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Internet Edition, August 19, 2009, Page 1


Russia paid Ketchum $2.9M for an aggressive six-month media relations program, promoting its leadership and national policies.

That included outreach to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Reuters, Bloomberg, Associated Press, Time, Newsweek, CNN, and the key broadcast TV networks.

The payment — for the six months ended May 31 — covered distribution of the Davos World Economic Forum speech of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in which he ridiculed the U.S. financial system and called for a more global regulation of worldwide markets.

The Omnicom unit reached out to “top-tier global media leaders” to gauge their interest in attending a high-level conversation with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, according to Ketchum’s federal filing.

Ketchum attended and reported on a Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars discussion on “Putin as Peter—Russia’s Re-emergence as a Great Power” and a Heritage Foundation event called “The Russian-Ukrainian Gas War: Lessons for Europe and the U.S.” Separately, Ketchum received $895K from sister company, Gavin Anderson & Co., for work done for Gazprom, Russia’s national energy company.


Mary Lynn Carver, global head of internal communications for AstraZeneca, has checked in to head PR and communications at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the prominent Memphis institution.

Carver had been at AZ since 1998 in several roles, including executive director of communications for the U.S. based company in Wilmington, Del., and senior director of oncology public affairs. Her most recent posting was in London.

At St. Jude’s, she takes the title of senior VP of strategic communications and PR to oversee strategy and manage its PR team with a particular focus on conveying progress being made by the non-profit institution’s labs and clinics.

She was previously communications director in an eight-year career at Source Media before moving to AZ.

Rubenstein Associates represents Manhattan’s Liberty Helicopters, owner of the sightseeing helicopter that collided with a small plane over the Hudson River on Aug. 8. That collision killed all nine aboard, including five Italian tourists.


Deutsche Bank has upgraded shares of Interpublic to “buy” from “hold,” citing the opportunity to recover revenues and margins with an economic rebound.

The ad/PR combine’s second quarter revenues sunk nearly 20 percent to $1.5B as net income crashed more than 70 percent to $28M.

DB analyst Matt Chesler concedes IPG’s “near-term datapoints are not good.” IPG has already announced that it expects “workforce reductions during the third-quarter, which will contribute to further declines in base salaries and benefits through the remainder of the year.”

The company has paid out $120M in severance expenses over the past nine months as 4,100 staffers (9% of its workforce) have been cut.

Chesler sees an opportunity for “patient investors” to benefit from the IPG’s upside margin recovery as the economy comes to life and marketers re-start spending. He credits Michael Roth’s management team for turning the firm around toward becoming “normal agency.”

IPG’s shares trade around $6. The 52-week range is $2.57 to $9.69.


Shift Communications has picked up Club Med’s PR account after a review. New York-based Quinn & Company was the incumbent.

Shift’s Boston office will handle the PR and social media work under the direction of principal Todd Defren.

“We plan to get creative about connecting Club Meb to new and existing fans, and helping the brand to maintain these relationships online even after the vacation has ended,” he said.

Kate Moeller, PR director for Club Med, noted in a statement that Shift has the “scope and connections of a traditional PR firm,” but also adds social media experience, a key factor in the decision.


The PR Society has circulated a full draft of its proposed new bylaws, a sweeping re-write that changes the order of the sections, articles and sub-categories in the bylaws.

Members have complained that it's hard to see where changes and additions have been made and have been promised an annotated version later this month that shows this point-by-point.

Board powers are greatly expanded by the proposed bylaws.

(continued on page 7)


Internet Edition, August 19, 2009, Page 2


Mark Saylor Co. is countering an information campaign waged by the Government of Georgia about its right to rule the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Georgia triggered war with Russia last August when its military moved into South Ossetia. Russia rebuffed the Georgians, and then recognized the independence of both territories.

Saylor’s job is to “counter the expensive and aggressive information war conducted by the Government of Georgia” against South Ossetia and Abkhazia, including efforts to deny them their “rightful status” as independent states, according to its federal filing. The firm is to publicize the “continued refusal of Georgian leaders to renounce violence” against both states.

For South Ossetia, Saylor is to “explain how the Russian military saved the civilian population of South Ossetia from Georgian military forces, and the necessity of continued Russian military support to protect the Republic of South Ossetia from another attack by Georgia.”

Saylor receives a $30K monthly retainer from both clients.

The National Security Council of Georgia retained Public Strategies Inc. in March at a $50K monthly retainer. Georgia recently hosted Vice President Joe Biden.


Abernathy MacGregor Group is working with Starwood Property Trust, the commercial real estate investment company set up by hotelier Barry Sternlicht that went public last week in an $800M-plus initial public offering.

The Greenwich, Conn.-based spinoff of Starwood Capital Group is homing in on commercial mortgage loans and real-estate debt investments.

The IPO, which raised $810M, was expanded from 25M shares to 40.5M on solid demand. The shares, priced at $20, held steady after a small drop on the first day of trading Aug. 12.

Abernathy managing director Tom Johnson issued a statement for Starwood announcing the results of the IPO last week, noting the company intends to use the proceeds to invest in commercial mortgages and related real estate debt.

Sternlicht, who built the Starwood Hotels empire, is CEO of the new entity. Starwood’s $810M IPO was just under baby food maker Mead Johnson Nutrition’s $828M offering in February, the largest IPO of the 14 in the U.S. this year, according to Bloomberg.

G. William “Bill” Gray, founding General Manager of Hill and Knowlton’s Florida operation, died Aug. 9. He was 82.

Prior to joining H&K, he was the head of Gray & Associates. His Tampa-based practice spanned 45 years. He retired in 1987, but continued to provide senior counsel to both H&K and clients.

Harry Costello, GM at H&K/Tampa, called Gray a “true southern gentleman” and a “great mentor.”


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has tapped APCO Worldwide to bolster its efforts to achieve “legal status” in Italy.

During October’s two-day general conference in Salt Lake City, LDS Church president Thomas Monson, announced plans to build a temple in Rome. That temple will join the other 11 in Europe. It would be the first Mormon temple in the Mediterranean.

Former State Dept. hand Elizabeth Jones is working the Mormon business at APCO. She is ex-assistant secretary for Europe and Eurasia and ambassador to Kazakhstan.

Mormon missionaries arrived in Italy in 1850. They were not always allowed to proselytize, according to the church’s site. There are 13M Mormons in the world, about 23K of them are in Italy.

The Mormon Church wants the Italian government to put it on the same legal footing as the Roman Catholic Church. Mussolini granted special status to the Catholic Church. Other religions have since received “concordates” from the Italian government.


Coyne PR has hired Meghan Flynn as director of its food and nutrition marketing communications practice. The registered dietitian joins from Stew Leonard’s, where she was VP-PR.

Flynn has more than 20 years of food/nutrition experience. Prior to Stew Leonard’s, Flynn held marketing communications posts at Kellogg Co. and Tropicana.

She was the first dietitian hired by Burson-Marsteller and handled clients such as Dannon yogurt, USA Rice Council and Planters LifeSavers.

Coyne PR ranked No. 22 on O’Dwyer’s `08 list of independent firms. It had fees of $11.7M, $2.5M of that amount came from the food & beverage sector.


French|West|Vaughan handled negotiations with Time Warner’s HBO on behalf of Nick Schuyler, the lone survivor of a boating disaster that led to the deaths of Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper, NFL free agent Corey Smith and University of South Florida football teammate Will Bleakley.

On Feb. 28, the foursome went on a planned day-long fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico in Cooper’s boat.

When they failed to return, the Coast Guard launched an intensive search, and found Schuyler clinging to the capsized boat on March 2.

HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” will feature Schuyler telling what went wrong. Correspondent Bernard Goldberg conducts the interview.

The show debuted Aug. 18 and will be available on “HBO On Demand” from Aug. 24 to Sept. 14.

Kenneth Bacon, a former Wall Street Journal reporter and top Pentagon spokesman during the Kosovo war who later became a staunch advocate for refugee causes around the globe, died Aug. 15 from cancer. He was 64. His passing drew tributes from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof among others.


Internet Edition, August 19, 2009, Page 3


The Washington Post is killing its National Weekly Edition because of declining circulation and the sour economy.

The tabloid, which was launched more than 25 years ago, has a circulation in the 20K range. That's a fraction of the 150K circ it had a decade ago.

Sharon Smith, editor of the weekly, told WaPo ombudsman Andrew Alexander that her readership is “literally dying off.” Many loyal readers are retirees, Smith noted.

The weekly will end its run at the end of the year.

It contains a mix of news stories, features, book reviews, editorials and opinion pieces that ran in the Post. Cover price is $1.95.


The Kansas City Star has announced one-week unpaid furloughs for staffers through the end of the year.

Publisher Mark Zieman said the paper will also offer voluntary buyouts to staffers, though the number of cuts has not yet been determined.

He believes the move will strengthen the Star, putting it in a better position to capitalize on an economic rebound.

The K.C. Star is part of McClatchy, which has a wage freeze in effect for the reminder of the year.


The Economist is offering single-copy “subscriptions” for home delivery the following day in the U.K.

The “Economist Direct” program is aimed at “casual readers” who don't want the commitment of a yearly subscription.

A person can order a copy of the Economist via online or by text message. The cost is the same as the newsstand price.


Gannett is making the 288 staffers at its Journal News (Westchester, N.Y.) re-apply for redefined jobs that better reflect today’s “multi-platform environment,” according to a memo from Michael Fisch, president and publisher.

The surviving Journal News workforce will have 20 less ad people and 50 fewer editorial staffers.

The restructuring, Fisch explains, requires “different job skills and competencies in advertising sales and the information center.” The goal is to “achieve a more sustainable cost structure.”

Staffers will be interviewed this week and final staffing decisions will be made during the week of Aug. 24. The last day of work for those not selected is Aug. 28.


Sunshine, Sachs & Associates and, an online advocacy group for African-American causes, have gained traction in pressuring blue-chip advertisers who buy time during a controversial commentary program on Fox News Channel to switch their spots to other programs.

The campaign has targeted conservative host Glenn Beck by highlighting racially charged remarks he made toward President Barack Obama, including charges that Obama is a “racist” who hates white people. He also inflamed critics by joking about poisoning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier this month.

Sunshine, Sachs & Associates handles PR for CoC. An account rep didn’t return a call.

MarketWatch noted the campaign has been “one of the more effective boycott campaigns in years.”

Insurer Geico was the latest advertiser to remove its ads from Beck's show on Aug. 4, when the company told its ad buying service to “redistribute” its inventory on FOX to other programs., part of Lexis-Nexis, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance, Sargento Cheese, and SC Johnson have also pulled sponsorship of the program after ColorofChange said 75,000 people signed a petition directed at Beck advertisers. Procter & Gamble and Progressive said they never intended to advertise on Beck's show and requested that ads be moved.

“We won’t stop here -- we're going to continue our fight to see that as many of Beck's advertisers pull their support as possible,” said James Rucker, executive director of

CoC claims 600K members.


Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather wants President Obama to establish a commission to explore the “perilous state of America’s news media.”

In a Washington Post op-ed, Rather declares that a vibrant press is needed to ensure the “overall quality of government by, for and of the people.”

The 44-year veteran of CBS wants an open discussion of “the role news is meant to play in our democratic system of government and a better public understanding of the American news infrastructure's fragile condition.”

He blames unfettered deregulation of the media for reducing to a “mere handful of sources from which most Americans get their news.”

Corporatization of the news media, in Rathe’s view, has triggered a quest for quarterly profits and an ensuing cut of staff and shuttering of overseas news bureaus. There has been “the nearly complete subordination of a public trust to the profit motive,” he wrote.

The hollowing out of staff results in the nightly circus that passes for news on TV. Instead of hard-hitting reporters, viewers are exposed to “opinion, commentary and marketing masquerading as news” along with a dose of screaming matches between partisans.

Rather sees a crisis. The country needs “news that breeds understanding, not contempt; news that fosters a healthy skepticism of the workings of power than a paralyzing cynicism.”

The managing editor of HDNet’s “Dan Rather Reports” isn’t calling for a federal bailout of the news business. He wants a commission to evaluate the state of the news as institution and industry and recommendations to improve both.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, August 19, 2009, Page 4


Cablevision has established a local media group under the leadership of Tad Smith, who joins the company on Sept. 1.

Smith headed Reed Business Information, the U.S. arm of Reed Elsevier Group. He was responsible for Variety, Daily Variety, Publishers Weekly, Broadcast & Cable and Multichannel News, plus their online offshoots.

Earlier, Smith was senior VP/e-commerce at Starwood Resorts and Hotels, (Sheraton, St. Regis and Westin brands), strategy/acquisition/restructuring chief at Bertelsmann’s BMG Entertainment (Arista, RCA Records and BMG Music Publishing) and management consultant at McKinsey & Co.

At Cablevision, Smith will oversee Newsday Media Group (Newsday, amNewYork and Star Community Publishing) and News 12 Networks (seven news channels in Long Island, New Jersey, Westchester, Hudson Valley, Brooklyn and the Bronx) and other programming ventures. His job is to “rationalize and integrate online assets to create news products.”

Smith reports to COO Tom Rutledge, who called the local group “a new platform/business model that will deliver value to subscribers, advertisers and communities.”

Cablevision’s core cable TV operation serves more than 3M homes in the metro New York area.


Former PR firm owner and former longtime member of the PR Society Brian Tierney made the case for the survival of big city newspapers in a long article in the Sunday New York Times Magazine Aug. 9.

Tierney, who heads the local business group that purchased the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News for $515 million in 2006 and which is now in bankruptcy court, displayed to NYT writer Michael Sokolove many investigative and human interest stories and said he can't believe that people will not pay for “all the incredible stuff in The Inquirer and Daily News online.”

“People who say that all this content wants to be free aren’t paying talented people to create it,” he said.

The paper has yet to charge for its online content.

Both Tierney and editor Bill Marimow talked excitedly with Sokolove about the aggressive reporting of the two papers.

Philadelphia Media Holdings, of which Tierney is CEO, is offering to buy the bankrupt company for $35 million plus the Inquirer building and surrounding land.

The company has $400 million in debt.

Tierney, who is not listed as a member in the current online PR Society database, told the NYT that if the debt obligation were excluded, the two papers would be operating at a profit.

Commented Sokolove: “That sounds almost comical, like a homeowner saying his household finances are in terrific shape except for the mortgage he can’t pay.”

The NYT article notes that Tierney received a pay raise and a $350,000 bonus “right before the bankruptcy filing—and after employees agreed to give up their own paltry union raises.”

Expresses Confidence in Print

Tierney said the web may have its place but it won't replace print.

He told Sokolove: “The web efforts, they add something. I congratulate them. Let a thousand flowers bloom. But if somebody thinks in any short term, or even medium term, that the answers are those things, they’re kidding themselves. I know I sound like a heretic in that I won't come out and say, ‘They’re the future.’ But they’re not. The brawny work is what we're doing, and the brawny vehicle to carry it is the printed product.”

Still a PR Person

Sokolove said Tierney “has taken his public relations mind-set to newspapering.” He says Tierney thinks the industry shares “too much bad news about itself” while the TV industry does not say its own audience is “tanking.” Craig McCoy, veteran Inquirer reporter, told Sokolove that Tierney is “like our P.T. Barnum.”

The paper held a barbecue in its back lot several months ago to celebrate its 180th anniversary.

The biggest partner in Philadelphia Media Holdings is Bruce Toll, a founder of Toll Brothers, home builders.

Holding the biggest share of debt is Angelo, Gordon & Co., New York. It is also “a player” in the bankruptcy of The Tribune Co., which owes $13 billion; in the management of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “which is expected to emerge soon from bankruptcy,” and in American Media Co., publisher of the National Enquirer and Star, says the NYT article.

Sokolove said he talked on the phone twice with “highly influential” Bradley Pattelli, a member of the firm, but Pattelli declined to speak on the record.

Tierney Addressed PRS in 2007

Tierney was one of the principal speakers at the 2007 annual conference of the PR Society in Philadelphia when the PRS database listed him as a member.

PR counselors Anne Klein and her husband Gerhart Klein covered the luncheon address of Tierney in which he recounted the purchase of the two Philadelphia papers and said, “It’s kind of ironic to be on this side of the table.” He emphasized that the editorial and business sides are separate operations.

Referring to the papers, he said, “It’s like we took a plant that was back in the corner and we put it by the window and put some water on it. As a result, circulation, which had been declining, is now growing again, bucking a nationwide trend that is seeing many major metropolitan newspapers losing readership.”

Inquirer Skipped Coverage

Although Tierney was a featured speaker at the conference and PRS was celebrating its 60th anniversary, the Inquirer provided no coverage at all of the meeting or Tierney's speech.

The only mention of the four-day conference was a three-line item before the conference in the column by Michael Klein Oct. 21, 2007 saying Mia Farrow, Tim Russert and Donna Brazile would address "3,000 flacks." Tierney was sent historical materials on PRS by this website and Tierney was contacted about doing an historical piece. He said he was busy with other projects.

Internet Edition, August 19, 2009, Page 5


Neil Mortine, president of Fahlgren Mortine PR, has been elected chairman of parent company, Fahlgren Inc. He succeeds Steve Drongowski, who will turn over the CEO reins to Mortine at year’s end.

Mortine, who established the PR unit in `86, looks forward to a “smooth leadership transition” at the Columbus, Ohio-based shop.

FMPR has worked for the Ohio Dept. of Development, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Kroger, Donatos Pizza, Emerson Network Power and Grange Insurance.

Fahlgren Advertising and FMPR have more than 150 staffers. They have offices in Cincinnati, Dayton, Toledo, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Parkersburg (W.V.).


Nicole Pope, an Edelman alum, has moved to Triple 7 Public Relations in Nashville.

At Edelman, Pope worked on Nissan and Mars Inc. She assumes the director of publicity post at Triple 7.

Pope began her career at E!Networks as segment and associate producer, handling red carpet and backstage events. She also worked for the Country Music TV as PR manager.

Carrie Simons founded Triple 7, which was the address of her childhood home, in 2007.

Earlier, she was senior director of corporate entertainment at B|W|R PR and NBC Entertainment.

BRIEFS: IPREX, the network of PR firms, has elected Stockholm, Sweden-based Spotlight as a member. The founders, Johan Wetterqvist and Axel Lagerbielke, founded the shop in 2005 and are both veterans of independent firms. ...Dig Communications, Chicago, became the ninth member of Converge, a network of mid-sized firms and the first representative from the Windy City. ...RSW/U.S., a lead-generation firm, has launched an agency-client exchange forum for both sides to exchange advice and experiences “without worrying about how it will impact relationships.” The forum is on the RSW site at ... ...The Marino Organization, New York, recently wrapped up an assignment promoting Toscana in New York 2009, a week-long push by the promotional arm for the Tuscany region of Italy. The firm handled PR and event management for the late-May event, including a launch at the The Plaza Hotel attended by Italian and Italian-American business and community leaders. The firm, which has a growing portfolio of Italian clients, also put together a healthcare conference showing how the Tuscan system could be a model for the U.S. ...MGSCOMM, an independent marketing comms. agency with offices in Miami and Mexico City, has acquired New York ad shop Reynardus & Moya. The parent company says the merger creates one of the largest indy minority-owned comms. firms in the U.S. with billings topping $100M.


New York Area

Adam Kluger PR, New York/Bonanno Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, for media support of ongoing and breaking plastic surgery news.

Goodman Media, New York/Art21 Inc., for PR for the fifth season of the biennial PBS series on art in the 21st century airing in October; Congreso, to raise visibility for the non-profit social services provider to Latino communities in North Philadelphia; Harlem Stage, for PR for the performing arts institution; Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, for position and media relations for the non-profit; Penguin Razorbill Books, for launch of “Blood Promise” by Richelle Mead; “Skulduggery Pleasant,” for U.S. PR for young adult novels by Derek Landy, and Waterkeeper Alliance, for strategic counsel and comms. support for the clean water umbrella group.

Krupp Kommunications, New York/The Energy Project, as AOR for PR, including strategy, brand management, consulting and national media relations for the energy conservation group started by author and speaker Tony Schwartz.

M. Silver Associates, New York/VIA Rail Canada, as AOR for PR, a renewal on the seven-plus-year relationship. More than a dozen firms pitched. MSA has defended the work three times.

Xanthus Communications, New York/Manhattan Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Group, for PR.


Calypso Communications, Portsmouth, N.H./, non-profit online network for people affected by cancer, for media relations and strategic consulting.

Raffetto Herman Strategic Communications, Seattle/Talyst, pharmacy automation services, as AOR for PR for the Bellevue, Wash.-based company.

Arketi Group, Atlanta/Ryla, customer care and contact center solutions, for a media relations and thought leadership campaign.

TransMedia Group, Boca Raton, Fla./Dr. B. Bruce Myers, oculoplastic surgeon, for PR to educate people about cosmetic eyelid surgery, and, reverse auction marketplace for vehicles.


Eisen Marketing Group, Cincinnati/, online lifestyle publication for women, for PR, online work and graphic design.


Kahn Media, Woodland Hills, Calif./Classic Recreations, built-to-order and hand-crafted performance vehicle producer, for an integrated PR campaign, including media relations, social media, product launches and events. CR, based in Oklahoma, created the “Eleanor” Mustang for the movie “Gone in 60 Seconds.”

Avid Exposure, Los Angeles/Frida Kahlo Tequila, as AOR for PR. The firm already works for Robert Vacalli Vodka. Both brands are owned by Dorado-Pizzorni & Sons.

The Ardell Group, San Diego/Rapid Bridge, semiconductor design and development, as AOR for PR.

Internet Edition, August 19, 2009, Page 6


Broadcast and digital PR company Medialink Worldwide reported second-quarter revenue of $3.6M, in-line with expectations but down nearly 28 percent from $4.8M in Q2 of 2008.

Medialink, which has entered an agreement to be acquired by The NewsMarket, a deal which could be consummated next month, posted net income of $48K for the recent quarter, compared with a net loss of $8.1M for Q2 in ’08, a period that reflected losses from its Teletrax unit and U.K. operation, now divested.

Ken Torosian, chief financial officer, said the company continues to move forward with the merger and expects to file a definitive proxy statement “shortly.” Revenues are expected to continue to decline from ’08 given the economic climate, the company said, forecasting a $1M slide in revenue for Q3.

Six-month revenues were down 30.6% from last year -- $6.7M for ’09, compared with $9.7M in ’08.

Medialink had $2.1M in cash and $880K in working capital at the end of June.

The all-stock acquisition by The NewsMarket is valued at about $1.3M. Medialink has also paid out more than $2M to note holders who were threatening to block the deal.


WestGlen Communications is offering a “zero-risk” B-roll distribution service in an attempt to cut down on the risk of pricey footage underperforming for PR campaigns.

The company says the new service uses a media audit before clients commit resources to distribute B-roll, in addition to the assurance that WestGlen will split the expense if the pickup does not meet pre-determined goals for TV news pickup.

The audit has WestGlen getting feedback from producers and editors ahead of distribution.

The service also solicits direct-to-consumer feedback as well.

WestGlen guarantees every B-roll project 3-4M TV impressions, 26M web impressions, and a placement guarantee on scores of TV station sites, as well as radio station sites. Those services come in at under $10K, the firm said.

The second step includes traditional TV distribution with goals set beforehand.

That step runs $8,500 and WestGlen picks up half the tab if pickup doesn’t reach the goals set.


The Issue Management Council, a global group for corporate issue managers, has added five new board members.

They include Esther Bauer, head of issue management, Swiss Reinsurance Co.; Rob Colmer, policy and stakeholder relations manager, Shell; Tina Eboka, director, group corporate affairs, Standard Bank South Africa; Lionel Stanbrook, head of issue mgtmt. and crisis comms., Syngenta Int’l AG, and Amy Dirks Stevens, regional VP, strategy & business development, Provena Health.



Cynthia Gordon, a top new media and integrated marketing exec at NBC Universal’s resort division, has moved to the agency side as VP of digital and social media at 360 PR in Boston. Gordon started out as a spokeswoman at Universal Orlando and put together the Universal Moms program for that theme park before being promoted to VP for the theme park division at NBC and handling online programming for iVillage Live in addition to other tasks. She was previously director of global communications for Dunkin Brands and earlier directed the Chrysler account at GolinHarris. She focuses on social media training for 360 clients and other related assignments.

Kristin Maverick, director of communications, Carrot Creative, to AttentionPR, New York, as a director in its consumer practice. The social media savvy pro was previously an A/E at Bite Communications and A/E at Walter F. Cameron Advertising.

Ross Colchamiro, senior comms. specialist, CB Richard Ellis and former executive editor for Commercial Property News, to The Marino Organization, New York, as a senior A/E.

Bridgit Lombard, president and chief consultant, Tenega Group, to Vox Medica, Philadelphia, as general manager and brand development officer. She held market posts at Deloitte and MetLife, among others.

John Reid, former director of editorial communications for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to Potomac Strategy Group, Washington, D.C., as a VP. Reid was communications director for Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) and an anchor and reporter at the ABC affiliate in Richmond, Va., and the CBS affiliate in Waco, Tex.
Efrem Rodriguez, social media manager for JohnstonWells PR, to Turner PR, Denver, as emerging media A/E. Before JW, he was an intern at Turner.
Theresa Zuroick, PR manager for the Produce Marketing Association, to Sahlman Williams, Westlake Village, Calif., as an A/E. She was with the Delaware-based PMA for five years.


Lasse Glassen to senior VP at MWW Group’s Financial Relations Board unit. Glassen, based in Los Angeles, has worked with United Healthcare, Hansen Medical and MFLEX in her five years at the firm.

Raymond Hornak to president, The Catevo Group, Raleigh, N.C. He takes over for Mitch Javidi, president and CEO for the firm since 2005. Hornak has been with the firm at its predecessor, Epley Associates, for more than 20 years.


Internet Edition, August 19, 2009, Page 7

FULL DRAFT OF BYLAWS (cont'd from page 1)

It would have the power to create new member categories; new Assembly delegate categories; allow the board to expel any member at its "sole discretion"; block election of any officer unless this person first served as a director; add 25 national committee heads to the Assembly; add a sitting director to the nominating committee as chair, and allow members, directors or officers to be paid "reasonable compensation" for services to the Society.

The bylaws committee has said the board and officers are to be elected by "the membership" but a "quorum" for this purpose is now said to be 500 members who could vote in person or by proxy.

Electronic elections are also possible because other New York associations are doing this, the committee said.

The board would have the power, without checking with the Assembly, to create new member categories, new Assembly delegate categories, and expel a member "at its sole discretion."

District representation would be eliminated on the board and about 25 national committee heads would be added to the Assembly.

Also new is a rule that any board officer must first serve on the board. A sitting board member (immediate past chair) would join the nominating committee as chair.

PRS's law firm is Venable, D.C.-based firm with 660 lawyers. Among lawyers assigned to PRS are Edward Boyle of the New York office, Jeffrey Tenenbaum and Ann Thomas.

The Assembly, renamed the "Leadership Assembly," would lose its power to elect directors and officers and would have as its chief function "advising" the board on "issues dealing with the profession."

New wording says that the PRS chair and CEO "shall preside at the meetings of the Leadership Assembly."

This wording is opposite that sought in 2006 by the Central Michigan chapter which wanted to model PRS after the American Bar Assn. and American Medical Assn.

Central Michigan proposed that "The Assembly shall have the power, by majority vote of those present, to pass resolutions instructing the directors to take action on matters concerning the business and affairs of the Society."

The Houses of Delegates of both the ABA and AMA are conducted by their own officers rather than board members, the chapter pointed out.

The PRS board opposed Central Michigan, claiming the Assembly already had the powers the chapter sought and that all 300 delegates would have to be given expensive director insurance.

None of the other 109 chapters of PRS supported the chapter and the move was overwhelmingly defeated at the 2006 Assembly.

Senior members said that since 2006 the Assembly has appeared noticeably weaker. The board members who conduct the Assembly allowed it no time for "Town Halls" in both 2007 and 2008.

The 2008 Assembly included 3.5 hours of leader presentations, a nearly two-hour "thought exercise" by a management consultant, and an hour and 45-minute lunch break.

Delegates who attempted to raise subjects were told to take them up at the town hall (which never took place).

The meeting was declared ended at 5 p.m. when only half the delegates voted to continue it. A two-thirds majority vote was needed to continue the meeting.

PRS leaders have refused to supply the 136-page transcript of the 2009 Assembly to members who have asked for it.

Several members asked the New York City Supreme Court for help in obtaining it but never heard back from the Court.

Bylaws Discussed in PRS E-Group

Members are told to submit amendments to the bylaws no later than Thursday, Oct. 9.

Delegates will be able to discuss the proposals at the Assembly Nov. 9 in San Diego.

Interested members may sign up for an e-group that discusses the proposals. Only e-group members can access the discussion.

Dave Rickey, bylaws chair, told the board meeting in April that discussion of the proposals has been "light." About 14 members have participated in the governance e-group plus two staff members.

Boston Assembly delegate Mark McClennan has said the proposal to have the "membership" elect board and officers directly is unacceptable until details of the election process are revealed.

Rickey has said that the details would be spelled out in the “Policies and Procedures” manual sometime in 2010.

This manual is not available either to Assembly delegates or rank-and-file members.

Judith Phair, 2005 president, and Anthony D'Angelo, 2007 treasurer, have criticized the bid to have a sitting board member act as chair of the nominating committee but this proposal remains.

They said this would be an intolerable conflict of interest since sitting directors would push for those who shared the beliefs of board members.

APRs Remain Dominant

Accredited members would remain dominant in PRS affairs under the new rules. All 11 members of the Ethics Board would have to be APR.

Non-APR members could run for national office but they would have to have been a leader of a section, district, chapter or national committee or be able to prove more than 20 years in PR with ever higher "responsibilities." Voting in the Assembly would no longer qualify a member for national office.

However, this is contradicted by another section of the bylaws that says there are two classes of membership, "general and associate," and that "general members shall have the right to serve as a member of the board, chair of a committee and to hold Society national district or section offices."


Internet Edition, August 19, 2009, Page 8




PR Society board members, at a time when media are in the throes of a revolution and the economy is on its knees, are obsessed with gaining virtually complete control of the Society at the expense of its Assembly and members.

Under advice from law firm Venable, which is leading the directors down the garden path just like Moses & Singer did in the 1990s, the directors are lapping up the Venable vision of the board as all-powerful.

The combative M&S did the Society great harm in the 1990s by “winning” the battle against authors whose works had been copied and sold in great quantities by PRS.

It never paid the authors a nickel but PRS has had this rip-off on its conscience ever since. We will not let it forget it.

The blatant power grab that Venable and directors have now agreed upon is breathtaking in its scope.

The Assembly would lose its power to elect board and officers. The board could create new categories of members and Assembly delegates at will. The ten districts would lose their representation on the board. The board could expel any member at its “sole discretion.” A sitting board member would chair the nominating committee. Entire PR or communications" groups could be added to PRS’s membership.

New wording says: “The chair and CEO (of the board) shall preside at all meetings of the Leadership Assembly…”

Meetings of delegates of the American Bar Assn., American Medical Assn. and American Society of CPAs are presided over by separately elected leaders of the delegate groups, not anyone on the boards.

Then there is this shocker: members, directors and officers could be paid “reasonable compensation” for services to PRS.

We thought the “no inurement” clause in the charters of 501/c/6 non-profits forbade any payments to volunteer leaders except for expenses. Past presidents have told us that they get free membership dues for life and free admittance to the annual conference (worth about $1,000) for life.

PRS now says, after years of saying the opposite, that electronic voting is okay for members, noting that associations in New York State are doing it. Then why can't the Assembly meet electronically right now?

The bylaws committee has said that the entire membership would elect officers and directors rather than the Assembly.

But the “entire membership” of 22,000 now turns out to be 500 members meeting in person or by proxy (constituting a “quorum”).

Why PRS can't use the E-Vote service of BoardSource, Washington, D.C., which lets groups with up to 100,000 members cast secure electronic votes?

The 500 figure sounds like the 500-600 who are in the "leadership" e-mailings that go out from time to time.

This includes about 300 from the Assembly (including the 17 directors, 20 section heads and 10 district heads) plus chapter presidents and maybe presidents-elect of the 109 chapters, and the 25 or so national committee and task force heads.

How a dissident member could campaign against the approved candidates has not been spelled out. Rickey has said this will be told in the “Policies & Procedures” manual but this document is not available either to Assembly delegates or rank-and-file members.

We see the staff's agenda in a lot of this. Staff, whose compensation was $5.4 million in 2008 or nearly half of the $11.6 million in revenues (when it should be under 40%), wants as many members as possible so it can sell them seminars, webinars and other tutorial products.

Therefore, throughout the new bylaws, the words “public relations” have either been replaced by “communications” or used with the term “communications.”

The new “Preamble,” for instance, says PRS “serves a diverse community of professionals, empowering them to excel in effective, ethical and respectful communications on behalf of the organizations they represent and the constituencies they serve.” It describes the Society as “the world’s leading advocate for communications professionals.”

The word “communications” is not in the current Preamble. The proposed bylaws say that membership is open to anyone engaged in “public relations or communications who promotes the purposes of the Society.”

Staff is selling a wide variety of tutorials to members and others, boosting revenues for “seminars and teleseminars” 38% in 2008 to $1,356,300. It’s the third highest revenue category after national conference ($1,510,649) and dues ($4,823,287).

Staff and leaders are adamant about forbidding anyone except PRS itself from pitching anything to members.

We don't think PRS should be in the seminar business at all since there are at least a half dozen private companies selling the same types of tutorials and PRS, as a 501/c/6, is not supposed to be in competition with what any private company is offering.

The Society's 22,000 member list was built up with tax-free funds and we think it belongs to the public.

The Assn. for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, for instance, notes in its renewal notices that it “often rents its mailing list to reputable companies.” Members can opt out if they wish.

PRS rented its lists for many years and allowed PR Week/U.S. to use it when the magazine was founded in 1998.

We see staff motives in the 2004 move of h.q. downtown, making it virtually unusable by the PR/ad industry, most of which is located in midtown or midtown south.

The move simply relieved the staff of having to deal with members dropping by h.q. The library was closed more than a decade ago and replaced with a "professional development" service meaning members mostly have to pay for such services. Staff and leader disregard for members is evident in the suspension of the printed members' directory as of 2006 on the ground that it was out of date and too expensive to print.

However, a thoughtful leadership and staff would have immediately provided PDFs of the directory to any member or non-member who wanted it.

Leaders and staff today will not discuss the subject of a PDF version of the directory which would be both cheap and up-to-date. The real motive for eliminating the printed directory was that members now had to pay their $225 dues each year for the online directory or lose contact with the 22,000 membership list. Ditching the directory was a membership retention strategy.

Disregard and even contempt for members is evident in the refusal of the board or COO Bill Murray to disclose the terms of his contract, which was renewed at the July 24 board meeting. IRS Form 990, which would reveal his 2008 compensation, has yet to be filed although it was initially due May 5.

Both staff and leaders have combined to block more than one or two PR pros from working at h.q. since about 1980. Such employees are under tight control. Staff and leaders simply don't want any members with clout working at h.q. and observing how Society money is spent and who is doing what.

Instead of thoughtfulness and consideration, the hallmarks of good PR, members get harsh legalisms thrown at them.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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