The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, July 29, 2009, Page 1
HIGH-SPEED RAIL SEEKS PR
for a $40 billion, 800-mile high-speed rail link in California,
once dismissed as a Buck Rogers fantasy by a
former governor, are progressing slowly and PR is next on
High Speed Rail Authority has issued an RFP for a five-year,
$9M contract for communications and public information through
2014. The move comes as high-speed trains have been allocated
a large piece of the federal stimulus bill.
states proposed high-speed rail system, which has
been in the planning stage since 1996, could carry as many
as 94M passengers a year by 2030, according to estimates.
It could gain a big boost from the federal stimulus law,
which allocated $8B for high-speed rail projects. California
voters gave the green light last fall for $10 billion to
begin financing the project.
PR work is aimed to educate Californians, legislators and
other stakeholders about the massive project through media
attention, materials like fact sheets, brochures and newsletters,
are due by Aug. 12. The RFP has been posted on the Authoritys
CDC EYES SOCIAL MEDIA FOR
The Centers for Disease
Control is looking for a firm to develop a social media
PR effort to support its Office on Smoking and Health as
it prepares to release the 2009 Surgeon Generals Report
The government has released
a request for quotations with a deadline of July 29 to develop
and utilize social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter
and MySpace to disseminate information from the report to
doctors and the public.
The CDC says in the RFQ
that it wants to reach modern audiences that prefer to receive
news, health and other information through social networking
sites and mobile phones.
As fewer and fewer
people access newspapers, network television and traditional
Internet sites for information, employing a digital multi-site
approach increases the reach of communications efforts,
reads the document.
The search for a firm
is a full and open solicitation, meaning no
GSA schedule is involved and businesses of all sizes are
open to pitch. There is also no incumbent as it is a new
The Surgeon Generals
report is scheduled to be released in the fall. The CDC
hopes to hire a firm by Aug. 10.
OMNICOM NET FALLS 24%
Omnicom posted a 24 percent
slide in second quarter net to $233.4M, off from 2008s
Worldwide revenue fell
more than 17% to $2.87B while its U.S. revenue registered
a 13% slide to $1.52B compared with Q2 of 08.
Revenue at its PR operations,
including Ketchum and Porter Novelli, dropped 18.5%, while
advertising fell 15.5% and specialty services
like recruitment advertising and healthcare business took
a 20% hit.
OMCs net is off
nearly 23 percent for the first half of 2009.
CEO John Wren called the
decline slightly greater than we had anticipated,
although he expects new business for the second half to
top last years numbers.
WEBER SHANDWICK SNAGS SEPULVEDA
Lisa Sepulveda, who served
as North American CEO at Euro RSCG for the past three years,
is moving to Weber Shandwick.
Sepulveda becomes president
of the Interpublic units global consumer marketing
practice on Aug. 3. She made her PR mark at Edelman on the
Dove Campaign for Real Beauty for Unilever.
She also worked on the prescription to over-the-counter
switches for Advil and Claritin.
Sepulveda reports to WS
vice chair Gail Heimann, who once split consumer marketing
duties with Cathy Calhoun now president for North
America for the firm.
Heimann and Calhoun were
promoted last October.
Euro RSCG is part of Havas.
UAB SAYS 863 APRs CREATED
IN SIX YEARS
Felicia Blow, chair of
the Universal Accreditation Board, has announced the results
of six years of the new computer-based, multiple-choice
exam863 new APRs including 713 from the PR Society,
43 from the Florida PR Assn., 25 from the Southern PR Federation,
and 37 from the National School PR Assn.
An average of 119 new
PRS APRs yearly were created in the six years, which were
completed June 30. The new test cost PRS $250,000 and took
Blow, PA director of Cox
Communications, Chesapeake, Va., said she was encouraged
by the fact that the number of candidates participating
in the Readiness Review increased in the second quarter
from 72 last year to 83 this year. Candidates passing the
exam fell 28% to 41 in the quarter from 57 in the 2008 quarter.
on page 7)
Edition, July 29, 2009, Page 2
PENTAGON PR PUSH NOT PROPAGANDA
Department of Defense clearly attempted to favorably influence
public opinion for Bush administration war policies by using
retired military officials in media appearances, but the
public affairs-run effort did not violate the federal prohibition
on propaganda, according to a report from the General Accountability
Offices top legal official.
New York Times David Barstow penned a front-page
piece which ran April 20, 2008 about the Pentagons
PR effort to boost support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
by having retired military officials appear on TV to defend
use of retired officials did not cross the line because
the officials were not paid, the materials they were given
were clearly marked as coming from the Defense Dept. and
the program was not concealed from the public, the report
report to Democratic House and Senate leaders was penned
by GAO general counsel Daniel Gordon and commissioned with
the passage of a defense authorization bill passed in May
the prohibition on the use of appropriated funds for publicity
or propaganda has been in effect, in one form or another,
for decades, we have rarely found violations of the prohibition,
Gordon wrote. This reflects the wide discretion that
we have historically recognized agencies have in their informational
activities and defense of their policies.
Gordon said legitimate questions were raised by members
of Congress and the press regarding the intersection
of DoD public affairs and possibly compromised procurements
as a result of ties between the retired officials and military
said the GAO identified three categories of communications
that are restricted by the propaganda ban covert,
purely partisan and self-aggrandizement, or puffery.
1987, the State Dept. engaged in a PR effort to push the
public and Congress to back the Reagan administrations
Central America policy, an effort which violated the propaganda
ban. The 2004 controversy over the Centers for Medicare
& Medicaid Services PR efforts to use video news releases
that were not marked by origin was another violation, as
was the 2004 Dept. of Education PR push with Ketchum and
RMO program was different, Gordon said, because the retired
officials, identified in documents as surrogates,
were not paid for their advocacy and the DoD did not hide
the program from the public nor ask participants to conceal
the program or the source of their information.
REPS STELLA DORO IN UNION FIGHT
Verbinnen & Co. is speaking for snack maker Stella Doro
Co. as the company has taken a beating in the press from
the union at its Bronx, N.Y., bakery.
Doro was purchased by the private equity firm Brynwood
Partners in 2006 from Kraft, which bought it from the founding
family. In a statement via Sard, the owners blasted Kraft/Nabisco
by saying the brand suffered a steady decline in sales and
profits when it was bought by the food giant. The private
equity firm also challenged media reports that said it was
taking money out of the company in the form of fees and
other equity as it attempts to turn it around.
DAVIS WORKS HONDURAN
President Clinton counselor Lanny Davis is working for business
interests in Honduras who oppose many of the policies of
now-ousted leftist President Manuel Zelaya.
of State Hillary Clinton has met with Zelaya and has demanded
the return of the democratically elected politico to power.
between Honduran acting President Roberto Micheletti and
Zelayas people broke down last night. Those negotiations
were geared to creation of a truth commission
to probe why a pajama-wearing Zelaya was ousted from his
home in an early morning June 28 raid and then put on a
plane to Costa Rica.
firm, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, has been hired
by the 21-member Honduran Latin American Business Council
to provide facts relating to the removal of Mr. Zelaya,
according to lobbying records. Davis was a key advocate
for Clinton and was among his most vocal supporters during
the Lewinsky crisis.
AIDE TAKES HIKE
Sawyer, communications director for embattled South Carolina
Governor Mark Sanford, is stepping down Aug. 5 to get a
job in the private sector.
handled hundreds of media requests about Sanfords
whereabouts in the aftermath of the Republicans disappearance
initially released the statement from Sanford that had the
Governor hiking the Appalachian Trail. That was reversed
after news broke that Sanford was conducting an extramarital
affair with a woman in Argentina. Sawyer, a former newspaper
reporter, says Sanfords affair had nothing to do with
public nature of my job might lead some to speculate about
my reasons for leaving, but I want to be crystal clear that
my departure is purely about whats best for me and
my family on a personal and financial level, said
Sawyer in a statement.
Fox, Sanfords cabinet director, takes over.
FIGHTS CONDOM IN SOUP CLAIM
restaurant chain hit by a lawsuit from a 50-year-old man
who says he bit into a condom while eating French onion
soup at one of its locations has brought in Orange County
PR firm Gladstone International.
Mission Viejo man sued Claim Jumper restaurants June 21
in O.C. Superior Court for unspecified damages over the
incident which occurred in April. He claims the condom contained
responded with a statement on June 22 saying that it found
no evidence to support the allegations from Zdenek Philip
Hodousek after hiring an independent investigator in April.
We thoroughly investigated Mr. Hodouseks claim,
the company said. We do not believe Mr. Hodouseks
lawsuit has any merit and will fight this allegation.
is the 20-year-old Laguna Beach, Calif.-based PR firm of
Edition, July 29, 2009, Page 3
CALL TO ACQUIRE RIVAL
publisher Roll Call Group said it has agreed to acquire
Congressional Quarterly from the Times Publishing
Company to form the largest and most experienced newsroom
publications will continue to publish but Robert Perry,
president and editor-in-chief of CQ for the past 12 years,
part of The Economist Group, will create a new company called
CQ-Roll Call Group headed by Laurie Battaglia, who is managing
director and executive VP of RCG and takes the title of
executive leader of the new enterprise.
has covered Congress since 1945, while Roll Call was founded
in 1955 and acquired by Economist Group in 1992.
great majority of CQ staff will make the move,
according to a news release.
acquisition comes as the up-start Politco has gained traction
in print and online covering the inside news of Congress
Times will continue to publish Governing Magazine.
deal is expected to close in the third quarter.
AP TO BUILD REGISTRY TO TRACK
The Associated Press
board of directors said July 23 that the news collective
will build a registry to tag and track all AP
The board said the system
will register identifying information about each piece of
will be built into the content to notify the AP about its
use and the data can also be used for metrics on content
consumption and other measurement.
What we are building
here is a way for good journalism to survive and thrive,"
said Dean Singleton, chairman of the board and vice chairman
and CEO of MediaNews Group Inc., in a statement. He said
the registry allows the AP to protect its work online and
assure its continued operations.
The registry will initially
cover AP text content online with plans for extension to
all member content by early 2010. Photos and video are expected
to be covered down the road.
The news collective believes
the registry will become self-sustaining after 2010.
The registry will function
by using a microformat developed by the AP which
is essentially a wrapper that indicates how
its publisher permits its use online as well as tracking
The AP board also said
it voted to reduce local TV members basic text assessments
by 10 percent next year. Earlier this year, rates for member
newspapers were cut for the second year in a row.
IPG ALUM HEADS GORE TV
Mark Rosenthal, who once
headed Interpublics global media operations, took
the CEO post at Current Media, the holding company of Al
Gores cable/satellite TV venture.
He brought more than 25
years of experience when joining Current Media on July 27.
Rosenthal, who sat on
Current Medias board for the past four years, was
in charge of IPGs Initiative, MAGNA Global, Universal
McCann and a raft of specialized shops dealing with media
buying, programming, content development, retail and barter.
Earlier, Rosenthal served
as COO of Viacoms MTV Networks, where he counseled
on integration of brands such as Country Music TV, Spike
TV, Noggin and Comedy Central.
Current TV reaches more
than 60M households. Its Current.com operation registers
more than seven million viewers each month.
AMAZONS BEZOS SORRY
Amazon founder and CEO
Jeff Bezos posted a stark apology on an Amazon message board
last week after the company removed illegal copies of books
from users Kindle e-book readers.
to the problem was stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out
of line with our principles, he wrote.
It is wholly self-inflicted,
and we deserve the criticism we've received. We will use
the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better
decisions going forward, ones that match our mission,
he continued, signing the note with deep apology to
The action has sparked
a movement among users, librarians and other interested
stakeholders to urge Amazon to give up control of the content
that users load onto their Kindle devices.
MIN EXITS US WEEKLY
Janice Min is leaving
US Weekly with the expiration of her contract on
Aug. 1. The 39-year-old former editor-in-chief of the Wenner
Media property is itching to launch another career.
She is credited with driving
the circulation of the entertainment magazine from 800K
Min assumed the helm of
US Weekly, which is No. 2 to Time Inc.s People,
from Bonnie Fuller.
Michael Steele, executive
editor, takes over for Min in the acting editor-in-chief
TEXAS TRIBUNE ACQUIRES TEXAS
the non-profit public media group set to launch in the fall,
has acquired Texas Weekly, a government and political newsletter.
With the acquisition,
TW editor/owner Ross Ramsey becomes managing editor of the
Prior to taking
over TW in 1998, Ramsey served as associate deputy comptroller
for policy and communications director in the Lone Star
States Comptroller of Public Accounts office.
Earlier, he was
Austin bureau chief for the Houston Chronicle and
business reporter for the Dallas Times Herald.
Evan Smith, CEO
of the Tribune, called Ramsey whip-smart and
one of the three most respected reporters covering
the state's capital.
news continued on next page)
Edition, July 29, 2009, Page 4
ARBOR NEWS SHUTS
Publications has officially closed the Ann Arbor News,
which had been in business for 174 years. Plans to shut
down the paper became public in March.
college towns only daily is replaced by AnnArbor.com.
There will be print editions on Thursday and Sunday.
Champion, AAN publisher, told Editor & Publisher,
that a seven-day-a-week print model just is not sustainable
here. She cited a very transient population and low
home ownership rates as big drawbacks.
dozen people will put together the online news site. The
AAN, which had a circulation of 45K, employed a total of
more than 270 people.
KELLY HEADS WEATHER
Kelly, former head of AOL Media Networks, is the new CEO
of Weather Channel Cos. He is responsible for the cable
channel that is available in 100M homes and websites that
attract more than 40M unique visitors each month.
joins from private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson.
WCC is owned by a consortium of NBC Universal, Bain Capital
and Blackstone Group.
PR TAX IS DEAD (FOR NOW)
"Blue Dog" Democrats have convinced Manhattan
Congressman and Ways and Means Committee chief Charlie Rangel
to remove the "advertising and PR marketing tax"
on Rx communications as a revenue-generating scheme, according
to Michael Durand, a veteran of Porter Novelli and Ogilvy's
saw the provision as a means to fund healthcare reform.
The powerful Democrat believed that disallowing the business
tax deduction on medical device and pharmaceutical advertising
could have generated $37B for the cash-starved Treasury.
believes spirited opposition from the 4A's, American Advertising
Federation and a ton of letters from individuals helped
Rangel see the light.
celebration, however, is premature because "it ain't
over til it's over."
Durand: "Members of Congress still must find nearly
a trillion dollars to fund reform and it seems every major
revenue suggestion, such as taxing employee health benefits
and a surtax on high income earners is trashed by one faction
of congress or another."
is a possibility the marketing tax could make a comeback
so Durand urges all to keep a close watch on the Potomac.
CUTS LOSSES FROM GM
Groupe says its exposure to General Motor's bankruptcy is
$12.8M, a far cry from its initial $150M estimate made in
the beginning of June.
French ad/PR conglomerate says it is now in a better position
to assess the impact of GM's Chapter 11 filing.
firm has now ironed out pacts with both "Old GM"
(Saturn, Saab and Hummer) and "New GM" (Chevrolet,
Cadillac, Buick and GMC).
to a statement from Publicis: "Old GM has signed agreements
with some of our agencies and assumed and assigned contracts
with other of our agencies to New GM."
firm has "received payment of the bulk of our fee receivables
as of the date of the bankruptcy, and GM has committed to
us our remaining pre-petition fee receivables over the next
last month projected a $20M exposure to GM. It has not revised
which was initially banned by censors in some Middle Eastern
countries, is catching on at a rapid clip in the region.
On PR of Dubai reports that there were 12,266 Twitter users
in the Arab world at the end of Q2, led by Egypt, Saudi
Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
UAE is tops with nearly 5,000 users or about 60 percent
of users in the prominent trade bloc of six Gulf states
known as the GCC. Saudi Arabia has more than 1,400 users.
contrast, Spot On noted in its survey, GCC countries had
less than a thousand Twitter users in total last year. Twitter
use in the Middle East and North Africa rose 261% during
the second quarter, enough to raise the eyebrows of marketers,
according to the PR firm. That compares with 100% growth
in Q1 and less than 25% in Q4 of 08.
exciting news for marketers is that MENAs Twitter
community is set to move from thousands to tens of thousands,
said Carrington Malin, managing director at Spot On.
firm found that last year most Twitter users in the region
were Internet professionals, but the service has lately
been embraced by a wider demographic of communications,
media and marketing professionals.
FIRM DRAWS INTEREST IN ZOO BATTLE
Marlo marketing/communications has created a stir with client
Zoo England as budget cuts in Massachusetts threaten to
severely slash funding for two zoos.
firm drew national interest for its client's plight this
month when it suggested that animals may have to be euthanized
if the operating budgets of the zoos Boston's Franklin
Park Zoo and Stone Zoo in Stoneham, Mass. were cut
by $4M as the governor requested. That claim drew the ire
of Gov. Deval Patrick.
Boston Globe ran a story and headline about potential
animal euthanasia above a photo of children watching monkeys
at the Boston zoo.
Fogelman, who heads mm/c, declined to comment on the reaction
to the PR approach before a resolution is reached, but told
O'Dwyer's that his firm has been agency of record for Zoo
New England since 2006.
backtracked from the possibility of having to destroy animals
after the backlash.
goal of the PR effort is to trigger a legislative override
of the governor's cuts.
Edition, July 29,
2009, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
HAS DIGITAL TOOL
Digital has unveiled a proprietary software tool called
Multiloguer to measure new media results and quantify online
service calculates an impact score based on
comments, trackbacks and page views for a particular hit.
It also provides monitoring reports directly to clients
via a dashboard.
service not only lets us track who the truly powerful
influencers are, it allows us to more effectively manage
those valuable relationships and measure the success of
our new media outreach.
of ICR, Westport, Conn., in collaboration with Amanda Flanagan,
widow of ICR executive John Flanagan, have set up the John
Patrick Flanagan Foundation in his memory.
a founding partner of ICR, died Dec. 24, 2008, at his home
in Fairfield, Conn., at the age of 44 after a bout with
than 15 members of ICR and 57 members of Flanagan's family
took part in the Fairfield Half Marathon and 5K race on
June 28 to raise funds for the Foundation.
staffer made a commitment and trained in order to pay tribute
to Flanagan, while maintaining everyday client calls, work
and duties, said the firm.
of WPP, has acquired a majority stake in its Vietnam PR
The acquisition of the Ho Chi Minh City-based shop follows
a seven-year affiliation and coincides with WPP CEO Martin
Sorrells visit to the country. The firm will be known
as T&A Ogilvy JVC and counts 57 staffers with clients
like Amway, Boeing and VietJet Air. ...Red
Sky PR, Boise,
Idaho, has joined the Pinnacle Worldwide network of independent
firms. The firm was founded in March 2008 and works with
the state of Idaho, Meridian Development Corp. and Ski Idaho,
among other clients. Jessica Flynn, former communications
manager for Idahos Tamarack Resort, is president.
Pittsburgh, recently deployed five new websites for clients
including Amachi Pittsburgh, The Event Group, Gallikers
Dairy Co., SRS Energy and Velocity Broadcasting. ...Mercury
Monica, Calif., has launched an Hispanic direct response
advertising practice. Marcelino Muyares directs Mercury
en Espanol. ...Consensus
Los Angeles, has changed its name to Consensus Inc. The
23-year-old firm cited the monumental changes occurring
in the world of communications. ...Trevelino/Keller
Atlanta, has kicked off a social media initiative to support
restaurants and retailers in local markets. Called Dine
and Shoppe, the service uses the Ning social networking
platform to deliver content and services, as well as a community
for restaurateurs and retailers to exchange ideas and insight.
Members also have access to TKs fixed price slate
of PR services for small business on tight budgets.
SMR, New York/People Capital, lending portal for
students to find private loans for higher education, for
Marino Organization, New York/Horizon Engineering,
green commissioning of real estate and construction
projects, for PR for its 11 offices in the U.S.
Booth & Associates, New York/American Headache
Society, trade group of healthcare providers, to build awareness
of the group and increase understanding of migraine headaches
among healthcare pros and the public. The firm has also
picked up Rent.com, a listing service for rental housing
owned by eBay Inc., for PR support.
Communications, New York/Salix Pharmaceuticals, as
AOR for PR for the developer and marketer of prescription
drugs for gastrointestinal diseases. Salix was a client
of the firm but the drug maker had not previously had an
+ Associates, Cranford, N.J./Robert H. Schaffer &
Associates, management consultants, for media and speaking
engagement support, and Fisher & Phillips, for PR for
the law firms Murray Hill, N.J., operations.
Boonton, N.J./SentryBlue C.I.M., incident management solution
for special needs schools, for online marketing, social
media and PR to reach special needs school communities.
Communications, Downington, Pa./EXTOL International,
business integration software, for social marketing and
Group, Philadelphia/Dietz & Watson, deli meats
and artisan cheese distributor, for advertising PR and digital
comms. following a six-way pitch.
Communications, Washington, D.C./The American Association
of Pharmaceutical Scientists, for PR and media outreach
for its annual meeting and exposition in November in Los
Strategic Communications, Falls Church, Va./Economic
Policy Institute, Keys to Literacy, Progressive Learning
and WETA Learning Media, for PR and public affairs.
Brandon Agency, Myrtle Beach, S.C./Lakewood Camping
Resort, for PR and marketing.
Communications Group, Atlanta/Paymetric, secure enterprise
payment acceptance services, for PR following a competitive
pitch. The work includes media placement, analyst relations,
conference and trade show strategies, among other tasks.
Zimmerman Agency, Tallahassee, Fla./HotelsCombined.com,
Australia-based price comparison website, and Intelity,
in-room solution for hospitality industry, both for PR.
Stashower, Cleveland/Flood, wood finish brand, for
a regional PR campaign.
Los Angeles/Ava Living, social network for interior designers
and clients, for PR.
Edition, July 29, 2009, Page 6
REVENUE SLIDES 4.6%
services company Cision posted a 4.6 percent slide in first-half
revenue amid a company-wide restructuring and divestment
of unprofitable units in the face of effects from the global
recession. Net loss for the first half widened to about
$4M from $1M for the same period of 08. [Cision reports
its earnings in Swedish Kroner, which we converted to dollars
American revenue for the first half rose to $58.5M, up from
$50.1M in 08. Europe and its Nordic & Baltic operations
were down from 08.
Stockholm-based company, which markets the CisionPoint monitoring
and analysis platform, slashed 485 staffers including
127 in staff reductions and 358 in divesting Nordic businesses
to tally under 2,000 total by the end of the first
half of 09. Cision said it saw an increased impact
of the recession in the second quarter in most markets,
particularly in monitoring services, but cost controls in
North America helped boost margins in the region over Q1.
Hans Gieskes is optimistic that unloading Nordic and U.K.
businesses will help Cision emerge strong from the downturn.
The company unloaded its U.K.-based Print Monitor business
during the recent quarter and took a charge in a move it
says will return its U.K. operations to profitability by
2010. Gieskes noted the successful rollout of CisionPoiint
in the U.S. and the transition of its U.K. business to a
fully digital operation.
also benefited from exchange rates resulting from a strong
dollar during the first half.
VOCUS FORECASTS STEADY REST
PR software company Vocus
posted second-quarter revenue of $21.1M, a 10-percent rise
over Q2 of 2008, as the company said it has reached a level
of consistency in the tough economic environment. Net loss
not seeing the average selling prices, renewals or sales
productivity we enjoyed in a good economy, we are now seeing
some consistency in our metrics quarter-to-quarter,
chairman and CEO Rick Rudman said in a conference call,
noting PR and marketing budgets continue to be scrutinized
and tightly managed.
Asked about 2010 by an
analyst, Rudman responded: In a normal economy its
too early to talk about next year, and in this economy,
its way too early to talk about next year.
The company added 203
net new subscribers for Q2, including the NHL and General
Sales and marketing continue
to absorb a large portion of revenue 44 percent or
$9.2M, up from $7.8M last year. The companys sales
force of 148 is expected to grow as high as 165 by the end
of the year.
For the rest of the year,
Vocus expects a similar run. Were expecting
what we saw in the first half to pretty much stay the same
in the second half of the year, said CFO Steve Vintz.
Vocus sees mid-sized and
small business (under $5M) as its key growth area in the
U.S., an untapped market that it believes separates the
company from competitors like BusinessWire which are focused
on large clients.
Handler has returned to PRx Communication Strategists,
San Jose, in the role of president and chief operation officer.
She had served as chief information officer for the Santa
Clara Family Health Plan for the last three years. She was
previously a senior VP at PRx and held the same title at
The Bohle Company.
Lungren, Special Assistant to President George W.
Bush for legislative affairs, to the Galen Institute, a
non-profit healthcare think tank based in Alexandria, Va.,
as communications director. He previously handled messaging
and comms. for the House Judiciary Committee during the
Markidan, previously with Devine Mulvey in Washington,
D.C., to Skadaddle Media, Sausalito, Calif., a creative
marketing studio, as communications manager overseeing external
and internal relations programs, managing copywriting projects
and marketing comms. efforts for clients.
Ford, managing editor of e-newsletter Legal Bisnow,
to Hellerman Baretz Communications, Washington, D.C. An
attorney, Ford takes on a senior A/S role with the firm,
which handles legal and professional services clients.
Van Duyne, who sits on the city council of Irving,
Tex., is now a public affairs director in Burson-Marstellers
Dallas office. She reports to Mike Lake, U.S. PA practice
chief. As founder of BCI Marketing Group, Van Duyne has
handled various assignments for clients like Verizon and
SAP. Elected in 2004, the Republican has testified on the
state and federal level on topics including energy, economic
development, water resources and transit.
Dybul, former director of the U.S. Office of the
Global AIDS Coordinator, to APCO Worldwides International
Advisory Council. Dybul was President Bushs pointman
for HIV/AIDs relief. He has recently been co-director at
Georgetown Univ.s ONeill Institute for National
and Global Health.
Brignac to A/E and Bill
Brozak to senior account representative, Tunheim
Partners, Minneapolis. Brignac joined the firm in April
2006 and handles accounts like U.S. Energy Services and
Mystic Lake Casino. Brozak has been with Tunheim since Feb.
2007 and also works on USES, along with DTN, among others.
Faraj-Johnson, VP for Floridas Ron Sachs Communications,
has been appointed to the Florida Elections Commission.
Gov. Charlie Crist announced the appointment, which carries
a term through Dec. 31, 2011. Faraj-Johnson was comms. director
for Crists predecessor, Gov. Jeb Bush, for three years
after serving for two years as his press secretary.
Edition, July 29, 2009, Page 7
SAYS 863 APRS CREATED
Blow: We are pleased that utilization of the process
is increasing from previous years. And we are confident
that the candidates will be better prepared in the coming
months with the enhanced resources and new processes being
rolled out by the various participating organizations.
program, being conducted by the New York and New Jersey
chapters of PRS, is a four-day, $585 APR Boot Camp
which involves three days of intensive study at PRS h.q.
and then the 3.5-hour test at the Prometric Testing Center,
1 Penn Plaza.
24 was the deadline for registering.
Yann, VP-PR of PRS, has been asked what the total registration
who is not APR, posted a stout defense of it when Steve
Cody of Peppercom called the program worthless
and useless, useless on his blog July 24.
had received a pitch to sign up for the Boot Camp and said
this caused him to take off the gloves about
Cody: An APR is worthless. Its never meant anything
to any client organization Ive ever encountered. Nor
has it ever made one iota of difference in considering a
prospective employees strengths and weaknesses
PR is an art and not a science, there are no hard and fast
rules, regulations, practices, policies or procedures that
a PR professional must study and then prove competence in
some sort of bar exam.
rebuttal traced the history of APR dating from 1964, named
top execs who are APR, and said APR reflects a strong
commitment to professional excellence and provides a distinction
that can open doors to career and salary advancement.
previous PR Society test, which required an afternoon of
writing, created more than 300 APRs yearly from 1986 to
1992 when there were about 14,000 members (vs. 22,000 now).
1996, when there were 17,004 members, 352 became APR.
APRs were won during the six years by members of the Agricultural
Relations Council or the Religion Communicators Council.
No one applied from the ARC and one took the test from RCC
from the Texas PR Assn. passed the test while three failed.
Other UAB members are PR Assn. of Puerto Rico (one pass,
three fails); Maine PR Council (eight passes, three fails),
and National School PR Assn. (37 passes, 11 fails).
are won after going through the Readiness Review in which
materials the candidate says he or she worked on are examined,
an interview is conducted and the candidate takes a 3.5-hour
computer test at a Prometric Testing Center.
previous test, which was used until June 30, 2003, involved
a morning of answering written questions about the history
and practice of PR and an afternoon of solving PR problems.
the assignments was preparing a PR campaign to address a
PR problem or marketing opportunity.
exams were then graded by an outside service at an annual
cost of about $100,000.
APR Requires Writing
Canadian PR Society, which also has an accreditation program,
subjects candidates to an oral test and then a 3.5-hour
written test involving several types of essays including
a description of a full-fledged PR program. Candidates must
have at least five years in PR positions and are required
to have five letters of recommendation including three from
APRs and two from non-APRs and several seconders who
can supply character and professional references.
extensive description of the CPRS accreditation process
is on the groups website but it is accessible only
by members. CPRS puts its entire audit in the public area
of its website.
policy is to defer dues income until earned over the course
of the dues year. Its balance sheet showed $786,959 in cash
and investments as of March 31, 2009 and deferred dues and
conference registration income of $425,620. Dues totaled
$387,288. Expenses for the year were $846,962.
costs of the previous APR program at PRS had resulted in
creation of the multiple-choice exam. Almost all of the
funding of the UAB is supplied by PRS. In the years from
1986 to 2002, PRS lost $2,926,080 on the APR program.
year was 2000 when the total cost reached $591,541 and the
net cost was $441,467 or $1,794 for each of the 246 new
PRS APRs that were created. In 1986, 338 new APRs were created
at a net cost of $89,115 or $263 per APR.
staffer Kathy Mulvihill works on APR. Her salary and fringes
were $88,337 in 2008. APR salaries and fringes in 2000 were
$123,978; professional fees, $207,147; travel,
$30,212, and overhead, $140,363. PRS removed
overhead allocations for 13 categories of spending
as of 2006. APRs cost in 2008 totaled $164,322. Income
PR EXEC TO TOP POST FOR ENSIGN
Nevada Republican Sen.
John Ensigns admission of an extramarital affair with
a staffer has resulted in churn among his communications
staff and the announcement that a D.C. PR firm exec will
be taking over as chief of staff.
Ensign confessed last
month adding that he paid thousands of dollars to the wife
of a staffer and her family after having the nine-month
affair. He resigned as head of the Republican Policy Committee,
a key party post in the senate, but said he intends to keep
Aaron Cohen, VP of government
and political affairs at Kimbell & Asssociates in Washington,
D.C., who previously worked for Ensign, will return to take
over as chief of staff for Ensign with the departure of
John Lopez in August. Tony Mazzola, comms. director, is
leaving that post to work for the National Republican Congressional
Committee in New Hampshire as a northeast communications
director, Ensign's office said.
Rebecca Fish, Ensign's
comms. director at the RPC and National Republican Senatorial
Committee, will take over for Mazzola in the senator's office.
Edition, July 29, 2009,
new multiple-choice, computer-administered accreditation
exam of the
PR Society and affiliated groups was six years old as of
June 30 and its time for a review of this process.
new test, which debuted on July 1, 2003, after four years
of study and a cost of $250,000 (virtually all PRS money),
has resulted in only a thin stream of new PRS APRs (713
in total or 119 yearly). Previously, more than 300 new PRS
APRs were created yearly.
administered by the Universal Accreditation Board which
has eight other members, about 80% of test-takers are PRS
started out as an educational program but turned into a
political party through which non-New York based PRS members
exercise control of h.q. Only APRs have been allowed on
the PRS board for 35 years.
New Yorkers ever take the test. Only one New Yorker is on
the 17-member board, Lynn Appelbaum of CCNY. She agreed
to serve after no one else showed up from New York in 2008
after two nomcom deadlines had passed.
Onofrio of Bethany, Conn., was the previous New York
representative on the board.
attempted to spur interest in APR by scheduling a
$585 four-day APR boot camp Aug. 26-29.
One mistake it made was
sending Steve Cody of Peppercom an invitation to sign up
for the camp on the last day of registration, July 24.
This was the last straw
for Cody, who heads a PR firm that did $13.5 million in
fees in 2008.
He said on his blog that
he has been reluctant to comment on APR because he didnt
want to offend some industry leaders.
But the boot camp
drove him to write that An APR is worthless. Its
never meant anything to any client organization Ive
and is based on a false assumption
that a PR pro should master rules and regulations in the
same way a doctor or lawyer must.
The announcement of the
boot camp said recruits would get instruction in 60 KSAs
(knowledge, skills and abilities). Wed like to see
those and were sure Steve would, too.
While discussing the APR
test, we heard from several PR pros who said the APR test
of the Canadian PR Society is far superior.
Unlike the multiple-choice
U.S. test, CPRS requires 3.5 hours of on-the-spot writing
(including creation of a PR program). There is a 45-minute
oral exam on the day of the test as well as questions about
PR that are answered in writing. There are no multiple-choice
Before being allowed to
take it, candidates must show five years in full-time PR
positions and must submit five letters of recommendation
including three from APRs and two from non-APRs. Cost is
Non-APRs can be board
members but officers must be APR.
CPRS has about 1,800 members
and 485 are APR or 30% of those eligible. CPRS puts its
full audit on the website in the public area.
website of Florida International University, the
employer of PRS chair-elect candidate Rosanna Fiske, is
a good example of freedom of speech in action. Freedom
of thought and expression is the first item on the
schools Values Statement.
So when the FIU trustees
on June 12 renamed the main campus after Modesto Maidique,
who headed FIU for 23 years, it set off a howl of protests
(and some defenses) on the schools website.
Students, who voted against
the change by a nine-to-one margin on the school newspapers
website, complained that neither they, the faculty nor the
alumni had been consulted.
Many of the 69 postings
as of July 24 rapped the trustees for a number of things,
one charging cronyism, nepotism and corruption
at the school and another saying 20 programs were cut last
year and 11 this year and its no time to be naming
the campus after Maidique.
The sharpest criticisms
came from The Beacon, student newspaper.
Online editorial director
Rick Martinez said on July 1 that Maidique hasnt
earned the respect of the student body and that a
$100,000 bonus to Maidique plus paying him his original
salary for five years after leaving the presidency in August
is inappropriate and unwise.
The editorial charges
that students are treated like trash and there
is bureaucracy, politics, and closed
doors all around the campus.
chief spokesperson for FIU, did not return his call, he
its failure to run major decisions by key audiences,
FIU sounds just like PRS. Members (including the Assembly)
didnt hear about the 15-year relocation of h.q. downtown
or the cancellation of the printed members directory
until these had been accomplished.
They are kept in the dark
about numerous other things including the identity of their
own Assembly delegates. Months go by before minutes of board
meetings are posted on the website. Transcripts of Assemblies
are kept under lock and key.
FIU has one thing that
PRS lacksfreedom of speech. The 69 postings on the
FIU website are remarkable for their candor. Almost all
of them are anonymous, needed if a debate is to take place
when remarks could cost a participant his or her job or
PRS created PRSAY blog
in January but its mostly a lot of positive-sounding
announcements by leaders and members. Participants must
There has been almost
no debate about the proposed bylaw changes.
FIU has a big PR problem
and we think this puts Fiske on the spot. She should be
there giving advice to the trustees, telling them to recognize
the existence of students, faculty and alumni and stop running
over them roughshod.
How can a university teach
PR if it doesnt practice it itself?!
proposed new bylaws for the PR Society contain this
snake-in-the-grass: non-APRs can seek national office if
they have more than 20 years of experience with increasing
levels of responsibility or headed a chapter, district,
section or national committee.
Whats left out is
served in at least one Assembly as a voting participant.
Keeping this in would
open the floodgates to non-APRs seeking office since scores
of the delegates are non-APR (non-APRs being allowed since
This is something the
APRs will not tolerate. The bone they throw is that a non-APR
candidate must show 20 years in ever higher PR posts.
For one thing, this would
eliminate just about everyone on the current board.
For another, a PR executive
that successful would probably have no time for PRS. The
proposed bylaws do nothing to broaden participation
in the PRS board.