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Internet Edition, July 15, 2009, Page 1


Texas, which moved to hire a PR firm to lure European travelers in May, has issued an RFP to review its tourism PR account for the Americas.

Vollmer PR is the incumbent for the current contract, which covered North America, European markets, Mexico and part of Latin America and Asia.

An RFP issued in May (currently under review) focused on Europe while the latest RFP concentrates solely on the Americas.

Tourism, under the purview of the governor’s office, is big business in the Lone Star State, employing more than 500,000 people and generating $56.7B in spending.

A two-year contract is planned carrying a two-year option.

The work covers travel PR in North and South America, including media relations, travel trade relations, consumer promotions, crisis management and marketing PR, among other tasks.

The RFP uses a 12-month budget of $1.5M for planning purposes.

Firms pitching must have a Texas office within 30 days of the contract award, in addition to representatives in New York, Mexico City and Toronto.

Proposals are due July 24. The RFP can be downloaded from the story on


The liberal leaning Rockefeller Family Fund has retained former Attorney General’s John Ashcroft’s lobbying venture to work Congress on its behalf.

The descendents of John D. Rockefeller are using The Ashcroft Group for input in debate over the Clear Act (Clear Law Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal), which is a favorite of Republicans.

The American Climate and Energy Security Act is another matter for TAG. That global warming bill narrowly passed the House last month, but faces an uphill climb in the Senate.

The RFF says its goal is to advocate on behalf of environmental, women’s and government transparency issues.

It made headlines by challenging management of Rockefeller-founded ExxonMobil to step up development of alternative energy sources.

TAG team members include Juleanna Glover, a former advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney and New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and a Clark & Weinstock alum, and William Gaynor, a veteran of George W. Bush’s Commerce Dept.


U.K.-based PR holding company Huntsworth has acquired Tonic Life Communications, a health PR firm with operations in London, New York and Dallas.

Huntsworth said the initial £3.0 million (about $4.8M) acquisition expands its Dorland PR unit in the U.S. and Huntsworth Health in the U.K.

Three key shareholders and executives — CEO Scott Clark, managing director Oliver Parsons, who are co-founders and former Fleishman-Hillard execs, and director Moira Gitsham – are making the move.

Key clients of Tonic (£3.3M in 2008 revenues) have included Riche, Novartis and Pfizer.

The firm’s Dallas office picked up the Welch’s account last year to raise awareness of the health benefits of its products.

Huntsworth, which could pay a maximum of £12.5 million in deferred consideration for Tonic through 2013 depending on performance, said health communications now represent about 27 percent of its revenues.


Ogilvy Government Relations is working Washington on behalf of the Chinese heavy duty equipment maker that was the surprise winner of the sweepstakes for General Motors’ Hummer unit.

Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industry Machinery Co. emerged on top last month in the race for the maker of jumbo SUVs with a bid of less than $500M.

Ogilvy’s D.C. office has a six-person team allaying any concerns that legislators may have over the deal inked by taxpayer bailed-out GM.

As Ogilvy works D.C., reports arise that Chinese government officials are putting the acquisition of Hummer under heavy scrutiny. Beijing must approve the deal. Brunswick handles financial PR matters for STHIMC.


PR Prof. Bill Sledzik of Kent University, who operates the blog, has called on PR Society leaders to make available a PDF version of its members' directory.

Contact information for the 22,000 members of PRS has been available only to members since 2006. PRS leaders have argued that the online directory is more up-to-date and that not publishing the 1,000-page directory saves money (about $250,000 in staff and printing costs).

Sledzik's blog July 6 said that while the online

(Continued on page 7)


Internet Edition, July 15, 2009, Page 2


West Virginia is accepting proposals for its $3M a year tourism PR and advertising contract through mid-July.

Charles Ryan Associates, which has an office in Charleston, is the incumbent.

The Mountain State’s Division of Tourism is a 70-staffer operation under the Dept. of Commerce, including administration, advertising and marketing personnel, a film office and other endeavors.

The contract also covers its state parks and wildlife recreation representing $300K of the $3M budget.

The RFP calls for traditional and online marketing campaigns, including social media.

A firm must agree to devote one full-time staffer to the account and have experience with tourism accounts of more than $1M.

The RFP can be accessed online via the story on

The year-long contract carries two option years.

Proposals are due by July 29.


Fenton Communications has a $30K a-month contract to represent Ecuador and its leftist President Rafael Correa, an ally of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.

The firm provided media relations support for Correa, who was the only world leader to attend the United Nations’ “World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development” summit in New York last month.

Correa outlined Ecuador’s differences with the U.S. during an interview with “Democracy Now” host Amy Goodman.

They include Ecuador’s decision to not renew the lease on the U.S. Marta military base when it expires at the end of the year.

He told Goodman he would reconsider if the U.S. allowed Ecuador to establish a military base in New York City.

Ecuador also expelled a U.S. diplomat alleging that he meddled in the country’s internal affairs.

“We are no one’s colony,” Correa told Goodman.

Correa easily won re-election in June, making him the country’s first President in 30 years to be elected without a run-off.

Fenton’s job is to assist the Ecuadorian embassy in shaping American public opinion of the South American nation via distributing press materials, fact sheets and arranging interviews.

The contract is up Sept. 22.


Arnie Huberman, who founded PR executive search firm Arnold Huberman & Assocs. in 1988, died July 5 at his weekend home in Lenox, Mass. He was 66.

The firm has been shut.

Huberman spent more than 20 years in the entertainment business before moving into the executive search field.

He was a co-founder of The Entertainment Channel, a precursor to the Arts & Entertainment Channel, and directed film programming at HBO, NBC and ABC.


Bob Feldman, formerly CEO of GCI Group, and Jeff Hunt, a 17-year veteran of Burson-Marsteller, who are now in their own firm, said PR pros must take notice of advice in The McKinsey Quarterly that chief marketing officers might be the ones to lead in refurbishing the tarnished reputations of the financial and business worlds.

Feldman and Hunt, now partners in Pulse Point Group, Los Angeles and Austin, say McKinsey’s advice is “a warning to communications and PR heads” that they must present the case for PR to their managements or risk being “marginalized.”

The partners feel that PR makes the better case because it is involved not only in marketing but can handle regular and social media, investor relations, public affairs, and corporate social responsibility programs.

The goal of PR and communications people is to become the “chief reputation officers” of their companies, they added.

Pulse Point’s blog carries the full position of Feldman and Hunt at

Their blog uses the title “chief communications officer” to refer to PR heads, but only eight of the 100 corporate communications/PR heads at PR Seminar May 20-23 use CCO. Feldman was among about 20 counselors attending the meeting.


Joseph Burke, a 2009 graduate of the University of Northern Iowa who is traveling and studying in China, says that “guanxi” or relationship-building is pervasive in the business community and may lead to corruptive practices.

He spent three weeks studying at Dalian Nationalities University as part of a UNI course in global business and is still touring Southeast Asia including Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia and Hong Kong. He will return to the U.S. July 20 and will look for a PR post in travel in Boston in August. His website is

Writes Burke: “Business in China mostly operates under the traditional system of guanxi, which is essentially doing business within a large network of personal contacts, reciprocal favors and accumulated relationship capital.

“For instance, if a contractor wants to land a large government job, he may have to secure the favor of a government official who is the gatekeeper of the contract. However, if they do not have a previous relationship, the contractor may need to use a mutual contact who is willing to introduce him to the official and vouch for his integrity.

“Even after the introduction, a large amount of time and effort is typically spent on banquets, gifts and outings to establish the strong amount of trust and familiarity needed to finally land the contract.

“The contractor not only owes favors and patronage to the government official, but also to the middleman who introduced them. These reciprocal relationships can sometimes supercede variables such as business competence or quality of product, highlighting the importance of guanxi in Chinese business culture, which can be corruptive.”


Internet Edition, July 15, 2009, Page 3


Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth apologized July 5 for a program that looked like the paper was selling lobbyists access to its editors/reporters.

In a “letter to our readers,” Weymouth noted that the flier promoting an upcoming “salon” scheduled for her home was not the only problem.

“Our mistake was to suggest that we would hold and participate in off-the-record dinners with journalists and power brokers paid by a sponsor. We will not organize such events,” she said.

Weymouth is sorry for letting readers down: “As publisher it is my job to ensure that we adhere to standards that are consistent with our integrity as a news organization.”

The Post “remains committed, now and always, to the highest standards of journalistic integrity.”

Weymouth’s paper, like other media companies, holds many conferences that bring together thought leaders to discuss topic events.

The idea, she noted, is to “make news and inform audiences.” Management wanted smaller settings. If the dinners were sponsored, Weymouth wrote that “everything would be at arm’s length—sponsors would have no control over the content of the discussions and no special access to our journalists.”

Weymouth has cancelled the planned dinner, though she still believes “there is a legitimate way to hold such events.”

Any future plans will be vetted by the Post’s top editors and be conducted “on the record.”

She wrote: “We all make mistakes and hope to be forgiven for them. I apologize to our readers for the mistakes I made in this case.”


Gannett Co, which slashed 4,600 staffers from its payroll in 2008, is dropping another 1,400 people to deal with the advertising depression, according to a memo from Bob Dickey, chief of its U.S. community publishing unit.

He wrote that “various cost savings initiatives are making a difference,” but there is a pressing need to “align our resources with the revenue realities we have.”

The vast majority of the job cuts took place by July 9. He sees no need for furloughs.

The cuts represent three percent of Gannett’s workforce.

Dickey sees some “promising signs of a recovery, but the reality is that the improvements are not broad-based and the economy continues to be fragile.”

Gannett is in a stronger financial position than competitors. “We are healthy and capable of moving forward” wrote Dickey, and in place to capitalize on a “stronger tomorrow.”

Gracia Martore, CFO, currently helms Gannett. CEO Craig Dubow went on medical leave last month to recover from back surgery. He is expected to be gone for several months.

Gannett suffered a 60 percent drop in first-quarter net to $77M on an 18 percent decline in revenues to $1.4B. Its stock sells for $3.50 a-share.

Pence Tapped for PR

Robin Pence, who handled PR for $16B global power company AES Corp., has shifted to Gannett Corp as VP-communications.

She replaces Tara Connell, who now will focus on ContentOne, the venture that Gannett says will improve the way it “gathers and delivers the news and information customers want.”

Prior to working at the Arlington, Va.,-headquartered AES, Pence handled communications duties at Sprint and the Federal Communications Commission. She also worked on Capitol Hill.

Martore calls Pence “the consummate communications profession,” citing her work in both the private and public sectors.


NBC Universal has elevated Allison Gollust to fill the executive VP/corporate communications post vacated by Cory Shields, who was named to a broader role focused on intellectual property last month.

Gollust, who has worked with NBCU chief Jeff Zucker since his days at “Today,” has been senior VP of NBC News’ communications since 2005.

She has overseen that division’s communications strategy since 2002, a preiod which includedthe death of “Meet the Press” moderator and D.C. bureau chief Tim Russert, the exit of Katie Couric from “Today” for the CBS anchor slot, and the transition from longtime anchor Tom Brokaw to Brian Williams at “NBC Nightly News.”

She was previously a senior publicist for “Today,” when current NBCU president and CEO Zucker was executive producer of that show. Gollust is on the board of New York Women in Communications Inc.

Shields headed communications for NBCU since 2006.

He was named EVP, global policy strategies and alliances, last month to guide the media company’s anti-piracy and IP efforts.


Denise Warren, chief advertising officer at the New York Times Media Group and general manager of the, has been elected president of New York Women in Communications Inc.

She takes over for Nancy Rabstejnek Nichols, senior VP/external affairs at Weber Shandwick, who continues board service as immediate past president.

Warren is in charge of ad sales at the New York Times,, International Herald Tribune and radio station WQXR.

Other PR pros in key NYWIC spots are Joan Cear, managing director at G.S. Schwartz & Co., Dorothy Crenshaw, CEO of Crenshaw Communications, and Kendra Bracken, director of digital media corporate communications at Polo Ralph Lauren.

Cear heads the NYWIC Foundation, Crenshaw handles NYWIC branding and Bracken does PR for the group.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, July 15, 2009, Page 4


Herbert Klein, a Nixon press secretary who was the first White House director of communications, died on July 3 after suffering cardiac arrest at his California home. He was 91.

Klein was a longtime correspondent and editor for Copley Newspapers and covered Nixon's 1946 House campaign early in his career. He wrote for Copley papers in San Diego eventually rising to editor for the San Diego Union in 1959. He joined Nixon as press secretary in his 1960 presidential bid against John F. Kennedy and also handled the press for Nixon's California's governorship run and his second (and successful) bid for the presidency in 1968. He was then named communications director for the White House.

Klein penned a book on Nixon and the media in 1980, “Making It Perfectly Clear, an Inside Account of Nixon's Love-Hate Relationship with the Media” (Doubleday). He said in Stanley Kutler’s “The Wars of Watergate” that “there was no organized conspiracy in the White House, but mistrust of the press was strong and ever present.”

Klein left Nixon in 1973, more than a year before Watergate, for the VP/corporate relations slot at broadcaster Metromedia, and he eventually returned to Copley as editor in chief in 1980. He later retired in 2003.

The Union Tribune reported that Klein accompanied then-Vice President Nixon to Moscow in 1959 to meet with Nikita Khruschev. He also negotiated for Nixon the terms of the first presidential TV debate.

He was predeceased by his wife of 66 years, Marjorie, in February 2008 at 87, as well as a daughter, Joanne Mayne, on July 2 at age 62.


Brew Media Relations headed by Brooke Hammerling, Spark PR, co-founded by Donna Burke and Alan Soucy, and Outcast Communications (Margit Wennemachers, Caryn Marooney), were given big play in a front page feature in the business section of the July 6 New York Times.

The article, by Claire Miller, positions social media such as Twitter and Facebook as new ways of reaching prospects, often bypassing traditional media (which are said to feed off social media mentions).

The article was widely panned in the PR field for portraying a narrow view of social media and PR. Richard Edelman blogged that the piece “reinforces every stereotype about our industry and undermines our ability to make the case for our role as a serious advisor on both policy and communications.”

Nearly half of the article consists of Miller’s description of how Hammerling goes about her business. She is described as knowing many of the principal players in the world of social media including Evan Williams and Biz Stone, founders of Twitter; media figures such as Arianna Huffington, and executives of and other major internet companies.

Hammerling was at the Zeno Group unit of Edelman until 2005 when she opened her own firm.

Writes Miller: “Gone are the days when snaring attention for start-ups in (Silicon) Valley meant mentions in print and on TV, or even spotlights on technology websites and blogs. Now PR gurus court influential voices on the social web to endorse new companies, websites or gadgets—a transformation that analysts and practitioners say is likely to permanently change the role of PR in the business world, particularly in Silicon Valley.”


Heavy cuts at Bloomberg and the closing of Conde Nast Portfolio contributed to more than 250 business journalists losing their jobs in the first six months of 2009, according to a study by the Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and its affiliated Carolina Business News Initiative.

The analysis only includes layoffs that have been confirmed by media outlets and the study suggests that the 250 number is actually higher.

Chris Roush, a veteran reporter and founding director of the CBNI, estimates there are about 8,000 working business journalists in the U.S., so the cuts this year represent about six percent of that group.

Jim Horton, principal at Robert Marston & Associates, said on his blog that business journalism is “going back to the future” in pointing out that there was a time when business news was confined to a page after the sports section and usually consisted of wire service reports and stock tables. He said the growth trend started in the 1980s and appears to be ebbing.

One hundred reporters and editors in TV and radio were axed from Bloomberg in the first half of the year, and an estimated 80 journalists were cut in the closing of Portfolio. Business desks were also eliminated at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Rocky Mountain News and Tucson Citizen when those papers stopped printing.

The Chicago Tribune lost four business reporters in May and the San Antonio Express-News laid off another four, while two took a buyout, according to the study. The Houston Chronicle also cut four business scribes.

A rare exception was the Detroit Free Press, where a recent layoff of 22 positions spared the business desk.


Richard Oppel, a veteran newspaper editor and D.C. bureau chief, has joined Austin-based Public Strategies as a senior advisor.

Oppel was editor of the Austin American-Statesman from 1995-08, after leading Knight Ridder’s Washington bureau for two years. His longest tenure was as editor of the Charlotte Observer from 1978-93, after leading the Tallahassee Democrat for a year.

Dan Bartlett, the former George W. Bush advisor who heads PS, said Oppel has overseen major changes in the newspaper industry in the digital era and said he’d be a “huge asset” to the firm’s clients.

Oppel led the American Society of Newspaper Editors from 2000-01 and served on the Pulitzer Board for nine years. His son, who uses the byline Richard A. Oppel, Jr., is a foreign reporter for the New York Times, and daughter, Shelby Oppel Wood, is an education reporter at the Oregonian. PS is part of WPP.

Internet Edition, July 15, 2009, Page 5


Paul McDade, a top big agency healthcare exec, has moved to specialty firm Corinth Marketing and PR in New York as a partner.

McDade sees a trend in PR moving away from large firms. “The pendulum of the large versus small agency has finally moved – and will continue to move toward smaller, more focused agencies,” he said.

McDade joins the 10-year-old firm as its second partner from Hill & Knowlton, where he was director of its global healthcare practice.

He was previously a director for Ruder Finn Healthcare and senior VP in Edelman’s health unit.

McDade said he gained valuable experience at large agencies, but sees the industry presently with “different needs and demands.”

CMPR also has a Los Angeles office.


Hong Kong has renewed a $750K two-year contract with Ogilvy PR Worldwide to promote the line that the city remains a separate part of China a dozen years after its handover by the United Kingdom.

The PR focuses on themes such as “one country, two systems,” “a high degree of autonomy” and “Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong,” according to the engagement agreement.

The overall goal is to create confidence "in the economic and political future of Hong Kong.

The list of Ogilvy’s PR objectives include positioning “Hong Kong as Asia’s world city—the New York and London of Asia.” The city is to be touted as the gateway to Mainland China. Investment opportunities in the sight-seeing, wine, financial, logistics and communications sectors are to be pitched.

Ogilvy coordinates communications action with Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices in Washington, New York and San Francisco.

The WPP unit has assembled a 26-member Team Hong Kong that includes senior VPs Rory Davenport, program manager/strategist; Steve Marino, digital/online strategy; and Greg Johnson, creative leader.

They are bolstered by Rob Mathias, managing director/D.C., Tamara Boorstein, New York leader, and Michael Law, San Francisco leader.

BRIEFS: WPP transferred ownership of Indian PR firm IPAN from JWT to Hill & Knowlton on July 1. The Delhi-based firm has more than 140 staffers and five offices in the country and will be “fully integrated” within H&K. Under the new structure, known as IPAN Hill & Knowlton, president Radhika Shapoorjee reports to H&K’s Asia Pacific president and COO Vivian Lines. ...Blicksilver PR, New York, is working with client Colony Capital on communications for the planned initial public offering of Colony Financial, a real estate finance company of CC. ...Capstrat, Raleigh, took home 10 Telly Awards (six silver, four bronze) in the annual competition. The firm won for work on behalf of Deloitte, GlaxoSmithKline, the Raleigh Convention Center, UNC Health Care, SciQuest and NC Health and Wellness.


New York Area

Feintuch Communications, New York/Bluenog, enterprise software and solutions, as AOR. The company said it wanted a firm that knew the “nuances” of the open-source community as well as its recently launched Bluenog ICE software. FC president Henry Feintuch and senior VP Steph Johnson head the account.

Gotham PR, New York/”The Bicycle Thief” (Corinth Films), for New York and eventual national re-released of the film on its 60th anniversary; Giraldi restauarant holdings for PR for a new bread pudding franchise, All in the Pudding, and Choice Productions, for continued PR following the launch of

LVM Group, New York/Sherwood Equities, for PR for 370 Lexington Ave., a commercial office tower, and MLBKaye International Realty, the oldest independent residential real estate company in Manhattan.

Leach Communications, New York/Focus Right Marketing, for development and launch of a new corporate website for the company, which uses digital music download services for promotions.

Investor Relations Group, New York/eDoorways Corp., for PR.


Widmeyer Communications, Washington, D.C./Arizona Board of Regents, collaborative, statewide grant-funded effort with community colleges to investigate ways to expand and enhance the state’s higher education system, for strategic counsel, and the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation, for research and branding, Connecticut College, for admissions research.

Quinn Gillespie & Associates, Washington, D.C./Genomatica, sustainable chemical company, for strategy development and government relations.

Arketi Group, Atlanta/Premier Logic, business application development and consulting for healthcare and financial sectors, as AOR for work including PR, web redesign and collateral development.


FoodMinds, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill./Dole Food Company, Frito-Lay North America, National Confectioners Association, and Welch’s, for nutrition comms. projects. The firm also picked up HealthSpan Solutions to promote its BeneVia products through consumer media relations and health professional outreach.

Airfoil PR, Detroit/CarBuddy, web portal for connecting drivers and passengers for carpooling, for launch including media relations, advertising, and B2B and university relations in metro Detroit, and Classic Computer Recovery, asset recovery and electronics recycling, for PR via the firm’s clean tech practice.


Edelman, Hamburg/International Paralympic Committee, a renewal of its pro bono global relationship as official media and communications agency of the Bonn-based organization. Edelman has staffers across the U.K., U.S., Canada, Germany and China on the account.

Internet Edition, July 15, 2009, Page 6


The NewsMarket, a New York-based online video services company, has entered into a deal to acquire Medialink Worldwide, the financially strapped broadcast PR provider.

The NewsMarket, which will be the surviving brand in the merger, said it will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Medialink’s common stock at a price of $0.20 per share in cash, pending approval of Medialink's shareholders and regulators.

With an estimated 6.4M shares outstanding, that places the value of the deal at about $1.3M.

Jim Lonergan, president and CEO of The NewsMarket, said the combination creates a "very compelling offering" for clients with "increasingly sophisticated" demands in the video sector.

The NewsMarket was founded as an online hosting platform for PR video in 2003 and counts scores of blue-chip clients. The deal is expected to close this summer.

Medialink CEO Laurence Moskowitz said the deal will give Medialink clients continuity of service along with TNM's online services.

Threat to Block Deal

Ahead of the merger announcement, Medialink said it entered into settlement agreements with the holders of its convertible debt by paying nearly $1.6M to satisfy debt with a face value of $2.65M.

Kenneth Torosian, chief financial officer at Medialink, said the debenture holders were willing to take a substantial discount to retire the debt because of the "rough economic environment and financial condition of the company."

Holders of Medialink debt have given the company written notice that they intend to file a complaint to block the acquisition, according to an SEC filing.

Medialink said in making the $1.6M in June that it was released from all future obligations.

Debt holders continue to hold warrants to purchase shares of the company in the event that its stock hits the unlikely share prices of $0.50 and $3.99 (it’s currently trading below $0.20). Those warrants expire on Nov. 9.

The debt holders who received the $1.59M payout include Iroquois Capital ($731K), Smithfield Fiduciary ($311K), Rockmore Capital ($174) and Portside Growth ($375K) and Opportunity Fund.

TNM said last week that it would acquire all outstanding shares of Medialink in a deal valued in the $1.5M range. There is a $275K termination fee if the deal falls apart payable by either party.

Top Execs Out

Medialink has inked separation agreements effective upon the marger with its three top executives – Moskowitz, Larry Thomas, COO since 2005, and Torosian.

Moskowitz must vote his shares in favor of the merger and he would get a lump sum $440K payout if the company’s cash balance stays intact through the completion of the deal.

A non-compete clause would also be activated for nine months.

Torosian is due a $620K payout with similar terms, and Thomas would get a $150K severance payment.



Jon Pritchett, CEO, General Sports Venue, sports marketer of brands like AstroTurf, to French/West/Vaughan, Raleigh, as vice chairman and agency principal. He heads business development and reports to CEO Rick French. He was president/COO of minor league sports franchise owner ScheerSports, Inc., and was a client of FWV for four years.

Pete Sanders, head of the New York office of Howard Bragman’s 15 Minutes, to JS2 Communications, New York, as a VP. He brings an entertainment client roster including actresses Lynda Carter and Cheyenne Jackson, the Shaw Festival in Canada and author and TV personality Julie Edelman., among others. Sanders previously headed his own shop from 1993-07.

Elizabeth Jones, VP of communications for Quicken Loans and its parent company, has moved to NSF International, the non-profit, non-governmental consumer safety organization, as VP of marketing, overseeing corporate marketing, branding, communications and regulatory affairs, as well as “strategic leadership.” NSF, formerly known as the National Sanitation Foundation and based in Grand Rapids, Mich., certifies and consults on safety and health standards for food, water and consumer goods. She was with Quicken Loans and parent organization, Rock Ventures, for the past nine years. Previously, she was at Aquinas College (Grand Rapids, Mich.), and senior PR administrator for Alticor.

Melissa Dolan, who directed campaigns at Fusion PR, to Steinreich Communications, Hackensack, N.J., as an account manager.

Alison Walsh, previously with Ogilvy PR Worldwide and Evins Communications, to PR Flex, Baltimore, as a PR specialist. Walsh was Ogilvy CEO Marcia Silverman’s executive assistant before moving through the ranks there and later served as a senior A/E at Evins.

Ken Chitester, independent consultant and former White House comms. aide, to The Appraisal Institute, Chicago, as director of communications. Chitester is a former VP for Hill & Knowlton handling Midwestern public affairs.


Ron Culp, a partner and managing director for Ketchum Midwest, has been given the reins of the firm’s North American corporate practice while handling the MD role for the Midwest. Tina-Marie Adams, former Midwest GM for MWW Group, has joined the firm as a director for the region (Chicago and Pittsburgh) under Culp. She is a former journalist for Gannett and the Chicago Tribune. North American corporate practice director and partner John Wekenmann has been named to a new global senior counselor post following the Omnicom unit’s merger with Pleon in Europe.


Internet Edition, July 15, 2009, Page 7

PROF ASKS FOR PDF DIRECTOR (Cont’d from pg. 1)

directory is "searchable and easy to update,” the printed directory "helped PR professionals and students as well.”

He said he often loaned his print version to students seeking internships and jobs around the country, and before he went into teaching in 1992 he loaned it to co-workers seeking contacts in other cities.

“With the directory now under digital lock and key, students and colleagues must visit my office” and “I must log them onto my account to give them a peek,” he said. Sledzik fears this might be a violation of the “terms of service” of the online directory.

He adds: “While I appreciate the Society’s desire to safeguard the list, I’m a little shocked it doesn't trust me, a 27-year member, with a PDF copy of the membership roster.”

PRS Website Is Lacking

The PR professor said PRS has a “1990s website” with “look, content and navigation” that are “vintage Web 1.0.” Instead, he says, the largest organization of PR pros in the world “should be on the leading edge with its web presence.”

He feels the Society has “never established an interactive online network and it's probably too late to do so now.” The blogs it did establish came “far too late to impact the conversation,” he added.

D’Angelo, Phair Oppose Past Chair on Nomcom

PRS 2007 treasurer Anthony D’Angelo and 2005 president Judith Phair have opposed the nominating committee being chaired by the immediate past chair of PRS, who is still on the board. The proposal has been made by the bylaws committee.

D'Angelo, 48, left the Carrier unit of UTC in early 2008 after 15 years to join Magna Powertrain, a unit of automotive supplier Magna International in Syracuse.

Because of the economic downturn, the Syracuse unit was scheduled for closing and D'Angelo joined St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center Foundation in Syracuse as director of operations.

D'Angelo said that having a sitting board member as chair of the group “that is the main influencer in selection of the Society's next leaders is a fundamentally flawed formula.”


Only one of 19 PRS candidates answered O'Dwyer questions this year, a sharp contrast to last year when seven of 23 candidates answered questions.

Although PRS is facing important bylaw changes, including proposals to relieve the Assembly of its power to elect board members and officers,18 of this year's 19 candidates refuse to say where they stand on the issues.

The only one who answered questions is California counselor Gerard Corbett, who is running for treasurer.

Refusing to answer questions are the two candidates for chair-elect, associate ad/PR professor Rosanna Fiske and solo practitioner Leslie Backus. Both are from Florida, about 20 miles from each other.

PRS has announced that electronic voting by members is legal, opening the way for the board to call an Assembly meeting that could remove APR from throughout the bylaws (as recommended ten years ago by the first Strategic Planning Committee).

All members (instead of just the 20% who are accredited) could compete for offices by stating their views on numerous issues.


PRS, in a move to spur flagging interest in its accreditation program, has scheduled a four-day, $585 APR “boot camp” Aug. 26-29 in New York. New APRs averaged 259 in the six-year 1996-2001 period but only 110 in the past six years of the new computer-administered, multiple-choice test.

PRS, with New York and New Jersey chapters assisting, has set up a four-day “boot camp” in New York that takes candidates from the Readiness Review to the actual exam three days later.

PRS and the Universal Accreditation Board, of which PRS is a member, have been concerned that many who register to take the exam do not follow through by passing the Readiness Review and taking the exam. Candidates must register by Friday, July 24 for the pioneering program, paying a total of $585 for the full schedule. The exam by itself is $385.

Felicia Blow, director of PA, Cox Communications, Chesapeake, Va., is chair of the UAB, and vice-chairs are Jay Rayburn, associate professor, Dept. of Communications, Florida State University, and Anne Dubois, Dubois Betourne & Assocs., Palm Coast, Fla.

Candidates may choose to attend the first day of instructions for $75 or may take the second two days and pay $125. The tutorial sessions will last from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 26; from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 27, and from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 28. On Saturday, Aug. 29, candidates will take the 3.5-hour test starting at 8 a.m. at the Prometric Testing Center, 1 Penn Plaza.

Michele Hujber of PRS/NJ will run the Aug. 26 program, reviewing 16 knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) needed by APRs. Readiness Reviews will also be conducted.

Bob Saline, APR chair, Central Pennsylvania, and CEO, PRWorks, will conduct classes for 44 remaining KSAs on Aug. 27. Jason Kirsch, APR co-chair, Central Pennsylvania, will continue teaching the 44 KSAs Aug. 28 and also conduct Readiness Reviews.

The first six years of the new exam, completed June 30, has created only about 660 new Society APRs or about 110 yearly. The previous all-day exam, which involved an afternoon of writing, had created an average of 259 new APRs in the six years from 1996-2001. A record number of 352 Society members became APR in 1996. In the years from 1986 to1992, more than 300 APRs were created in each year with 346 being created in 1992. The exam was costly to administer since an outside service was required to grade the written part.

The loss reported by the Society on APR for 1986 through 2001 was $2,926,080. In 2000, the subsidy for a member becoming APR was $1,794 as the total cost of $591,541 that year exceeded income by $441,467. Created that year were 246 new Society APRs.


Internet Edition, July 15, 2009, Page 8




The practice of “guanxi” (relationship-building) in China, as described by recent grad Joseph Burke on page two, sounds exactly how PR was practiced in the 1960s and 1970s.

Guanxi involves efforts to build personal relationships with potential business partners before any business is discussed. The goal is to “establish a strong amount of trust and familiarity,” as noted by Burke.

This is how we experienced PR people in the 60s and 70s when we were working as a reporter and ad columnist for the former New York Journal-American (six years) and the Chicago Tribune (four years to 1972). This continued to the late 1970s when we were establishing our NL.

PR people saw themselves as salespeople and did what all salespeople try to do—sell themselves first.

Many efforts were made to establish close personal relationships. This involved not only numerous lunches, dinners, nights on the town (almost always with spouses present), outings such as golf, fishing trips and other sporting activities but visits to the PR pro’s home where spouses and children were brought into play. We visited at least 30 homes of PR pros, sometimes spending weekends and going on family picnics with them.

Blue chip companies such as ITT threw numerous events. The annual ITT picnic for journalists and their families in Nutley, N.J., was attended by hundreds. A feature was a softball game pitting PR pros against journalists.

Auto companies lent cars to reporters for weekends and even longer. Some reporters kept the cars for months at a time. Hundreds of bottles of wine and liquor showered influential reporters at year-end.

PR pros helped us in many personal ways such as recommending dentists and doctors when we had none upon arriving in New York. We’re still with the doctors or successors many decades later.

PR pros, in contacting writers, kept pitches of any type to a minimum. Nine times out of ten when they called it was offering a news tip, an analysis of something, or providing some type of personal service. Only on the tenth call might they go “commercial.”

Current PR practice is the opposite of that. A query about a spouse or family background could result in charges of “harassment” and threats of a lawsuit. Not only are in-person meetings a rarity, but even phone conversations. Guarded e-mails may be exchanged. Corporations and institutions have almost no trust in their PR people. Almost all of them track any telephone or e-mail contacts with reporters. Services including dna13 have elaborate computer programs that keep on top of issues worldwide this way.

We’re not in favor of previous practices coming back but we do think the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction.

All that personal interaction was expensive, time-consuming and even corruptive. How much it influenced news coverage was also open to question. When business scandals erupted in the 1970s, including the outing of illegal corporate bribery in foreign countries, the business press was unstinting in its coverage. Reporters also rebelled against taking any gifts of more than nominal value. Both the business and editorial communities withdrew from the U.S. version of “guanxi.”

Having not been too successful with the press (including Forbes, Fortune and BusinessWeek), the business/financial community turned its efforts to congress and the regulatory agencies. What mattered more than what people thought was what congress and regulators did.

The philosophy that government was the problem rather than the solution took hold and by the 2000’s many regulatory agencies had been abolished or dismantled or turned into paper tigers (the SEC). Glass-Steagall, which separated regular and investment banking, was overturned in 1999 at a cost estimated at $300M by economist Joseph Stiglitz. The SEC allowed investment banks to borrow more than 30X their capital. Sarbanes-Oxley proved to be a dud. Rating agencies Fitch, S&P and Moody’s tanked. Unfettered bankers went hog wild lending to anyone with a pulse, dumping the risks to Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and others.

The biz community decided it would be its own regulator, like a baseball team deciding its players would do the umpiring at home games. This “We’re in charge no matter what” attitude of organizations is evident at the PR Society where sound advice of members and others is ignored.

Evidence of this boneheadedness is the refusal to implement the recommendation of the 1999 Strategic Planning Committee that national offices be open to all members; refusal to implement the 2000 nomcom reform committee’s recommendation that board members have no influence in the nomcom (current proposal is to make a sitting board member head of the nomcom); refusal to book dues as earned during the course of the year rather than as immediate cash, and refusal to name an African-American to the 2009 all-white board. Only one African-American is among the 19 candidates for office this year. Ofield Dukes faces opposition from four other candidates for at-large director.

Currently indefensible is the Society’s refusal to provide a PDF of its members’ directory to any member who wants this. No printing or postage would be involved and the member would have an up-to-date list, which was supposedly the fatal flaw in a printed directory.

Prof. Bill Sledzik of Kent State has noted on his blog how helpful the printed directory was to student jobseekers and others. He now fears he may be breaking the law by using his codes to access the online directory and show the names to students.

For more than 55 years PRS member names were available to the press and others through the printed members’ directory (just as reporters’ contact information is available to PR pros). In 2004, the Society distributed 150 directories free to the press to help reporters.

It refuses to discuss why it won’t make the online directory available in PDF form. Partly to show PRS how easy it is to do a PDF (Portable Document Format), the 400-page 2009 O’Dwyer’s Directory of PR Firms has been converted into two PDFs—one for the listings and another for the indexes. There was no cost for this and it took less than ten minutes (almost all of this for converting the numerous indexes).

Among many other questions the Society won’t answer is why is electronic voting by members deemed to be legal when for many years PRS had insisted that electronic voting by Assembly delegates would be illegal?

--Jack O'Dwyer


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