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Internet Edition, September 30, 2009, Page 1


Porter Novelli has scooped up the estimated $1M account in a hotly contested pitch.

Edelman, Weber Shandwick and Fleishman-Hillard were in the mix. Ketchum was the incumbent, but did not pitch. It will continue current projects such as Monster’s National Football League promotion.

PN, which is headed by Gary Stockman, is to handle Monster’s PR, product launches and social media initiatives.

The recession has dealt a blow to Monster Worldwide as the online job search company suffered a $1.4M second-period ’09 loss vs. $30.8M profit for ’08. Revenues plunged 37 percent to $223M. Chairman Sal Iannuzzi told investors the company continues to invest in “product innovation, technology, new verticals, global reach and sales force expansion,” while reducing expenses.


California’s Santa Clara County has begun a search for a firm to produce a public awareness campaign for its newly minted AlertSCC Regional Notification System, an emergency system aimed at contacting each of the 1.7M residents of the area.

The county, which includes Silicon Valley, wants a campaign to “brand” the system and encourage the public to register their mobile devices and email addresses so they can be notified in the event of a disaster like an earthquake.

Social media, PR and traditional marketing are expected to be part of the campaign. A logo and web-based collateral materials have already been developed.

The county’s Office of Emergency Services issued an RFP on Sept. 21 and is seeking pitches through Oct. 14. An award is slated for November.


Kekst & Co. and Brunswick Group are working with Xerox and outsourcing giant Affiliated Computer Services, which have reached an agreement for ACS to be acquired in a $6.4 billion deal.

The acquisition would make Xerox a $22 billion document and business process management company with the addition of Dallas-based ACS’ business process offshoring services.

Michael Buckley, a partner for Brunswick in San Francisco, is handling the ACS business. Carl Langsenkamp, VP of global PR for Xerox, said that most of the work on the Xerox side was handled in-house in tandem with Brunswick. He said Kekst provided some counsel on the acquisition.


The capital city of the People’s Republic of China has hired Hill & Knowlton for PR in its initial foray onto the global media stage.

The WPP Group unit is to handle Beijing’s global media and communications counseling in an effort to bolster the image of China’s second largest city. Beijing has a population of 14.9M compared to Shanghai’s 17.4M. Gauging international opinion of Beijing is a top priority.

H&K won the business based on its handling of the 2008 Olympic Games.

“The Beijing Municipality recognizes how public relations contributed to the success of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games,” said Wang Hui, director of information for the Beijing Municipal People’s Government.

H&K has a long history in China’s PR arena, opening in the PRC 25 years ago.


Aiello PR & Marketing is handling the media crush surrounding Najibullah Zazi, who has been arrested by the FBI for alleged links with a plot to blow up buildings in the U.S.

Wendy Aiello told O’Dwyer’s that her Denver-based firm began working for Zazi’s law firm, Folsom Law Offices, on Sept. 17. “We are assisting Folsom in managing media inquiries and monitoring media coverage,” she said via email.

Court documents charge that Zazi purchased explosive materials and had a laptop containing notes on how to make and handle a bomb, detonators and parts of a fusing system in a car rented by the 24-year-old.

Zazi is a U.S. legal resident who was born in Afghanistan, raised in Pakistan and currently lives in Aurora (Col).


PR Society chair Mike Cherenson, who spoke for 57 minutes Sept. 23 to the Central Michigan chapter in East Lansing before allowing about seven minutes for questions, said PRS approached the Society of Professional Journalists about doing some joint projects but the SPJ refused.

E-mails have been sent to Cherenson, Joe Skeel, executive director of SPJ, and Kevin Smith, president, for further comment.

Thirty-six members and guests were present for the Cherenson appearance. Cherenson spent about half of his speech on PRS programs and half on social media.

(Continued on page 7)


Internet Edition, September 30, 2009, Page 2


Burson-Marsteller is repping Onexim Group’s deal to invest $200M for an 80 percent stake in the National Basketball Assn.’s New Jersey Nets.

Onexim is controlled by Russia’s richest man, Mikhail Prokhorov. The 44-year-old “bachelor billionaire” is reportedly worth $9.5B.

The transaction with Forest City Ratner provides a financial shot in the arm to its plan to build the $800M Barclays Center. That future home of the Nets is the centerpiece of the $5B Atlantic Yards Project in downtown Brooklyn. Three-quarters of the 30 NBA team owners must okay Onexim’s ownership before the deal becomes official.

NBA commissioner David Stern considers Onexim’s investment a slam dunk to both Brooklyn and his league’s international expansion dreams. Prokhorov envisions introducing NBA training techniques in his country and interning Russian coaches here.

The overall transaction gives Moscow-based Onexim a 45 percent stake in the Barclays Center and the option to buy a 20 stake in the 22-acre Atlantic Yards commercial and residential development.

Dan Klores Communications works for Forest City Ratner.


Japan has hired the well-connected Democratic firm Podesta Group to be its eyes and ears in Washington.

Tony Podesta’s firm is to counsel Japan’s Embassy on U.S. policies and developments in the American political scene. PG will serve as Japan’s liaison to Congress and the White House.

PG receives a $15,000 a month retainer for the work. Under the agreement, that retainer may change if the volume of the consulting work changes significantly and that changed work load “is likely to endure for several months.”

Podesta, whose brother John was President Clinton’s chief of staff, is assisted by Molly McKew, a former research program manager for defense and foreign studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

They report to Japan’s Motohiko Kato, Minister and Head of Chancery.


The U.S. is looking for individuals to bolster its public communications in Afghanistan through USAID.

Uncle Sam wants applications for four outreach and communications officer positions to work on year-long contracts stationed in one of four regional offices in the country.

USAID, an independent federal agency that gets cues from the State Dept., is the foreign aid arm of the U.S. government.

The work involves disseminating information about USAID programs to the public and media, supporting VIP and congressional visits, and other comms. tasks.

USAID notes that life in Afghanistan is “somewhat improved” since the establishment of a government, but living conditions “are still difficult.” It’s pitching a “historic opportunity.”

Salary ranges from about $60-$77K.


A PR pro with experience in a child abduction case has been called in by the family of Jaycee Dugard, the 29-year-old who reunited with her family last month after an 18-year kidnapping.

Erika Schulte is handling media relations and strategy for the girl’s family, which has stayed out of the media spotlight and communicating only through Schulte and an attorney, McGregor Scott, a former U.S. attorney who now works at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.

Schulte told O’Dwyer’s that she was initially recommended to the family by law enforcement officials, who were familiar with her work on another abduction case. She has worked with Erin Runnion since the 2002 kidnapping and murder of Runnion’s five-year-old daughter, Samantha. Schulte is a founding board member of The Joyful Child Foundation, which was set up by Runnion and focuses on complimenting community policing and violence reduction in schools.

Schulte has been an independent PR consultant since 2004 and was previously director of PR for Irvine, Calif., agency RiechesBaird.


Sard Verbinnen & Co. is working with French National Railways as the European high-speed rail operator eyes U.S. interest in the mode of transport.

FNR, the national railroad operator for France, said last week that it had responded on Sept. 14 to the U.S. government’s request of expression of interest for building high-speed lines in four markets — California, Florida, Texas and the Midwest.

High speed rail lines, which run at speeds as high as 220 miles per hour, are seen as an environmentally sound alternative to automobiles as the trains could lessen dependence on oil.

FFNR, known by the acronym SNCF, for Société Nationale des Chemins de fer français, is majority owned by the French state. It has been dogged somewhat by its role in transporting Jews for the Nazi regime during World War II, but the company was given the Legion d’Honneur after the war after thousands of its workers were executed for its role in the Resistance.


Democratic PR firm Dewey Square Group has tapped Microsoft PR exec Ginny Terzano to head its communications practice, following the summer departure of former Hillary Clinton advisor Kiki McLean.

Terzano, a former press secretary at the Democratic National Committee during Bill Clinton’s successful run for the White House, was senior director of PR and corporate communications for Microsoft since 1999.

McLean stepped down in June after being recruited for the global head of PA and D.C. managing director slot at Porter Novelli. Terzano was previously acting PA head for Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo and press secretary to Vice President Al Gore from 1996-98 and deputy at the White House before that.

DSG also named its Hispanic practice head, Maria Cardona, to lead its new public affairs unit.


Internet Edition, September 30, 2009, Page 3


Media companies have slashed jobs at nearly three times a faster monthly rate than those positions lost in the overall economy, according to the “Layoff Tracker Report” of Unity: Journalists of Color, an organization of minority reporters.

The news business slashed 35,885 jobs since the collapse of Lehman Brothers last September. The report shows a 22 percent boost in lost journalism jobs each month from September 2008 through August '09. The overall economy shed jobs at an eight percent monthly clip during that same period.

"These numbers confirm that the economic downturn has hit the news industry very, very hard," Onica Makwakwa, Unity executive director, said in a statement issued with the report.

Newspapers led the job-cutting parade as 24,511 positions were cut. Tribune Co.’s Los Angeles Times suffered the most cuts (1,200). The New York Times (769), Hearst’s Houston Chronicle (450), Gannett’s Arizona Republic (369) and Chicago Tribune (319) ranked next.

The broadcast sector lost 8,333 jobs, while magazines shed 1,172 people.

Gannett topped the list of job-cutters, paring 6,629 people from the payroll. It was followed by McClatchy (5,368), Hearst (1,580), Cox (1,383), and New York Times Co. (1,361).

Unity reports 201 media outlets have closed since Jan. 2008. They include the E.W. Scripps Co.’s Rocky Mountain News and Seattle Post-Intelligencer, a Hearst property that is now online-only.

Unity compiled its survey from Securities and Exchange Commission filings and self-reported data from 1,100 print and media outlets.

The losses include layoffs, buyouts and jobs lost by attrition.


Anthony Shadid, Baghdad bureau chief for the Washington Post, is joining the New York Times’ outpost there.

The Pulitzer Prize winner sent an email to Editor & Publisher saying it is time “to seek new challenges.”

His wife Nada Bakri, another WaPo staffer, is also going to the NYT in January. They eventually will move elsewhere in the Mideast for the Times.

Shadid has been with the Post since 2003. Earlier, he wrote for the Associated Press and Boston Globe.

Steven Myers is the NYT’s Baghdad bureau chief.


Al Jazerra is “what the internationally minded elite class really yearns for, a visually stunning, deeply reported description of developments in dozens upon dozens of countries simultaneously,” wrote Robert Kaplan in the October edition of The Atlantic.

The Arab language satellite TV network would eat steadily into the viewership of “TheNewsHour with Jim Lehrer” if it was widely available in the U.S., according to Kaplan.

In the “Why I Love Al Jazerra” piece, Kaplan notes that Al Jazerra’s strength stems partly from having headquarters in Qatar's capital city, Doha. That location liberates Al Jazerra from great power politics, he says, as CNN and the BBC report news as “foreign extensions of Washington's or London's collective obsession.”

As for Fox, it can't hold a candle to Al Jazerra. Kaplan calls Fox's viewpoint “jingoistic, meatloaf provincialism straight out of an earlier black and white era.” Al Jazerra “exudes hustle,” “constantly gets scoops” and “has gritty, hands-on coverage” across the Middle East that nobody else can match.

The Arab network has prejudices. It is anti-Israel and hostile to American military power, wrote Kaplan. “Al Jazerra’s news isn't so much biased as honestly representative of a middle-of-the-road developing-world viewpoint,” according to Kaplan, senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security.

Kaplan is disturbed with Al Jazerra’s “moral rectitude” as he sees the network believing the weak and powerless are always right despite the complexity of the problem.


The Yes Men, a troupe of activists known for staging stunts that use the media to highlight issues like global warming, published a faux edition of the New York Post on Sept. 21 containing articles on the environment.

The authentic-looking Post distributed in New York featured the Post-line headline “We’re Screwed” and contained articles on cap-and-trade, climate change and even a “Page Six” about celebrities championing green causes. The prank came a day before a U.N. summit in New York on climate change.

A member of the group famously posed as a Dow Chemical executive on the BBC in 2004 and said the company would liquidate its Union Carbide unit to make reparations for environmental disaster at Bhopal.

The Yes Men are preparing to release two documentaries - “The Age of Stupid” and “The Yes Men Fix The World.”


CBS News has forged a partnership with GlobalPost, a foreign news website that was launched by Philip Balboni, founder of the New England Cable News Network and Charles Sennott, former oversees correspondent for the Boston Globe.

The network is to pay a monthly fee to GP for use of its materials that are generated by part-timers in 50 countries. They are not going to get airtime.

GP receives more than 400K unique visitors a month. It generates revenues via paid subscriptions, syndication and online advertising.

Paul Friedman, executive VP of CBS News, said the network is pleased to work with GP’s “global network of talented and experiences freelancers.”

He believes CBS now has “unmatched access to first-rate journalists with expert knowledge of the countries they live in and cover.”

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, September 30, 2009, Page 4


Bill Safire, journalist, PR man, President Nixon speechwriter and Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist, died Sept. 27 from pancreatic cancer. He was 79.

After dropping out of Syracuse University in 1949, Safire begin his communications career as legman for Tex McCrary, columnist for the New York Herald Tribune, who also hosted a radio and TV show. Safire interviewed celebrities like Mae West before exiting in 1951 for a WNBC-TV post in Europe and the Middle East.

Safire served in the Army from 1952-54 and reported from Europe for the Armed Forces Network.

He burst onto the world’s stage as PR man working in Moscow to promote U.S. products. Safire helped stage the famous “kitchen debate” between Vice President Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev. The iconic photo, snapped by Safire, stood to contrast communist and capitalist systems.

Nixon hired Safire to work his 1960 campaign against John F. Kennedy. Safire opened his own PR shop in 1961 and handled political campaigns such as Nelson Rockefeller’s 1964 bid for the presidency and John Lindsay’s race for the mayor of New York.

The firm was sold in 1968, freeing Safire to join the Nixon Administration as special assistant and speechwriter. He penned many of Nixon’s speeches on Vietnam and the economy, and is famously known for coining phrases such as “nattering nabobs of negativity” and “hopeless hysterical hypochondriacs of history” that Vice President Spiro Agnew hurled at his critics.

From 1973 to 2005, Safire was the conservative voice of the NYT. He won the Pulitzer Prize for columns probing the financial dealings of Bert Lance, President Carter’s budget director.

Safire received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in 2006, and most recently chaired the Dana Foundation, which supports research in neuroscience.


John French, former CEO of Penton Media, has been named CEO of Cygnus Business Media, the B2B publisher that emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization on Sept. 21.

French called the company a "formidable influence in business today." He takes over for interim-CEO, Charles Carnaval, an executive with turnaround firm Zolfo Cooper who will aid in the transition.

Cygnus' dozens of titles include Food Logistics, Fleet Maintenance, Yard and Garden Magazine, Law Enforcement Product News and Advanced Imaging.


Cohn & Wolfe is handling the “Bay Area News Project,” which is the working name of the non-profit online news venture being launched with $5M in “seed money” from the Hellman Family Foundation.

The BANP is a collaboration of public TV/radio/interactive programmer KQED and U.C. Berkeley’s journalism school.

It is to provide media outlets in-depth coverage of government/public policy, education, neighborhood news, arts, cultural affairs and food and wine.

The San Francisco Bay Area has suffered a major media contraction as newspapers and broadcasters have gutted newsrooms.

Warren Hellman, co-founder of investment firm Hellman & Friedman, believes BANP is a “new economic model that will sustain original, local and quality journalism.”

The New York Times is in discussion to distribute BANP content for its Bay Area pages.

Chris Knight, VP at C&W, serves as PR director of BANP. The group’s temporary site is at


Timothy Knight has stepped down as publisher of Newsday after a five-year stint at the Cablevision property. He emailed staffers to tell them the time is ripe to move on and “let others move our business forward.”

Terry Jimenez, publisher of sister paper, AM New York, is taking over for Knight on a temporary basis.

Tad Smith, Cablevision's president of local media, oversees both properties. Cablevision acquired Newsday from Tribune Co. last year. Tribune acquired Newsday's former parent Times Mirror in 2000.


Betsy McCaughey, the former Manhattan Institute scholar credited with conjuring up the “death panel” charge in the current health care debate, has blasted a Rolling Stone October issue piece by Tim Dickinson that said she worked with tobacco company Philip Morris to derail the Clinton-era overhaul attempt.

McCaughey, in a Sept. 23 statement, blasted the accusation as “outrageous” and “fictional.” She also criticized the Wenner Media magazine for accepting tobacco advertising.

The RS piece, titled “The Lie Machine,” cited a Philip Morris memo that said McCaughey worked with the company on a three-part article in The New Republic which ran a McCaughey piece, “No Exit,” credited with playing a key role in torpedoing Clinton’s attempted reform of healthcare. RS said in the article that McCaughey did not respond to a an interview request.

RS publicist Mark Neschis did not return an inquiry from O'Dwyer’s about McCaughey’s criticism.

McCaughey’s 1994 New Republic piece was recanted by the magazine in 2006, when it apologized for running it. She rode a wave of interest in her work to the lieutenant governership of New York under George Pataki.

“What readers should know is that Rolling Stone would rather try to discredit me (however lamely) rather than address the real issues,” said McCaughey, who dismissed other criticism in the article as “a tired rerun.”

RS reported that the Philip Morris memo detailed an effort to cultivate “favorable pieces” with “friendly contacts in the media” as part of the ’90s-era Clinton overhaul included tax increases on tobacco products.

Internet Edition, September 30, 2009, Page 5


New Jersey PR firm Beckerman has acquired boutque digital media relations shop Wise PR.

Harrison Wise, based out of Manhattan, takes up the VP/new media strategies post at Hackensack-based Beckerman.

Beckerman, founded in 1990, acquired Avalanche Strategic Communications in June to boost the firm to 35 staffers and around $6M in revenue.


Affect Strategies is working with New York design firm Hoberman Associates as the company steps in the spotlight for its work on the high-tech stage used by U2 on its North American tour currently underway.

Hoberman worked on a tranformable video screen used by the Irish band in their elaborate stage show. Affect is helping position HA as a “premier design studio” by showing off its work on fusing digital and physical technology.

The firm is also pitching CEO Chuck Hoberman as a thought leader in the architectural community.


London-based healthcare PR firm Resolute Communications has opened a new U.S. office in Pittsburgh.

Resolute, which has a New York outpost, said it now has a broader footprint in the U.S. to deepen its work with a growing diversity of healthcare organizations in the Northeast.

Beatrice Evangelista, VP, leads client services for the new office. “This is one of the geographic centers representing the future of healthcare communications opportunities with its numerous medical and academic centers, biotech and pharma companies, and device, diagnostic and health technology organizations,” she said of Pittsburgh.

Pennsylvania ranks No. 4 in the U.S. among all states in bioscience academic R&D expenditures.

BRIEFS: Travel and tourism firm MMG Mardiks, New York, has redesigned its website at with more detailing firm info, case studies and new media tools. ...IKON Public Affairs, Fairfax, Va., has been tapped to run Chuck Kozak’s U.S. Senate bid in Nevada. Kozak, a Republican, seeks to unseat Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Rein. IKON is part of AIMS Worldwide. ...Jeff Monter, principal creative services at Innis Maggiore, Canton, Ohio, exhibited his watercolor paintings and drawings at the Canton Museum of Art from Sept. 22-29. Theme was “Quiet by Nature.” ...The Washington, D.C.-based League of American Bicyclists has declared Minneapolis-based Carmichael Lynch Spong as a “Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Busines,” one of 45 new designees. The agency makes bicycling an option for transportation and provides amenities like locker rooms for changing and incentives for biking employees, including entering them into a quarterly drawing to receive a $500 gift certificate to a local bike shop.


New York Area

Articulate Communications, New York/Ci&T: consulting and technology outsourcing services; Vigilant LLC: consulting and managed services for IT security teams; CodeFutures Corporation, database-performance tools, EDM Council, nonprofit trade association created by the financial industry to elevate data management as an essential business mandate; Cloakware, software solutions to manage, protect, automate and monitor access to vital information assets; and CT, software for legal, financial and insurance professionals.

Publicis Consultants | PR, New York/Heart Rhythm Society, for branding and message development, as well as graphic design work for a public awareness campaign slated for an October launch to coincide with Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month.

M. Young Communications, New York/Bodegas Farina, Spanish winery introducing its Colegiata brand in the U.S. in early 2010; Vinos de Madrid, wine producing region of Spain’s capital, for PR in New York and Chicago in October targeting industry trade and media, and The Kingdom of Navarra, Spain, for trade and media promotion of its wines in February 2010 in New York.

Leach Communications, New York/Capco, business consulting and tech services for the financial services sector, for PR for its North American operations based out of N.Y., Chicago, San Francisco and Toronto.


Dutko Worldwide, Washington, D.C./Pursol Solar Systems, for public affairs and government relations consulting centered on the green energy sector.

French/West/Vaughan, Raleigh, N.C./Blount Street Commons, Raleigh downtown development, as AOR. Work includes , including media relations, social marketing and events.

MMI Public Relations, Raleigh/North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association, for developing and implementing a PR campaign.

Gephardt Government Affairs, Washington, D.C./Credit Union National Association Mutual, financial services for credit unions, their members and customers, to monitor legislation on insurance and financial services industries.

Deanen Smith Media Innovations, Nashville, Tenn./faces clinic, cosmetic surgery clinic, for marketing and PR services.


Eisen Marketing Group, Cincinnati/Greater Cincinnato World Affairs Council, for brand development, media relations and website development. The WAC was formerly incorporated as GlobalCenter and focuses on global understanding and cross-cultural awareness of international affairs.


JS2 Communications, Los Angeles/Robert Danhi, chef, cookbook author, and restaurant consultant; Out & About Tours, bus tour of LGBT history and hotspots in Los Angeles; iZO Cleanze, full-body cleanse system; “Nana, What’s Cancer?” book, all for PR.

Internet Edition, September 30, 2009, Page 6


Medialink shareholders voted on Sept. 25 to approve by a wide margin a merger with The NewsMarket.

More than 3.6M shares voted in favor, compared with just under 320K against.

Shareholders as of Aug. 3, 2009 were eligible to cast ballots to accept or reject the $0.20 per share offer worth about $1.3M based on 6.4M available shares.

Medialink, which will be the “surviving corporation” in the merger, posted second quarter revenue of $3.6M, a 28 percent slide from 2008 but in line with expectations.

The merger was completed with the filing of a certificate of merger with the State of Delaware, where The NewsMarket is incorporated.


Sard Verbinnen’s Brad Wilks has been elected National Investors Relations Institute 2010 chairman, taking over for Bina Thompson, VP-IR at Colgate-Palmolive.

Jeff Morgan, president of the more than 4,000 member organization, calls Wilks “ideally suited to lead the board during this period of profound change.”

Prior to SV, Wilks was managing director & Chicago chief of Ogilvy PR Worldwide, senior VP at Fleishman-Hillard and IR head at Ball Corp. He began his PR career at Adams & Rinehart. His experience includes mergers & acquisitions, litigation, crisis, proxy fights and product recalls.

Wilks says his goal is to strengthen the ties between NIRI headquarters and local chapters, while stepping up the advocacy role of the Vienna, Va.-based group.


World Television, a London-based broadcast PR shop, last week kicked off an online video news portal for reporters ahead of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate change in December.

The portal,, will host video footage for download from October through 2010, as well as news content on the climate debate.

The site is supporting hundreds of organizations attending the event.

The conference runs from Dec. 7-18.

NBN Backs CPSC: News Broadcast Network is handling broadcast PR for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s video news release campaign touting the “Deadly Dangers of Furniture and TV Tip-Overs.”

NBN last week broadcasted via satellite a VNR in English and Spanish featuring demonstrations of furniture and TVs tipping over on a dummy, as well as testimony from a parent of a victim and other information.

PRN Takes Initiative: PR Newswire has inked an agreement with the Clinton Global Initiative for news distribution services throughout the year for the entity and its non-profit participants amid its annual meeting in New York last week.

The CGI ran from Sept. 22-25 in New York.



Don Hannaford, managing director of Zeno Group’s New York outpost and head of its corporate and public affairs unit, has returned to Washington, D.C., to chair Levick Strategic Communications’ expanded PA practice. Hannaford, who handled clients like SCA, Surescrips and T-Mobile at Zeno, was previously managing director of MS&L's D.C. office where he worked on Eli Lilly and Co., Nike and Allergan. He worked in-house on corporate advertising for Blue Cross and Blue Shield in the capital area. Hannaford started out as a legislative aide to Sen. Richard Schweiker (R-Pa.) and moved on to the Dept. of the Interior and Minerals Management Service. Richard Levick, president and CEO of the firm, in announcing the hire, said the new legislative and regulatory environment in the capital, as well as “vastly changed and diffused communications channels” have made policy communications more challenging.

Matt Samson, a senior marketing comms. strategist for GolinHarris, has been named VP in Los Angeles. Sybil Wartenberg, national media relations director for the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, has been named a VP at GolinHarris in San Francisco.

Sherri Daye Scott, an expert on the fast food sector, to Weber Shandwick, Atlanta, as an account director. She had recently been editor of the trade magazine QSR and appears often as an expert on Fox Business and CNBC. She is a former writer and editor for D Magazine in Dallas.

John Lopez, who stepped down as chief of staff to Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) when Ensign confessed to an extramarital affair with a campaign aide, has joined the D.C. office of Las Vegas-based R&R Partners. Lopez served Ensign in the senate since 1995 and became chief of staff in 2006. He previously worked for Ensign when he was a congressman when he lost a 1998 bid for the senate to Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.).


Timothy White to VP, public affairs, MWW Group, East Rutherford, N.J. The four-year MWW veteran has served as public affairs and government relations liaison for client teams across the agency. He is a former Republican political operative in New Jersey.


Samuel Simon, chairman of Amplify Public Affairs, will receive the Donald H. McGannon Award, a lifetime achievement honor, on Sept. 30 from the Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ in Washington, D.C. The group aims to tackle digital issues from an ethical and moral view and was formed in 1959 to tackle discrimination among souther TV and radio networks. Simon founded Issue Dynamics in 1986.


Internet Edition, September 30, 2009, Page 7

SPJ REBUFFED PRS (Continued from pg. 1)

Four questions were taken at the end of his speech and most of his time was spent explaining that PRS wants to keep up with changing job descriptions and therefore needs to enroll everyone in communications and not just people with PR job titles.

They must agree to abide by the Society Code of Ethics, he noted.

Following the Q&A period, Cherenson moved to an area that had been set up for a meeting with chapter leaders.

During the speech he mentioned that PRS reached out to SPJ for the purpose of setting up joint projects or programs but that SPJ spurned the offer.

Cherenson, in the p.m. Sept. 10 teleconference on the proposed bylaws of PRS, expressed doubt that journalists could live up to the Society Code.

PRS Wants to Be “Inclusive”

He said Sept. 10 that the aim of the new bylaws is to make PRS more “inclusive” and that "If we can make them (advertising people) part of us, we can make them better."

He sees the new bylaws as “an opportunity to improve the entire communications community…a huge opportunity for us.”

Cherenson said that anyone who joins PRS will have to agree to abide by the code.

He then said (34:00) that he doubted that journalists could sign the code because they may not “safeguard confidences.”

Said Cherenson: “A reporter, for example, might have a difficult time signing our code of ethics because, for example, safeguarding confidences where the reporter may not I'm not going to keep your confidences. I'm going to publish what I hear and so I’m 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, that's one group, for example, because our code is written specifically for PR professionals, they may be a communications discipline that just won't be able to join. So if you read it through, if I am a reporter, can I sign this code of ethics? I don’t see how I could. Not that they’re unethical. They abide by a different code.”

A PRS member then commented that an “unethical” reporter could sign the code. Cherenson said that was "another issue."

SPJ and the Assn. for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications have been asked to comment on Cherenson's remarks about journalists. Answers have not been received as of press time.

Audience Unconcerned on Bylaws

PR people at the lunch said most of those in the audience seemed either unknowledgeable or unconcerned with the PRS bylaws re-write that has occupied "thousands of hours" of volunteer time according to Cherenson.

PR people said most of those in the audience seemed to be concerned with information on job openings and career possibilities.

Most chapter members work for non-profits, government bodies, or educational institutions.

Five of the six top chapter officers are in such jobs.

Anne Readett, president, is with the Office of Highway Safety; Denise Donohue, president-elect, Michigan Apple Committee; Andrea Messinger, Michigan Municipal League; Melody Kindraka, asst. treasurer, Michigan State Police, and Kate Tykocki, past president, is with Capital Area Michigan Works.

Danielle Weller, treasurer, is with Jackson National Life. Attempts to have chapter members, PR or journalism majors from Michigan State, which is located in East Lansing, or the Michigan State student newspaper cover Cherenson's speech were unsuccessful.

Michigan State's journalism dept. is described as “nationally and internationally known” and that it includes a Pulitzer Prize winner, ex-Time magazine reporter and “world class researchers and specialist faculty with extensive experience in newspapers, magazines” and other media. Among those listed on the University website is Prof. Jane Briggs-Bunting, a lawyer as well as a reporter. However, when contacted, she e-mailed that she is not full time with the University for the next year.

Students at the State News, the University newspaper, did not return calls or e-mails. The lack of interest was similar to that which was found in Akron, Ohio, earlier this year when Cherenson addressed that chapter. See story at:


The influence of new media is unquestioned but it has not profoundly impacted the investment community, according to a survey of institutional investors and sell-side analysts by Brunswick Group.

The financial PR firm found that a perceived lack of reliable data is the key reason that the investment community in the U.S. and Europe has shied away from blogs and social networking platforms. Sixty-seven percent said data provided via new media was not solid enough to be the basis for an investment decision.

More than half of the 500 parties surveyed said information direct from companies was the source with the most influence, and 83 percent cited it in the top three. Only 38% cited online versions of business publications among their top three sources and even fewer, 27%, rely on print publications. A paltry four percent cited new media as the source of most influence, and only 12% put it in their top three sources.

Amanda Duckworth, a Brunswick partner in San Francisco, said that’s good news for corporations. “Companies should be encouraged that the majority of investors and analysts look to them for the information that has the greatest influence on their investment decisions and recommendations,” she said.

But 43% said they read blogs for business info and nearly half said they have found information that prompted them to investigate further. Only 13% check social media sites and 4% said they made an investment decision after initially getting info from a social networking site.


Internet Edition, September 30, 2009, Page 8




The behavior of PR Society chapter members, the local press, and PR students and academics last week in E. Lansing, Mich., tells volumes about the current practice of PR, journalism and the teaching of PR.

On tap Sept. 23 was none other than Mike Cherenson, chair of the 32,000-member PR Society, who is leading PRS through a gut-wrenching, expensive, and time-consuming (“thousands of hours”) re-write of its bylaws.

Adding drama to his appearance is that the local chapter, Central Michigan, is the very chapter that went head-to-head with national leadership in 2006 as the chapter tried to model PRS’s governance after that of the American Bar Assn. and American Medical Assn.

National leadership cried crocodile tears and threw everything at CM but the kitchen sink, saying (falsely) that the Assembly already had the powers it sought and that directors’ insurance would have to be purchased for all 300 delegates (dubious).

We sent background materials in the past couple of weeks to CM chapter leaders; PR and journalism professors at Michigan State, based in E. Lansing; its school newspaper, The State News; the local Gannett paper, Lansing State Journal, and contacted faculty adviser Russ White of MSU.

We were offering, as we did earlier this year when Cherenson visited Akron, up to $200 for recording, writing about and taking pictures of his visit.

Adding more drama to this picture is that Cherenson on Sept. 10 told a PRS teleconference that journalists as a group could not, in his opinion, join PRS because they could not live up to the ethics code of PRS which calls on members to protect confidences.

PRS, in a desperate move to add members, is repositioning itself as “the world’s leading advocate for communications professionals” and wants to take in anyone remotely connected to “communications” with the exception of journalists (in Cherenson’s view).

We thought this might make the blood boil of someone in the MSU journalism dept. which says it is “nationally and internationally known,” has a Pulitzer Prize winner, an ex-Time mag reporter and “world-class researchers and specialist faculty…”

Among those is Prof. Jane Briggs-Bunting, a lawyer and reporter. We were especially interested in her opinion on PRS’s proposed use of proxies to pass the bylaws.

However, she e-mailed us back she was “on leave for the academic year.” She referred us to the new J-school director Lucinda Davenport.

Cherenson’s take down of journalists is not only a low blow and especially hurtful in these difficult economic times, but something that will hurt PR also.

UNITY, Journalists of Color, McClean, Va., has tracked the layoffs of journalists since Jan. 1, 2008 and found that 46,599 have lost their jobs—three times the job loss rate of other industries.

No doubt many of the journalists will seek jobs with industry, providing stiff competition to experienced as well as fledgling PR people. The journalists have proven writing skills.

On top of that, those majoring in “communications” will have that many fewer media jobs available to them.

We’re calling on Cherenson to retract his statements. He said, “If I am a reporter, can I sign this (PRS) code of ethics? I don’t see how I could. Not that they’re unethical. They abide by a different code.”

We have sent Cherenson’s quotes to the Society of Professional Journalists, the Assn. for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, and UNITY.

Journalist groups should strike back and not let attacks by a PR group on the trustworthiness of reporters go unchallenged.

PRS goes after critics of PR hammer and tong. Jeff Julin, 2008 chair, called on all members to e-mail CBS commentator Andrew Cohen last year when he said PR is a craft “based on deceit and spin” that tries to turn “milk cows into race horses” and “turkeys into eagles.”

The SPJ ethics committee refused to say anything earlier this year when we sent it a report on the annual PR Seminar meeting of nearly 200 PR executives and editors of major media such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Financial Times, Washington Post, MSNBC and CNN.

None of these media has ever mentioned Seminar. A member of the ethics committee found ten SPJ ethical violations by journalists at Seminar.

Cherenson gave an upbeat speech about PRS and its goals and the new media, occupying 57 minutes—classic mike control. No more than seven minutes were allowed for questions.

It’s what PRS leaders did at the 2008 Assembly—5.5 hours of programmed activities out of a 7-hour meeting. Delegates who tried to ask questions were told to hold them for the “Town Hall” that never took place.

Had Cherenson been interested in what members think about the sweeping bylaws re-write, he would have talked for a couple of minutes and asked for questions.

Sources at the meeting said most of those present were in non-profit, government or educational jobs and had little if any inkling of bylaws changes that include having Assembly delegates serve one year instead of three; power to elect board/officers being removed from the Assembly, and proxy votes being used to pass these and other changes.

The main interest of the 36 attendees (of 127 chapter members) was seeking news of the job market.

We salute the chapter for having a published list of its members including their employers and phone numbers. E-mails should be added.

This is the only PRS chapter we know of that reveals its members. All national PR groups, including PRS, IABC, EPPS, NIRI, Arthur Page Society, PR Seminar, Publicity Clubs, etc., only allow member access.

This is an unequal picture because contact points of virtually all reporters and editors are public and dossiers are kept on them by services using state-of-the-art software including personal information.

Also disappointing is the failure to interest any journalism or PR students or professors in Cherenson’s historic visit. Had some unusual life form been on display we’re sure science and other depts.. would have flocked to this meeting, overwhelmed by curiosity.

PR, in sometimes avoiding knowledge, is the opposite of science, education and journalism.

While MSU has PR and Journalism depts.., the University of Michigan, in nearby Ann Arbor, has no such courses. UM is Ivy-League –level in its curricula, attracting students from throughout the nation. Most students as MSU are from within the state.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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