The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, December 9, 2009, Page 1
GROWERS PLANT RFP FOR PR
coalition of agricultural groups in California has banded
together to hire a PR firm boost the image of growers in
the state and reconnect consumers to the source of
their food supply.
group, under the auspices of the California Agricultural
Communications Coalition and led by the 80-year-old Western
Growers Association, issued an open RFP on Dec. 2 for a
firm to improve consumer perceptions of Golden State agriculture
and foster greater collaboration in the industry.
three-year contract worth $357,500 is planned from February
2010 through June 2010.
group includes 90 organizations and the group said the RFP
for PR represents the first formal communications effort
across the sector.
be considered, firms must have a history of working with
diverse coalitions (preferably in California agriculture)
and have expertise in consumer research, strategic planning,
crisis management and both traditional and new media relations.
are due by Jan. 15 with questions due by Jan. 8. Check odwyerpr.com
for the RFP.
SURGEONS LOOK FOR PR LIFT
American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
is looking for a PR firm to handle its $11K a-month budget
to promote its specialty within organized medicine.
2,800-member group is circulating an RFP to generate positive
media coverage in health and beauty venues.
The goal is to brand facial plastic surgery
and the organization's tagline trust your face to
a facial plastic surgeon in the minds of the public.
Academy calls specialization one of the greatest
enhancements in patient care during the last generation.
Its members are equipped with a more comprehensive
training in facial surgery (face, head and neck) than
other doctors who deal with the whole body.
represent 84 percent of cosmetic surgery patients. More
than half (52 percent) of customers are aged 35 to 60 years-old.
AAFPRS wants a PR firm to develop story hooks,
pitch ideas, promote meetings, arrange a media tour/day
in New York City with at least eight interviews for the
national beauty/health print and broadcast media.
are due Dec. 16. Face-to-face meetings are slated for New
York in January. The campaign will begin by March 1.
Chua Magness ([email protected]),
marketing and publications director, is handling questions.
ACQUIRES DUTKO FOR $33.6M
PR conglomerate Huntsworth said it will acquire public affairs
firm Dutko Worldwide and its subsidiaries for $33.6M from
its employees and Lake Capital Partners. The deal includes
the assumption of $9.7M in Dutko's net debt and brings Lake
Capital, a $1.3B Chicago-based equity firm, into the fold
as a Huntsworth investor with a stake expected to grow to
9.4% by next year.
have been looking for some time for the right opportunity
in Washington to extend our international public affairs
network, said Peter Chadlington, CEO of Huntsworth,
which owns the PA firm Grayling in the U.S.
D.C.-based Dutko operation, founded in 1981, has 10 offices
in the U.S. and was dubbed the largest independent public
policy management group by revenue in the country. Government
affairs, strategic consulting, grassroots, polling and risk
management are among its offerings.
Irion, CEO, and his executive team will remain in place.
said the move marks a significant contribution
to its developing PA operations that will grow to more than
$50M in revenue worldwide on completion of the deal.
client roster includes blue chips like Booz Allen Hamilton,
Citgo Petroleum and GlaxoSmithkline. Its healthcare experience
was a particular attraction for Huntsworth amid the U.S.
overhaul in that sector. It noted 96 percent of DWs
revenues are held on a retainer basis. Revenues for 2008
$33.6M acquisition price consists of $22.2M in Huntsworth
shares at completion of the deal, and another $11.4M in
shares at the end of 2010. Earn-outs could stretch the deal
to a maximum of $44.6M.
PR pro Andy Hopson has joined Noble, a full service ad agency
with billings in the $130M range, as president of its Chicago
recently, Hopson was running Real Good Idea, a digital marketing
communications shop. His resume includes head of Burson-Marsteller's
New York office and Ruder Finns outpost in Chicago.
was COO of Publicis Dialog, which launched in the U.S. following
Publicis Groupe's acquisition of EvansGroup, where Hopson
has counseled Bank of America, Nestle, Starbucks, Consumer
Electronics Assn., AT&T, Centers for Disease Control
and Southwest Airlines.
Edition, December 9, 2009, Page 2
LAUNCHES BRANDING PUSH
Peoples Republic of China has launched an image campaign
to show how the worlds factory works hand-in-hand
with production partners throughout the world. The effort
is designed to raise the quality image of Chinese goods
and cool protectionist fires.
Chinese press hails the effort as a PR breakthrough
and the countrys initial effort into the branding
arena. China Daily calls the campaign part of the
governments global charm offensive to
get more China-made products into the hands of consumers.
DDB unit created the Made in China. Made with the
Rest of the World. spots that recently popped up on
CNN International, CNN Headline News and CNN U.S. The ads
show a fashion shoot with the hook, Made in China
with French Designers, and an image of an MP3 player
with the tag, Made in China with Software from Silicon
Valley. The campaign will run through the rest of
statement from Chinas Ministry of Commerce says the
campaign is to promote Chinese products in a fair
and objective way. The effort is to show the willingness
of Chinese manufacturers to strengthen cooperation
with other countries to provide quality goods for foreign
Ministry is funding the effort with help from China Advertising
Assn. of Commerce and local chambers of commerce representing
the machinery, electrical products, textiles and industrial
runs ads for McDonalds, Volkswagen, Tropicana, Lipton
and Philips in China.
STEPS UP CORPORATE OUTREACH
Schreiber, who was founding CEO of United eWay, is now senior
VP-member relations & chief development officer at Global
Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria.
task is to attract more companies to fund corporate disease
fighting programs and to iron out partnership arrangements.
Schreiber also will promote GBC as a "hub" for
collaboration and collective action, according to the New
York-based organization's release.
served as CIO of United Way of America and president at
Truist, a social enterprise forged by the merge of United
eWay and Create Hope.
he worked at Deloitte in positions geared to development
in Namibia and other African nations. He served in an operational
post at the U.S. Embassy in Gambia.
with more than 200 companies, the GBC has offices in Johannesburg,
Nairobi, Beijing and Moscow.
GUIDES WF IN MORTGAGE MESS
Fargo has hired the Democratic firm Podesta Group for input
on legislation regarding mortgage originations and servicing.
Treasury Dept. on Nov. 30 warned banks that it will soon
levy fines on mortgage lenders who dont speed up efforts
to lower payments to struggling homeowners. About 650,000
borrowers have completed trial runs in the Home Affordable
Modification Program to cut foreclosure rates. Banks have
been criticized for being too slow to convert those trials
into permanent mortgage payment cuts.
Treasury says starting this month it will issue report cards
on how well banks make trial modifications permanent.
Fargo ranks No. 3 with more than 93,000 trial modifications,
according to Reuters. It trails Bank of America (137,000)
and JPMorgan Chase (134K).
Fargos Podesta team includes Izzy Klein (ex-communications
director for Sen. Chuck Schumer and press secretary for
Rep. Ed Markey), Nicole Young (former aide to Michigan Governor
Jennifer Granholm), Oscar Ramirez (ex-chief of staff for
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis) and Lauren Maddox (senior communications
advisor to then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich).
GETS BIOFUELS WORK
Grocery Manufacturers Assn. has retained Glover Park Group
to handle issues concerning biofuels.
Washington-based group, which represents the $2.1T food/beverage
and consumer packaged goods sector, stood as a staunch backer
of the Affordable Food and Fuel for America Act introduced
in July by Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) and Mary Bono Mack (R-CA).
backing stemmed from the measures intention to shift
subsidies from conventional biofuels to future generations
of bio-energy products.
GMA contends that an overzealous pursuit of a national biofuels
strategy could result in higher food prices, a decrease
in corn exports and environmental degradation.
Rothschild is handling GMAs biofuels. He was a Sen.
John Kerrys legislative director and deputy chief
of staff and chief counsel at the House Committee on Energy
New York Times reported Nov. 27 that the recession
has dealt a major blow to Americas ethanol plans.
Congress had mandated that the nations gasoline refiners
blend a rising volume of ethanol and other bios into gasoline
to cut the reliance on foreign oil. The country now has
a glut of ethanol.
TAPPED TO STIMULATE CO ENERGY PUSH
Jones, the former Praco PR and Advertising, has been tapped
for a federally funded $5M PR campaign to help Colorados
citizens use stimulus funds and programs to curb energy
use and build a greener economy.
Bill Ritter revamped a 32-year-old state office under his
purview to become the Governors Energy Office in 2007
with the goal of building a new energy economy
in the Centennial State.
Plant, director of the GEO, announced the major public service
and outreach campaign on Nov. 30. The effort will span two
years, starting in the spring of 2010, and is funded by
the federal stimulus legislation through the Dept. of Energy.
Jones, based in Colorado Springs, picked up the work after
an RFP process.
said the goal is to create a one-stop clearinghouse of information
that will be achieved through an online, media and local
grassroots push via VJ.
contract could be extended for up to five years.
Edition, December 9, 2009, Page 3
CLOSES NBCU DEAL
and General Electric officially sealed the deal to create
a $37B joint venture that combines NBC Universal with Comcast's
is contributing assets worth $30B including its TV network,
cable stations (MSNBC, Bravo, CNBC), filmed entertainment
and theme parks to the venture.
will contribute properties worth $7.25B including cable
properties (Golf Channel, E! and Versus), ten regional sports
channels and digital properties to the venture plus pay
GE $6.5B in cash.
will own 51 percent of the revamped NBC Universal media
giant. It will create Comcast Entertainment Group to house
its NBCU stake. Comcast Cable will run the Philadelphia-based
company's traditional cable operations.
Zucker, CEO of NBCU, will head the new operation. He will
report to Steve Burke, Comcast's CEO.
Roberts, CEO of Comcast, told investors the deal enables
his company to become a leader in the development
and distribution of multi-platform anytime, anywhere
media that American consumers are demanding.
IS EXPENSIVE, SAYS MURDOCH
makes it cheap and easy to distribute news for anyone with
Internet access, but producing journalism is expensive,
said News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch during his testimony
at the Federal Trade Commission on Dec. 1.
content is not free, he said at the workshop called From
Town Crier to Bloggers: How will Journalism Survive the
the future, good journalism will depend on the ability
of a news organization to attract customers by providing
news and information they are willing to pay for.
said the old business model based on surviving on advertising-only
is dead. That was contingent on running quasi-monopolies
such as classified ads that now go to sites such as Craigslist,
Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com.
Though online advertising is increasing, that increase
is only a fraction of what is being lost with print advertising.
believes people will pay for online news if the information
is useful and has value. Our customers are smart enough
to know that you don't get something for nothing,
News Corp. chief took issue with some of our friends
online who think they have a right to take our
news content and use it for their own purposes without contributing
a penny to its production.
took aim at those who re-run material under the name of
fair use. The wholesale misappropriation
of our stories in not fair use, said Murdoch. To be
impolite, its theft.
told the FTC when news is misappropriated, it destroys
the economics of producing high quality content.
said aggregators need news organizations because
minus their content flat-screen TVs, computers, cell phones,
iPhones, and Blackberrys would be blank slates.
current situation where content creators bear the
costs, while aggregators enjoy many of the benefits is untenable
over the long run.
Corp is going to ensure that it gets a fair but modest
price for the value that it provides.
Washington Times is cutting about 40 percent of its
370-member staff and will distribute the paper free of charge
to movers and shakers in the D.C. market.
Jonathan Slevin told staffers the paper will have an improved
online presence, more focused print edition, exclusive news
paper, however, must reshape operations to keep pace
with the dynamically changing economics of the news business.
The goal is to achieve economies of scale.
WT will collaborate more closely with its sister Unification
Church-owned property, United Press International, expand
its three-hour radio program, America's Morning News,
and beef up the conservatives.com site.
SUCCEEDS ZELL AT TRIBUNE CO.
Michaels, the radio executive who joined Tribune Co. with
real estate mogul Sam Zells move to take the media
company private, is now CEO. Zell remains chairman.
68-year-old Zell said Michaels has the creativity,
expertise and passion to move the owner of the Chicago
Tribune, Baltimore Sun and Los Angeles Times
called Tribune Co. a company with world-class brands
in print, on air and online. His job is to make sure
the Tribune chalks up cutting edge success on the
WOLFFE EXITS PUBLIC STRATEGIES
who joined Public Strategies from Newsweek earlier
this year, is leaving the firm to write a book about the
current White House, his second tome on Obama.
Wolffe was Newsweeks
senior White House correspondent covering the two terms
of President George W. Bush before leaving for PS in April.
He wrote a book about the Obama campaign, Renegade,
released in June by Random Houses Crown imprint.
A frequent TV commentator,
he drew some fire and dropped off the cable news radar until
recently after appearing on MSNBC while on the Public Strategies
PS, owned by WPP,
is headed by former Bush communications director Dan Bartlett.
Wolffe was at the
Financial Times before Newsweek.
news continued on next page)
Edition, December 9, 2009, Page 4
PAYS PRIMROSE $425K
which will officially spin-off from Time Warner this week,
is paying PR chief Tricia Primrose a salary of $425K this
year, according to its information statement related to
the corporate split. That is up 10.4 percent from her earlier
45-year-old executive VP-communications is entitled to a
bonus up to 75 percent of her salary. That bonus is geared
to achieving targets such as strengthening the PR team,
communicating internally and externally AOLs social
media strategy and launching product initiatives to bolster
contract runs through Nov. 30, 2010. In addition to the
incentive comp, Primrose participates in the "2009
cash retention program" that was established "due
to the uncertainty of the companys continued status
as a subsidiary of TW."
program, which went into effect in March for one-year, is
to provide additional cash to key employees during a transition
period. Primrose is eligible to receive a one-time payment
of $190K providing she remains an employee and "maintains
a satisfactory performance level during the bonus period."
joined AOL in 1999, but served as VP-corporate communications
at TW from 2001 to 2005. Earlier, she was executive VP at
Robinson Lerer & Montgomery.
is lopping off 2,500 workers or one-third of its force.
The voluntary buyout plan runs through Dec. 11. AOL merged
with TW in 2000 in a $160B deal. The companys annual
revenues dropped from $8.6B in 2004 to $4.2B in 2008. Nine-month
2009 revenues are down 25 percent to $2.4B. Net is off 43
percent to $247M.
REUTERS TAPS BW EDITOR
Reuters has nabbed former BusinessWeek editor-in-chief
Stephen Adler for a new position overseeing editorial for
its professional division.
who helmed BW for four years until its acquisition by Bloomberg
last month, takes the role of senior VP and editorial director
for the unit, which includes legal (Westlaw), tax and accounting
(Checkpoint), and healthcare/science (Solucient, Medstat)
businesses. He reports directly to division CEO Jim Smith
and serves on Reuters News editor-in-chief David Schlesingers
54 and a Harvard Law School grad, is a 16-year veteran of
the Wall Street Journal, where he was both legal
and investigative editor, as well as deputy managing editor.
He was previously editor of The American Lawyer magazine.
named Time vet Josh Tyrangiel editor of BW last month.
also said Dec. 1 that it completed its acquisition of Breakingviews,
the financial commentary news service, now dubbed Reuters
Breakingviews. The service is used by key papers like the
New York Times, Le Monde and Daily Telegraph.
BusinessWeek, meanwhile, has tapped TV interviewer Charlie
Rose as a weekly columnist.
67-year-old journalist, who continues as executive producer
of the "Charlie Rose" TV program on PBS, will
"showcase" insights from his talks with prominent
people in business, politics and other areas for the weekly
Bloomberg TV network re-broadcasts Rose's show.
relationship makes new possibilities for me in the global
conversation, Rose said in a statement. His first
column is slated for the Dec. 21 edition.
closed its acquisition of BusinessWeek on Dec. 1. The addition
of Rose follows the ending of CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo's
weekly BW column, FaceTime.
FEATURES WOODS, OBAMA ON COVER
a case of interesting timing for Golf Digest and
the White House, embattled pro Tiger Woods adorns the magazines
January cover in a photo illustration featuring him with
President Barack Obama.
Editor Bob Carney said the magazine has been getting letters
regarding the photo mash-up and Woods crash in light
of the media circus that followed the auto accident.
to volley some criticism, Carney said the issue went to
press on Nov. 14 and stressed that it was not a Woods-Obama
photo shoot but a photo illustration based on a shoot with
said letters to the magazine on the Woods incident have
been remarkably thoughtful, perceptive, often forgiving,
and in some cases moving. And certainly some are, well,
magazine is printing letters on its blog.
TAKES KEY DISCOVERY POST
Liguori, president of entertainment for Fox Broadcasting
Company, has moved to Discovery Communications as chief
operating officer, a role encompassing marketing, DCs
studios, corporate communications/affairs, buiness affairs
and other operations.
reports to CEO David Zaslav and takes over for Mark Hollinger,
who was named president and CEO of Discovery Networks International.
also be the companys lead rep in its joint ventures
with Hasbro and the Oprah Winfrey Network. DC
is based in Silver Spring, Md.
took the Fox slot in 2005 after serving as president of
News Corp. sister company FX Networks since 1998. Liguori
was previously VP of consumer marketing at HBO and started
out in the advertising sector.
RETIRES AT MEREDITH TITLE
Nolte, editor-in-chief of Meredith Corp.s American
Baby magazine, is retiring, the company said.
Points, editor-in-chief of Parents, is taking over Noltes
was president of the American Society of Magazine Editors
was previously with Condé Nast Publications as associate
merchandise editor of Brides magazine after
a career as a high school English and speech teacher.
9, 2009, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
TARGETS FOOD EDITORS WITH SAMPLES
Fete, which produces invitation-only media events in the
food and beverage sectors, has created a product sampling
service based on research that more than 80 percent of journalists
told the firm they would like to receive samples of products
from trade shows they cant attend.
service, Food Fete Delivered, is a single shipment of five
to 10 new products sent to 100 food editors and bloggers.
Cost is $1,200 per product and the shipments are branded
from Food Fete. Product info, photos and other materials
are made available online.
first shipment is slated for January with others timed to
coincide with major industry events in 2010. Seasonal and
thematic packages are also being planning.
or alcoholic products are not currently included. Chocolate
is okay during cooler months.
IN OSBORNE VENTURE
Global Advisors, Washington, D.C., said it is launching
a joint venture with London-based I.W. Osborne & Co.
called Sphere Consulting, which will ultimately be the new
name for KGA.
firms, which have collaborated on various projects around
the globe, said the venture aims to improve the way public
affairs and government relations efforts are managed. It
has two hub teams, based in D.C. and London, and says senior
executives manage clients.
promotional video for the venture knocks the conglomerate
model of integrated communications, noting disparate units
like PR and grassroots are rarely aware of the others
think that model is outdated so we built a new way,
a narrator says.
Courtovich, managing partner at KGA, said in announcing
the move that it broadens his firms scope of services,
increases in-house talent and brings a new and better model.
the global network of independent firms, has elected Sao
Paolo-based Item Comunicacao as a partner, its 67th. ...Fenton
was awarded a GSA schedule worth $550K for advertising and
communications services, opening the door to work with the
federal government. ...GlobalHealthPR,
Washington, D.C., has released the second edition of the
Global Guide to Pharma Marketing Codes. The
86-page updated version adds pharma marketing info for Mexico
and Argentina. It covers basic pharma promotional regulations
for marketing and PR, and provides an FAQ about what is
and isnt permitted in respect to media and third-party
involvement. Rules for France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Span,
the U.K. and U.S. were also updated. Cost: $199 or $149
(digital) via globalhealthpr.com.
CEO of Bell Pottinger Sans Frontieres, was named CEO of
the Bell Pottinger Group, Chime Communications PR
division. Bell takes over on Jan. 1. ...Burson-Marsteller
has formed a partnership with D.C.-based political and public
affairs shop Winning
which is led by Democratic advisor Robin Leeds.
UP TUPPERWARE PR ACCOUNT
Fox has won a competitive review for Tupperware Brands
previously handled PR for several years for the iconic storage
on AOR duties for the products and its Chain of Confidence
campaign, including consumer and business media relations,
events, creative campaigns and social media. The two-year-old
CoC effort includes an online community for women to share
experiences, and supports the Boys & Girls Clubs of
pitch team, backed by parent firm Waggener Edstrom, donned
retro bathing caps in their meeting with Tupperware executives
in Orlando. The agency said they wanted to show they were
not afraid to dive off the high board and take the
plunge into the deep end.
VP of global PR for Tupperware, said in a statement that
Tupperware saw M&Fs creative thinking
as a way to capture the attention of media, its sale force
and the business community. And we knew theyd
make our business trips to New York a heckuva lot of fun,
Strategies, New York/Esprida Corp., remote management
solutions to self-service and kiosk markets; INTTRA, e-commerce
for ocean freight shipping industry, and A-List Education,
test prep and educational services, for PR and social media
Investor Relations Group, New York/Quepasa Corp.,
social media/network company, for IR and PR.
& Shanley, Providence, R.I./Staples, to manage
its 2009 holiday season PR efforts, including traditional
media relations, along with social media and digital efforts.
The firm handled a smaller piece of Staples 2008 holiday
push, but takes on the entire campaign this year.
Raleigh, N.C./Holiday Express, public holiday event in Raleigh,
PR, Miami/Zumba Fitness, fitness brand, as AOR for
the international exercise company, including brand management
counsel, national media relations support, and partnership
and promo evaluation.
Communications, Houston/Blockbuster Inc., for national
corporate communications support. Michelle Metzger, VP,
heads the account. Randy Hargrove, senior director of corporate
comms. at the video rental giant, recently left after 10
Bohle Company, Los Angeles/Association of Woodworking
& Furnishings Suppliers, for social media and traditional
PR for its annual trade show in Las Vegas; and Westec2010,
trade show in L.A. in March, for PR, advertising and SM.
simms agency, San Diego/RDP Motorsport; NOS Parts,
and Best of Show Automotive, all auto sector companies,
Edition, December 9, 2009, Page 6
southern California sales executive Tasha Huang has joined
Business Wire as the companys regional sales manager
in Newport Beach, Calif.
was a national account rep at EPS Corp. and has held similar
posts at First American, Pullar Data Systems and Chevron.
BW, she is responsible for sales and operations in the region
and reports to Morrissey Perfetti, regional VP for Southern
WORKS T-GIVING PARADE
S Simon Productions, New York, worked with Macys to
produce, shoot, and edit footage for two behind the
scenes webisodes for the Macys Thanksgiving
webisodes were syndicated online as part of an Internet
media tour and hit the front page of NBC.com.
video PR company also produced B-Roll featuring the latest
additions to the parade.
WRAP IS PR HIT
Monster, Wilmington, N.C., produced what it calls the largest
boat wrap ever produced at the Fort Lauderdale International
Boat Show this month.
technique applied a graphic design to large vinyl sheets
which were wrapped around a 60-foot power boat at the Charleston,
Gaillard, PR manager of Cummins MerCruiser Diesel, which
makes the engines that are showcased on the model boat,
called the stunt a sensation.
boat got tremendous exposure, he said. Everyone
was talking about it.
Monsters Jed McDonough said it took three people three
days to wrap the boat in the water-resistant
TOUTS FUSION MARKETING
Ryan, managing director of Colorado-based Fusion Marketing
Partners, has published How to Create an Unstoppable
Marketing and Sales Machine: An Introduction to Fusion Marketing,
a 318-page tome on tactics for getting media, marketing
said the book is targeted toward CEOs, marketing managers,
PR practitioners, sales departments and business owners
and shows how to create a strong connection between the
marketing and sales departments and transforms the lead
generation and sales process
book is the fourth by the technology marketing veteran and
is available in softcover and ebook via amazon or fusionmarketingpartners.com.
has added Soundcraft
a mixing console designer, as a client of its on-demand
PR software. In addition to tracking and traditional PR
, the company said it plans to use the Vocus software to
monitor social media to get customer feedback. Vocus has
also added viritual events company ON24
as a new customer. ...Washington
Women in PR
will hold its annual holiday party on Tuesday, Dec. 15 from
6:30-8:30 p.m. at Gordon Biersch, 900 F St., N.W. Free hors
Latz, a top digital pro at Ketchum, has moved to
Cohn & Wolfe as president of its global digital practice.
Latz was a senior VP in a 10-year career at Ketchum Digital
and its Stromberg Consulting unit handling programs for
clients like FedEx, Kodak and PepsiCo. He founded the creative
design and tech practice at Stromberg, which Ketchum acquired
in 2001. He was previously studio director at Chavin Labert
Advertising. At C&W, hell report to CEO Donna
Imperato and lead the development of its digital and social
media offerings. Imperato, in a statement, called digital
and social media the driving force in communications
King, chief spokesman and VP at The Hartford Financial
Services Group for the past six years, has moved to insurance
broker Willis Group Holdings in a senior VP role overseeing
group marketing and communications.King takes over the Willis
Group slot vacated by Valerie DiMaria, who stepped down
in September to direct client strategy at Peppercom. King
headed external corporate and business unit comms. at The
Hartford. He joined the company in 2003 from WPPs
Penn, Schoen & Berland, where he was a senior VP. He
was previously director of production in the White House
office of communications during the Clinton administration.
At Willis Group, he takes the title senior VP, group marketing
and communications, responsible for global external, internal
and executive comms., as well as philanthropy, community
relations and events. He reports directly to CEO and group
chairman Joe Plumeri.
Chan, editor at the South China Morning Post, has
shifted to FD for a senior VP role. She will spearhead FDs
crisis communications efforts and provide media relations
service to clients in Hong Kong and the rest of China. Chan,
a six-year veteran of the SCMP, covered the business beat.
Earlier, she served as Shanghai bureau chief for Bloomberg.
Chan's hire is part of FD's push to bolster its presence
in China. In October, the firm established a public affairs
practice in Beijing. It recruited MS&L Worldwide alum
Jack Zhang to head up the practice. Before moving to PR,
Zhang spent 10 years at China Central Television.
Johnston will retake the helm of JohnstonWells on
Jan. 1 as president/CEO as daughter, GG
Johnston, leaves the firm. The 66-year-old founder
and chairman of the Denver-based firm had turned over the
reins to GG, a 15-year veteran of the firm, in February.
She is leaving to venture into the world outside the
family business, according to a statement on JW's
website. Johnston founded the firm 38 years ago.
Edition, December 9, 2009, Page 7
SPONSORS FACE PRESSURE
Woods corporate sponsors Nike, Gillette and Gatorade,
which supported the embattled golfer following his 2 a.m.
car crash a day after Thanksgiving, now face pressure to
cut ties following revelations about a several alleged extramarital,
AT&T and Tag Heuer are among other sponsors of the golf
pro. Woods behavior will be front-and-center when
it comes time to renew those deals. Sponsors accounted for
an estimated $900M of Woods $1 billion earnings in
Tell Own Story
York counselor Mike Paul said that the big PR mistake of
Woods was letting others tell the story rather than himself.
Paul has been appearing on NBC-TV and cable TV channels
advising Woods to face questioning in public and tell
truth is very bad in this instance, said Paul,
but it's still better for the person involved to be the
one who tells it.
reports are now surfacing of Woods relationships with
a number of women, Paul noted.
released a lengthy statement on his website Dec. 2, apologizing
to his fans, admitting to transgressions and
saying he has not been true to my values and the behavior
my family deserves.
sins should not require press releases and problems within
a family shouldn't have to mean public confessions,
am not without faults and I am far short of perfect,
he continued. I am dealing with my behavior and personal
failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings
should be shared by us alone.
is reporting that the Woods organization paid for a trip
to Australia made in November by Rachel Uchitel. She has
denied any romantic relationship with Woods.
a statement Nov. 30, Nike said: Tiger and his family
have Nikes full support. We respect Tigers request
for privacy and our thoughts are with Tiger and his family
at this time.
said: We wish Tiger well as he recovers and look forward
to seeing him back on the course soon. Our partnership with
Nicolazzo Reject 'Privacy' Argument
Makovsky, chairman of Makovsky + Co., New York, said that
any figure as public as Woods does not really have
a private life, unfortunately. He feels Woods was
wrong to reject questioning by police three times after
making an appointment to speak with the police.
of the press early on is not helping Woods' case, said Makovsky.
Failure to put all the cards on the table immediately has
only increased the public's skepticism, ceding control of
the story, he said.
he has now apologized for his transgressions, the apology
is late in coming, thereby making the public even more curious,
while compromising his relationship with corporate sponsors.
E. Nicolazzo, managing partner, Nicolazzo & Associates,
Boston, said: "Its about time Eldrick has begun
to take the Tiger by the tail and deal with
the reality of the situation.
said that while Woods' driving and legal issues may be behind
him, he has a long road ahead to regain public trust, confidence
and respect from the public. Stay tuned because unfortunately
there is more to come, he said.
FIRM UPS COSSETTE PRICE
holding company Cossette, the Canada-based parent to PainePR
and Brown & Brown PR, has accepted an increased takeover
offer from Mill Road Capital worth about $135M potentially
ending a takeover battle waged since July.
Road, a Connecticut-based investment firm, raised its $7.87-per-share
offer to $8.10 (from roughly $131.5M to $135M) and Cossettes
board approved the offer on Nov. 30 after the two parties
reached a deal earlier this month.
increase is a 150 percent premium on Cossettes $3.25
share price on July 17, when another private equity firm,
Cosmos Capital, initiated a $4.95-per-share (about $72M)
takeover of the company. Cosmos, which raised its offer
to match Mill Road's $7.87-a-share pitch earlier this month,
is led by two former Cossette executives.
board rejected the Cosmos deal saying it undervalued the
independent company and expressing reservations about the
former executives plans to run the company. Cossette
shares have risen since the battle began to now trade above
Mill Road deal carries a termination fee of $4.5M for Cossette.
Cossettes shareholders will consider the deal in a
special meeting on Dec. 18.
Calif.-based PainePR had revenue of $13.7M in 2008 with
80 staffers. Cossette acquired the firm in 2004.
SINGS PRAISES OF HONG KONG
has a $240K one-year contract to promote Hong Kong as a
Chinas "pre-eminent international business city"
and a strong supporter of free trade.
firm is to ensure that any Congressional action on China
trade relations in areas such as food safety, environmental
protection, human/labor rights, cap & trade, intellectual
property and anti-dumping will not negatively Hong Kongs
commercial relationship with the U.S.
coordinates its activities with the Hong Kong Economic and
Trade Office in Washington. Former U.S. Senator Birch Bayh
(D-Ind.) leads the Hong Kong account with Raymond Shepherd,
former chief counsel at the Senate Permanent Subcommittee
Hong Kong Trade Development Council retains the right to
revoke the contract if either Bayh or Shepherd withdraws
from the account.
and Shepherd also may reach out to non-governmental organizations
to make sure that "issues affecting the interests of
Hong Kong are put in the proper perspective," according
to the contract.
Edition, December 9, 2009,
Tiger Woods is being tried
in the Court of Public Opinion, he is mostly listening to
the advice of those who practice in the Court of Law.
PR advice, as usual, is to come clean quickly with all the
facts no matter how bad they may be. The Court of Public
Opinion renders swift justice and does not wait around for
briefs to be filed.
this case, the truth is so awfulmultiple sexcapades
over many years with many partnersthat heavy penalties
must be paid.
make amends for all the hundreds of millions that he took
under false pretenses, Tiger should return whatever is left
to his sponsors or to charities.
has not only cheated his wife and sponsors who paid him
$900 million of the $1 billion he has taken in, but has
compromised President Obama.
January Golf Digest features Obama and Woods on the
cover lining up a putt with the headline: 10 Tips
Obama Can Take from Tiger.
of them is The Danger of Looking Ridiculous.
Woods advises Obama to keep his golf-playing habits to himself
just like Woods keeps so much of his own life private. Woods
does not, for instance, appear on Dancing with the
never does anything that would make himself look ridiculous,
goes the advice which turns out to be ridiculous itself
in the light of what started to come out Nov. 27.
phonier than the article are the three full pages of pictures
of Obama and Woods that are actually the heads of the two
men pasted on others bodies. The pictures are as fake
as can be but the only hint of that is the notation in small
type that they are photo illustrations.
could have described his complete lack of discipline
in sexual matters, admitted the many liaisons over the years,
apologized for cheating his wife, fans and sponsors, and
offered to donate whats left of his sponsorship income
to charities including one that helps those who have lost
control of their sex drives. He should also submit to sexual
None of the sponsors such
as Nike and Gatorade would have let their names within ten
miles of Tiger had there been any evidence of sexual misbehavior.
All the money in the world
is not going to help Tiger now. Were sure he would
rather be a penniless bum than carry the burden of the public
knowing he defrauded so many millions of people for so long.
Us Magazine, which
has been on top of this story, now saying that nine alleged
paramours of Tiger have come forward, is calling this the
biggest sports scandal of all time.
Slate columnist Jack Shafer
said Tigers puff merchants had raised him to the status
of divinity and no one should feel guilty for
finding the Tiger saga irresistible.
This story has good
legs and will be fodder for many a late night talk
legal approach that is being used by the Tiger team
is having disastrous results.
Tiger owes the public
and sponsors big time and he must pay up. What shall
it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul
(Mark 8:36) is a Biblical saying that is apropos.
The Tiger incident shows
the weakness of PR pros who advise Tiger. They have not
been able to make their case for PR forcefully enough. This
is true almost throughout the business and organizational
Lawyers are out-arguing
PR pros. Even at the PR Society itself legal arguments are
Lawyers are trained to
argue before a jury of twelve, or a single judge or a small
panel of judges. They think in terms of plaintiffs and defendants,
our side vs. their side. Critics or those seeking some kind
of relief are seen as enemies out to destroy the client.
They are seen as enemies who must be obliterated if possible.
There is no limit to the nastiness of strategies or tricks.
Lawyers are used to having
plenty of time to craft their arguments. Their stock in
trade is to delay things as much as possible.
Legal cases are dragged
on for years with the hope that participants will lose interest,
forget things, or even die.
Clients are usually muzzled,
which sometimes works and sometimes doesnt.
The stock advice to clients
of Bob Shapiro, who helped get O.J. Simpson off in his first
trial, is: They talk, I walk.
Legal logic does not work
with the public, i.e., the Tiger team saying that, under
law, Tiger was not obliged to talk to local police or even
allow them in his house.
PRs promise was that it would listen to the other
side, make compromises, be a peacemaker.
Reports are that wife
Elin had damaged the house and Tigers lawyers did
not want that to be seen. There is the unexplained $16,500
in damage done to a house near Turnberry last July where
Woods was in a tournament.
conspiracy of silence surrounding Woods that involved
hundreds of people including many in his entourage, other
golf pros and the media shows that large numbers of people
can be kept silent if the penalty for talking is severe.
This happened with Enron and its wayward CPA firm, Arthur
Andersen. Many thousands in the CPA firm and Enron knew
about accounting abuses but kept silent for years. When
the truth came out, the 70,000-employee AA went poof.
The New York Post
(Dec. 2) accused the National Enquirer of sitting
on the Tiger story for two years in return for having him
featured on the cover of sister publication Mens
Fitness magazine in August 2007.
The Post quoted former
magazine editor Neal Boulton as saying that. It also quoted
David Pecker of parent company American Media as saying
such a claim was absolutely not true.
Americans got most of
their news and the sharpest opinions on the Tiger incident
from the websites of TMZ, National Enquirer, Us magazine,
Grupp, president and CEO of the Institute for PR,
said claims by the Tiger team that he has certain rights
of privacy in the matter of his SUV crash are
not going to wash.
The Tiger brand is too
big for such claims, he said. If youre going
to be that big, you must also be transparent,
The advice of Grupp and
many others is that Tiger had to put all or most of the
facts on the table quickly.