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Internet Edition, November 18, 2009, Page 1


Virginia is establishing a retainer PR account with an open RFP process for firms to pitch through January 2010.

Terry Minor of the Virginia Tourism Authority said the state’s 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.

“This RFP is very involved and we’ve never needed one to the degree that we do now,” she said, noting PR work had been a part of some previous advertising contracts.

Lou 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.

The 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.

Minor ([email protected]) is taking questions and providing copies of the RFP.


Hill & 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.

AnnaMaria DaSalva is leaving H&K for the VP, worldwide communications, research, science, and technology, at Pfizer at the end of the month.

H&K said it is actively searching for a replacement.

Meanwhile, 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.

DaSalva, a member of the FDA’s risk communication advisory committee, joined H&K in October 2006 from GCI. She was previously with Bristol-Myers Squibb and Ketchum, among other posts.

Pfizer 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.


Publicis is restructuring its global PR operations under the MS&L Group name. The change encompasses 2,500 staffers in 50 countries.

Oliver 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.

Not affected by the changes are Kekst and Company, Freud, Emotion, Publicis Meetings and Publicis Live.

Twelve 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 PR field.


Catevo 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.

Catevo 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.

A statement from the firm said its owner, Laudes Corp., is making the move as part of a broader restructuring and consolidation.

Mitch Javidi, president and CEO of the firm since 2005 who was with Epley for more than 20 years, gave up the president’s post in August to Raymond Hornak.


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 pay.
Non-taxable expense benefits were $16,587 for total payments of $359,866 vs. 2007’s 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)


Internet Edition, November 18, 2009, Page 2


New 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.

The 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.”

Maclaren 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 folding.

Company 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.

Tricia 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.


Con 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.

The C&W team includes Jim Noone, who headed Washington Group’s 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 Molinari.

Energy legislation, greenhouse gas developments and cybersecurity are issues on C&W’s plate.

Con 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. of Energy.


The Government of Georgia has renewed a six-month contract with Public Strategies Inc. as tensions remain high with Russia, which invaded it in 2008.

The 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.

The 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.”

It 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 firm.


Anita Dunn, White House communications director and lead critic of the administration’s push against Fox News Channel, will step down from that post in December.

Dunn, 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.

Deputy 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 Gore’s 2000 presidential bid.

Pfeiffer, 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.

Dunn 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 only temporarily.


The 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 year.

BNC, 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.

Lippin has declined to comment on its rationale for parting ways with the Academy after 12 years.

Academy 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.


Two 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.

Joe Clayton, who was CEO of Widmeyer in seven of 15 years at the firm, and Tad Segal, who left as head of that firm’s public affairs unit, are principals of OS.

The duo said they’d 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.

Segal was a senior VP at Venn Strategies, headed D.C. communications for UPS and was communications director for former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Colo.).

Clayton, 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 McLaughlin Group.”


Internet Edition, November 18, 2009, Page 3


AOL, 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.

The 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 yearend.

The company, according to its Securities and Exchange Commission filing may also close some operations both in the U.S. and overseas.

In January, AOL said it would slice about 700 heads from its workforce. AOL employment is now currently in the 6,900 range.

AOL and TW merged in a more than $100B deal in 2006. Tim Armstrong, a Google veteran, took the CEO helm at AOL in March.


John Solomon, executive editor of the Washington Times, is no longer in that post, as the future of the conservative broadsheet remains in doubt.

The former Associated Press and Washington Post staffer joined the Times in 2008, taking over for long-time editor Wesley Pruden.

Solomon’s resignation follows the shake-up that led to the departure of Thomas McDevitt, president & publisher, Keith Cooperrider, CFO, and Dong Moon Joo, chairman.

That management overhaul was triggered by the economic downturn, according to the paper as it develops a “plan to become a sustainable multimedia company in today’s challenging news industry environment.”

The Times, which has a circulation in the 70,000 range, is owned by Rev. Sun Myung Moon and his Unification Church.


John 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.

The 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.

Dobbs 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 day.”

CNN 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.

The Time-Warner unit, according to Klein, will miss Dobbs' “appetite for big ideas, megawatt smile and larger than life presence.”

Dobbs 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, which he ran for two years before returning to CNN.

More recently, ratings for Dobbs have been on the decline as he trailed both Fox News and MSNBC.

King promises a program that puts more meat on the bones of top political stories. He will have guests with a broad spectrum of opinions.


A 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.”

Despite 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 York.

The 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.”

Exhibit A of the complaint is the February 18 cartoon that depicted President Obama as a chimpanzee that was shot by a policeman. “The Post’s decision to publish the racist cartoon was part of a concerted effort at the company to undermine President Obama’s authority and attack the first African-American president in this country's history,” says the suit.

Guzman 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.

Col Allan, editor-in-chief, is named a defendant in the suit. The suit says “Allan’s 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.”

Guzman, 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.”

A male columnist would regularly walk into Guzman’s 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.

The Post’s PR firm, Rubenstein Associates, says Guzman’s 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.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, November 18, 2009, Page 4


The 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.

The layoffs, which the Newspaper Guild said number 28, will come in February and May next year.

The Times said that those cuts don’t include the 100 posts the flagship paper plans to cut from its newsroom by the end of 2009.

In reporting the layoffs, the Times noted the Gainesville Sun is not unionized and has lower salaries for staffers.


Conde Nast said ad pages fell more than 31 percent this year.

The 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 and Wired.

CN shuttered Gourmet, Modern Bride, Elegant Bride and Cookie this year.


PR 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.

Co-panelist Wendell Potter, a PR pro turned PR critic, said PR people should think of themselves as the “conscience” of their employers.

Huffington, who operates the news and opinion-oriented, 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.

“Touching people’s hearts is so much more important than touching people's minds,” she said.

Pitching social media, as with pitching traditional media, requires drama and creativity in order to win attention, she said.

She 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.

She also noted that PR pros must stick with long-running campaigns to get their points across and should not give up easily.

Healthcare PR Discussed with Potter

Following 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.

Potter 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.

Potter “flipped” earlier this year when he heard MSNBC’s 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 “charm offensive.”

Potter 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.

Healthcare 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.

Corporate executives will be hesitant to tell PR pros anything if they think confidences are going to be broken, said the healthcare PR pros.

Potter 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.

The House of Representatives narrowly passed President Obama's healthcare bill, which awaits a vote in the Senate.


Current TV, which was co-founded by former Vice President Al Gore, is cutting 80 people or about 25 percent of staff.

The youth-oriented cable TV operation is also ditching its short-form video programs for more traditional 30- and 60-minute fare.

Three programs, “Current Tonight,” “Current Takeover,” and “Current Exposed”, have been canceled. David Neuman, Current TV’s programming chief, has stepped down.

Current TV is available in 55M households. Parent company, Current Media, recruited Mark Rosenthal, ex-president of Viacom’s MTV Networks and head of Interpublic Media, three months ago. He likened Current TV’s revamp to what happened at MTV when it evolved from short videos to longer programs.


Spin Media, publisher of the 24-year-old music magazine Spin, has brought in entertainment PR firm BNC in New York.

BNC, 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.

The 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.

Joseph Assad, executive VP at BNC, called Spin an “anomaly in the publishing world” because it’s a mainstream title focused on quality musical content.

Internet Edition, November 18, 2009, Page 5


Porter Novelli has aligned with New York-based PR shop Epiphany in a deal PN says will boost its celebrity and “influencer” capabilities.

The firms are collaborating on Procter & Gamble, Timberland and PepsiCo along with new business pitches.

Epiphany, 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 Gourmet Footwear.


Craig 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.

The new release, “Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign That Changed America” (ISI Books, October 2009) covers Reagan’s 1980 presidential bid with inside accounts of the “rebirth” of the Republican party.

Among the tidbits: who stole Jimmy Carter’s debate briefing books; how the campaign nearly collapsed after George H.W. Bush won the Iowa caucuses, and how Reagan’s “wilderness years” shaped his run.


Edelman has developed a free tool to measure the influence of Twitter users called TweetLevel.

The application takes into account factors like number of followers, updates, and retweets, as well as other existing Twitter metrics like Twitalyzer and Twitfluence.

The 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.

Alex Parish, a developer for Edelman in the U.K., and Jonny Bentwood, another U.K. staffer of the firm, played key roles in developing the tool.


Development Counsellors International has a $13,500-per-month fee plus performance-based incentives contract through next May with Colombia.

The firm’s goal is to change North American perceptions that Colombia is riddled with narco-violence.

New York’s 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 Colombia’s development team.

DCI’s “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 $100M.

DCI’s budget with Columbia includes a maximum $40K performance-based incentive tacked on to a year of $159K in professional fees.


New York Area

Ruder Finn, New York/Bay Gardens Resorts (St. Lucia), for a $3K-a-month PR contract.

KCSA Strategic Communications, New York/Frederick’s of Hollywood Group, as AOR for investor relations amid a turnaround effort at the luxury retailer.

J Sharpe Agency PR, New York/Incoming, “brand acceleration” company, for PR and corporate comms. in the U.S. and abroad.

Adam Kluger PR, New York/Goldweber Epstein, all-female law firm, for PR.


Sam Waltz & Associates, Wilmington, Del./Private network social media platform, as AOR.


Treskoi 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.


Hoffman York, Chicago/Museum of Science and Industry, as AOR for advertising.

Stevens Baron Communications, Cleveland/The Cleveland Vibrator Company, for integrated marketing comms., and the Cleveland Area Board of Realtors, for PR.

The 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.

Leonard & Finco PR, Green Bay, Wisc./Air Wisconsin Airline Corp., independent air carrier, to assist its management and communications teams during emergency situations.


MWW Group, Dallas/Geoforce, asset tracking and management technology, for strategic comms.


MSR Communications, San Francisco/SocialGO, social media platform for small businesses, for media and analyst relations.

Pollack 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 Show.

TLK Fusion, Beverly Hills/Muscle Flex, direct response TV infomercial company for the health, fitness and wellness, for North American marketing/PR.


Bite 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 Domino’s.

Ketchum Pleon, London/Dow Jones, for comms. strategy and media relations for the Wall Street Journal’s Future of Finance Initiative, a global conference Dec. 7-8 in West Sussex, U.K.

Internet Edition, November 18, 2009, Page 6


Dow Jones, a News Corp. company (Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, 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 topic.

“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 Professionals.

He noted that reporters and editors today may range widely in the subject matter that interests them.

“The increasingly fragmented media landscape is a challenge for PR pros who need to find the right journalist or blogger quickly,” he said.

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 database.

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.

Prices Start at $15,000

A one-year contract for access to the system is $15,000. Prices go up as more users are added.

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



Beth 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 group’s business development and digital media division overseeing brand management for shows like “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives.” She also directed marketing for 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 PR/events.

Howard 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 industry’s 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 administration’s Dept. of Commerce. Elizabeth Kaltman, also a VP of corporate comms. at the MPAA, will continue to oversee the group’s PR efforts from Los Angeles.

Emma 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.

Chrissy 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.

Brian Joosse, director of interactive initiatives, Donald L. Arends Inc., to Fleishman-Hillard, Chicago, as a VP in its digital practice group.

Deann 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 and editor-at-large.


Anurag Gupta, senior VP, global strategy, IR and corporate communications at Indianapolis-based Brightpoint, to president of Brightpoint Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Jennifer Velasquez to A/E, Sahlman Williams, the Tampa, Fla-based food PR firm. Meredith Holland was upped to associate A/E.

Stephanie Capellas and Rosie Abrams to manager, client services, Preferred PR, Las Vegas.


Michael Morley, 40-year veteran of Edelman, was given the PR Society of America’s 2009 Atlas Award for Lifetime Achievement in International PR. Morley headed Edelman’s international and New York operations and founded the independent firm’s first overseas office in 1967. He retired in 2006.

Anthony 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 students.


Internet Edition, November 18, 2009, Page 7

MURRAY GOT $50K PAY HIKE (cont’d from 1)

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 Center’s free 990 Finder website although the 2007 PRS 990 is there.

PRS Lost $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 investments.

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.

Cherenson Does the “Near Impossible”

Society chair Mike Cherenson, in announcing Murray’s 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 to members.

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 and others.

Salaries of Five Execs Revealed

Although past 990s of PRS have only revealed the COO’s 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 in 1995.

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 Nov. 7).

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 year.

Thomas has been on several of the bylaws teleconferences as has parliamentarian Colette Trohan.

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.

Suppliers 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, Fla., $100,002.

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; Moody’s 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.


Internet Edition, November 18, 2009, Page 8




We 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 Society’s IRS Form 990 on their laps.

While 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.

Neither 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.

With 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.

Delegates’ 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 notes.

As of Sept. 30, 2009, PRS had 52% of its $1,765,000 in investments in common stocks.

There 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.

The delegates put up a good defense of the board’s 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. Robert’s 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.

Robert’s, which PRS professes to follow, says unequivocally on page 9 that “the board within an organized society is an instrumentality of the society’s full assembly to which it is subordinate.”

Books that try to simplify the sometimes legalistic and murky text of the 700-page Robert’s say the same in different words.

Webster’s New World Robert’s, 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.

We 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 2002.

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 wouldn’t 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.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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