The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, August 5, 2009, Page 1
Q2 PROFIT SINKS 71%
second-quarter profit plunged 71 percent to $27.8M compared
with Q2 of 08 as the ad/PR holding company said it
felt the effects of the global economic downturn.
company has instituted expense management, cut thousands
from its ranks and implemented other cost controls since
last year. All of our agencies are competitive in
the marketplace and we are active in major pitches at the
local and global level, chairman and CEO Michael Roth
said in a statement.
quarter revenue of $1.47 billion was down nearly 20 percent
from Q2 of 08. For the first half of the year, IPG
revenue of $2.8B is down 15.7% from last year. Salaries
are down 12.2% from Q2 last year.
company paid out $120M in severance expenses over the past
nine months as 4,100 staffers (9%) were cut. It anticipates
more cuts during the current quarter.
H&K FIGHTS DENNYS
Hill & Knowlton is
helping client Dennys push back against a lawsuit
backed by activist consumer watchdog group Center for Science
in the Public Interest which accuses the restaurant chain
of offering meals that are dangerously high
Dennys, via H&K,
blasted the suit filed by a New Jersey man as frivolous
and without merit, saying the company will fight it
aggressively in court.
The suit, filed in Superior
Court in New Jersey by a 48-year-old frequent Dennys
customer with blood pressure problems with the support of
the CSPI, aims to force Dennys to publish the level
of sodium in each meal and place a notice in menus warning
about high sodium levels. The CSPI was in talks with Dennys
over sodium levels that broke down earlier this year.
MEDIALINK CUTS DEAL WITH NOTE
Medialink has reached
a deal with note holders threatening to try to block its
acquisition by TheNewsMarket, paving the way for the deal
to be consummated in September.
The company last month
paid $1.59M of debentures worth $2.65M to the note holders
Iroquois Master Fund, Rockmore Investment Master
Fund, Portside Growth and Opportunity Fund and Smithfield
Medialink reached a new
agreement with those entities last week by paying another
$525K, including a $515K settlement payment and a $10K warrant
payment to repurchase share warrants for Medialink stock
which would likely never have vested.
SPROULE EXITS MSFT AFTER BRIEF
Simon Sproule is leaving
Microsoft after a brief tenure as VP of corporate communications
to return to Nissan in that same title for the Renault-Nissan
Alliance in Paris.
Frank Shaw, who heads
the Microsoft account at Waggener Edstrom, is moving in-house
at the client at the end of August, he announced on his
Sproule was in the auto
industry for 18 years before making the switch in March.
He joined Nissan in 2003 after posts at Ford, Aston Martin
and Jaguar, among others. Executive VP Pam Edstrom takes
the reins on the Microsoft account at WE.
R&C WINS SWEET PITCH FOR
Rogers & Cowan has
picked up trendy candy boutique operator Dylans Candy
Bar following a competitive search process.
DCB has three locations
in New York State, including its flagship Manhattan outpost,
along with Orlando and Houston. Several department stores
and clothing retailers also sell its candy.
Founder Dylan Lauren (daughter
of the clothing designer Ralph and author Ricky) said the
company aims to create a retail experience that merges candy
with the worlds of art, fashion and pop culture.
R&C senior VP Maggie
Gallant oversees the account from New York, focusing on
lifestyle media relations and entertainment outreach for
LAMBERT EDWARDS ACQUIRES BAILEY
Lambert, Edwards &
Associates has acquired fellow Michigan firm John Bailey
& Associates, a Troy-based shop with extensive auto
LE&A, based in Grand
Rapids, bucked a downward trend last year in posting a 22
percent revenue jump to $3.8M with 24 staffers. The combined
firm is said to pass the $6M mark with a combined staff
of 40, although terms of the deal were not disclosed. Both
agencies retain their names.
Jeff Lambert, president
and managing partner of LE&A, said the firms share a
Midwest mentality that has translated well when were
competing nationally against the biggest and the best.
John Bailey, chairman
of JB&A who becomes a partner of the combine by inking
a long-term contract, said the move is a chance for the
combination to move up the ranks among U.S.
Edition, August 5, 2009, Page 2
TOUGHS OUT TOUGH YEAR
the biggest independent firm, reports a 5.9 percent dip
in first-half fees to $218.6M as clients retrench to cope
with the economic downturn.
Richard Edelman reports that on a fixed rate
basis the firm dipped a mere 0.5 percent to $227.5M.
says his firm is doing a lot better than it did during
the prior recession when the tech bubble burst, tossing
the PR business into chaos.
products, healthcare and technology remain strong, while
the financial sector is down.
notes the Washington PA scene has turned out to be less
than what was expected. A weak point: association spending
is down as trade groups lose members and fees.
independent firms revenues dipped 2.6 percent in the
U.S. to $144.6M. Europe showed a 12.3 percent drop to $43.8M,
while Asia/Pacific was down 11.7 percent to $18.1M. Edelman
has trimmed staff by four percent. He said: All-in-all,
things are working out better than I thought. The
CEO remains bullish on the future due to the secular
rise of PR vis-à-vis other communications disciplines.
CREDIT SUISSE PRO JOINS KGA
Tom Grimmer, who spent
more than a decade at Credit Suisse Group, is now managing
partner at Kreab Gavin Andersons China operation.
He is based in Beijing. KGA is part of Omnicom.
At CSG, Grimmer was Asia/Pacific
senior communications chief in Chinas capital city,
and prior to that had headed regional corporate communications
for Credit Suisse First Boston in Hong Kong.
Richard Constant, KGA
CEO, said Grimmer will counsel multinationals seeking investment
opportunities in China as well as Chinese companies looking
to expand outside the Peoples Republic.
POLAND PAYS BGR $200K
The Embassy of Poland
paid BGR Group $200K during the first-half of 2009 to be
its eyes and ears in D.C. The former Barbour Griffith &
Rogers shop advised and monitored U.S. policymaking processes
regarding Poland, according to its federal filing. It also
arranged meetings between U.S. and Polish officials.
BGR chairman Ed Rogers
leads the team. Other members include Stephen Rademaker
(ex-National Security Council) and Robert Blackwill (ex-Ambassador
to India), among others.
BASS HANGS A SHINGLE
David Bass, a PR executive
and former deputy publisher of The Weekly Standard,
has opened Raptor Strategies in D.C., a media, government
and policy consulting shop.
Washington is a
different place now, the right-leaning Bass said.
He was VP/chief development
officer at Luntz, Maslansky Strategic Research in D.C. and
earlier served as managing director at Qorvis Communications.
TEVA SEEKS PR PITCHES
Footwear brand Teva is
looking for background information from PR agencies to potentially
pitch its media relations account for 2010.
The company, part of Deckers
Outdoors Corp., will select three firms to pitch its account
ranging from $5K to $7,500 a month from those
responding to a request for information.
Jaime Eschette, a Deckers
PR staffer, is handling the RFI, which asks for nuts-and-bolts
information like clients and offices, as well as strategic
guidance on social media use and adoption of client-relevant
Firms are invited to submit
information until Aug. 15. Eschette is at [email protected].
MARINA MAHER REBRANDS HEALTH
Marina Maher Communications
has rebranded its healthcare unit as MMC Health, a unit
headed by executive VP Megan Svensen. It complements MMC
Well-Being, which is led by Diana Littman, group senior
The independent shop also
has forged an alliance with AXON Communications, the medical
specialist with offices in Toronto, Montreal and London.
AXON will establish a beachhead at MMCs New York office.
MMC Health has backstopped
its expertise with a five member medical advisory board
comprised of doctors with expertise in family practice,
womens health, epidemiology, neurology and dermatology.
The unit has added VisionCare
Ophthalmic Technologies to its line-up that includes companies
like Merck, Pfizer and Novo Nordisk.
MMC Well-Being targets
OTC, nutrition and personal care products clients. Clients
include Dynova Laboratories Sinus Buster and Allergy
Buster nasal sprays and Zestra Essential Arousal Oils.
SCHENKEIN TAKES PUBLIC RADIO
Robert Schenkein, who
founded and built up a large Denver PR firm before selling
it, has been named VP of marketing for Colorado Public Radio.
The non-profit CPR operates
two FM stations KCFR (news) and KVOD (classical).
Like other public and private radio entities, it has struggled
through the down economy and instituted pay cuts among staff
Schenkein will handle
branding, PR and media relations, partnerships and online
initiatives among his tasks to grow community support, fundraising
and the profile of the organization.
Schenkein founded the
firm in 1973 building it up to a 30-staffer firm with around
$3M in revenue at its peak. He sold the firm to two staffers
in 2003 and it closed down in January amid the economic
NEVADA MOVES ECODEV PR PACT
The Nevada Commission
on Economic Development has moved its PR account to The
Ferraro Group following an RFP process.
The $80K a year pact was
handled by Carol Infranca & Associates for the past
four years and entered a mandatory review in May. New contract
runs to 2011.
Ferraro, led by former
R&R Partners public affairs and government relations
exec Gregory Ferraro, has offices in Reno, Carson City and
Edition, August 5, 2009, Page 3
AGE PUB JOINS IPG UNIT
Donaton, former editor and publisher of Advertising Age,
has been hired by Interpublic to manage its branded entertainment
unit, which is called Ensemble.
venture houses IPG's Universal McCann and Initiative units,
plus an alliance with consulting firm Media Link.
job is to "bridge the gap" between marketers and
the entertainment sector.
is author of "Madison & Vine: Why the Entertainment
and Advertising Industries Must Converge to Survive,"
which was published in 2004. He left the Entertainment
Weekly publisher post in April.
220 ACCEPT WAPO BUYOUT
The Washington Post Co
reports that 220 staffers at its flagship paper accepted
a Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program package, a move
that resulted in a $56.8M second-quarter charge.
The company anticipates
a $20M savings in wages and benefits from the exited employees.
A year ago, 231 people left the company via the incentive
The newspaper division
posted an $89.3M second-quarter loss, and a $143.1M first-half
deficit. Those comparable numbers are $96.7M and $95.5M.
During the six-months
of `09, daily and Sunday editions of the Washington Post
declined by 1.5 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.
SILVERMAN EXITS NBC
Ben Silverman is leaving
his co-chairman slot at NBC Entertainment and Universal
Media Studios to join Barry Dillers IAC/InterActiveCorp.
The NBC network is being
placed under the management of Jeff Gaspin, who was in charge
of cable, digital and Spanish language TV operations.
Silverman is responsible
for developing hits such as The Office and Ugly
Betty during his two-year rule.
NBCs primetime audience
declined 15 percent for the season ended May.
The Wall Street Journal
praised Silverman as a colorful executive whose
departure ends one of broadcast TV's high-profile
experiments in re-inventing itself as its dominance continues
TONIC SIGNS CNN VET
Tonic, a media website
focused on activism and social good, has signed former CNN
anchor Daryn Kagan as a video contributor.
Kagan will host the Tonic
Minute, a segment that features celebrities making a difference
and local unsung heroes.
She is a 12-year CNN veteran
who reported live from Iraq, traveled Africa with U2's Bono
to report on AIDS and famine, covered red carpet events
at the Academy Awards and reported live during the 9/11
attacks. Sunshine, Sachs & Assocs. reps Tonic.
TIME WARNER BUYS BACK AOL
Time Warner Inc. has repurchased
the five percent stake that it had sold to Google for $1B.
The New York media giant paid $283M for the troubled Internet
company. The search engine partnership arrangement between
the two companies is set to expire at yearend `10.
AOL recently installed
Tim Armstrong as CEO. He had headed U.S. sales for Mountain
View, Calif.-based Google. TW plans to spin off AOL.
CABLEVISION SPINS OFF MSG
approved the spin-off of Madison Square Garden, the
worlds most famous arena, in a move designed
to maximize value to its beleaguered shareholders.
CEO James Dolan believes
the spin-off will offer enhanced strategic flexibility
as the two separate entities will have a defined business
focus and clear investment characteristics.
Shares of the cable TV
programmer/operator were up more than $1.50 to $20.51 on
the news. The stock traded as high as $33 during the past
year. It hit a low of $9. Shareholders of the new MSG will
own the woeful New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York
Liberty, plus entertainment venues such as Radio City Hall
(and the Rockettes) and The Beacon Theatre.
The spin-off is to be
completed by yearend.
NYC MEDIA LAB
The New York City Economic
Development Corp. issued an RFP looking for a home for its
NYC Media Lab, a component of Mayor Mike Bloombergs
effort to retain and expand media jobs in the city.
The Media Lab is to serve
as a research center for companies and universities to create
advanced new media technologies.
Patterned after programs
at MIT and Stanford University, the Media Lab will maintain
a database of existing projects and serve as a hub for networking
events and a place for lectures/workshops.
NYCEDC wants an institution
to host, develop and manage the Lab, according
to the RFP. A consortium of groups to run the Lab is acceptable.
The proposal is posted
Deadline for submissions is Sept. 21.
NYCs media business
employs 300K, which is 10 percent of the citys workforce,
and generates $30B in annual revenues.
GOVERNING GOES ON BLOCK
A week after it
agreed to sell Congressional Quarterly, The Times
Publishing Company, St. Petersburg, Fla., said it is peddling
Governing magazine and its related properties.
Governing is the
third and final unit from the company's CQ division. In
addition to Roll Call, it sold CQ Press to Sage Publications
The monthly Governing
covers state and local government with an audited circulation
topping 80K. It also operates governing.com and the Public
Officials of Year Awards.
The Times Co. has
hired investment bank Jordan Edmiston Group to help sell
news continued on next page)
Edition, August 5, 2009, Page 4
EXITS NY TIMES CO.
Mathis, long-time spokesperson for the New York Times Co.,
is quitting her senior VP-corporate communications post
at the end of the month.
is shifting to Standard & Poors, the McGraw-Hill
financial information specialist. Mathis will head up its
marketing & communications operations.
Robinson, CEO of the NYTC, credited Mathis, a 12-year veteran,
for serving the media company during some of the most
challenging chapters in our history.
according to the Dear Colleagues memo, was actively
involved in managing the reputation of the Times brand,
a massive accomplishment, given the massive amount of coverage
the Times Co generates on a daily basis.
Riegelhaupt, VP-speechwriting and internal communications,
is taking over Mathis NYTC post on an interim basis.
PR FIRM OWNER MAKES SPLASH
Patty Briguglio, president
of Raleigh, N.C.-based PR firm MMI Associates, created a
splash July 30 when a photo of her with a finger-wagging
President Barack Obama appeared on the front page of the
New York Times.
The Times said the owner
of the 19-staffer PR firm, a self-described "raging
Republican," challenged the president to name a government-run
program that would be a model for success for Obama's healthcare
The paper later reported
in a blog post that the moment captured in the photo occurred
as the president was leaving and Briguglio and Obama had
this exchange, according to the PR exec: "He said to
me, 'The tax credits would more than offset any tax increases.'
And I said, 'I'm holding you to that.' And he laughed and
said, 'O.K.' And I said, 'No, I mean it I expect
you to keep your word on this.'"
Briguglio said the presidents
PR showing was very impressive, but she thinks
he hadn't done enough to reach small business owners.
NICKELL TO RDA
Karol Nickell, former
VP and editor-in-chief of Better Homes and Gardens,
has moved to The Reader's Digest Association, as VP and
editor-in-chief for its home & garden unit.
Based in Milwaukee, she
oversees Birds & Blooms, Country, Farm
& Ranch Living and Reminisce. The four magazines
have a combined circulation of 4.5M. The unit also publishes
branded bookazines, calendars, newsletters and
Her tenure at Better Homes
and Gardens ran from 2001-06. She was founding editor-in-chief
of Traditional Home and held several posts at Meredith
DOW JONES GETS MONITORING
South African Tourism
has inked a three-year media monitoring pact with Dow Jones
& Company as the company draws the interest of the global
community with the approaching 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup.
DJs PR and Corporate
Communications Solutions unit will monitor mainstream, web
and social media in eight languages for the tourism entity,
in addition to providing analysis and evaluation services
across the countrys 15 target markets arond the world.
South Africa expects more
than 450K travelers for the World Cup, as well as billions
of TV viewers. The eyes of the world and its media
will be on South Africa, said Roshene Singh, chief
marketing officer of SAT.
DJ is owned by News Corporation.
BW DRAWS INTEREST
Platinum Equity, Warburg
Pincus, OpenGate Capital and financier Bruce Wasserstein
are among those taking a look at BusinessWeek, which
owner McGraw-Hill has put on the auction bloc.
BW columnist Jon Fine
reports the potential sale has attracted at least a half
dozen suitors, including on foreign entity.
Evercore Partners is handling
PE, earlier this year,
purchased the San Diego Union-Tribune. OpenGate assumed
control of TV Guide. Wasserstein owns New York
Magazine, The Deal and part of Penton Media.
Bloomberg, Time Inc. and
Thomson Reuters remain on the sidelines, though Fine reports
a BW deal could provide them with efficiencies.
BW's ad revenues are expected
to drop more than 40 percent this year to the $60M range.
WILLIAMS LEAVES S.F. CHRON
Lance Williams, who reported
on the BALCO steroid scandal at the San Francisco Chronicle,
has joined the Center for Investigative Reporting for its
California Watch program.
Williams is a reporter
with more than 30 years of experience. He authored "Game
of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO and the Steroids Scandal
that Rocked Professional Sports" with Mark Fainaru-Wada.
He is to cover the economy,
healthcare, education and environmental beat for CW.
The project is bankrolled
by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, James Irving
Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
CONDE NAST CANCELS SUBS
Conde Nast is no longer
paying for individual newspaper subscriptions for its staffers
as part of a cost-cutting move. The publisher of high-end
magazines also will not reimburse people for single-copy
Staffers were told to
access newspapers at the fourth-floor library of its 4 Times
Square headquarters. If a periodical needed for business
purposes is neither available at the library nor online,
a staffer may expense its purchase.
Ortiz, a Madrid-based correspondent for Reuters,
has moved to Dow Jones Newswires as a columnist based in
London. He covers financial services, debt and equity capital
markets, as well as advisory work by financial institutions.
Edition, August 5,
2009, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
trust for business to do what is right has climbed 12 percent
from a low of 36 percent in January to 48 percent now, according
to Edelmans midyear global Trust Barometer.
in government is also on the upswing from dismal numbers
earlier this year as Edelman reports a 12 percent hike in
the U.S. to 42 percent and 13-point lift to 55% in India,
where trust in business is the highest at 75%. China is
second for trust in business at 60%.
across every industry in the U.S. experienced a double-digit
upswing, Edelman reported. Tech was already on solid ground
and rose to 80%. Previously battered sectors like pharmaceuticals
(up from 39 to 53%) and automobiles (32 to 46%) were notable
contributing to the rebound of trust in companies cited
among respondents included paying back bailout funds, reducing
CEO pay and firing incompetent management.
and CEO Richard Edelman said its a stakeholder,
not a shareholder, world and noted customers (70%)
are the key stakeholders, followed by employees (58%) and
said while trust in business and government previously moved
in opposite directions, expectations that the two institutions
collaborate among the global economic downturn has the trust
in both moving in synch.
significant 55% of the public says business hasnt
done enough to cooperate with government to solve the crisis,
while only 38% say the same of government.
survey found that treating employees well, having transparent
business practices and communicating frequently and honestly
were among the tasks cited that can boost trust in business
over the long run.
than half of Americans think their country is headed in
the right direction, a more optimistic view at 47% than
the British (37%) and French (31%).
the downturn, however, trust is usurped by cost among consumers.
Edelman found that 53% say they switched brands in the past
six months for a lower cost, while 45% switched because
they lost trust.
results are at edelman.com.
PRSC HONORS TECH FIRMS
PRSourceCode last week
released its fourth annual Top Tech Communicators as voted
on by IT journalists.
Top five small agencies
were Dodge Communications (Roswell, Ga.), Amendola Comms.
(Scottsdale, Ariz.), C. Blohm & Associates (Cottage
Grove, Wis.), Sterling Comms. (Los Gatos, Calif.) and The
Bernard Group (Austin).
Complete list is at prsourcecode.com.
New York, has revamped its website, taylorandives.com. ...The
New York, also has a new site, haftgroupinc.com,
which includes commentary and other data on emerging public
Portsmouth, N.H., won a bronze award at the 23rd Annual
Report Competition Awards. The firm was noted for its work
for the 2009 Babcock Power annual report.
& Gendron, New York/Diamond Beverages, for national
PR roll-out of its luxury vodka label Diamond Standard Vodka
(retail: $80 for a 750ml bottle). The launch covers six
months, with introductions in Illinois, Nevada and California
slated for summer following an earlier kickoff in Florida.
PR & Marketing, New York/Pine Brook Road Partners,
investment firm focused on the energy and financial services
sectors. Work includes media relations, executive visibility,
thought leadership development, transaction announcements
and investor relations. PB closed its first private equity
fund in April with commitments topping $1.43B.
PR, New York/Taglit-Birthright Israel, educational
trips to Israel for young Jewish adults, for PR.
PR, New York/Sonoro Audio, German designer of audio
products; DNA2Diamonds, creator of diamonds from pet or
human carbon, and Ergo-Tilt, laptop stands, for PR and social
J. Friedman PR, New York/Cafe Gitane at The Jane,
The Maritime Hotel, and Second Porch, a social network vacation
& Knowlton, New York/Tourism New Zealand, for
tourism PR in the U.S., which is the countrys third
largest travel market.
& Associates, New York/Sheckys Media, online
consumer beauty and fashion site and events company, for
Weston, Conn./The Connecticut Optics and Photonics Association,
for PR, including traditional and online efforts.
Communications, Newburyport, Mass./Agion Technologies;
BatchBlue Software; ExaGrid; SchoolPictures.com,
and Unbound Technologies, for PR services.
Communications, Washington, D.C./Arizona Board of
Regents; National Inventors Hall of Fame, and Connecticut
& Associates, Washington, D.C./Janel World Trade,
freight logistics and other services, for legislative affairs
and political strategy for its environmental projects division.
Group, Reston, Va./Teradata Corp., for PR to reach
business and IT audiences, and Modus21, for media strategy
to reach corporate and government circles.
PR & Marketing, Tampa, Fla./Gemological Appraisers
of America, for PR, including media relations, social media
and community outreach.
Barr Communications, Oakland Township, Mich./Hudsonville
Ice Cream, for Detroit-area PR as it expands in southeast
Communications, Los Gatos/Knome, personal genomics,
to create a communications strategy.
Communications, Los Angeles/The Coffee Bean &
Tea Leaf, for PR following a hiatus after the firm worked
on the retailers account from 2003-06.
Edition, August 5, 2009, Page 6
ACQUIRES WEB PARTNER
Newswire has acquired The Fuel Team after a five-year alliance
between the companies for developing and managing PR and
IR websites for clients.
parent, United Business Media, paid $2.5M in cash for the
acquisition, which could stretch to $4.5M over three years
if earnout potential is realized.
flagship service with PRN is MediaRoom, which allows PR
pros to manage media websites, and IR Room, a similar service
for investor relations. Clients of eight-year-old TFT include
Delta Airlines, Dow Jones Enterprise and Siemens.
for the company in 2008 were $3.5M.
Chacko, CEO of PRN, called the move a natural extension
of PRNs business.
three co-founders and staff of 16 based in Denver are joining
LINING: Broadcast PR company West Glen Communications
says the decrepit TV advertising market has been a boon
to public service announcements in the first half of 2009.
WGC says PSA usage is up 30 percent compared with the same
period of 08.
Annette Minkalis, executive
VP at West Glen, says everyone knew fewer ads means more
time for PSAs, but she says her company was stunned
by the dramatic increase.
She added that PSAs are
also airing in better time slots as ad sales for prime time
and other premium day parts are down providing an opportunity
for non-profits to get a message on air on a limited budget.
PORTAL: Marketwire and New Jersey PR firm Green Room
PR have launched a news content distribution site for journalists,
to host material for TV, print, radio and online reporters.
The content, which can
range from PR and matt releases to VNRs, SMTs, fact sheets
and backgrounders, is optimized for social media use.
Marketwire VP Bernadette
Lee says the site is intended to help journalists who have
to do more with less.
POINT: Cision has signed cruise ship operator Holland
America Line and UCLAs office of media relations as
clients for its PR software.
communications department is using the CisionPoint software
for various PR tasks and is also utilizing Cisions
social media monitoring platform. UCLAs 13-person
media relations office is using CP for tasks like media
research, monitoring and analytics.
Business Wire has promoted nine-year BW veteran Raschanda
Hall to global media relations manager for the company.
Hall has served on the boards of the National Association
of Black Journalists, Black PR Society of Chicago and The
Publicity Club of Chicago. She is a former field producer
and studio crew supervisor for Fox and WB affiliates in
Blundell, VP of corporate and public affairs at Edelman
Seattle, to Nyhus Communications, Seattle, as VP of PA.
Hell also help the firm open a D.C. outpost in the
coming year. Blundell, an attorney who was house counsel
in the Washington State House of Representatives, was formerly
VP of external affairs at Alltel Wireless and Western Wireless.
Irving, CEO of his own consulting firm and former
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information
during the Clinton administration, to HP, Washington, D.C.,
as VP of global government affairs.
Van Wyk, managing director, iCommunity, to Environics
Communications, Washington, D.C., as an A/E. She was previously
PR coordinator for Washington Sports & Entertainment,
parent company of the Washington Wizards.
Valerio Parrot, previously with Simpson Scarborough,
to Widmeyer Communications, Washington, D.C., as a VP in
its higher education practice. At SS, she handled media
and marketing projects for Baylor University, Augustana
College and the University at Buffalo, among others. She
previously worked with the Univ. of Colorado system for
a decade, including assistant secretary of the university
helping the system navigate two back-to-back crises that
attracted national and global media attention.
Hodgson to senior VP for North American digital corporate
and public affairs, Hill & Knowlton. He splits time
between the firms U.S. and Canadian operations after
serving as VP of its Canada digital comms. group.
Koeneman to GM, MWW Groups Chicago office,
overseeing its IR, financial comms., public affairs and
PR operations for the Midwest. She continues as president
of the firms Financial Relations board unit as well.
Rossi to creative director, M Booth & Associates,
NewYork. Also, Nova
Halliwell to A/S, corporate, Andrew
Betts to A/E, consumer, and Alyssa
Persad and Elise
Meyer to AA/Es.
DeCotiis to A/E, R&J PR, Bridgewater, N.J.
Joyce to A/E, Focused Image, Falls Church, Va.
Macht to director of external affairs, CalPERS, the
$180 billion pension fund for California public employees.
A former journalist, she joined the fund in August 1995
as chief of PA after directing PA for the California Integrated
Waste Management Board. The deputy slot is a new position.
Brad Pacheco, assistant PA chief, heads that office until
a replacement for Macht is named.
Edition, August 5, 2009, Page 7
OF FIU MULTIPLY
of the administration of Florida International University
have multiplied in recent days driven by Facebook groups
including one called No to Maidiques Campus
and another started by student Kevin Gurley.
Chronicle of Higher Education reported that nearly
3,000 have signed online petitions protesting the Trustees
decision to rename the campus in honor of departing 23-year
president Modesto Maidique and award him a $100,000 bonus.
bonus would come from the FIU Foundation rather than the
schools $630M operating budget.
Chronicle said Maidiques compensation in 2007-2008
was $562,000 including $40,000 in retirement funds and $50,000
is also to receive his original salary of $478,000 for five
years after retiring this month, said the Chronicle.
posting on the Say No Facebook blog quoted miaminewstimes.com
as saying that the number of administrators at the
nations 25th largest university (and probably its
most Hispanic) has nearly doubled in the past six years
from 377 to 742 and that during that time the number
of professors and those who work in classrooms rose by only
one percentfrom 928 to 933.
has about 38,000 students. It offers a number of online
courses including Global Communications, which
is being taught by Associate Prof. Rosanna Fiske, who is
seeking to be chair-elect of the PR Society.
posting called attention to a charge by the Dept. of Energy
that $50 million was missing in funds raised for the Hemispheric
Center for Environmental Technology.
settlement for $11.5M was reached. Maidique, in a response
to the DE, was quoted as saying the DE made an exaggerated
claim but FIU was able to reduce it.
Miami Herald, which is covering the students
campaign, questioned the travel practices of Maidique in
posting on the No to Maidique blog by former
student Osley July 31 charged that Maidique,
who had the nickname Mitch, traveled in luxury.
The student said he would not contribute to FIU if the campus
were named after the outgoing president.
students said Maidique should decline the offer to have
the campus named after him.
No to Maidique blog noted that FIU received
$2M for naming rights to the Law School Building and a projected
$10M for the proposed Medical School Building but is receiving
nothing for the naming rights of the main campus and instead
is paying Maidique $100K.
trustees should not determine the name of our campus,
said the blog.
funds from Florida were cut 15% or more than $20M because
of current economic conditions. Other state universities
received similar cuts.
THOMAS HEADS MARCOM AT NSSF
Mark Thomas, former PR
manager for Remington Arms Company, has moved to the National
Shoot Sports Foundation, a trade group for the firearms,
hunting and shooting industry, to oversee marketing communications.
Thomas takes the title
of managing director for the Newtown, Conn., group.
His career has included
various stops in the outdoors industry, including PR manager
for Stren Fishing Lines and that same role at Remington,
the firearms maker. He later headed marketing communications
for Outboard Marine Corp and most recently led marketing
for Invisible Fence Brand.
He leads a staff of nine
at the 4,000-member NSSF reporting to senior VP Chris Dolnack,
who praised Thomas knowledge of traditional and new
The NSSF, with interests
closely aligned with the National Rifle Association, runs
a blog to correct inaccuracies about firearms, the
firearms industry and the shooting sports and has
posted a communications kit to its website that includes
talking points, brochures and a PowerPoint presentation
encouraging members to give presentations to local groups.
MARKEY PROBES FORGERY
Congressman Ed Markey
has launched an investigation into a forged letter from
a now-former temporary staffer at Bonner & Associates,
a grassroots lobbying shop, that urged a revamp of the recently
passed global warming bill.
The missive used the letterhead
of Creciendo Juntos, a Virginia-based Latino social service
group, and urged Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.) to push for
changes in the bill to cap greenhouse gas emissions.
The letter rapped the
existing legislation as anti-consumer because it is going
boost electricity bills.
Jack Bonner told the Washington
Post the forgery is contrary to his firms policies.
He noted that B&A uncovered the forgery via internal
checks and then fired the author. CJ was also notified of
Perriello wound up voting
for the global warming measure.
In a statement, Markey
said: "This fraud on Congress shows that some opponents
of clean energy have resorted to forgery and theft to block
progress." He urged all Members of Congress to "be
on the lookout for other suspicious and illegal materials."
Markey, a Democrat from
Massachusetts, chairs the Select Committee on Energy Independence
and Global Warming, which is investigating the matter.
Bonner maintains that his firm does not have any clients
on the climate change issue.
CFTC GETS NEW PA CHIEF
The Commodity Futures
Trading Commission, a key focus of efforts to overhaul financial
regulation in the U.S., has a new public affairs director.
Scott Schneider, communications
director for the Senate Committee on Small Business and
Entrepreneurship, has moved to the CFTC to fill the post.
Schneider advised committee chair Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.)
and served as the entity's primary spokesman. He previously
was press secretary for her re-election campaign.
Edition, August 5, 2009,
year is the 20th anniversary
of Michael Moores shocking Roger and Me
film that depicted General Motors as the heartless corporate
giant laying waste to Flint, Mich., and other cities.
dominant image of the film was Moores failed attempt
to get past guards and PR staff in the lobby of GM h.q.
in Detroit in order to interview CEO Roger Smith.
later gave an on-camera interview to Moore but this ended
up on the cutting room floor. There were other flaws in
the Moore film but it was definitely rock em, sock
U.S. auto business was at that time just entering a period
of decline that would lead to the financial collapse of
the Big Three. GMs employment plunged
from a high of 880,000 to the 38,000 expected in the new
role in this slide is something worth examining.
noted in October 1990 that a new corporate setup left the
GM PR department without its own VP for the first time in
50 years. PR was integrated with marketing and another level
of management was added between PR and the chairman.
autos had a big image problem in the 1980s rooted
in word-of-mouth that American cars were inferior to those
from other countries.
became a huge political/PR football. Separating the politics
from the PR would be difficult but it would be worthwhile.
traders and protectionists battled it
out in Washington, D.C., with Ford and Chrysler fighting
to keep quotas on foreign car imports and protect the U.S.
car industry which was hobbled by soaring labor costs.
big mistake was favoring the removal of quotas on imports,
saying GM would meet the discipline of worldwide competition
through technological innovation and industrial modernization.
He was wrong.
analysis by Gregory Hilton said sales of small cars by Toyota
and Honda skyrocketed because GM could not compete
on price or quality.
opinion went against U.S. cars and PR was unable to stop
it. Expensive foreign cars became fashionable. Marketing
mistakes were made by GM such as blurring the lines between
its five previously distinct linesCadillac, Buick,
Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Chevrolet. Each put out a variety
of models. Chevrolet eventually marketed more than 50. Cadillacs
share of the premium market fell from 85% to 15%. Chevrolet
sold high-end cars while Cadillac put out compacts.
of words were traded in the past week or so about
the worth of the PR Societys 45-year-old APR program.
Harsh criticism came from
two partners of Peppercom, a $13 million PR firm noted for
Steve Cody hammered the
APR process as worthless and Ed Moed added that
PR skill is not something measurable on a test but is learned
through hands on, real life experience. He looks for
candidates who are smart and creative. As a
final knock, Moed echoed Codys comment that no client
ever mentioned APR.
Their arguments fell on
deaf ears at PRS. Chair Mike Cherenson wondered on PRSAY
why anyone should even listen to the two agency principals.
We find it fascinating that the heads of a single
big-city agency presume that their views are somehow defining
for others, said Cherenson. This is the vintage PRS
attitudeunless there are pickets outside PRS h.q.
and thousands of letters and e-mails are arriving, there
is no need to make any changes or listen to anyone. Arguments
by individuals dont countonly mass demonstrations.
Cody and Moed are also
knocked for being against self improvement, learning
and recognition for those efforts. This begs the question
since the issue is whether the APR process involves learning
much that is worthwhile and whether APR deserves any recognition.
But the salient part of
Cherensons defense of APR was this sentence. APR is
a community of professionals who are dedicated to
mentoring, sharing and building the industrys knowledge
Right! Its a political
party, a brotherhood/sisterhood within PRS that has had
tight control of board and officer posts and PRS spending
since the mid-1970s. It blew $2.9M on the APR sacred
cow from 1986-2002.
We had to laugh at Cherensons
mention of APRs meeting standards of ethical decision-making.
The APRs are the single most unethical group we have ever
encountered in the business world. Principles of democracy
and good communication are disregarded. Member requests
for information are ignored. The Ethics Board is non-functioning.
PRSs lack of interest in ethics is shown by the spending
of $2,317 on it in 2008. Staff time spent on ethics
in the past three years is zero.
Were Cherenson to live
up to the PRS codes promise of respecting all
opinions and supporting the right of free expression,
he would hold a public meeting with Cody and Moed and debate
the merits of APR.
Instead, Cherenson, like
previous chairs Jeff Julin, Rhoda Weiss and Cheryl Procter-Rogers,
mostly avoids not only the press but members. We know of
no open chapter visits by Cherenson and few by the others.
Julin did not address a single chapter until August of his
point Cody, Moed and others are trying to make is
that PR is a performing art or occupation and not a collection
of rules. No one would use a multiple-choice test to accredit
advertising copywriters, ballet dancers, musicians, lifeguards,
actors, singers, comedians, etc.
We covered advertising
eight years and an ad executive once urged us to take a
copywriter test that would be given in an agencys
We would be shown various
products and asked to provide, within a time limit, ideas
for copy platforms and strategies as well as possible jingles,
catch-phrases, story boards for commercials, etc.
The average person off-the-street
who wanted to be a copywriter might come up with 5-10 ideas,
the ad exec noted. Better yet would be 15 or 20. But a real
creative person would spout dozens of ways to catch the
attention of an audience, he explained.
continues at Florida Intl University, employer
of Rosanna Fiske, PRS candidate for chair-elect.
Nearly 3,000 have signed
online petitions criticizing the naming of the main campus
after retiring president Modesto Maidique, said the July
24 chronicle.com, website of the Chronicle of Higher Education.
FIU Junior Kevin Gurley,
in a Facebook group opposing the name change, said Maidique
should be humble and turn it down.