The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, September 16, 2009, Page 1
RAIL PR PACT TO BE RE-BID
board overseeing Californias push for a $40 billion
high-speed rail line said it will re-bid its $9M PR contract
after the Los Angeles Times raised questions about
the winning bidders ties to the governors office.
Public Affairs, which is staffed by Schwarzenegger administration
alums, won the RFP process and was on the verge of being
approved by the board. That body delayed the decision earlier
this month after the Times report and pulled the plug on
the award last week.
beat out finalists including sister firm Fleishman-Hillard,
fellow Omnicom shop Porter Novelli, incumbent Deutschman
Communications Group and Edelman. KAYS Communications, MWW
Group, Zooka Creative and Hershey/Cause also pitched but
didnt make the first round of cuts.
evaluation committee was unanimous in recommending Mercury
for the pact. Curt Pringle, chair of the board and member
of that committee, said the process should have been more
transparent in noting the RFP process will be redone.
contract was originally slated to begin Sept. 16.
DiMARIA TAKES PEPPERCOM POST
PR veteran Valerie DiMaria
has returned to the agency side, taking the director of
client strategy & growth job at Peppercom, a newly created
Most recently, DiMaria
was senior VP and group marketing communications director
at Willis Group Holdings, the global insurance broker. London-based
Willis recently put its name on the Sears Tower in Chicago.
Earlier, DiMaria was VP-communications
& PA at Motorola, and VP-corporate PR and advertising
at General Electric.
At GE, DiMaria worked
closely with Peppercom co-founders Steve Cody and Ed Moed
on the GE Capital Insurance business.
DiMaria also was vice
chairman of GCI and president of its New York office and
senior VP at Porter Novelli.
Peppercom ranks No. 14
on ODwyers ranking of independent PR firms with
`08 fees of $13.5M.
Leslie, Weber Shandwick chairman, has been appointed
chairman of the U.S. African Development Foundation. The
USADF operates in 20 African nations, funding more than
1,500 projects. Leslie was vice chairman of USADF and has
been on 13 missions to sub-Sahara countries.
LIVINGSTON DROPS LIBYA
The Livingston Group has
cut ties with Libya and its strongman Col. Moammar Gaddafi
as he prepares to visit New York to address the United Nations
General Assembly. LG partner Lauri Fitz-Pegado disclosed
the break-up via an email.
LG, earlier this year,
inked a $360K annual pact with Great Socialist Peoples
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. The firm of former Speaker-designate
Bob Livingston made news in March as its PR plan to celebrate
the 40th anniversary of Gaddafis military takeover
of the country was leaked to the press by an opposition
More recently, Libya made
headlines when it inquired about pitching a Bedouin tent
in the leafy New Jersey town of Englewood. That request
was greeted by a storm of outrage by nearby residents smarting
over Scotlands release of the bomber of the Pan Am
jet over Lockerbie. Thirty-eight of 270 victims came from
N.J. The Libyan entourage will stay in a Manhattan hotel.
Brown Lloyd James handled
the tent flap.
BRUNSWICK BACKS KRAFT BID
Brunswick Group is aiding
Krafts PR in the U.S. and U.K. as the food marketer
pursues a $16.7 billion takeover of Cadbury PLC.
Cadburys board rejected
the Kraft bid, saying it fundamentally undervalues
the company. Finsbury works with Cadbury.
Analysts are speculating
that the offer could spark others from competitors like
Nestle and Hershey as high as $20B.
Brunswick Group partners
Richard Jacques (U.K.) and Steve Lipin (U.S.) are heading
up the work with Kraft.
PRS MEMBERS CHALLENGE LEADERS
PR Society members
on Sept. 10 rapped with bylaws chair Dave Rickey and PRS
chair Mike Cherenson, claiming PRS is opening its doors
too wide (were defining ourselves out of existence)
and that PRS leaders are ignoring their criticisms.
You had a
whole series of these calls in the spring and got a lot
of good feedback but very little of it ever seems to have
been incorporated by you, said one of the Assembly
delegates and members who were on the call. He said the
bylaws groups attitude seems to be Decide, announce,
that the bylaws revision is fixed at the moment and cant
be changed until Nov. 7 in San Diego when the Assembly meets.
on page 7)
Edition, September 16, 2009, Page 2
EYES BAKED ALASKA PR PACT
& Giuliani is among firms interested in a potential
$1.5M PR pact to make sure that Alaska has input on climate
change legislation that emerges from Washington.
which pushed for the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge for oil drilling, Alaska House, and Nossaman LLP
are other interested parties, according to a report in the
House is a non-profit that was founded by Alice Rogoff Rubinstein,
publisher of Alaska Dispatch.
Last Frontier wants to publicize the global warming
laws impact on tourism, energy development, coastal
erosion, future of polar bears, agriculture and fishing,
according to John Harris, who chairs Alaskas legislative
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin approved the $1.5M PR budget
just before she left office.
New York City Mayor and Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani
is a partner at B&G. He visited Alaska in June and met
an aide to Harris, reported Alaska Dispatch. Giuliani hosted
Palin at a New York Yankees baseball game.
legislative council is currently structuring a global warming
DESIGN FIRM SEEKS PR VIA RFP
firm Corbin Design has posted an RFP for PR pitches through
The firm, founded by architect
Jeff Corbin in 1976 and based in Travers City, Mich., specializes
in wayfinding, the process of designing how people move
through spaces. People get lost. We fix that.
is a slogan for the company, which has alliances in Chicago
Corbin said it has recently
handled PR internally by a staffer with a journalism background
after working with a Los Angeles PR firm that specialized
in design firms. The RFP is particularly frank and outlines
several audiences it wants to reach, including healthcare
facilities, urban planners, universities, corporations and
trade groups in the design space. Were ready
to turn over all of our marketing and PR logic to date,
including editorial calendars and lists of media weve
already solicited, the RFP states.
Marketing director Shelley
Steele is point of contact ([email protected]).
CK CLEANS UP IN TORK REVIEW
Cramer Krasselt PR has
picked up SCA Tissues Tork brand of out-of-home hygiene
products after a competitive review.
Wisconsin firm Directions
previously handled the account. Tork products include washroom
dispensers and bath tissue, as well as paper products for
restaurants and food service.
Rob Merritt, senior VP
and director of PR for C-K in Chicago, said the firm saw
a chance to shift PR away from paper and product messages
to focus on more timely issues like hygiene, sustainability
C-Ks first task
is the North American launch of a line of washroom dispensers
to be revealed at the ISSA trade show in October.
SCA North America is a
$19 billion company.
NASA PLANS FOR PR FOR NUKE
NASA said it will rely
on Medford, Mass., specialty communications firm Focus Group
and possibly seek additional PR help as it decommissions
a nuclear test reactor at Plum Brook in Sandusky, Ohio,
and plans a 2,000-acre wind farm on the site.
Focus Group handles assignments
like risk communications, crisis and community relations
for technical issues. Government agencies, chemical companies
and trade groups are among its clients. NASA is claiming
under procurement rules that FG is the one responsible
source for such work as it has worked on the decommissioning
project since 1999.
But other PR work remains.
NASA has put out a feeler for firms interested in handling
other aspects of its communications needs related to the
wind farm project, including media relations and legislative
The government hopes the
wind farms turbines (about two dozen) could generate
power for the Plum Brook station and potentially the entire
Glenn Research Center which encompasses it.
MWW TAPS FLEISHMANS
CATALANO FOR D.C.
MWW Group has brought
in Laura Catalano from Fleishman-Hillard to head its D.C.-based
public affairs practice.
The energy and environment
pro was a senior VP and partner at Omnicom-owned F-H and
retains a SVP title at MWW, a unit of Interpublic.
MWW CEO Michael Kempner
noted her experience in counseling government agencies as
well as Fortune 500 companies.
Catalano headed F-Hs
energy and environment practice handling clients like the
American Trucking Association, American Chemistry Council,
Shell Oil and the Dept. of Energy. She was previously with
Ketchum and earlier was in journalism as chief editor for
Inside Washington Publishers, editor for State
Environmental Monitor and managing editor for New
AARP TAPS SOCIAL
CHANGE PN ALUM
The AARP Foundation, the
charitable arm of the AARP juggernaut, has brought in a
social change expert, Sharyn Sutton, to serve
as VP for strategy and communications.
The Foundation supports
job training, education campaigns, and services like tax
preparation and legal representation for older Americans
facing health, consumer and employment issues.
Sutton, who ran her own
shop for 13 years counseling non-profits, trade groups and
government entities on marketing and strategic planning,
is charged with leading social marketing and comms. strategies
for the entity.
Earlier, she was executive
VP for research and strategic planning at Porter Novelli.
[Bill Novelli headed AARP until March of this year.]
Robin Talbert, president
of the foundation, noted Suttons work in the public
and private sector in initiatives that spark social
She worked in the public
sector at the National Institutes of Health and has a PhD
and MS in Psychology from the Univ. of Maryland.
Edition, September 16, 2009, Page 3
STOSSEL JOINS FOX
newsman John Stossel is moving to Fox News and Fox Business
Network, where he will have his own one-hour program.
is to feature reports on domestic and international libertarian
issues and will air during the fourth-quarter.
Magee, FBN executive VP, lauds Stossel as one of the
most talented and thought-provoking journalists in the field.
who was co-anchor of ABC News 20/20 is
leaving a 28-year-career at the Walt Disney-owned broadcaster.
to ABC, Stossel reported on consumer issues for Good
Morning America and New York Citys WCBS-TV.
MEDIA GIANTS IN MEASUREMENT
Fourteen giants in the
media and advertising sector have formed a council focused
on measurement systems as the digital era unfolds.
Given the recent
changes in media consumption habits, it is critical for
the various constituencies of our industry to agree on the
priorities for the next generation of media measurement
systems, Martin Sorrel, CEO of WPP and one of the
14 executives announcing the launch of the Council for Innovative
Media Measurement, said in a statement.
Time Warner, Disney Media
Networks (ABC, ESPN), Mediabrands (Interpublic), News Corp.,
Procter and Gamble, and Viacom are among others committed
to the effort, which is a challenge to industry standard
Jeff Bewkes, chairman
and CEO of TW, said measurement of consumer interaction
with brands is becoming more important as content
is available across many platforms.
accurate measurement will have a direct effect on the continued
growth of our industry, he said.
Page Thompson, CEO of
North America for Omnicom Media Group, said the only constant
in media today is change. She said the goal of the new group
is to ensure that the companies can provide a context
NYT SLOWS SALE OF GLOBE
The New York Times Co.,
buoyed by improved financial results of the Boston Globe,
says it is in no hurry to unload the Bean Town property
and its sister paper, Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
That was the message that
chairman Pinch Sulzberger and CEO Janet Robinson
had for nearly 200 workers at Globe headquarters.
The duo thanked staffers
for their pay cuts that have helped put the Globe on the
road to profitability.
Sulzberger said of the
potential sale that our hand is not being forced
and that the company is not in a position where it must
absolutely sell either paper.
The Globe is looking for
further cost-cutting opportunities and plans to begin charging
for online content by the end of the year.
ARTLEY EXITS LAT FOR CNN
Meredith Artley, managing
editor of the online Los Angeles Times, is joining CNN.com
She joined the paper in
March 2007 from the International Herald Tribune,
and was digital development director responsible for both
business and editorial operations, according to a memo from
Russ Stanton, LAT editor.
Earlier, Artley worked
as associate editor of Nytimes.com.
Stanton credited Artley
for more than doubling the LATs site traffic in both
page views and unique visits.
He expects to name Artleys
BLOOMBERG TAKES LOOK AT BW
Bloomberg LLP is among
front-runners of the more than 90 parties that have expressed
an interest in taking BusinessWeek off McGraw-Hill's
hands. Evercore Partners is shopping the magazine. Bids
are due this week.
Bloomberg employs more
than 2,000 staffers and more than $6B in annual revenues.
BW is an attractive property
for Bloomberg because the financial and data company is
trying to reach consumers as Wall Street cuts back, according
to the Wall Street Journal.
WARNER BROS. BANKS ON COMICS
Warner Bros. Entertainment
has established DC Entertainment to maximize the potential
of its DC Comics franchise that is home to Superman, Batman,
Lex Luthor, Bizarro, Doomsday and the Green Lantern.
Diane Nelson, who was
president of Warner Premiere, will head the unit and work
to push DCE characters into films, TV, online and direct
marketing platforms and consumer products.
She will continue to manage
the Harry Potter property.
Nelson reports to Jeff
Robinov, President of Warner Bros., Pictures Group.
Paul Levitz, who was president
& publisher of DC Comics since '02, will return to his
role as writer and consult DCE. He wrote many of the Batman,
Wonder Woman and Superman newspaper strips.
Levitz is excited to focus
on my writing and being able to remain a part of the
company I love as it grows into its next stage, according
to his statement.
SUN-TIMES GETS SUITOR
An investor group
called STMG Holdings submitted a $25M bid to purchase the
Sun-Times Media Group, which is in bankruptcy.
James Tyree of Mesirow Financial heads the group looking
to own the Chicago-Sun Times and a string of suburban
dailies and weeklies.
is subject to approval by bankruptcy court and wage and
benefit cuts by S-TMG staffers.
interim CEO of S-TMG, called the Tyree-led group's offer
far and away the most attractive for the media
news continued on next page)
Edition, September 16, 2009, Page 4
BELL LAUNCHES AT&T ENTERTAINMENT
has unveiled AT&T Entertainment, a website that features
streaming TV shows and movies via agreements with content
providers such as ABC, NBC Universal and CBS Interactive.
York, executive VP of content & programming, calls AT&T
Entertainment a one-stop destination to watch
programming for those with broadband connections. AT&T
offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse and
AT&T | DIRECTV brands.
KINSLEY TO THE ATLANTIC
Veteran newspaper and
magazine journalist Michael Kinsley is joining Atlantic
Media to pen a column for the magazine and edit a new digital
property slated for 2010.
Kinsley was a founding
editor of online magazine Slate, after editing The New
Republic and Harpers, as well as the opinion
pages of the Los Angeles Times.
He'll pen a regular column
on the media for The Atlantic and serve as editor-in-chief
of the new web publication slated for an early 2010 launch.
TRIB ELEVATES SPORTS SCRIBE
The Chicago Tribune
has named columnist David Haugh as lead sports columnist
alongside Rick Morrissey.
Haugh joins Morrissey
in penning the paper's In the Wake of the News column. He
is the paper's columnist for the NFLs Chicago Bears
and joined the Trib in 2003 from the South Bend Tribune.
The Trib said Haugh is
the 17th In the Wake of the News columnist. Morrissey was
given the coveted assignment in 2000.
David is an extraordinary
reporter who has the trait every columnist worth their salt
possesses: even if you don't agree, you can't stop reading.
I look forward to his continued great work in the years
to come, said Mike Kellams, associate managing editor
for sports at the paper.
OBAMA PRAISES CRONKITE
standard of honesty, integrity and responsibility
is harder to find in todays news media, said President
Obama at the Sept. 9 memorial for the former CBS anchor/newsman.
The president called it
a difficult time for journalism. Though the
appetite for news is high, newsrooms are closing and serious
journalists find themselves without a beat to cover, he
He bemoaned that airtime
is filled with instant commentary and celebrity gossip
and softer news rather than the investigative journalism
that Walter practiced.
The public debate is cheapened
and trust falters when the idea of What happened today
is replaced by Who won today, said the president.
Obama believes the downfall
of hard news means the nation is not getting a real understanding
of the world around it.
Obama said Cronkite knew
corporate media outfits are obligated to pursue profits,
but felt there also was an obligation to invest a
good chunk of that profit back into news and public affairs.
Obama questioned whether
a modern day Cronkite could flourish today. In an
era where the news that city hall is on fire can sweep around
the world at the speed of the Internet, would he still have
called to double-check? Would he have been able to cut through
the murky noise of the blogs and the tweets and the sound
bites to shine the bright light on substance? Would he still
offer the perspective that we value? Would he have been
able to remain a singular figure in an age of dwindling
attention spans and omnipresent media?"
The President is bullish
because the American story continues. If we choose
to live up to Walters example, if we realize that
the kind of journalism he embodied will not simply rekindle
itself as part of a natural cycle, but will come alive only
if we stand up and demand it and resolve to value it once
again, then I'm convinced that the choice between profit
and progress is a false one -- and that the golden days
of journalism still lie ahead, said Obama.
HOLLYWOOD LEGEND ARCHERD DIES
and Hollywood have lost a legend.
Army Archerd, who worked at Daily Variety for more
than five decades as one of the most respected L.A. columnists,
died Sept. 8 in Los Angeles. He died from a rare form of
mesothelioma, according to the publication he worked for
52 years. The cancer reportedly was due to his exposure
to asbestos while serving in the U.S. Navy during World
Showbiz reporter Archerd
was one of the first writers to report on AIDS linked to
Rock Hudson, even though the actor's publicists and managers
denied it, while Hudson was undergoing treatment for the
disease. Archerd was also a star interviewer on the Academy
Awards red carpet.
He set high standards
in Hollywood, said 90-year old publicist Julian Myers.
Archerd used to come by every Friday at Fox Studios
and leave with a unique story every time.
Myers and his wife Patsy
were good friends of the family. I saw him a couple
of months ago at the Disney Center and that night he called
me to tell me his wife had a stroke, but he appeared to
be in good health, observed Myers.
Archerd started covering
entertainment in 1945 and began the "Just for Variety"
column in 1953. His last column ran on Sept. 1, 2005, and
he continued contributing to the paper and writing a blog
until July 27. He appeared as himself in more than 100 movies
and TV shows.
He was a real gentleman,
a man of integrity, quality and a great friend who attended
my 90th birthday, despite the LA Marathon traffic he had
to fight. Archerd will be missed, and was really a legend
in his own field in Hollywood, said Myers.
Archerd was also popular
on radio and TV shows on KNX, KABC, KDAY and KNX-TV. He
was the first journalist ever to be honored with a star
on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. George
S. McQuade III
16, 2009, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
HELPS AIRLINE THROUGH HIJACKING
Levenson & Brinker PR assisted client AeroMexico with
the crush of media attention as one of its passenger jets
was hijacked by a lone individual last week.
Cancun-to-Mexico City flight was disrupted by a Bolivian
man with a phony bomb who said he had to warn people of
an impending earthquake on 9/9/09. Jose Flores Pereira,
a religious zealot, demanded to speak to the Mexican president
while the plane circled Mexico City. He released the 104
passengers when the plane eventually landed and authorities
took him into custody shortly after.
Del Regno at LBPR has served as a spokeswoman for the airline,
an ongoing client of the firm. In a statement via the PR
firm, AeroMexico praised the work of its crew, noting that
passengers were unaware of the incident until after landing.
hijacking played out live over the cable news channels and
drew international media attention.
REPS AFRICAN STRONG MAN
Communications is handling online reputation management,
strategic PR and media relations for Equatorial Guinea whose
leader Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is slated to address
the United Nations General Assembly this month.
Houses Christopher Walker, in the Sept. 9 New York
Times, noted that Obiang and Libyas Qaddafi, who
is to speak at the UN on the same day as Obiang, are two
of the longest rulers in Africa. They are distinguished
by unparalleled longevity in office and general intolerance
is working as a subcontractor to Cassidy and Assocs.
PR SAYS PLAY BALL
has created Octagon PR as an outgrowth of its Octagon sports
management and marketing unit and GolinHarris.
Rudnick, managing director of GH/Chicago, is president of
OPR. He will coordinate activities with Jeff Shifrin, who
is Octagon Marketing North America president.
partnership has PR, and sports marketing pros in New York,
Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, London, Hong Kong and Taiwan,
according to a release.
has worked with Bank of America, Home Depot, BMW, Allstate,
MasterCard and Sprint.
has sports experience via work for McDonalds High
School All American Baseball Game, World Cup and Olympics
sponsorships. It has worked with Michael Phelps, Michael
Jordan, Alonzo Mourning and Mary Lou Retton.
Vancouver, B.C., has joined the Pinnacle Worldwide network
of independent PR firms. The 23-year-old firm is headed
by Jim Hoggan, who said he looks forward to contributing
to the group, especially in the areas of sustainability
and social media. Clients include Air New Zealand, Best
Buy Canda and Ethical Funds.
Davidson PR, New York/Sanctuary Retreats, travel
destinations (Africa, Europe, cruise ships) said to be in
harmony with the surrounding environment; Atlantis,
Paradise Island, flagship resort of Kerzner International;
Bal Harbour, Florida, Miami Beach shopping and dining location,
and Grand Teton Lodge Co., concessioner for Grand Teton
National Park, all for PR.
Communications, New York/RCI Inc., Raleigh-based
international association of wall system professionals,
for branding, marketing and PR; M. Ecker & Co., multi-trade
contracting company, for a year-long PR, marketing and advocacy
New York/Country Music Association, for entertainment marketing,
branding and sponsor partnerships to support country artists,
management, music labels and networks/media. The work includes
the CMA Awards and CMA Music Festival.
PR, New York/Global Student Entrepreneur Awards,
as AOR for PR for the global competition for undergraduate
students who own and operate businesses while attending
college or university. The assignment includes branding,
media relations and publicity for the 2009 competition.
Herndon, Va./FOSE and GovSec, U.S. Law 2010 conferences
and exhibitions, as AOR for PR. The work includes PR support
for the 2010 events, including media outreach, exhibitor
coordination, onsite media management and post-event follow-up.
The FOSE event is slated for March 23-25 at the Walter E.
Washington Convention Center in D.C.
Merrell & Partners, Raleigh, N.C./Naughty Bits
Software, as AOR for PR including strategic PR and social
media marketing efforts.
Orlando, Fla./Select Registry, network of inns, luxury B&Bs
and hotels, as AOR to create an integrated marketing campaign,
including PR, promotions and advertising.
Novelli, Dania Beach, Fla./UPS Americas, as AOR for
communications strategy and media relations for the Latin
America region. VP Rodrigo Garcia-Nieto heads the team.
Marketing PR, Holland, Ohio/Second Chance Trust Fund,
for continued marketing comms. for the Donate Life Ohio
campaign, an organ and tissue donation effort aimed to sign
up Ohioans to its registry. R/P has worked on the campaign
for the past two years. Its on pace to hit (and likely surpass)
the goal of 800K new registrations by 2011.
Group, Seattle/Hubspan, business integration solutions,
for PR to support its place in the business integration
and software-as-a-service industries. MWWs San Francisco
office is also working on it.
PR, Los Angeles/Ascent Media Group, for corporate
PR for the provider of creative, technical and content distribution
services to the media and entertainment industries. AMG
has 40 offices worldwide.
Edition, September 16, 2009, Page 6
HANDLES U2 TOUR PR
Haefeli Productions handled electronic press kit duties
for the North American launch of Irish band U2s 360
tour, which opened in Chicago on Sept. 12.
York-based MHP supplied broadcast-quality sound bites, performance
footage, behind-the-scenes shots and B-roll of fan reactions.
The footage was available via Pathfire, YouTube and in hard
concert tour, which started in Barcelona in late June (MHP
also worked on that), kicked off its Americas swing from
Soldier Field in the Windy City on Saturday. It runs through
the end of October in support of the quartets latest
album, No Line on the Horizon.
CSR PUSH BACKS MARKET RESEARCH
The Chief Marketing Officer
Council is leading a corporate social responsibility effort
to raise money for global charities by letting participants
in market research programs direct donations from corporations.
The CMOC, led by Donovan
Neal-May, said it is working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
and dozens of non-profits to create a community of research-ready
and receptive panelists who will take part in online surveys
and market feedback studies.
By participating in the
surveys and research, participants can direct funds from
corporate underwriters to causes, charities and foundations.
Ed Martin, global head
of insight and new methods at The Hershey Company, is the
architect of the plan.
Neale-May said marketers
and researchers can add a powerful altruistic appeal
and ensure that market research dollars produce real social
value and meaningful improvement to their images.
Groups participating include
the American Red Cross, Malaria No More and Marine Toys
for Tots. Info: SurveyforGood.org.
Supporters and underwriters include Hershey, Procter &
Gamble, Ford and MTV.
VOCUS INKS AGWAY
PR software company Vocus
has inked Agway as its latest client.
Agway, which markets lawn,
garden, pet products, farm and equine supplies, had used
Vocus PRWeb distribution services for more than a
year before subscribing to the PR management software.
Deborah Rizza, marketing
manager at Agway, said the company has not been as focused
on PR because of time and resource constraints and sees
the software as a organized and simple way to manage its
SURVEY: RADIO WARMS TO SOCIAL
Nearly half of radio newsrooms
are using Twitter and Facebook, according to a survey of
newsrooms in the top 50 markets by News Generation. Fifty-six
percent said they rely on social media for story leads from
so-called citizen journalists.
All of the producers surveyed
by the radio PR company said accuracy and credibility are
a top priority and noted the work of such amateur journos
must be double and triple-checked against reliable sources.
NG advises PR pros to
follow stations via social media outlets and read their
blogs to hone pitches.
Braham, A/S, Baltz & Company, to Bullfrog &
Baum, New York, as senior account director in its hospitality
unit. She previously ran her own shop, Pass ItOn PR, for
more than four years. Shell handle clients like Starr
Restaurants, Sprinkles and The Taco Truck at B&B.
Lynn, a boutique agency pro who was a press secretary
for Mayor Mike Bloombergs Small Business Services
Department, to the American Psychoanalytic Association,
New York, as director of public affairs. He directed PA
at the N.Y. Historical Society and started out as a producer
and reporter at outlets like Dow Jones, CNN and News 12.
Klein, who headed the law firm group at Beckerman
PR, to Furia Rubel Communications, Doylestown, Pa., as senior
VP and head of the N.Y./N.J. region for the legally savvy
PR firm. His longtime client Kenyon & Kenyon has been
added to the FRC roster. Klein has worked with FRCs
Gina Rubel over the past five years, including a webcast
for Rubels 2008 book when he headed Riverside PR.
Ackermann has been named president & CEO of Lighthouse
International, the 104-year-old non-profit geared to the
visually impaired. The veteran healthcare communicator and
fundraiser joined LI on Sept. 14, succeeding acting president
Ted Francavilla. Ackermann held various management positions
at New York Citys St. Vincents Hospital and
Medical Center beginning in 1983. He served as chief spokesperson
for the hospital during the aftermath of the 9/11 terror
attacks and as president of the hospitals foundation
raised $100M in capital funding for expansion such as the
Rudolph W. Giuliani Trauma Center. In `07 and `08, Ackermann
was special assistant to Edward Cardinal Egan and executive
director of the Office of the Papal Visit for the Archdiocese
of New York. In that post, he helped arrange eight events
for Pope Benedict XVI and coordinated the Pontiffs
visit with state, local and federal officials. LI says more
than 60M Americans are at risk of vision loss.
Diehl, an independent consultant and former senior
A/E at Edelman, to Jones Public Affairs, Washington, D.C.,
as a senior VP in its healthcare unit. She is a former comms.
manager for the American Heart Association and started out
at Capitoline/Manning, Selvage & Lee.
Lynch and PR unit Carmichael Lynch Spong have revamped their
business development units. Curtis
Smith adds the director of business development title
for the overall agency. Chris
Nilsen has been upped to manager of bizdev for CL.
now supports bizdev for CLS and leads overall agency communications.
Doug Spong, president of both the ad and PR units, said
the changes were important to realign the crucial
Edition, September 16, 2009, Page 7
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have asked members to send in possible amendments so they
can be considered. Next bylaws teleconferences are Oct.
Cherenson, responding to the criticism that communications
is equated with PR in the bylaws and that only
communications is mentioned in the preamble,
said that PRS should be a lighthouse, a beacon helping
people with their careers, and not a fort.
we afraid of what they can do to us or what we can do for
them? he asked. He said PR could impact the entire
communications space and change the communications
make them better.
see this as an opportunity to improve the entire communications
community, he said. One delegate said a member told
her, I might as well join the International Assn.
of Business Communicators, its cheaper.
announced that proxy forms will be sent out Oct. 12.
have challenged the ethics and legality of the use of proxies
by Assembly delegates.
Michael Malamut of Boston, who is also a lawyer, has written
extensively about the use of proxies in organizations, citing
a case where proxies were barred because the group had a
long history of not using them. While New York State law
says members have the right to vote by proxy,
the Assembly is technically a board of directors and under
common law directors cannot vote by proxy.
Central Michigan in 2006 proposed that the Assembly be the
supreme authority in PRS governance, PRS leaders argued
that the Assembly was a board of directors and director
insurance would have to be purchased for all 300 delegates.
first used proxy votes in 2005 when the issue of proxies
was being debated. Proxies were allowed in a vote that included
81 proxy votes or about one-third of the total of 240 that
were cast. Present were 159 delegates.
the legal case Frankel v. Kissena Jewish Center, the court
held that, along with other factors including the history
of non-use of proxies, the use of proxies was unfair.
May Not Be up to PRS Code
said the PRS code is for PR professionals and he does not
see how journalists can sign it because they may publish
what they hear and may not safeguard confidences.
Cherenson: A reporter, for example, might have a difficult
time signing our code of ethics because, for example, a
reporter might say Im not going to keep your
confidences. Im going to publish what I hear
and so Im thinking they may not be able to join because
they might not be able to adhere to our code of ethics.
So while they may be communications professionals, thats
one group, for example, because our code is written specifically
for PR professionals, they may be a communications discipline
that just wont be able to join. So if you read it
through, if I am a reporter, can I sign this code of ethics?
I dont see how I could. Not that theyre unethical.
They abide by a different code.
PRS member then commented that an unethical
reporter could sign the code. Cherenson said that was another
AMA, AICPA, Say Members
Members on the calls said
PRS should copy the American Bar Assn., American Medical
Assn. and American Institute of CPAs. All have strict definitions
of who can be a member, they said.
Rickey said other associations
were studied but the members said the practices of the above
three were being ignored.
All three have Houses
of Delegates that are conducted by the delegates themselves
with each house having supreme authority to
set policies for the boards which carry them out. All three
also defer about half of their dues income while PRS only
defers the part of dues income earmarked for subscriptions.
With dues totaling about
$5M, PRSs net unrestricted assets might
be cut to below $2 million.
for Open Minds
Rickey said leaders, in
opting for a complete re-write of the bylaws, wanted to
open all the doors and see what we can do better.
He said the aim was to take everyone out of the comfort
zone. Members should have an open mind
about the changes, he said.
Critics, however, have
called the proposed bylaws a power grab by the
board and especially the executive committee (four top officers
and immediate past chair).
They noted that:
serve four years in a row and then serve another five as
Only someone who served as a director could be an
EC operates as full board between quarterly board
A board member would head the nominating committee.
Districts could be deprived of representation on the
board which would only have at-large directors.
The board could create new categories of members and
Assembly delegates without Assembly clearance.
The board (or EC between board meetings) could expel
a member at its sole discretion.
The 25 or more national committee chairs, usually
appointed by the national chair, would join the Assembly
(which already has 17 national directors, 20 section heads
and 10 district heads).
The board could boost dues between annual Assembly
Volunteers could be paid for services actually
Oppose At-large Directors
A delegate said that the
Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and North Pacific districts have
submitted an amendment that removes the at-large proposal.
A bid to have only five
district directors on the national board was defeated at
the 2007 Assembly when only about half of the delegates
voted for it. A two-thirds majority was needed.
Edition, September 16, 2009,
PR Society teleconferences last week
designed to air member opinions on the new bylaws were only
a stab at that.
proved the criticism of bylaws committee member Cynthia
Sharpe last February that face-to-face meetings
quit the committee when it refused to change its modus operandi.
PRS governance e-group posting Sept. 4 by Sharpe questioned
a deliberative process conducted via e-mail, phone
calls and blog posts.
chair Dave Rickey, answering a question Sept. 10 on a bylaws
teleconference, said he would sure like to see more
people on the e-group and that it is somewhat
klunkey but its still our best opportunity as a group
to have conversations on an ongoing basis.
is just total nonsense and an excuse that wont fly
for ducking members as well as the press so far this year.
and transcripts of these two sessions should be made available
immediately to the membership.
even bigger flaw, and one that invalidates all the work
of the bylaws committee, is that 10 of the 11 original members
are APR when only 20% of PRS members are APR.
chair Mike Cherenson himself said on one of the teleconferences
last week that We cant have 20% of the members
telling the other 80% how were going to govern this
we have to make it more democratic, more
Why didnt you and other leaders start with the bylaws
hogged the mike at the start of the conferences for
far too long (16 minutes in the a.m. session and 22 minutes
in the p.m. session) and their explanations of radical changes
Pressed on how a 100%
ad copywriter could be acceptable as a member, 2007 chair
Jeff Julin said that if the purpose of the ads was building
a relationship, then that ad campaign should be welcomed
as a powerful PR tool and those who do such campaigns
should be acceptable as members.
If youre defining
PR as that big umbrella of relationship building then
ads can be seen as a powerful PR tool, he said.
The questioner was not
impressed, saying, You have just exactly expressed
my concern. She said that in her experience the ad
side thought everything was advertising and very little
was left for PR.
Proposed rules would admit
anyone in PR or communications as long as they
abide by the PRS code and bylaws.
A member said a friend
told her, I might as well join the International Assn.
of Business Communicators, its cheaper.
Cherenson, arguing that
special skills rather than geography should determine who
is on the board, noted that there is no one on the board
who handles investor relations.
lost that function, he said.
Cherenson does not realize
what a mouthful he said.
all IR pros went to the National Investor Relations Institute
We dont think any
IR pro wants to be identified with PRS financial reporting
since it is not up to snuff (including its refusal to defer
Another piece of evidence
is lack of a major CPA firm to audit its books (when it
once used Ernst & Young and Deloitte & Touche).
PRS says its committed
to Sarbanes-Oxley but that law requires an audit committee
head who is a financial expert and who is on the board.
PRSs audit chair is neither.
PRS refuses to discuss
any part of its audit with reporters. This stonewalling
is the opposite of good IR practice.
The reason PRS often cant
find even one director to serve in a district (whose memberships
average about 2,000 including 400 APRs) is that the board
has a reputation of being a rubber stamp for the staff and
executive committee. Why sign up for two years of silence
If PRS had a good reputation,
top people would be flocking to it. It would not have to
resort to the desperate move of trying to eliminate district
representation on the board.
Sullying its name further
this year is the adamant refusal to nominate even one African-American
to the all-white board. Veteran member Ofield Dukes, an
African-American with close ties to the Obama Administration,
was rejected by the nomcom. Offered a non-voting seat on
the 2010 board (equivalent to back-of-the-bus), he rightly
refused to take it.
member complained Sept. 10 that numerous suggestions
were given on bylaws conference calls in the spring but
few were ever used.
Under the leaders
definition, just about any activity can be labeled PR.
Cherenson, taking up the
subject of ad people as members, said PRS should not be
afraid of taking in new members just because they are from
advertising or other fields.
He said PRS should embark
on a mission to improve the entire communications
Dont ask what these
new types of members can do for PRS, but ask what PRS can
do for them, he said.
This is Cloud Nine,
went off on a fugue about the ethics of reporters
and concluded they have different ethics from PR people.
He doubts they could sign off on the PRS code.
Ignoring the many cases
of reporters who have gone to jail to protect sources, he
feels some reporters might have a difficult time signing
our code because they may not safeguard confidences
and may publish something that compromises a
Said Cherenson: So
if you read it through, if I am a reporter can I sign this
code of ethics? I dont see how I could. Not that theyre
unethical. They abide by a different code.
The code of reporters
is based on honesty and fair dealing just like the PRS code.
We dont think reporters make a habit of burning
We do heartily agree with
one thing that Cherenson said in relation to loosening requirements
for board and officers: We cant have 20% of
the members telling the other 80% how were going to
govern this organization
we have to make it more democratic,
entire bylaws re-write process, from the appointment
of an 11-member task force, 10 of whom are APR with six
from the South, to the widely spaced teleconferences that
bar rank-and-file members from taking part or even listening
to them, is deeply flawed.
that the teleconferences are not carried live on the PRS
website, archived for listening by members, and transcripts
Also inexcusable are failure
to release IRS Form 990 for 2008 showing legal expenses
and COO Bill Murrays compensation; refusal to post
the names of the 2009 Assembly delegates (who were elected
last Dec. 1); refusal to supply the transcript of the 2005
Assembly that had an extensive debate on proxies (and subsequent
Assemblies), and refusal to say anything about audiocasting
the historic 2009 Assembly.