The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, August 26, 2009, Page 1
WANTS SHOVEL-READY SWINE FLU PR
federal funding, the state of Utah has issued an RFP for
a public information campaign highlighting symptoms and
an expected vaccine for the so-called swine flu.
state said it is starting the bidding process for a grassroots
marketing, social media and public service ad campaign because
it anticipated a federal grant for $300K to fund the campaign
and wants the project ready when the funding is released.
270 Utah residents have been hospitalized and 14 have died
from the flu, known as H1N1 influenza, which was first confirmed
in the Beehive State on May 2.
women, children and people with medical ailments are at
particular risk from the flu strain.
of the campaign will be informing the public about a vaccine
in development. The Centers for Disease control is currently
conducting clinical trials and it is expected to be available
state also wants the campaign to educate citizens about
the symptoms and when to go the hospital. Doctors
offices and emergency rooms were flooded when the outbreak
was discovered earlier this year, putting such facilities
are due Sept. 1. The RFP has been posted online and can
be accessed via odwyerpr.com.
ITSA SEEKS PITCHES FOR 10
The Intelligent Transportation
Society of America, a trade group for public and private-sector
entities in the transit space, is calling for pitches to
guide PR for its 2010 annual meeting slated for Houston.
The group, which met in
Maryland in June and New York last year, will descend on
the George R. Brown Convention Center for its three-day
confab May 3-5. Exhibitors range from commercial vehicle
and freight managers to public transit operators and transportation
officials. Two thousand attendees are expected.
Strat@comm handled PR
for its '09 conference in National Harbor Maryland.
Sabrina McGowan, director
of communications, oversees PR and the RFP process. Shes
calling for an aggressive media relations plan and wants
the selected firm to begin immediately after a contract
Mainstream media are the
primary focus while trade press is a secondary target,
according to the RFP. The request asks for PR budget plans
of $50K, $75K and $100K allocated over seven months.
McGowan is at [email protected].
Proposals are due Sept.
WS CONNECTS WITH MYSPACE
Weber Shandwick has picked
up MySpaces PR account after a competitive pitch,
according to Tracy Akeselrud, executive director of communications
for the News Corp.-owned social network.
Los Angeles-based MySpace,
which has undergone internal restructuring and cut 30 percent
of its staff this year, had previously worked with Edelman
and SparkPR and heard from five firms.
Casey Sheldon, president
of global technology at WS, said her firms ability
to address several different audiences played to its advantage
in the account review. They have a complex business
situation, she told O'Dwyer's. We need to be
able to speak to a lot of different audiences from
advertisers to developers to consumers to the entertainment
Sheldon oversees the account
team, which includes Michelle Gettle Maggs, senior VP at
WS in Seattle, who plays a key role. Sister Interpublic
unit Rogers & Cowan will also be involved in the account
including dealing with talent that provides content for
MySpace, which Rupert
Murdoch bought for $580M in 2005, has recently been eclipsed
by Facebook globally and in the U.S. Sheldon said the coverage
of MySpace hasn't been particular in depth and noted the
company's veteran status among social networks and significant
user traffic (MySpace.com's
nearly 60M unique visitors in July doubled Twitter.com)
as among narratives that weren't well known.
GEPHARDT TAKES OVER TURKEY
Gephardt Group has inked
a $1.5M contract to provide lobbying and government relations
services to the Government of Turkey.
The firm had been a subcontractor
to Turkey under an agreement signed last year by DLA Piper.
Dickstein Shapiro is now a subcontractor to former House
Majority Leader Dick Gephardts firm, replacing DLA
Piper. It receives a $35K monthly fee.
Mercer and Associates
and The Caspian Group remain as subcontractors on the Turkey
business. They receive monthly fees of $22.5K and $14K,
Gephardt Group is to promote
a positive image of Turkey, Turks and the importance of
the U.S.-Turkey relationship. The firm is to prepare
brief analyses of developments in Congress and the Executive
Branch on particular issues of concern to Turkey,
and work to enlarge the Congressional Caucus on Turkey.
Another priority: Gephardt Group is to obtain invitations
for Turkish Embassy staffers to must-attend
social and political gatherings.
Edition, August 26, 2009, Page 2
ADDS HP CORPORATE BIZ
Communications has been added to Hewlett-Packards
long roster of PR firms as it picked up a good chunk of
Hewlett-Packards corporate business following a two-month
Hynes, senior VP at Bite who will head the account, said
the firm will be handling H-Ps story in
corporate technology, innovation, research and sustainability.
That includes development of thought leadership efforts
for the companys top executives.
& Knowlton, which was H-Ps longtime corporate
firm until the tech giant decided to split up the account
earlier this year, Abernathy MacGregor (financial) and Public
Strategies (public affairs) also handle various aspects
of corporate PR work for H-P.
is part of Next Fifteen Communications Group.
RACEPOINT AIDS SONY EBOOK
Racepoint Group is working
with Sony as the electronics giant moves to adopt an open
standard for electronic books in competition with Amazon
and its buzz-heavy Kindle e-reader.
Racepoint picked up the
Sony Digital Reading Business division account in June.
The firm is charged with helping the company expand the
digital reading market and provide greater access to publications,
said a firm spokeswoman.
Sony, which launched a
digital book reader a year before the Kindle but hasnt
gained the traction that Amazons device has enjoyed,
said this month that it will only sell books in the ePub
format developed by publishing powerhouses Random House
and HarperCollins which is compatible with other readers.
Sony also said it will adopt Adobes anti-piracy software
and nix its own technology.
The announcement will
help push the burgeoning e-book industry toward a standard
and Sony and Racepoint are pitching the move as an effort
to take the confusion out of digital book formats.
More than 60 companies
participated in the development of the ePub format and it
is supported by major trade publishers in addition to mainstream
Amazon took a PR hit last
month when it removed unauthorized copies of two novels
from Kindle users devices.
LIPPIN TO QUIT EMMY PR
Los Angeles firm The Lippin
Group has notified the Academy of Television Arts &
Sciences that it does not plan to continue handling PR for
the group after its contract expires at the end of the year.
The Hollywood Reporter
noted that the firm has had to deal with leaks in recent
years of internal Emmy matters and a recent tussle over
time-shifting certain awards from the telecast.
The Reporter published an excerpt of a letter from TLG chairman
Dick Lippin saying his firm is proud of the role it has
played working with the Academy for 12 years.
A spokeswoman for the
firm declined to comment to ODwyers.
that Academy officials had raised the prospect of reviewing
the PR account after complaints about the PR for last years
SCHWARTZ GRABS U.K. BOUTIQUE
the No. 7 independent firm, has acquired boutique U.K. healthcare
and "green" agency Hayhurst Media in a move to
boost its European reach in those sectors.
Steve Schwartz, CEO, said
clean tech and life sciences are two of the firms
most successful practice areas (his firm posted overall
revenue topping $31M last year with 200 staffers) and called
the move an "outstanding business and cultural fit."
Hayhurst is a husband-and-wife
operation of Richard and Amanda Hayhurst just west of London,
where Schwartz has an office in the city.
The two firms have collaborated
in the past.
Richard was a founder
of De Facto PR, a U.K. healthcare heavyweight now owned
by Bell Pottinger.
Hayhurst, which will operate
as a division of Schwartz, has worked for GlaxoWellcome,
Macmillans Nature Publishing Group and UCB Pharma,
among other clients.
Amanda is a healthcare
PR pro who set up Hayhurst with Richard in 2004.
Both will serve as co-managing
directors for Schwartz in the U.K. reporting to European
managing director, Kristina Ebenius in Stockholm.
OBESITY GROUP CALLS OUT PETA
A Tampa-based non-profit
backed by the weight-loss surgery industry has blasted a
PETA campaign touting vegetarianism, calling out the animal
rights groups stigmatizing portrayal of
The 12,000-member Obesity
Action Coalition said last week that PETAs push featuring
a billboard of an illustrated obese woman wearing a bikini
and with the tagline Save the Whales Lose the
Blubber: Go Vegetarian is completely inappropriate.
With more than 93
million Americans affected by obesity, this type of unacceptable
stigmatization of obese/overweight individuals has no place
in today's society, said a statement from the OACs
communications director, James Zervios.
The group is demanding
that PETA end the campaign and remove the billboard.
Karen Dickerson, a spokeswoman
for PETA, told ODwyers that the group apologizes
for any offense the campaign may have caused as that was
not its intent.
Dickerson said many people
have found the billboard humorous but noted that PETA takes
obesity very seriously, adding we think
it would be cruel not to tell people about the health benefits
of going vegetarian. Dickerson also pointed to data
that says vegetarians have lower rates of various illnesses
The OAC is trying to get
critics to contact PETAs president, Ingrid Newkirk,
to urge her to pull the plug on the campaign. This
campaign blatantly stigmatizes the overweight and obese.
The OAC fails to find the informational value of promoting
vegetarianism through the hurtfulness of mocking the obese,
said Joseph Nadglowski, OACs president and CEO.
Edition, August 26, 2009, Page 3
COUNSELS READERS DIGEST
is serving as communications counsel to the Readers
Digest Association as the Pleasantville, N.Y., publisher
plans a bankruptcy filing brought on by debt from its private
takeover in 2006.
skipped a $27M interest payment on Aug. 17 saying it wanted
to use a 30-day grace period to talk with lenders about
debt from the $2.8B acquisition.
company said that nearly 80 percent of its lenders have
signed on to its restructuring plan, which exchanges $1.6B
in debt for equity. That would cut its debt load from $2.2B
to about $550M.
Fieweger, a VP for FD in Chicago who handles bankruptcy
communications, is working with the publisher. She didnt
return an email inquiry.
Berner, RDA CEO, said the bankruptcy agreement follows
months of intensive strategic review of our balance sheet
issues to financially strengthen the company, according
to a statement. RDA, in March, retained Kirkland & Ellis
to explore restructuring options including a Chapter 11
thanked former owner Ripplewood for its inspired vision
and stewardship over the last two and a half years, including
during this process. Ripplewood representatives have
resigned from RDAs board.
by Ripplewood in 07 to put the company back on track,
Berner is a former CEO of Fairchild Publishing and publisher
of TV Guide and Glamour.
announced plans in January to slice eight percent (280 people)
of RDAs 3,500 staffers as part of a recession plan.
She then expressed remorse that the economy plunged just
as RDA was in takeoff plans with its growth plans.
still believes RDA has strong brands and products
and a solid plan for the future.
overseas units are not part of the expected Chapter 11 filing.
TV NEWS PIONEER HEWITT DIES
Don Hewitt, veteran TV
news producer and the creator of 60 Minutes
whose journalism career spanned 60 years, died Aug. 19 at
his home in Bridgehampton, N.Y. He was 86 and had been diagnosed
Hewitt stepped down from
60 Minutes in 2004 and had been serving as executive
producer of CBS News.
His career began in the
1940s and he directed heavyweights like Edward R. Murrow
and Walter Cronkite over the years. He directed his first
newcast on May 3, 1948 with Douglas Edwards on screen and
was the executive producer for the first half-hour network
newscast, CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite,
when it first aired on Sept. 2, 1963.
The New York Times
noted, Mr. Hewitt served as a living bridge
from the birth of television journalism in the long shadow
of radio, through its golden-age as an unrivaled fixture
in dens and family rooms, to its middle-age present, under
siege from the Internet.
Hewitt, who was uncomfortable
with news programming as a profit vehicle, produced and
directed TV coverage for the three broadcast networks in
the first televised presidential debate between Richard
Nixon and John Kennedy in 1960.
He is credited with implementing
the use of cue cards and was the first to use superimposed
type in the lower third of the television screen. He also
started remote interviews of subjects during newscasts and
was the first to utilize various camera techniques still
in use in TV news today.
CBS called 60 Minutes
his magnus opus, which he created as a kind
of Life magazine for TV to break up the traditional
hour-long documentary into three segments. The show launched
on Sept. 24, 1968 and sits at the top of TV ratings today.
It has been the number one show on TV five times, a feat
which CBS noted has been matched only by All in the
Family and The Cosby Show.
Asked over the years what
the secret to the shows success was, he often said: Its
four words every child knows: Tell me a story.
Hewitt won eight Emmys
and two Peabody awards. He started out handling PR for the
Merchant Marines during World War II.
NOVAK, D.C. INSIDER, DIES
Syndicated columnist and
TV commentator Bob Novak died Aug. 18 in his Washington
home after a struggle with brain cancer. He was 78.
Novak is recently remembered
for "outing" CIA operative Valerie Plame, which
triggered the firestorm that ultimately led to the downfall
of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former Vice President
Dick Cheney's chief of staff. Libby was convicted of perjury
and obstruction of justice. He was denied a pardon by outgoing
President George W. Bush despite pleas by Cheney.
Novak believed his involvement
in PlameGate undermined a 25-year career at
CNN (Capital Gang and Crossfire)
and resulted in a ban from NBCs Meet the Press.
Novak began a columnists
life in 1963 with partner Rowland Evans. Born in Joliet,
Ill., Novak launched a journalism career as a sports reporter
for the Associated Press. He landed a job with the Wall
Street Journal in 1957 before teaming with Evans.
He wrote the Prince
of Darkness in 2007, in which he defended being the
first journalist to identify Plame.
Novak was diagnosed with
a brain tumor in `08.
REUTERS RECRUITS IMPOCO
Jim Impoco, former Sunday
business editor at the New York Times, is now enterprise
editor for Reuters America, a new post.
He is to commission and
edit stories and develop multimedia packages for the Thomson
Impoco played a hand in
the redesign and relaunch of the NYTs Saturday and
Sunday business sections.
Earlier, he was deputy
editor at Conde Nast Portfolio, assistant managing
editor at Fortune, executive editor at Mens Journal,
Tokyo-based reporter for Associated Press and Tokyo bureau
chief at U.S. News and World Report.
news continued on next page)
Edition, August 26, 2009, Page 4
BIZ PRESS STATES NEEDS
business editors at a Los Angeles PR workshop didnt
agree on when the economy would rebound, they did agree
that it's a story that is landing on page one. Editors also
agree on two tactics: email pitches are best, and news releases
Societys L.A. chapter and the L.A. Area Chamber of
Commerce sponsored the session of editors and reporters
from influential SoCal publications, who outlined their
needs and how PR pros can effectively get coverage for clients.
news is a premium, and everyone is doing it, said
Los Angeles Times business editor John Corrigan.
We are interested in the economy, recovery; but we
are also interested in many other issues. We're interested
in the digital revolution, social networking, and interested
in how people are saving money and changing purchasing habits.
We are definitely interested in healthcare and healthcare
reform. We try to have a mix of stories everyday on different
issues. Clearly the overall economy is a big story, but
there are a lot other good stories out there.
want experts who are willing to talk about something like
the Bernie Madoff fraud case, continued Corrigan.
We often will get emails from law firms or publicists
representing them saying we have a former SEC attorney or
a white collar crime expert who can offer guidance, which
is really helpful to a reporter on deadline.
prefers email pitches and admitted that a big wave of emails
might influence stories covered and their placement.
Times has two reporters dedicated to writing breaking news
in the morning. If it is company earnings, a short
story will be posted online right away and a longer story
follows, he said. The workload has gotten harder
because reporters are writing one version for the web and
another for print most of the time. A lot of our stories
end up on A-1, because the economy is so important.
Los Angeles Daily News is looking for recovery and
glimmer of hope stories according to business editor Greg
Wilcox: My newsroom works a little differently than
the Times, especially in the business section. Years ago
we used to have reporters on various beats. Today, we have
an assistant city editor who is in charge of business, and
then we have the business staff and thats me.
knows what tough times it has been, and our paper has gone
through some changes, explained Wilcox.We don't
have a standalone business section anymore. We have one
page, or sometimes a page and a half. The best way to pitch
is to send an email, but follow-up phone calls don't really
help, especially when you do the whole pitch in a phone
call and leave the phone number at the back end. Since I
am the only business editor I'm really busy focusing on
local news stories that impact the San Fernando Valley.
We do some trend pieces, but now with the size of the paper
and the size of the staff that's gotten harder to do.
Banker reporter Kate Berry said, "I don't know
if there is a glimmer of hope. Sources from the mortgage
industry and banking dispute that. The next big story is
how all the banks are going to take the losses on foreclosures
coming down the road. If you add up the loss for each foreclosure,
they would then have to go back to the government for another
later said she is open to all story ideas. It is completely
unrealistic for a reporter on deadline to engage new sources
who are being pitched to you by a PR person, because youre
not going to use them. You just go to the sources specific
to that area, she said. As a trade publication
we march to different drummer. We cover stories newspapers
may not care about, but the industry does. It is mostly
used to have an editor and four staff reporters at the Business
Press, said Chris Sieroty, a contributing writer.
Now it is an editor, researcher and four contributing
writers due to the economy; the staff is cut out and theyre
all considered contributors.
writes about real estate, government and politics for Riverside
and San Bernadino County. For example, he is currently working
on a foreign trade piece that Riverside County is trying
to fund its respective trade zone and they are having an
argument with Washington D.C. over who should pay for it.
He prefers email pitches.
who has been at Business Press for five years said they
operate much like a daily newspaper with the Internet. My
day starts at 5:30 a.m., because I am talking to an editor
at another publication in Washington D.C. he said,
I start reading press releases sent to me at 6:00
a.m. We do enjoy receiving them, especially when they come
from real estate agencies about transactions taking place.
I am always open (to PR pros) phone calls and emails
telling me about your business and clients.
which has nine reporters covering various business beats
and prefers L.A. County stories, will consider companies
out of state doing business here. Staff reporter Rick Clough
said: Most of our stories come from reporters pitching
on Tuesday for two weeks in advance, except when one of
our four editors notices a trend. Our deadlines are on Thursday
for the following week's issue.
San Fernando Valley Business Journal, although the
smallest among the publications represented covers a wide
area of Los Angeles County according to staff reporter Mark
Madler. I do take story ideas from press releases,
but generally come up with my own story ideas from sources
I've developed. I do prefer email pitches, he said.
Full coverage is at odwyerpr.com.
Business Press Contacts:
Corrigan, biz editor
Los Angeles Times
Wilcox, biz editor
L.A. Daily News
L.A. Business Journal
San Fernando Valley Business Journal
Edition, August 26,
2009, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
ACQUIRES FLORIDA SHOP
French/West/Vaughan has acquired four-staffer Relations
PR & Marketing of Tampa and has merged the firm with
its own Tampa outpost.
which has six people in Tampa following its acquisition
of The Glasure Group in 2007 and moved to a larger space
in February, will add the Relations staff on September 1.
Jack Glasure, executive VP, oversees the office while Relations
CEO Robin Adkins Vosler will be his No. 2.
is a former PR director for the Belleview Biltmore Hotel
and VP of sales/marketing for Premier Limousine. She founded
Relations PR in 2005.
the due diligence process Ive developed a great admiration
for how she has run her firm and the caliber of people and
clients she has been able to attract," FWV CEO Rick
French said in a statement.
focuses on real estate and hospitality clients like the
Baywalk Shopping Center (St. Petersburg), DeBartolo Development,
The Palm and the 13 Ugly Men Foundation.
HUNTSWORTH SNAPS UP SWEDISH
U.K. PR holding company
Huntsworth has acquired Sweden's Sund Kommunikation, a three-office
PR and financial communications shop with about 50 staffers.
Huntsworth paid £1.5M
(about $2.5M) in cash with potential payouts through 2012
that cap the deal at more than £12.3M, or about $20M.
That ceiling is based on a high-water mark of growth of
65 percent. SK had 2008 revenues topping $6M.
SK will be placed under
Huntsworth's Citigate & Trimedia unit. Citigate has
a Stockholm office. Michael Murphy, CEO of Trimedia International,
said Scandanavia is key for any European communications
Leif Andersson, chairman
of Sund, said the firm's long-term objective is to become
the leading PR agency in Sweden.
SK, founded in 2003 with
offices in Stockholm, Malmo and Gotebord, joined the Worldcom
network of independent firms in October.
NEW FIRM SITE EMBRACES TRANSPARENCY
CooperKatz & Co.,
13-year-old firm that ranked No. 22 in New York in 2008
in the ODwyer rankings with fees of $4.6M, up 13%,
has a new website whose goal is to provide the maximum amount
of information about clients, staff and itself.
More than 90 write-ups
of current and past clients are on the site, describing
campaigns for them and providing appropriate imagery. Bios
and pictures of all staffers are provided along with statements
of their personal perspectives on PR and communications
issues of importance to them. The employees blog
is open to visitors to the site.
Andy Cooper, who co-founded
the firm in 1996 with Ralph Katz, says the aim was to provide
a large amount of information, although the practice of
some agencies is to limit such information.
About 20% of PR firms
in ODwyers Directory of PR Firms do not
provide client lists. Only firms that supply such lists
are in the ODwyer rankings.
Schwartz & Co., New York/Pricefalls.com,
Las Vegas-based online Dutch auction shopping platform;
New York-based new online service for matching individuals,
businesses, employers, job seekers, freelancers, and entrepreneurs;
Xlear, pronounced kleer, Utah-based maker of consumer products
containing the organic compound xylitol, all for PR.
Marketing PR, New York/The Nonantum Resort (Kennebunkport,
Me.), as AOR for media relations, social media marketing
launch and brand development; Briggs & Riley Travelware,
for partnership development and launch of a social media
campaign, and the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, for media relations,
social media and event management following a $50M renovation.
Speer Beardsley, New York/BraunAbility, wheelchair-accessible
minivan, ramp and lift manufacturer, as AOR for marketing
Kommunications, New York/Success Media, publisher
of Success magazine and parent to the foundation of the
same name, as AOR for PR, including brand management, consulting
and national media relations.
Hamilton Group, New York/Madoff Survivors Group,
for media training and PR in conjunction with the July sentencing
of the Ponzi scheme operator Bernard Madoff. The account
is pro bono and the firm said it will provide ongoing counsel.
Caruba Organization, South Orange, N.J./N.J. Pest
Management Assn., for PR for the 15th annual Cockroach Derby,
an event for hundreds of pest management professionals at
Rutgers University. Roaches will be designated for the states
two gubernatorial candidates at the event, which features
education programs on pest control.
Westport, Conn./Westport Downtown Merchant Association,
to promote the arts in the citys shopping and dining
Baltimore/Milestones Achievement Centers of America, as
AOR for strategic comms., an expansion of work since May
Associates, Raleigh, N.C./Saturn of Raleigh and Saturn
of Cary, car dealerships, as AOR for PR.
Weston, Fla./Leah Orr, author, for launch of childrens
book series based on character Messy Tessy. Portion of proceeds
go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
& Company, Westminster, Colo./Ralston Valley
Pom Squad, for logo design on a pro bono basis. Karla Trippe,
president of T&C and a former Pom girl, said the firm
does so much tech work it sometimes needs a different creative
Pollack PR Marketing Group, Los Angeles/Make-A-Wish
Foundation of Greater Los Angeles, for a new PR contract,
its fifth year handling the business.
Edition, August 26, 2009, Page 6
RAPS TWITTER FRENZY
consultant Jim Carlini says the Twitter frenzy is another
fad that will suffer the same fate as Pet Rocks, Cabbage
Patch dolls and Beanie Babies.
Babies, he notes, were the little plush toys that
people would drive around looking for at McDonalds
because they just had to have the purple squirrel. It was
worth $1,500. You can now get them at a garage sale for
a couple of dollars a bunch.
whose firm is based in East Dundee, Ill., and who has been
an adjunct faculty member of Northwestern University since
1986, said he is particularly distressed that professors
are now exploring classes in Twitter and other social
friend of his who has a very mature understanding
of PR, has been asked to fill in a professor
on all he knew so the professor could expound on the virtues
of learning the craft. Carlini worries that
schools offering a doctorate in social media tools
are a distinct possibility. He feels all these people
offering seminars on Twitter etiquette and Twitterology
are a big joke. Its the digital snake-oil hype of
the 21st century.
asks whether people need an expert to show them
how to sign up on a list and then subscribe to others. A
survey at http://www.relationship-economy.com/?p=5627
found that only two CEOs have Twitter accounts, only 13
have LinkedIn profiles, and of those only three have more
than ten connections. It also found that 81% of CEOs arent
three quarters of the CEOs have a Wikipedia entry, nearly
a third of those have limited or outdated information. None
of the Fortune 100 CEOs has a blog.
Mark Sneider of RSW/US has pointed out the Dangers
of Social Media on his blog, noting it should play
a part in any agency's new business development effort,
but caution must be taken.
PR CLASS HAS 120 STUDENTS
Farber, assistant professor at Florida International University,
will begin teaching "Principles of PR" to an in-person
class of 120 starting next week.
taught the same course online during the summer. Text used
is Fraser Seitels The Practice of Public Relations.
joined FIU in 2006 after a career of more than 25 years
in PR in South Florida, mostly for health-related organizations.
Her posts included director of PR for St. Francis Hospital,
Miami Beach, 1979-86 and the same title at Miami General
Hospital, 1983-86. She was director of marketing at Highland
Park Hospital, Miami, 1986-87. More recent posts were regional
director of marketing for Salick Health Care, Comprehensive
Cancer Centers, Miami, 1996-98, and coordinator of student
publications, Broward Community College, 00-04.
is one of the largest universities in the nation with a
total student body of 39,000 including 30,000 undergrads.
It has the largest Hispanic population of any college, 23,400
or 59% of the total.
school has been in the news lately because of a proposal
to rename the main campus after just-retired University
president Modesto Maidique and award him a parting bonus
Prichard, who was VP-IR & corporate communications
at $4B Corn Products International, has moved to StreetSmart
Strategies in Chicago. The 20-year IR/financial communications
pro also worked at Modine Manufacturing, IMC Global, The
Vigoro Corp., IMCERA Group and Abbott Laboratories. Career
highlights include guiding the planned merger of CPI into
Bunge Ltd, a deal that ultimately fell apart, and Modines
shift to the Big Board from NASDAQ. Prichard serves on the
National Investor Relations Institute national board of
directors and is co-chair of its 2010 conference. Timothy
Gerdeman founded StreetSmart in 2003 to provide senior-level
guidance and IR counsel to private equity and publicly traded
Carey Poarch, director of communications, National
Osteoporosis Foundation, to Spectrum, Washington, D.C.,
as an account director. She was previously with GMMB.
Maki, executive director, Society of Motion Picture
and Television Engineers, to cable operator Bright House
Networks, Syracuse, N.Y., as VP, corporate comms. She was
previously VP, marketing, membership and business development
for the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers and
earlier worked in public affairs for Time Warner, Vision
Cable Comms. and the Michigan Cable Television Assn.
Vandiver, project manager, Kaiser Permanente Colorado,
to The Vandiver Group, St. Louis, as a senior strategist.
Vandiver, who handled employee and customer comms. projects
at KP, is a Ph.D. candidate at the Univ. of Colorado Denver.
She is the daughter of TVG president and CEO Donna Vandiver.
Huch, senior director of investor relations for automotive
supplier ArvinMeritor, to CF Industries Holdings, Deerfield,
Ill., as director of IR and corporate communications. He
takes over for Charles Nekvasil, who retired July 31 after
heading IR since the companys IPO in 2005. Huch was
previously with Ford Motor.
Segre, managing director, Google.org, the philanthropic
arm of the search giant, to Diamond Foods, San Francisco,
as senior VP, corporate strategy and communications, a new
post. She was previously a VP for The Boston Consulting
Group. Diamond markets branded foods under the Diamond,
Emerald and Pop Secret names.
Decie to senior VP, communications and external affairs,
Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and
Malaria in New York. Jed
Levine and Michele
White were upped to associates.
Edition, August 26, 2009, Page 7
QUITS NASHVILLE CONTRACT
Pigott & Fox has resigned its work in support of a Nashville
convention center project after its open-ended contract
became a political football in the Music City.
PR pact, originally capped at $75K, rose to more than $450K
in more than a year.
contract was suspended earlier this month by the citys
mayor, who has ordered an audit of the communications work.
partner David Fox submitted a letter resigning the account
to the Metro Development and Housing Agency Aug. 17.
22-year-old company has built a reputation for integrity
and quality work, and these misleading claims against us
have been very hurtful to us and our 65 very fine employees,
he wrote, adding that progress has been sidetracked by the
PR criticism and noting that money spent on predevelopment
of the $600M-plus Music City Center is taking up 100 percent
of the news reports about the facility.
mayor told local media that he does not intend to hire another
FORD EXEC ROLLS TO WELLS FARGO
Wells Fargo & Company
has recruited Ford Motor Companys Oscar Suris to head
corporate communications as an executive VP.
Wells Fargos long-time
corporate comms. chief Larry Haeg, plans to retire in 2010
after 20 years at WF and its predecessor, Norwest Corp.
The financial services
company acquired Wachovia in a deal that closed in early
2009 and continues to integrate the two businesses. Suris
reports to EVP Patricia Callahan, who oversees the office
of the transition for the merger. Callahan said Suris will
be involved in the companys effort to look at its
communications efforts as part of a broader effort to boost
its outstanding reputation.
WF accepted $25 billion
in federal bailout funds amid the financial crisis.
Suris, a former business
reporter, was director of corporate comms. and development
at the Detroit automaker. He recently handled strategic
comms. for executive chairman Bill Ford and led the companys
philanthropic arm, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community
Services. Prior to that, the Cuban native directed corporate
comms. for AutoNation after five years as a staff writer
for the Wall Street Journal.
WF counts $1.3 trillion
in assets through banking, insurance and other financial
MURRAY TAPPED TO TRY AGAIN
The Irish Referendum Commission
created to boost support for the European Unions Treaty
of Lisbon has renewed a contract with Murray Consultants
to build the PR case ahead of the October 2 vote.
The Irish people rejected
the treaty last year in a red-faced moment for the E.U.
following a big budget but brief campaign led by Murray
Consultants to try to push the measure through.
MC was reappointed without
a new RFP by the commission this month. The new communications
campaign is in the planning stages and a budget has not
yet been set.
Olivia Buckley, a former
MC staffer, was recently recruited to serve as director
of We Belong, a political advocacy group supporting the
treaty that is recruiting prominent Irish citizens to back
the measure. The London Times reported in May that
well-known citizens like Sinead OConner came out against
the treaty in the media and dominated the debate
last time around.
The treaty would strengthen
the E.U. by fostering more coordination among its member
nations on security, climate and economic matters, supporters
say. Opponents like the Sinn Fein political party say the
treaty puts Irelands self-rule in the hands of Europe.
Ireland is the only country
of the E.U.s 27 members to put the treaty to a popular
vote and it was defeated, 53%-47%. All other countries have
The E.U., meanwhile, is
taking no chances and hired Edelman in May to lead a four-firm,
$2M push to urge Ireland to pass to treaty.
GLOOMY SIR MARTIN
WPP CEO Martin Sorrell
is more pessimistic about the economic outlook than his
industry brethren, a view that may be hurting shares of
Irelands biggest ad/PR combine, according to a report
in the Financial Times.
While WPP stood still,
archrival Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Levy snapped up digital
ad shop Razorfish in a $530M deal this month.
FT notes that Sorrell
has been warning shareholders since the June annual meeting
that any green shoots in the economy were not finding
their way into marketing budgets. He also cast doubt
about WPP achieving its profit margin targets.
Publicis and Omnicom believe
the advertising slump bottomed out last month and things
are beginning to look up.
Levy said revenues will
be less in decline in the current quarter compared to the
second, while Omnicom chief John Wren said his firm is set
to climb out of the trough.
Sorrell believes the bottom
will be hit sometime early next year, and any second-half
growth will be due to lousy numbers in `08.
The FT notes that WPPs
stock is up 17 percent in `09, a performance that lags Havas
and Publicis, but tops Omnicom.
WS: SKYSCRAPER 'PUT ON HOLD'
Weber Shandwick says work
on the Chicago Spire, which is planned as the tallest building
in the U.S., has been put on hold.
That news comes as Bank
of America has filed suit against Shelbourne Development
Group, alleging the company defaulted on a loan. The bank
seeks payment of nearly $5M.
The Chicago Spire is to
have 150 floors, which would top the recently renamed Sears
Tower, as the nation's No. 1 skyscraper. The re-christened
Willis Tower has 110 floors.
Edition, August 26, 2009,
Twitter/social media craze
has reached such a high pitch that an opposite school of
thought is forming.
Jim Carlini likens the Twitter frenzy to fads like Pet Rocks,
Cabbage Patch Dolls and McDonalds Beanie Babies (page
are now seeking guidance on how to form courses that may
lead to degrees in social media, he reports.
offering courses on Twitterology and similar
topics are the snake oil salespeople of the
21st century, he feels.
you really need an expert to tell you how to
sign up on a list and subscribe to others lists, he
Mark Sneider points out that social media are just like
any otheryou need constantly refreshed good content
to hold an audience.
worst thing that can happen to your blog is for someone
to come to it and find it hasnt been refreshed for
days or even weeks.
successful users of social media, he noted, are blogging,
Tweeting or posting on Facebook at the same time every day,
building a reader habit.
internet platforms, which almost anyone can offer, remind
us of the newsletter craze decades ago.
and individuals found it was cheap and easy to send around
an NL to employees, prospects, and the press.
was a favorite tool of ad agencies and service firms including
the ad agency West, Weir & Bartel. WW&B had its
Grape Vine NL and printed it in purple ink.
a year or two almost all the NLs petered out. Attracting
and keeping an audience proved to be too arduous over the
note that everyone has one good novel in them but that a
career writer has many.
we would not brush off the entire social media trend. With
traditional media shrinking at an alarming rate, new media
are springing up to take their place.
profusion of websites that share and propel content (share,
bookmark, digg, stumbleupon, speared, delicious, addthis,
etc.) is multiplying and, we think, making life for PR pros
even more difficult and challenging.
casualty of the change is much of the PR educational world
including those with Ph.D.s in subject matter that
has long gone to the graveyard. The students know more about
the new media than their professors.
new PR textbook should be the web including the many websites
that cover the PR industry.
Tierney, former longtime member of the PR Society
and head of a local business group that bought the Philadelphia
Inquirer and Daily News for $515 million in 2006,
said that social media are not going to do the relentless
investigative journalism, the brawny work, that
newspapers do. He and others fear society will be the victim
if media morph into a Vesuvius of hype and promotion. Tierneys
group is now trying to buy the bankrupt newspaper group
(it owes $400M) for $35M plus the Inquirer building and
land it owns.
PR Society wants to broaden its membership to include
advertising as well as PR people, its new bylaws saying
ad people must promise to abide by the code of the Society.
However, a study by professors Renita Coleman and Lee Wilkins
in 2005 found that ad pros think about immediate consequences
when deciding how to act and tend not to employ ethical
reasoning. They do lack ethics, or at the very
least choose not to exercise the ethical reasoning abilities
they have, said the authors. As an example, they noted
that ad people would take on a large beer account even though
they were personally opposed to the use of alcohol. Advertising
professionals ranked No. 16 among 20 occupations that
were given the Issues Defining Test which has
been taken by more than 30,000 professionals in different
occupations in the past 30+ years to measure ethical awareness.
& Co., New York PR firm with $4.6M in fees in
2008, has a new website (www.cooperkatz.com)
that sets new standards in disclosure.
The site includes descriptions
of work for more than 90 current and past clients, illustrated
with appropriate graphics, as well as pictures, bios and
statements from all employees on PR issues of importance
An employees blog
on the site is open to visitors. CooperKatz is one of the
180 PR operations that takes part in the annual ODwyer
rankings that require lists of executives, staffers and
Co-founder Andy Katz said
he wanted to supply a maximum amount of information.
first APR Boot Camp.
In a move to spark participation in accreditation, the PR
Society, with assistance from the New York and New Jersey
chapters, will host the first APR Boot Camp
from Wednesday to Saturday, Aug. 26-29.
Cost is $585 and
includes the $385 fee for the exam and $200 for three days
of tutoring at PRS h.q.
also pay $75 for the first day of tutoring or $125 for the
second two days.
No one connected
with the Boot Camp will reveal the number of registrants.
This includes PRS
VP-PR Art Yann; Felicia Blow, Universal Accreditation Board
chair; no one from either the NY or NJ chapters, and the
three APR tutors, Michele Hujber of PRS/NJ, and Jason Kirsch
and Bob Saline of PRS/Central Pennsylvania.
It appears that
the first lesson of the Boot Camp is Stonewall the
press. Only 5% of the questions on the UAB test concern
media relations, by the UABs own measurement.
This shows how small a place the press occupies in the UABs
Asked about the
small proportion, UAB leaders said respondents to its questionnaires
indicated this was the amount of time they spent on media
That may be true
of those working for corporations and institutions but we
think agency PR people spend a far greater time on media
An average of 119
new PRS APRs have been created yearly since the start of
the new computerized multiple-choice test on July 1, 2003.
PRS APRs totaled 713 as of June 30, 2009. Taking the test
were 1,041 members with 328 flunking it (pass rate of 68.5%).
New PRS APRs averaged
259 yearly in the six-year period from 1996-2001.
The UAB has no ethics
code of its own. It says it is guided by the PRS code.