The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, September 2, 2009, Page 1
LOOKS FOR FIRMS
the giant pension system for California public employees,
is looking to refresh its spring-fed pool of
PR firms that handle projects.
funds office of public affairs first set up the pool
of firms in 2006 but has issued an RFP to renew its field
of agencies that handle work in five PA categories, including
media training, writing and communications.
must have been providing the services for five years to
PR Worldwide, Edelman, Cook & Schmid, Fischer Communications
and MWW Group are among agencies that work with CalPERS.
77-year-old fund, formally known as the California Public
Employees Retirement System and based in the capital, Sacramento,
covers 1.3M active and retired state staffers and employs
2,300 people. Members contributed more than $10.7B from
2007-08 alone and the system has more than $180 billion
under management. The RFP has been posted online for firms
wishing to pursue a place in the pool.
are due by Oct. 6 with earlier deadlines for questions about
GEORGIA REVIEWS CLEAN AIR
The Clean Air Campaign, a public-private non-profit touting
environmental measures in Georgia, is reviewing its six-figure-a-year
PR account with an RFP process. Cookerly PR of Atlanta is
Budget is slated to be
$225K for the first year of the three-year contract running
through the end of 2012.
A key focus of the PR
effort is the 20 metro Atlanta counties which have been
designated in the category of nonattainment
for air quality standards by the Environmental Protection
Agency. Carpools, mass transit, and various other steps
that can be taken to curb toxic emissions are to be stressed
to the public, employers, schools, and other groups.
A firm is expected to
be selected by late October.
SALOP SIGNS ON AT WESTERN
Michael Salop, who made
his investor relations and financial communications mark
at Mattel Inc., is now senior VP-IR at Western Union, the
$5B money transfer operation.
In a nearly 20-year stint,
Salop rose to senior VP-IR & treasurer at the toy company
marketer. He also served as VP-finance for Mattels
American Girl division, senior VP-finance for Mattel Europe
based in the Netherlands and senior VP-strategic planning,
mergers and acquisitions.
BLJ DEALS WITH GADDAFIS
Brown Lloyd James handled
the uproar over the prospect of Libyan strongman Moammar
Gaddafi setting up a Bedouin tent in the leafy New Jersey
town of Englewood when he visits the U.S. this month to
address the United Nations.
The outrage, which forced
the Libyans to fold their tent, was intense in the wake
of the heros welcome that was staged for the Lockerbie
bomber, who was released from a Scottish jail. Thirty-eight
of the 270 victims in the Pan Am bombing came from N.J.
Gaddafi pitched his tent
in the garden of the Elysee Palace while visiting Paris
in 2007, and in Rome this year.
Libyan officials had asked
Mayor Mike Bloombergs office if Gaddafi could set
up his camp in Central Park. NYC nixed that request. Libyas
mission to the U.N. owns a 10,000 sq. ft. stone mansion
in Englewood, across the Hudson River from NYC.
BLJs Molly Conroy
worked the tent matter for Libya. The former Times of
London staffer and Polo Ralph Lauren corporate communications
manager handled BLJs launch of the English-language
Al Jazeera, the Arabic satellite TV network.
EDELMAN LANDS LOEB
PR veteran Harlan Loeb
has moved to Edelman to take control of its U.S. crisis
and issues management practice.
Loeb joins from FD, where
he was founding member of the Chicago office of the firm
formerly known as Financial Dynamics.
He spent five years at
Hill & Knowlton, serving as U.S. litigation practice
director and member of the global crisis team. He has advised
Enron, Dow Chemical, HSBC, Northwestern Memorial Hospital,
BASF, Allstate and Mitsubishi on risk management, litigation,
crisis and issues strategy and PR.
PRS BYLAWS RE-WRITE QUESTIONED
PR Society leaders and
Assembly delegates on Aug. 24 questioned the purpose of
the bylaws re-write that chair Mike Cherenson said has consumed
hundreds if not thousands of hours of the time
of Society volunteers.
PR Prof. Dean Kruckeberg,
co-chair of the Commission on PR Education of PRS, told
a teleconference that the bylaws re-write is about the health
of the Society rather than what the Society
is doing for the profession.
(Continued on page 7)
Edition, September 2, 2009, Page 2
PENTAGON AXES RENDON
The Pentagon has axed
Rendon Group's contract to issue report cards based on the
"performance" of embedded journalists in Afghanistan.
Stars and Stripes
reported last week that Rendon's job was to grade coverage
of the Afghanistan action on a positive, negative
or neutral basis.
That news report triggered
a storm of protest in media circles, charging the Pentagon
was more interested in propaganda.
Rear Admiral Gregory Smith,
the top U.S. military communicator, made the decision to
drop the contract. It was clear that the issue of
Rendon's support to U.S. Forces in Afghanistan had become
a distraction from our mission, he wrote in an e-mail
Smith, who was posted
in Afghanistan in June, added that he found no systemic
issues with fairness or equity in the way U.S. forces have
run their media embed program.
analysis services contract was worth $1.5M.
The International Federation
of Journalists and affiliated groups in the U.S. blasted
the militarys use of TRG to vet journalists who sought
to be embedded with U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan.
It suggests [the
military is] more interested in propaganda than honest reporting,
said Aidan White, general secretary of the IFJ, who added
that the practice compromises the independence of media.
Rendon responded to widespread
coverage of its work with a statement on its website on
Aug. 25. The analysis is not provided as the basis
for accepting or rejecting a specific journalists
inquiries and TRG does not make recommendations as to who
the military should or should not interview, the firm
said. In the field of public affairs our first principle
is that information should be communicated in a timely,
truthful and transparent manner.
The IFJ called Rendon
a notorious public relations firm and noted
its work with the Iraqi National Congress, the opposition
group linked to false reports about weapons of mass destruction
The IFJ also noted that
an S&S reporter was barred from embedded reporting two
months ago for apparently refusing to highlight
positive news from military commanders.
RASKOPF GETS THE DONUTS
Karen Raskopf, who headed corporate communications in a
12-year career at Blockbuster, has moved to Dunkin
Brands to head communications as senior VP for the donut
and ice cream franchiser.
Raskopf, reporting to CEO Nigel Travis, who took the reins
in January after heading Papa Johns, oversees PR,
internal/external comms., marketing, and event management,
among related disciplines at Dunkin, which counts
15,000 stores in 44 countries worldwide for its Dunkin Donuts
and Baskin-Robbins franchises.
Sales for 2008 were just under $7 billion. Dunkin was acquired
in 2006 by three private equity firms and rumors have percolated
that an IPO could be an option.
Raskopf was previously head of comms. for 7-Eleven before
exiting for Blockbuster in 1997.
SORRELL SLICES 6.3% WPPS
WPP chief Martin Sorrell slashed headcount 6.3 percent
to 105,393 people (as of July 31) as the 8.3 percent drop
in first-half revenues was twice what the Dublin-based ad/PR
combine had anticipated. Profit plunged 48 percent to 108.4M
Sorrell believes WPP cost structure is now better
balanced to deal with reduced revenues and will result
in a marked improvement in profitability.
The WPP chief remains cautious though results in July were
less-worse than the first-half. The company
has little doubt that CEOs and CMOs feel better about
the general economic environment, Armageddon or Apocalypse
now having been averted, there is little evidence of better
heads and stouter hearts translating into stronger order-books
or investmentsat least, yet, according to its
Looking at 2010, WPP eyes even Steven top line
revenues despite a boost from the Winter Olympics, World
Expo in Shanghai, Asian Games in Guangzhou, FIFA World Cup
and mid-term U.S. congressional elections.
On the PR front, WPPs Burson-Marsteller, Hill &
Knowlton, Ogilvy PR and Cohn & Wolfe units registered
a 6.9 percent drop in revenues.
CHIME POSTS ROBUST FIRST HALF
Chime Communications, the U.K.-based parent company of
Bell Pottinger, reported a 19 percent rise in first-half
revenue to 137.5M pounds ($223.3M at the current exchange
rate). Its PR business, which represents 55 percent of its
portfolio, was up 27 percent to 86.4M pounds.
Chime, led by Tim Bell, noted less good performance
in public affairs, financial and tech PR was offset by geopolitical,
corporate and CSR work, the Middle East and consumer PR.
Bell said pre-tax profit of 8.5M pounds ($13.9M) was a record
at four percent growth.
The company said its small cost base compared to the big
four ad/PR conglomerates gives it a competitive advantage
noting, Big is not as beautiful or as safe as it once
was. Chime sees its digital portfolio growing and
Internet solutions becoming more effective as marketing
expenditures continue to decline. We think this is
a permanent change, the company said.
In addition to BP, Chime also owns PR units Good Relations,
Harvard, Insight and Corporate Citizenship.
FD TAPS KINDIG
Sheila Kindig, former director at BearingPoint Management
& Technology Consulting, has been tapped as senior VP
in the corporate communications practice of FD.
The employee engagement specialist is based in Chicago
and will counsel clients on organizational effectiveness.
Kindig reports to Christian Hodges, managing director and
Chicago chief of the FTI Consulting Inc. unit. Hodges said
in a statement that Kindigs skills are especially
apt for companies facing major transformations.
FD employs more than 730 staffers.
Edition, September 2, 2009, Page 3
SCRIPPS OVERHAULS NEWSPAPERS
E.W. Scripps Co. has revamped
its 13 daily newspapers to better share best practices and
standardize business processes.
Mark Contreras, senior
VP-newspapers, says the idea is to make sure all of
our newspapers have a sharpened focus on delivering unrivaled
local content across multiple platforms and development
of the best sales organization in each of our markets.
Scripps has divided its
papers into regional and mid-sized
media organizations. Regionals include papers in Memphis,
Knoxville, Naples, Treasure Island (Fla.), Ventura (Calif.)
and Corpus Christi. Those publishers report to Contreras.
The mid-sized papers are
based in Evansville (Ind.), Anderson (S.C.), Redding (Calif.),
Bremerton (Wash.) and the Texas towns of Wichita Falls,
San Angelo and Abilene. They report to Bruce Hartmann, VP-sales.
An operating committee
has been established to oversee the papers. Members are
Hartmann, Rusty Coats (VP-content and marketing), Frank
Wolfe (VP-operations), and Jim York (VP-information technology).
NYOs HOROWITZ JOINS
Jason Horowitz, political reporter for the New York
Observer, is joining the Washington Post to work
on the Style desk.
He joined the Observer in 2000 as intern and fact-checker.
Horowitz exited the paper to write for the Globe and
Times in Italy and returned to the Observer in `05 as
a full-time reporter.
Observer editor Tom McGeveran said Horowitz political
coverage put the paper on the national map especially when
he interviewed Joe Biden during the presidential campaign
and got the quote from Delawares former Senator about
Barack Obama being clean.
NBC NEWS GETS KAPP
Lauren Kapp is the new VP-communications at NBC News and
chief spokesperson for Steve Capus, president of the operation.
Capus, in a statement, called Kapp a true professional
with great integrity and a strategic thinker.
Kapp joined NBC News' press shop in 02. Most recently,
she handled publicity for the Nightly News with Brian
Williams and specials.
She will now be in charge of Today, Dateline,
Meet the Press as well as internal communications
and corporate philanthropy. Prior to NBC, Kapp was at ABC
News and Marina Ein PR in Washington, D.C.
YAHOO BUYS ARAB SITE
Yahoo has acquired Maktoob.com,
which has 16.5M users in the Middle East. The Arabic language
site has the bulk of its customers in Egypt, Saudi Arabia
and United Arab Emirates.
Yahoo says Maktoob's general manager Ahmed Nassef will
remain in place to lead the entity.
There are more than 320M Arabic speakers in the world,
but only one percent of online content is in their language.
Internet adoption in the Middle East, according to Yahoo,
is in the early stages.
OPRAHS NETWORK TAKE
Maria Grasso and Nina Wass have exited OWN, the joint cable
TV venture between Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications,
according to a report by Broadcasting & Cable.
Grasso had been senior VP-programming. Formerly, she was
senior VP-series development at Lifetime. Grasso can take
credit for "Army Wives," "Everwood"
and "One Tree Hill."
Wass was handling duties such as creative, production and
An OWN spokesperson said it is not unusual for people to
B&C notes that Grasso and Wass were hired by Robin
Schwartz, who exited the presidency post in April. Jamila
Hunter, an NBC veteran, joined OWN in June as head of programming.
OWN is slated to launch next year, reaching more than 70M
homes. It replaces Discovery Health.
Discovery plans to spend up to $80M on the new network.
VIBE NAMES E-I-C
Jermaine Hall is the new editor of Vibe and vibe.com,
which is being re-launched under new ownership of InterMedia
Partners, a private equity firm.
Hall was editor of King, the monthly geared to black
men that shut down earlier this year.
He also was music editor of The Source, a rap music
publication, and webmaster at Vibe.
The first issue of the quarterly Vibe will appear in November.
COMMERCIAL OBSERVER SET FOR
The Observer Media Group, publisher of the New York
Observer, slates Sept. 15 as the date for the launch
of the Commercial Observer, a weekly newspaper covering
the real estate scene.
The CO is to have 24 to 28 pages each issue and will be
delivered free to 10K people in New York's real estate market.
A subscription will cost $240 a year.
The new entity will use the same salmon-colored paper as
the NYO. Jared Kushner, owner of NYO, believes though the
real estate deal market continues in a slump there are plenty
of lease transactions to keep reporters at the CO busy.
Content will also include news on financing and real estate
The CO will rely on staffers at the NYO, which covers real
They include Tom Acitelli, real estate editor; Dana Rubenstein,
commercial real estate reporter and Eliot Brown, economic
Weekly features will be The Week in Real Estate
(round-up), Commercial Breaks (compelling deals);
The Lease Beat, The Sit-Down (interviews)
and Prospective Tenants.
The NYO, according to Kushner, expects to lose less money
this year than last, and break even next year.
Rubenstein Communications handles PR for Observer Media
news continued on next page)
Edition, September 2, 2009, Page 4
Associates is helping entertainer MC Hammer rebut news reports
that he owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes.
whose real name is Stanley Burrell, said through Singer
that he paid 100 percent of the Internal Revenue Services
claim against him dating back to the 1980s.
said the IRS decided recently that he owed them additional
taxes, which he is contesting through the IRS appeal process.
Singer, who heads the San Francisco PR firm, said MC Hammer
was referred to the firm by the entertainers investment,
legal and financial advisors.
is charming and delightful to work for, Singer told
ODwyers. And, as you might imagine, he
is an excellent writer.
said the current assignment is countering reports that the
tax issue is new, but the PR pro said he welcomes the opportunity
for future assignments.
has developed a huge online following (1.3M followers on
Twitter) and appears on the A&E network show Hammertime.
is co-founder of Dancejam.com,
a social networking site that features dance videos from
A&E SCOOPS UP LIFETIME
The A&E Television
Network is scooping up Lifetime Entertainment Services,
a deal that combines cable programming such as A&E's
"History Channel" with Lifetime's "Project
A&E is owned by Hearst,
Disney and General Electric's NBC Universal. Disney and
Hearst control half of Lifetime.
A&E is the No. 8 cable
network with an average of 1.3M viewers while Lifetime is
Abbe Raven, A&E's
CEO, will take command of the combined entity. Andrea Wong,
Lifetime's CEO, reports to Raven.
FT SETS DATE FOR LUX MAG DEBUT
The Financial Times
has penciled in Oct. 16 for the U.S. launch of its high-end
quarterly glossy, FT Wealth.
The mag will be inserted
into the financial newspaper and target those with personal
assets of more than $1.5M.
FT unveiled FT Wealth
in Europe in `08. The Wall Street Journal launched
its high-end last year.
42WEST SPEAKS FOR REALITY
Entertainment PR powerhouse
42West is speaking for the production company behind a VH1
reality show at the center of a high-profile murder-suicide
Ryan Jenkins, a contestant
on the reality show, Megan Wants a Millionaire,
was found dead of suspected suicide last month in a British
That development came
just days after he was charged with the first-degree murder
of his ex-wife, Jasmine Fiore, a model whose body was found
mutilated and stuffed in a suitcase in a Los Angeles trash
42Wests Allan Mayer,
a former Sitrick and Company exec, is representing 51 Minds,
the production company for the show on which Jenkins appeared.
Obviously, if the
company had been given a full picture of his background,
he would never have been allowed on the show, Mayer
said in a statement.
VH1 pulled the plug on
the show on Friday, a day after the charges against Jenkins
were handed down. Jenkins was also slated to appear on another
VH1 reality show, I Love Money.
The Viacom-owned network
stressed in a statement that the Millionaire
program was an outside production and called
the situation tragic.
51 Minds is owned by Endemol,
a production giant behind shows like Deal or No Deal
and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
New Republic has revamped TNR.com
with changes in both substance and style.
TNR says its content is
easier to share and policy-specific blogs have been added.
A new blog, The Avenue,
covers the future of American cities in collaboration with
the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program.
Media, Huntington Beach, Calif., said it will launch
a new magazine on the chiropractic market, Dynamic Chiropractic
PracticeINSIGHTS, in 2010 intended to help chiropractors
make business and buying decisions.
The publisher said alternative
health is being embraced more and more by consumers and
sees the sector as a growing market.
We have great faith
that the professions we serve will flourish in whatever
health care reforms comes our way, said Don Petersen,
MPA president and publisher.
The launch includes the
monthly print magazine (40K chiropractic offices in U.S.)
The first issue of DCPI
kicks off in print and online in January 2010.
Media has started Energy Efficiency & Technology
as a new resource to serve engineers interested in news,
technology and other information on the space.
The magazine debuted Aug.
20 with a circulation of about 25K engineers involved in
various aspects of the energy efficiency market.
Wind turbine supply chains
and developments in LEDs were among topics of that first
Leland Teschler is editor.
marketer New Era Cap has unveiled a custom digital
magazine, Your Lifestyle. Fitted., with content and
features on music, fashion, sports and other topics.
The free publication,
launched on the companys website on Aug. 26, will
appear quarterly and is being promoted via social networks
and New Eras 100K email list.
New York agency Narrative
designed the pub.
2, 2009, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
City ad/PR agency Barkley is acquiring 28-year-old K.C.
PR firm Boasberg/Wheeler Communications to create a 30-plus
staffer independent Midwest PR shop.
companies said the combination will produce PR revenue topping
$6M. B/W has about ten staffers and handles accounts across
various sectors like healthcare, consumer and financial,
including UMB Financial (also a client of Barkley) and Hostess.
Larry Wheeler has been CEO since 1997.
formerly known as Barkley Evergreen & Partners, has
22 people in its PR unit and is a member of the IPREX network
of independent firms. It has 325 staffers overall, according
to the K.C. Business Journal, which ranks it as the No.
3 ad agency in the city.
Swenson is executive VP of PR.
SANFORD COMMS. DIRECTOR STARTS
Joel Sawyer, who resigned
Aug. 5 as communications director for embattled Gov. Mark
Sanford of South Carolina, has started a PR firm in the
state capital, Columbia.
Sanford, a Republican,
has rebuffed calls from Democrats, some GOP members and
his lieutenant governor to resign after he was outed for
having a year-long extramarital affair with an Argentine
woman and questions have arisen about state funding for
trips to that country.
Sawyer said his new firm,
New Level Strategies, will handle various PR tasks like
media strategy and training, crisis communications and message
The 32-year-old former
reporter at the Spartanburg Herald-Journal served
Sanford for more than six years.
The governors cabinet
director, Ben Fox, has taken over as comms. director; www.newlevelstrategies.com.
Motors will work with Weber
Shandwick to promote its participation in the Shanghai
World Expo that is slated to run from May through October
of next year. The Detroit auto maker has never funded an
Expo exhibit outside the U.S. GM staged Futurama
at the Chicago Worlds Fair in 1933 and Tomorrow
Land at the New York Worlds Fair in 1964. GMs
Shanghai exhibit will project what personal mobility
will look like in the year 2030. China is GMs fastest
growing market. For GM, WS will handle media relations,
events, forums, social media, website and vehicle rides.
The Interpublic unit has extensive ties with Shanghai's
Expo organizers. It helped the city land the Expo. ...The
International Civil Rights Center & Museum has
retained RLF Communications
to handle PR as the facility moves closer to its scheduled
Feb. 1 opening date, which marks the 50th anniversary of
the sit-in movement. The Greensboro, N.C., museum
is being constructed in the original F.W. Woolworth building,
where nearly a half century ago four black men sat at the
whites-only counter of the five and dime and demanded to
be served. Despite media reports of funding woes, RLF president
Monty Hagler assured ODwyers the museum
is on track and will open as planned.
& Caron, New York/Enova Systems, electric and
hybrid drive systems for buses and medium-duty vehicles,
as AOR for investor relations and corporate communications.
CEO Mike Staran said Enovas immediate goals are to
boost its trading liquidity and valuation and saw the time
as right to hire A&C given the current growth in the
alternative energy sector.
Cumberland PR, New York/Blackfire, for launch of
its Blackfire Camplight flashlight, and Tailor Made Products,
for launch of a line of childrens cooking utensils
called Curious Chef.
Morris + King Company, New York/Remy Martin USA,
for a PR campaign, including new media and social networks,
for five of its cognac brands.
Advertising & PR, Cleveland/Greenkote Plc., industrial
coatings, as AOR for global marketing comms. as well as
development of a new website. The company is based in Cleveland
with factories in Germany, U.K., Israel and Mexico.
St. Louis/Ardent, fishing reels and accessories, for development
of promotional and merchandising materials.
Maggiore, Canton, Ohio/Pinnacle Sports, Medina; Zyvex
Performance Materials, Columbus; The Mitchell Group, Niles,
Ill.; Dover Hydraulics, Dover; Combi Packaging Systems,
Canton; Zeiger Industries, Canton; Excel Golf/The Concession
Golf Club, Sarasota, Fla.; Goodwill Industries of Cleveland
and East Central Ohio; Excel Storage Products, East Stroudsburg,
Pa.; United Initiators, Elyria; Ohio State University
Industry Liaison Office, for PR and marketing comms.
Outdoor Communications, San Antonio, Tex./MedjetAssist,
emergency medical evacuation membership program, as AOR
for PR focused on the outdoor, hunting and fishing markets.
Street Communications, Salt Lake City, Utah/Softel,
TV and video title technologies, for PR focused on the trade
PR, San Francisco/VSP Vision Care, benefits provider,
for a cross-platform social media campaign, part of its
fall open enrollment drive. The work includes social media
strategy, content development and optimization, engagement,
monitoring and evaluation focused on highlighting the role
vision coverage has in health and reducing long-term costs
related to managing certain diseases.
PR, Santa Monica, Calif./Santa Monica Bayside District,
for PR, events and community relations. Initial focus is
the Districts push to overhaul the downtown area.
Communications, Newport Beach, Calif./AVerMedia Information,
for strategic comms. support and planning for its multimedia
devices in the U.S. The work includes PR and social media
Edition, September 2, 2009, Page 6
SLATES VOTE ON MERGER
shareholders will meet on Sept. 25 in New York to vote on
the broadcast and digital PR companys proposed acquisition
by The NewsMarket.
as of Aug. 3, 2009 are eligible to vote at the Courtyard
New York Manhattan on Third Avenue in New York at 10 a.m.
deal is worth about $1.3M, based on the 6.4M shares and
the valuation of the transaction at $0.20 a share.
Torossian, chief financial officer of Medialink, said in
a statement: The preliminary integration work and
the transition planning we have been doing with The NewsMarket
have been going extremely well, reinforcing our optimistic
view of the opportunities the merger will afford the combined
works with Darrow & Associates for investor relations.
Rick Sannicandro, a top Medialink exec in a ten-year career
there, has moved to rival MultiVu, a unit of PR Newswire,
as divisional VP. He's focusing on initiatives outside the
U.S. for the broadcast/digital PR company.
had been VP of client solutions and VP of operation during
his tenure at Medialink and previously worked at ABCs
Worldwide TV News.
Newswire is owned by United Business Media.
VOCUS SHARES LAUDED
featured shares of PR software company Vocus among 4
Internet Stocks Flying Under the Radar on Aug. 20.
The Fool noted that Vocus
is growing despite the current economy with more than 800
subscribers added since last year.
balance sheet is also stocked with roughly $5 a share in
cash and short-term investments, protecting the stocks
downside until the economy does bounce back, wrote
Rick Aristotle Munarriz.
Vocus shares are trading
around $16.75 with a 52-week range of $11.47-$41.50.
PR SOCIETY CONDEMNS PR PRACTICES
The PR Society issued
a condemnation of recent PR tactics that have stirred controversy
by misrepresenting or failing to indentify the source of
PRS did not reference
any of the incidents by name but appeared to be alluding
to a Bonner & Associates staffer sending fake letters
to members of Congress, employees of Reverb Communications
posting positive reviews of clients iPhone applications,
as well as bloggers lauding products they receive for free.
PRS points to its code
of ethics in noting that each scenario shares a common
thread of potential malpractice for failure to follow
obligations of professional communicators to protect and
advance the free flow of accurate and truthful information.
The Society noted ethics
code sections on deceptive online practices, front groups
and pay for play.
Crosby, a veteran association marketing and PR pro,
has taken the VP/communications slot at the Software &
Information Industry Association, the influential trade
group for software and digital content companies. Eileen
Bramlet, who held the VP post, has left the group.
Crosby had recently been senior director of marketing and
communications at the National Park and Recreation Association
and previously headed marketing and communications in two
stints at the Special Libraries Association. He started
out on the Hill with the late Rep. Herb Bateman (R-Va.)
and later moved to the SLA before managing government marketing
for LexisNexis. SIIA members include Adobe, Thomson Reuters
and IBM among hundreds of others.
Tiner, director of marketing comms. for infrastructure
management solutions company Tideway Systems, to Articulate
Communications, New York, as a member of its senior leadership
team. She was previously with Metia, SeeBeyond, Progress
Software and Cambridge Technology Group.
Sullivan, editorial director, MS&L New York,
to Porter Novelli, as director of comms. She oversees comms.
for the PN brand worldwide reporting to CEO Gary Stockman.
Sullivan, 43, held posts at Publicis Dialog, Gibbs &
Soell and Cohn & Wolfe.
Mordi, VP in the consumer brands unit at GolinHarris/Chicago,
to Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, outdoor kitchen equipment
maker based in the Windy City, as VP of comms. He was previously
at Lands End and Fleishman-Hillard.
Kurlander, assistant to the president and CEO of
Alabama Power, part of Southern Company, to VP, comms.,
for Southern Company, based in Atlanta. She joined AP in
2003 as director of corporate comms.
Baxter Kirk to group leader, Bader Rutter, Milwaukee.
She joined the firm in 2008 and is a team leader for the
BRs Schneider Electric business. She also handles
Ball Horticultural, Burpee home Gardens and GE Healthcare.
Lindell has been named managing director of Exponent,
the PR unit of Colle+McVoy, Minneapolis. He is a nine-year
C+V veteran and formerly held posts at Carmichael Lynch
Spong and Fleishman-Hillard.
Birkin, former vice chairman of Omnicom Group and
CEO of Asia-Pacific at the ad/PR conglomerate, has taken
a majority stake in RPMC, the 26-year-old Los Angeles brand
events and experiences firm. He is a former CEO of OMCs
Akande, dean of the School of Business and Technology
at Webster University, has been named to The Vandiver Groups
advisory board, its fifth member. Akande leads a faculty
of 1,500 spanning 107 campuses in the U.S., Europe and Asia
for the 13K-student business school.
Edition, September 2, 2009, Page 7
BYLAWS RE-WRITE QUESTIONED
the entire Assembly Nov. 7 in San Diego will be taken up
with voting, section by section, on the sweeping revision
of the bylaws, said Cherenson.
including those who send in their proxies to be voted by
others, will then vote on the bylaws as a whole including
any amendments, which do not have to be provided in advance.
members are vigorously protesting the use of proxies, recalling
that a move to bar proxies was defeated on Dec. 3, 2005
in Chicago when 81 proxies were used. No proxies at all
were needed for the special meeting (called because Hurricane
Wilma washed out the October 22 meeting). Present were 159
delegates. A quorum was 103.
proxies were used to defeat the very motion that would have
blocked the use of proxies, said a member.
debate on proxy voting lasted nearly two hours with the
anti-proxy faction arguing that the bylaws specified that
Assembly delegates had to be assembled, meaning
in person, and the Assembly Handbook specifically said:
Delegates must be present for all votes during the
day of the Assembly meeting.
cited was Roberts Rules which say it is a fundamental
principle of parliamentary law that the right to vote is
limited to members actually present
in favor of proxies said that under New York State law they
were permitted as long as there was no specific bylaw against
them. They argued that the wording in the bylaws was not
biggest issue in 2005 was the move by the executive committee
to be able to act as the full board between quarterly board
bylaw passed and is also in the new bylaws (Article VI,
Section 1), saying the EC shall have and exercise
the authority of the board in the management of the Society
between meetings of the board.
has been for the EC to meet separately from the board for
a period even when the rest of the board is present.
most vocal opponent of the EC power move was the Miami chapter,
which said it would make eunuchs of the rest
of the board. The Sunshine district (seven Florida chapters),
headed by Lisa Johnson, wanted the EC abolished and all
references to it deleted from the bylaws and policies &
practices manual (10/19/2005 Newsletter).
Veteran members wonder
why so much power is given to the EC, and particularly between
board meetings, when proposed Article XV says that any PRS
board, committee or Assembly can meet by telephone conference
and that such participation constitutes presence in
person at the meeting.
The entire board could
easily meet and vote by teleconference at any time so there
is no need for the suspension of the authority of the entire
board between board meetings, said members.
A key power exercised
by the EC is the power to hire or retain the COO. That was
used July 24 to provide a new contract to COO Bill Murray.
Details have not been released and also not yet released
is IRS Form 990, originally due May 15, that shows the salary
of the COO, legal expenses, occupancy costs including rent,
and other financial information.
Responds to Kruckeberg
Cherenson, answering Kruckebergs
recommendation that the board pay more attention
to what the Society is doing for the profession,
said that the bylaws create the Leadership Assembly
that would cast it in an advocacy role that
would take up broad issues.
One such issue, he said,
would be working on the definition of PR.
Colette Trohan and legal counsel Ann Thomas both told Cherenson
that the bylaws of a group are about the rights of
members and the flow of authority and
that giving tasks to members does not belong there.
Kruckeberg, who was at
the University of Northern Iowa for 25 years and is now
director, Center for Global PR, University of North Carolina-Charlotte,
is a former chair of the Educators Academy of PRS.
Thomas has left the firm
of Venable, Washington, D.C., but continues as legal counsel
to PRS. She was parliamentarian for the 2008 Assembly. Beth
Caseman of Venable handled those duties at the 2007 Assembly.
2007 treasurer who was defeated for chair-elect by Cherenson,
said in a posting on the PRS governance E-group that his
criticism three months ago about a board member heading
the nominating committee is being ignored.
The bylaws committee,
headed by Dave Rickey, has failed to address the criticism
and there has been no substantive discussion
of it on the PRS website, said DAngelo in a posting
Aug. 27. He feels the presence of a sitting board member
(immediate past chair) on the board would discourage
board disagreements with that person during the course of
the current year. Judith Phair, 2005 president, has
expressed a similar view.
Birmingham Business Alliance
Rickey, who joined the
Birmingham Business Alliance in June as SVP-communications
from Alfa Corp., told the afternoon delegate conference
that he would talk about the new bylaws to anyone,
any where, any time. He mentioned a recent session
with leaders of the Orlando chapter.
Rickey and Cherenson have
been asked by this Newsletter to face rank-and-file members
and the PR trade press at a press conference in New York
on the bylaws. Neither has responded.
This NL also e-mailed
presidents of 35 PRS chapters including the 15 largest to
see if any have sought the views of members on the proposed
bylaws or taken votes of the members on them.
Only three chapter presidents
responded. One said that the debate at the national level
was sufficient while another said the matter would be taken
up at the chapters October board meeting.
The Central Michigan chapter
in 2006 proposed that the Assembly be the ultimate
authority at PRS but was unable to obtain public support
by any other chapter.
Edition, September 2, 2009,
proposed bylaws of the PR Society,
crafted by lawyers from the viewpoint of the executive committee,
are nothing but a power grab by the EC which shouldnt
exist at all.
no need for the EC to be meeting separately between quarterly
board meetings since New York State laws allow actions taken
plenty of time to create a new set of bylaws with a law
firm hired by the Assembly delegates using some of the $4.4
million in cash in PRS coffers.
great legal work is needed. Just remove APR and the EC from
the current bylaws; specifically block proxy voting; order
that the Assembly meeting and other meetings involving governance
be audiocast live on the PRS website and permanently archived,
and make the Assembly the ultimate authority
of the Society, as such groups are at the American Bar Assn.
and American Medical Assn.
of the worst things about the proposed bylaws is that they
renege on the promise of direct elections by the 22,000
members. This turns out to be 500 voting in person or proxy.
theyre at it, delegates should elect their own officers
and conduct their own meeting just like the ABA and AMA
Colette Trohan told off PRS chair Mike Cherenson Aug. 24
when he said the new bylaws would establish the Assembly
as an advocacy group tackling big, broad
issues such as the definition of PR.
no doubt the most distinguished parliamentarian PRS has
ever hired (only one of two dozen people in the world who
are both CPP-T (Certified Professional Parliamentarian-Teacher)
and PRP (Professional Registered Parliamentarian), said
no such thing belongs in the bylaws which concern the rights
of members and the flow of authority.
first real test of the proposed bylaws took place
a few days ago when bylaws chair Dave Rickey conducted a
point-by-point videoconference debate on three major proposals
at the North Florida chaptermembership classes, the
Assembly, and nominating committee. Twenty chapter members
(out of 145) were present for the luncheon discussion.
Bylaw proposals on each
of the three topics were voted down by a majority of those
Since, as both Trohan
and PRS lawyer Ann Thomas pointed out in the Aug. 24 teleconference,
the bylaws are an all or nothing proposition,
this seems like a costly exercise in futility and frustration.
PRS board members, heady with the discovery that
lawyers will find legal reasons to support whatever directors
want and that little or no opposition will come from members
who cant afford a law firm, have stood common sense
and fair play on their heads.
An example is the shutting
down of the 2008 Assembly promptly at 5 p.m. because thats
the agenda that was voted.
Delegates who had spent
heavily to attend and who had waited a year for the meeting,
were suddenly dispersed although 52% voted to continue the
meeting. There had been no Town Hall although
one was repeatedly promised.
Legally needed was a two-thirds
vote. We bet the entire leadership bloc (17
directors, 20 section heads and 10 district heads) voted
to end the meeting.
But well never know
since electronic voting devices are used that mask voting
unless a roll call is demanded (and there has been only
one in the ten years of voting device use).
Come to think of it, delegates
never voted to use the devices (introduced in 1999) and
are never asked at the start of the meeting if they want
The ABA and AMA do not
use them. These groups use voice votes and then standing
told the Aug. 24 teleconferences that proxies would
be distributed to delegates just after the 30-day mark before
Neither directed proxies
(where the proxy holder is bound to vote a certain way)
nor undirected proxies have any place in this legislative
Roberts Rules, which
have guided PRS for most of its 62 years, are emphatically
It is a fundamental
principle of parliamentary law that the right to vote is
limited to members who are actually present at the time
the vote is taken, says RR.
Proxy voting is not allowed
in either the U.S. House of Representatives or Senate nor
in virtually any state legislature.
were barred by explicit rules, a 58-year tradition
and Roberts Rules at the Assembly until 2005 when
the executive committee went on a power rampage and forced
proxies down the throats of the delegates.
How did they do it? By
The executive committee
that year wanted the power to meet and take action between
board meetings, a demand that was opposed by Miami and other
chapters which said it would make eunuchs of
the rest of the board (they were right).
Assembly bylaws say that
it is in session when delegates are assembled,
meaning in person. If that were not specific enough, the
Assembly Handbook said: Delegates must be present
for all votes during the day of the Assembly meeting.
What is there about that
which can possibly be misunderstood?
Such explicit language,
tradition and Roberts Rules were no match for PRS
lawyers mangling the language and squeezing out meaning
where there was none.
The 2005 Assembly, meeting
in Chicago after Hurricane Wilma washed out the Oct. 22
session, drew 159 delegates, far more than the 103 needed
for a quorum. But, brandishing New York State laws that
said proxies were permitted unless specifically
banned, leadership allowed 81 proxy votes and accepted
the twisted legal logic.
Who knows how they were
voted? We bet all or most were in favor of proxies or they
wouldnt be using this device. Also voted was the empowerment
of the EC.
were debated for nearly two hours and we looked forward
to the transcript of that debate because PRS had supplied
us and others with Assembly transcripts shortly after the
2002, 2003 and 2004 meetings.
But the board suddenly
decided no more transcripts and that has been the rule since.
There is no law requiring the board to release such a transcript!
That is the legal reasoning that was used. Law
has its place and so does PR. But PR should rule in its
Proxies could be the tipping
point in passing the proposed bylaws although we are becoming
aware of stout opposition that is forming.
The political power that
h.q. exercises over the chapters is not to be underestimated.
Many staffers work full time at this while volunteers have