The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, September 9, 2009, Page 1
TO REVIEW TOBACCO PR
will release a mid-September RFP for its $1M a year tobacco
control PR account, according to Dept. of Public Health
media specialist Jennifer Mansfield.
DPH oversees the Golden States Tobacco Control Program
to educate the public about the dangers of tobacco use and
Rogers Group, Los Angeles, is the incumbent for the account.
RFP covers an initial three-year contract starting in March
2010 with two year-long options that could stretch the pact
state says about $1M a year is available to fund its PR
contingent on the governors budget.
RFP is slated to be released on Sept. 17 with proposals
due by Oct. 13. The documents will be posted at www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/Tobacco.
bidders conference is slated for Sept. 30 in Sacramento.
WANTS TOURISM PR PITCHES
Islands capital city Providence is reviewing its six-figure
travel and tourism PR account and is seeking qualifications
from firms through the end of September.
Hammond & Associates, New York, is the four-year incumbent.
The firm made a presentation to the Providence Tourism Council
in late June outlining its work and received a three-month
extension. The board then voted to issue an RFP for the
contract because it had not been reviewed in four years.
to the request for pitches, the Council expects a firm to
get earned media to position the city nationally as a tourist,
convention and meeting destination. Crisis and community
relations are also included in the planned three-year contract.
city's most recent PR pact is worth $240K a year.
one of the oldest cities with its founding in 1636, counts
about 176K residents, more than a tenth of Rhode Island's
population topping 1M.
its proximity to southern Massachusetts and locale on Narragansett
Bay make it an attractive location for tourism and conferences.
also has a large higher education presence anchored by Brown
University and Providence College among five other institutions.
statements are due by Sept. 30. Susann DellaRosa is overseeing
the process ([email protected]).
RISES FOR $9M CA RAIL PR PACT
state entity overseeing California's dream of a high-speed
rail line delayed final approval Sept. 3 on a five-year,
$9M PR contract with Mercury Public Affairs, which is owned
by Fleishman-Hillard, following an RFP process initiated
communications and public information pact was put out for
bids by the California High Speed Rail Authority to boost
the $40 billion project.
rail link would run from San Francisco and Sacramento in
the north to Los Angeles and San Diego in southern California.
beat out eight other firms in the selection process. Deutschman
Communications Group was previously advising the Authority.
in the Golden State have criticized Mercury's ties to Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Authority postponed the award
as board members said they needed more information to okay
such a lucrative pact.
FORTIFIES PLASANS PR
Communications is handling PR duties and web development
work for all-terrain vehicle armor company Plasan SASA.
located at Israels Kibbutz Sasa, provides mine-resistant
and ambush-protection kits for U.S. Army all-terrain vehicles
in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a key subcontractor on Oshkosh
Corp.s $1.06B pact announced July 31 to deliver 1,700
all-terrain vehicles to the Army by February. That pact
is a follow-up to the $1.05B contract for 2,244 vehicles
won by Oshkosh Defense on June 30.
Israeli press reports that Plasans share of each contract
is worth several hundred millions of dollars.
bulk of Plasans production comes from its facility
REJECTS CRITICISM OF PROXIES
Society chair Mike Cherenson, responding to 30 criticisms
of the proposed bylaws including charges that they are a
power grab by the executive committee and board,
discussed two of the criticisms last week and in both instances
in a posting on the governance e-group of PRS, said that
proxies would be used at the Assembly Nov. 7 and that the
board would continue to position the Assembly as dealing
with issues of the profession.
members had posted in the same e-group last week that PRS
bylaws, PRS tradition, Roberts Rules and a specific
mention in the Assembly Handbook had all forbade the use
on page 7)
Edition, September 9, 2009, Page 2
HANGS UP ON SKYPE
Communications and Edelman are working eBay's $2.75B deal
to unload a 65 percent stake in its Skype Internet phone
service to an investor group.
e-Bay CEO Meg Whitman acquired Skype in 2005 and was criticized
for overpaying for the venture that did not pan out.
generated $551M of eBay's $8.5B in revenues last year. It
had more than 400M users at yearend '08.
CEO John Donahoe said in a statement that Skype though a
strong standalone business does not have synergies
with our e-commerce and online payments businesses.
completion of the transaction, Skype will have the
focus required to compete effectively in online voice and
video communications and accelerate its growth. eBay
had planned to spin Skype off via an IPO in 2010. That plan
is now dead.
Lake, Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Canada Pension
Plan Investment Board are lining up as the new owners of
(Mike Buckley and Anisha Patel) represents eBay in the transaction,
while Edelman (Rich Myers and John Dillard) answers to the
Rendon Group, the D.C. and Boston PR firm thats a
favorite target of critics for its government contracts,
is pushing back against misleading or inaccurate information
it says has been reported by some major media and blogs.
second response from the firm in as many weeks, which came
from global strategies director Bryan Rich, is notable because
TRG rarely grants interviews or discusses its work.
latest flare-up of scrutiny was sparked by a Stars and
Stripes article which reported on a Rendon pact with
the Pentagon to analyze war reporters coverage of
Afghanistan. Some reports suggested the military was weighing
Rendons reports in decisions to approve requests for
embedded duty reporting on the war.
a statement emailed to this website, posted online and disseminated
via PR Newswire, the firm denied that charge. We assumed
any reporters we were asked to research would be interviewing
or embedding with the U.S. military, the firm said,
pointing to a USA Today report that noted only 2
of 143 requests to the 101st Airborne Division were denied.
Those two denials were reportedly for inaccuracy and release
of classified information and USAT said both media outlets
were later accepted for the embed program.
its Sept. 3 statement, the firm also revisited the 2005
Rolling Stone article on Rendons role in the
second Iraq war. Pointing to the Department of Defense Inspector
General and Associated Press, Rendon said it "had no
role in shaping U.S. public opinion leading up to the Iraq
war" and no ties to the Iraqi National Congress or
military said late last week that it was canceling the Rendon
contract for Afghanistan because it had become a distraction.
Electronics has shifted its North American consumer electronics
and North American corporate account from MWW Group to sister
Interpublic firm, Weber Shandwick, as part of its periodic
review of communications partners.
Jose Cardona told ODwyers that five firms were
considered for the business, but three presented. MWW declined
to pitch. It continues to represent Samsung Telecommunications
America, developer and marketer of wireless headsets and
other gear. Weber Shandwick also picks up the global visual
display division, which Cardona calls a new PR business
duties include strategic counsel, corporate marketing, sports,
sponsorships, events, online media as well as promoting
home theater systems, Blue-ray players and HDTVs. Another
IPG firm, Current Lifestyle Marketing, is in the mix. CLM
was selected to build consumer awareness for Samsung's home
remains Samsungs global agency of record and PR firm
for the company's North American semiconductor operation.
R&J Public Relations continues as agency for Samsung's
digital imaging products.
had 2008 revenues of $96B.
CORPS SEEKS PR FOR MO. PROJECT
U.S. Army Corp of Engineers is looking for a PR firm to
guide internal and external communications for its massive
eight-year effort to implement a Missouri River Recovery
recovery effort, encompassing several states from Montana
to Missouri, aims to restore the rivers ecosystem
while maintaining congressionally mandated uses for the
aquifer for consumption and irrigation. Initial planning
started last year and follows a four-part schedule to develop
and select a plan through 2016.
senior team overseeing the project says it places a high
priority on its public outreach and communications.
PR effort will include various tasks from web production
and brochures to press kits, releases, community outreach
and mailings on a year-long contract.
Corps is looking for a firm with experience in working with
diverse groups on natural resource issues. Responses to
the RFP are due Sept. 10. The RFP has be accessed via odwyerpr.com.
PR CHIEF MOTORS TO TESLA
Motors, the luxury electric vehicle maker, has recruited
YouTubes Ricardo Reyes to serve as VP for communications.
35-year-old Nicaraguan native heads global comms. and public
affairs at the Google Internet video unit and is slated
to join San Carlos, Calif.-based Tesla on Sept. 14. He earlier
handled litigation, competition and policy communications
his term in Silicon Valley, Reyes was in D.C. handling auto
restructuring comms. among other efforts leading crisis
work at law firm Bracewell and Giuliani. Reyes also worked
in for the U.S. Trade Representative as a deputy assistant
and spokesman for trade policy during the first term of
George W. Bush.
Edition, September 9, 2009, Page 3
ACQUIRES ASSOCIATION TRENDS
Books & Information Services has acquired 36-year-old
Association Trends from Martineau Corp.
Martineau Cornish, executive editor whose father, Frank,
founded the title in 1973, said Columbia will give the publication
additional resources to better serve the association community.
is a great day in the life of Trends and I am very excited
to be a part of taking us to the next level," said
Cornish, who has worked on the title for 25 years.
deal includes the print publication, its website and events
like the Salute to Association Excellence and the Association
Executive of the Year.
publishes the National Trade and Professional Associations
Directory and the Washington Area Non Profit Compensation
says it will continue as an independent consulting, association
management and communications shop.
REPLACES GIBSON AT ABC
Gibson, anchor of ABCs World News since
May 2006, is stepping down in January. The 66-year-old will
be replaced by Diane Sawyer, 63.
had been discussing retirement with ABC News president Dave
Westin for a couple of weeks.
an email to staffers, Gibson noted that ABC has been his
professional home for almost 35 years and the
decision to retire was not an easy one. He called the ABC
news department second to none.
anchor of Good Morning America, expects to do
some reporting for World News after she assumes the anchor
replacement for Sawyer at the lucrative GMA has not yet
Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch is negotiating with Saudi Arabias
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal to purchase a stake in his Rotana
Wall Street Journal reports that News Corp. may buy
a 20 percent stake in Rotana, which airs Fox channels in
Saudi Arabia and owns rights to a library of more than 2,000
the deal is pulled off, it will be News Corps initial
foray into the Arab World. Prince Alwaleeds Kingdom
Holding, owns a 5.7 percent stake in News Corp.
as the Saudi Warren Buffet, the Prince is a
major investor in Citigroup. He has made investments in
Apple, AOL and Motorola, Euro Disney, Four Seasons hotel
chain and New York City's Plaza Hotel.
in March, put Alwaleed on its billionaire list. He ranked
No. 22 with assets of more than $13B.
and Company is handling Freedom Communications, which on
Sept. 1 became the latest media company to file for Chapter
11 bankruptcy protection.
Irvine, Calif.-based publisher of the libertarian Orange
County Register and 33 dailies, has revenues in the
$700M range and is struggling under a $770M debt load which
could be cut to $325M under its revamping plan. The company
will essentially be turned over to its 27 lenders led by
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
family and two private equity investors are expected to
see their stakes slashed to a combined 2% with an option
to buy back 10% Union Bank of California, JPMorgan Chase
and SunTrust banks.
WSJ reports that a Chapter 11 filing is a blow to private
equity firms Blackstone Group and Providence Equity Partners,
which acquired a 40 percent stake in Freedom in 2004.
also owns several affiliates -- five CBS, two ABC and a
single CW TV station -- that reach more than three million
executive Robert Emmers says Freedom is continuing to work
on its balance sheet issues.
company says it will not sell its assets.
SI TO SHARE CONTENT
and its high school sports portal, MaxPreps.com,
have entered a content partnership with The Sports Illustrated
Group to share and distribute digital and print assets.
content will be featured on SI.coms high school page
and will become the engine for SIs Faces in
the Crowd feature.
SI writers David Feherty and Seth Davis will be syndicated
across CBSSports.com, which will feature links to other
SI writers like Peter King (football) and Tom Verducci (baseball).
will link to video from CBS for programs like SEC
Live and Fantasy Football Today.
managing editor Paul Fichtenbaum said the deal will provide
an outstanding service to users as well as shine a
brighter light on our collective efforts.
AFOOT AT BODY + SOUL
Postman, executive editor of Elle magazine, has moved
to Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia as editor-in-chief of
Body + Soul magazine.
magazines editorial team is relocating from Watertown,
Mass., to New York to join the rest of the MSLO operation
Fincke, EIC since February 2006, is staying in Boston and
will stay on as a contributor.
who oversees content for B+S magazine and its wholeliving.com
site, was previously at Conde Nast Womens Sports
& Fitness, Redbook, Random House and Working
news continued on next page)
Edition, September 9, 2009, Page 4
LAUNCHES PREMIUM SITE
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette launched a premium website
that includes a team of bloggers and writers for the paper
providing an insiders guide to the citys
news and events.
site, PG+, costs $36 a year or $3.99 a month. Subscribers,
which the paper is calling members, get access
to social networking, chats, videos, special events, blogs,
and deals on entertainment, sports and shopping.
president Christopher Chamberlain said the site will add
a richer dimension to the papers existing
products without taking away from its current print and
a website for people who want a deeper connection to the
Pittsburgh community and the best the PG has to offer,
CIGARETTE MAKERS FIGHT CONGRESS
Three cigarette companies
are taking a legal stand against an act in Congress to further
Lorillard, Reynolds American
and National Tobacco filed suit in U.S. District Court (Bowling
Green) against the Food and Drug Administration to block
enactment of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control
Among other tenets, the
act would require cigarette companies to put a graphic of
a diseased lung on half the front and backsides of a pack
The intent of the law
is to protect children from tobacco advertising.
It also bans color ads
in magazines that have 15 percent readership from people
under 18, meaning popular titles like Sports Illustrated
and People would fall under that restriction.
Lorillard pushed back
with an ad last week in the Wall Street Journal stating:
While we realize
that many do not deem commercial messages about a product
that is as widely vilified as cigarettes as deserving of
these protections, it is precisely this kind of controversial
speech that the First Amendment protects.
MERRILL BEEFS UP PRESS SHOP
Lauren Sombrotto, who
founded NorthStar Media Public Relations in 2007, has joined
Bank of America's Merrill Lynch unit in New York office.
She has financial PR experience
gained from stints at Brunswick Group, Abernathy MacGregor,
GolinHarris and Gavin Anderson.
Prior to establishing
Northstar, Sombrotto was PR chief at Liquidnet, the online
institution trading firm.
Merrill, mid-month, is
adding Kerrie McHugh, BNP Paribas' senior press officer,
to its press shop. McHugh once worked at EuroRSCG Magnet.
Pinat Rond, formerly of
Koteret PR and Fleisher Communications & PR, joined
the brokerage unit on Aug. 31. Jefferson George, a former
business reporter for the Charlotte Observer, moved to ML
McHugh and Rond work out
George is based at BAs
headquarters in Charlotte.
DISNEY GRABS MARVEL FOR $4B
Walt Disney Co. has agreed
to acquire comic book giant Marvel Entertainment in a blockbuster
$4 billion deal in the media sector.
The agreement represents
a premium of about 29 percent on Marvel shares and puts
iconic (and lucrative) characters like Iron Man, the X-Men
and Captain America under Disneys roof.
Disney is the perfect
home for Marvels fantastic library of [5,000] characters
given its proven ability to expand content creation and
licensing businesses, said Ike Perlmutter, Marvels
Perlmutter will oversee
the Marvel properties at Disney.
YAHOO EXEC HEADS VALLEY FOR
Brad Garlinghouse, a former
Yahoo executive, has been named president of Internet and
mobile communications at AOL.
Heading its Silicon Valley
operations, he is charged with growing AOLs e-mail
and instant-messaging services and will lead AOL Ventures,
its start-up and spin-off arm, on the West Coast.
Garlinghouse was the senior
VP of communications & communities at Yahoo and notably
penned a memo known as the peanut butter manifesto
that outlined problems at the Internet company, which he
said was spread too thin.
NAKED PROTESTERS INVADE EDELMAN
Members of a U.K.
environmental effort stripped down and invaded the lobby
of Edelmans London office on Sept. 1 to protest the
firm's work in support of a coal-powered power plant in
Edelman works with
Kentucky-based energy company EON, which is building a plant
in Kingsnorth through its U.K. subsidiary.
The company says
it is replacing the existing coal-fired units with cleaner
coal units, a switch which will reduce carbon emissions
by two tons a year.
The protestors said
climate activists, partially nude, occupied the roof and
lobby window of Edelman's Victoria Street U.K. headquarters
at around 8:45 a.m.
Edelman U.K. CEO
Robert Phillips said the firm offered coffee and to sit
down and talk with the protesters but they declined.
We are happy
to engage in constructive conversation, said Phillips,
who tweeted about the experience as it unfolded. Everyone
all around the world is concerned about a balanced energy
policy but the fact remains that someone has to keep the
a protestor, said in a statement: Edelman PR [is]
nothing more than new coal spin doctors intent on making
profit out of EON's activities at the expense of the global
EON, which devotes
a section of its website to CCA, says it respects the right
to protest as long as it is done peacefully and within bounds
of the law.
also hit the Bank of Scotland were picked up by several
media outlets, including Reuters, the BBC, Sky News, CNBC,
and the Financial Times.
9, 2009, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
REACHES OUT TO INDIA
York-based Kaplow has aligned with Indias Torque,
which has four offices in that country.
which posted revenue of $10.1M in '08 with nearly 60 staffers,
works with clients like Target and Skype said it can offer
full coverage of the Indian market through Torques
presence in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Ahmedabad.
Gupta, managing director at Torque, said the alliance will
enable both firms to give clients a presence in the
worlds two most competitive markets.
Kaplow, CEO of the New York firm, said the relationship
lets her offer global brands India representation in consumer
and corporate communications.
is aligned with Trimedia International for Europe.
KEYS IN ON DIGITAL
Impact, Los Angeles, has created a digital marketing division,
B/HI Buzz, headed by the firms technology account
lead Matt Meeks.
unit handles services like social media audits, blogger
relations, social networking, SEO, events and meetups, among
said while traditional PR strategies remain very effective,
the firm has found success integrating clients into conversations
already occuring across the web. Meeks co-founded the Denver
web marketing firm 10kthings.com.
principal Dean Bender said the new unit is a response to
audiences moving away from traditional media and turning
to the social web to share news and entertainment.
WORKS CHINAS CANADIAN OIL GRAB
& Knowlton is handling media surrounding PetroChina's
blockbuster $1.9B deal to acquire a 60 percent stake in
two oil sands projects in Alberta.
deal with privately held Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. is China's
biggest energy investment in North America. Alberta's oil
resources represent the largest reserve position outside
the Middle East.
Martin of the Calgary Herald sees the Chinese government
pushing itself shovel deep into Canadas energy
motherlode and grabbing so-called dirty
oil that Americans increasingly find unworthy of fueling
their plans, trains and automobiles. He believes its
too bad that Washington will not be "pleased
at having a massive supply of secure energy on their northern
doorstep slipping under Chinese ownership.
Gallacher, chairman of AOSC, said PetroChina already operates
world class heavy oil facilities in northeastern
his statement, Gallacher believes Alberta and the rest of
Canada will benefit from AOSCs alliance with PetroChina,
one of the world's largest energy companies.
The deal gives China access to 5 billion barrels of oil.
& Co., New York/NXT Nutritionals, marketer of
Susta Natural Sweetener, a sugar substitute marketed to
diabetics and other individuals for whom sugar is not viable,
for a national media relations and PR campaign to introduce
New York/The Sorgente Group, Italy-based real estate investment
company, and East Egg Realty, real estate start-up, for
PR in the New York market.
Communications, New York/Enalasys Corporation, energy
efficiency measurement and data verification, for strategic
Maher Communications, New York/Priscilla of Boston,
designer collections, and Post Foods, ready-to-eat cereal
brands, for PR.
& Knowlton, New York/Insphere Insurance Solutions,
start-up backed by The Blackstone Group, Goldman Sachs and
Credit Suisse, for corporate communications and media relations.
Leedy & Associates, Mount Kisco, N.Y./Union Springs
Pharmaceuticals, Kentucky, for a 12-month social media campaign
to launch its MyClyns personal germ protection spray to
consumers in the fall.
Washington, D.C./Hampton Hotels, part of Hilton Hotels Corp.
and based in Memphis, as AOR for global brand development.
The PR effort aims to position Hampton as the premier midscale
franchise in hospitality.
Government Relations, Washington, D.C./Vero Capital
Management, asset management firm, for D.C. representation.
Boineau & Company, Charleston, S.C./Edisto Chamber
of Commerce, as marketing and PR agency of record for the
summer retreat south of Charleston.
Cleveland/My Yoga 2 Go, home instruction yoga system, for
PR and social media campaigns.
& Allyn, Scottsdale, Ariz./El Mirage, Arizona
city, for PR to replace Policy Development Group. The $12,500
a month pact is on a month-to-month basis. The city is trying
to protect Luke Air Force Base from encroachment and wants
to burnish its overall image.
Design, Venice, Calif./Cloutier Agency; Electronic
Arts; Thomas Whitelaw; Endemic, Division-E Apparel; Deco
Fabric Imports, and Fenix Management, for web design assignments.
Gold & Associates, Los Angeles/Latens, software
security and networking solutions for subscription TV, for
PR focused on the North American telecommunications and
cable TV markets.
Worldwide, London/Western Union, for communication
AOR duties for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent
States, following a competitive pitch. The corporate affairs
assignment includes media relations, thought-leadership
efforts, public affairs and stakeholder management.
Edition, September 9, 2009, Page 6
SEEKS PR SOFTWARE
Charlottesville Albemarle (Va.) Convention & Visitors
Bureau has issued an RFP for electronic PR services and
is taking pitches through Sept. 22.
CVB is funded by and covers the city of Charlottesville
and the county of Albermarle. It has a single staffer that
handles PR and media and operates one visitor center.
entity wants a provider of electronic PR and media services,
including a database of media outlets, digital tracking
of earned media, press release distribution, through
PRWeb, PR Newswire or other credible outlets, among
CVB stresses that its not seeking PR pitches, but pitches
for the services outlined above.
Weller is overseeing the process. She is at [email protected].
OPENS EVENTS SEASON
New York Chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute
said it will open its 2009-10 program season with a Sept.
23rd Fireside Chat event at the Nasdaq Market
Site in Times Square.
Hatheway, chief economist of the Nasdaq OMX Group, is slated
to cover the state of the economy, trends affecting the
equity markets, and what it means for public companies in
the next year.
was finance professor at Penn State University and a researcher
in market microstructure and has authored academic articles
in the Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial
Intermediation and other leading finance journals.
state of the economy continues to be top of mind for investor
relations professionals, said Felise Glantz Kissell,
president of NIRI-NY and senior VP of IR and strategy at
and networking begins at 5:00 p.m., with the program at
6. A networking reception will follow the hour-long program.
Cost is $50 for members and $75 for non-members. Info: [email protected]
The San Francisco
is seeking nominations for its annual Bay Area Most Admired
CEO Awards. Nominees must be CEO of a private or public
company based in the Bay Area. CEOs of divisions or wholly
owned subsidiaries of companies based elsewhere also qualify
for nomination. Info is at sanfranciscobusinesstimes.com.
Deadline is Sept. 18. ...Websticker.com
says that while the average size of a bumper sticker has
been shrinking, their influence has not. Jeff Nicholson,
who runs the Vermont-based promotional sticker company,
says clients and PR pros should realize that while they
are basically mini-billboards, stickers are
not necessarily perceived by consumers as advertising. Stickers
applied in visible locations are personal recommendation
and literal signs of support for a business
or organization. Nicholson says size and design are key
to acceptance as stickers have moved from bumpers to helmets,
skateboards, windows and lockers.
Finzel, senior VP for Fleishman-Hillard in D.C.,
to Widmeyer Communications, as a senior VP in its public
affairs unit. The energy communications guru handled accounts
like Exelon, PG&E, Chevron and the American Wind Energy
Association at F-H. He was a presidential appointee at the
Dept. of Energy during the Clinton administration and was
previously a staffer for two House Democrats.
Procter-Rogers, 2006 president and CEO of the PR
Society, has moved to DePaul University in the new post
of VP for PR and communications. Procter-Rogers, 51, had
been working as an independent consultant via her own shop,
Step Ahead PR. Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, president of DePaul,
said he has asked Procter-Rogers to coordinate the many
messages the 24,000-student school sends and to make the
university better known through the nation.
She had been professional advisor to the PR Student Society
chapter at DePaul for several years and has served on its
College of Communication advisory board since last year.
She was previously Midwest regional corporate affairs director
at HBO and director of public relations and advertising
for Nielsen Marketing Research.
Sigmund, who heads public affairs for the Port Authority
of New York and New Jersey, has taken a leave from the bi-state
agency to head communications for Garden State Gov. Jon
Corzine, a Democrat who is locked in a tight re-election
battle against Republican former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie.
He takes over at the Corzine campaign for Deborah Howlett,
a former Newark Star-Ledger reporter. Sigmund was
a VP at Robinson Lerer & Montgomery.
Ciccone, VP of government relations for Honeywell
International, to USEC Inc., Bethesda, Md., as senior VP
of external relations for the global supplier of enriched
uranium fuel for commercial nuclear power. She was previously
special assistant to President George W. Bush for legislative
Iramain, VP of corporate comms. and public affairs
for Turner Broadcasting System in the Southern Cone region
of South America, to Hill & Knowlton, as GM of its Argentina
operations, based in Buenos Aires.
Waller, partner at U.K. financial PR firm Maitland,
to GLG Partners, London, as the U.S.-listed asset managers
first director of comms. He was previously group head of
external relations for Allianz Group and was previously
a journalist at the Financial Times.
Byrd to national PR director, The Salvation Army,
Alexandria, Va. She previously directed PR at the SAs
San Francisco-based Golden State division, which she joined
in 2002. Byrd started out as a reporter for California
Law Business and the San Francisco Daily Journal
before moving into agency PR.
Edition, September 9, 2009, Page 7
bylaws, members noted, say that the bylaws can only be changed
by a majority vote of the members of the Assembly
present and voting.
Colette Trohan had told Cherenson during an Aug. 24 teleconference
that the bylaws were about the rights of members
and the flow of authority from the members to
the board and vice versa and were not to be used to give
assignments to the members.
Cherenson Sept. 2: The intention of the task force
is to create an assembly of leaders who deal with issues
of the profession, rather than meeting once a year to wordsmith
piecemeal changes to an outmoded document. He said
the Assembly would become a thought leadership group
that would take on big broad issues such as
the definition of PR.
members expressed puzzlement over the proposed role of the
Assembly since one of the new rules is that delegates would
only serve one year and could be elected or
rule is that they are elected for three years
in order to give them experience as delegates.
told the p.m. session of the Aug. 24 delegate teleconferences
that the sessions would be recorded starting with that session.
neither he nor VP-PR Arthur Yann respond to questions about
whether and when such recordings will be made available
to the full membership.
suggestions that the delegate calls be audiocast live on
the PRS website and archived are unanswered.
calls on the bylaws (a.m. and p.m. sessions) are set for
Sept. 10, Oct. 1, Oct. 15 and Oct. 22.
have also suggested that the 2009 Assembly be audiocast
live and the recording and transcript made available to
members. There has been no response to those suggestions.
unpublished by PRS is IRS Form 990 that was originally due
May 15. Non-profits can delay filing until Nov. 15. Last
years 990 was filed in late September.
form contains the salary and benefits of COO William Murray
and legal and occupancy costs.
has received a new contract but neither he nor the board
will reveal anything about it. The previous contract runs
to approximately Jan. 22, 2010.
Not Addressed by Cherenson
topics not addressed by Cherenson that were among the 30
raised in the governance e-group were the shift of election
power to a quorum of 500 members that could
vote in-person or by proxy; the possibility that volunteer
leaders could be paid for services actually rendered;
power of the board to create new categories of members and
new categories of Assembly delegates (with no provision
for Assembly approval); installing a board member as head
of the nominating committee; letting the board expel a member
at its sole discretion, and allowing anyone
in communications to join as long as he or she
agrees to abide by the PRS code.
did not respond to the request for funds for the senior
members so they could hire their own law firm and make some
changes to the current bylaws rather than creating an entirely
new set of bylaws.
bylaws should be written from the perspective of rank-and-file
members and not the executive committee and the board,
said the posting this week by senior members. Cherenson
has said the entire Assembly may be taken up with discussion
of the new bylaws with voting taking place on each of the
may be made from the floor and do not need to be filed in
advance, Cherenson and Trohan noted on the Aug. 24 teleconference.
members said it would be much quicker and easier to revise
the current bylaws, leaving the Assembly to take up other
said PRS leadership has worked so diligently to encourage
free and open debate on this subject through phone calls,
blog posts and this very forum (governance e-group).
did not address the complaint that neither he nor bylaws
chair Dave Rickey have presented themselves to any chapter
memberships or the PR trade press for in-person, on-the-record
discussion of the bylaw proposals.
York chapter leaders have been asked if they have any intention
of inviting Cherenson and Rickey to an on-the-record meeting
in New York about the proposed bylaws at which members and
PR reporters would be present. Their response indicates
that no such meeting will be called.
talked by phone about the bylaws to 20 members of the North
Florida chapter Aug. 20.
major areas were discussed and the members voted against
the proposed changes in all of the areas (Assembly make-up;
eliminating district directors; makeup of nominating committee;
membership classes, and qualifications for board/officer
DELEGATE FIGHTS ELECTION CHANGE
McClennan, Northeast district chair of PRS has sent a bylaw
amendment that would strike the proposal that says: The
full membership shall vote for the election of directors
and officers of the Society.
proposed bylaw had further explained that the full
membership could be represented by a quorum of 500
members voting in person or by proxy.
were not allowed in the Assembly until 2005 when 81 proxies
were part of the vote that defeated a move to bar proxies.
York State law allows proxies unless there is specific wording
in bylaws blocking them. PRS leaders deemed that the Assembly
Handbook, which said Delegates must be present for
all votes during the day of the Assembly, could be
circumvented because that sentence was not in the actual
bylaws, only that delegates must be present
(which apparently was interpreted to mean in person or by
said Sept. 3 in the governance e-group of PRS that it would
be irresponsible to replace a longstanding method
of electing our national officers and board with a new method
without knowing or having the ability to approve the specifics
of direct elections.
Sharpe, former chair of the Sunshine district (seven Florida
chapters), said in a governance e-group posting that a deliberative
body such as the Assembly needs to fully vet and debate
its ideas face-to-face at a meeting. Its what is at
the core of the Assembly and the deliberative process.
Sharpe, a member of bylaws re-write, says that this years
Assembly should be a working session that would
provide meaningful, specific discussions on the ideas
in the bylaws proposals and that action could be postponed
until the next Assembly in 2010 or to a special session
of the Assembly.
Edition, September 9, 2009,
extensive, point-by-point critique of the proposed
PR Society bylaws, which had been earnestly sought by chair
Mike Cherenson and bylaws chair Dave Rickey, has been sent
to them by a group of senior members but to no avail.
took up one of 30 topics that was mentioned and dismissed
the members' plea to block the use of proxies at the Assembly
and Rickey, in an Assembly delegates' conference call Aug.
24, pleaded for members to send in any possible suggestions
for the new bylaws as soon as possible but definitely no
later than 30 days before the Assembly.
Colette Trohan said the Assembly must not take up the bylaws
in numerical order but according to the "biggest items."
need to know what items are attracting the most opinions,
the most "controversy," she said.
an easy assignment and we hope she will take our reading
which is based not only on common sense by members' opinions
such as expressed in the 30 criticisms posted by several
State positively that proxy voting is completely forbidden.
2. No direct election of board/officers without more details.
3. Keep ten district reps on national board.
4. Board cannot create new types of members or Assembly
5. Eliminate executive committee from bylaws.
6. Stop equating "communications" with "PR."
7. No board power to expel members "at sole discretion."
8. Remove APR from bylaws; PRS service only criteria for
9. No board member on nominating committee.
10. No Assembly voting machines unless all votes are roll
more objections but that's a start.
We don't know how far any objections will go because PRS
is a very stubborn organization.
refusal to deal with the 30 objections voiced by some senior
members is one sign.
warned the Aug. 24 delegate teleconference that, "Since
you've put so much work into it so far that we would hate
to suddenly see it all go crazy at the meeting."
is seeking as much input as possible as early as possible.
but that should have started in March with PRS putting on
the main page of its website one proposal at a time and
debating it for a couple of weeks. Instead, it dumped a
dozen on the members in the PRSAY section all at once.
also said that if "three or four different constituencies"
are seeking changes in the same area that the committee
could help them to achieve a "consensus."
warned in the afternoon teleconference Aug. 24 that she
didn't want to see the Assembly get "bogged down or
lost on something that was unforeseen or have to take a
recess to research something."
the plea of senior members to bar proxies,
Cherenson on Sept. 2 said, "Delegates who cannot attend
the Assembly can make their voices heard by proxy."
proposed bylaws say that amendments can be made at an Assembly
by "delegates present in person or by proxy
current passage says "delegates present and voting."
obviously happened in 2005, when proxies (81) were allowed
for the first time in the history of the Assembly, was that
PRS lawyers deemed that "present and voting" could
be interpreted as allowing proxies since the words "in
person" were absent.
was a mangling of the intent of the bylaws since the Assembly
Handbook specifically called for delegates to be "present"
for all votes and Robert's Rules, which were used by the
Assembly for many years, are categorically against proxy
voting in a deliberative body.
defines "present" as being "at the meeting"
and "being in view or at hand."
lawyers who said New York State laws "trump" PRS's
bylaws are talking legal doubletalk. There is no law against
common sense, no law that over-rules the intent of the Assembly
to have its delegates present when voting.
and other PRS leaders on Aug. 24 described elaborate plans
for the use of proxies which would include boxes to be checked
off and which would be both directed (for elections, setting
of dues ) and undirected (for passage of amendments to the
bylaws and/or voting on the bylaws as a whole).
critique by the senior members is right in saying that "All
references to proxies should be stricken from the revised
bylaws" except to state positively that "proxies
are not to be used."
Rickey claimed in
the Aug. 24 p.m. teleconference
that he and others would "talk to anyone, anyway, anytime"
about the bylaws.
Would that were
Almost all of the
discussion has been in restricted e-groups, teleconferences,
or private meetings such as the "Leadership Rally"
of chapter presidents-elect not open to the general membership
Cherenson and Rickey
have failed since March when the bylaw proposals were first
announced to have a press conference or even face one chapter
membership with the press present or the session recorded
and available for listening by the entire membership.
Most of the discussion
has been in the governance e-group which is a dysfunctional,
frustrating way to discuss anything.
to someone and having to wait a day or more for the reply.
That's the governance e-group in which fewer than 20 members
are participating to the best of our knowledge. Most of
those in this group are leaders or staff.
practices seem to preclude fact-to-face discussions.
Facing an Assembly
that could easily deteriorate into chaos, Cherenson, Rickey
and others should hold a press conference in New York this
month to hash out a lot of the details and objections to
the new bylaws. An alternative would be a meeting with members
with the press present.
his Aug. 20 telephone "visit" to the North Florida
chapter on the Aug. 24 delegate conference. What he did
not mention is that the 20 members present voted against
bylaw changes in five major areas-allowing the board to
create new categories of membership and new categories of
Assembly delegates; eliminating district directors; allowing
sitting board member on nominating committee, and qualifications
for board/officer posts (APR, Assembly service, leadership
posts and 20 years in PR posts with increasing levels of
Leaders are asking
members to send in requested changes but who knows when
there will be replies? This is a dysfunctional way to debate
these bylaws which should be done in the open, in-person