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Internet Edition, November 11, 2009, Page 1


Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast region known as Beaches of South Walton has released an RFP through Dec. 1 to review its PR account to position the 15-community area as a tourist destination ahead of the May opening of an international airport.

The Walton County Tourist Development Council wants to hear from independent PR firms with dedicated tourism practices recognized by an independent source – O’Dwyer’s is listed as such a source in the RFP. Agencies that are part of conglomerates, like Interpublic or Publicis, are excluded from pitching.

Tracy Louthain, director of PR for Beaches of South Walton, said Edelman is the incumbent.

The Northwest Florida-Panama City International Airport is slated to open in May 2010 and the Council wants to leverage the event for national media attention complementary to its existing advertising efforts. Southwest Airlines has signed on to serve the new airport.

In addition to its top 30 travel markets, key emerging markets are Baltimore/D.C. and Chicago and the council sees the “shoulder season” of September through November as a key focus for PR. Target market is households with more than $144K in income aged 35-64, as well as niche audiences like culinary travel, business, weddings, eco-tourism and family trips.

A nine-month contract starting in January is planned with options that could stretch to three years.

Download the RFP at


Martin Durbin is joining the American Petroleum Institute next month as executive VP/government affairs. The former Democratic staffer is making the move as the Senate takes up debate on the energy/global warming bill. He replaces John Ford, a ten-year vet of API.

Durbin was at the American Chemistry Council, where he coordinated lobbying, coalition-building, advocacy and political programs. Earlier, he served as aide to Sen. Alan Dixon (Ill.) and Rick Boucher (Va.), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Jack Gerard, CEO of API, expects Durbin to bring “fresh perspectives to the API.” He says API is a “nimble and dynamic organization” focused on communications issues that affect U.S. energy, economic and environmental security.

The API has harsh words for the Kerry/Boxer and Waxman/Markey energy legislation, which if believes “could destroy millions of American jobs and drive up fuel prices, punishing everyone who drives, flies or takes a bus or train.”


A jury has ordered Dix & Eaton to pay $1M to Antonia Susel, a 27-year veteran of the firm, who filed an age discrimination suit against the Cleveland-based firm.

The 59-year-old Susel claims she was fired by D&E after she complained that her boss wanted to replace her with a man half her age, according to a report in Cleveland’s Plain Dealer. Her attorney says Susel felt she was “set up for a wrongful discharge because of her age.” Susel was let go in 2007.

D&E strongly disagrees with the verdict, “which is wholly inconsistent with what we know to be true,” according to its statement. The firm is evaluating legal options and will soon decide a course of action.

Susel lodged five complaints against D&E, including age/gender discrimination and wrongful discharge. The jury only granted the retaliation claim.

Susel was senior VP-client accounting. She reportedly was replaced by a 32-year-old protégé of Tom Doak, chief administrative officer.


Kate James, Citibank’s senior VP for global communications, is stepping down for the top communications post at The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle. She moved to Citibank in 2008 from the Standard Chartered Bank in London.

James takes up the chief communications officer role at the charitable entity of Microsoft’s founder and his wife in January 2010. She’ll counsel both Gateses and the executive team at the foundation, which is honed in on education in the U.S. and fighting disease and poverty in developing countries.

She took the Citigroup job when it consolidated its global marketing communications function as the financial crisis gained steam in mid-2008.


The rulers in communications are soon going to be “experts—not simply people who blog or tweet, but who actually know what they're talking about,” IBM senior VP Jon Iwata told the Institute for PR Nov. 4 at the Yale Club.

Iwata, who heads IBM marketing, communications and citizenship organizations, addressed a room packed with 280 PR executives who also saw GolinHarris founder Al Golin accept the Alexander Hamilton Medal for lifetime achievement in PR.

Golin, who was in Chicago, accepted the award via a TV hookup.

(Continued on page 7)


Internet Edition, November 11, 2009, Page 2


Middleberg Communications has acquired New York-based entertainment and consumer PR shop The Dowd Agency, which will serve as the consumer division for the tech and financial firm set up by Don Middleberg in 2006.

Middleberg is CEO of the combined entity and Dowd CEO Jim Dowd takes a managing director slot, as well as principal of the parent company.

Middleberg told O’Dwyer’s that he met Dowd about two years ago, before the economic downturn, when Dowd approached him about a possible combination. “It’s not an economic story of consolidation, but it’s a story of two guys who continued to get to know one another and after a while it made sense to get together,” he said.

“It’s a perfect fit alongside our tech practice, corporate/financial practice and our work in marketing and media,” he said. “Jim’s broadcast and media relations background are superb.”

Middleberg said his firm is down between five and 10 percent for the year, which he noted is “the new up 20.” He said Dowd is up about 20 percent for 2009.

Financial details of the deal were not released, but Middleberg posted 2008 revenue of $2.7M with 12 staffers and the firm said post-Dowd merger it will surpass $4M with nearly 25 employees.

Dowd called Middleberg a “legend in the industry” and said the combined firm will be formidable for clients in the consumer, social media and business sectors.

Middleberg sold his former 150-staffer firm to Havas in 2000. He set up MC when his non-compete agreements lapsed a few years ago.


Haake and Associates, the Washington D.C.-based government relations and lobbying firm, has signed on to represent Action for Democracy in Iran.

The group founded by Hassan Massali, a veteran political activist and frequent commentator on Voice of America, advocates for democracy in Iran.

H&A is headed by retired Major General Timothy Haake, who stepped down from his Army Reserve command in 2006 after 35 years of service. He served as deputy commander, mobilization and reserve affairs, for U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, and director of legislative affairs at Special Ops Command in D.C.


Linda Webb Carilli, a senior VP for Ogilvy PR Worldwide and veteran PR pro for Weight Watchers and the Lipton Tea company, died on Oct. 30 from lung surgery complications. She was 58.

Carilli passed away at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

She spent 14 years at Weight Watchers International rising to general manager of public affairs through 2004. She joined WW from the Thomas J. Lipton Co. and earlier was a healthcare VP at Ketchum.

Carilli had been a healthcare SVP at Ogilvy in New York for the past five years. She is survived by her husband, Edward, and two sons.


The Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority is reviewing its PR account amid an overall marketing revamp with an RFP process through mid-November.

The region, which includes Lake Tahoe and the city of Reno at the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, gets more than five million visitors per year and had been working to play up its outdoor recreation options over gambling attractions in luring both business and leisure travelers.

Switchback PR + Marketing won the last review for the $90K-a-year account in 2007, an award which included options that could’ve extended to 2011.

But the Authority dropped its “America’s Adventure Place” theme developed in 2002 and adopted a new marketing strategy in October that calls for national goals, social media and strategic publicity stunts.

“Refreshingly offbeat” aspects of the area are a focus of the new plan, including regional traits like “proudly unapologetic, confident, big sense of humor” and “embraces the quirky and fun,” according to the RFP.

“The firm selected will have a strong grasp of new measurement techniques evolving with the changing nature of public relations,” reads the RFP, which was released Oct. 29.

So-called “first timers” and “needs reintroduction” are key demographics that the Authority wants to target via PR.

A year-and-a-half-long contract is expected with three options.

Proposals are due by Nov. 19. The RFP is linked at Julie Williams ([email protected]) is handling the search.


Black and Decker and Stanley Works have ironed out a $4.8B merger of their iconic brands in a deal promoted by Kekst & Co. and Sard Verbinnen & Co.

The deal marries B&D’s power tool line-up with SW’s hand tool offerings to create an $8.4B global giant.

The New York Times reported the courtship has been an on and off affair for the last 28 years under various management regimes that just couldn’t make it down the aisle.

Stanley Works shareholders will own 50.5 percent of the surviving Stanley Black and Decker and lock up nine of its 15 board seats.

SW CEO John Lundgen will head the combined company, while B&D’s chief Nolan Archibald takes the executive chairman slot.

SW’s New Britain (Conn.) headquarters will become the corporate office of the merged companies, while B&D’s Towson (Maryland) will remain power tool h.q. for now.

The housing slump has hurt both companies. B&D’s third-quarter net was off 35 percent to $55M on a 23 percent sales dip to $1.2B.

SW had a 63 percent drop in net to $60M on a 16 percent decrease in sales to $935M. The partners expect to cut costs by at least $350M following the merger.

SV&C reps SW, while Kekst handles B&D.


Internet Edition, November 11, 2009, Page 3


The Reader’s Digest Association, which declared bankruptcy in August, is ending ties with Rev. Rick Warren.

Launched a year ago, the relationship was built upon the evangelical leader’s “Purpose Driven Life” books. It included a quarterly magazine edited by Warren, DVDs and study guides.

The deal also featured a social media component in which a $29 annual membership provided access to local chapters various online tools.

Warren says his biggest lesson learned was that people preferred to read his content online rather than in a magazine.


Susan Plagemann, publisher of Hearst’s Marie Claire for the past six years, is moving to Conde Nast for a VP and publisher of Vogue post. She will report to Tom Florio, senior VP/publishing director for Vogue, Bon Appetit and Conde Nast Traveler.

Prior to Marie Claire, Plagemann was VP & publisher of Lifetime, the joint venture of Hearst and Disney that was shut down. She was publisher of Cosmopolitan from 1999-02. Plagemann joined Hearst in ’95 as advertising manager for Esquire.

Her new appointment is effective Jan. 4.


Time Warner’s CNN has unveiled a news/production facility in Abu Dhabi. The facility will host CNN's first daily live show from the Middle East.

Tony Maddox, managing director and executive VP of CNN International, said the facility will position CNN to “get to the heart of the rich and diverse stories across the political, business, social and cultural spectrums.”

CNN already has more than 25 staffers in the region, reporting from Kabul, Baghdad, Jerusalem, Islamabad, Beirut, Dubai and Cairo.


The Wall Street Journal slates a New York edition to report news, sports, politics and culture.

The section will debut next year with at least a dozen new reporters and staffers shifted from the WSJ. The paper is targeted at the New York Times, which has more than 60 reporters.

John Seely, former deputy managing editor of the defunct New York Sun, will oversee WSJ/NYC. The Sun set in September 2008. News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch, who acquired WSJ parent Dow Jones & Co. in September 2007, was a big fan of the Sun.

Meanwhile, Ellen Asmodeo-Giglio, former Travel + Leisure publisher hired by Dow Jones to run the business operations of WSJ, its high-end glossy magazine is now a former employee following a restructuring.

Michael Rooney, DJ&C chief revenue officer, broke the news to staffers via a memo in which he touted Asmodeo’s tireless work to launch the magazine in September 2008.

He credited Asmodeo for landing 60 new accounts to the franchise.


Newsday columnist Saul Friedman resigned from the Cablevision-owned paper at the end of October over the paper’s decision to charge readers for access to its website.

Friedman, who lives in the D.C. area and said he doesn’t subscribe to Cablevision or Newsday, penned the “Gray Matters” column for the paper since 1996.

The octogenarian writer told the New York Times that his column was popular around the country and he believes that a pay wall on the website would make it “impossible for people outside Long Island to read it.”


Glenn Simpson, a former reporter for the Wall Street Journal, is doing investigative work for ousted Sheik Khalid bin Saqr al-Qasimi of Ras al Khaimah, which is part of the United Arab Emirates.

His SNS Global, a firm set up earlier this year with fellow WSJer Sue Schmidt, is a subcontractor to California Strategies. Simpson is investigating Iran’s nuclear program and possible terror ties to RAK.

The Hill reports that Simpson produced a 36-page report about suspected links between the RAK and Iran, arms dealers and terror groups. [The Israeli navy on Nov. 3 seized a cargo ship with nearly 600 tons of weapons bound from Iran to Lebanon.]

The Simpson report maintains illicit Iranian activity threatens U.S. national security and political goals in the Middle East. Al-Qasimi handed the report to Congressmen during his September visit to Capitol Hill. SNS received a $40K fee for the work.

Via California Strategies, the Sheikh also has a $230K seven-month contract with International Government Relations, part of Mercury Public Affairs.


Paul Swift, editor of the Newsletter on Newsletters for 27 years, is giving up that title.

He’ll continue as a contributing editor of the newsletter trade publication.

Swift was previously managing editor of Newsletter Design and Public Relations Quarterly. He also was publisher of NoN for two years.

A replacement has not yet been named by NoN publisher Joel Whitaker.

Swift said he’s available for freelance work ([email protected]).


The Washington Times has parted ways with three top executives, including Thomas McDevitt (president and publisher), Keith Cooperrider (CFO), and Dong Moon Joo (chair).

VP Jonathan Slevin has been named acting president and publisher.

“Our assessment team looks forward to emerging with a market-based plan that supports the sustainability of [the paper] and advances the Times’ role as an important source of news and opinion for readers who value a diversity of information and analysis,”said Slevin.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, November 11, 2009, Page 4


PR pros could see an opening as Tribune newspapers this week try to wean themselves off of Associated Press content as much as possible in a test of reliance on the news collective and a bid to run more homemade content.

“Coupled with reductions in the space allocated for news in print, papers are weighing whether there’s the same need for Associated Press content as in the past,” wrote Chicago Tribune columnist Phil Rosenthal on his blog.

In Chicago especially, the Trib likely sees a need to run more Windy City-centric reporting as it’s facing a challenge from a new local edition of the New York Times fueled by content from a news collective headed by an ex-Trib editor.

Trib papers, including the Los Angeles Times, last October gave the AP the required two-year warning that they may drop the service. The papers will draw on other services like Reuters and the New York Times, in addition to using the AP for data like sports statistics during the week-long experiment starting Nov. 8.

A decreased reliance on wire content could ostensibly mean more content produced by local reporters, who would need more story ideas from PR pros.


New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan charged the New York Times of being anti-Catholic and giving him the cold shoulder.

The paper has refused to publish a Dolan op-ed in which he wrote, “It is not hyperbole to call prejudice against the Catholic Church a national pastime.” The piece quotes historian Arthur Schlesinger referring to anti-Catholicism as “the deepest bias in the history of the American people.” Dolan published a shorter version of the op-ed on his “The Gospel in the Digital Age” site.

The NYT obudsman, Clark Hoyt, profiled the conflict on Nov. 8.

Dolan cites three recent articles and a Maureen Dowd op-ed piece as “evidence of this unfairness against the Catholic Church.” One is an Oct. 14 story about sex abuse in Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community, which involved 40 cases. The Times, to Dolan, did not register the same outrage over that abuse that it did with the “same kind of abuse by a tiny minority of priests.” The Gray Lady was hit for “selective outrage.”

The Archbishop is puzzled why the NYT wasted Oct. 16 front-page over-the-fold coverage during a time of new news like healthcare reform and Afghanistan for the “sad episode of a Franciscan priest who fathered a child” in a consensual affair that happened 25 years ago. On Oct. 21, Dolan didn’t like the spin on the story about Pope Benedict welcoming Anglicans to the fold. In Dolan’s mind, the Times had the Holy See luring and bidding for the Anglicans to prop up the Church.

Dowd’s Oct. 25 item about the Church treating nuns and women as “second class citizens” drew special outrage from Dolan, who ripped into her “intemperate and scurrilous piece.” It is a “diatribe that rightly never would have passed muster with the editors had it so criticized an Islamic, Jewish, or African-American religious issue.” The Dowd piece dealt with the Church treating nuns as “second class citizens” and Benedict’s 2004 document urging women to resist adversarial relationships with men.

Dowd, according to Dolan, “digs deep into the nativist handbook to use every anti-Catholic caricature possible, from the Inquisition to the Holocaust, condoms, obsession with sex, pedophile priests and oppression of women, all the while slashing Pope Benedict XVI for his shoes, his forced conscription—along with every other teenage boy—into the German army, his outreach to former Catholics and his recent welcome to Anglicans.”


Amir Forester, senior VP for Clear Channel Communications’ talent-rich radio unit, Premiere Radio Networks, has left to set up her own shop in Los Angeles.

Forester was with Premiere for 11 years, speaking for the unit that broadcasts personalities like Rush Limbaugh, Casey Kasem, and Ryan Seacrest.

Her new firm, Forester PR, is affiliated with Sitrick & Co., which worked with Premier during the probe that led to Rush Limbaugh’s ’06 arrest for “doctor shopping.”

Start-up clients include radio hosts Elvis Duran, Phil Hendrie and talent management company Gabe Hobbs Media. Forester previously worked for Hill & Knowlton on the West Coast.

Rachel Nelson, PR manager for Premiere, said Forester’s position has not been filled since her departure, and noted that her responsibilities were absorbed by the marketing department.


Finsbury Group and Harbour Group are working different angles in an offshoot of the Galleon Group insider trading scandal.

Finsbury has been hired by Hector Ruiz, the former Advanced Micro Devices CEO who last week took a leave of absence with plans to step down in January as chairman of a chip maker, GlobalFoundries, spun off from AMD earlier in 2009.

The Wall Street Journal last week named Ruiz as a source of confidential information on AMD in the Galleon Group insider trading case. Ruiz has not been charged in the case, however.

Jeremy Fielding, a partner at Finsbury who joined the firm in June from Kekst, confirmed to O’Dwyer’s that his firm is representing Ruiz. Washington, D.C.-based The Harbour Group, meanwhile, announced on Nov. 2 that Ruiz is taking a leave of absence from GF and had submitted his resignation effective Jan. 4, 2010.

Richard Mintz, managing director of The Harbour Group, told O’Dwyer’s that Harbour represents ATIC, the Abu Dhabi investment group that co-owns GF and has two members on its board.

Galleon Group portfolio manager Raj Rajaratnam is accused of leading an insider trading ring that made millions in profits at the $7 billion hedge fund. Sard Verbinnen & Co. is working with Galleon.

Internet Edition, November 11, 2009, Page 5


The California High-Speed Rail Authority awarded its $9M PR account to Ogilvy PR Worldwide after the board’s Nov. 5 meeting.

Ogilvy beat finalist Porter Novelli for the contract, which was put out for bids a second time after a summer RFP was tentatively awarded to Mercury Public Affairs. That firm’s ties to the board overseeing the process and the Schwarzenegger administration were questioned in news reports and the contract was re-bid in September.

Edelman, Howard Communications, Hershey/Cause, Fleishman-Hillard and MWW Group all pitched the second RFP. Ogilvy and PN were the only firms to score above 85 percent in the process to move to an interview round.

The decision to tap Ogilvy by the five-person selection team was unanimous. Current Rail Authority firm Deutschman Communications Group was included as a subcontractor with Ogilvy.

The contract beginning on Nov. 16 is capped at $1.5M a year through June 2014 and is to be negotiated annually.

In moving forward with Ogilvy, the board cited two instances in which its communications for the state’s ambitious plan to build a high-speed rail system have been “inadequate.”

They included a court ruling “which resulted in a round of negative and inaccurate news stories,” as well as the formation of a citizens group in northern California to answer rail-related questions.


Fred Marx, co-founder of Michigan's Marx Layne & Co., died of heart failure on Nov. 1. He was 67.

Marx worked at department store chains Macy's, Jacobson's and Dayton Hudson before launching Marx Layne & Co. in 1987 with Mike Layne.

He was a “wonderful friend and business partner,” according to a statement from Layne, who called Marx's passing a “deep and sad loss.”

“Everybody knew Fred Marx and Fred knew everybody. He loved work. His clients and employees were like family to him. He was creative and brilliant and will be missed greatly,” said Layne.

Marx served on the board of directors of Detroit Historical Society, Detroit Regional Chamber and Wayne State University's Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy.

BRIEFS: Spring, O’Brien & Co., New York, has a new marketing collateral service for prime brokerage and financial technology companies. The service includes brochures, pitchbooks, white papers and web design via the firm’s financial services group. ...Fleishman-Hillard has inked a marketing and product development deal with business analytics and research company evolve24 to develop traditional and social media services. The deal includes providing F-H clients with The Mirror web-based analytics tool. ...Lewis PR has acquired 16-year-old Antwerp, Belgium-based Leads United and said the firm will continue to operate under that name.


New York Area

Andria Mitsakos PR, New York/Hotel di Palais in Biarritz (France), for media relations. The hotel was built by Napoleon III in 1855 and is owned by the city of Biarritz.

DKC, New York/P.J. Clarke’s, New York restaurant with three locations, as AOR, including media relations, digital services and integrated marketing.

5W PR, New York/, for publicity and branding of the online boutique.

JS2 Communications, New York/Parsons Dance, dance company, to promote “Remember Me,” touring from Oct. 29, 2009 to March 28, 2010.

RF|Binder Partners, New York/Competitive Technologies, to roll out and promote its Calmare Therapy Treatment, a pain management device approved by the FDA.

Trylon SMR, New York/LocateTV, web-based programming guide for TV, online and DVD viewing information, as AOR for media relations. The service is available for the U.S., U.K. and Ireland.


Crawford PR, Washington, D.C./Wiresoft, network security products, for media and analyst relations, as well as social media content.

Gephardt Government Affairs, Washington, D.C./Global Action for Children, for pro bono gov’t rels.

PRStreet, Cary, N.C./SalesForce4Hire, sales services for the healthcare, life sciences and medical device sectors, as AOR for PR, media relations and marketing.


Depth PR, Atlanta/Del MarDataTrac, loan automation services, for PR, comms. and web visibility.

Diamond Media Relations, Fort Walton Beach, Fla./V.A.N.T., Gospel hip-hop artist, and LSR Ministries of New Orleans, for PR.

Bitner Goodman, Fort Lauderdale, Fla./The Mills, shopping “platform” by Simon Property Group with 16 locations across the country, for PR.


The Investor Relations Company, Chicago/MidWestOne Financial Group, Iowa City-based financial holding company for MidWestOne Bank (community bank with $1.57B in assets) that was the product of a 2008 merger, for a full investor relations program.

Clarus Communications, Chicago/Delivra, email marketing software, for B2B PR.

South/Mountain West

SSPR, Colorado Springs, Colo./Magnum D’Or Resources, rubber solutions company, for PR, including media relations, trade show support, writing and brand positioning.

Impress PR, Phoenix, Ariz./Sigma Life Science, as AOR for PR. SLS is part of Sigma-Aldrich Corp.


Allison & Partners, San Francisco/, airfare search engine, and Goby, “things to do” search engine, both for PR. is part of Travelzoo.

Nadel Phelan, Scotts Valley, Calif./Zerofootprint, developer of tools to track environmental footprint of individuals and organizations, as AOR for PR.

Internet Edition, November 11, 2009, Page 6


Monitoring company Critical Media has recruited two top executives of its rivals dna13 and BurrellesLuce for key posts overseeing sales and partnerships.

Steve Shannon, a 17-year executive of BurrellesLuce who headed sales, services, marketing and product development, has left BL for the VP/sales and marketing post for the company behind the Critical Mention platform. He's charged with expanding CM's client base overseeing its sales and marketing teams.

CM has also brought in Andrew Koeck, president and VP of partnerships at dna13, as director of strategic partnerships for the CM division to develop third-party channels.


Ryan Damico, CEO of WebNotes, believes he has simplified the process of organizing mentions found on the web and presenting that info to clients.

His product, WebNotes PR, lets users highlight website text and drop it into a folder using a toolbar that installs into any browser. From there, the WebNotes software lets users arrange clips, notate them and complete a client-ready report.

“When PR firms are doing their daily scans of the web, a lot of time is wasted cutting and pasting text into Microsoft Word and then trying to get that info into an easy-to-read format,” Damico said. “WebNotes lets you do everything right from your browser.”

Users can choose from pre-set report templates (HTML or PDF) or have one custom designed. Accumulated search and report data are stored by WebNotes and can be accessed from online. Monitoring is also part of WebNotes as well, giving users the option to set up keywords and specific folders for RSS feeds.

Damico and his staff of four are recent graduates of MIT. A free two-week trial of WebNotes is available and introductory pricing starts at $35 per user per month, or $300 per user per year. Trial:

Pauline Brusca, director of media tours at News Broadcast Network, has moved to D S Simon Productions in New York as VP of media tour services.

She oversees satellite, Internet and radio media tours, as well as ground media tour services.

President and CEO said Brusca can handle client demands across several media platforms.

PR software company dna13 has published a free white paper on developing a social media monitoring program. The paper outlines six steps toward implementing a “listening and engagement” plan. (

PRWeb, the online distribution unit of Vocus, has developed a tool to simplify the creation and distribution of multimedia news releases by utilizing a WYSIWYG interface, which allows users to add content like audio and video while visualizing the resulting release without incorporating programming code.

PRWeb is running the new tool alongside its existing, text-based interface until feedback from users shows they are comfortable with the switch.



Stuart Schear, a healthcare PR pro and former journalist, to Planned Parenthood Federation of America as VP of communications in New York. Schear was communications and policy executive at Atlantic, managing a $25M grant backing health care reform in the U.S. The VP post had been vacant for several months at PP and Fenton Communications was enlisted to help with the search. It’s not clear who held the position most recently as PP didn’t return an inquiry. Elizabeth Toledo held the VP role for five years through 2007. Schear previously was director of communications for the Markle Foundation and started out as a healthcare reporter for PBS’ “NewsHour” and NBC News.

Joanna Goldstein, a veteran of MS&L Worldwide, Edelman and Rubenstein Associates, to The Halo Group, New York, as director of PR.

Nina Velasquez, a PR and social media consultant and former account director at Kwittken & Co., to Atomic PR, New York, as an account director. She was previously with Red Consultancy and Text 100.

David Kodama, editor of BWB Magazine and Pacific Coast Sportfishing, to Cook & Schmid, San Diego, as an account manager. He was also editor of content for the Service Support Professionals Association and senior editor of Managing Automation, among others.


Tom Torello, executive director of marketing communications at Ithaca College, to Pace University, New York, as VP for university relations. He was director of marketing at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute prior to Ithaca.

Matt Davis to VP of global public affairs, The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Mich. He joined Dow in 1987.

Eric Drummond, VP of human resources for the National Basketball Association, to chief people and communications officer, Novelis, Atlanta. He heads HR and corporate comms. for the aluminum products maker.

Nina Holbrook to partner programs manager on the North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development account at LKM, Charlotte, N.C.


John M. Reed, 82, a leading international PR executive for many years and compiler of Reed’s Worldwide Directory of PR Organizations, died in his home in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 24. He started Consultants in PR in 1970 after beginning his career as a copy-boy for the Washington Times-Herald. He later became VP-PR for Control Data Corp., director of overseas PR for Deere & Co., and manager of international PR for Olin Mathieson Chemical Corp. He worked with the U.S. Information Agency in Seoul, Korea, in 1949, and for the USIA in Tokyo and Manila in 1950 following the outbreak of the Korean War. Reed was born in Salem, Mass., and moved with his family to Washington, D.C., in 1930 when his father became an organizer for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. More at


Internet Edition, November 11, 2009, Page 7

IWATA: LEADERS WANTED (Continued from 1)

He has created a “rich legacy since founding the company in 1956 that serves as a model of success to colleagues throughout profession,” said the citation.

Iwata said companies have been flooding the web with content “But very soon people will be searching not for content, but for experts…who know what they're talking about.”

If you show up on the web, said Iwata, “You need to be recognized as an expert…both knowledgeable and persuasive.”

Employees Are “Socializing” on Web

Iwata said companies have to realize that their employees are engaging in social media and must craft new policies.

Objections will be raised by CFOs who worry about financial disclosure, general counsels who fear intellectual property leakage, and human resource depts. that engaging in social media will help competitors “recruit our people.”

“Everyone will be worried about criticism of management,” he noted, but 2010 will be the year that corporations accept the reality of social media.

He feels that with the right strategies, social media, like the telephone, the copier, the fax, e-mail and the internet itself, “will become a tool of business. We will establish a responsible set of policies and practices to ensure that it enters business through the front door.”

“New Profession” Is Emerging

Iwata said a “new profession” is emerging that combines marketing, communications and corporate social responsibility.

His 3,850-word (five pages) speech did not mention the words “public relations.”

Iwata was chair of “PR Seminar” in 2007 when the group decided to drop “PR” and just be known as “Seminar.”

Few of the nearly 200 corporate members have PR as part of their titles and this has been true for many years. Only five of the 42 new members in 2007 had PR as part of their titles and this was usually in combination with another title such as marketing.

Iwata said the fusing of marketing, communications and CSR is “not only logical but inevitable because of all the changes in the external environment—the need to speak with one voice across advertising, sales promotion, events, websites, the media, analysts, bloggers and the like.”

IBM, with sales of $103 billion and 410,000 employees, has a price/earnings ratio of 12.64. Competitor Apple, with $36.5B in sales and 35,000 employees, has a P/E of 30.85.

Microsoft, with sales of $56B and 93,000 employees, has a P/E of 18.50. Hewlett-Packard, with sales of $115B and 321,000 employees, has a P/E of 16.45.

Iwata is co-head of an Arthur W. Page Society task force on “New Media” with Alan Marks of eBay that will “grapple with issues of governance and risk.”

The aim is to “emerge with policies and guidelines that all business can adopt,” he said.

Iwata also talked about a “new discipline” at IBM that puts together “brand management and workforce enablement,” which he noted is the new term for what was “internal communications.”

Employees will be “brand ambassadors” but the actual centerpiece of the program is something quite different, called “The IBM Brand System,” he said.

IBM Brand System Described

Iwata described the System as follows: “Picture a framework with five columns. From left to right the columns are labeled what it means to look (underlining in original) like IBM, to sound like IBM, to think like IBM, to perform like IBM and ultimately to be IBM.”

This becomes the “corporate genome,” he said. “Every word, every phrase and description in that framework would be painstakingly chosen … it describes what makes your company unique.”

Not only must the framework be developed, he said, but it must be brought to life.

A uniform IBM “look” must be present in all advertising, websites, sales collateral, client briefing centers, all laboratories, offices and buildings in every part of the world, and in IBM's industrial design and trade dress.

Any gaps must by systematically closed so that all IBM employees “become truer to our brand and our values,” he added.


FTI Consulting reported a more than 15 percent decline in third quarter revenue for its strategic communications division made up of PR firm FD, but the company posted strong profits and a small overall revenue decline benefitting from corporate restructuring work amid the down economy.

FTI president and CEO Jack Dunn said in a conference call that Q3 revenues for its communications unit fell to $47.5M from $56.1M for the same quarter of ’08.

Dunn said the segment, which took a $3M currency hit as “the most global of our segments,” continued to be hit by “dramatically slower” volume of M&A and IPO deals compared with ’08, as well as the effects of fee pressures from retainer clients, which he said “seems to be abating somewhat.”

Dunn said there is reason to be believe market drivers for the segment have stabilized and “we may have seen the worst.”

Key assignments for FD in the quarter were consulting Reader’s Digest on its bankruptcy process, China-based Sinochem’s $2.5 billion bid for Australia’s Nufarm, and Ford’s review of its Volvo ownership in the U.K.

Overall, FTI revenues fell 7.1% to $348.6M in Q3 but profit was up 42.5% to $37.6M, helped by a one-time gain of $2.3M on the buyout of the remaining interest in FD’s joint venture in Germany, AB Financial Dynamics, as well as tax benefits.

Revenues at FTI’s corporate finance/restructuring unit rose nearly 40%, while economic consulting was up 5.6%.

The company, based in West Palm Beach, Fla., said it will buy back $500M in stock to boost its EPS as much as 10 percent next year.


Internet Edition, November 11, 2009, Page 8




An aroused PR Society Assembly on Nov. 7 rejected (175-103) the board’s attempt to turn it into an advisory body and also rejected just about every other major plank in the bylaws revision. The revised bylaws were then accepted overwhelmingly.

With 56 votes being cast by proxies, the Assembly voted 204-41 to allow proxy voting.

The spinmeisters at PRS portrayed this resounding defeat and waste of more than two years as a triumph.

“Assembly Overwhelmingly Adopts New Bylaws,” said the headline on a PRS release which quoted chair Mike Cherenson as saying, patronizingly, that the delegates “acquitted themselves remarkably throughout this process.” It was the leaders who acquitted themselves poorly.

Had the bylaws committee or any national board members had face-to-face contact with any chapters or group of members back in March it would have been obvious that all the major planks sought by the board would be defeated.

The bylaws discussion was conducted via e-mails, blogs and teleconferences, dragging out for eight months what should have been accomplished in one.

Voted down were attempts to make all national directors “at large”; sprinkle “communications” throughout the bylaws and in the Preamble; place a sitting board member as nominating committee chair; let the board expel any member at its “sole discretion”; allow non-APRs as directors or officers; allow 25+ national committee heads to vote in the Assembly, and let the national board create additional classes of Assembly delegates.

The Assembly removed from the national board any say over who a chapter may send as a delegate or how long such a person may serve.

Cherenson, Rickey Refuse Comment

Cherenson and bylaws chair Dave Rickey, asked to comment on the rejection of so many of the bylaw recommendations, refused to do so.

Cherenson, asked what he would say about the near total rejection of the bylaw committee recommendations, said “If that’s the way you want to characterize it, that’s your opinion.” Rickey, asked the same question, said he had no comment.

The directors, bowing to demands last year that they come down off their perch and sit at the same level as the delegates, did exactly that.

They sat with their own districts while seats on the stage were occupied by COO Bill Murray, parliamentarian Colette Trohan, lawyer Ann Thomas, and bylaws chair Rickey.

This was an unwitting acknowledgement that the people really running PRS are the staff and their hired consultants.

Leaders Hog Mikes

As usual and despite annual pleas by delegates to shorten or omit speeches, leaders, staff and advisors took up the first hour and a half of the meeting that started at 8:30 a.m. It was not until 9:58 that Northeast District delegate Mark McClennan got to speak on the bylaw proposals.

Worst offender was chair-elect Gary McCormick who spoke for 17 minutes (9:23-9:40) about plans for 2010. Rickey talked for ten minutes on the need to pass the bylaws or throw away two years of work. Murray talked for ten minutes on how well staff and leaders are managing in a difficult economy. Treasurer Tom Eppes spoke for five on the same topic, predicting a $30,000 surplus for 2009. Cherenson, Thomas and Trohan gave instructions of various types. Cherenson also made a strong pitch for APR.

The 1.5 hours could have been boiled down to about ten minutes and the bylaws debate started no later than 8:45 a.m.

Because of the lengthy speeches, there was no coffee break that had been scheduled for mid-morning. An elaborate set-up of pastries, bagels, fruit and coffee went virtually untouched as delegates waded into the complicated task of re-writing the entire bylaws.

Delegates in Rebellious Mood

McClennan, who has fought against the Assembly losing its election powers for more than eight months, reiterated his objections including the lack of any plans for direct elections. Rickey has repeatedly refused to supply any such specifics until the Assembly accepted the principle of “one member/one vote.”

The keypad vote (175-103) was taken after six minutes of McClennan comments since no one rose to support the Assembly losing its election powers.

At-Large Proposal Defeated

Also defeated (180-98), after about 20 minutes of debate, was the proposal to make all national directors “at large,” eliminating the requirement of one director for each district.

The move by leadership to have the Preamble to the new bylaws only mention “communications” and to link “public relations” with “communications” throughout the bylaws was soundly defeated 151-117.

Delegates told of their “fight” to maintain PR as the description of what they do in spite of inroads by “communications,” “marketing” and other titles.

In another chipping away at national’s power, the delegates voted 242-26 to remove any rules of national on who chapters can send as delegates.

The move by leadership to allow non-APRs on the board (although at the same time demanding 20 more years in PR posts with ever increasing responsibilities) was defeated 142-111.

Some senior members characterized the 2009 Assembly as “reactionary” in not recognizing the trend to “communications” over “PR” and in continuing to block non-APRs from the board.

Kept “Leadership Assembly”

Toward the end of the meeting, which went past 5:30 p.m., a delegate proposed dropping “Leadership Assembly” since most of the proposed bylaws had been rejected, but only one delegate rose in support of this.

A big time waster was the two hours from noon to 2 p.m. Delegates could have had box lunches at their tables. The 1.5-hour lunch break allowed leaders to announce a number of Student Society and other awards. Delegates returned about 1:35 and the bylaws debate resumed at 2 p.m.

Press Relations Were the Worst

PRS’s press relations were the worst we have ever experienced. There was no “press room,” only a couple of tables in a hall labeled “Media Center.” This reporter was the only press covering the Assembly. No other press had registered by Monday a.m. Numerous questions about the names of the delegates, official vote counts, number of proxies used by each chapter, and who voted the proxies went unanswered.

Attempts to set up an interview with 2010 chair McCormick between 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Nov. 9 were unsuccessful. Delegates at the Assembly could not be heard well on many occasions since they did not speak close enough to the microphone.

This writer, who has a hearing problem, asked to sit closer to the front or wear earphones that could be supplied by the battery of audio technicians. Both requests were denied.

Senior members told us that failure to assist a handicapped person was a serious offense that should be brought to the attention of PRS leaders and staff.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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