The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, August 12, 2009, Page 1
FIFTEEN ACQUIRES M BOOTH
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 powerhouses plan to grow a consumer
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SALZMAN SPLITS FROM PN
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 Stockmans first key hires.
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.
Euro RSCG, Salzman is to build its PR practice to supplement
the combines more dominant advertising and marketing
has been CMO at JWT Worldwide, chief strategy officer at
Euro RSCG, president of Young & Rubicams Intelligence
Factory, worldwide director of TBWAs Department
of the Future and director of consumer insights and
emerging media at ChiatDay. She wrote and co-wrote 15 books
on marketing trends.
HIRES CASSIDY AGAIN
& 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.
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.
new contract aims to promote the evolution of U.S.
policy in favor of Pakistans specific goals.
Sept. 1, Cassidy or Pakistans Embassy can terminate
the agreement upon three months notice.
Penns Penn, Schoen & Berland Assocs., which is
part of Irelands 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.
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
is CEO of B-M and was chief advisor for Hillary Clintons
is slated to significantly bolster its profile in the New
York City area with the 2011 opening of the Barclays Center
in downtown Brooklyn.
QUESTIONS FAIRNESS OF NOMCOM
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.
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.
told the NL: I have e-mailed word to William Murray,
Rhoda Weiss and Gary McCormick that since a controversy
has erupted over the Societys 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 McCormicks gracious invitation to
serve as senior counsel during his administration.
(continued on page 7)
Edition, August 12, 2009, Page 2
MAKES PEACE WITH GREENPEACE
announced Aug. 5 that its 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.
campaigners have hounded Kleenex execs at corporate annual
meetings and other venues for years, charging them with
flushing ancient forests down the toilet.
slammed K-C for kleercutting Canadas Boreal
Forest, a vital ecosystem for caribou, wolves, eagles and
30 percent of North Americas songbirds, for raw materials
needed for the production of disposable toilet and facial
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.
Apte, K-Cs VP-environmental, energy, safety, quality
and sustainability, commended Greenpeace for helping
us to develop more sustainable standards.
Scott, Greenpeace USA Forest Campaign Director, praised
K-Cs 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.
ENERGY CO. CREATES PUBLIC
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
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 Buchans 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 Frances
EDF Group and has been in the midst of a strategic realignment.
The companys 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.
FD REVENUE SLIDES 29%
FTI Consulting, parent
company of FD, said second-quarter revenue in its strategic
communications division slid 29 percent to $44.6M compared
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 FDs U.S. and Ireland operations,
is stepping down in October.
MALAYSIA CALLS ON APCO
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 Malaysias
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 countrys
national power company.
APCO reports to both Jamaludin
and Samsuni Bin Mohd Nor, undersecretary of finance and
NEIHARDT CHECKS IN AT HILTON
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 telecoms
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.
Edition, August 12, 2009, Page 3
Accents has been shuttered by Time Inc., ending a three-decade
run for the decorating magazine, which published six times
pages were down 37.4 percent for the first half of 09,
according to the Magazine Publishers of America.
website will continue but its staff of about 20 has been
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.
MURDOCH SEES LIGHT AT END
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 companys
Wall Street Journal already charges for access to
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 DROPS NO-LAYOFF POLICY
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.
MINORITY MEDIA NEED SUPPORT
Pierre Sutton, chairman
of Inner City Broadcasting, urged President Obama to throw
a lifeline to minority media that are struggling with the
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
Banks and other lenders
are becoming de facto owners of the nations
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 arent failing businesses begging for
handouts; theyre 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, lets not pull the plug on black and Hispanic
The Podesta Group handles
PR for Suttons ICB.
EDITOR: COVERAGE NOT FOR SALE
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.
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 doesnt 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
papers 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.
Its a couple
of disgruntled council members grasping for issues,
Ike Pigott told the Tennessean.
news continued on next page)
Edition, August 12, 2009, Page 4
STEERS AUTO NEWS
Stein, former publisher of Automotive News
European edition, has been named editor of Crain Communications
tabloid Automotive News.
takes over for David Sedgwick, six-year editor who has left
37, directs the newsweeklys staff of 40 reporters
and editors from Detroit.
shuttered the Munich-based European edition in March but
maintains an online edition and runs AN events covering
GETTY HITS CHARGES AGAINST
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 Irans disputed
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 MAKES VIDEO DEAL
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.
L.A. TIMES TAPS TRIO
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.
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
JERUSALEM POST PROFILES TOROSSIAN
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 dont 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
The JP profiles Torossians
strong support for Israel and the Jewish community, which
he vows to help in any way I can, whether spiritual
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 isnt a war between two equals;
its a war between a civilized democratic nation and
a group of murderers and terrorists. He noted that
Israel doesnt use PR companies because it doesnt
spend the money. He recommends a private initiative
to fight the propaganda war on Israels 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,
RADIO SHACK LAUNCHES THE
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
The Fort Worth-based company
decided to embrace that fact and share it with the
Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners kicked off an integrated
TV, print and digital campaign to support The Shack.
WEXLER DIES AT 79
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
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.
Edition, August 12,
2009, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
WALKS BLUE LINE
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.
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.
was an aide to Sens. Ben Nelson, Cantwell and John Kerry.
Line handles crisis communications, media relations, business
and political communications.
to Meehans 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.
DKC REAPS DIGITAL REWARDS
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 Sprints 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 MEASURES SOCIAL MEDIA
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 brands 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,
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/Melitta USA, for PR touting a new line of coffee
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. Syndicates
Los Angeles office is also handling the latter two accounts.
Klein Communications Group, Mount Laurel, N.J./Univ.
of the Sciences in Philadelphia, for a media relations program
targeting four-state region.
Group, Salem, Mass./Cardioxyl Pharmaceuticals, to
oversee communications and serve as AOR for PR. CPs
lead candidate, a heart failure drug, is in clinical trials.
Communications, Boston/Art of Defense GmbH, German
web security company, for PR in the U.S.
Communications Group, Silver Spring, Md./Associates
in Radiation Oncology, Virginia-based radiation therapy
for cancer treatment, for PR, a renewal of the account.
Group, Atlanta/Premier Logic, application development
and consulting, as AOR.
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.
Zimmerman Agency, Tallahassee/Firehouse Subs, 360-unit
fast food chain in 14 states, for PR. TZA will support the
companys push to 300 restaurants in 2009.
& Brinker PR, Dallas/Texas Ballet Theater, as
AOR for PR. The ballet company has been in residence in
Fort Worth for 49 years.
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.
Bateman Group, San Francisco/Little Kids Rock, non-profit
music program supporting underfunded schools, as AOR for
PR on a pro bono basis.
Communications, San Francisco/Faculte, online video
presentation software, as AOR.
Worldwide, Malibu, Calif./Jump for the Cause, skydiving
fundraising group, and Groovaloo, dance show, for PR and
& Associates, Irvine, Calif./Teridian Semiconductor,
for a strategic PR campaign targeting media and industry
& Wolfe, Los Angeles/iconmobile, mobile business
solutions, as AOR for the U.S. C&W notes it is the offices
second big win recently after picking up AOR duties for
digital game producer Ubisoft.
Edition, August 12, 2009, Page 6
TO VP AT MEDIALINK
Cavender has been promoted to VP of client solutions at
former chairman of the Radio-Television News Directors Association
and ex-CBS news director joined the broadcast and digital
PR company three years ago.
Serpa, senior VP for client solutions, called Cavender a
highly regarded advisor to our clients as well as
was a VP and news director for CBS affiliates in Washington,
D.C., Atlanta, Tampa and Nashville.
5 REASONS TO USE RELEASES
eReleases, an online press
release distribution and services company, is touting five
reasons press releases should be in any companys recession
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 wont 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.
FORTUNE 100 LIKE TWITTER
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"
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
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 The3dStudio.com.
and the PR Society have renewed their pact for TEK
to provide online media room services. The relationship
started in 2005.
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.
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
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
Van Wyk, managing director at iCommunity, to Environics
Communications, Washington, D.C., as an A/E.
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.
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.
Lawrence, VP for digital media at Levick Strategic
Communications, has been named chair of the firms
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.
Montalvo, who heads New York-based JB Cumberland
PRs green division, has left the firm to enter the
masters program at City Univ. of New York Graduate
School of Journalism.
Edition, August 12, 2009, Page 7
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.
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). Fiskes 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.
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,
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 Societys 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.
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 COPES WITH TAKEOVER
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 Cossettes 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
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
RFB COUNTERS MAYS COCAINE
Tampa-based RFB Communications
is handling push-back from the family of infomercial king
Billy Mays to news that cocaine may have contributed to
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
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
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.
Edition, August 12, 2009,
is about the only word that comes
to mind to describe Barbara Whitmans nomination as
PR Society director at-large by the nominating committee
headed by Rhoda Weiss.
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.
Mike Paul and others have tried without success all year
to have the 2009 board add at least one African-American
as senior counsel.
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.
has spent a lot of time in Hawaii working with the St. Francis
Hospital system and especially its hospice.
nomination doesnt 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.
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.
has turned down a proposal by chair-elect Gary McCormick
to serve on the 2010 board as a non-voting member. Non-voting
member?! Didnt blacks win the right to vote quite
a few years ago?
hoping members will put forth Dukes as a write-in candidate
against Whitman and that he will accept this.
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, dont want to separate this
credential from office-holding at PRS. Removal would be
the coup de grace, they fear.
We pulled down the
of the Global Communications course that Fiske
is teaching this summer at Florida International University.
It is under MMC5306Fiske in the following link:
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 sessionsMay 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.
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.
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 dont exist. Blockage
of information flow is what we often see and Fiskes
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 Murrays 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.
are often the opposite of what it is doing.
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 ODwyer 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 PRSs 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.