The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, July 22, 2009, Page 1
EURO PR CHIEF SUCCEEDS HARRIS
Harris is retiring as VP of communications for General Motors,
has been around auto PR for more than 40 years and originally
retired from the top GM slot in 2004. He returned to the
company in 2006 at age 60.
GMs emergence from bankruptcy, the company said last
week that Chris Preuss, currently VP of communications for
GM Europe and global product communications, will take over
for Harris on Oct. 1.
43, has worked for its Cadillac division and handled public
policy and other communications assignments since joining
GM in 1998.
63, spent all but two years of his career in auto PR, starting
at GM out of college in 1967 and moving to American Motors,
which was later sold to Renault and later Chrysler, where
he worked for several years.
CRICKET NEEDS PR TO GO PRO
USA Cricket Assn. is looking for a PR firm to promote the
launch of a professional Twenty20 league and to broaden
the appeal of the game here.
Rushman, who heads a London-based sports management/events
outfit, is handling the search for a firm that will do PR,
identify corporate sponsorships, develop a social media
strategy and create merchandising opportunities.
is currently played in the U.S. largely by people from the
Caribbean, Sub-Continent and members of the British Commonwealth.
U.S. is the No. 2 pay-per-view market for cricket behind
India. Twenty20 is a shortened version of the game. The
match lasts about 3 ½ hours.
RFP is available at rushmans.com. The deadline to respond
is Aug. 7.
SEEKS RESUMES FOR POSTS
J.M. Smucker Company has retained Marshall Consultants to
fill two high-ranking communications posts at the Orrville,
is seeking a manager of PR to guide its $5M marketing publicity
budget and oversee its agencies, including Cohn & Wolfe.
post requires from 6-10 years of PR experience in a food-oriented
consumer packaged goods environment. The second post
manager-corporate communications covers issues and
crisis communications and general corporate comms. Both
positions pay in the $100K range.
go to Larry Marshall ([email protected]).
Shandwick is counseling 101-year-old bank holding company
CIT Group, which is on the ropes after the federal government
rebuffed its efforts to get a second bailout of $2 billion.
which primarily loans money to small business and retailers,
said July 15 that it is seeking alternatives as there
is no appreciable likelihood of additional government support
being provided over the near term. That message came
three days after it sent out a dispatch to reporters saying
that talks with regulators were ongoing. Shares of the company
plunged 75 percent to about $1.25 on news that the talks
New York office handles the account. MS&L has also recently
worked with CIT.
Ritter, VP and director of external communications for CIT,
did not return an email.
reports stress that a bankruptcy filing would be the first
by a large bank since Lehman Brothers and investors are
worried that could create a ripple effect across the economy.
The federal government has already pumped $2.3B into the
AIDE TAKES FRANKEN POST
Aden-Wansbury, senior director of communications at the
Children's Defense Fund, has been tapped as newly minted
Sen. Al Franken's communications director.
moved to the CDF in 2006 after handling communications for
five years for Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.). She handled
communications for his duties in the senate and followed
Lieberman when he went out on the trail in a bid for the
presidency in '04.
started out at Podesta Associates and Simon Strategies before
serving as deputy press secretary for the Democratic National
Committee during the 2000 campaign.
Sheeleby is press secretary for the CDF.
BOARDS SHOULD REFLECT MEMBERS
Boards of associations
should reflect the demographic makeup of their memberships,
PR Society consultant Jean Frankel of Tecker Consultants
has told this NL. Frankel, a principal partner of Tecker
Consultants, Yardley, Pa., who has more than 25 years of
management and consulting experience, commented on the fact
that the board of the PR Society is 100% APR while the membership
is only about 20% APR.
She said It
does not make a whole lot of sense to eliminate non-APRs
from the Societys board.
on page 7)
Edition, July 22, 2009, Page 2
TO PAY $300K FINE FOR ASTROTURFING
surgery company Lifestyle Lift will pay $300K under a settlement
with New Yorks attorney general after a probe of the
companys publishing of fake consumer reviews online.
has agreed to pay the penalty and will refrain from posting
anonymous positive reviews on Internet message boards and
other websites, under the deal with Attorney General Andrew
Cuomo, who believes the case is the first in the U.S. aimed
companys attempt to generate business by duping consumers
was cynical, manipulative, and illegal, Cuomo said
in a statement.
A.G. said LLs president believed that negative Internet
posts had significantly hurt the companys reputation.
LL employees then bombarded the Net with
positive reviews and comments to impersonate satisfied customers.
were also said to attack legitimate comments
criticizing the company and tried to get such postings removed.
said the practice constitutes deceptive commercial practices,
false advertising and fraudulent and illegal conduct under
New York and federal consumer protection law. The company
also created standalone websites like MyFaceliftStory.com
to appear as independent sites.
A.G.s office released excerpts of internal emails
that showed management directing employees to the scheme.
e-mail said: Friday is going to be a slow day - I
need you to devote the day to doing more postings on the
web as a satisfied client.
internal email directed an employee to Put your wig
and skirt on and tell them about the great experience you
said it supports the A.G. ruling, calling it a reasonable
LANDS $1.7M KENYA PACT
Leonard, Schechter & Assocs. has signed a $1.7M contract
with Kenya, a country marred by corruption and haunted by
the violence in the aftermath of the `07 Presidential election
that left 1,500 people dead.
Obama snubbed Kenya, his fathers birthplace,
in favor of Ghana in his just completed tour of Europe and
is to develop a comprehensive research program including
in-depth interviews and focus group discussions to arrive
at the right message for the overall campaign,
according to the contract.
outreach will include brown bag lunches with reporters and
a Kenya Safari Day in New York.
pact includes a drumbeat initiatives component
comprising of a Did You Know teaser series,
speakers bureau, Kenya voices tour and small
firm, which is part of Omnicom, also will serve as liaison
between Kenyan political figures/analysts with the media.
which has a two-year pact, is to support Kenyas Washington
embassy and the Office of President Mwai Kibaki.
ROLL DICE WITH DILENSCHNEIDER
Dilenschneider Group is handling Harrahs Cherokee
Casino & Hotel in Cherokee, North Carolina, which is
undergoing a $650M expansion.
ceremonies for a new 21-story 532-room hotel took place
planned tower features a 3,000-square-foot auditorium, 16,000
sq. ft. spa and will effectively double the casino floor
to 150,000 sq. ft.
travel & lifestyle chiefs Joan Bloom and Joan Brower
handle the three-year PR effort. They want to position the
client as running the most lavish gaming/vacation site on
the east coast.
Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indian tribe owns the facility
that is managed by Harrahs Entertainment.
Hicks, principal chief of the Eastern Cherokees, told The
Smoky Mountain Times that he has no reservations about
the merits of expanding the gambling hall during rocky economic
the contrary, Hicks believes the expansion is perfectly
is certain the economy will have rebounded by the time the
job is completed in December 2010.
also says that it had arranged financing for the construction
well before the credit markets dried up.
CHARTS COURSE FOR RAND MCNALLY
giant Rand McNally has tapped Ogilvy PR Worldwide for its
PR account following a competitive pitch with a handful
Chicago-based company brought in Ogilvys Windy City
office to guide PR for its enterprise, consumer products
and education divisions.
travel and economic development unit will head the work.
has recently worked with The Reynolds Group. The account
resided at Ketchum during the 1990s, when current Ogilvy/Chicago
executive VP Jim Heininger handled the account at the Omnicom
153-year-old RM traces its roots to William Rands
Chicago printing shop opened in 1856. Irish immigrant Andrew
McNally took a job with Rand two years later.
is part of WPP.
body of PR woman Beverly Spano, 44, was found by boaters
in the Passaic River near Elmwood Park (N.J.) July 6.
who leaves three children and a husband behind, was reported
missing three days earlier after a relative found her unlocked
minivan parked at the Elmwood Park marina, according to
media reports. Her purse and key were inside the vehicle.
was no sign of foul play. Police suspect Spano committed
had been running Spano Communications since 1993. SC handled
corporate communications, media relations and internal PR.
Spano was VP/PR manager at PaineWebber, prior to its takeover
by UBS. Spano continued to work for UBS on a freelance basis.
Edition, July 22, 2009, Page 3
SELLS NYC CLASSICAL MUSIC STATION
cash-strapped New York Times Co. is unloading WQXR-FM, which
is New York City's only classical music station, for $45M.
are public station WNYC and Spanish-language broadcaster
deal upsets classical music fans who will now find their
station having a weaker signal. The transaction has WQXR
trading its 94.3 spot on the dial with Univision property
WCC's 109.5 spot. That means WQXR, which now becomes listener
supported, is trading a 6,000 watt signal for a 600 one.
Walker, CEO of WNYC, reassures classical music lovers that
she is committed to that art form. She says WNYC will lessen
its classical music programming to focus on WQXR.
NYTC has owned WQXR since 1944. It broadcasts concerts from
the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera and has
about 20 staffers who must re-apply for their jobs.
Cos. says it is exploring strategic options for BusinessWeek
due to the recession in print advertising, according
to a memo from BW's president Keith Fox.
analysts like Peter Appert of Piper Jaffray Cos. say McGraw-Hill
will receive a minimal amount for the 80-year-old publication,
and the company may just be happy to find somebody to take
it off its hands.
noted the media industry is facing unprecedented challenges
as the growth of digital innovation has created new
entrants and entirely new business models for media companies.
He wrote of an urgency on the need for change.
Partners is mulling BWs future, which could include
a sale for as little as $1 to Bloomberg, Mansueto Ventures,
News Corp. or a private equity firm like Opengate Capital,
according to the Financial Times. OpenGate bought TV Guide
ad revenue tumbled 33 percent during the first-half to $77.8M.
Its circulation is more than 935K.
BLOGS MULL PR BLACKOUT
legions of digital-savvy mothers that make up the coveted
"Mommy" blogging demographic are debating a proposed
week-long "blackout" from running PR content,
a boycott which would put the kibosh on product reviews
and other press release materials sent their way.
Haas, founder and administrator of the popular portal MomDot.com,
said on July 13 that mom bloggers are suffering from bloggy
burnout and suggested a one week PR Blackout
in August, challenging bloggers to not blog giveaways, reviews
and press releases for that time frame.
suggestion received dozens of comments of support, along
with some responses questioning the need for such a move
and others defending PR.
not sure what a one-week boycott proves, Mark Hass,
head of MH Group Communications and former CEO of Manning
Selvage & Lee, told ODwyers via Twitter.
No doubt product promos will be back in a big way
on Monday of week two.
the blogger, clarified her original post in a follow-up
on July 14: A break, a PR blackout if you will, may
show some mom, even just one, that she can live without
the false sense of fake visitors entering her contests.
her turning down a PR release or a product won't in fact
put her at the bottom of a bloggy blackball list for the
future and her online life won't suffer if she doesn't fall
to her knees every time she receives a request.
Churchill, of Edelman's digital unit in the U.K., followed
up Haas' blackout suggestion with a defense of PR: We
dont aimlessly fire out press releases for irrelevant
products. We try and build relationships and help our clients
to add value to communities; be that blogs, forums or on
Twitter. ...There is a big educative process and discussion
that needs to occur, and it is occurring within the PR industry
to change the old ways of communicating. Unfortunately,
and I'm not trying to make excuses, this will take time.
Diluted Credibility Loom
believes that by taking out the tirade of PR
content, mom blogs could be seen as more authentic: We
become more real, our audience becomes more trusting, and
the advertising of these products for those that accept
them produce more results for the companies overall.
crux of the PR content debate is two-fold. As the New
York Times highlighted on July 13, the Federal Trade
Commission is scrutinizing social media content through
a lens of truth-in-advertising disclosure rules, posing
potential implications for product pitches and reviews online.
It could take action as early as this fall, following public
themselves are also debating whether utilizing PR content
dilutes the authenticity of their blogs.
Allison Granju, mamapundit blogger and director of social
media at Ackermann PR, thinks bloggers can cross the line
with such material.
my belief that bloggers who do an excessive number of product
reviews and endorsements likely dont wield the same
kind of meaningful influence with their audience as the
ones who do very few or more judiciously chosen paid reviews
and endorsements, she said, adding that in her capacity
at Ackermann, she doesnt always target the largest
blogs as many smaller publications can have more credibility
and are therefore more valuable.
Blogger Joins F-H
Smith, who founded the blog Jessicaknows, has joined Fleishman-Hillard
as VP in Sacramento.
blog earned a spot on the power pack in Nielsens
Power Mom 50 list, according to a release.
site covers business, marketing, social media and work/life
balance issues. It earns up to 65K page views per month
from more than 1,000 subscribers.
the Omnicom unit, Smith supports its FH Moms practice that
was established in January.
news continued on next page)
Edition, July 22, 2009, Page 4
EDITOR: PAPERS MUST CHARGE ONLINE
Times editor Lionel Barber expects almost all
newspapers to charge for their online content within a year.
challenge, he told Britains Guardian, is to
figure out whether to charge a subscription rate or a fee
for each article.
FT charges readers based on a frequency model.
There is access to a limited number of articles before a
charge kicks in. The paper has enjoyed sustained and
growing revenue based on that model.
FT has 110K paying subscribers and 1.3M non-paying registered
expects people will willingly pay for specialist or niche
publications. The place not to be is the mediocre
middle, according to Barber.
also disputes the notion that the Internet has dumbed
the contrary, Barber credits the Net with smartening
the financial community website, is talking acquisition
with Thompson Reuters.
London-based site is syndicated in newspapers throughout
the world including the New York Times, Le Monde
(Paris) and Daily Telegraph (London). It was founded
in 200 by two staffers of the Financial Times.
Times of London reports that Breakingviews hired
Perella Weinberg Partners as its financial partner.
UNLOADS GRAND JUNCTION SENTINEL
Cox Enterprises has sold the Grand Junction (Col.) Daily
Sentinel, the biggest paper between Denver and Salt
Lake City, to Manhattan, Kan.-based Seaton Publishing.
Nickel, a shopper, also shifts to Seaton.
Seaton has newspapers in Arkansas City and Winfield (Kan),
Spearfish (S.D.), Alliance and Hastings (Neb.) and Sheridan
Seaton, son of chairman Edward, is moving to Grand Junction
to oversee the new property. The Sentinel and Nickel employ
more than 200 people.
summer, Cox announced plans to sell papers in Colorado,
North Carolina and Texas. It is keeping Florida, Georgia
and Ohio properties.
Dickerson left the VP-operations post at struggling McClatchy
Co. on July 17. The former publisher of the Modesto Bee
assumed the corporate post in 2006. She was responsible
for 11 newspapers in Texas and the southeast.
Gary Pruitt says McClatchy's transition to a new business
model requires smaller senior staff. He credited Dickerson
for working hard to help us navigate through the recent
responsibilities are divvied up between VP's Bob Weil and
lost $37.5M on $365.6M first-quarter revenues. Its stock
trades in the 50 cent range.
Inc. has relaunched AllYou.com
as a value destination to help women keep tabs on the pocketbook
and enjoy life for less.
site pairs money-saving tips with coupons, daily discounts
and budget recipes for meals under $2.
include Style for Less, Budget Home,
Diet and Fitness, Supermarket Smarts,
and Community" (advice from 23,000 reality
supplying coupons include Minute Rice, Carvel Ice Cream,
Arm & Hammer Odor Eliminating Vacuum Bags and Excedrin.
You magazine was launched in 2004 with a rate base of
500K. It is now 975K and will grow to 1.025M in January.
PUBLICISTS SLOW TO SOCIAL MEDIA
publicists are playing catch-up with in comes to new media,
according to chatter at an Entertainment Publicists Professional
publicist Julian Myers, who used to wake up a partied-out
Marilyn Monroe to attend celebrity events, says its
exciting to quickly get an online buzz, but the big question
is how do you measure it?
90-year-old pro added: The basic concepts of publicity
are always the same. Be honest, and think of new ways to
make first yourself, second your client famous.
media definitely has its time and place, said
Tiffany Bradshaw, a marketing consultant and head of Bradshaw
& Co. Business Consulting. A lot of people still
don't quite understand it the way they should. They often
think it takes the place of traditional marketing.
basics of new media still require networking, presentation
and market research savvy, said Bradshaw.
a little behind the times with the new media, said
entertainment publicist Ellen Giurleo. Ive been
resisting getting on Facebook because it will take all this
time, but all the people Ive talked to tell me that
I have to do it, or at least get a business page up. Probably
not a personal page, though.
enough, I spent a lot of time on Twitter today learning
how to do it, said TV Guides Chad Sandhas.
Im only 34 and I feel like I am catching up,
so new media, I think, is scary for all of us.
with Sandhas was Eileen Salmas of PhotoStamps.com:
I dont Twitter. I dont text. Im
trying to figure out how to use new media for my company.
It's a little bit daunting.
Times Hit Hollywood
mixer was sponsored by the International Cinematographers
Union ICG Local 600 and Motion Picture & TV Fund, which
is scheduled to close its hospital and end its acute long
term care unit due a $10 million loss, at the
end of 2009.
are an 89-year-old charity in Hollywood, created by Hollywood
for Hollywood and it takes care of people who have fallen
on hard times, said Ken Scherer, director, MPTF. Everyone
thinks that everyone in Hollywood makes $20 million, which
is simply not true, and so we provide financial assistance,
medical care and all kinds of support including retirement
Edition, July 22,
2009, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
SEES PA NICHE FOR SOCIAL MEDIA
Group is harkening back to its public affairs roots to fill
a niche it sees as overlooked in the social media space.
agency has created D.Advocacy, a practice that implements
social media tools into PA and government relations efforts,
two disciplines that MWW believes have not utilized digital
outreach to its full potential.
are talking about and utilizing social media for consumer
and corporate communications, but theyre not thinking
about it as much for public affairs, said Joe Becker,
group VP and leader of MWWs DialogueMedia digital
unit. Its a new concept for a lot of people,
who interned in the Clinton White House and later moved
on to Hill & Knowlton, IBM and Peppercom, said integrating
social media into PA and government relations was done on
a large scale with the Obama campaign and the administrations
efforts to tout the federal stimulus program. But, he said,
there has been little implementation on more local levels.
used the example of a telecom provider seeking to erect
towers in a town. Typically, that company would send representatives
to lobby local officials and other decision makers, with
little to no outreach to residents. More often than
not theyre just thinking about city hall and not the
people voting for city hall or those who will be impact
by its decisions, he said, adding that outreach to
local blogs and Twitter communications, for example, could
make the case that such a project would add jobs and service
to the community.
CEO Michael Kempner is a former Democratic aide in New Jersey
and started the firm as a public affairs shop in 1986.
HOLDING COMPANY ACQUIRES PJ
New Jersey-based holding
company @aquila has acquired 12-year-old New York PR firm
PJ president Pamela Johnston,
an agency veteran who started the firm in 1997, remains
at the helm but @aquila chair/president/CEO David Palmieri
takes on an acting CEO role of the firm.
Johnson also takes the
title of chief marketing officer to oversee marketing for
both the holding companys online unit mIQ and its
travel consulting unit Coriolis Partners, formerly known
as @aquila Consulting.
BRIEFS: Brian Johnson,
PR counsel to Honda Marina from 2005-09, has opened Bonefish
Communications in Gainesville, Ga., to target PR
for the recreational and commercial boating industries.
Product launches, local and national PR, email marketing
and corporate comms. consulting are among Johnson's services.
...Hispanic PR firm RL PR + Marketing, Los Angeles, won
two awards for its role with the California Milk Processor
Board. The firm nabbed a Media Idea Bronze Effie for the
White Gold campaign and a 2009 David Ogilvy
Silver Multicultural Award for Consumer and Health for its
work on the Toma Leche campaign.
& Company, New York/The Guardian Life Insurance
Company of America, a 239-year-old Fortune 300 company
based in New York, for a national PR campaign focused on
small businesses after a review. Richard Jones, senior VP
and chief comms. officer at Guardian, told ODwyers
that the mutual life insurer identified a small number of
firms that competed for the business. CK's B2B savvy was
a key reason for the hire. Jones said Guardian continues
to work with Oakland, Calif.-based Harden Partners as well.
Hammond & Associates, New York/Tourism New South
Wales, Crave Sydney, month-long festival slated for October;
Air Platinum Club, private travel membership club that includes
jets, watercraft, cars, condos and concierge services, and
Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, non-gaming hotel, all for
PR, New York/Classical Archives, online marketplace
for information, purchasing and listening to classical music,
Baerlein Strategic Communications, Boston/Cambridge
Consultants, for national media relations outreach; Iron
Mountain, info storage, for federal government relations
regarding electronic medical records; Massachusetts Institute
of Technology, for strategic comms. related to its annual
tech conference in Sept., EmTech; Paine College, for PR
and federal govt relations; PowerSat Corp., solar
energy, for PR message development and third-party outreach;
R.W. Beckett Corp., oil burner manufacturer, for fed govt
rels. regarding energy legislation; Second Nature, non-profit,
for PR, and Sky Vegetables, urban commercial hydroponic
farms developer, for strategic comms., including PR and
Edwards & Associates, Grand Rapids, Mich./ExpressJet
Holdings, parent of regional aircraft operator ExpressJet
Airlines, for campaign to attract new investors and communicate
its corporate strategy to shareholders, the investment community
and financial media.
Schaefer Advertising & PR, Arlington, Tex./Lone
Star Film Society, for PR to support various events this
year culminating with the festival Nov. 11-15 in Fort Worth.
PR, San Diego/OcumatRx, for public, media and investor
relations as the company is developing a medical device
for treatment of glaucoma. The device, called the CaPRI,
has been in research for five years and is advancing toward
clinical trials. Tom Gable, CEO, and Liz Dill, A/E, manage
the account at Gable PR.
& Associates, San Diego/Tucker Sadler Architects,
for PR for several projects, including Ka Makana Alii
master plan in Hawaii, San Diego Convention Center and US
Grant Hotel, and Single to Soulmate, a new book
from Vantage Press.
Edition, July 22, 2009, Page 6
company VMS has aligned Autonomy Corp., a U.K.-based enterprise
software company in the so-called meaning-based computing
software recognizes data like audio, video or text
therefore eliminating the need for manual tagging of content
and can trigger a response, whether it is an automatically
generated email or the listing of news articles pertinent
to the subject of the data, for example.
said in a statement that the deal will enable it to provide
services that "understand any hidden meaning behind
every piece of content, and automatically act on that information."
works with thousands of companies like news organizations
(Bloomberg, BBC), law firms (DLA Piper) and federal agencies
(NASA). Its software will be integrated into VMS' Vantage
monitoring and measurement platform.
U.S. CEO, Stouffer Egan, said the partnership can provide
PR customers with real-time results and dismissed competing
services for carrying a "myopic view that is overly
reliant on one set of dated information."
CZAR: New York digital and broadcast PR company D
S Simon Productions has promoted its Midwest director to
VP of healthcare.
Jim O'Reilly, a Chicago-based
TV news veteran who joined Simon in 2000, continues to oversee
its Midwest operations while adding oversight for new video
productions in the health space.
He noted the "significant"
opportunities in healthcare PR and said the work "can
be done ethically within the regulatory environment."
Reilly was managing editor
at Philly TV and held managing and production posts at KYW
(17 years) and WGAL.
HIRE: James King, co-founder and CEO of GlooMedia,
has joined PR Newswire as a senior VP charged with expanding
reach via the companys digital services like its journalist
website and ProfNet. He was global CIO and CTO as a senior
VP at wireless company Brightpoint and previously held posts
at McGraw-Hill, Microsoft and Reed Elsevier.
IT AWAY: Online press release distribution service
eReleases said it is giving away a notebook PC each week
and a $399 release distribution every day for the next 11
weeks leading up to its 11th anniversary in October.
Any business with a Twitter,
Delicious, blog or website can enter. Check out ereleases.com/prfuel
SCOPE: PRWeb, the online news release service owned
by Vocus, said it has added four additional distribution
partners including Docstoc, an online community for professional
documents; State Newslines, localized Web properties; Trust
Earned Travel, site for travelers and the travel sector,
and Visibility Magazine, online marketing publication.
Krumholtz, who founded and led Microsofts government
affairs office for 14 years in Washington, D.C., to The
Glover Park Group, as a managing director of its GA unit.
He earlier worked in legislative affairs at Verner, Liipfert,
Bernhard, McPherson, and Hand.
Goldberg, editor-in-chief of boutique DESIGN magazine,
to DMD Insight, New York, as senior associate on its media
Leahing, account manager at Fleishman-Hillard, to
Widmeyer Communications, New York, as an A/M focused on
health and wellness accounts. The D.C.-based firm has also
promoted Kyle Gunnels
to A/E in its Pre-K-12 education unit in New York.
Wu, reporter and weekend morning anchor at KSDK-TV
in St. Louis, to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as
a public affairs specialist in its St. Louis division, which
includes five offices.
Smith to senior VP, communications, NBC Universal
Women and Lifestyle Entertainment Networks, a newly created
position in New York. She had been VP of corporate comms.
for NBC Universal, which included heading comms. for Women@NBCU,
a female-targeted sales and marketing push by the media
company. The W&LEN unit includes Oxygen Media, iVillage
and Bravo Media, among other properties.
Goodwin and David
Rosen to group VPs, Makovsky + Company, New York.
The firm has also upped Joshua
Baldwin to A/S; Kristin
Ferber and Olga
Oksman to A/Es, and Janet
Yoo to AA/E.
Barry to VP, investor relations and corporate communications,
Corn Products International, Westchester, Ill. He joined
the company in 1998 as director of corporate accounting
and assistant controller.
Read, chairman of the Texas PR powerhouse Cohn &
Wolfe Read-Poland, said hell retire at the end of
the month after 58 years in the business. Read, 82, said
hell continue to counsel some C&W clients as well
as a select few on his own, in addition to continuing his
blog on Texas politics and government, Texas Off
the Record and possibly penning a memoir. Read
started out as a sportswriter for the Fort Worth Press
and is a former advisor to ex-House Speaker Jim Wright and
Texas Governor and Treasury Secretary John Connally. He
started his firm in 1951 in Fort Worth at age 24. GCI Group
acquired Read-Poland in 2001, the 50th anniversary of the
firm. The name changed again when GCI was folded into C&W
Edition, July 22, 2009, Page 7
SHOULD REFLECT MEMBERS
sectors of an associations membership should be represented
on the board, she added.
has been involved in large scale planning and organizational
changes for companies including American Express, Motorola
and AT&T. She also has had functional responsibility
in strategic planning, marketing and sales, information
technology, customer service, engineering, manufacturing
and human resources.
which is more than 25 years old and not currently employed
by PRS, lists hundreds of clients in a dozen categories
ranging from agricultural and commercial to government,
manufacturing and philanthropic. Its website is www.tecker.com.
had told the Assembly Oct. 25, 2008 that associations were
moving away from placing any requirements except regular
membership on members who wanted to run for office.
also said, and reiterated July 16, that representative bodies
such as the Assembly were moving away from concentrating
on legislative matters and micro-managing their
associations and instead becoming involved in improving
acceptance of the industry and more involved in industry
Nixed Power Move in 2006
PRS Assembly in 2006 turned down a proposal by the Central
Michigan chapter to make the Assembly the ultimate
policy-making body of PRS, patterning it after similar
bodies at the American Medical and American Bar Assns.
of both groups were cited in the proposal.
and AMA Houses of Delegates not only have power
over their boards, but their meetings are conducted by members
of the representative bodies rather than by board members.
staff COOs, who have the title of executive VP (president
is reserved for the elected head), are always members of
the respective profession.
Michigan said it wanted to change PRS from being a top-down
corporation to one that was membership-driven.
leaders, who fought the proposal, said director insurance
would have to be purchased for all 300 or so Assembly delegates
and that the Assembly already had the power to tell the
board what to do.
dissidents said both claims were false. Venable, the Societys
law firm, told succeeding Assemblies that any Assembly resolution
directing the board to do anything would be ruled out of
order because the Assembly could not, under New York law,
tell the board what to do. With heavy opposition from national
leadership, assisted by the staff, none of the other 109
chapters voiced any support for the Central Michigan proposal
and it was defeated by a large margin.
Capital led the opposition, saying the proposal would be
too disruptive to the governance of the Society.
current proposal of the bylaw committee of the Society,
headed by Dave Rickey, is to remove from the Assembly the
power to elect board members and officers.
proposal would require all chapters to send as part of their
Assembly delegations either the chapter president or president-elect.
Nearly half the chapters only have one delegate.
each year hosts the chapter presidents-elect at a weekend
in June in New York, providing a $500 cash stipend to each
to help offset expenses. A Friday night dinner for the presidents-elect
is paid for by the Society.
bylaw proposal would allow non-APRs on future boards but
they would either have to show more than 20 years in positions
with increasing levels of responsibility or
have headed a chapter, section, district or national committee.
FISKE ANSWERS ODWYER
Rosanna Fiske, who is
running for chair-elect of the PR Society, answered a number
of questions about her candidacy and PRS in a telephone
interview July 14.
On the question of whether
the Society should drop APR as a requirement for national
board or office posts, as recommended by the 1999 Strategic
Planning Committee, she said she would leave that up to
Asked about the proposal
to eliminate district directors and have all directors at-large,
she said she is in favor of some district representation
but the question is too complicated for a yes or no answer.
She feels that the Societys
financial reporting meets all the standards required in
Asked why PRS has never
had a PR firm as outside paid counsel, although it uses
legal, accounting and management consulting firms, she said
that the Society already has many leading PR people who
are members and who give the Society PR counsel.
She would favor journalists
being able to join PRS if they are interested in PR.
However, she would not
say whether any staffer of the ODwyer Co. should be
able to join. PRS does not allow this.
On the question of whether
its ethical for a member to supply information from
the members area of the PRS website to an ODwyer
reporter (since ODwyer reporters are banned from joining),
Fiske said that she would not feel comfortable
Only one other of this
years 19 candidates answered questions sent to themGerard
Corbett, candidate for treasurer. Leslie Backus, candidate
for chair-elect, e-mailed that she would not answer the
questions and Ofield Dukes, candidate for at-large director
and the only African-American among the candidates, said
he was too busy with pro bono work for victims of the recession
BONAVENTURA RE-REGISTERS AS
Philip Bonaventura, who
joined the PR Society in June 2007 as chief financial officer,
re-registered as of June 1, 2009 with the New York State
Education Dept., Office of the Professions, and can again
use the initials CPA after his name.
The Office of the Professions
said that Bonaventura completed the required courses to
bring himself up-to-date with accounting changes and again
became registered as of June 1. His registration is good
until May 31, 2012.
Under New York law, To
practice within New York State, a professional must be licensed
and REGISTERED (NYS capitals).
When a professional informs
the Dept. at the time of re-registration that he or she
will not be practicing in New York, the record is marked
INACTIVE as of the start of the next registration period.
information had been marked INACTIVE when it was checked
in June 2007 and thereafter.
Edition, July 22, 2009,
PR Society board meets Friday in New York
and based on precedent may give COO Bill Murray another
contract, possibly for three years starting Jan. 22, 2010.
must not happen. The 2010 board should not be saddled with
a COO of the 2009 boards choosing.
costly error happened on July 30, 1999, when the executive
committee headed by Sam Waltz gave an unprecedented five-year
contract to Ray Gaulke. Director Frank Stansberry, angered
that the contract was not brought before the full board,
left the meeting in Vancouver and returned to Florida.
2000 board did not want Gaulke and arranged for him to join
the PRS Foundation in 2001 while still owing him about $1
million. We understand PRS made a $250K settlement. With
no time to search for a COO, the board suddenly converted
Catherine Bolton into an executive heading a staff of more
than 50 although she had been hired as chief PR officer.
hear lots of praise for the administrative abilities of
Murray but PRS is a communications society and it needs
a career communicator as staff head.
legal, medical, accounting and advertising societies wouldnt
dream of having any but one of their own professionals as
staffs also have large numbers of their own professionals
while we see only two PR pros among the 58 staffers at PRS
the reclusive Murray had presented himself regularly
to the New York chapter membership for questioning we might
have a different opinion of him. Murray has either gone
along with or has not been able to change various abuses
at PRS including its insistence on conducting elections
as though it were the 1950s and the internet did not exist.
We fault both the board
and Murray for failing to reveal details of his contract
when he joined Jan. 22, 2007. Members have to wait towards
the end of the year to learn of the previous year's pay.
It took until Sept. 29,
2008, for PRS to file IRS Form 990 that showed his salary
as $262,515 in 2007 plus $29,500 in benefits ($292,055 total
plus $21,338 in expenses). This year's filing has yet to
Neither Murray, staff
or elected leaders will answer any questions about his contract
which flies in the face of the spirit of Form 990.
Under Murrays reign,
PRS has continued its penchant for secrecy: transcripts
of Assemblies are withheld; the PRS website does not have
a true search engine; there is no published list of Assembly
delegates; the board continues to ignore criticisms of its
financial reporting; pleas by members for a PDF of the members
directory are ignored; suggestions that the Leadership
Rally or Assembly be audiocast are ignored, etc.
Weiss, 2007 chair who defeated a move led by treasurer
Tom Eppes to block her from having any influence on the
2009 nominations, has gotten her way bigtime as 2009 nomcom
Eppes, refusing to step
up as usual to chair-elect, instead is quitting the board.
The reason given, that he has lost his job at Eric Mower
& Assocs., is not believed by us. Why would a firm fire
someone about to head PRS, a post that supposedly provides
huge prestige and definitely provides an almost unlimited
expense account and power to appoint some 25 national committee
Its an ideal place
to job hunt! We would like the views of Eppes but he hasnt
talked to us in years.
Only two 2009 candiates
have responded to our 11 questions and they didn't say much.
Rosanna Fiske and treasurer candidate Gerard Corbett mostly
said they would follow the Assembly's wishes.
Leslie Backus, also seeking
chair-elect, told us she would not answer any of our questions.
Ofield Dukes, the only
African-American candidate, said he was too busy with pro
bono work to answer our questions. He should withdraw.
Both Fiske and Backus
should also withdraw. Its obvious their main qualification
is that theyre women!
After three men in a row
as chairs (Jeff Julin, Mike Cherenson, Gary McCormick),
the PRS reasoning is that its time for a female chair.
This is no way to pick
someone who is supposed to lead not only the Society but
the entire PR industry.
Fiske came on the board
in 2005 after stressing her Hispanic background and using
the words diversity and diverse
13 times in one section of her 2008 pitch for chair-elect.
She also noted she was the first Hispanic woman national
officer of PRS and previously noted she was the first Hispanic
woman president of PRS/Miami.
politics is in very bad odor these days. While her Hispanic
background is stressed in pitches to PRS, Fiske's bio in
various web sources notes she is also French, Chinese and
Jewish. Why are these ethnic strains left out when she is
seeking a PRS office?
a 40-minute telephone interview with Fiske last week,
we asked her why PRS has outside legal, accounting and management
consulting firms but has never had an outside PR firm.
She said that with so
many PR professionals in the Society it doesnt need
an outside PR firm.
We believe that no PR
firm would allow itself to be identified with the press-dodging,
undemocratic, gender and geo-politics ridden, rigid leadership
and staff of PRS.
No PR firm would refuse
to meet with us if we asked for a meeting. PR firms often
get into one scrape or another but don't get permanently
mad at us when we cover such incidents.
PRS has refused to meet
or talk with us for decades. It ignores not only our advice
but the advice of its own 1999 Strategic Planning Committee
(erase APR from the bylaws); its own nomcom reform committee
(board is not to influence nomcom); its own members who
want a PDF of the members' directory; accounting professors
who criticize the PRA audit, and currently, its own management
consultant, Jean Frankel, who says the PRS board is unrepresentative
of the membership because the board is all-APR and the membership,
only 20% APR.
PRS continues to have
blatant anti-competitive practices in spite of signing a
1977 FTC consent decree that forced removal from its Ethics
Code of articles that forbade contingency fees and
members pitching each others' accounts or jobs.
Blocking anyone but members
from access to the 22,000-member database is anti-competitive.
Leaders and staff want this database as the exclusive hunting
ground for pitching PRS seminars, teleconferences, etc.
There are numerous other
companies now offering such tutorials and they have every
right to pitch the PRS membership list which was created
over the years with public money since PRS is a tax-free