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Internet Edition, August 12, 2009, Page 1


Britain’s Next Fifteen Communications Group has acquired M Booth & Associates from principals Margi Booth and Brad Rodney, managing partner, in a deal worth up to $17.25M as part of the hi-tech powerhouse’s plan to grow a consumer practice.

Next Fifteen has shelled out $4M in cash to clinch the deal. There is another $13.25M payable over the next four years depending on achievement of performance goals. That outlay may be in cash or payment of up to 25 percent in Next Fifteen shares at the option of the U.K. firm.

M Booth earned a pretax profit of $1M in 2008 on revenues of $10.4M. Gross assets at yearend 2008 were $4.3M. The shop is being acquired with $1.5M in net working capital.

Booth’s shop, which employs 65, will partner with Lexis PR, a top five consumer shop in the U.K., which has just been fully integrated into Next Fifteen. Both firms have shared projects.

In announcing the deal, Tim Dyson, CEO of Next Fifteen, said the sour economy is a “chance to prove to clients the difference great PR can make to the brand and the bottom line.” He believes “recessions are times when you find out which agencies have a future.”

Next Fifteen is parent of Text 100, Bite and Outcast Communications. Clients include IBM, Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft and Cisco. Booth has worked for American Express, Unilever, Remy Cointreau and JC Penney.


Trend-spotter Marian Salzman is exiting Porter Novelli to return to Euro RSCG, where she worked from`01 to `04. She had served as CMO and was one of CEO Gary Stockman’s first key hires.

Stockman says the parting is “amicable.” He credits Salzman for making “an enormous contribution” to the Omnicom shop in the year and a half that she served there.

At Euro RSCG, Salzman is to build its PR practice to supplement the combine’s more dominant advertising and marketing units.

Salzman has been CMO at JWT Worldwide, chief strategy officer at Euro RSCG, president of Young & Rubicam’s Intelligence Factory, worldwide director of TBWA’s “Department of the Future” and director of consumer insights and emerging media at ChiatDay. She wrote and co-wrote 15 books on marketing trends.


Cassidy & Assocs. has inked a $700K contract with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to communicate to the Obama Administration and Congress its vision on what the bilateral diplomatic relationship should be.

The Interpublic unit dropped a $1.2M contract with Pakistan in Nov. 2007 following the declaration of emergency rule by then-President Pervez Musharraf. Two months ago, Cassidy picked up the Council on Pakistan Relations of Southfield, Mich., which advocates for a better understanding of Pakistan and more trade.

Cassidy’s new contract aims to “promote the evolution of U.S. policy in favor of Pakistan’s specific goals.”

After Sept. 1, Cassidy or Pakistan’s Embassy can terminate the agreement upon three months notice.


Mark Penn’s Penn, Schoen & Berland Assocs., which is part of Ireland’s WPP, has been hired by Barclays, the big British bank, to gauge its image in the marketplace in the aftermath of the global financial meltdown.

A British PS&B staffer confirmed working for Barclays on a “research project only.” Sister shop Burson-Marsteller is not involved with Barclays, which relies mainly on Brunswick for PR.

Penn is CEO of B-M and was chief advisor for Hillary Clinton’s presidential run.

Barclays is slated to significantly bolster its profile in the New York City area with the 2011 opening of the Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn.


Washington, D.C., counselor Ofield Duke, offered a non-voting board position after the nominating committee picked Barbara Whitman of Hawaii as the official nominee for an at-large board post, said he will not serve as “senior counsel.”

Duke would have been the only African-American on the board and only the fourth African-American on the board in the 62-year history of the society.

Duke told the NL: “I have e-mailed word to William Murray, Rhoda Weiss and Gary McCormick that since a controversy has erupted over the Society’s nominating committee transparency, objective set of criteria, and fairness in the selection of the winning candidate for the at-large position, of which I was one of the candidates, I have declined chair-elect Gary McCormick’s gracious invitation to serve as senior counsel during his administration.

(continued on page 7)


Internet Edition, August 12, 2009, Page 2


Greenpeace announced Aug. 5 that it’s ending its long-running “Kleercut” campaign targeted at Kimberly-Clark because the forest products company has agreed to obtain 100 percent of wood fiber for its Kleenex tissue and other brands from environmentally responsible sources by 2011.

Greenpeace campaigners have hounded Kleenex execs at corporate annual meetings and other venues for years, charging them with “flushing ancient forests down the toilet.”

They slammed K-C for “kleercutting” Canada’s Boreal Forest, a vital ecosystem for caribou, wolves, eagles and 30 percent of North America’s songbirds, for raw materials needed for the production of disposable toilet and facial tissue.

K-C now says by the end of 2011 it will stop purchasing any fiber from the Boreal Forest that is not certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Suhas Apte, K-C’s VP-environmental, energy, safety, quality and sustainability, commended Greenpeace for “helping us to develop more sustainable standards.”

Paul Scott, Greenpeace USA Forest Campaign Director, praised K-C’s revised standards as “proof that when responsible companies and Greenpeace come together, the results can be good for business and great for the planet.” The environmental group claimed a “tremendous victory,” and urged supporters to email the company a note of thanks.


Claire Buchan, a former aide to President George W. Bush and chief of staff at the Dept. of Commerce, has taken a newly created post at Constellation Energy to coordinate its public strategy across several communications divisions.

Buchan, as VP for public strategy at the Baltimore-based power company, will work with government affairs, policy and corporate communications to develop and execute its external strategy. James Connaughton, executive VP of corporate affairs, public and environmental policy, said Buchan’s savvy as a strategist, manager and communicator will be valuable as Constellation moves forward on new initiatives in nuclear and renewable energy, as well as energy efficiency.

Constellation has a pending deal to sell half its nuclear business to France’s EDF Group and has been in the midst of a strategic realignment. The company’s Q2 profit fell 84 percent on various one-time charges to $28.3M compared with ’08. Revenue was $3.86 billion.

Buchan was VP for communications at The ServiceMaster Company, a privately held Fortune 500 company known for embracing Christian causes and ethics, from 1993-2001. She then joined the White House as deputy assistant to the president and deputy press secretary before moving to Commerce.


FTI Consulting, parent company of FD, said second-quarter revenue in its strategic communications division slid 29 percent to $44.6M compared with ’08.

FTI said the field continued to be hurt by significantly lower capital markets activity which hurt its M&A and IPO communications work.

The company also said the global economic recession has led clients to cut budgets for discretionary PR programs.

FTI said the sector began to stabilize in Q2 and was up more than four percent from Q1. It sees a flicker of activity with possible IPOs in Asia and M&A assignments. Across all of its units, revenue for Q2 was up 6.8% to $360.5M. Profit was up slightly to $37.2M from $34.8M in Q2 of ’08 mostly on the strength of its corporate finance and restructuring division.

“The world continued to seek its way from the panic and paralysis that were prevalent during the credit crisis of last year to a more stable environment that allows for deliberate steps to develop strategies and plan for future opportunities and challenges,” president and CEO Jack Dunn said in a statement.

Declan Kelly, executive VP at FTI who chairs FD’s U.S. and Ireland operations, is stepping down in October.


APCO Worldwide has a $420K six-month job to promote Malaysia as a moderate Islamic state opposed to “extremism” and bent on improving ties with the U.S., its largest trading partner.

The worldwide slump has battered export-oriented Malaysia, where the economy is expected to slump five percent this year.

The government projects a rebound in 2010 and wants to put free trade agreement talks with the U.S. back on track. The Wall Street Journal reported those talks, which started June 2006, have been put on hold due to the change in leadership in Washington and the Obama administration's preoccupation with domestic issues like healthcare reform.

APCO is to support Malaysia’s D.C. embassy through message development and outreach to U.S. officials, and think tanks. A “visibility campaign” targeting the business sector is another priority.

On Aug. 3, Malaysia appointed Datuk Jamaludin Jaris its ambassador to the U.S. A former cabinet minister, Jamaludin once headed the country’s national power company.

APCO reports to both Jamaludin and Samsuni Bin Mohd Nor, undersecretary of finance and development.


Jonas Neihardt, a Qualcomm veteran, joins Hilton Hotels Corp. next month as senior VP-government affairs. He reports to Richard Lucas, executive VP & general counsel.

Neihardt handled the telecom’s market access activity in D.C. and the push for the transition to digital TV.

Earlier, he served in the White House Budget Office under Presidents George Bush I and Bill Clinton.

Beverly Hills-based Hilton announced in January plans to re-locate its headquarters to the D.C. region.


Internet Edition, August 12, 2009, Page 3


Southern Accents has been shuttered by Time Inc., ending a three-decade run for the decorating magazine, which published six times a year.

Ad pages were down 37.4 percent for the first half of ’09, according to the Magazine Publishers of America.

The website will continue but its staff of about 20 has been cut.

The September/October issue will be the last. Sylvia Auton, executive vice president at Time Inc. overseeing its Lifestyle Group, said in a statement that “in this difficult economy, we need to focus our energy, resources and investment on our biggest and most profitable brands, so we had to make this difficult decision.”


News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch told investors “the worst may be behind us” during his Aug. 5 conference call in which he announced a $3.4B loss for fiscal `09 ended June. He did warn of a “tough few months ahead.”

Murdoch reiterated plans to slap an online charge for content of News Corp.’s newspapers, a roster that includes the Times of London, New York Post and News of the World. The company’s Wall Street Journal already charges for access to key stories.

News Corp. reported a $320M shortfall to $466M in operating profit at its newspaper and information services group. Revenues dipped there to $5.9B from $6.2B.


Advance Publications’ Newhouse Newspapers group is dropping its long-standing no-layoff policy in consideration of the newspaper recession, according to Editor and Publisher.

The new policy goes into effect in six months, covering 20 dailies such as the Staten Island Advance, Times-Picayune (New Orleans), The Oregonian (Portland) and Star-Ledger (Newark).

Steve Newhouse, chairman of the newspaper group, said the old policy covered economic conditions and the development of new technologies.

The no-layoff policy, according to Newhouse, “became a deterrent to actions that could actually save the daily newspapers and jobs for the majority of employees.”

Advance has been offering buyouts to staffers and putting furloughs into effect.


Pierre Sutton, chairman of Inner City Broadcasting, urged President Obama to throw a lifeline to minority media that are struggling with the economic downturn.

In a New York Daily News op-ed piece, Sutton said African-Americans and Latinos, who comprise 28 percent of the population, are hurt as minority radio stations are dealt an economic body blow.

Banks and other lenders are becoming “de facto owners of the nation’s airwaves, driving out diversity,” while the new Arbitron ratings system is dramatically undercounting minority listeners and driving advertisers from minority-owned stations, according to the piece.

Sutton says new laws are not needed to bolster minority stations. He wants the Treasury Dept. to earmark funds already allocated for the Trouble Asset Relief Program for bank and auto bailouts sent the way of troubled radio stations. Bridge financing or government-backed loans are another avenue of opportunity.

Concludes Sutton: “Minority radio stations aren’t failing businesses begging for handouts; they’re healthy enterprises, beset by a perfect storm of bad circumstances that are in need of a lifeline. At a time when millions of African-Americans and Latinos need information and opportunities to get jobs and build businesses, let’s not pull the plug on black and Hispanic radio.”

The Podesta Group handles PR for Sutton’s ICB.


News coverage in The Tennessean is not for sale, according to editor Mark Silverman, who penned an editorial in the Sunday, Aug. 9 edition of the paper amid a PR controversy in the city.

Silverman’s assertion followed local TV news reporting (and more detailed follow-up by the Tennessean) on an open-ended PR contract between a Nashville development entity and PR firm McNeely Pigott & Fox, which was hired to build support for a convention center project among the public and media like the Tennessean.

The PR pact has drawn much scrutiny because it ballooned from a contract capped at $75K into an open-ended deal in the hundreds of thousands.

A TV report by Channel 5 suggested and local blogs ran with the idea that a favorable column in the paper about the convention center project was “bought” through the PR deal and the chatter built up enough for Silverman to respond.

The TV report showed a copy of a Tennessean column by Gail Kerr favorable toward the convention center along with PR records that showed MP&F staff had contacted the columnist.

“The inference was clear: The city paid the PR firm thousands of dollars to get Gail to write a positive column,” said Silverman. “Well, the world doesn’t work that way. And Channel 5 should know better.”

Silverman noted that the TV report did not show that the PR firm contacted Channel 5 reporters on at least nine occasions, along with several other media outlets.

“Were the reporters at those outlets coerced? Were they paid off? Silverman asked. “Of course not.” He also pointed to the paper’s comprehensive coverage of the project and its various aspects and stages and invited readers to attend a news meeting of the paper.

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean suspended the PR contract after members of the city council raised objections over costs.

City auditors are reviewing the PR invoices and all future expenditures are subject to their approval.

“It’s a couple of disgruntled council members grasping for issues,” Ike Pigott told the Tennessean.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, August 12, 2009, Page 4


Jason Stein, former publisher of Automotive News’ European edition, has been named editor of Crain Communications tabloid Automotive News.

He takes over for David Sedgwick, six-year editor who has left the publication.

Stein, 37, directs the newsweekly’s staff of 40 reporters and editors from Detroit.

Crain shuttered the Munich-based European edition in March but maintains an online edition and runs AN events covering Europe.


Getty Images has blasted the charges against its freelance photographer Majid Saeedi, who has been detained in Iran.

Saeedi was arrested with dozens of other journalists in the wake of Iran’s disputed election.

The Iranian News Agency said Saeedi and another photographer had confessed to taking pictures and sending them to “enemy news agencies.”

“Majid is simply a diligent and committed photojournalist who documented the reality he observed,” Getty said in a statement with its PR firm, Edelman. “He is being charged for merely doing his job.”


Google is acquiring On2 Technologies, a video-compression company, in a deal worth more than $100M in stock.

The acquired technology enables a quicker transfer of big video files and high-definition video playback on mobile devices.

Google owns YouTube.


The Los Angeles Times media group has tapped a trio of key executives with the idea of increasing revenues at the Tribune Co. operation.

Scott McKibben, who was executive VP and chief revenue officer, is shifting to the new post of executive VP of strategic partnerships.

John O’Loughlin, executive VP of targeted media and chief marketing officer, is now executive VP of advertising, responsible for digital, classified and display buys.

Dawn Girocco, senior VP of advertising, is now senior VP at the Tribune Media Group. She is in charge of cross-media and cross platform revenue opportunities.


5W Public Relations chief Ronn Torossian is praised as one of the “youngest and most successful CEOs in the field” in a three-page feature that ran Aug. 5 in the Jerusalem Post.

Torossian, who set up shop six years ago in a shed atop Tzell Travel in midtown Manhattan, presides over a firm that generated $11.9M in `08 fees. Secret to his success: “I don’t get very much sleep.”

Torossian, 34, told the JP that Avi Weiss, an activist American rabbi, was among his first mentors in PR. Weiss stressed the importance of being “as close as you can to the cameras to further your message.”

The JP profiles Torossian’s strong support for Israel and the Jewish community, which he vows to help “in any way I can, whether spiritual or material.”

He tips his cap to the PR prowess of Al Jazeera, the Arab satellite TV network, and President Obama, whom he calls “a disaster” and “PR genius.”

Torossian believes Israel does a poor job of PR, specifically knocking the government for failing to make its case during the conflict in Gaza. On Gaza: “This isn’t a war between two equals; it’s a war between a civilized democratic nation and a group of murderers and terrorists.” He noted that Israel “doesn’t use PR companies because it doesn’t spend the money.” He recommends a “private initiative” to fight the propaganda war on Israel’s behalf.

5W is successful, according to Torossian, because it is staffed by people who work hard and possess a “killer and winning” attitude. Staffers tend to the needs of clients as if they were members of the family. They know how to shape a story, craft a message and deliver what the media want in a timely fashion, said Torossian during his interview at the Tel Aviv Hilton.

Torossian knows some PR people accuse him of being a self-promoter. “Jealousy will always exist, but we work hard and thank God succeed,” he said.


Radio Shack is launching “The Shack” as a new brand platform with the goal of achieving a more contemporary image for the chain of 4,450 electronics stores.

Lee Applebaum, chief marketing officer, notes that many Radio Shack fans and investors already use “The Shack” as short-hand for the brand in the same way that people refer to Federal Express as FedEx.

The Fort Worth-based company decided to “embrace that fact and share it with the world.”

Sausalito, Calif.-based Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners kicked off an integrated TV, print and digital campaign to support “The Shack.”


Anne Wexler, founder of D.C. firm Wexler & Walker, died on Aug. 7 after a bout with cancer. She was 79. An assistant to President Jimmy Carter, Wexler was said to be the first woman to own a lobbying firm when she set up W&W in 1981 with former Congressman Bob Walker. It is now part of Hill & Knowlton.

She served four years in the Carter administration as Assistant to the President for Public Liaison and as Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce. She was also senior advisor to the first female Vice Presidential nominee, Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, as well as the Clinton/Gore transition team.

“She was a tireless worker, helping to ensure that all had both the opportunity and the tools necessary to fulfill their personal and professional dreams,” said H&K vice chairman Norman Minetta.

A memorial service will be held at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on October 20, 2009.

Internet Edition, August 12, 2009, Page 5


Michael Meehan, who was hired with great fanfare by BGR Holding in March 2008 to demonstrate a new bipartisanship at the Republican shop and to build a PR unit, has split.

He has established Blue Line Strategic Communications with fellow BGR alum David DiMartino, according to a report in the National Journal. They will maintain a strategic partnership with BGR. Meehan, the former chief of staff to Sen. Maria Cantwell and national political director for ex-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, worked in the House and Senate for 22 years. BGR, the former Barbour Griffith Rogers, pitched Meehan as its first top Democratic hire.

DiMartino was an aide to Sens. Ben Nelson, Cantwell and John Kerry.

Blue Line handles crisis communications, media relations, business and political communications.

According to Meehan’s LinkedIn bio, the name Blue Line “is a nod to our Democratic roots. Blue Line is a nod to our love of hockey and the intensity in which we fight for clients.”


New York-based DKC said revenue for its digital services unit, including work like blog creation and social networking strategy, is up 50 percent during the second quarter.

The practice, called DKC Connect, is headed by James Gregson. It has built Twitter communities for the Golf Channel and Sprint’s NASCAR sponsorship, and developed Facebook networks for Paul Franka and the Carlton Hotel.

Projects in development include a website for adventurer Josh Bernstein and syndication company King Features.

DKC posted revenue of $22.4M last year, including $3.4M in tech PR.


Zocalo Group, a division of Ketchum, has unveiled a Digital Footprint Index, a tool to measure social media.

Zocalo says the DFI can pinpoint where consumers engage with a brand, identify the social media channels used, gauge the impact of SM efforts and track progress over time, among other capabilities.

The index measures three tenets of a brand’s online presence: height, or quantity of conversation; width, the level of consumer engagement across channels, and depth, level of message “saturation” and sentiment or tone. A white paper is on the Zocalo site,

BRIEFS: Jaymie Scotto & Associates, New York, and Carlton Baxter Communications, Belfast, No. Ireland, have aligned to collaborate on client work. HS&A handles telecom and tech information clients while CBC works on corporate and consumer clients. The Leyden Communications Internet Marketing and PR Group, based in Israel, has opened a London office. The firm was founded in New York in 1982.


New York Area

French/West/Vaughan, New York/Melitta USA, for PR touting a new line of coffee products.

Syndicate, New York/EVISU, denim fashion label, for international PR; BoConcept, furniture and home design retailer, for PR and marketing, and East, a new Hollywood eatery, for PR. Syndicate’s Los Angeles office is also handling the latter two accounts.

Anne Klein Communications Group, Mount Laurel, N.J./Univ. of the Sciences in Philadelphia, for a media relations program targeting four-state region.


LaVoie Group, Salem, Mass./Cardioxyl Pharmaceuticals, to oversee communications and serve as AOR for PR. CP’s lead candidate, a heart failure drug, is in clinical trials.

March Communications, Boston/Art of Defense GmbH, German web security company, for PR in the U.S.

Strategic Communications Group, Silver Spring, Md./Associates in Radiation Oncology, Virginia-based radiation therapy for cancer treatment, for PR, a renewal of the account.

Arketi Group, Atlanta/Premier Logic, application development and consulting, as AOR.

Republica, Miami/Aetna, to guide a pilot Hispanic communications effort in the South Florida market to focus on potential consumers for individual health plans, including advertising, media planning and buyingh, direct mail, events and PR.

The Zimmerman Agency, Tallahassee/Firehouse Subs, 360-unit fast food chain in 14 states, for PR. TZA will support the company’s push to 300 restaurants in 2009.


Levenson & Brinker PR, Dallas/Texas Ballet Theater, as AOR for PR. The ballet company has been in residence in Fort Worth for 49 years.


Publicis Consultants | PR, Seattle/XanGo, for PR for its consumer brands like XanGo Juice and Glimpse Topical Skin Nutrition, as well as product launches and corporate initiatives. PC picked up the business after a competitive review with a unanimous vote from XanGo.

The Bateman Group, San Francisco/Little Kids Rock, non-profit music program supporting underfunded schools, as AOR for PR on a pro bono basis.

MSR Communications, San Francisco/Faculte, online video presentation software, as AOR.

Tellem Worldwide, Malibu, Calif./Jump for the Cause, skydiving fundraising group, and Groovaloo, dance show, for PR and marketing.

Lages & Associates, Irvine, Calif./Teridian Semiconductor, for a strategic PR campaign targeting media and industry analysts.

Cohn & Wolfe, Los Angeles/iconmobile, mobile business solutions, as AOR for the U.S. C&W notes it is the office’s second big win recently after picking up AOR duties for digital game producer Ubisoft.

Internet Edition, August 12, 2009, Page 6


Mike Cavender has been promoted to VP of client solutions at Medialink Worldwide.

The former chairman of the Radio-Television News Directors Association and ex-CBS news director joined the broadcast and digital PR company three years ago.

Jack Serpa, senior VP for client solutions, called Cavender a “highly regarded advisor to our clients as well as our company.”

Cavender was a VP and news director for CBS affiliates in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Tampa and Nashville.


eReleases, an online press release distribution and services company, is touting five reasons press releases should be in any company’s recession survival plan.

First is “out of sight out of mind.” The company says clients can invest in maintaining a public presence and attract business with a steady stream of releases.

Second, eReleases says news releases are as close to shoestring as a company can get for marketing and PR.

Third, the company says the slowdown won’t last forever and clients will need to account for what they did during the downturn. Issuing releases provides a “consistent thread of commmunication” to view when the economy picks up, eReleeases said.

Fourth, it said any positive message is a glimmer of hope as media look for stories to “cut through the melancholy.” And fifth, releases were said to be a “self-contained PR campaign,” especially when optimized for the web.


More than half of the Fortune 100 is active on Twitter, while smaller percentages are engaged on Facebook and blogging, according to a study by Burson-Marsteller and Proof Digital Media.

At some point in 2009, Twitter passed blogging as the platform of choice as 54 of the Fortune 100 were found to be using the microblogging service to reach stakeholders. That compares with 32% using more traditional blogs and 29% using Facebook "fan" pages.

Not surprisingly, technology companies like Cisco, Microsoft, Dell and IBM are the most active on Twitter and blogs.

Most of the Twitter accounts (94%) among the top 100 companies are being used to distribute news updates and press releases, while 67% are at least partially serving a customer service function, the study found. Other uses include marketing promotions and employee recruitment.

The firms conducted the study from July 2-17.

BRIEFS: The LuMaxArt Stock Image Collection of 40K-plus stock images is being made available via ...TEKgroup International and the PR Society have renewed their pact for TEK to provide online media room services. The relationship started in 2005.



Mark Kitchens, former senior VP for communications and strategy at AARP, has moved to the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the D.C. non-profit started by Ted Turner and ex-Sen. Sam Nunn focused on curbing the spread of nuclear and biological weapons. Kitchens had been with AARP since 2005. He takes over for Brook Anderson at NTI, who left the non-profit to serve as chief of staff and counselor to the U.S. mission to the United Nations. She had been at NTI since 2001. Kitchens is a veteran of the recent Iraq war (Navy) and a former deputy press secretary to Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and President Bill Clinton. He previously was a deputy managing director at Public Strategies Inc.

Michele Fox, A/S, Schwartz Communications, to Louder Than Words, Waltham, Mass., as an A/D. LTW specializes in “social benefit” PR for both non-profit and for-profit entities. At Schwartz, Fox handled Surfaid International and Disabled Sports USA. She started out in publicity at Warner Bros. Records and was PR coordinator for the All Star Cafe in New York.

Judy Galliher, PR and marketing consultant, to United Educators, Chevy Chase, Md., as director of communications. She was previously VP of marketing and comms. for healthcare company ValueOptions.

Whitney Van Wyk, managing director at iCommunity, to Environics Communications, Washington, D.C., as an A/E.

Michael Bracken, former business development manager at Kuno Creative, to Stevens Baron, Cleveland, Ohio, as VP for digital and social communications. He was previously at Beckett LogiSync and started his career at NASA in the mid-1990s handling media and community outreach.

Terresa Zimmerman, client director for Landor Associates in San Francisco, to Siegel+Gale, Los Angeles, as a strategy director. She has been at Doremus, Brodeur and Porter Novelli.


Dallas Lawrence, VP for digital media at Levick Strategic Communications, has been named chair of the firm’s digital and social media pratice group. Richard Levick, president and CEO, said “every crisis, every litigation battle, and every public affaris campaign is being won or lost at the crossroads of the digital space.” Lawrence previously was VP of new media for the National Association of Manufacturers in D.C.

David Montalvo, who heads New York-based JB Cumberland PR’s green division, has left the firm to enter the master’s program at City Univ. of New York Graduate School of Journalism.


Internet Edition, August 12, 2009, Page 7


“As a matter of conscience, there are some principles of fairness, justice and integrity that should not and cannot be compromised, especially by a national organization that advocates ethics and transparency in the professional practice of public relations,” Dukes continued.

Rochelle Ford Defends Nomcom

Rochelle Ford, Ph.D., of Howard University, the only African-American on the 21-member nominating committee, said the committee acted fairly and that there are several ways to define “diversity.”

She said diversity will be represented on the 2010 board by Rosanna Fiske, who has emphasized her Hispanic background (but whose bio notes she is also Jewish, Chinese and French). Fiske’s expected election as chair-elect will be a “giant step” in diversity for the Society, Ford said.

She is associate dean, Research and Academic Affairs, John H. Johnson School of Communications, Howard University, Washington, D.C.

Paul Decries Lack of African-Americans

New York counselor Michael Paul, who earlier this year berated the Society for not having any people of color on the board, said that the leadership of a national group such as PRS should reflect the population of the nation which is about 12% African-American.

Therefore, he said, there should be at least one black on the board. The diversity issue is not solved by just having Rosanna on the board, he said.

Paul met with Cherenson and Murray earlier this year in an effort to have the board appoint one or more black senior counsels to the 2009 board.

No such appointment or appointments were ever made.

Paul said the Society has simply not reached out to numerous qualified executives of color that would help PRS to reflect the make-up of America.

He wondered why Ford herself is not on the Society’s board.

“The PR Society, as the conscience of American business, must set an example for the rest of the country,” he said.

As for arguments that there is a lack of qualified black candidates for the PRS board, Paul said he could introduce the Society to hundreds of such candidates from numerous industries.

“Ethical lapses are the root cause of the current economic collapse and the PR profession, more than any other, should be the leader in ethical behavior,” said Paul.

Nomcom Members Listed

Members of the nominating committee included 2005 president Judith Phair; Michael Herman, College of Fellows; Joseph Trahan, counselor of McDonough, Ga., and co-chair of the 2007-2008 anniversary committee; Betsy Plank, 1973 president representing the past presidents; Douglas Fenichel, APR chair of the New Jersey chapter and Tri-State district chair in 2008; counselor Denis Wolcott of Canyon Country, Calif., and (as ex-officio members) 2008 chair Jeff Julin and Barry Glazer, parliamentarian.


Cossette, the Canada-based marketing holding company that owns firms like PainePR in the U.S. and Band & Brown PR in London, is urging shareholders to delay any response to a more than $72M takeover offer by private equity firm Cosmos Capital.

Cossette this week reported a $17M net loss for the third quarter of its fiscal year ended June 30, compared with a profit of $2M for the same period in ’08. (Figures are reported in Canadian dollars and converted to U.S.)

Clade Lessard, chairman, CEO and president, said “the market weakness was greater than we had anticipated” and noted the group paid out about $8M in severance and other expenses over the past nine months. Net loss for the first three quarters topped $16M, down from a profit of nearly $6M for the same period of fiscal ’08.

Cosmos, which controls nearly 19 percent of outstanding shares and is led by a former Cossette director and officer, launched its acquisition offer on July 20. It is also aligning with another large shareholder, Burgundy Asset Management, which has about 11% of Cossette’s outstanding shares.

Cossette has launched a “shareholder rights plan” to prevent a “creeping takeover” that it says would harm shareholders and not be in the best interest of the company. It wants shareholders to wait until a special committee of the board weighs the takeover offer.

Paine, based in Irvine, Calif., and acquired in 2004, posted revenue of $13.7M in 2008 with 80 staffers, a more than 17 percent increase from ’07.


Tampa-based RFB Communications is handling push-back from the family of infomercial king Billy Mays to news that cocaine may have contributed to his death.

A statement from widow Deborah Mays blasted a press release by the Hillsborough County medical examiner office as packed with "speculative conclusions that are frankly unnecessary."

The Florida medical examiner said the former pitchman used cocaine a few days before his June 28 death, but wasn't high when he died during his sleep.

An autopsy reported that cocaine may have contributed to the heart disease that was the official cause of Mays' death.

Medical officials also found painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs and alcohol in his system.

Deborah Mays said her ex-husband "suffered from chronic hypertension” and was taking pills to relieve pain from a hip condition.

The family is "totally unaware of any non-prescription drug use,” and is considering an "independent evaluation of the autopsy results.”

The Mays family appreciates the respect for its privacy that "Billy's many clients, fans and members of the media have extended.”

Suzanne Boland, president of RFB, reps Deborah Mays.

Mays' death sparked a flurry of tributes from marketers who used Mays as a pitchman.


Internet Edition, August 12, 2009, Page 8




“Mindless” is about the only word that comes to mind to describe Barbara Whitman’s nomination as PR Society director at-large by the nominating committee headed by Rhoda Weiss.

“Dissed” was candidate Ofield Dukes, Washington, D.C., veteran counselor and 2001 PRS Gold Anvil recipient who would have at last given the PRS board an African-American member.

Counselor Mike Paul and others have tried without success all year to have the 2009 board add at least one African-American as senior counsel.

Dukes could have integrated the 2010 board but the Weiss nomcom picked solo practitioner Whitman of Honolulu who is known as one of the best friends of Weiss. We have queried Weiss and Whitman on this but Society leaders hardly ever reply to our e-mails.

Weiss has spent a lot of time in Hawaii working with the St. Francis Hospital system and especially its hospice.

Whitman’s nomination doesn’t make sense in this day when a lot of PR is politics and Dukes has the ear of the Obama Administration. He is working with it on mortgage relief for those who might lose their homes in the recession.

Dukes has operated at a high political level for many years, serving on the staff of Vice President Hubert Humphrey in the 1960s and advising every Democratic presidential campaign since 1972. He advised the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Change, founded the Black PR Society of Washington in 1993, and has taught at Howard University for nearly 20 years.

He has turned down a proposal by chair-elect Gary McCormick to serve on the 2010 board as a non-voting member. Non-voting member?! Didn’t blacks win the right to vote quite a few years ago?

We’re hoping members will put forth Dukes as a write-in candidate against Whitman and that he will accept this.

The nomination of Rosanna Fiske as chair-elect, which we oppose, puts the spotlight on PR “education.”

A debate has been raging on the PRSAY blog part of PRS and elsewhere about the value of accreditation and whether there can be such as thing as “education” for PR.

Some of the best creative minds in the industry have argued that PR is best learned and may only be learned by doing it in real-life situations at the feet of experienced practitioners and is not something absorbed in a classroom or through some book.

They have called the APR process of PRS “worthless” and unknown to any client they ever served.

One reason for the continued dominance of APRs in PRS is that APR is a much-prized “credential” in academic circles and the PR academics, who have a big voice in PRS these days, don’t want to separate this credential from office-holding at PRS. Removal would be the coup de grace, they fear.

We pulled down the five-page description of the “Global Communications” course that Fiske is teaching this summer at Florida International University. It is under “MMC5306Fiske” in the following link: (click here)

Here are the “global issues” that the three-month (May 4-July 29) course proposed to cover: “diversity of news and mass communications; emerging trends in global business communications and media; advances in technology; global sources and systems of communication; cultural contexts; theories of symbolic interaction, saturation, convergence, world-system and electronic colonialism; ethical and legal issues; and the role and impact of advertising and PR in the global marketplace.”

The only other place we have seen such sweeping, fatuous, blue-sky prose is in the presentations of PRS candidates to the nomcom.

The course description sounds like something to be covered over a four-year (or more) college education rather than in a three-month course with only three 2.5-hour classroom sessions—May 6, June 24 and July 29 (6:25 to 9:05 p.m.).

Fiske tells students that her “preference is to be contacted through WebCT e-mail or through discussion boards; that should always be your first option.” Everyone can read the discussion forum postings, she adds.

The first sentence in the course description is that “In a world of globalization and multiculturalism, communication becomes the vehicle that truly brings people together.”

That’s not what we see. In Iraq, the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere we find messages being sent with bombs and bullets, sometimes on a horrific scale such as 9/11.

Journalists and others who speak out face death and persecution such as the trial of dissidents now taking place in Iran.

PRS long ago “assassinated” us, treating us as though we don’t exist. Blockage of information flow is what we often see and Fiske’s own PR Society and Fiske herself are practitioners of this.

We could list dozens of PRS info blockages starting with the unpublished list of Assembly delegates; refusal to PDF the members’ list to members who want it; blocking journalists from joining PRS; withholding details of COO Bill Murray’s new contract; refusal to discuss numerous subjects such as the way PRS reports its finances, the APR program; withholding the transcript of Assemblies from members, etc.

PRS “communications” are often the opposite of what it is doing.

Exhibit “A” is 2009 chair Mike Cherenson who says every member was invited to the 2008 Assembly but is against distributing the transcript to members or audiocasting the 2009 Assembly.

He has failed to appear before the New York chapter (or any chapter) in an open session where proposed bylaw changes can be discussed with reporters present.

The last four chairs of PRS have hid not only from the press but members themselves. Their visits to chapters for on-the-record meetings with rank-and-file members present are non-existent as far as we can determine.

Fiske herself has yet to answer more than a couple of the 11 questions we sent her in early July.

She is in favor of some form of district representation on the board but says the issue is “complicated.” She would definitely not help us to access the PRS member database, which is closed to us because PRS will not let any O’Dwyer staffer join the Society.

This blockage, we feel, is unethical.

Fiske has already been on the PRS board four years and either did nothing or was unable to do anything about its many noxious anti-democratic and anti-informational practices. She signed the full-page personal attack on us in the September 2009 Tactics (the “Ethics” issue).

She was treasurer in 2008 when 57% of PRS’s funds were invested in the stock market including many individual stocks.

That was far too high a percentage and resulted in PRS losing $383,000 in the market and PRS having a loss overall.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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