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Internet Edition, November 25, 2009, Page 1


Florida has cast a wide net with a request for proposals through December seeking firms to target segments of its diverse population individually as part of a statewide public awareness campaign for the 2010 census.

The executive office of the governor has broken down Floridians into 12 groups —Hispanic-American, homeless persons, part-time residents, college students, migrant farm workers, etc. — and could ostensibly hire 12 firms to target each segment.

Total budget is $2.1M, which will be divided disproportionately among the 12 demographics.

Hispanic Floridians encompass about 40% of the lot, the largest segment.

By comparison, college students and rural areas represent about 10 percent each of the total budget.

The RFP was issued on Nov. 17 and covers grassroots outreach, integrated PR and media services. Any advertising used will be from the federal census campaign. Firms are expected to produce weekly reports to the governor’s office.

Contracts will run from award through August 1, 2010. Proposals are due Dec. 14 (questions by Nov. 30). The RFP can be accessed at


Michael Claes, who was executive VP in Burson-Marsteller’s financial/corporate group, has quietly exited the company.

The 58-year-old joined B-M from Hill & Knowlton in 1984.

“I have left Burson-Marsteller and I am currently looking at a range of exciting options that range from ‘doing my own thing’ to joining firms of substance and quality,” he said via email to this NL.

Claes said he had “25 years of glorious experience at B-M after 10 years of equally great years at Hill and Knowlton.”

Since exiting in mid-September, Claes has been hired for a cross-border transaction and is pursuing several litigation and bankruptcy/restructuring opportunities, he said.

The PR veteran says he learned from the “giants of the profession,” listing Harold Burson, John Hill, Jim Dowling, Larry Snodden, Tom Mosser, Tom Bell, Bob Dilenschneider, Jim Murphy, Andy Cooper, Chris Komisarjevsky, Howard Paster, Tom Nides and Pat Ford.

B-M CEO Mark Penn and USA chief Ford could not be reached for comment about the departure of Claes, who is at [email protected].


The Federal Bureau of Investigation said Nov. 17 that it has detected “noticeable increases” in computer hackers using an email scheme known as “spear phishing” to target law and PR firms.

“The FBI assesses with high confidence that hackers are using spear phishing e-mails with malicious payloads to exploit U.S. law firms and public relations firms,” the bureau said in a warning issued Nov. 17.

Data dealing with clients with interests overseas is a particular target.

Spear phishing is targeted email intended to compromise a firm’s computer network by bypassing typical defenses to get to an individual’s email inbox.

The FBI said malicious attachments often point to the domain “” or while the attachment could use a file extension like .zip, .jpeg or other format.


Gary Ginsberg, head of global marketing at News Corp. who led investor relations and corporate communications, is leaving the company at the end of the year.

“Gary has been one of my most trusted and effective executives over the past decade,” said chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch in a statement.

The 47-year-old executive, who will continue to advise Murdoch, joined the company in 1999 as executive VP of corporate comms. and continued to add responsibilities like investor relations and CSR over the years. He was a member of Murdoch’s seven-person advisory team known as the Office of the Chairman.

Ginsberg called his term at the company “the experience of a lifetime” and said he’s leaving for “something new.” He did not elaborate on his plans.

Teri Everett, senior VP for corporate communications, will take over corporate comms. and IR, while Reed Nolte, senior VP for IR, heads that department.


Courtney Barnes, editor of PR News for the past three years, has joined MH Group Communications, the firm of former MS&L Worldwide CEO Mark Hass. She is VP and director of content strategy.

Barnes, co-author of “Digital Strategies for Powerful Corporate Communications” with Tuck School of Business professor Paul Argenti, is in charge of thought leadership development and will train MH clients how to make social media part of their overall communications mix. At PR News, VNU veteran Scott Van Camp assumes the editor slot.


Internet Edition, November 25, 2009, Page 2


Nearly a third of consumers in the coveted 18-34 demographic say they would try a product promoted by an admired celebrity, according to a study by WPP’s Mediaedge:cia. But so many products carry prominent endorsements that such backing is waning in influence, according to the research.

Celebrity influence declines significantly as age increases, Mediaedge:cia found, and more than half surveyed said they have trouble remembering which celebrity endorses which brand.

“A careful match of the celebrity personality, the category and the brand they represent, and the consumer can magnify the value and the effectiveness of celebrities as a communication vehicle,” said Fran Kennish, a strategic planner for Mediaedge:cia. “But marketers need to remember that it resonates more with specifically defined audiences where an underlying connection between the consumer and the celebrity already exists.”

The 30 percent in the group that values celebrity backing falls off significantly as age increases as only 14 percent in the 35 to 54-year-old demographic say they'd buy with a celeb endorsement, and only 11% of those 55-plus would do so.

The celebrity-influenced 18 to 34-year-olds were also 50% more likely to recommend a celeb-backed product to others.

Products in fashion, beauty/fragrance, luxury goods and sporting equipment are the most effective for celeb endorsements with a celebrity blessing ranking in the top 10 influencing factors for purchase, the WPP unit found.

The study also indicated that most Americans get celebrity information from news outlets (58%) while the Internet is a top second source (31%).

Celebrity endorsements improve a brand’s awareness, help define its personality and generate interest, according to 35% of respondents in the survey.


New York firm LaForce + Stevens is working to distance its Swiss jeweler client, Piaget, from federal prosecutors’ seizure of a foundation's stake in an office building that was previously referred to as The Piaget Building in New York.

The Swiss company hasn't had a presence in the building in several years.

The U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan is trying to seize the Alavi Foundation's 60 percent stake in the 650 Fifth Avenue building, which several media outlets in the U.S. and abroad have referred to with the Piaget name. The feds, which are also targeting foundation assets in California, Texas, Maryland and Virginia, allege the group has ties to Iran’s government.

Jim Kloiber, VP at LaForce + Stevens, said in a statement that the luxury Swiss jeweler has “no connection” to the building or the foundation. He told O’Dwyer’s that Piaget occupied two floors in the building and their logo appeared on the façade in the late 1970s or early '80s. He said some databases, such as Emporis, incorrectly still referenced the structure as the Piaget Building. Emporis has corrected the mistake, he noted. Piaget North American operates out of 645 Fifth Avenue and has a retail outlet at 730 Fifth.


Former Miss Universe contestant Anya Ayoung-Chee and her photographer boyfriend have brought in MGP & Associates for crisis counsel as reports circulate that a sex tape involving the couple and a third woman has leaked online.

Mike Paul, president of MGP, told O’Dwyer’s he is handling reputation management issues for the Trinidad and Tobogo native and her boyfriend, Wyatt Gallery.

The second woman in the tape was rumored to be a former Miss Universe Japan, but Wyatt has denied that.

Paul said the ménage a trois video was likely leaked by a computer repair shop in Trinidad.


Lakewood, N.J., which is an hour and half from New York and Philadelphia, is looking for a marketing partner to drum up business.

The Lakewood Development Corp. specifically wants to promote its industrial and business park, which is the second biggest in the Garden State.

It plans a one-year contract for PR, advertising and marketing services, dependent on the availability of funding.

Interested firms should contact Anita Doyle at [email protected] to get the RFQ.


Travel portal has tapped New York-based HL Group as its consumer PR agency of record following a review of its marketing communications functions. Edelman previously handled the work and continues to guide assignments like B2B PR.

HL, part of MDC Partners, was founded by two veterans of Polo Ralph Lauren and has a second office in Los Angeles. The firm, which has expertise in luxury lifestyle and fashion PR, is charged with handling all of Expedia's consumer-facing PR efforts.

The firm has worked with Expedia on a project basis over the past year, according to Paul Leonard, VP of brand marketing for the travel portal. “Hamilton South and his team have immersed themselves in our company and in our business,” he said of the HL co-founder.

Expedia, which moved its advertising account to the Martin Agency in August after a wide-ranging review, earned consumer goodwill earlier this year when it dropped booking fees for online air travel reservations and eliminated fees when customers change or cancel hotel and rental car plans.


Singer Associates has been hired to assist the San Francisco Hotel Council in contentious labor negotiations that have led to two strikes.

Sam Singer, president of the firm, said he was hired to act as spokesman for the hotel trade group, a role he played earlier this year for a city transit agency locked in protracted negotiations with two large unions.

Local 2 Unite Here, a union of San Francisco hotel workers that counts 12,000 members, has been picketing hotels in the city over the past month as negotiations broke down over health benefits.


Internet Edition, November 25, 2009, Page 3


AOL, which is being spun off from Time Warner, is looking to cut a third of its staff as part of its comeback program.

CEO Tim Armstrong is looking for 2,500 volunteers to leave the company during the week of Dec. 4. If that goal is not met, involuntary separations are in the cards.

The cutbacks will put AOL's employment in the 4,400 range, down from the 15,000 people it had when it merged with TW in 2001.

Armstrong, who joined from Google in April, announced the cuts via a video message to staffers.

AOL sites attracted 98.5M unique visitors in October, according to comScore. That was down 11 percent from a year ago.


Under fire from Sarah Palin and other critics for running a photo of the former Alaska governor in shorts and running shoes on its cover, Newsweek defended the use of a Runner’s World magazine image.

“We chose the most interesting image available to us to illustrate the theme of the cover, which is what we always try to do,” said editor Jon Meacham. “We apply the same test to photographs of any public figure, male or female: does the image convey what we are saying? That is a gender-neutral standard.”

Palin ripped the choice on her Facebook page as “out-of-context,” “sexist and oh-so-expected by now,” and told Barbara Walters the shot was “degrading.”

Runner’s World, meanwhile, said the photo was still under embargo but was supplied to Newsweek by a stock agency without knowledge or permission. The photo was from an August 2009 back-page spread called “I’m a Runner.”


The Boston Globe has launched a digital edition designed to be both online and off. The Globe had previewed a more limited digital paper since the summer at no charge to subscribers.

The so-called GlobeReader, which now includes sports, weather, crossword and comics in addition to news coverage, is designed to look like a print newspaper and costs about $5 per week. Seven-day subscribers get it at no cost.



Pioneering gay newspaper the Washington Blade and a handful of sister publications have been shuttered a year after a federal entity stepped in as receiver when the publisher hit the skids.

News reports said the Blade’s 20 employees were surprised by the move and found out upon arriving for work on Monday.

The Blade was shut down after a 40-year run amid financial woes that had it seeking a lifeline. The U.S. Small Business Administration stepped in last year after backing Avalon Equity Fund’s ownership of the Blade through two entities – Window Media and Unite Media.

“The S.B.A. as receiver for Avalon does not anticipate any recovery on Avalon’s investment totaling more than $7 million in Window/Unite Media,” the federal entity said in a statement.

The New York Times said employees are trying to organize a new publication.

Southern Voice, an Atlanta sister publication was also shuttered, as were papers in Houston and Florida, and two magazines, David Atlanta and 411.


Susan Feeney, senior supervising editor for NPR’s flagship radio news programs “All Things Considered” and “Morning Edition,” has left the public airwaves for a senior counselor slot at issues advocacy firm GMMB in Washington, D.C.

Feeney’s move to PR caps a 25-year journalism career. Prior to the last nine years at NPR, she was a White House and political correspondent for the Dallas Morning News (1989-2000) and Times-Picayune of New Orleans ('83-89).

She also set up a national non-profit for Katrina families and raised nearly $400K.

Feeney covered six presidential elections and was executive producer of NPR's debates in the 2004 and 2008 contests.

GMMB, part of Omnicom’s Fleishman-Hillard PR unit, works for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and VISA International, among several other clients.


The struggling Washington Times has been hit with a discrimination complaint by a former editor who claims that he was forced to attend a Unification Church mass wedding in New York. That Korean church led by Rev. Sun Myung Moon owns the paper.

Richard Miniter, who was editorial page editor and VP-opinion, felt he had no choice but to attend the religious weekend and claims that execs told him that conversion to the Unification Church is a good career move.

The 42-year-old Miniter is an Episcopalian. He told Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post that he found the religious episode "creepy."

Moon spoke for an hour, poured water from small urns into larger ones and then conducted nuptials for about 30 couples. The Times paid for Miniter and the travel of other execs that stayed at the Church-owned New Yorker Hotel.

In the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint, Miniter also charges that he is a victim of age and disability discrimination. He says the Times, which will not comment on Miniter's complaint, gave no reason for his dismissal.

Earlier this month, the Times cleared top management ranks, including president and publisher Tom McDevitt and executive editor John Solomon.

It is working on a "market-based plan" to support its sustainability.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, November 25, 2009, Page 4


The rise of social media has turned journalism into a game of marketing with successful reporters forging their own brands, said Alan Murray, deputy managing editor at the Wall Street Journal, at a Nov. 18 panel discussion held to celebrate the launch of the Dow Jones Media Relations Manager.

That’s the “most jarring change” that Murray has seen in his long career. He noted that five years ago editors at the WSJ “didn't have a clue” who their readers were.

With increased competition in the fast-paced media landscape, Murray said journalists must find their own audience and create content that people want to read and relate to.

Murray, who is in charge of WSJ's online operation, sees little distinction between stories and blog posts. has about 25 reporters who blog. “Some of the best reporting is on blogs,” he said.

About half of the traffic comes through the front door, said Murray. Thirty percent comes from Google/Yahoo and 20 percent from conservative or political sites like or

His definition of a professional journalist is "somebody who is paid to find the truth under a brand that people trust."

He told the mostly PR crowd that no respectable journalist will admit that he or she fell for a PR pitch. A pitch however, is “gold” if it is well-timed and packed with the information that a reporter is looking for.

Murray and other members of the panel agreed with an audience member who spoke of the need of basic guidelines when it comes to workers blogging about their company. The rules are: “Don’t tell secrets, don't tell lies and don't be stupid.”

Alan Scott, chief marketing officer for Dow Jones Enterprise Media Group, believes marketing and PR will soon cease to exist as independent functions. “Marketing is about conversation” said Scott in noting that the era of tight message control is over.

Courtney Barnes, former editor of PR News who just joined Mark Hass' MH Group Communications, sounded the death knell for companies resistant to changes brought about by social media. Companies now exist with “overlapping stakeholders,” she said.

Brent Leary, blogger and founder of CRM Essentials, said “you have to be liked before you become trusted” in the social media.

“Everyone wants to be greeted with open arms like Norm when he walked into ‘Cheers,’” said Leary, but they “forget that Norm spent a lot of time sitting on barstools" before everyone got to know his name.”

Martin Murtland, Dow Jones, VP-managing director, solutions for communications professionals, demonstrated the new media database and contact management tool prior to moderating the panel discussion.

The session was held at the New York headquarters of News Corp, which is the parent company of Dow Jones. Tours of the WSJ newsroom were given to attendees.


Josh Tyrangiel, editor of and deputy manager of Time, has been named editor of BusinessWeek, which is being acquired by Bloomberg.

He takes over for David Adler, who announced his resignation Oct. 20, a week after Bloomberg won the auction for BW.

Norm Pearlstine, chief content officer at Bloomberg and former editor-in-chief of Time, called Tyrangiel a “natural leader” and one who understand the “ways in which print and online publications can work together.”

Tyrangiel will be key as Bloomberg works to “expand its consumer media offerings,” according to Pearlstine’s statement.

The 37-year-old Tyrangiel worked at Rolling Stone, Vibe and MTV prior to joining Time. He is credited with boosting traffic from 400M to 1.8B page views.

Tyrangiel was a rising star at Time, reportedly a top candidate to succeed the magazine’s managing editor Richard Stengel. He reports to Pearlstine.


Dana Perino, former White House press secretary who is now chief issues counselor at Burson-Marsteller, was one of four people nominated for the Broadcasting Board of Governors by President Barack Obama last week.

The BBG oversees outlets like Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio Sawa and TV Marti, among others.

Obama nominated former Time editor and CNN CEO Walter Isaacson to chair the board.

Perino was President George W. Bush’s third and final press secretary, serving from Sept. 2007 to the end of his term in January 2009.

Earlier communications posts included the Justice Dept. and White House Council on Environmental Quality. She started out as a Hill press secretary.

Obama also nominated Dennis Mulhaupt, ex-VP of medical external relations at Stamford Univ.; former Congressman Victor Ashe, and former Booz Allen Hamilton and Science Applications Int’l exec Enders Wimbush.

The nominees all face Senate confirmation.

People ____________________________

The Chicago Sun-Times has named its national baseball writer, Chris De Luca, as sports editor of the paper.

Stu Courtney stepped down earlier this month to serve as editor of the Chicago Tribune’s new sports news website,

De Luca, who joined the paper as a copy editor in 1996 and has covered baseball since 2004, has previously worked as weekend sports editor. He had previously been executive sports editor at Contra Costa Newspapers in California and sports editor at the Monterey County Herald.

He penned “Classic Cubs: A Tribute to the Men and Magic of Wrigley Field” and wrote a book on the 2005 champion Chicago White Sox.

Internet Edition, November 25, 2009, Page 5


Oprah Winfrey's decision to pull the plug on her ABC show to focus on her cable network in 2011 is bringing mixed feelings of relief, “good riddance” and anticipation from PR pros.

On one hand, arguably the most sought after placement in PR will soon be gone and with it will go the overzealous expectations of clients.

But Winfrey’s move to a network of all things Winfrey will likely be a top (and difficult) “get” as well.

PR agency head Pierce Mattie, who’s a bit of a PR juggernaut when it comes to getting clients on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” says he's happy the queen of daytime is moving on in 2011 as the show took on a tabloid feel this year.

With her expected presence on the new network, the opportunities for PR pros could actually expand even though the show in its current form is ending, according to Mattie.

“It’s been a monopoly that though wonderful needs to end and leave more room for other shows,” Mattie said on his blog. “This means more shows, more room to pitch, more space for clients to be on the network and hopefully less overly sensationalized guests like we have been seeing this season.”

Jules Zunich, an Idaho PR pro, is not shedding any tears over the Winfrey show’s farewell, a sentiment shared by many of her professional colleagues.

Zunich said there are three things she thinks when a client asks to get on the show: “This person has no idea how truly unlikely that scenario is; this person has no idea how real PR works; and this person is probably quite undeserving of Oprah’s attention if they are asking me for it!”


A “strong brand” in the private equity space is important for fundraising and deal flow, according to a survey by Boston-based BackBay Communications.

Of 320 respondents, 83% cited fundraising and 76% said deal flow were affected by a firm’s brand. Half said recruiting and 43% said investment were similarly impacted.

One-third said CEOs of target portfolio company’s and 76% cited limited partners as constituents with whom it is important to have a strong brand.

Strong returns, investment discipline and firm culture were cited as ways to build such a brand, while proven management and articulated positioning were attributes cited.

Tactics to boost a firm’s brand, according to respondents, include conference speaking (66%), personal meetings (63%) and media interviews (45%).

BRIEFS: Trevelino/Keller Communications Group, Atlanta, has partnered with venture capital firm Noro-Moseley Partners. The 26-year-old Atlanta-based V.C. firm invests in southeastern early and early growth companies in technology in healthcare. ...Vanessa Denha-Garmo, spokeswoman for Wayne County (Mich.) Executive Robert Ficano, has quit to launch West Bloomfield-based Denha Media and Communications, in 2010.


New York Area

Bullfrog & Baum, New York/Spring Hill, Seattle eatery, for PR.

DKC, New York/Theater of War Productions, production company touring military bases with theatrical readings of Greek dramas, for national and local PR.

Goodman Media International, New York/Children’s Book Council, for publicity for the 2010 appointment of the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature; Penguin Young Readers Group, for PR for two book projects; Vermont Butter & Cheese Co., for publication of “In a Cheesemaker’s Kitchen”; Walter Dean Myers, for launch of young adult novel, and Gene Dattel, for publication of “Cotton and Race in the Making the America.”

Guttenberg Communications, New York/U.S.-India Business Council, for PR for a luncheon featuring Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Metia, New York and London/Nimbus, business process management software, for media and analyst relations in the U.S. and U.K.

TransMedia Group, New York/“The Shield,” cell phone radiation blocker, for PR.the campaign aims to separate the device from others in the field which the firm says prey on people’s fear of radiation.

Shorey PR, Saratoga Springs, N.Y./Univ. of Albany Athletic Dept., for PR.


Topaz Partners, Woburn, Mass./Evans Cooling Systems, for support of its engine cooling technology.

Capital Communications Group, Washington, D.C./StateNewslines, community news network, for PR, marketing and advertising support.

Howard, Merrel & Partners, Raleigh, N.C./Component Hardware Group, plumbing and hardware products, as AOR for advertising, media buying, market research, interactive, PR and social media.


STIR Communications, Miami/Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, a National Historic Landmark in Miami, as AOR for advertising and marketing.


GolinHarris, Chicago/TravelClick, hotel e-commerce solutions, as AOR for PR to lead B2B and corporate communications following a review.

Cramer-Krasselt, Chicago/Crocs, footwear brand, as AOR for advertising, media, digital and PR.

Bader Rutter, Milwaukee/Pfizer Animal Health, as AOR for marketing communications for its U.S. cattle business starting Jan. 1, 2010.

Impact Communications, Leawood, Kan./Executor’s Resource, wealth transfer solutions, for PR and consumer outreach.


Echo Media Group, Lake Forest, Calif./Toyota Material Handling USA; Hawaiian Springs, water brand, and Wahoo’s Fish Taco, eatery, for PR and social media.

JS2 Communications, New York and Los Angeles/Zeke’s Smokehouse and Harbour, both eateries, for PR.

j. simms agency, San Diego/Resistance Wear, exercise equipment, for PR and marketing to launch a women’s weight vest.

Internet Edition, November 25, 2009, Page 6


PR planning will be more difficult in 2010, according to 64 percent of respondents to a Vocus survey.

The PR software company said those feelings are likely symptomatic of employee attitutudes toward social media, constrained resources or even lack of management support.

In-line with the apprehension for 2010 planning, 42% said they expect budgets to remain flat next year, a finding that Vocus sees as “cautious optimism” and better than expected. Twenty-nine percent said they expect budgets to decrease next year.

PR pros said they will look to streamline operations to find new efficiencies and half said they’ll invest in technology in an effort to “do more with less.”

Focus for 2010 will be social media as 80 percent said they plan to do more in that arena. Multimedia, measurement and viral campaigns are also on the radar of many pros.

PR pros (64%) are also optimistic that their discipline will become more important in 2010.

Vocus asked the 1,800 respondents what single issue is most important.

Responses covered more cross-market and efficient collaboration and several aspects of social media including combining traditional and social media.


The Institute for PR has elected a new slate of trustees and re-elected two 2010 board officers.

New trustees include Paul Argenti, professor of corporate comms., Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College; Chris Atkins, VP, comms., Standard & Poors; Kathryn Beiser, VP, corporate comms., Discover Financial Services; Bruce Bergen, professor, chairman, Dept. of Advertising and PR, Univ. of Alabama; Angela Buonocore, senior VP, comms., ITT Corp.; Julie Craven, VP, corporate comms., Hormel Foods, and Katie Spring, managing director, head of corporate comms., Citadel Investment Group.

Re-elected to board posts were Ken Makovsky (treasurer) and Robert Grupp (president, CEO).

The IPR also added four new members to its measurement commission: Rebecca Harris (GM); Tim Marklein (Weber Shandwick); Mark Phillips (USO), and Frank Walton (RF|Binder Partners).

BRIEFS: Lubetkin Communications, Cherry Hill, N.J., produced a documentary video for the Foundations Community Partnership via the firm’s Professional Podcasts unit. The video is at and has grant recipients, interns and the group’s executive director describe the social service and education group’s programs. ...PRSA’s Georgia Chapter will host a Dec. 3 luncheon, “The Inside Story on Atlanta’s New Center for Civic & Human Rights Museum,” at 11:30 a.m at Maggiano’s Buckhead, 3368 Peachtree Road N.E., Atlanta. The program will present an insider’s view of the new museum with executive director Doug Shipman and members of its leadership, design and fundraising teams. Info: Denise Grant at 770/440-6369.



Jim Barbagallo, managing director of Porter Novelli’s Boston office, to 3Point Communications, Boston, Mass., as a managing director. He was with PN for 10 years at Copithorne & Bellows PR before its acquisition by the Omnicom unit.

William Byrne, manager of PR and corporate comms., Classic Residence by Hyatt, to Euro RSCG, Chicago, as manager of corporate comms.

Chris Steel, IBM’s former head of press and PR in the U.K., to APCO Worldwide, London, as an associate director. He was with IBM for eight years, including three in New York. Earlier stints included PWC Consulting and Beattie Media.

Tommy Viola, a media relations staffer for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, to the Reading Phillies, the AA affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies baseball franchise, as director of PR and media relations. The 28-year-old staffer hosts a two-hour sports talk radio show on WKLV.

Jennifer Schmitt, A/E, Pipitone Group, to Elias/Savion PR, Pittsburgh, as a PR specialist. Elizabeth Bacheson, comms. coordinator, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, joins as a PR coordinator.

Annie Basinski, a consumer/food and nutrition staffer at Edelman, to Exponent PR, Minneapolis, as a senior associate handling Caribou Coffee, DuPont and Koala Ranch. Matt DePoint, previously with Tunheim Partners, joins as an associate on DuPont and Caribou Coffee.

Abbey Franke, a master’s degree candidate who has worked on the 2008 Democratic National Convention and Boulder Fringe Festivals, to Scott Circle Communications, Washington, D.C., as an A/E.

John Smolucha, who held marketing posts at Movero Technology, ENEA and Encirq Corp., to PetersGroup PR, Austin, Tex., as VP of client services.

Madeline Casey, recent grad, to Peter Mayer Advertising, New Orleans, as an junior A/E, PR.

Laura Benold, event director and marketing comms. associate, Austin Technology Incubator, to Mercom Capital Group, Austin, Tex., as a PR executive.

Carlyn Perrotty, A/E, Success Communications Group, to Beckerman, Hackensack, N.J., as an A/E.

Erinn Bartley to Oxford Communications, Lambertville, N.J., as an AA/E.


Ronald Childs to VP, media relations, Flowers Communications Group, Chicago. He was previously director for the multicultural marketing firm.

Callan Green to junior A/E, Bailey Gardiner, San Diego. She manages the firm’s blog and handles Se San Diego and San Diego Hospice.

Anna Morrison to social media specialist, Carmichael Lynch Spong, Minneapolis. She was an intern.

Correction: Tom Torello, Pace University’s new VP for university relations, should have been listed in the “Joined” section on Nov. 11. He was incorrectly listed as a promotion.


Internet Edition, November 25, 2009, Page 7


The National Shooting Sports Foundation has hired The Ashcroft Group to deal with legislative and funding matters regarding the Justice Dept.

Tracy Henke, former assistant secretary at the Dept. of Homeland Security’s office of grants and training, is leading the charge for NSSF at the firm of the former U.S. Attorney General. She developed programs to deter, prevent, respond, and recover from terrorist attacks and catastrophic events. Henke also was a Deputy Associate Attorney General and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Justice Programs.

Based in Newton, Conn., NSSF says its mission is to “promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports.” It aims to promote a “political climate supportive of American's traditional firearms rights.”

On the legislative front, NSSF has put support of the “Firearms Fairness and Affordability Act” and the “Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Reform and Firearms Modernization Act of 2009” on its priority list.

Current AG Eric Holder is a news nugget on the Nov. 16 “Bullet Points” online newsletter of the NSSF. The organization notes that Holder is retreating from a February comment to “reinstate the so-called ban on assault weapons.”

Created in 1961, NSSF is the trade group of more than 4,000 firearms industry companies.


The University of Colorado Denver's School of Medicine said it will award an external and internal communications pact to build awareness of its Palliative Care Program to Davis Branding and Marketing with bids unless another agency says it can handle the assignment.

Palliative care is medical care for the chronically or terminally ill that aims to reduce the severity of symptoms.

The medical school said the Denver ad and PR agency is the only source known to it with experience in palliative care communications.

The school’s procurement agent, David Turner ([email protected]), has set a Nov. 23 deadline to hear from firms that can contest the account.

Interested firms are required to submit a point-by-point response to eight specifications outlined for the strategic communications campaign. They include experience with similar organizations, universities and foundations, multiple stakeholders, nuanced healthcare and philanthropic messaging, comms. to support fundraising, among other tasks. Outline is at


Nathan Ballard, director of communications and spokesman for San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, said he will leave the mayor’s office in February to re-start his PR firm.

Ballard, a rising star in California Democratic politics, joined Newsom’s administration 10 months ahead of the mayor’s landslide re-election in 2007 after running Earned Media LLC.

“Nathan Ballard is unflappable, smart and a fierce advocate,” Newsom said in a statement. The mayor withdrew from the 2010 Golden State governor’s race last month. Ballard was a spokesman for the presidential campaigns of Sen. John Kerry and Gen. Wesley Clark, as well as the Golden State’s largest labor organization, the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.

In addition to re-engaging Earned Media, the 40-year-old Ballard said he wants to spend more time with his family.


Stanton Public Relations & Marketing is doing media for Sun Capital Partners’ deal to sell its Toronto-based Timothy’s Coffees of the World unit to Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, which trades on the NASDAQ, in a deal worth about $160M.

Steven Liff, senior managing director at Sun Cap, said Timothy’s revenues and profits nearly doubled in ’09 despite the tough environment. He views the transaction with GMCR as a “timely cash sale to the right strategic owner.”

Prior to the transaction, Sun Cap sold Timothy's restaurant operation to its Bruegger’s Enterprises unit.

Burlington, Vt.-based Bruegger’s operates nearly 300 fast casual restaurants in 25 states and is noted for its kettle-boiled “New York-style” bagels.

The Timothy's transaction paves way for Bruegger’s expansion into Canada via the addition of Michel Baguette Bakery Café, mmmuffins and Timothy’s World Coffee formats to its line-up.

Alex Stanton, head of the New York-based PR firm, reps Sun Cap, which has managed more than 200 companies with combined revenues of $40B-plus since its start-up in ’95.


Jim Joseph has joined Lippe Taylor Brand Communications as president and partner of the New York City-based independent shop.

He is a Publicis Groupe veteran, who joined the French ad/PR conglomerate when he sold his shop to it.

Most recently, Joseph was managing director at Publicis’ Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness operation, where he broadened its focus from advertising to marketing.

Joseph has counseled consumer clients such as Kraft, Wal-Mart, Kellogg’s, Cadillac, Ambien CR, Tylenol and AFLAC.

At LTBC, Joseph is expected to hone is digital marketing and social media at the shop founded in 1987 by ex-Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar editor Maureen Lippe.

LVMH, luxury goods marketer, has named Paloma Castro Martinez group director of global corporate affairs. She is responsible for issues management, PA, sustainability and outreach to the Paris-based company’s stakeholders.

Castro Martinez joins from LVMH rival, Richemont Group, owners of upscale names such as Montblanc, Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget and Jaeger-LeCoultre.


Internet Edition, November 25, 2009, Page 8




Logic took a holiday in the PR Society bylaws “debate.” It looked like many of the participants lost their power to reason.

We’re reminded of the Dec. 24, 2007 New Yorker article in which Caleb Crain said researchers have found that the current graphics and digital-oriented generation is losing its interest in and even the ability to read since it is developing different neural patterns.

The percentage of people reading books, newspapers, etc., is in steep decline, he noted.

The new neural patterns, Crain said, make reading “an effort” rather than a delight.

“PR” in the past several decades shifted away from discussions with experts who work in or for the press and towards advertising, promotional and other one-way messaging. Discussion and debating skills have atrophied.

PR is mostly staffed now by people who never worked in the press and have had little contact with reporters. They don’t know how to behave with reporters, vacillating from fawning and obsequious behavior to that which is cold and unhelpful.

Gone from the language of PR is “third party endorsement,” replaced by “Let’s look for people with the right demographics and target them.”

But “social media,” we are now told, is a return to “conversations” with audiences who are fed up with sales messages.

PR pros must do a flip-flop and converse one-on-one with bloggers including some who are going to become experts at one field or another. Bloggers will want answers to their questions and PR pros will be back to square one after all these years of dodging reporters.

Bloggers vs. Information Deficit

We wonder what the bloggers are going to do about the Information Deficit that has sprung up in recent years as lawyers, marketers and the CFO’s office have choked off the flow of much info.

Secrecy is at the root of the financial collapse that has wounded the U.S. The reduction in information available from organizations is one reason for the decline in media. Who wants to follow media when there are obvious big gaps in the information they present? Consumers are hoping to learn more from their own “media” such as blogs.

In the ad/PR field, there has been a giant gap in data available since 2001, the last year the five big ad/PR conglomerates allowed any revenue or staff data to be released for their hundreds of ad/PR firms.

The last year we got data directly from the conglomerate firms was for 1998.

Seventeen of the 25 biggest PR operations listed by us for that year (those owned by the conglomerates) vanished from the list. Six are owned by Interpublic, five by WPP, four by Omnicom and two by Publicis. Of the remaining eight, three went out of business and one dropped out of the ranking.

That left only four independents that still report figures—Edelman, Ruder Finn, Waggener Edstrom and Schwartz Communications.

Meanwhile, 169 independents took part in our rankings last year. They do not believe secrecy is the way to go.

What will the bloggers and Tweeters do when they run into such organizational stonewalls? Will they be any better at cracking them than full-time reporters?

An obvious place to attack stonewalls is the PR Society. But we’re getting no help from blogland or the academics. The latter are hogtied by politics.

The organizational world equivalent of the sports replay (in which a controversial play is examined in super slow-motion from many angles) is the video or audiotape of a proceeding and the transcript of it.

Each word, each inflection, can then be examined at leisure.

PRS used to give out such materials for its Assembly but starting in 2005 (when proxies were used to block a motion to block proxies!) the Society has refused to turn them over to anyone.

They’re ashamed of them.

This contribution to the Information Deficit hangs not only PRS but the PR academic community and especially its Educators Academy.

Journalism education is lambasted in three essays by journalists as intellectually vapid and a waste of time and money. Michael Lewis said academics can’t accept that “journalism is as simple as it is” and insist on making it as complicated as possible.

Michael Wolff decried the overlaying of journalism with all sorts of transcendental meanings—making the goals of a J-school “grand enough and vague enough” to gull the financially naïve “who are willing to pay for quite a bit of B.S. in their curriculum.”

The same could be said about much of PR education.

Only a couple of percentage points of the 21,000 members of PRS took part in this year’s discussion of bylaw changes.

Neither PRS chair Mike Cherenson nor bylaws chair Dave Rickey had face-to-face discussions with any chapter memberships.

Had that been done early on, most of the changes would have been dropped and attention turned to worthwhile activities.

The delegates on Nov. 6 rejected almost all of the changes.

There were eight bylaws teleconferences but the general membership, except for a few who joined a governance e-group, did not take part in them or even listen to them. The recorded sessions were not put on the PRS website. Only delegates could propose bylaw changes.

There was endless talk of bringing “democracy” to PRS but this would only be possible if any member could run for office and on the basis of platforms such as giving the Assembly power over the board, allowing chapter-only membership, and moving from New York and to cut expenses.

A non-APR would win handily in an open election since more than 80% of members are non-APR. But the 2009 Assembly not only failed to remove the APR rule for national leadership posts but inserted a new one that only APR directors could run for office.

How’s this for logic: Cherenson said audiocasting the Nov. 7 Assembly would have been “near impossible, technologically challenging.” But on Nov. 10 he took part in live audiostreaming from the conference.

Vintage Cherenson was his appearance before the Central Michigan chapter Sept. 24 when he spoke for 57 minutes non-stop before allowing a couple of questions from the audience.

The 2009 Assembly used 56 proxy votes or about 20% of the total to approve the use of proxies! This is a desecration, a no-brainer, say experts who interpret Robert’s Rules of Order. You can’t use the very matter under discussion to rule on that matter.

The use of proxies or any violation of a “fundamental principle” of parliamentary procedure means that all the votes taken on Nov. 7 can be challenged indefinitely.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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