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Internet Edition, October 14, 2009, Page 1


The Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals, backed by blue-chip companies like IBM, HP, Microsoft and Lilly, is searching for a firm to handle national and international PR and media outreach.

The 11-year-old group has issued an RFP open through Oct. 19 to find a firm to help the organization pitch itself as the “go-to” resource for companies that want to improve their alliances and collaborations.

Most of its backers come from the high-tech and pharmaceutical space, where alliances are more common, but it says membership is rising from among financial services, green and not-for-profit sectors.

Pam Goodell, marketing, communications and business development manager for ASAP, is overseeing the search process. Info:


Barby Siegel, a marketing and consumertech pro, has been named CEO of Zeno Group, which is part of Edelman.

Lynn Hanessian, Zeno’s CEO since ’07, is returning to Edelman as head of a newly created science and biomedical communications practice. Based in Chicago, Hanessian will report to Nancy Turett, healthcare chief, and Matt Harrington, CEO of Edelman U.S.

Siegel had been running Ogilvy PR’s global consumer marketing practice. She spent 11 years at Edelman before exiting in `03. At Edelman, Siegel worked on Apple, Unilever, Starbucks, Hershey Foods, Barnes & Noble and Lowe’s.

Siegel reports to Richard Edelman, head of the No. 1 independent shop.


APCO Worldwide has signed Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce as a client. The mission is to strengthen economic ties between the U.S. and that Chinese city.

Founded in 1861, the Chamber is the corporate voice of Hong Kong for its more than 4,000 members.

APCO senior VP Barry Schumacher, a former aide to Florida Governor Bob Graham, heads the account.

The firm’s China pros include Kenneth Jarrett, who was U.S. deputy general counsel in Hong Kong during the SARs crisis, and Stapleton Roy, former U.S. Ambassador to China who serves on APCO’s international advisory committee.


Rubenstein Communications is working with David Letterman as the late-night talk show host navigates a high-profile sex scandal.

Tom Keaney, chief operating officer at Rubenstein, is a former segment producer for “The Late Show with Craig Ferguson” and is speaking for Letterman’s production company, Worldwide Pants, an existing client of the PR firm. Keaney told O’Dwyer’s that RC president Steven Rubenstein and he represent WP on all matters.

Letterman disclosed on his Oct. 1 show that he had sex with staffers who worked for him and said he was being blackmailed to the tune of $2M.

Robert Halderman, a producer for CBS’ “48 Hours Mystery,” has been identified as the man accused of blackmailing Letterman. He has pleaded not guilty to extortion.


An RFP for PR to support Santa Clara County’s new high-tech emergency alert system is worth nearly $500K and drawing interest from large firms, according to the county’s Office of Emergency Services.

As previously reported, the work covers social media, PR and traditional marketing to build on design and creative work already performed.

Firms attending a pre-bid conference at the end of September included MS&L, A&R Edelman, Fineman PR and PRx, among others.

The alert system, called the AlertSCC Regional Notification System, aims to contact each of the region’s 1.7M residents during events like earthquakes or wildfires. Budget is capped at $490K and the awarded contract is expected to run through June 30, 2010.


Senior members of the PR Society have asked the bylaws re-write committee to model PRS bylaws after those of the American Bar Assocation, American Medical Assn. and other major professional groups.

However, bylaws chair Rickey on Sept. 10 brushed off the suggestion with the remark that those are “licensed” professions and cannot serve as models for PRS.

Critics say the real reason is that the ABA, AMA, AICPA and American Psychological Assn. all have “assemblies” that meet twice a year and are the “ultimate policy-making bodies” of the groups rather than their boards. None allows proxy voting and all defer about half of dues income as unearned. None of those four things are true at PRS.

(Continued on page 7)


Internet Edition, October 14, 2009, Page 2


Fenton Communications has a five-month $270K pact to raise public awareness of the state of education in Gaza and West Bank.

David Fenton’s firm is working on behalf of the wife of the emir of Qatar and her AlFakhoora Project, which raises money from students to fund education opportunities for Palestinians.

Fenton is to build grassroots support for AFP, conduct outreach to both non-profit organizations and “potential political partners in the U.S.” and recruit student leaders in the U.S. and overseas campuses. The firm is responsible for managing and feeding a website in both Arabic and English languages.

The contract calls for Fenton personnel to travel to Doha to conduct media training sessions for student leaders.

Fees for ad placements are in addition to the $270K outlay that covers staff time and creative fee. The pact expires Feb. 28, but may be extended if budget permits.

According to her biography, Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned is UNESCO Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education.

She is developing a proposal to place before the U.N. Security Council that declares schools safe havens in regions where there is instability and conflict and creates an international tribunal to prosecute crimes against education.


Hill & Knowlton officially wound down its U.S. work for Saudi Basic Industry Corp. as of Oct. 2, according to Jim Cox, who leads the account.

SABIC’s “core communications” campaign kicked in more than $1M in fees at H&K during the past 12 months.

That effort is now focused on-the-ground in Saudi Arabia, said Cox. It is corporate reputation work and business-to-business communications.

Cox said the bulk of SABIC’s U.S. government relations outreach focused on its $11.7B acquisition of GE Plastics in `07.

SABIC inked H&K to a $76,950-monthly deal on Feb. 2, 2002. That pact was revised in `07 with a boost in retainer to $87,695.

H&K’s overall goal was to position SABIC as a “respected and trusted global brand” and a leader in the worldwide petrochemical business.


John Hollywood, who was Porter Novelli’s chief liaison to the key Wal-Mart account, has moved to Cohn & Wolfe as U.S. consumer practice leader. He reports to Donna Imperato, CEO of the WPP unit.

Hollywood spent a dozen years at PN. He handled the Timberland brand of clothing and footwear, while overseeing its corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Mercedes-Benz, Procter & Gamble, Masterfoods and Hewlett Packard also received counsel from Hollywood.

Imperato praises her new recruit as a bright “strategic brand marketer” equipped with the savvy to “build brands through creative, cross-channel programming.”


Brunswick and FD lead M&A PR firms for the first three quarters of 2009 by value of global deals and volume, respectively, according to an analysis by research company mergermarket.

The first three quarters of 2009 were the worst period for M&A activity since 2003, according to the analysis, as 6,256 deals were announced for a value of about $1.05 trillion.

Brunswick was involved in the top two deals of the year – Pfizer’s $63.3B acquisition of Wyeth, and Roche’s large stake in Genentech ($44.3B).

Brunswick worked for Pfizer and Roche in the January deals, while Sard Verbinnen & Co. and Kekst handled the respective targets.

Publicis-owned Kekst and Company topped M&A firms for volume of deals in North America, the region which accounts for 32 percent of global volume of M&A action. Kekst repped companies in 53 transactions valued at $71.3B from Q1-Q3.

Brunswick topped North America for value of deals, handling 30 M&As worth $173.3B, reflective of its work on the two big pharma transactions.

Mergermarket said Europe, which makes up nearly 40% of M&A activity by volume, has been hit the hardest in 2009 with transactions down 69% from ’08.

The research company noted that Asia-Pacific is growing in M&A importance as its value and volume of global deals (22% and 23%) is up from just under 18% last year.

Globally by value of deals handled, Sard Verbinnen & Co. vaulted from No. 8 for the third-quarter period in ’08 to No. 2 this year, handling 47 deals for a value of $118.6B. SV, which follows the leader Brunswick (75 deals $203.9B), is followed by Joele Frank Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher (35, $76.0B), Kekst (55, $71.8B) and Finsbury Group (47, $57.5B).


Lewis PR’ Washington, D.C., office has won PR duties for ARIN, the regional Internet registry based in Virginia, following a competitive review.

Lewis was tapped to implement a media relations campaign and handle communications planning, as well as the creation of ARIN’s first social media program.

ARIN, an acronym for American Registry for Internet Numbers, is one of five global entities that manage the distribution of Internet number resources, which include IP address space.

Ian Lipner, general manager at Lewis, heads the account reporting to ARIN’s PR officer Megan Kruse.

Kruse, in a statement, said ARIN has a complex message with growing urgency attached to it and was looking for a firm that knows “how both the folks in the data center and in the head office think.”

Kruse told O'Dwyer's that about 10 firms were considered in the process. "We liked Lewis PR’s enthusiasm and their mix of experience and fresh ideas, and felt the individual personalities of the team members suited ARIN best," she said.

Lipner said ARIN’s message contains an issue that will affect every business on the Internet and “ultimately, every Internet user.”


Internet Edition, October 14, 2009, Page 3


News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch Oct. 9 rapped “flat-earthers” who believe news content on the Internet should be forever free, during a presentation at the World Media Summit in Beijing.

“The Philistine phase of the digital age is almost over,” he said. “The aggregators and the plagiarists will soon have to pay for the co-opting of our content.”

Murdoch warned that if “content creators” don't start charging for their information the “content kleptomaniacs will triumph.”

He is confident the world's greatest newspapers will retain digital readers who “recognize the reality that they should pay a price.”

It is up to the media to rebuff the notion held by some that paying for an Internet service provider entitles them to a ticket to a content buffet. “That misconception thrived on the silence of inarticulate institutions which were unable to challenge the fallacies and humbug of the e-establishment,” he said.

Murdoch said the media are entering a decisive phase in which “device makers are again courting the creator of content.”

He met with electronics manufacturers in Japan and South Korea who “don’t want their customers to be served a diet of digital dross, yet that will be the inevitable consequence if the world of content and creativity are not appreciated.”

Murdoch also encouraged China's government to open up its media market and crack down on piracy.

Citing his own personal experience, Murdoch told China's leaders that they also must not be overly sensitive to criticism.

“A cursory search of the Internet will throw up some rather vigorous and vitriolic criticism of this curious character called Rupert Murdoch. But myth is, in the end, not material,” he said.

Murdoch’s personal advice is to not take criticism so “personally.”


Conde Nast is closing upscale food magazine Gourmet with the publication of its November issue. Gourmet’s book and TV operation will be kept alive.

Founded in 1941, Gourmet fell to the slump in the luxury goods and travel advertising market.

Its sister publication, the more middle-of-the-road Bon Appetit, survived the ax. Goumet’s ad pages slipped more than 40 percent this year. Its 980K circulation compares with BA’s 1.4M.

Ruth Reichl, author and former restaurant critic of the New York Times, had been editing Gourmet.

The New York-based publisher also is closing Modern Bride, Elegant Bride and parenting magazine Cookie. The shutdowns will result in the loss of 180 jobs.

Conde Nast called in consultant McKinsey & Co. to map a cost-cutting drive.

The company is slashing magazine budgets by 25 percent.

Conde Nast closed business magazine Portfolio and housing title Domino during the past year.


Richard Rushfield, who was entertainment editor at the Los Angeles Times, is now West Coast editor of

He told the USC Annenberg blog that he wanted to be part of the national conversation. Print, in his view, isn’t driving that conversation.

“Gawker takes on a subject, people take notice and people have to respond to it,” said Rushfield.


Al Jazeera has launched a mobile application to give followers live and on-demand access to the satellite TV’s Arab and English language programming.

Phil Lawrie, director of global distribution at Al Jazeera Network, said the app is “another initiative that helps us to meet our goal of serving our audience through multiple platform technologies.”

Al Jazeera English is now available in more than 100 countries. The network has just unveiled an English language blog for its worldwide correspondents at


Time Warner’s Time Inc. unit is rallying publishers to create a digital store for their titles along the lines of Hulu for video, according to a report in the Financial Times.

John Squires, executive VP at Time, is leading the digital development effort. Time has been in contact with Conde Nast and Hearst.

The store is supposed to “open” next year.


The United States has vaulted back to the top of the “most admired countries,” according to an annual global poll by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media.

The index ranks the global image of the top 50 countries. The U.S. was ranked seventh for “overall brand” last year, while Germany topped the list.

Followers of the index said the change was significant as countries’ reputations do not undergo major shifts from year to year.

The U.S. is followed by France, Germany, the U.K. and Japan in the 2009 index, which surveys people across 20 countries that rank countries based on exports, governance, culture, people, tourism and immigration/investment.

Xiaoyan Zhao, senior VP at GfK, said perception of the U.S. increased based on perceived gains in governance, people, culture and tourism.

China also gained significantly in the last year landing at No. 22.

Simon Anholt, who created the ranking, said the results show the new administration has been well received abroad and the election of Barack Obama was key to the significant boost in repuation.

Anholt noted that in his years studying national reputation, he has never seen such a dramatic increase in standing as the U.S. from 2008-09.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, October 14, 2009, Page 4


The Los Angeles Times threw a party Oct. 4 at the swank West Hollywood Hotel to celebrate the impending awards season and the paper’s “The Envelope” section/website as editors gave advice on reaching them with news., which is billed as the “ultimate awards site,” has helped the Times significantly broaden its coverage of the entertainment business over the past year, according to film critic Betsy Sharkey, who once edited the site.

The Envelope’s purpose, according to promotional materials, is to raise awareness of award contenders, drive box office numbers, boost DVD sales, influence voting considerations of Academy and guild members and get people to go to the movies.

The site receives five million visitors during the off season and much higher numbers during the high season – between November and February. It features interactive photo galleries, video clips of red carpet coverage, celebrity podcasts, blogs and a “Buzzmeter.”

“When we launched the Envelope a couple of years ago, we didn't have as much video, we didn’t have as much breaking news and mainly covered Hollywood events and film festivals with all the guilds,” noted associate editor Patrick Kevin Day.

This writer asked Day how new media has impacted coverage in the weekly printed version of the Envelope and the online version.

“I think speed is the biggest thing,” said Day. “We have a host of competition from various websites tying into the entertainment awards area, so we have to keep an eye on them constantly and we can't fall down at any point and be at the top of our game.”

Elizabeth Snead, former fashion editor and entertainment writer for USA Today, is contributing editor of The Envelope.

She prefers “10 days advance notice of story pitches,” since she covers three events a night. “I might not get back to you right away, but I do read my emails,” she said. “Don’t call me, email works best, because I work out of my home literally blogging all day,” added Snead. “I don’t go to as many mixers and late night parties as before, because now I have people I can send to them, so just being here is a rare thing for me.”

For almost two years now, Snead has been writing for the The Dish Rag blog. She focuses on news, celebs, awards, politics and pop culture. A tip: don’t pitch a hodge-podge of clients to The Envelope. “We're looking for a window into the lifestyle of a person so exclusives are given much more consideration,” said Snead.

The LAT re-launched The Envelope to make it “more accessible to our users and the industry,” said its former senior producer Joseph Kapsch. He is now a producer of the site of entertainment videos.

The site is broken down into sections on awards and includes photos, features and anything to do with the awards show in the subsections.

For example there are sections with videos and celebrity images on VH1's Hip Hop Honors, 2009 'VH1 Divas' Arrivals, 2009 Latin Grammy Awards Nominees, 2009 ALMA Awards Arrivals and Red Carpet Rewind: 2009 Primetime Emmy Awards.

“There is Academy news and breaking news on the site. We've created these multimedia models on each page for photos. We also host podcasts of nominees or anyone associated with the awards show,” said Kapsch, who is now working for

Kapsch was the former managing editor of, as well as a producer of TV sites at ABC, NBC, Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment and Viacom. As far as pitching the writers and editors, all say email pitches are preferred.

— By George S. McQuade III

'The Envelope' Contacts:

Sallie Hofmeister, editor
[email protected]

Elena Howe, editor
[email protected]

Patrick Kevin Day, associate editor
[email protected]

Betsy Sharkey, film critic
[email protected]

Elizabeth Snead, contributing editor
[email protected]

Joseph Kapsch,
[email protected]


The San Francisco Chronicle plans to publish a dozen glossy pages per edition as a way to attract advertisers.

The super-calendered pages debut next month.

The Hearst Corp. property will become the first U.S. paper to offer glossy pages on a daily basis. It could run up to 24 pages based on demand.


Magazine closures continue to outpace launches, according to periodical database

The site reports 383 closures through the third quarter of 2009, compared with 259 new launches.

The figure on shutterings reflects last week’s move by Conde Nast to kill four mags, including Gourmet (see pg. 3). Other casualties this year included Country Home, Nick and Nick Jr., Hallmark Magazine, Travel & Leisure Golf, Style & Design, Southern Accents, and Best Life.

MediaFinder said the regional interest category was tops for new launches this year with 15 new titles like Maine Magazine and The 45th (N. Michigan), but the niche also led in closures with 31. Business and lifestyle, with 14 and 13 folds, respectively, were also hard hit.

Internet Edition, October 14, 2009, Page 5


Ketchum has formalized an energy practice as the Omnicom-owned firm said it expects growth of at least 20 percent in that sector over the next year.

The energy policy debate in the U.S. and abroad was also a key factor in the move to set up Ketchum Energy, which leverages the firm’s recent merger with Europe-based Pleon.

Jerry Thompson, partner and senior counselor based in Atlanta, and Pleon’s energy leader Rene Mono, head the new practice, which has 50 staffers at its disposal and is housed within Ketchum’s global corporate practice.


Russia-based Eventica has joined the Pangaea Network of travel PR firms.

The 13-year-old Moscow based firm also has offices in London and Dubai and is headed by founder/president Sergei Kolushev.

Chris Spring, president of Spring O’Brien & Company in New York, the group’s U.S./Canada rep, highlighted Eventica’s years of travel and tourism experience in announcing the partnership.

The Pangaea Network now has firms in 16 global markets.


ICR, the Westport, Conn.-based financial comms. and investor relations firm, has inked a partnership agreement with Presidium Communications of Moscow.

The two firms said they will team up on IR services for Russian companies that are public or seeking to list on a stock exchange.

John Mills, senior managing director at ICR, said Presidium is one of the first agencies to establish and define investor communications in Russia.


Vitol Group, a giant commodities trading company based in The Netherlands with $191 billion in revenue last year, is relying on Qorvis Communications and U.K.’s Finsbury to handle PR for its acquisition of a stake in Oklahoma oil transportation company SemGroup Energy Partners.

The move gives the Rotterdam-based company control of an oil storage terminal in the delivery point for New York Mercantile Exchange futures at Cushing, Okla., as well as U.S. pipeline and asphalt plants, according to Bloomberg.

Qorvis partner Don Goldberg in D.C. works on Vitol, while Finsbury partner Andrew Mitchell handles the account abroad.

Finsbury is part of WPP while Qorvis is independent.

BRIEFS: Affect Strategies, New York, is working with design firm Hoberman Associates as it highlights its work on a giant transformable video screen used on U2’s elaborate stage during the Irish band’s current world tour. The agency also worked to pitch Hoberman’s CEO, Chuck Hoberman, as a thought leader in the architectural community.


New York Area

The Dilenschneider Group, New York/Health Discovery Corp., molecular diagnostics, to manage its investor and media relations work. HDC has licensed a prostate cancer tests to Quest Diagnostics, Abbot Laboratories and Clarient, among other partners.

Lou Hammond & Associates, New York/Panama City Beach, for PR following a competitive review as it prepares for the May 2010 opening of a new international airport. LH&A has also picked up The Ocean House (Watch Hill, R.I.), The Woodcliff Hotel and Spa and Brookwood Inn (both in Upstate N.Y. and managed by Access Hotels & Resorts).

Loving + Company, New York/Fit2BMom, maternity active wear, for brand building, media and blogger relations, product launches and other efforts.

Stanton PR & Marketing, New York/The Princeton Review, test preparation and education support, as AOR for PR.

KCSA Strategic Communications, New York/Electronic Motors Corp., tech incubator for electric power drive systems, for corporate PR.

MWW Group, East Rutherford, N.J./Usher’s New Look, non-profit youth organization headed by the recording artist/actor, for PR.

Thomas PR, Melville, N.Y./Chlor*Rid, soluble salt testing and removal for infrastructure systems, as AOR for PR.


Howard, Merrell & Partners, Raleigh, N.C./Georgia-Pacific Professional, as AOR for the food services solutions division, including advertising, research, PR and social media marketing.

Shamin Abas PR, West Palm Beach, Fla./International Polo Club Palm Beach, as AOR for PR ahead of the 2010 polo season and to expand the growth of the “equestrian lifestyle” in Florida.


Rohatynski-Harlow PR, Warren, Mich./SRG Global, chrome-plated parts for auto industry, as AOR for PR, including strategic counsel and national/global program implementation.


Blanchard Schaefer Advertising & PR, Austin, Tex./Lone Star Bean, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s Texas franchise, to manage marketing and PR for its first two Texas stores, based in Austin. CB&TL has 600 locations.

Strauss Marketing-Bailey Pete PR, Dallas/Smashburger and franchise company BIGG Capital Holdings, as AOR of record as the franchise enters the Dallas market.


Loughlin/Michaels Group, Sunnyvale, Calif./The Forum for Women Entrepreneurs & Executives, non-profit event, for PR.


Burson-Marsteller, Sydney/Cool nrg International, for a global PR compaign for the carbon trading company. B-M’s Melbourne office is also handling the account, which is to be rolled out across Europe, China and the U.S.

Internet Edition, October 14, 2009, Page 6


Two phony press releases announcing the bogus acquisition of a search engine company by Microsoft and Google purporting to be from a PR firm the company does not work with were issued last week via a discount wire service, sparking damage control by its PR reps.

Two PR pros from different agencies involved in the fallout also said the incident raises questions about the capabilities of discount press release disseminators.

A news release attributed to Chicago-based S&S PR was issued after 4 p.m. on Thursday, “Sept. 31” by and announcing that was acquired by Microsoft. The news sparked an uptick in the NASDAQ-traded company's shares in after-hours trading.

Steven Simon, CEO of Chicago-based S&S PR, told O’Dwyer’s that he was “stunned” to be cited by the phony release as his firm has never worked with

He was quickly contacted by Madison Alexander PR of Irvine, Calif.,'s actual agency, to sort the mess out.

Dan Chmielewski, principal of Madison Alexander, said the initial concern was that the release was part of a so-called pump-and-dump attempt to manipulate's shares. His firm worked with the client to issue a statement later on Thursday and use various social media platforms to say the release was phony.

A second release was issued under similar circumstances on Friday, Oct. 1, announcing’s acquisition by Google, but the author inserted “Business Wire” into the release, bringing that larger company, which has a contract with, into the fold.

“We were able to unleash the Berkshire Hathaway people on these sites,” Chmielewski said of BW’s parent company.

Business Wire contacted the company – – which owns a site that published the release that included the BW tag and it was promptly removed.

12PressRelease does not provide any contact information by phone or email. Simon said an SEO-experienced staffer was able to trace the origin to Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


Jim Moldow, VP of business development for recently shuttered On The Scene Production, has moved to WestGlen Communications in New York as VP, account director. He previously was a senior VP in 13 years at DWJ TV and was an account director handling advertising sales at Crain’s Electronic Media.

WestGlen praised his array of business contacts and experience closing deals with corporate clients, PR firms, government agencies and non-profits.

He's charged with selling broadcast and digital media offerings.

Moldow joined On The Scene in October. The company closed down abruptly last week.



Karen Davis, VP at Zeno Group, to Lippe Taylor Brand Communications, New York, as VP in its consumer lifestyle and healthcare divisions. She handled clients like Evenflo baby products, ASPCA and AstraZeneca in focusing on consumer and healthcare work at Zeno.

Mistique Cano, former VP of communications for the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, has joined Google’s Washington, D.C, outpost as manager of global communications and public affairs. Cano, a Texan who joined the Internet company in late September, worked as a press secretary for John Kerry’s presidential campaign in Pennsylvania starting in July 2004 and was previously communications director at polling and research firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.

Mary Michael Marlo, to digital marketing agency Fanscape, Los Angeles, as account director. She was previously with MySpace, Fox Interactive Media and Gotham. Natalie Svider, who held PR posts at NAS PR, Lewis PR and Ruder Finn, joins as manager, corporate communications.

Dan Healy, client services and community manager at, to Mason Onofrio, New Haven, Conn., as manager of new media.

Jen Lynch has moved from Fleishman-Hillard’s corporate unit in New York to Shorey PR, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., as an AA/E.


David Hakensen to GM of Fleishman-Hillard’s Twin Cities office. He takes over for Emily Frager, who headed the Minneapolis/St. Paul outpost since June 2008, is a senior VP and partner and is taking on a new regional role. Hakensen joined the firm in July. F-H has also tapped Kathleen Harrington, former SVP, corporate comms., at UnitedHealth Group, for its management team.

Jennifer Cherry to VP, Marx Layne & Company, Farmington Hills, Mich. Cherry, who joined the firm in 2004 after an internship, is part of the firm’s management team and heads its social media division.


Jorge Arrizurieta, former VP of public affairs at investment conglomerate Huizenga Holdings, to Newlink Group, Miami, as a senior advisor. He was chief executive of Florida FTAA, which helped Miami become the site for the Free Trade Area of the Americas confab.

Annemiek Hamelinck, senior VP for Waggener Edstrom in London, has been given the reins of the firm’s global analyst relations practice. WE said that although it has been handling AR services for a decade, it recently streamlined and structured the unit.

Mousa Ackall, marketing coordinator at Arketi Group in Atlanta, was given the Chapter Champion award by PR Society’s Georgia chapter. She serves as social media chair of the group.


Internet Edition, October 14, 2009, Page 7


The staffs of the four professional groups are always headed by a professional of the respective group. The title of “president” is reserved for the highest elected member. COO Bill Murray has the title of president at PRS.

Rickey, in an e-group posting on the PRS website Sept. 30 that discussed campaigning for offices, mentioned as examples the American Assn. of Petroleum Geologists (31,000 members); the Assn. of Moving Image Archivists (750 movie, TV and video art specialists), and the American Psychological Assn. (150,000 members).

Members believe the “Moving Image” group must have come from Murray since he was with the Motion Picture Assn.

Rickey and Chair Mike Cherenson have championed direct election of officers and board by members as a means of getting members more “engaged” in PRS affairs.

Rickey said that candidates in the future might contend against each other in quest of one of the national offices.

However, critics note that the last contest for chair-elect was in 2000 when floor candidate Joann Killeen defeated official candidate Art Stevens for chair-elect. Nine members of the board publicly supported Killeen for the post and none supported Stevens.

Should the proposed bylaws pass, said critics, only candidates who have already served on the board could vie to be an officer under one of the new rules in the bylaws.

Current bylaws permit any APR member to run for office.

The only contest that could take place would be a contest between two “insiders,” said critics.

The nominating committee would still come up with a slate of one person per office and an opponent would have to “run from the floor,” it was pointed out.

Rickey, while refusing months of demands for more specifics on how the elections would be held, has said that only “structured” campaigning would be allowed and “unregulated campaigning” would not be permitted.

Delegate List, Amendments Sought

Assembly delegates as of this week were seeking a list of the delegates and a list of the amendments that have been sent to h.q. thus far.

PRS staffers made promises that they would be available later this week.

An e-mail address book of the 2007 delegates was sent to them on Sept. 6 of that year. Tradition for many years was to enclose such a list in the “Assembly binder” that was sent to delegates at least a month in advance of the Assembly.

This year, as a cost-cutting measure, delegates have been told that instead of binders, PRS is making delegate materials available for downloading from a special area of the PRS website.

Delegates are also looking for the six-months and third quarter financial reports, IRS Form 990 that shows the compensation of Murray, legal costs, occupancy costs and other financial information, and details of Murray’s new contract that was signed by the executive committee July 24. Minutes of that board meeting have not yet been released.

Dukes Not Running

Washington, D.C., counselor Ofield Dukes, who lost a bid to be an at-large board member to Hawaii counselor Barbara Whitman, said he will not run from the floor.

He said he has to deal with the impact of the recession on his own business and also is helping a client to deal with homeowners facing eviction.

PRS disclosed a preliminary Assembly agenda showing an 8 a.m. start time and a “hard ending” at 5:30 p.m. A two-thirds vote would be needed to extend the meeting.

Assemblies in the past, including the 2000 meeting, have continued as late as 7 p.m. The bylaws revision debate would start at 9 a.m. and continue throughout the day except for elections and a Town Hall meeting “if time permits.”

Town Halls scheduled in 2007 or 2008 were cancelled due to lack of time. An hour and a half is set for lunch at this year’s Assembly: noon to 1:30 p.m.

Last year’s lunch break lasted 1:42 hours which critics said was an egregious waste of time considering all the topics that delegates wanted to discuss and the fact that there was no time for a Town Hall.

Much time could be saved this year by having box lunches at delegate tables, said critics. They noted that box lunches are common at annual meetings of public companies. Lunch then would only take about 20 minutes, it was said, not only saving time but the expense of a sit-down lunch in which nearly 300 people have to move to another room and then re-assemble an hour and a half later.


Some senior members of the PR Society say it is a conflict of interest for bylaws committee member Art Stevens of New York to serve in the Assembly this year since he would be voting on his own proposals.

Stevens , previously a vocal critic of PRS’s governance and who received the Patrick Jackson Award from national in 2008 for contributions to PRS and PR, said he saw no conflict.

Asked about his changed views on PRS governance, he said that “if you’re on a bi-partisan task force…you learn to work out compromises so that there is a consensus of what needs to be done.”

Stevens, in an essay in 2007 on, said the Assembly should be presided over by its own officers rather than the PRS board; it should meet twice a year; its members should not have to submit bylaw proposals that “go through board censorship in advance,” and that the Assembly should be a “more powerful influence” in PRS affairs.

He urged consideration of a proposal by the Central Michigan chapter that year that PRS model its governance after that of the AMA and ABA whose assemblies make policy that their boards carry out.


Internet Edition, October 14, 2009, Page 8




Art Stevens, the single most vocal critic of PRS governance practices, has now made bed with PRS leaders. He sees no conflict in being an Assembly delegate and voting on his own bylaw proposals. We do.

Just one of the bylaws would doom the Assembly since 25 or more national committee heads would join the 47 leaders already backing it. Nothing requiring a two-thirds majority would ever get by that bloc. The executive branch should not be part of the legislative branch.

The objectivity of the nominating process would be wrecked by having a sitting board member chair the nomcom. Assembly delegates, many of them heavily plied by h.q., must stage a revolt at the start of the meeting.

The 17 directors and their lawyer and parliamentarian must come down from the stage from which they look down on the delegates (in more ways than one) to be replaced by the delegates’ own leaders.

This was among the prescriptions Stevens gave in 2006 when he wanted the Assembly to have “a more powerful influence.”

How weak is the 2009 Assembly? Very is the answer.

Delegates, as of late last week, were still pleading with h.q. for a list of fellow delegates. Such delegates, under the bylaws, were supposed to have been elected by Dec. 1 last year.

In 2007, an e-mail list of the delegates was made available to them on Sept. 6. It was in address book form so delegates could mail the entire list with one e-mail. This list was not made available to the general membership.

Delegates last week were also pleading for a list of all the bylaw amendments and suggestions that have been sent to the bylaws committee and were told that it would take a week to compile them. What nonsense!

Delegates don’t even have the six-months financial report which should have been given to them months ago nor is there any sign of the Q3 financial report. Not available is IRS Form 990 which has COO Bill Murray’s remuneration, legal costs and occupancy costs among other key data. They also don’t have any details of Murray’s new contract that was given to him at the July 24 board meeting. Missing are the minutes of that meeting.

Stevens called on the Assembly to be presided over by its own officers.

This would copy the ABA, AMA, AICPA and APA (psychologists). All of their “assemblies” meet twice a year which was another recommendation of Stevens.

He further said that motions should be legal up to and including the day of the Assembly rather than having to “go through board censorship in advance.”

Delegates last year succeeded in having the 17 directors “come down from the mount” and actually sit at tables for a brief time with the lowly delegates.

The Assembly, under the current and still in effect bylaws, has “all the powers, rights and privileges of members at an annual meeting.” These certainly outweigh any powers of the board. They just need to be exercised by delegates who shake off the strings attached to them and put the membership first.

Proxies must not be allowed. If keypad voting is used all votes must be roll call with the results printed out and put on video screens within a few moments. That’s how keypad voting is supposed to work.

The main issue before the Assembly should not be draconian bylaws that gut the Assembly, but what are members getting for their $225 dues?

While Rickey and Cherenson say PRS must attract “communicators” of all stripes to expand, the Central Michigan chapter website ( proves otherwise. Listed on the CM website are the 131 chapter members. But if you click on “name” or “organization,” up come 437 names of PR people. This is the promotional list of prospects and members.

Only 36 (8%) showed up for the Sept. 23 lunch featuring Cherenson.

The 131 members of the chapter represent 30% of the market.

This would be a lot larger if chapter-only membership were allowed.

Corporate, chapter-only and direct student memberships are so controversial that such topics are never allowed to hit the Assembly floor.

Stevens also urged having the national conference in New York every third year (instead of every 14 years as at present—1990 and 2004).

A New York conference loses a lot less money partly because it avoids flying 35 or so staffers to a distant city for up to a week or so with meal and hotel expenses. Stevens is now in favor of taking from the Assembly its power to elect board/officers and conduct debates if floor candidates appear (elections being made by 500 members voting “in person or by proxy,” say the proposed bylaws).

He backs Assembly delegates serving one year terms instead of three; directors being able to serve four years in a row (where previously they were limited to one, two-year term; officer posts being limited to those who have been on the board; a board member heading the nomcom; board having the power to expel any member at its “sole discretion”; districts losing representation on the board; the word “proxy” being in the bylaws five times, a first for PRS, thus defying Robert’s Rules which at the same time are cited as “Parliamentary authority” for the Assembly.

Stevens, commenting on our criticism of his switch, says he learned that “if you’re on a bi-partisan task force…you learn to work out compromises so that there is a consensus of what needs to be done.”

He caved, that’s what happened. He should have stuck to his beliefs and quit the bylaws committee which is what Cynthia Sharpe did when she found out it would have no face-to-face contact with members (discussion would be limited to blogs, phones and e-mails and the general membership would be excluded from the teleconferences).

PRS, in a 2007 promotion for the Counselors Academy, said the “No. 1 question it receives each month” is “Where can I find a PR firm or consultant?”

Said the promotion: “Hundreds of potential clients are looking for you, but will they find you?”

So, if you’re pals with PRS, it can be pals with you.

Not only are account and job tips available from PRS, but thousands of titles at the chapter and national levels. Some chapters have as few as 25 to 50 members with only 5-10 in each chapter actually active in it. They can take turns being president, president-elect, committee heads, whatever. This helps burnish resumes. Academics are particularly fond of titles that show they’re “leaders” in the business community.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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