Capital
in the bidding war to invest in Gome Electrical Holdings,
the big Chinese retailer.
edged private equity rivals Kohlberg Kravis Roberts &
Co. and Warburg Pincus, reported the June 23 Wall Street
Journal. Brunswick Group reps Gome.
is to inject about $420M into Gome, which translates into
a stake of up to 24 percent based on conversion of bonds
and shareholder response to the offer.
investment adds some stability to Gome, which suffered the
November arrest of its CEO and biggest investor, Huang Guangyu,
by Chinese officials for alleged economic crimes.
says the Bain connection adds capital and credibility
to Gome, hoping to capture returns if the retailer
can reverse its revenue and profit slides.
is the former Stanton Crenshaw Communications.
Edition, July 1, 2009, Page 3
OF NEWSPAPER WEB READERS WILL PAY
Online, the venture that plans to get online newspaper readers
to pay for content, expects 10 percent of viewers will do
so, according to the Associated Press.
AP says the projection is optimistic since industry analysts
predict only two percent of readers will pony up.
wants to serve as a clearinghouse that offers paid access
to readers of a broad array of papers. It will split revenues
online venture could help print editions as many people
will go back to buying papers if that content is not available
free of charge on the web, according to the AP.
was founded by Steve Brill, who launched Court TV and American
Lawyer, Gordon Crovitz, ex-publisher of the Wall
Street Journal, and Leo Hindrey, a cable TV veteran.
ALUM TAKES LINKEDIN HELM
Weiner, once in the running to succeed Jerry Yang as chief
of Yahoo, is now CEO of LinkedIn, the professional social
exited Yahoo last year after it became embroiled in a takeover
fight with Carl Icahn.
joined LinkedIn in January as interim president. Co-founder
Reid Hoffman will take the executive chairman post.
has 42M members.
WANTS LESS PEOPLE
MTV Networks is dropping 75 people from the payroll to deal
with the harsh economic environment.
cutback represents less than one percent of its total workforce,
according to an MTV spokesperson.
retreat comes after news that programming chief Brian Graden
is leaving the company at the end of the year.
is president of MTV Networks Music Group and chief of Logo,
which is aimed at gay people.
CO. SYNDICATES BREAKINGVIEWS.COM
is going to be offered to members of the New York Times
financial/business commentary already graces the pages of
the New York Times and its International Herald
Edwards, president of NYT News Services, lauded Breakingviews
for providing quick but very deep insight into the
world of business and finance.
sells its material to investment banks, hedge funds, corporations,
sovereign wealth funds, law firms and PR shops.
RATED TOPS BY THE NATION
leftist Nation magazine has New York Times
columnist Gretchen Morgenson on its July 6 cover in a feature
that lauds the 53-year-old as "the most important financial
journalist of her generation."
Starkman, who penned the profile, hails Morgenson as being
at the height of her career, read and feared in the
corridors of power running from Wall Street to Washington.
byline has appeared on must-reads concerning American International
Group, Goldman Sachs, Countrywide Financial, Merrill Lynch
and Washington Mutual.
breaks business-press taboos constantly. Her prose
is blunt; some say even crude, according to the piece.
writes it's impossible for business reporters and editors
not to have an opinion of Morgenson. Some cheer her
tell-it-like-it-is style; detractors call her simplistic
and agency-driven. In certain Wall Street and business circles,
she is flatly detested.
Elstein, a Wall Street reporter for Crains New
York, is quoted as saying Morgenson rules. She
grasped that the game was rigged way before it was fashionable
to do so.
McCarthy of PR firm CounterPoint Strategies told Starkman
that the consensus view of the Times reporter is pure
McCarthy: Her work has a sort of drive-by, potshot
quality to it that leads to habitual mistakes and ideological
laziness. She is reflexively opposed to free markets and
assumes bad faith in almost every subject or person she
describes herself as a moderate Republican who believes
in capitalism. She tried to talk Starkman out of the profile,
saying other journalists were more important in covering
the mortgage mess. She also feared the attention might
impair her effectiveness.
reveals that Morgenson opposed NYT executive editor Bill
Kellers decision to hire the Wall Street Journals
Larry Ingrassia as business editor.
says he has quite a good working relationship now
with Morgenson. In turn, Morgenson says Ingrassia has
been extremely supportive of my work this year.
TO BLOOMBERG MAG
Dukmejian, executive VP at SourceMedia and a 26-year veteran
of Time Inc., has moved to Bloomberg Markets magazine,
as publisher of the monthly.
oversaw SourceMedias professional services divison
and held several roles at Time in sales, marketing and publishing,
culminating as group publisher for Fortune and Money
Group, as well as CNNMoney.com.
Washington Post has unveiled a local news
site focused on D.C.-area swim leagues called reachforthewall.com.
The site includes Post reporting, a wiki platform, and a
reporter Amy Shipley heads the site, which includes up-to-date
coverage and analysis of local swimming, sortable and searchable
results from across the D.C. metro area, and customizable
team pages that are open, unmoderated, wikis.
news continued on next page)
Edition, July 1, 2009, Page 4
rise of the Internet has fostered the growth of transparency
and openness, Howard Brodwin, managing director, Team Marketing
Systems, told a recent Entertainment Publicists Professional
Society media workshop in Los Angeles.
must be as upfront as possible, and avoid "spin"
at all costs, he said. If bad information goes viral, it
will surely come back to bite you, Brodwin warned the 75
publicists at the International Cinematographers Union Local
600 auditorium in Hollywood.
Burton, assistant director of communications for the Los
Angeles Clippers, says the team considers its website its
primary news source. Theres just not enough
space in newspapers, he said. The Los Angeles Times
sports section is little more than a pamphlet these days,
Clippers also struggle to get a fair share of ink from their
National Basketball Association rival and world champion,
Los Angeles Lakers.
there is Clipper news, Burton is sure to post it along with
video and audio interviews of key players.
is another favorite option, though Burton has had to deal
with fake accounts, such as one posing as a player and demanding
a trade. We also use Facebook to drive traffic to
our website, he said.
offer a lot of tickets and programs through the new media
platforms to give fans a sense of ownership that drives
them there, said Burton, who handled media relations
for the Washington Redskins and Galaxy soccer team before
signing with the Clippers.
Internet is a chief way to get the word out, said
Janette Baxa, director of publicity, Nederlandar Concerts,
which employs Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.
Baxa keeps close contact with Perez Hilton, LAist.com and
LosAngeles.com and said she knows a lot of targeted writers
and editors are also working the 'Net "so I have established
relationships with them online to get word out about my
shows." To Baxa, the great thing about pitching online:
they can turn it around right away and post it.
Hammond of Madelyn Hammond & Associates said its
hard to keep up with the fast-paced 'Net. Everybody
is writing a blog, she said. The blogs that
I come in contact with are based on excellent research and
feature strong writing.
send a comment and it just keeps going. Its viral
marketing, but it is still like the pebble in the stream.
You start something and then someone else tells somebody
else and the circles keep getting bigger and bigger. And
what you hope is that it will inspire someone to actually
go out and purchase a book or product.
added: Depending upon the target audience, it is better
to have five really good blogs or websites then to blast
info: Janette Baxa, [email protected];
Howard Brodwin, [email protected];
Seth Burton, sburton@
clippers.com and [email protected]
and Madelyn Hammond, [email protected].
WERE NOT HELPING IRAN
Siemens Networks is refuting a Wall Street Journal
article that claims the companys technology has helped
the Iranian government spy on and censor Internet activity
in the simmering country.
Roome, head of media relations for Nokia Siemens Networks
in London, said in a statement that the company has in the
past provided lawful intercept capability for monitoring
local voice calls in Iran a legal requirement for
telecoms. providers also in the U.S. and European Union
and denied it has provided web censorship or filtering
response came as consumers mobilized online to boycott and
criticize NSN products and services in the wake of the Journal
Journal cited experts in and outside of Iran claiming the
Iranian government is using a technique known as deep packet
inspection which allows authorities to block, monitor and
gather information about individuals. The paper said the
capability was provided at least in part by
Nokia Siemens Networks, which is a venture between Nokia
Corp and Siemens AG.
specifically said in the statement on June 22 that NSN has
not provided deep packet inspection capability to Iran,
although the Journal article quotes him as confirming just
restricted functionality monitoring center provided by Nokia
Siemens Networks in Iran cannot provide data monitoring,
internet monitoring, deep packet inspection, international
call monitoring or speech recognition, said Roome.
Therefore, contrary to speculation in the media, the
technology supplied by Nokia Siemens Networks cannot be
used for the monitoring or censorship of internet traffic.
statement, which attracted dozens of comments online, added
that NSN sold its intelligence solutions business in late
Journal has stood by the story.
BARRIER CAMPAIGN WINS AT CANNES
agency CumminsNitro won the PR Lions Grand Prix in Cannes
last week, receiving accolades for its Best Job in
the World campaign for Tourism Queensland.
online and offline effort was aimed to highlight the Islands
of the Great Barrier Reef and was said to garner $100M in
global media coverage on a $1.2M budget.
centerpiece was a caretaker job for the Islands which pays
$110K a year.
than 34,000 people applied for the job and finalists mounted
their own PR efforts to win the contest, an effort which
resulted in hordes of additional publicity.
Bell, chairman of Chime Communications, chaired the jury
and said the decision was unanimous.
is the first year PR was honored at the fabled advertising
awards in France.
firms to win included Ketchum (Haagen-Dazs), New York-based
Taylor (Guinness), MS&L (P&G) and New York-based
Droga5 (Jewish Council for Education and Research).
Edition, July 1, 2009,
OF PR FIRMS
TRIO TO HANDLE WAL-MART
Porter Novelli and Cohn & Wolfe has joined Wal-Marts
PR roster as the discount chain works to retain shoppers
won during the economic downturn.
Duke, CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. told shareholders at the
June 5 annual meeting about the "new normal,"
which has brought a "fundamental shift in consumer
attitudes and behavior." Consumers, he said, want
to save money and are getting smarter about saving money."
mentality is supposed to work in Wal-Mart's favor.
Bentonville, Ark.-based chain, according to Duke, has improved
the store experience and reemphasized price
leadership because customers are not going back to
the old spendthrift days.
shops are owned by conglomerates Interpublic, Omnicom and
WPP respectively. They will be called to compete on retail
handles Wal-Marts public affairs duties.
ACCOUNT LINKED TO RIVAL PR FIRM
Friedman, following a lawsuit filed in federal district
court, has gained control of a Twitter account bearing its
name after the anonymous user published malicious tweets
about the Farmington Hills, Mich.-based firm's personnel
the user of the account -- @tannerfriedman -- has not yet
been determined, the account was found to have been accessed
by a computer at rival firm, Marx Layne Communications.
executives of Tanner Friedman left Marx Layne 12 years ago
to set up their own agency in a parting that was competitive.
But despite that history, Marx Layne's managing partner
said there is no excuse for any such tactic.
dont condone these actions in any way," said
Mike Layne. It wasn't done with my knowledge or authority.
Layne told ODwyers that he is looking into the
matter (the agency has 35 computers with open access to
the Internet) and will take "appropriate" action.
think this is a rogue attempt by someone who had a bone
to pick with Tanner Friedman, he said. Our official
policy is not to comment on our competition.
Tanner, founding partner at TF and a former partner at Marx
Layne, said TF is talking to its attorneys and considering
legal options to determine its course of action, if any
is to be taken.
said the content, scope and style made him suspect the account
was controlled by a competitor.
disappointing that anyone would do this especially considering
the big roles weve played in each others' careers,"
he said. Weve long moved on [from the agencies'
history] but someone over there still has an ax to grind
and a lot of time on their hands.
turned over account information related to @tannerfriedman
under subpoena on Monday.
federal suit filed in late May was against John Doe
and sought the person's identity as well as control of the
under TF's control, the Twitter account's first tweet reads:
Yes, it's really us.
TOSSES OUT PR BIDS
Worth International Airport has rejected all bids for its
six-figure PR account as result of the economic crisis.
Magana, manager of public affairs for the seven-runway airport,
told ODwyers that proposals from its March RFP
were tossed out "based on new and upcoming economic
which heads the account and received a $220K extension in
March, will work through the end of June.
said DFW plans to redraw the RFP and re-bid the contract
for the fall.
Burson works with local sister firms Ware & Associates
and ATS on the airport account.
firms competed in the last RFP in 2004, when B-M took over
New York/Lowell International Foods, yogurt importer and
producer, as AOR for PR, including media relations targeting
trade and consumer press, website consulting and trade show
support which started at the Fancy Food Show in N.Y. in
New York/Direct General, auto insurer in Southeast U.S.,
for a campaign titled Well Do Right By You
timed with the summer travel season, supported by PR and
New York/The Climate Group, global non-profit, for strategy
and outreach for its Climate Week NYC, slated for Sept.
21-25. DKC previously worked with the group for two earlier
events in Chicago and Midwestern states.
Boston/Quick Hit, developer and publisher of free online
sports games, for PR targeting gamers, sports fans and sponsors
as it releases its first game, Quick Hit Football, in Sept.
Providence, R.I./Magnivision, non-prescription reading glasses
brand owned by FGX International, for consumer PR. D&S
already works for sunglass brand Foster Grant, also owned
Edwards & Associates,
Grand Rapids, Mich./The Inventure Group, snack food maker,
for public and investor relations counsel.
Howe, Tex./Microsoft Corp., for PR for its U.S.-based chemicals
industry group. The firm has worked on Microsofts
oil and gas and utilities industry business for seven years.
San Diego/NTN Buzztime, for national media relations and
social media for its 25 Years of Trivia competition,
and Jers Handmade Chocolates, for national PR.
Wescorp Energy, oil and gas operation services, for investor
relations to bolster its internal team.
Edition, July 1, 2009, Page 6
VALUES YMCA AS TOP NON-PROFIT
YMCA of the USA is the most valuable non-profit brand
in the country, according to an analysis by Cone. The Boston
PR firm estimates the YMCAs image at nearly $6.4 billion,
ahead of The Salvation Army ($4.7B), United Way of America
($4.5B), the American Red Cross ($3.1B) and Goodwill Industries
which conducted the study based on five years of data with
Intangible Business, also ranked the organizations on brand
image, which was based on a national survey of familiarity
and personal relevance, as well as media coverage and percentage
of revenue from public support.
on that analysis, the American Cancer Society topped the
list, even though it was listed at No. 8 for brand value
at $1.4B. The ACS was followed by The Salvation Army, United
Way and Habitat for Humanity in the image ranking.
said the discrepancies in image and value among some groups
like The Humane Society, Special Olympics and Make-A-Wish
Foundation of America could mean they are leaving millions
of dollars in potential revenue on the table.
PR firm said surprise non-profits on the list
were Catholic Charities USA ($2.4B) and The Arc of the United
States ($1.2B), both of which scored low among the image
survey (53 and 96, respectively).
also noted that non-profits without a clear mission in their
titles had lower consumer perceptions rankings National
Cancer Coalition vs. City of Hope.
complete listing of the 100 non-profits ranked is at www.coneinc.com/nonprofitpowerbrand100.
UPGRADES SMT PLATFORM
Glen Communications, New York, has launched a new four-tiered
service for satellite media tours targeting both TV and
service, called SMT 4.0, includes placement on TV station
websites and exclusive placement on 11 news/talk radio station
sites in top markets.
Lamoureaux, senior VP at WestGlen, noted that TV news is
no longer confined to our TV set in explaining
the importance of placements on the websites of both TV
and radio outlets.
BROADCASTER USES TELETRAX
the company spun off from Royal Philips Electronics to run
the Teletrax video monitoring platform, has inked Mexican
broadcaster Televisa to verify its advertising content.
is working with Spanish systems integrator Tedial to incorporate
the Teletrax verification system into Televisa ads.
was developed by Philips and Medialink.
Center for Communication Compliance,
an education company that helps PR pros understand healthcare
regulations, has aligned with CommCore Consulting Group
to combine CCCs regulatory training and CommCores
speaker training and message development services.
EXPANDS SIGHTS WITH HANDELSMAN
& Associates has hired Adam Handelsman to lead the PR
practice of the New York-based investor relations firm.
played a role in the building of Ronn Torossians 5W
Public Relations, which ranked as the fastest growing firm
in the ODwyer rankings for three straight years.
joins L/H&A after a stint at Cohn & Wolfe, where
he served as executive VP/national director of strategic
communications manager, Fidelity Investments, to The Castle
Group, Boston, as VP of PR. He was previously with the firm
for two and a half years before joining Fidelity. He was
previously with Intermarket Communications.
of government relations, National Council for Higher Education
Loan Programs, to the National Restaurant Association, Washington,
D.C., as VP of political affairs. David
policy director for the American Forest and Paper Assn.,
joins as director, tax and profitability, to handle public
affairs in those areas. Caitlin
director of candidate advocacy, Business Industry Political
Action Committee, joins as director of the associations
political action committee.
assistant to the president and director of public liaison,
to DDC, Washington, D.C., as a senior VP. She was previously
director of PA for Burson-Marsteller.
of CrossLink Strategy Group, also joins DDC as a SVP. He
was previously with Edelman and Powell Tate.
of land title publication The Title Report, to the
American Land Title Association, Washington, D.C., as director
of communications. The ALTA is a 10-year-old trade group
of more than 3,000 title insurance companies, agents and
others in the field.
news analyst at the Media Research Center and blogger for
site, to David All Group, Washington, D.C., as an A/E focused
on Web 2.0 work and blogging for clients.
VP at Powell Tate and Burson-Marsteller, to Depth PR, Atlanta,
Ga., as a D.C.-based consultant affiliated with the firm.
Russo to managing
director, Stanton Communications, Baltimore, Md. She joined
the firm in 1999 and returns to Baltimore, where she started
her career, from D.C.
Edition, July 1, 2009, Page 7
HEAD AT PR SEMINAR
from page 1)
is that as long as members keep their jobs, they can continue
to attend the meeting.
may attend for one year after loss of job.
was $3,350 per couple (almost all attendees bring a spouse
or companion). Hotel, travel, meals and sports activities
of business people at expensive resorts have been under
heavy fire since AIG executives met at such a resort last
year after being awarded billions in federal aid.
counselor John Budd specifically criticized the PR Seminar
is in line to receive up to $170 billion in bailout funds.
Sussman, a member of the Ethics Committee of the Society
of Professionals Journalism, speaking only for himself,
found that the PR Seminar meeting, which always includes
journalists from major media as speakers, violated more
than 10 articles in the SPJ Ethics Code.
Murray, executive editor, Wall Street Journal Online, addressed
the 2009 Seminar.
media except ODwyer publications has ever mentioned
the existence of Seminar.
was sent the criticisms by Sussman but has not commented
Exec Led Discussion on Meltdown
Ashooh, SVP of communications, AIG, led a discussion of
the Global Financial Crisis with Michael ONeill,
SVP of corporate affairs, American Express, which has received
$3.4 billion in government aid.
Ashooh and ONeill refused to supply any of the remarks
executives who attended last year but not this year and
whose companies have received bailout funds were David Palombi,
SVP, corporate and marketing communication, Freddie Mac,
which has received $44B in bailout money; Charles Greener,
SVP, Fannie Mae ($15B); Joseph Evangelisti, head of media
relations at JPMorgan Chase (which was sent $25B but says
it is giving it back), and Debra DeCourcy, VP, director
of corporate communications, Fifth Third Bancorp ($3.4B).
2009 Seminar were Donna Peterman of PNC Financial Services,
which has received $7.6B in aid, and Toni Simonetti, GMAC,
which has received $5B in aid.
Harris, VP of global communications, General Motors, a member
of the 30-member governing committee of Seminar, did not
attend this year. A $33.3B loan has been approved for GM.
members of that committee are members of Page.
publications mostly refer to Page/PR Seminar rather than
PR Seminar because Page members are so dominant
of the 30 trustees of Page are members of Seminar.
list of the 46 new members is on odwyerpr.com.
Only three have PR in their titles.
BACKUS RUN; EPPES WITHDRAWS
Society treasurer Tom Eppes, who led a move to block Rhoda
Weiss from influencing the nominating committee, has decided
not to run for chair-elect.
2007 chair, heads the 2009 nomcom.
instead are Rosanna Fiske, 2007 treasurer who unsuccessfully
sought nomination for chair against Gary McCormick, and
Leslie Backus, head of her own firm in Davie, Fla., which
is about 20 miles from Fiskes employer, Florida International
who sold his Charlotte, N.C., firm several years ago to
Eric Mower and Assocs. of Syracuse, N.Y., has been replaced
as office head by Matt Ferguson and has said he is job-seeking.
making the motion in 2008 to bar Weiss from actively
campaigning for or against any candidate and from
participating in the deliberations for any candidate
was Dave Imre, who heads Imre of Rowson, Md.
is running for secretary against Francis Onofrio, who has
his own firm in Bethany, Conn., and who was on the 2007-08
boards as Tri-State director.
Corbett, a previous board member who unsuccessfully sought
the treasurers nomination against Anthony DAngelo,
is again running for treasurer against director Phil Tate.
with Hitachi, he now heads Redphlag, San Bruno, Calif.
running for secretary is Gail Winslow-Pine, who earlier
this year removed a website advertising her own firm while
employed full time by Catholic Medical Center, Manchester,
Competes with Nall
Crockett, director of communications, Coca-Cola North America,
Atlanta, is running for Southeast director against Mickey
Nall, managing director, Ogilvy PR Worldwide, Atlanta, and
Mitch Edwards, director of communication, Alabama Dept.
was on the 2007 PRS board as a senior counsel.
Dukes, a Washington, D.C., counselor who appears to be the
only African-American seeking a board position, is running
for director-at-large against Lea-Ann OHare Germinder,
counselor in Kansas City, Mo.; Prof. Steve Iseman of Ohio
Northern University, advisor to the PR Student Society;
Michelle Lantz, counselor in Grand Ledge, Mich.; Elizabeth
Pecsi, director of executive communications, Unisys Corp.,
El Cajon, Calif., and Barbara Whitman, counselor in Honolulu.
Pippin, Whitaker Compete in S.W.
in the Southwest are Blake Lewis, counselor in Richardson,
Texas, and former head of the Universal Accreditation Board;
counselor Marilyn Pippin of Dallas, and Suzanne Whitaker,
director of communications, Metairie, La.
for North Pacific director is Bob Frause, head of the Societys
Ethics Board, former chair of the College of Fellows, and
former head of the certification task force.
Frause, a counselor in Seattle, is Ronele Klingensmith,
counselor in Reno, Nev.
Edition, July 1, 2009,
W. Page Society members left
their principles at the door when they attended the 2009
PR Seminar May 20-23 at one of Americas fanciest resortsthe
Ritz-Carlton at Laguna Niguel.
was the meeting from hell because its
another black eye for the PR industry, especially the corporate
of this is that half of those at the 2008 meeting decided
that pampering themselves at a plush resort for four days
at a time of economic meltdown was sending the wrong message.
Attendance was a record low of 127 and this included a record
high total of 46 newcomers.
veterans have been urging Seminar either to cancel the meeting
or shift it to a city like Chicago or New York.
who run Seminar decided against change.
runs Seminar? Members of the Arthur W. Page Society whose
bedrock principles are Tell the truth and Let
the public know whats happening. Pages
mission statement says it is to emphasize
the highest professional standards. Is ducking the
press a high professional standard?
of the 30 governing committee members of Seminar are Page
members. Page president Maril MacDonald was at 2009 Seminar.
founded in 1983 as a 501/c/3 charitable and educational
group (some charity!), is an offshoot of Seminar, which
was founded in 1952 by corporate PR executives.
position so far is that it really has nothing to do with
Seminar although 85 of the 162 people at 2008 Seminar are
also Page members.
all 366 Page members currently listed on its website were
members of Seminar and that only Page members went to Seminar.
We bet that Page would still say it has nothing to do with
Seminar even though members were exactly the same.
PR Society nominations would turn the clock
back on attempts to have the board dominated by directors
from big companies instead of solo or small firm practitioners.
McCormick of Scripps beat PR instructor Rosanna Fiske last
year for chair-elect but she has returned, backed by the
nominating committee headed by 2007 chair Rhoda Weiss.
other choice for chair-elect is solo practitioner Leslie
Backus who has far less experience on the board than Fiske
and is considered no match for Fiske, who has emphasized
her Latino heritage.
there is a floor fight at the 2009 Assembly, Fiske will
be chair-elect in 2010.
a fight, although necessary, would further burden the Assembly
which already has its hands full fighting for its survival.
Bylaw proposals would rob the Assembly of the power to vet
and elect directors and officers; allow 25 national committee
chairs to join the Assembly which is already packed
with 17 national directors, 19 section heads and 10 district
chairs, and would turn the body into the Leadership
Assembly, meaning it would advise the
board on PR initiatives. The board would not have to follow
any such advice.
Assembly will be tasked with doing the PR for PR
that no one on the national staff is doing even though $827,099
was spent on media relations in 2007-2008.
problem with the Weiss candidates is that there is only
one African-American based on our knowledgeOfield
Dukes, who is running for director-at-large against four
others. The all-white 2009 PRS board is an embarrassment
as is PRSs record of only three blacks on the board
in 62 years.
2008 PR Society candidates,
led by chair-elect McCormick, answered questions we sent
them last year, defying the formal boycott against this
website that was announced in a full page in the September
2008 ethics issue of Tactics.
others answering were Don Kirchoffner, Steve Grant, Catherine
Huggins, Lynn Appelbaum, Marisa Valbona and Vince Hazleton.
seven signaled the possibility of a new era in which PRS
would stop ducking the press. Elected heads Cheryl Procter-Rogers,
Rhoda Weiss, Jeff Julin and Cherenson have refused to meet
with us, talk to us, or answer any of our questions.
new set of questions has been sent to the 19 candidates
and well see how many answer them.
major disappointment in the nominations is the withdrawal
of expected candidate for chair-elect Tom Eppes after four
years on the board. His withdrawal throws away four years
of experience. His official line, which we doubt,
is that he lost his job at Eric Mower Assocs. and needs
to job-hunt. This was confirmed by Mower which said he has
been replaced as head of the Charlotte office by Matt Ferguson.
what better place is there to job hunt than being chair-elect
when you can travel partly or mostly on PRSs dime
and network with lots of people?
will turn down a call from the chair-elect of the Society,
who will have an almost unlimited expense account the next
year and the power to appoint some 25 national committee
which deprived its 22,000 members
of the printed directory in 2005 with no prior announcement
on the PRS website and input from only a few insiders, can
start to rectify that unfairness by making the members
list available in PDF form. The formerly 1,000-page directory
would be a big PDF but it could be chopped into digestible
geographic section, of prime use to jobseekers including
recent grads and members who cant afford to pay their
dues this year, was only 184 pages in the 2005 directory.
It could be set up to contain links to full entries of members.
place to shop, the organizational index, was only 184 pages
and could be set up the same way. Members and others should
be easily able to break out categories like tech, healthcare
main listing of members occupied 420 pages in the 2005 directory
but this could be chopped into several parts for distribution
Professors last year
blasted the autocratic PRS
that ditched the directory without any general discussion.
Its ludicrous to eliminate modes of communication
and relationship building in an association of professional
communicators who build relationships for a living,
PDFing the directory
is an easy and cheap solution. Let anyone, including non-members,
who want this directory print it out at their own cost,
section by section if necessary.
As for Mother
Hen PRS protecting the privacy of members,
where is the privacy of editors who are pitched non-stop
by every known means of communication by most of the 22,000
members? Its open season on editors, who
are available by numerous categories via media list services
that also allow PR pros to keep track of editor usage of
materials, pet peeves, educational and job backgrounds,
etc. The PR pros make notes of whether editors are approachable,
what editors to contact and those to avoid, etc.
Editors should be
able to build the same information about PR pros including
those who are helpful and those who are not.
Without the directory,
professors say they interact less frequently with other
members, which is what we think staff and leaders want.
They prefer that leaders and staff talk a lot to each other.