The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, October 7, 2009, Page 1
COUNTIES SEEK PR PITCHES
planning entity for 13 counties on Texas Gulf Coast
plans to hire as many as four agencies to handle its PR
account supporting community and environment planning efforts.
Houston-Galveston Area Council has put out an RFP and said
it plans to execute a two-year contract with two year-long
options. Work runs from logo design and Internet marketing
to media relations, press release writing and event planning.
Budget is $300K per year.
council in May awarded a $352K clean air PR pact to Vollmer
PR after a review. That contract is funded with federal
for the latest RFP are due by Oct. 19 with a Nov. 17 target
date for approval.
RFP can be accessed online via HGACs website: www.h-gac.com/purchasing/.
HUNTSWORTH ALIGNS WITH ATOMIC
Huntsworth is helping
to bankroll the international growth of hi-tech powerhouse
Atomic PR in a 50/50 venture inked between the London and
San Francisco-based shops.
Atomic PR has opened in
London as the first of four planned offices. Sandeep Kalsi,
a 20-year PR vet and former board member of Next Fifteen
Communications, has been recruited as managing director
of European operations for Atomic Communications Holdings.
He played a major role in the global expansion of Next 15's
Text 100 unit, and has worked on blue-chips like Microsoft,
Cisco, SAP and Symantec.
Andy Getsey, CEO of Atomic,
told O'Dwyer's that each firm is contributing capital and
executive oversight to the new venture.
He stresses that Atomic,
which ranked No. 10 on O'Dwyer's listing of `08 technology
firms with fees of $7.7M, remains an independent shop.
while gaining additional and internationally experienced
financial, executive and logistics support is the reason
we entered into the agreement, Getsey said via email.
Getsey says Atomic's technology
client base is 1/3 publicly traded companies, 1/3 mid-sized
firms and 1/3 start-ups.
Huntsworth which is headed
by Lord Chadlington, who under the name Peter Gummer developed
Shandwick into an international powerhouse, is in the midst
of a major overhaul that will have its Grayling unit emerge
as a Top 5 global brand in the ranks of Edelman, Waggener
Edstrom, APCO Worldwide and Ruder Finn.
ON THE SCENE SHUTS DOWN
On The Scene Productions,
a Los Angeles based broadcast PR company, told staffers
Sept. 30 that the company could not meet payroll and was
expected to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy ending a 26-year
Stunned employees were
told around noon that they wouldn't be paid for the last
two weeks, said senior VP and creative director Jim Bowling.
Basically the staff
worked the last two weeks for free, he said. There
was no warning. Not a lot of answers or solutions, but a
lot of apologies.
Jeff Holland and David
Woodward, private equity partners of OTSP, broke the news
to the companys staff.
OTSP was founded in 1983
by Sally Jewett, a director for Entertainment Tonight,
and Stacie Hunt, a broadcaster, as the Reagan administration
deregulated satellite usage and opened the door for satellite
media tours and distribution of VNRs and other PR video.
Jewett and Hunt took on
private equity partners in July of 2006 and the founders
stepped aside in June of 2008 with the appointment of Starz
Home Entertainment exec Madeline Di Nonno as president and
PN CREATES CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER
Porter Novelli has named
Dr. Barbara DeBuono its chief medical officer and global
director of public health and social marketing. Her mission
is to help PN clients improve their health literacy.
DeBuono had been executive
dir./public health and government at Pfizer, managing public-private
partnership programs in health policy, education and research.
Before joining Pfizer in August 2000, DeBuono was chief
executive of N.Y.-Presbyterian Healthcare Network and EVP
of the N.Y.-Presbyterian Healthcare System.
She was New York States
health commissioner during the administration of George
PRS LEADERS REFUSE ELECTION
PR Society leaders
on two teleconferences Oct. 1 beat back repeated demands
from members for details on how elections would take place
if this power is shifted from the Assembly to the entire
membership of 22,000.
The members said
they did not want to give up their right to elect board
and officers without details on how new elections would
membership, as defined in the proposed bylaws, can
be represented by a quorum of 500 members voting in
person or by proxy. If passed, this would be the first
time PRS bylaws ever used the word proxy.
(Continued on page 7)
Edition, October 7, 2009, Page 2
BACKS HONDURAS COUP
Leonard, Schechter & Assocs. is working to build international
political support for Honduras interim president Roberto
Micheletti who seized power in a June 28 coup.
four-month contract of the Omnicom unit runs through December
31 and is worth $293K payable in three installments.
according to an English translation of the Spanish-language
contract, is to handle the current special political
situation to implement a strategic communications plan for
better positioning of the Government before the international
the nearly $300K in fees, CLS&A is entitled to $10K
for travel allowances, $20K for web development, $30K to
mobilize communication experts in other countries and $12K
for administrative costs.
SWINE FLU PR DOLLARS ARE FLOWING
The federal government
is doling out millions of dollars in funds for states to
bolster preparation against the swine flu and many are taking
advantage of the bounty to fund public education efforts,
resulting in an unexpected bounty for PR and marketing firms.
Illinois handed a $90K
contract paid for with federal funds to Chicago-based Jasculca/Terman
and Associates on Sept. 24 to create a PR push aimed at
prevention of seasonal and swine flu. This emergency
procurement is urgent and critical to public health and
safety, the state said in awarding the contract.
Utah was ahead of the
pack when it released an RFP in August for a firm to create
a campaign on a budget of $300K highlighting symptoms of
swine flu and information about the pending vaccine. Salt
Lake City-based Penna Powers Brian & Haynes picked up
The Milwaukee Health Dept.
is also conducting a review for a more modest $40K, four-month
education push after producing an in-house flu campaign
last year. 2-Story Creative won that review in August against
finalists Weiss & Co. and Mosaic Communications.
New Jersey got $40M from
Uncle Sam and plans to use part of a $7M set-aside for public
Even the U.S. territory
of Guam has an RFP out for an H1N1 media campaign.
In all, the federal government
has made $260M available for the public health response
to the virus, including aid to hospitals.
And the U.S. isnt
alone in its prolific H1N1 spending. Ontario, Canada, is
conducting a $2.6M advertising and PR blitz intended to
reach every household in the Canadian province.
Vaccines are beginning
to be shipping by several drug makers this week as the flu
BRANDMAN LANDS QANTAS
The Brandman Agency has
landed North American PR duties for Qantas, Australias
airline, in a competitive pitch.
Joe Aston, a corporate
communications staffer, declined to reveal other bidders
for the business because I dont want to be discourteous
to the unsuccessful tender participants.
He said Brandman really
owns the space we operate in and are very confident they
are going to greatly enhance our brand presence in the U.S.
Qantas has been flying
to the U.S. for 55 years. It kicked off A380 jet service
from Los Angeles to Melbourne and Sydney last year.
Melanie Brandman is a
native of Australia. Her shop services clients such as Barbados
Tourism Authority, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts,
Orient-Express Hotels and Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts.
More airline news from
Down Under: Fleishman-Hillard has picked up
the British Airways business.
WPP TO REPLEAD SPOT RUNNER
A U.S. District Judge
has dismissed WPPs suit against Spot Runner, charging
that digital advertising agency with running a pump
and dump operation.
The Irish ad/PR combine,
which invested $10M in SR three years ago, alleged management
aggressively hawked shares to new investors and then sold
them big chunks of secondary shares. WPP believes those
sales werent disclosed as mandated by securities law.
Judge Percy Anderson ruled
WPP charges were based on a misunderstood statement by SRs
general counsel Peter Huie.
WPP had asked Huie if
investors were selling shares in a specific follow-up offering.
He replied that no shares were sold by investors in that
offering, but did not disclose information of earlier sales.
Anderson ruled that WPP
may have misread Huies email, but such a misunderstanding
cannot form the basis for a claim.
WPP plans to amend its
filing and push on with the case. The deadline for a new
complaint is Oct. 12.
In a statement, WPP says
it strongly believes in the merits of its claims and plans
to take full advantage of this opportunity to replead.
SR says it is eager to
put the legal matter behind it.
Interpublic, CBS, Legg
Mason Capital Management and Lachlan Murdoch, son of News
Corp. chief Rupert, are among investors in SR.
TOWN SEEKS PR TO CAPTURE G8
The sleepy playground
of Huntsville, Ontario, slated to feel the global spotlight
of the G8 summit in June 2010, is planning an RFP for PR
services to make the most of the attention drawn by the
confab at the Deerhurst resort.
The town councils
economic development committee is preparing an RFP for the
assignment which could be released within the next few weeks.
The town is banking on federal funds to pick up the tab.
The resort itself is handling
PR in-house, said Anne White, director of communications
for Deerhurst. She told ODwyers that there arent
any plans to work with an outside agency for the G8, but
it does have the option to contract agency resources through
its hotel management company.
The Toronto Globe and
Mail earlier this year called Huntsville, a town of
18,500, a sleepy playground for the privileged
that fits Canadas search for the ideal G8 locale
idyllic, secluded and easy to secure.
Edition, October 7, 2009, Page 3
JOINS BW BIDDING WAR
York Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman has entered the
bidding war for McGraw-Hills BusinessWeek.
real estate mogul joins Bloomberg, Zelnick Media, Platinum
Equity Partners, owner of the San Diego Union-Tribune
and Open Gate Capital, purchaser of TV Guide, in
the BW sweepstakes.
lost $43M in `08, and is expected to top that deficit this
year. Ad pages are down 35 percent this year.
told the New York Post that he submitted a bid because
he is a junkie for journalism.
believes he could turn BW around by running it differently
and financially more efficiently than they do.
concedes that Bloomberg is the front-runner for BW and the
most natural home for the publication.
Boston Properties chief owns U.S. News & World Report,
which converted from a weekly to monthly. He also once owned
The Atlantic and Fast Company.
TIMES, POST FIND NEW PARTNERS
The Los Angeles Times
and Washington Post will part ways in their 47-year
news service partnership at the end of the year.
The Times is turning to
a new service owned jointly by parent Tribune Company and
The Post is aligning with
Bloomberg to kick off a global news service to offer content
from both providers to newspapers, websites and other subscribers.
That service is to be
called The Washington Post News Service with Bloomberg News.
The deal makes the Posts
entire stable of news content available in real time via
Marcus Brauchli, executive
editor of The Post, said the combine brings together
The Posts vast expertise on politics and policy news
in Washington with Bloombergs highly regarded global
financial, economic and political news franchise.
WILLSE STEPS DOWN AT STAR-LEDGER
Jim Willse, editor of
Newarks Star-Ledger for the past 15 years,
is retiring next month. Kevin Whitmer, managing editor will
take the post.
Willse joined the S-L
in `95, shifting from Internet projects for parent company
Don Newhouse, president
of AP, praised 65-year-old Willse for serving the profession
brilliantly and with dedication.
He also nurtured
a successor who mirrors his ethics, energy and values.
Whitmer, 42, signed on
at the S-L in `96. Prior to reaching the ME slot, he was
sports editor, and supervised coverage of the financial
section and Sunday paper.
He worked with Willse
at the New York Daily News.
Willse, who wrote for
the Associated Press and was city editor of the San Francisco
Examiner, will become a visiting professor at Princeton
COURT DISMISSES RATHERS
SUIT VS. CBS
The appellate unit of
the New York State Supreme Court has dismissed the $70M
lawsuit lodged by Dan Rather against CBS.
The ex-anchor sued CBS,
claiming that it broke his contract and unfairly besmirched
The court voted unanimously
to dismiss the last two (breach of contract and breach of
fiduciary duty) of the original five charges filed by Rather,
who worked for CBS for 44 years.
Rather, who has spent
at least $2M of the case filed in 2007, retains the option
BROWN EXITS SCRIPPS FOR FEDERATED
Deanna Brown is exiting
as president of Scripps Networks Digital unit to become
COO at Federation Media Publishing.
Her goal is to help transform
the display ad network into a state-of-the-art media and
Brown was GM of Yahoo
Media Groups lifestyles unit and VP at AOLs
life management operations before joining Scripps to oversee
brands such as HGTV and the Food Network.
She co-founded CondeNet,
the online division of Conde Nast, in `95.
KIEL OUT AT JOURNAL COMMS.
Doug Kiel, president of
Journal Communications and CEO of Journal Broadcast Group,
said hell retire on Dec. 27 at the end of the fiscal
year. Kiel said he plans to start his own venture outside
of Milwaukee, where JC owns several media properties like
the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 33 radio stations
and 13 TV stations.
Steven Smith, chairman
and CEO, is taking over Kiels leadership role for
the foreseeable future, the company said in
Kiel had been at JC since
TEXAS TRIB GETS $750K FUNDING
The Texas Tribune, the
non-profit online media group based in Austin, has received
$750K in grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
and the Houston Endowment.
Evan Smith stepped down
as president and editor-in-chief of Texas Monthly
in August to launch the Tribune.
The foundation money will
be earmarked to cover stories across a broad range of platforms
such as text, audio, video, blogs and databases.
MORE GETS BUSH FOR KEYNOTE
Former First Lady
Laura Bush will be the keynote speaker at More Magazines
Reinvention Convention Oct. 5 in New York.
The event, which
expects about 500 attendees, aims to help women transform
their lives in areas like health, finance, careers and style.
Brzezinski is emcee and other speakers include Nora Ephron,
reporters for Today and the Washington Post,
and More editor-in-chief Lesley Jane Seymour, among
news continued on next page)
Edition, October 7, 2009, Page 4
OFFERS DUES WAIVER
Skeel, executive director, Society of Professional Journalists,
has announced a six-month waiver of the $72 dues to members
who have not renewed because of "financial hardship"
or because they lost full-time jobs and have not found a
8,145-member organization was founded in 1909 as the Sigma
Delta Chi fraternity. Operating budget is $1.7 million.
Eleven staffers are listed on the website.
in an announcement on www.spj.org, said that members
are the lifeblood of our organization and it has been
painful to watch as many of our friends, perhaps you,
have lost their jobs as the result of the economy and dramatic
can download a form and submit it to h.q.
said only ten members have opted for the waiver.
Journalists of Color, McLean, Va., said its Layoff
Tracker project has found that 45,599 news industry
jobs have been lost since Jan. 1, 2008 including 35,885
lost since Sept. 15, 2008. It says that sharp spikes
in layoffs take place during periods when quarterly financial
reports from public media companies are due.
is urging media companies to redouble their retraining efforts
to assist staff in making the transition to the new
Makwakwa, executive director, said the news industry started
losing jobs long before the economy dipped last year.
LAT NAMES DUO TO TOP ONLINE
The Los Angeles Times
has made two key online appointments in the wake of its
redesigned website launch.
Sean Gallagher has been
named managing editor, online. He joined latimes.com in
2006 as associate editor and was named managing editor in
Gallagher is charged with
working across the newsroom and masthead in tandem with
print chief Jon Thurber. He is a five-year veteran of nytimes.com.
Lisa Fung, a 21-year veteran
of the Times, has been named online arts and entertainment
The post includes oversight
of sections including Calendar, The Envelope and Company
Town, as well as several blogs. Shell also work on
developing new online properties.
Times editor Russ Stanton
said Fung is as comfortable within the realm of social
media as she is with Wagner, American Idol and Warhol.
WISCONSIN TRAVEL GROUP SHUFFLES
The Wisconsin Tourism
Federation has shuffled its name to produce an alternative
acronym to WTF, its previous initials shared with a profane
logo was lampooned by the design critique website YourLogoMakesMeBarf.com
in July and the group decided to change its moniker shortly
The WTF is now transitioning
to become the TFW the Tourism Federation of Wisconsin.
FREELANCERS STAR AT EPPS SESSION
gave tips on what theyre looking for and how they
are surviving in the rough economy to an Entertainment Publicist
Professional Society panel Sept. 19.
Libby Slate has more than
300 articles to her credit including pieces in the Los
Angeles Times, TV Guide, Hollywood Reporter
Magazine, Disney Magazine, Soap Opera Digest,
Los Angeles and Skating, the U.S. Figure Skating
Assn.s magazine. I do features in front of the
book, profiles and a lot of behind the scenes, said
Slate. Im not always interested in the star
of a movie, show or play, but the most interesting story.
Slate writes a lot about
what production designers are doing. She recently penned
a story about the Tonight Show set. I
also did a story on the set of Doll House, so
it's not the technical aspect like editing, but it's the
artistic part of the craft.
Susan Hornik contributes
to Good Housekeeping, First for Women, Modern
Bride, Your Prom, Stylehive, Twist,
Maxim and MomLogic. Things are not always
in front of you so you have to stay ahead of the game, even
if it means new media like Twitter, because you never know
who will be your next boss, she said.
Hornik says magazines
are paying more attention to their websites, so she has
to think out of the proverbial box. For example,
she inquired about receipts from the snack bar and found
that intermission bars and snacks were bringing $1 million
Sue Factor, who once was
George Clooneys publicist, gets her best interviews
in the restrooms. She writes for the New York Daily
News, Liz Smith, Star Ledger, Womens
Day, USA Today, People, Los Angeles
Times, New York Post and Entertainment Weekly.
I look for the celebrity client, said Factor.
I also look for the story that no one has talked about.
Underneath the temple is more gold, you just have to look
Know your publication,
said Janice Rhosalle Littlejohn, whose work appears regularly
in Multichannel News, TV Guide and Emmy
magazine. I am actually flattered if a publicist calls
and knows what I write about. But she doesnt
like cold pitches. I dont mind a phone pitch,
but not a harassing call, she said, adding most
editors and writers don't like the cold calls anymore.
I often get calls
from publicists saying, I have this wonderful client.
Well, they all are, so tell me what's so great about them,
and why they would be appropriate for whatever publication
I write for.
Littlejohn said she did
a lot of behind the scenes work for the Associated Press.
However, the unfortunate thing about the economic
downturn is that the AP is no longer using freelance work,
She plugged MediaBistro
as a place to get a handle on what is going on in the business.
"It is important to keep up with the stuff because
my editors are moving from place to place and they take
us with them," she said.
George S. McQuade III
Edition, October 7,
2009, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
DOES IR FOR REELING SEQUENOM
& Assocs. handles investor relations duties for Sequenom
Inc., the company rocked by news that it botched handling
of scientific data for a once-thought-to-be promising treatment
for Down syndrome.
stock fell 37 percent last week to $3.60 following the boards
decision to fire its CEO Harry Stylli, senior VP research
& development Elizabeth Dragon and accept the resignation
of CFO Paul Hawran.
independent counsel retained by the board determined that
employees failed to provide adequate supervision. The absence
of effective protocols and controls led to test data and
results for the Trisomy 21 program that included inadequately
substantiated claims, inconsistencies and errors.
situation led to the inclusion of unsubstantiated data reported
as facts in press releases and other public statements.
says it is no longer relying on, and the public should
no longer rely on, any of the previously announced test
data and results for the company's noninvasive prenatal
test for Trisomy 21.
Communications handles media for San-Diego-based Sequenom.
AUTHOR IN OBAMA SONG FLAP
D.C. consultant Kharma
Finley-Wallace is mounting the PR defense for the author
of a childrens book on Barack Obama amid a budding
controversy fueled by conservative media over a video of
school children reciting a song about the president.
The author, Charisse Carney-Nunes,
who wrote I Am Barack Obama, was a featured
guest at a New Jersey school in February when a teacher
led students in two songs that contained the lyrics Barack
Hussein Obama/He said that all must lend a hand/To make
this country strong again, and Hooray, Mr. President,
we honor your great plans/To make this countrys economy
number one again.
Right-leaning media and
commentators have pounced on a YouTube video of the students
singing the song to mount criticism of Obamas back-to-school
speech to students earlier this month.
Finley-Wallace runs HoverFly
Media in D.C. and is distancing Carney-Nunes from the songs
composition while decrying the political charge that has
been put into a literacy and black history event.
PR FIRMS BACK BIG DIAMOND
The U.K.s Buchanan
Communications and South Africas Russell and Associates
are working with London-based Petra Diamonds on the companys
discovery of a massive 507.44-carat white diamond.
The gem, valued at around
$20M, was recovered on Sept. 24 from the Cullinan mine in
South Africa, which the independent company bought from
mining giant De Beers and where the worlds largest
diamond was found in 1905 at 3,106 carats.
The latest finding has
drawn international attention.
Buchanan picked up financial
communications duties for Petra earlier last month in a
review after it previously worked with Hogarth PR.
CITY WANTS ARTS PR SUPPORT
and surrounding Davidson County are dangling an RFP for
a five-year PR contract to support the Metro Arts Commission.
work includes advocating the arts as an industry in the
Music City, in addition to website support and creating
positive awareness of the commission and its programs,
according to the RFP.
Commission operates on a multimillion-dollar budget and
provides grants to artists and funds public installations
as it works to creative a thriving arts community.
are due Oct. 15 and a firm must have a Nashville office
Magrino Agency, New York/Sandals Resort International,
for PR for their annual WeddingMoon program with Martha
Stewart Living Omnimedia. MSLO is a client of the firm.
PR & Marketing, New York/Huntsman Gay Global
Capital, middle market private equity firm which closed
its first fund topping $1.1 billion in July, as AOR. The
work includes media relations, executive visibility, thought
leadership development, transaction announcements and investor
+ Associates, Cranford, N.J./Gregory Unruh, sustainability
expert and professor at Thunderbird School of Global Management;
Catalent Pharma Solitions, drug development and delivery
solutions, and Nancy Koehn, Harvard Business School professor
marketing communications, New Providence, N.J./ThirdAge.com,
life stage media marketing and consumer insights. m&j
specializes in marketing to Boomer women.
PR, Saratoga Springs, N.Y./Lemery Greisler LLC, for
a PR campaign to boost the business law firms Saratoga
and Albany offices.
Paul & Partners, Boston/Avocent, IT operations
management solutions, as AOR to broaden corporate visibility
and brand awareness among CXO purchasers of IT services.
Communications, Boston/Grant Thornton LLPs
public policy and capital markets groups, for PR services,
including media relations, event support and strategic communications.
The firm already handles GTs private equity group.
Raleigh, N.C./John Gidding, design guru, as AOR for the
ABC Family and HGTV personality.
Zimmerman Agency, Tallahassee, Fla./Cooper Tire,
No. 4 U.S. tire maker, for PR and social media.
Bend, Ore./Old Mill District, for launch of a new website,
& Caron, Irvine, Calif./National Technical Systems,
engineering and testing services for several markets, for
investor relations and corporate communications.
Edition, October 7, 2009, Page 6
NEWSWIRE COO ARMON TO DNA13
Armon, a 20-year veteran of PR Newswire who stepped down
in December, has re-entered the PR services arena with a
top post at PR software developer dna13.
has taken the role of vice chairman for the Ottawa-based
company, and will stay in New York to serve dna13 in a board
and chief evangelist role.
Chris Johnson is stepping back from his CEO duties and noted
dna is in good hands with Dave Armon as it moves
beyond an entrepreneurial venture.
software company has secured nearly $8M in venture funding
since its initial round in May 2008. It has worked through
alliances in the past with PRN and Canadian affiliate C&W
Group so Armon said he was familiar with the company.
46-year-old executive said he met with Johnson in the spring
and told the CEO his next role would likely be with a disruptive
digital company in the media space: He said, I
have just the right place for you.
said hell be spending time with both dnas products
and its channels and partners to grow the company. He said
its listening platform is the superstar
of the PR software. So were going to spend time
making sure people know how powerful that really is,
a former journalist, started out in PRNs Cleveland
office and rose through the ranks to become president of
the Americas in 2000 and chief operating officer of the
company in 2003. He oversaw both major acquisitions by PRN
and a company-wide consolidation into two operations centers
the PR software space, Armon said he doesnt see any
dominant players that dna13 will target as it grows. I
see a lot of green field, a lot of pasture that is ready
to be farmed, he said.
MDLK UPS HANSEN
Medialink Worldwide has
promoted Christopher Hansen to VP and executive producer.
The eight-year veteran
has worked on the broadcast and digital PR companys
biggest accounts and recently nabbed a Telly and WorldFest
Remi Award for a video project for OnStar 100K Automatic
Hansen was a producer
for the Today show and Good Morning America.
Earlier, he was a contributing editor to Mens Journal
and produced TV and radio commercials.
CISION UNLOADS U.K., BALTIC
Cision said last week
that it has completed the divestment of its UK Print Monitor
operation and also sold off its Lithuania subsidiary to
Baltic News Service, part of Alma Media Group.
in Lithuania posted revenue of SEK 9M (about $1.3M) in 2008
with 43 staffers handling monitoring and analysis services.
The sale price was SEK
The company said the sale
of its UK Print Monitor operation to Durrants Ltd was completed
on Sept. 30.
Cision says the sale will
return its U.K. operation to profitability. 2008 revenue
for the PM operation was 8.5M British Pounds, or about $13.5M.
Ford, VP-communications at Blackstone Group, to Walek
& Associates, the New York-based IR/financial comms.
firm. Ford handled PR, advertising, internal & external
communications at the $100B private equity firm. Earlier,
he was senior VP and comms. chief for JP Morgans European
Fisher, senior VP/corporate comms. at Revlon, to
Ann Taylor Stores Corp., New York, in the new post of VP
of corporate communications amid a corporate makeover for
the women's fashion retailer. Fisher handled external and
internal comms., as well as the beauty/cosmetics companys
charitable initiatives. At Taylor, her duties include corporate
media relations, internal corporate communications, and
the company's philanthropic initiatives. The 55-year-old,
New York-based Ann Taylor has expanded a strategic restructuring
program this year which began in January 2008 to boost its
bottom line at a cost of up to $140M. Fisher previously
headed global communications for Tommy Hilfiger and worked
in PR and marketing at Joseph Abboud (VP of PR), GFT Corp.
and Calvin Klein Menswear.
Steere, executive VP at Ruder Finn, to FD, New York,
as managing director in its corporate comms. practice. He
previously established the New York office of Advantage
International and managed corporate comms. for Procter &
Gamble, CSX Corp. and Remy Amerique.
Hobson, a well-known digital PR pro based in the
U.K., has been tapped to head social media for Europe for
WeissComm Group as the healthcare-focused, San Francisco-based
agency beefs up its digital staff. Hobson, known for his
long-running PR blog and podcast series with Shel Holtz,
had been running his own shop after stints at Bond Interactive,
crayon, and, earlier, VP of corporate communication at Scala
Business Solutions in The Netherlands. WeissComm also made
several key social media hires across its headquarters office,
New York and Austin. They include Chris Black (Draft FCB),
Bob Blount (Dell), Liesel Enke (Fleishman-Hillard), Geoff
Knox (Dell), and Lauran Driver (Porter Novelli). Hobson
reports to Bob Pearson, Weisscoms chief technology
and media officer and former VP of communities and conversations
at Dell who joined in May.
Davis, a social media consultant who ran his own
shop focused on public affairs, to Gibraltar Associates,
Washington, D.C., as manager of digital media. He was previously
deputy director of media affairs at the Republican National
Committee and associate director of comms. for the Republican
National Convention in Minnesota in 2008. Davis worked in
government in the office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense
for Public Affairs from 2006-08.
Pinck to head of JS2 Communications New York
office as senior VP/GM.
Edition, October 7, 2009, Page 7
REFUSE ELECTION DETAILS
were requesting a complete list of the 2009 Assembly delegates
which up until now has not been provided.
posting on the PRS governance e-group Aug. 31 said a PRS
staffer had told a delegate that no list would be available
until the Assembly was seated Nov. 7 because it would not
be accurate until then.
attempt to specifically block proxy use in 2005 was defeated
when 81 proxy votes were used out of a total of 240. Leaders
rejected a notation in Roberts Rules that said adoption
of Roberts (which forbids proxy voting) by itself
was enough to answer any state laws requiring specific language
forms for the 2009 Assembly in San Diego are to be made
available the week of Oct. 12.
undirected proxy, said PRS, allows the holder
to vote on anything during the day including motions, amendments,
closing debate, refer to a committee and other procedural
matters as well as passage of the entire new set bylaws.
Proxy holders receive one voting device for each proxy they
have been given.
There was no discussion
of proxies on the two teleconferences Oct. 1.
PRS chair Mike Cherenson
and bylaws chair Dave Rickey argued at length in both morning
and afternoon teleconferences with members who wanted details
of the new election process before dumping the current one.
Both repeatedly said that
no further details of the election process would be given
until the Assembly agreed in principle to direct elections
by the membership.
One detail did come out
as Rickey said a campaign period might be 30 to 45 days.
Critics said they were shocked that such a fact had been
withheld from them although they have been asking for details
for five months.
Currently there is about
a three-week period between the announcement of the candidates
(19 this year) and the deadline for comments. This period
includes the July 4 holiday.
Candidates were announced
on June 22 this year and comments were taken until July
13. Seven official nominees were announced Aug. 4. No one
has ever run for the PRS board or as an officer without
first being in the initial group picked by the nomcom.
Members said great caution
must be exercised by the Assembly before it turns itself
into an advisory body.
Cherenson said Assembly
delegates are not giving up any voting powers but would
just be voting alongside all the other members.
A delegate told this NL
that such a remark is an insult to our intelligence.
Involving the entire membership
is a way of getting them more engaged, the delegate
said. Rickey at one point said there were 13,000 members
although the current total is 22,000.
Members said they belong
to groups and each year a slate comes around and they check
a box approving it. Elections in associations are usually
cut and dried, they said. The PRS nominating committee would
still propose candidates, perhaps one for each opening,
and members would not have much of a choice, it was pointed
Rickey said that ideally,
more than one candidate might be proposed for one post and
each candidate could then conduct a campaign. Campaigns
would be structured and unregulated campaigning
would not be permitted, he said.
to Campaigns for Public Office
Comparisons were made
with how presidential and other campaigns for public office
in the U.S. are conducted.
Senior members said such
references are inappropriate since public candidates undergo
extensive grilling by reporters for months and more than
a year in the case of presidential candidates.
They noted the distaste
PR leaders have shown for press relations for many years.
The last press conference by the board was in 1993 at the
annual conference in Orlando. Current policy of PRS staff
and leaders is not to answer any questions by this NL.
Cherenson, on a Sept.
10 teleconference, said he doubted the ethics
of journalists would allow them to join the Society.
The seven 2009 candidates
of PRS, as well as chair-elect Gary McCormick, have been
asked whether or not they agree with the statement of Cherenson
on journalistic ethics.
They are Rosanna Fiske,
chair-elect candidate; Phil Tate, treasurer; Gerard Corbett,
secretary; Robert Frause, N. Pacific director; Mickey Nall,
Southeast director; Blake Lewis, Southwest director, and
Barbara Whitman, director-at-large.
As of press time, none
have responded. Fiske and Corbett answered some questions
before they became official candidates. Information on the
candidates was removed from the PRS website after their
selection Aug. 4. Tuesday, Oct. 6 is the deadline for opposition
candidates to file.
Ofield Dukes, Washington,
D.C., counselor who would have been the only African-American
on the 17-member board, was passed over by the nomcom in
favor of Whitman. He was offered a non-voting seat on the
board by McCormick but refused.
in Power Struggle with Assembly
Senior members see the
proposed bylaws as part of a power struggle between the
board and staff and the Assembly that goes back to the mid
1980s when the Assembly voted twice to move h.q. out of
Chapters had been asked
to submit proposals for hosting h.q. in their cities and
seven responded, providing more than a foot high of research
materials including occupancy and staff costs.
They argued that many
millions of dollars could be saved by a move to a city such
as Indianapolis or Cleveland. The Assembly twice voted for
such a move but the board over-ruled it, claiming it had
the ultimate authority of Society matters.
Shortly after that, the
board discontinued the spring Assembly, citing costs.
Edition, October 7, 2009,
pros know them well but we dont think students
are getting the current facts of life on what
it is like to work for a corporation or institution.
have all the major PR textbooks and they dont hint
at the huge divide that has developed between corporate
and agency PR. Many textbooks are far behind actual practices.
all of what used to be called PR is in the agencies
these days. By that we mean freedom to mix it up intellectually
and even socially with reporters.
are too many watchful eyes at corporations/institutions
for their PR pros to do much of the above.
illustration was a column by David Carr of the New York
Times Sept. 14.
told of Star-Ledger political columnist Tom Moran,
worried about the future of newspapers, leaving the paper
in February 2008 to be policy director for Public
Service Electric & Gas.
52, with wife and two children, was in the third year of
pay freezes and decided the security of a big company was
lasted until Sept. 11, 2009, although he told Carr, I
knew after a week it wouldnt work.
has returned to the Star-Ledger and tells his news friends:
I no longer have to collaborate with 15 people on
a plan to go to the bathroom. Big companies are by nature
hierarchal and cautious. If I want to walk into my editors
office and tell him hes a bozo, I can.
PR Society, whose workings are extraordinarily public,
is a good illustration of pressures on PR by the other professions.
The two PR pros at h.q.
are no match for the lawyers, accountants, association pros,
marketers and even the parliamentarians (the last now being
hired for months at a time and who are helping to craft
Lawyers dont want
anything going out that implies the company is guilty of
anything (could touch off a lawsuit); the CFOs office
wants nothing going out that could be material
(affect the price of the stock), and the association and
marketing people want exclusive use of membership lists
for their own marketing purposes.
PR pros at institutions
may even be forbidden to meet, talk to, or trade e-mails
with certain reporters (the case at PRS).
An illustration of legal
thinking trumping PR thinking at PRS is Section 7 in the
proposed bylaws that gives the board the power to suspend
or terminate a member at its sole discretion.
Such a clause is a PR
disaster. A footnote to this bylaws section says, Attorney
recommended addition. PR is being led around by its
nose by lawyers.
The stubbornness and lack
of logic exhibited by PRS chair Mike Cherenson and bylaws
chair Dave Rickey in the Oct. 1 teleconferences proves that
the Assembly must assert its control over the board. (click
All PR people, including
non-members of PRS, should listen to this tape. Oddly, PRS
does not make this or other audiotapes of bylaws discussions
available to its general membership although leaders are
claiming they want to switch to the popular election of
board and officers so that members will feel more engaged.
Which is it?!
Leaders refuse to make
any promises or even discuss the possibility of audiocasting
the historic Assembly Nov. 7 when an entire new set of bylaws
is up for a vote after thousands of hours of
discussion and a legal bill probably over $100K. Another
illogical move is the rejection of Ofield Dukes as the official
candidate for the at-large position on the board.
Both Cherenson and Rickey
say the reason for ditching district reps on the board is
that the best people must be picked no matter
where they are from. They repeatedly emphasize that quality
should be the only criterion for board selection.
But by what stretch of
the imagination is Barbara Whitman, a solo practitioner
in Hawaii, more qualified that Dukes to be on the board?
Its known that Whitman
is a close personal friend of Rhoda Weiss, who chaired the
nomcom. Neither one denies this although the question has
been put to them.
Dukes is not only a longtime
major PR figure in Washington, D.C., acting currently as
an advisor to the Obama Administration, but he would be
the only African-American on the 17-member board. We see
cronyism at work here and not a quest for the best.
board has abused its powers for many years including
failing to have any PR for PR program.
It should never have allowed
the move of h.q. downtown which put PRS offices out of reach
of the large New York PR community. By not allowing distribution
of a PDF of the membership list, it gives the staff the
exclusive right to pitch the members an almost endless stream
of webinars and seminars.
Proposed bylaws will turn
the Assembly into a giant annual kaffeeklatsch, making it
mostly an advisory body.
The Assembly must not
only refuse to give up its power to vet and elect board
and officers, but must pass a bylaw that establishes itself
as the ultimate policy-making body of PRS just
like the Houses of Delegates of the ABA and AMA are.
Since this is a revision
of bylaws and not amendments to them, any motion can be
made without any prior notice.
Venable, the 660-lawyer
D.C. law firm that backs the board in its belief that only
the board can have this power, must be canned. Our legal
sources say there is no law that blocks the will of the
majority of the members of a group from doing what the majority
If PRS keeps insisting
on that, it should move its charter to a state that allows
Colette Trohan should
not be the parliamentarian at the Assembly. She is too identified
with PRS management at a time when a huge gap has sprung
up between the bylaws it is pushing and opponents to these
She has been working for
PRS for several months and supplied a one-page series of
definitions on Roberts Rules that only scratches the
surface of what delegates need to know.
She should have recommended
that delegates buy any one of a number of inexpensive books
on RR or summaries of major RR rules that are on the web
as well as advise them of the website that answers questions
on RR: (click
If she is a devotee of
RR, she should be pointing out that the proposed use of
proxies Nov. 7 is totally against the spirit not only of
RR but parliaments (parl being French for talk as in parlor
Delegates should also
be given the pros and cons of proxy voting which are on
A parliamentary trick
that the Assembly must avoid is agreeing in the agenda at
the start of the meeting to a hard ending at
5 p.m. or any particular time. This trick was used last
year when only 52% of those present wanted to continue past
They were cheated out
of a Town Hall for the second year in a row.