The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, November 18, 2009, Page 1
SEEKS TRAVEL PR PITCHES
is establishing a retainer PR account with an open RFP process
for firms to pitch through January 2010.
Minor of the Virginia Tourism Authority said the states
tourism entity has worked with firms on a project basis
but noted that the new RFP is broader in scope as an ongoing
contract to work with its PR staff.
RFP is very involved and weve never needed one to
the degree that we do now, she said, noting PR work
had been a part of some previous advertising contracts.
Hammond & Associates has worked with the Authority in
the past year. Minor declined to provide a budget saying
the Authority preferred to hear estimates from firms.
RFP covers PR to promote the Old Dominion as a travel destination
through print, broadcast, online, social media, trade and
other publications. The state has used the Virginia
is For Lovers tagline for the past 40 years. A one-year
contract with three year-long options is planned. Proposals
are due Jan. 15, 2010.
is taking questions and providing copies of the RFP.
OUT, JUDGE IN AT H&K
& Knowlton is losing its worldwide director of healthcare
to Pfizer, but gaining a senior VP and healthcare policy
director in D.C. from the company.
DaSalva is leaving H&K for the VP, worldwide communications,
research, science, and technology, at Pfizer at the end
of the month.
said it is actively searching for a replacement.
Dolly Judge, recently VP of federal government relations
in a 10-year career at Pfizer in D.C., is moving to H&K
as senior leader of its D.C. healthcare unit, a key post
amid the healthcare debate in the capital. At Pfizer, Judge
handled all FDA-related issues for the company and is considered
an expert on Medicare-related issues. She was previously
VP/federal government affairs at Hoffman LaRoche.
a member of the FDAs risk communication advisory committee,
joined H&K in October 2006 from GCI. She was previously
with Bristol-Myers Squibb and Ketchum, among other posts.
announced last week a global revamp of its research operations
that will reduce R&D space by 35 percent. The move is
part of the integration of Wyeth, which was officially acquired
as of Oct. 16. The effort is designed to focus disease-area
research in single locations and make more efficient use
of real estate.
CONTINUES PR RESTRUCTURING
is restructuring its global PR operations under the MS&L
Group name. The change encompasses 2,500 staffers in 50
Fleurot, CEO of MS&L Group who was put in charge of
Publicis PR and events divisions in May, runs the
revamped entity reporting to CEO Maurice Levy. That move
followed the exits of Mark Hass of MS&L Worldwide and
Eric Giuily of Publicis Consultants, along with the dismantling
of its Specialized Agencies and Marketing Services Division.
affected by the changes are Kekst and Company, Freud, Emotion,
Publicis Meetings and Publicis Live.
business units will fall under the MS&L Group brand
-- MS&L Worldwide, Publicis Consultants, Winner &
Associates, Capital MS&L, Hanmer MS&L, TMG Strategies,
PBJS, Relay, Carre Noir, SAAS, Masius and Publicis Events.
Levy said the goal is to build a premier network in the
Group, a Raleigh PR and marketing agency, closed on Nov.
13, four years after the firm was formed by the merger of
PR shop Epley Associates and marketing firm Digiton.
had a staff of 25 people. The firm did business as Epley
going back to the the mid-1970s before merging with Digiton
Corp. in 2006 to become Catevo. Digital firm Sideways Creative
Branding was added soon after the merger.
statement from the firm said its owner, Laudes Corp., is
making the move as part of a broader restructuring and consolidation.
Javidi, president and CEO of the firm since 2005 who was
with Epley for more than 20 years, gave up the presidents
post in August to Raymond Hornak.
MURRAY OF PRS GOT $50K RAISE
PR Society COO Bill
Murray enjoyed a $50,064 pay hike (19%) to $312,779 in 2008
from $262,515 in 2007. He also received $30,500 in retirement
Non-taxable expense benefits were $16,587 for total payments
of $359,866 vs. 2007s total of $313,353. IRS
Form 990 was received by this NL Nov. 6, too late for reporting
to the PRS Assembly which was Nov. 7.
It has much information
not in previous filings including the salaries of five other
PRS executives besides the COO, a list of 34 stock trades
in 2008, and a list of suppliers receiving more than $100K.
(Continued on page 7)
Edition, November 18, 2009, Page 2
AID MACLAREN AMID RECALL
York PR firm Public Group and the U.K.'s Bright Consultancy
are advising stroller maker Maclaren amid a global recall
of about one million of its products after news broke that
12 children in the U.S. lost fingers in hinges on the products.
Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall,
noting nine models of China-made Maclaren strollers dating
back to 1999 contain a hinge mechanism which poses
a fingertip amputation and laceration hazard.
is offering consumers a free kit to cover the problematic
joint on the strollers. The 42-year-old company is stressing
that the problem has not occurred because safety standards
were not met, but is the result of users not following directions
that warn to keep children away from the strollers when
reps are being dispatched to baby products stores in New
York to hand out hinge covers. It is using Facebook to highlight
news stories and disseminate information about the recall
and its products.
Chan heads Public Group and picked up the Maclaren USA business
in 2006. She is working with Maclaren's strategic marketing
manager, Charlotte Addison, in New York.
ED PLUGS INTO C&W
Edison, which serves more than three million energy customers
in New York City and Westchester County, has tapped into
Clark & Weinstock for government relations duties.
C&W team includes Jim Noone, who headed Washington Groups
defense, homeland security and business development practices
before the firm was merged into C&W; Sandi Stuart, ex-chief
of staff to Rep. Vic Fazio and assistant secretary for legislative
affairs at the Pentagon, and Paul Lobo, ex-chief of staff
to former Staten Island and Brooklyn Congresswoman Susan
legislation, greenhouse gas developments and cybersecurity
are issues on C&Ws plate.
Ed has made strides in picking up federal stimulus money.
CEO Kevin Burke announced last month that the utility received
a $136M smart grid stimulus fund from the Dept.
Government of Georgia has renewed a six-month contract with
Public Strategies Inc. as tensions remain high with Russia,
which invaded it in 2008.
latest sensation: reports in the Russian press that the
U.S. is ready to ship $100M in weapons including a sophisticated
air defense system to Georgia. PSI's contract is worth $237,000
in fees plus $33K in travel expenses that must include economy
class air fares.
National Security Council of Georgia will tap into PSI's
expertise on an as-needed basis as the firm
works to enhance through the western media, the reputation
of the Republic of Georgia Government.
agrees not to hire any PSI staffer or independent contractor
for a year upon termination of the pact without the prior
written consent of Meredith Marks, COO of the WPP-owned
SLATED FOR W.H. COMMS. SPOT
Dunn, White House communications director and lead critic
of the administrations push against Fox News Channel,
will step down from that post in December.
a political consultant through her firm, Squier Knapp Dunn,
and top advisor to Obama's presidential and senate campaigns,
had said in assuming the White House role earlier this year
that it was temporary.
communications director Dan Pfeiffer will take over for
Dunn. Pfeiffer is a former aide to former South Dakota Democrat
Sen. Tom Daschle and served as communications director to
Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) and a spokesman for Al Gores
2000 presidential bid.
who turns 34 in December, would be the third person in that
White House position in less than a year, following the
exit of Ellen Moran in April to become chief of staff at
the Commerce Department early in the Obama term.
assumed the role earlier this year when then-Communications
Director Ellen Moran left the post for a role at the Commerce
Department. Dunn made clear she planned to hold the position
ACADEMY TUNES IN TWO FIRMS
Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has brought in two
firms after longtime agency The Lippin Group said in August
that it would not pursue a new contract after the end of
the former Bragman Nyman Cafarelli, will handle Emmy PR
and day-to-day corporate communications. Beck Media &
Marketing was tapped to handle the academy's non-profit
foundation. Both firms are based in Los Angeles.
has declined to comment on its rationale for parting ways
with the Academy after 12 years.
COO Allan Perris said a two-agency strategy made sense because
of a "tremendous simultaneous" expansion of Academy
and Foundation programs over the past few years.
VETS SET UP D.C. SHOP
former top executives of Widmeyer Communications have set
up Outreach Strategies in D.C. with the U.S. Climate Action
Partnership as its start-up client.
Clayton, who was CEO of Widmeyer in seven of 15 years at
the firm, and Tad Segal, who left as head of that firms
public affairs unit, are principals of OS.
duo said theyd focus on clients facing policy, advocacy,
crisis and corporate communications challenges. The World
Business Council for Sustainable Development, based in Geneva,
is another charter client. Weber Shandwick's Powell Tate
public affairs unit previously worked with the USCAP.
was a senior VP at Venn Strategies, headed D.C. communications
for UPS and was communications director for former Sen.
Alan Simpson (R-Colo.).
who left Widmeyer in 2008, worked public and government
affairs at American Student Assistance and is also a former
senate aide who served as staffer to ex-Sen. Alan Dixon
(D-Ill.). He started out in journalism as a capital reporter
in Cheyenne, Wy., and later as a producer for The
Edition, November 18, 2009, Page 3
TAKES $200M HIT FOR JOB CUTS
which laid off 100 staffers last week, expects more job
cuts by the end of the year as the online entity completes
its separation from Time Warner.
New York based-outfit plans to take up to a $200M charge
for additional restructuring activities for
moves made just after the spin-off, which is on target for
company, according to its Securities and Exchange Commission
filing may also close some operations both in the U.S. and
January, AOL said it would slice about 700 heads from its
workforce. AOL employment is now currently in the 6,900
and TW merged in a more than $100B deal in 2006. Tim Armstrong,
a Google veteran, took the CEO helm at AOL in March.
OUT AT WASHINGTON TIMES
Solomon, executive editor of the Washington Times,
is no longer in that post, as the future of the conservative
broadsheet remains in doubt.
former Associated Press and Washington Post staffer
joined the Times in 2008, taking over for long-time editor
resignation follows the shake-up that led to the departure
of Thomas McDevitt, president & publisher, Keith Cooperrider,
CFO, and Dong Moon Joo, chairman.
management overhaul was triggered by the economic downturn,
according to the paper as it develops a plan to become
a sustainable multimedia company in todays challenging
news industry environment.
Times, which has a circulation in the 70,000 range, is owned
by Rev. Sun Myung Moon and his Unification Church.
CROWNED AS DOBBS REPLACEMENT
King, CNN's top political reporter, will take over Lou Dobbs
7 p.m. time slot following the abrupt decision of Dobbs
to call it quits.
Associated Press veteran joined CNN in 1997. He hosts the
State of the Union program that runs on Sunday.
King takes over for Dobbs early next year when he will give
up the Sunday show.
wants to pursue advocacy journalism. In the
on-air announcement of his departure, Dobbs told viewers
some leaders in media, politics and business have
been urging me to go beyond the role here at CNN and to
engage in constructive problem solving as well as to contribute
positively to the great understanding of the issues of the
U.S. president Jonathan Klein had told Dobbs to tone down
his rhetoric, which has been blasted as anti-immigrant,
or exit. He also faced criticism in pursuing the line that
President Obama is not a U.S. citizen.
Time-Warner unit, according to Klein, will miss Dobbs' appetite
for big ideas, megawatt smile and larger than life presence.
joined CNN in 1980. He hosted a business broadcast that
was the network's most profitable program. He exited CNN
in 1999 following a dispute with then president Rick Kaplan.
Dobbs founded Space.com, which he ran for two years before
returning to CNN.
recently, ratings for Dobbs have been on the decline as
he trailed both Fox News and MSNBC.
promises a program that puts more meat on the bones of top
political stories. He will have guests with a broad spectrum
POST SLAPPED WITH SEX, RACE SUIT
former associate editor of the New York Post has
filed a sexual and racial discrimination lawsuit against
the News Corp property, charging the tabloid tolerates and
condones a hostile work environment against female
employees and employees of color.
the great diversity of New York City, virtually all
of the executives, managing editors, and news reporters
at the Post are white males, who wield enormous power and
influence at the company, according to the suit filed
in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New
Sandra Guzman suit charges that the Post also targets woman
and minorities outside the newsroom via racially and
sexually offensive news headlines, news stories and humiliating,
insulting and degrading cartoons.
A of the complaint is the February 18 cartoon that depicted
President Obama as a chimpanzee that was shot by a policeman.
The Posts decision to publish the racist cartoon
was part of a concerted effort at the company to undermine
President Obamas authority and attack the first African-American
president in this country's history, says the suit.
claims Post management admitted the cartoon was offensive
but published it anyway. The former editor of the Tempo
monthly insert aimed at the Hispanic market believes she
was fired after complaining about the hostile working conditions.
Allan, editor-in-chief, is named a defendant in the suit.
The suit says Allans repeated inappropriate
and sexist comments and conduct have been widely known throughout
the company, and he wields the unchecked power and authority
in such improper conduct with impunity. The suit charges
that Allan has actively and directly participated
in the discrimination, harassment and unlawful retaliation
committed against the plaintiff.
who is Puerto Rican, charges that other top managers openly
disparaged and harassed women. She contends that Les
Goodstein, senior VP at News Corp, repeatedly told her that
she looked sexy and beautiful and
referred to her as Cha Cha #1.
male columnist would regularly walk into Guzmans office
singing songs from West Side Story, specifically
the words, I want to live in America, in a mocking
and fake Spanish accent, which Guzman found demeaning, according
to the suit.
Posts PR firm, Rubenstein Associates, says Guzmans
suit has no merit. It says Guzman was let go because her
position was eliminated when Tempo was shut down because
of poor ad sales.
news continued on next page)
Edition, November 18, 2009, Page 4
NEWS SERVICES PLANS CUTS
New York Times Company will lay off 25 editorial employees
at the NYT News Service amid plans to move editing operations
to its Gainesville Sun paper in Florida.
layoffs, which the Newspaper Guild said number 28, will
come in February and May next year.
Times said that those cuts dont include the 100 posts
the flagship paper plans to cut from its newsroom by the
end of 2009.
reporting the layoffs, the Times noted the Gainesville Sun
is not unionized and has lower salaries for staffers.
NAST AD PAGES FALL 31%
Nast said ad pages fell more than 31 percent this year.
loss of 8,359 pages was led by a nearly 50 percent drop
at Architectural Digest; 46% slide at W; 41%
dip at Conde Nast Traveler, and 39% fall at Details
shuttered Gourmet, Modern Bride, Elegant
Bride and Cookie this year.
IS CORPORATE CONSCIENCE
pros should think in terms of what is good for the audiences
of their messages, website publisher Arianna Huffington
told the PRSA conference in San Diego Nov. 8.
Wendell Potter, a PR pro turned PR critic, said PR people
should think of themselves as the conscience
of their employers.
who operates the news and opinion-oriented HuffingtonPost.com,
said that while PR pros must cope with the explosion of
social media outlets, they should not lose sight of the
public service aspect of their jobs.
peoples hearts is so much more important than touching
people's minds, she said.
social media, as with pitching traditional media, requires
drama and creativity in order to win attention, she said.
noted she recently won attention by urging Vice President
Joe Biden to resign if President Obama ignores Biden's advice
and escalates the war in Afghanistan.
also noted that PR pros must stick with long-running campaigns
to get their points across and should not give up easily.
PR Discussed with Potter
a 20-minute talk, Huffington chatted with healthcare critic
Wendell Potter, who worked for 20 years in PR for Cigna,
one of the largest health insurers. He became head of its
corporate communications dept.
in June became what Time magazine called the ideal
whistle-blower when he told a congressional committee
that insurance companies are employing duplicitous
behavior to block healthcare reform. He described specific
techniques insurers use to dump the sick and
protect their stock prices.
flipped earlier this year when he heard MSNBCs
Chris Matthews say that health insurers were in favor of
reform. In speeches around the U.S. thereafter, he said
legislators should not be fooled by the industry's insincere
told the PR Society conference how at one point he decided
he could no longer look at himself in the mirror
and still be employed by Cigna.
PR veterans in the audience did not think Potter was that
much of a hero, since he had stayed with Cigna
20 years and only jumped ship when close to retirement.
They also said that "squealers" like Potter and
Scott McClellan (President Bush's press secretary who said
he lied about Administration policy decisions)
make corporate America afraid and distrustful of PR people.
executives will be hesitant to tell PR pros anything if
they think confidences are going to be broken, said the
healthcare PR pros.
said he is not breaking a confidentiality agreement he signed
with the company before leaving it which bars him from disclosing
proprietary information. Rather, he said, he is describing
industry practices such as rescission which
is dropping policyholders needing expensive treatment on
the ground that they failed to disclose pre-existing conditions.
House of Representatives narrowly passed President Obama's
healthcare bill, which awaits a vote in the Senate.
TV, which was co-founded by former Vice President Al Gore,
is cutting 80 people or about 25 percent of staff.
youth-oriented cable TV operation is also ditching its short-form
video programs for more traditional 30- and 60-minute fare.
programs, Current Tonight, Current Takeover,
and Current Exposed, have been canceled. David
Neuman, Current TVs programming chief, has stepped
TV is available in 55M households. Parent company, Current
Media, recruited Mark Rosenthal, ex-president of Viacoms
MTV Networks and head of Interpublic Media, three months
ago. He likened Current TVs revamp to what happened
at MTV when it evolved from short videos to longer programs.
Media, publisher of the 24-year-old music magazine Spin,
has brought in entertainment PR firm BNC in New York.
which will be the primary contact for the magazine, is charged
with elevating the longtime Rolling Stone
competitor sold in 2006 to The McEvoy Group, an independent
book and magazine publisher.
magazine has ramped up its online presence and now publishes
a digital edition. It is planning a 25th anniversary blitz
for next year, including commemorative issues, concerts
and other events.
Assad, executive VP at BNC, called Spin an anomaly
in the publishing world because its a mainstream
title focused on quality musical content.
18, 2009, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
EPIPHANY IN ALLIANCE
Novelli has aligned with New York-based PR shop Epiphany
in a deal PN says will boost its celebrity and influencer
firms are collaborating on Procter & Gamble, Timberland
and PepsiCo along with new business pitches.
which offers non-traditional PR and marketing
services, has worked with recording artists like Kanye West
and Drake, along with brands including SoBe Lifewater and
PENS REAGAN FOLLOW-UP
Shirley, a veteran conservative political operative and
PR pro who heads Shirley & Banister Public Affairs in
Alexandria, Va., has penned a follow-up to his 2005 tome
on Ronald Reagan.
new release, Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan
and the Campaign That Changed America (ISI Books,
October 2009) covers Reagans 1980 presidential bid
with inside accounts of the rebirth of the Republican
the tidbits: who stole Jimmy Carters debate briefing
books; how the campaign nearly collapsed after George H.W.
Bush won the Iowa caucuses, and how Reagans wilderness
years shaped his run.
MEASURES TWEET INFLUENCE
has developed a free tool to measure the influence of Twitter
users called TweetLevel.
application takes into account factors like number of followers,
updates, and retweets, as well as other existing Twitter
metrics like Twitalyzer and Twitfluence.
top five Twitter users by influence measured by the Edelman
applicaiton are gossip blogger Perez Hilton, social media
news site Mashable, Twitter information and news feed Twitter_Tips,
actor Ashton Kutcher, and Internet entrepreneur and wine
guru Gary Vaynerchuk.
Parish, a developer for Edelman in the U.K., and Jonny Bentwood,
another U.K. staffer of the firm, played key roles in developing
PROMOTES INVESTMENT IN COLOMBIA
Counsellors International has a $13,500-per-month fee plus
performance-based incentives contract through next May with
firms goal is to change North American perceptions
that Colombia is riddled with narco-violence.
Yorks DCI is to generate positive press for its tourism
and business advantages to the identified target audiences
in a highly credible manner, according to the pact.
It is to arrange face-to-face meetings with prospective
investors and Colombias development team.
performance-based incentive structure includes
a $750 per-call/meeting fee for an investor talking about
a potential $5-$49M investment in Colombia. A double incentive
($1,500) is triggered with discussions about a $50-$99M
outlay and a triple incentive is earned with projects over
budget with Columbia includes a maximum $40K performance-based
incentive tacked on to a year of $159K in professional fees.
Finn, New York/Bay Gardens Resorts (St. Lucia), for
a $3K-a-month PR contract.
Strategic Communications, New York/Fredericks
of Hollywood Group, as AOR for investor relations amid a
turnaround effort at the luxury retailer.
Sharpe Agency PR, New York/Incoming, brand
acceleration company, for PR and corporate comms.
in the U.S. and abroad.
Kluger PR, New York/Goldweber Epstein, all-female
law firm, for PR.
Waltz & Associates, Wilmington, Del./Private
network social media platform CommunitiesOnline.biz,
PR, Miami/23rd Annual Matzo Ball; Cecilia Moreno
Yaghoubi; Center for Medical Weight Loss; Doryn Wallach
Kitchen + Bath; Graffiti Gone Global; Lilac and Lilies;
Latitude One; Red Couch Corp; Sea & Sun, and Spain U.S.
Chamber of Commerce.
York, Chicago/Museum of Science and Industry, as
AOR for advertising.
Baron Communications, Cleveland/The Cleveland Vibrator
Company, for integrated marketing comms., and the Cleveland
Area Board of Realtors, for PR.
Quell Group, Troy, Mich./AutoBeat Group, automotive
industry newsletters; Michigan Security Network, non-profit
focused on creating homeland security businesses in the
state; On-Site Specialty Cleaning & Restoration, and
Studio 2 Dental Design.
& Finco PR, Green Bay, Wisc./Air Wisconsin Airline
Corp., independent air carrier, to assist its management
and communications teams during emergency situations.
Group, Dallas/Geoforce, asset tracking and management
technology, for strategic comms.
Communications, San Francisco/SocialGO, social media
platform for small businesses, for media and analyst relations.
PR Marketing Group, Century City/Pocket Radar, palm-sized
speed gauging device designed for sports application, as
AOR ahead of its unveiling at the 2010 Consumer Electronics
Fusion, Beverly Hills/Muscle Flex, direct response
TV infomercial company for the health, fitness and wellness,
for North American marketing/PR.
Communications, London/Alterian, engagement software
for marketers, for PR in the U.S. and U.K. targeting senior
marketers and business leaders. Alterian clients include
Astra Zeneca and Dominos.
Pleon, London/Dow Jones, for comms. strategy and
media relations for the Wall Street Journals
Future of Finance Initiative, a global conference Dec. 7-8
in West Sussex, U.K.
Edition, November 18, 2009, Page 6
DJ ENTERS MEDIA CONTACT FIELD
Dow Jones, a News Corp.
company (Wall Street Journal, Barrons,
MarketWatch and other info services) has launched Dow Jones
Media Relations Manager aimed at helping PR pros to pinpoint
journalists and bloggers who are writing about a specific
We can compile lists
of beat reporters but even more important we can capture
writers who are currently writing about the subject in question
whether they are beat reporters or not, said Martin
Murtland, managing director, Dow Jones Solutions for Communications
He noted that reporters
and editors today may range widely in the subject matter
that interests them.
fragmented media landscape is a challenge for PR pros who
need to find the right journalist or blogger quickly,
Dow Jones Factiva, which
is part of the service, allows clients to check what bloggers
and journalists are actually using.
DJ Media Relations Manager
has identified more than one million journalists and bloggers
and has profiles on more than 550,000, about half of them
in North America. The service continues to build on the
DJ is part of News Corporation,
the worldwide company headed by Rupert Murdoch, whose holdings
also include the Dow Jones Newswires, Dow Jones Factiva
, Dow Jones Client Solutions, Dow Jones Indexes and Dow
Jones Financial Information.
Revenues of News Corp.
as of Sept. 30 were running at $30 billion annually.
Major players currently
in the media contact field are Vocus and Cision. A number
of other companies also offer contact data on editors.
The new DJ service is
unique, Murtland says, because it provides users with access
to 1.5 million stories a day from DJ's worldwide collection
of mainstream and social media in 23 different languages.
Users enter the name of
a product or topic and searches are made regardless of whether
the topic falls within the purview of a beat reporter.
A large number of articles
may result which can then be narrowed down to editors that
the PR person is most interested in.
A one-year contract for
access to the system is $15,000. Prices go up as more users
DJ Media Relations Manager
kicked off its campaign with a full page ad in the Nov.
13 WSJ. "Engage journalists and bloggers with the perfect
pitch," said the headline. An organization's media
program "needs to be targeted, concise and linked perfectly
with the current interests of authors you're trying to engage,"
said the copy.
The service includes editor
biographies and compilations of stories covered so that
"briefing books" can be prepared for executives
who are about to be interviewed by an editor.
Users of the system can
add their own information to the editor bios.
A complimentary eBook,
"Monitor and Engage," is offered at www.dj.com/wsj/perfect.
Harris, an executive director of marketing for Disney
ABC Television Group, to Ketchum Sports & Entertainment,
Los Angeles, as senior VP, director. Harris was exec director
for the TV groups business development and digital
media division overseeing brand management for shows like
Lost and Desperate Housewives. She
also directed marketing for ABC.com and its mobile division.
Previously, she was director of marketing for the Academy
Awards and dir. of marketing, retail, at CB Richard Ellis
shopping center division. At Ketchum, she heads a team of
10 overseeing branded integration, talent buying and entertainment
Gantman, a former top aide to Sen. Dianne Feinstein
(D-Calif.), to VP of corporate communications for the Motion
Picture Association of America in D.C. Gantman, who has
been a consultant for the movie industrys lobbying
group since August, takes over for Angela
Belden Martinez, who left to become senior advisor,
director of outreach for economic development in the Obama
administrations Dept. of Commerce. Elizabeth
Kaltman, also a VP of corporate comms. at the MPAA,
will continue to oversee the groups PR efforts from
Thomas, senior PR manager, tourism PR at NYC &
Company, to VisitEngland, New York, as media relations manager,
North America, for the U.K. travel portal.
Carney, A/S, HWH PR/New Media, to Affect Strategies,
New York, as an A/S leading Hoverman, A-List Education and
Esprida. Kaylen McNamara
and Danielle Modzelewski
join as AA/Es.
Joosse, director of interactive initiatives, Donald
L. Arends Inc., to Fleishman-Hillard, Chicago, as a VP in
its digital practice group.
Alford, senior writer for Christianity Today
magazine, and Stan
Guthrie, a former editor for the magazine, have joined
InChrist Communications, Charlotte, N.C., as managing editor
Gupta, senior VP, global strategy, IR and corporate
communications at Indianapolis-based Brightpoint, to president
of Brightpoint Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Velasquez to A/E, Sahlman Williams, the Tampa, Fla-based
food PR firm. Meredith
Holland was upped to associate A/E.
Capellas and Rosie Abrams to manager, client services,
Preferred PR, Las Vegas.
Morley, 40-year veteran of Edelman, was given the
PR Society of Americas 2009 Atlas Award for Lifetime
Achievement in International PR. Morley headed Edelmans
international and New York operations and founded the independent
firms first overseas office in 1967. He retired in
Viceroy, global president and chief financial officer
of Porter Novelli, has joined the board of the TORCH Program,
a group focused on underserved New York City public school
Edition, November 18, 2009, Page 7
GOT $50K PAY HIKE (contd
Murray in July was given
a new two-year contract starting January 2010. Neither he
nor the board will reveal details of it. Both also refuse
to reveal details of his 2009 compensation.
The announcement of the
two-year contract noted that financial terms of the contract
were not disclosed and that they would only be reported
in IRS Form 990 for 2010 and 2011.
This means members would
not learn about 2009 compensation until late in 2010 (assuming
PRS again delays this report for nearly as long as possible).
Federal law requires that
if a request for the 990 is made in person, it will generally
be provided on the day of the request.
Requests in writing (which
the NL made shortly after the initial filing deadline of
May 15) are to be filled within 30 days. The mailing that
the NL received Nov. 6 was dated Oct. 29. The Form itself
is dated Sept. 15 indicating it was not mailed until 44
days later. The Form is not on the Foundation Centers
free 990 Finder website although the 2007 PRS 990 is there.
$451K in Market
The Society had a loss
of $151,185 in 2008 on revenues of $11,741,207 which was
down 5% from 2007 revenues of $12,294,589.
Operating income exceeded
expenses by $301,334 but there was a loss of $451,519 on
PRS at the end of 2007
had $1.89 million invested in stocks and bonds including
$1,179,684 in common stocks (60%).
CPAs said that was far
too high a percentage of common stock investments for a
non-profit. New York CPA Phil Wolitzer, an accounting professor
at Long Island University, said associations usually follow
a conservative investment policy that precludes any loss
of members money. He faulted the Society for only
showing that $2,317 was spent on ethics when
PRS places such a high value on ethics. Ethical practice
is the most important obligation of a member, said
the PRS Code.
As of Sept. 30, 2009,
PRS had $1,765,000 invested via Wachovia Wealth Management.
Of this total, 52% was in common stocks, 35% in fixed income
securities, and 13% in cash and money market funds. Average
portfolio yield is 2.8%.
The total of $1,765,000
is 13% below the original value of $2,032,000 as of 12/31/2007.
Does the Near Impossible
Society chair Mike Cherenson,
in announcing Murrays new contract Aug. 18, said The
board could not be more pleased with the business savvy,
financial control and association management expertise that
Bill has brought to the Society.
Cherenson, who told a
PRS bylaws teleconference Oct. 22 that audiocasting the
Assembly Nov. 7 would be near impossible, technologically
challenging, himself took part in a live audiostream
Nov. 10 at the conference in San Diego. He also said PRS
is only legally required to provide the minutes of the Assembly
He and PR leaders discussed
The Business Case for PR. The streaming was
provided by dna13.
Six Marriott hotel technicians
were on hand Nov. 7 throughout the Assembly to manage the
public address system and record the entire proceedings.
The Society for many years
has made a transcript of the Assembly but stopped releasing
it to members or the press with the 2005 Assembly. Audiotapes
of the Assembly at one time had been provided to reporters
of Five Execs Revealed
Although past 990s of
PRS have only revealed the COOs salary, the 2008 filing
has the compensation of CFO Phil Bonaventura ($178,030 plus
$30,300 retirement); VP Karla Voth, $135,065 salary; VP
Jennifer Ian, $133,676; VP Barbara McDonald, $127,023, and
director Judith Voss, $115,803.
Legal expenses were $110,452
at Venable, 660-lawyer Washington, D.C., firm.
This is a record legal
bill for PRS whose previous bills have been well under $100K.
Previous legal totals
were $65,325 in 2007; $66,761 in 2006; $42,571 in 2005;
$20,498 in 2003; $51,011 in 2002; $34,628 in 1998, and $55,461
Considerable legal bills
have been run up for 2009 because of the extensive work
needed for the re-write of the entire bylaws (although almost
all the major changes proposed were rejected by the Assembly
Besides Venable, PRS has
been paying legal expenses for the services of Ann Thomas
of the New York law firm of Sifkon & Seleni. She was
previously with Venable and served as parliamentarian last
Thomas has been on several
of the bylaws teleconferences as has parliamentarian Colette
The latter has worked
closely with the bylaws re-write committee and the board
for several months in providing parliamentary advice as
well as coordinating the numerous amendments to the bylaws
submitted by members. She was on the dais at the Assembly
in San Diego.
Over $100K Listed
Form 990 also lists four
other suppliers that received more than $100K from PRS in
2008: Denbo Multimedia, Brooklyn, N.Y., $353,522; Fidelity
Printing, St. Petersburg, Fla., $139,353; Genesys Conferencing,
Denver, $115,395, and Direct Response Marketing, Clearwater,
Consulting fees totaled
$254,689 and speakers fees, $231,502. The names of
speakers and amounts they received are not provided. Arianna
Huffington, who spoke at the 2009 conference, charges from
$25,000 to $40,000 for speaking.
Sales of 34 common stocks
in 2008 are listed, another first for the PRS 990. The Society
held $905,040 in common stocks as of Dec. 31, 2008 and $591,155
in corporate bonds and preferred stocks.
The value of its investments
fell $396,057 in 2008, from $1,892,252 at the beginning
of the year to $1,496,195. Biggest common stock holdings
included Home Depot, sold for $16,290 on 7/18/08 for a loss
of $8,734; builder D.R. Horton, sold for $11,812 on 10/9/08
for loss of $16,383; Moodys Corp., sold for $10,208
on 10/29/08 for loss of $12,010, and Allegheny Technologies,
sold for $10,681 on 7/18/08 for loss of $10,848.
Edition, November 18, 2009,
wonder if the PRS Assembly delegates
would have sat so meekly for an hour and a half Nov. 7 through
sales pitch after sales pitch by leaders and staff if they
had the Societys IRS Form 990 on their laps.
COO Bill Murray was spending ten minutes on how well he
and the staff were doing in the face of the recession, the
delegates would have learned of his $50K pay raise in 2008
to $312,779 plus $30,500 in retirement pay.
he nor the board will tell anyone about his 2009 pay nor
what is in his new contract for 2010 and 2011. Also catching
the attention of delegates would have been the $178,030
salary plus $30,300 retirement benefits of CFO Phil Bonaventura.
such payments to Murray and Bonaventura, members should
have gotten a six months financial report shortly
after June 30. Instead, it was merged with the nine-months
report released in late October.
attention would have been caught by the list of 34
common stock sales in 2008. The investment loss in 2008,
as reported on Form 990, was $415,519.
What in blazes was PRS
doing playing the market!? CPAs tell us that
non-profits have no business doing that.
The Independent Sector,
for instance, comprised of 800 non-profits, had $13.4M in
investments at the end of 2007 and exactly $165 of that
was in common stocks.
Another $55,032 was in
mutual funds and $11.4M was in the money market and commercial
As of Sept. 30, 2009,
PRS had 52% of its $1,765,000 in investments in common stocks.
was no need to give the delegates the 46 pages of
Form 990 (dated Sept. 15, by the way). Key information was
in a half dozen pages including the compensation of Murray,
Bonaventura and four other PRS executives; the list of suppliers
receiving more than $100K (showing law firm Venable got
$110,452, a record legal bill); the page showing the $451K
investment loss; the list of 34 common stock sales (is this
churning?), and the list of expenses showing
$213,775 for speakers fees.
Delegates already had
the balance sheet and income statement. We think that the
$213K in speakers fees should be broken
out by any speaker making more than $10,000. The list includes
not only speakers at the national conference such as Arianna
Huffington, whose fees range from $25K to $40K, but those
who conduct PRS webinars and seminars.
delegates put up a good defense of the boards
attempt to rob them of their power to elect board and officers
and to rob districts of representatives on the board.
Delegates made a mistake
in voting to allow proxies. Roberts Rules of Order
experts tell us that any vote involving proxies (and especially
the vote allowing proxies) could be challenged indefinitely
since a bedrock rule of legislative bodies has been disregarded,
namely that legislators must be physically present to listen,
debate and vote on bylaws. In addition, this is just plain
common sense. Delegates are still too timid on the matter
of their having the ultimate power over Society
matters, which is the case with the major professional societies
including those for lawyers, doctors, CPAs and psychologists.
Roberts, which PRS
professes to follow, says unequivocally on page 9 that the
board within an organized society is an instrumentality
of the societys full assembly to which it is subordinate.
Books that try to simplify
the sometimes legalistic and murky text of the 700-page
Roberts say the same in different words.
Websters New World
Roberts, for instance, says on page 167 that Boards
get their powers and duties from the bylaws and can only
do what the bylaws allow. A board is primarily the administrative
arm of an organization
boards cannot disobey the orders
of the assembly or act outside of their prescribed duties.
Assembly delegates must
copy the AMA, ABA, etc., and elect their own officers and
conduct their own meetings. Board members wasted about three
hours of precious delegate time Nov. 7 on hard-selling what
they were doing and the overly long 1.5-hour lunch break.
told PRS staffers at mid-day on Nov. 7 that we suffered
a hearing loss and had trouble hearing speakers from our
assigned perch at the rear of the Assembly. We asked to
sit closer to the front or to be able to listen to the proceedings
on headphones of the type used by the six audio technicians
at the meeting.
Both requests were refused.
We also asked to sit at the front of the room when Huffington
spoke and that, too, was refused.
Senior members told us
PRS had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act of
1990. Organizations usually bend over backwards to help
anyone with a disability. For many years we have been able
to enjoy plays, musicals, ballets and symphonies because
just about all theaters supply hearing devices at no cost.
Refusing to assist us
in hearing, when it would have been so easy to do so and
when failure to hear frustrated our ability to report, is
at the very minimum an ethical and PR failure.
We are investigating whether
it is a legal failure.
PRS can easily rectify
this at least partly by giving us an audiotape of the entire
Assembly which used to be its routine practice as late as
We especially want to
cover the long debates on PR vs. communications
and whether the Society should again have an enforceable
code including how trials of misbehaving members
would take place. Members need to be aware of the arguments.
It was bad enough that
PRS sold at least 50,000 copies of our articles and wouldnt
pay us a nickel, and that one of their delegates stole a
whole day of our notes at the 2003 Assembly.
An entire page of defamation
against us in the September 2008 Tactics was no bed
of roses, either.
New lows were reached
when leaders refused to provide us with an audiotape after
the notes were stolen in 2003 or to provide us with rebuttal
space after the Tactics defamation.