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Internet Edition, December 16, 2009, Page 1


New York State is looking for agency help for a “subprime foreclosure prevention” services campaign intended to tell citizens about their options for refinancing and securing other help to stave off losing their homes.

Foreclosures in the Empire State were up 24 percent from the first to second quarters of this year to 13,644. But the state improved from 39th in the U.S. to 37th following the second quarter, based on the number of foreclosures.

The New York State Housing Trust Fund, through its Division of Housing and Community Renewal, issued an RFP on Dec. 7 backed by federal stimulus dollars to create a statewide public awareness campaign.

The state is calling for a bifurcated approach, targeting stakeholders and “centers of influence” who will deliver the message, in addition to consumers and homeowners.

Minorities are a particularly vulnerable demographic for foreclosure, and the top 20 counties for bank repossessions in the state are another key focus.

Development of a website, earned and social media, toolkit for partners, PSAs and collateral material are expected tenets of the campaign.

Pitches are due Jan. 21 and a conference has been set for Jan. 4 in Albany.

Frank Markowski ([email protected]) is taking questions and overseeing the process.

The RFP is available at


The World Gold Council has awarded its seven-figure PR account to Publicis Groupe’s MS&L Group in a competitive pitch that included Hill & Knowlton, FD and Kreab Gavin Anderson.

London-based Capital MS&L leads the effort funded by Newmont , Goldcorp, Barrick, AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields to stimulate and sustain the demand for the precious metal.

The work will be initially focused on key markets such as London, New York, Dubai, Mumbai and Beijing.

Matthew Graydon, director of corporate communications at WGC, wants MS&L to “build the prominence of gold and ensure its value” as buyers in the “post recession era search for value in everything they purchase,” according to his statement.

Richard Campbell, managing director of Capital MS&L, leads the account. Oliver Fleurot is CEO of MS&L Group.


Interpublic entertainment PR powerhouses BNC and PMK/HBH are slated to merge in January, according to a staffer involved in the move. The combination would create a shop with more than 150 staffers (the majority from PMK/HBH) and billings topping $70M.

Variety says such a firm would be Hollywood’s largest and reported that PMK/HBH CEO Simon Halls is leaving the firm amid the merger plans. Deadline-, which broke the story, reported that HBH founders Robin Baum and Stephen Huvane have resigned ahead of the merger and plan to join Ina Treciokas PR. PMK’s A-list clients include Matt Damon, Sam Mendes and Shia LeBoeuf, among dozens of others. BNC, acquired by IPG in 2000, is the former Bragman, Nyman Cafarelli. Its client roster mixes events, corporations, brands and celebrities, including the Emmy Awards, Audi, Samsung and Target, as well as talent like Jenna Fisher, Whoopi Goldberg and Cameron Diaz.

PMK was founded by Pat Kingsley in 1980 with partners Michael Maslansky and Neil Koenigsberg. IPG bought it in 2001, along with Huvane Baum Halls.


Break the Cycle, which has offices in Los Angeles and Washington, wants a PR firm to generate awareness of its campaign to stop teen dating violence.

The group calls relationship violence a “silent epidemic.” It says one in three teens experience abuse in a dating relationship yet more than two-thirds of them fail to report it to anyone.

Beth Shapiro, who handles development and communications for the group, is running the search for a PR partner.

Shapiro is at [email protected] and 310/286-3383.


Tiger Woods is relying too much on lawyers who have a narrow focus and not enough on PR people who have a much broader view of matters, says New York lawyer Harold Suckenik.

Suckenik, who wrote a legal column for O’Dwyer’s PR Report, this NL’s monthly magazine, from 1987-93, said cautious lawyers are making things worse for Woods.

Lawyers are used to operating under strict rules that govern what is admissible in a court of law, he said.

But PR pros, he noted, take into account anything

(Continued on page 7)


Internet Edition, December 16, 2009, Page 2


Mr. Squiggles is safe. That’s the message from Zeno Group, the Chicago PR firm hired by toy maker Cepia to counter a report that this year’s blockbuster Christmas gift could contain unsafe levels of toxic chemicals.

Good Guide, a consumer group, on Dec. 5 published testing results that found the popular China-made Zhu Zhu line of toys by Cepia contained antimony and chromium levels above federal standards. But the group backed away somewhat from its findings on Dec. 7, when the Consumer Product Safety Commission said its soluble method of testing toys is more effective than Good Guide’s surface-based method.

“Accordingly, while we accurately reported the chemical levels in the toys that we measured using our testing method, we should not have compared our results to federal standards,” the company said in a statement through Skyvara Communications, a Bay Area boutique shop headed by former Fleishman-Hillard and Rowland Company executive, Suzanne Skyvara. “We regret this error.”

The CPSC said the Cepia toys were safe and the company itself pushed back to challenge the Good Guide report.

“We are disputing the findings of Good Guide and we are 100% confident that Mr. Squiggles, and all other Zhu Zhu Toys, are safe and compliant with all U.S. and European standards for consumer health and safety in toys,” said Russ Hornsby, CEO of St. Louis-based Cepia, in a statement outlining safety testing at the company issued by Zeno Group.

Good Guide’s report also found elevated levels of toxins in toys by Bukugan and Fisher Price.

Zeno Group is part of Daniel J Edelman Inc.


Qorvis has picked up a $45K a-month contract for PR, media, social media, government relations and online reputation management duties from Bell Pottinger San Frontieres for its client Sri Lanka.

The island nation off the south coast of India in May wrapped up a 25-year war against the Tamil Tiger separatist group.

The U.S. has criticized the Government of Sri Lanka for civilian casualties and the treatment of refugees connected with that bloodshed.

Robert Blake, U.S. assistant secretary for south and central Asian affairs, just completed a fact-finding mission to Sri Lanka. That follows a Senate Foreign Relations Committee report that encourages the Obama Administration to recalibrate its political and economic ties with Sri Lanka.

Qorvis’ game plan includes story placement, blogger outreach, ally development, think tank outreach and polling.

The effort calls for “grassroots management” to “build a base of support outside Washington to support inside Washington,” according to its agreement.

Qorvis offers more goodies beyond the $45K monthly retainer. It will do media and Congressional training at $5,000 a pop per-spokesperson. Fees for research and polling are priced per-project.


Goldman Sachs, ground zero of public rage against excessive Wall Street bonuses, announced Dec. 10 that its 30 top executives will receive 100 percent of `09 discretionary compensation in the form of “shares at risk” instead of multi-million cash payouts.

CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who received a $27M bonus in 2007, says the new scheme ensures that compensation rewards performance and incentivizes behavior in a fashion that is in the “public and shareholders’ best interests.”

He also announced that shareholders will have a “say on pay” on the compensation of Goldman’s five top earners at the 2010 annual meeting.

The bonus stock has a five-year holding period and permits the investment banker to recapture the shares if an executive engages in “materially improper risk analysis” or fails to “sufficiently raise concerns about risks.”

That, according to Blankfein, goes beyond the current “clawback” mechanism that covers fraud and malfeasance.


Blackwater Worldwide has re-engaged Corallo Comstock, the Washington, D.C., public affairs and crisis firm led by two former Justice Dept. PA staffers.

Mark Corallo, the seasoned crisis manager and partner in the firm, told O’Dwyer’s that he recently began representing the private security contract again. Corallo in 2007 provided media training to Blackwater executives before they testified in Congress in April of that year over alleged wasteful spending on contractors in Iraq. Later that year, he went to work to generate buzz for Fred Thompson’s presidential bid.

Blackwater, which changed its name to Xe Services earlier this year, is gaining new scrutiny as the New York Times reported Dec. 11 that company security contractors participated in secret raids against insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan by the Central Intelligence Agency.

Corallo, who repped Karl Rove during the Valerie Plame leak scandal, says Blackwater was never under contract to participate in clandestine raids with CIA or Special Operations personnel. He also denied company contractors took part in so-called rendition flights.

Barbara Comstock, like Corallo a Justice spokesperson under Attorney General John Ashcroft, is also a partner at Corallo Comstock.


Utah, the second driest state in the U.S. and one of the highest consumer’s of water, is reviewing its $250K-a-year water conservation public education account with an open RFP process through January.

The state wants to explain conservation practices, send consumers to its “Slow the Flow” website, and push other efforts to cut 25 percent of its water use.

Vanguard Media Group, which has an office in Salt Lake City, is the long-term incumbent.

Firms must have experience in both PR and public service announcement production and placement. The winning team will oversee the annual public education campaign, part of a long-term effort to reduce water use per capita. Deadline is Jan. 6, 2010; questions, Dec. 30.


Internet Edition, December 16, 2009, Page 3


Editor & Publisher is closing after a 125-year run as parent company Nielsen Co. unloads eight media and entertainment properties to Pluribus Capital and Guggenheim Partners.

E&P was not part of the overall transaction.

Staffers at the “bible of the newspaper industry” were told of the print and online shutdown Dec. 10. Editor Greg Mitchell is “shocked” that a way was not found to keep the E&P alive.

Mitchell remains hopeful that a deal may happen.

Nielsen expects the deal for The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Adweek, Brandweek, Mediaweek, Backstage, The Clio Awards and Film Journal International will close the end of the month.

The buyers have formed e5Global Media LLC to run the properties. Pluribus was formed this year to acquire and manage media properties with high growth potential.

A founder, Jimmy Finkelstein, will chair e5Global. Guggenheim, a diversified financial services firm, has more than $100B in assets under management.

The new owners issued a statement touting the Nielsen properties as leaders in their respective fields that will now have the financial clout to “add enhanced content across their print, online and new media channels.”

E&P was founded in 1901, but dates its origin to 1884, the launch date of The Journalist, which it acquired.


Advertising Age is losing two top editorial staffers to B2B blog network Breaking Media.

Jonah Bloom, executive editor, and Matthew Creamer, senior editor, have resigned from Ad Age to serve as editor-in-chief and executive editor, respectively, at Breaking Media.

BM is a Gawker Media-style company encompassing four blogs covering the legal community, Wall Street, fashion, and finance/accounting. The properties include Above the Law, Dealbreaker, Fashionista and Going Concern.

Ad Age has named Abbey Klaassen to replace Bloom overseeing all editorial operations.

She had been digital editor of the trade pub after joining five years ago from Mpls-St. Paul Magazine, where she was assistant editor.

Bloom joined Ad Age in 2002 after heading PR Week. Creamer was also previously at PRW.


AOL said Dec. 8 that New York Times tech and telecommunications reporter Saul Hansell has been hired as programming director of, the start-up news content platform.

Hansell is the first staffer for the “content management” start-up expected to launch this month, according to a statement from AOL.

Hansell took a buyout from the Times after 17 years at the paper of record. He was founding editor of the paper’s popular “Bits” blog and on the must-pitch list of many tech PR pros.

He reports to AOL’s senior VP for entertainment, Mike Rich.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that is AOL’s system to mass-produce news articles and other content using computer algorithms and journalists.


News Corp., Time Inc, Hearst, Conde Nast and Meredith have announced plans to open a digital newsstand as a bid to grab the bulk of online revenues from portable devices.

The “digital initiative will provide access to an extraordinary selection of engaging content products, all customized for easy download on the device of their choice, including smartphones, e-readers and laptops,” said John Squires, interim managing director of the venture.

The storefront will feature a common reading application that promises to deliver the look and feel of each print publication.

The venture follows the success of Amazon’s Kindle reader.

Amazon keeps 70 percent of the revenues generated by content providers.


Paul Bascobert, a Dow Jones veteran, has been put in charge of Bloomberg’s BusinessWeek.

The 45-year-old was working in Dow Jones’ consumer media group handling marketing.

Bascobert assumes the responsibility of Keith Fox, who is sticking with BW’s former corporate parent, McGraw-Hill.

Bloomberg wrapped up the acquisition of the business weekly last month.


The National Geographic Society has decided to kill the printed magazine, Adventure, a ten-year-old spin-off.

John Griffin, president of National Geo’s magazine group, said the decision to shutter the magazine was driven by the “current advertising environment” and the many opportunities that the Society sees in the “emerging digital platforms.”
The time is ripe to “transition” the Adventure brand, he said.

The revamped Adventure will be based on a “multi-platform model” of books, e-magazines, website and mobile applications. The eight times a-year magazine had a circulation of 625K.

Seventeen staffers are out of work with the print shutdown.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, December 16, 2009, Page 4


The global rise of citizen journalists, user-generated content and active, rather than passive consumers of information do not threaten the integrity of journalism, said U.S. public diplomacy chief Judith McHale in a Dec. 11 speech at Vilnius University in Lithuania.

“There are those who fear that this cacophony of voices will threaten the integrity of journalism and that traditional news gathering organizations will be pushed to the margins,” said McHale, the former chief of Discovery Communications appointed this year by President Barack Obama as the U.S.’s PR chief.

“I am more optimistic about the future, because I believe that like people, businesses adapt. The best among them -- the most innovative -- are already doing that,” she added.

McHale, according to a text provided by the State Dept., said she visited one of South Korea’s top newspapers on a recent visit, noting the paper now considers itself a platform-neutral “content provider,” not a newspaper, providing information on paper, online, on mobile devices, through e-books or interactive TV screens, to name a few.

“Media companies which are either adapting or are innovating in this new environment are thriving," she said.

McHale said platforms like Facebook and YouTube operate on content shared between people who trust one another – friends and associates. She said blogs that are found to be inaccurate lose relevance, adding that media organizations which embrace high standards will preserve the trust of consumers and thrive.

“To those who argue that the integrity of journalism in this environment is in peril, my response is that trust is as fundamental to the news business as it is for all human interaction,” she said.

New Media Might’ve Hastened Independence

McHale, who holds the title Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, told the audience at the university that the country’s revolt from Soviet rule may have been hastened had today’s technology been available in the late 1980s.

“The brave Lithuanians who joined hands in 1989 didn’t need YouTube and Twitter to come together – but imagine what they could have done with these tools.” she said. “In fact, I wonder how long foreign occupation of your country would have lasted had Facebook and [a Lithuanian social networking site] ONE.LT existed in 1945.”

McHale said new technology is also reshaping international relations and diplomacy, shifting it away from “the domain of privileged men working behind closed doors.”

She is cheered by the technology-fueled uprising in Iran and said such tools mean that “old hierarchies” and barriers to communication are dissipating.

She said Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recognize public diplomacy as a key cog in restoring U.S leadership in the world.

“They recognize public diplomacy as an essential ingredient of 21st century stagecraft,” she said.


Management consulting giant Accenture became the first high-profile sponsor of Tiger Woods to drop its marketing agreement with the embattled golfer.

In a statement issued Sunday, Dec. 13, Accenture said it had a “very successful” deal with Woods for the past six years and praised his golf course success as a powerful metaphor for business success in Accenture ads.

Reports pegged the sponsorship from $10M-$15M.

“However, given the circumstances of the last two weeks, after careful consideration and analysis, the company has determined that he is no longer the right representative for its advertising,” the company said in a statement by senior director of corporate communications Alex Pachetti, and senior media relations executive James McAvoy.

A new ad push is slated for 2010. Young & Rubicam, part of WPP, handles its account.

Woods' agent at IMG said he was disappointed but respects Accenture’s decision.

Other backers of the golfer include Nike, AT&T and Tag Heuer.

A survey of marketers conducted by Argyle Executive Forum last week found that 76 percent would cancel, reduce or suspend their business relationship with Tiger Woods if they had a deal with him. More than 600 senior marketing execs responded to the two-day survey. Twenty-two percent said they'd stick with Woods.

Woods Cast as Youth Model

An ad for Tag Heuer watches in the January 2010 Vanity Fair positions Tiger Woods as a model for youth, saying that “Since 1996, my Foundation has inspired more than 10 million youth.”

Copy adds: “Together with Tag Heuer, I’m helping young people to believe in themselves.”

The Tag Heuer website has a video of Tiger and copy that focuses on his many championships.

It says: “Tiger is one of the greatest sports champions in history. With his personality and his results, he is a perfect example of prestige and performance which are so important to Tag Heuer.

“His personal obsession with results and perfection, his ability to withstand pressure, to meet expectations and exceed them, but also his love of discipline—all this makes him a natural partner for the brand.”

Go Public ‘Aggressively’

New York counselor Robert Dilenschneider told O’Dwyer’s that Tiger Woods has “one last chance to recover his standing” but if he doesn't do it quickly, the opportunity “will be lost forever.”

Dilenschneider said Woods’ advisors have been doing a “simply miserable job” or the golfer isn’t following their advice.

“But right now, Woods has to go public in an aggressive way and apologize to the American people, to his fans, to the press, and, more importantly, to his wife,” he said.

Dilenschneider said Woods should say he is going for medical treatment to see if he has a serious problem. And, if he has that problem, he should then engage in therapy aimed at addressing that issue.

Internet Edition, December 16, 2009, Page 5

BRIEFS: Ogilvy PR Worldwide’s 360 Degree Digital Influence unit has created an “influencer relationship management” platform called Insider Circle. The service is offered by brands on an invitation-only basis and allows them to share content and offers to select social media users identified as influencers. ...Feintuch Communications has formed an alliance with MS-IR to collaborate in offering IR and PR services. Principals at the New York-based firms share past affiliations with KCSA Strategic Communications. FC is headed by Henry Feintuch, a 22-year KCSA vet. MS-IR is led by Miri Segal-Scharia, a partner at JM/KCSA, an Israeli affiliate of the firm. ...Alistair McLeish, who founded Eastern Europe’s Mmd, a corporate and public affairs firm acquired by Huntsworth, said he’s starting a new firm focused on Latin America. He joins former Mmd director Ian erbison in Speyside Corporate Relations, slated to open in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in February 2010. Three practices include corporate comms., investor relations and government relations. Info: ...Outdoors PR firms Verde PR & Consulting and Base Camp Communications merged on Dec. 1 under the Verde name. Mike Geraci, founder and director of Base Camp, takes a partner role at Verde and the title VP, strategic development director. He brings, SCARPA, Princeton Tec and Kona Bikes with him. Geraci said he and Verde head Kristin Carpenter-Ogden have been friends for 12 years and collaborated in the past. The firm has offices in Durango, Colo., and Jackson Hole, Wy. ...Three partners have formed Blue Oasis Group International, a technology-focused PR, marketing and web design shop in Corona, Calif. Deanne Hollis-DeGrandpre, a PR consultant who was editor-in-chief for Computer Technology Review, joins Cheryl Renton, former director of marketing communications for Absolute Analysis, and Ketchum vet Steve Schone in BOG. Info: ...RMS PR, Los Angeles, has formed a practice dedicated to promoting applications for iPhones and other mobile devices. The firm said following several launch campaigns it has streamlined the process and created a reduced-fee program to get press for app developers. Programs start at $1,800, including press release, distribution, targeted pitching, and social distribution. Info: ...Tressel Communications, a boutique firm headed by Mary Tressel, has merged with San Ramon, Calif.-based AMF Media Group, an advertising, PR and marketing comms. shop. Tressel is a former A/D for Lewis & Summers PR and media relations coordinator for Pillsbury Madison & Sutro. ...A 30-minute TV special produced by Ron Sachs Communications won an Emmy Award from the Suncoast Chapter of the National Academy of TV Arts and Sciences. The win is the firm’s fourth since 2006. The program, “Explore Adoptions,” was produced for the state of Florida to raise awareness of children in need of permanent homes. Ron Sachs worked with Evolution Media and Core Message on the program.


New York Area

DKC, New York/Orfalea College of Business at Cal Poly, for PR.

JS2 Communications, New York/Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, author and actress on “The Real Housewives of New York City, and Annop Desair, singer and “American Idol” contestant, for PR.

Kellen Company, New York/World Airline Entertainment Association, for association management services for the not-for-profit, which is a group of more than 90 commercial airlines and 250 suppliers. Kellen will handle financial services, planning, government affairs, comms., and events management.

5W PR, New York/, online auction portal, for PR.

MWW Group, East Rutherford, N.J./Running Subway Productions, to promote Leonardo da Vinci’s workshop at the Discovery Times Square Exposition, and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, non-profit, for an integrated comms. program for the group and the profession via MWW’s Chicago office.


Eisen Management Group, Newport, Ky./WealthBridge Connect, executive coaching, for a national campaign supporting its recently launched resource website,


O’Connell & Goldberg, Hollywood, Fla./Brianna Kahane, violin prodigy, for PR for the musician who has appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”


104 West Partners, Denver/Mojofiti, language translation solutions, and SharedBook, online document ideation software, for PR.

Blue Clover, San Antonio/Alteza, luxury condo project, as AOR for PR and marketing.


Ogilvy PR Worldwide, San Francisco/Lithium Technologies, social customer relationship management software, as global AOR, including strategic consulting, thought leadership and brand enhancement, along with traditional and social media relations. Lithium clients include Sony, AT&T and Best Buy.

MSR Communications, San Francisco/CelLynx, creator of a plug-and-play cellular signal booster, as AOR for PR.

The Bohle Company, Santa Monica/Penny Arcade, comic and gaming event company, for PR including the video games, merchandise, charity, PAX Prime show, and the inaugural East Coast PAX show.

Idea Hall, Costa Mesa, Calif./Attentus advisors; CIP Real Estate; The Emmes Group of Companies; Hanford Hotels; Hawk Holdings; Iris Technology; KZ DevCo; Law Offices of Charles D. Naylor; Most Branding Development + Advertising, and Reliant Testing Engineers.

Allen & Caron, Irvine, Calif./Ohr Pharmaceutical, development stage biotechnology company, for investor relations and corporate comms.

Internet Edition, December 16, 2009, Page 6


United Business Media, owner of PR Newswire, has acquired events marketing services company Virtual Press Office in a deal worth up to $10M.

UBM said it has paid $6.5M in cash, while performance-related consideration tops out at $3.5M over three years. The company said it anticipates VPO revenue of $2.2M for 2009.

Thirteen-year-old VPO counts 500 tradeshows and more than 10,000 clients globally. Its services include tools for building online press kits, direct email marketing, and social media outreach and analysis.

Peter Brand, CEO of VPO, and Tom Cherry, COO, are joining PR Newswire’s Global Events platform as VPO is folded into that division.

The deal follows PRN’s acquisition of PR and IR web developer The Fuel Team in July in a deal worth up to $4.5M.


Business Wire has named co-chief operating officer Gregg Castano as the company’s new president.

The 24-year veteran of the news distribution company started out as a newsroom coordinator and was named co-COO in 2006 with Phyllis Dantuono.

Cathy Baron Tamraz, who was president and CEO, continues in that latter title.

BW credits Castano with boosting its global footprint with new offices in London, Paris and Toronto, to name a few. Dantuono continues as sole COO.

BW has also promoted Michael Becker to senior VP, financial product strategy.

The company said the expanded role will move Becker beyond his core disclosure responsibilities to focus on developing new products and partnerships in the financial sector.


PRWeb, the distribution arm of Vocus, has unveiled new analytics reports for gauging news release use.

The company said clients are now provided with more detail about pick-up, readership and activity from readers.

“They will now be provided with a much better sense for where it is sent, where it appears and most importantly, what people are doing once they read the news release,” said Jiyan Wei, director of Product Management for PRWeb.

Monitoring features include a list of specific outlets where the release was sent, listing of different sites where the release appeared, and data on action like printing, forwards and PDF downloads.

BRIEFS: Robin Lane, director of PR for Vocus, has moved to broadcast PR company zcomm, Bethesda, Md., as director of client services. Eric Minuskin, who handled PR accounts at French West Vaughan, Cohn & Wolfe and Ketchum, has joined zcomm as broadcast and radio team lead.



Jennifer Maguire Coughlin, senior VP at M. Silver Associates, to Nancy J. Friedman PR, New York, as managing director. She was previously with Weber Shandwick and Edelman.

Matt Jacob, deputy communications director, People for the American Way, to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, as communications director. He was previously senior VP for Wakefield Research and senior associate director at the American Federation of Teachers.

Ariana Cohn, former reporter for Spotlight Newspapers and ex-staff writer for The Legislative Gazette, to Gramercy Communications, Albany, as director of media relations.

Bryan Grozier was named media relations director for the Manchester (N.H.) Millrats, a team in the independent minor league Premier Basketball League.

Kwesi Robertson, senior account and emerging media staffer at m strategies, to MM2 PR, Dallas, as an A/E. Todd Meisner, assistant director of media relations for Conference USA, also joins as an A/E.

Katherine Randall, A/S at Berkman PR, to J PR, San Diego, as PR manager. She was previously director of communications at Baby Dagny. J PR has promoted Lauren Clifford to A/S.

Craig Mackey, a public affairs consultant and former deputy political director to ex-Gov. Roy Romer, to the Outdoor Industry Association, Boulder, Colo., as director of government affairs.


Jasmin Nadalizadeh, an intern at Stratacomm, Troy, Mich., joins as an AA/E.

John Suttle to senior VP, corporate communications, BAE Systems. Suttle joined the defense contractor in 2007 and had been VP/comms. for its land and armaments operating group. He was previously with General Dynamics after retiring as an Army lieutenant colonel. He was editor-in-chief of Soldiers Magazine.

Lee Brian Schrager to VP, corporate communications and national events, Southern Wine & Spirits, a liquor distributor in 29 states.

Kari Groh to VP, communications and PR, The Timken Company, Canton, Ohio. She started with the company in 1975.


Conall McDevitt, Northern Ireland managing director for Weber Shandwick, was tapped for a vacant Social Democratic Labor Party seat representing south Belfast in the No. Ireland Assembly.


Mary Stengel Austen, president and CEO of Tierney Communications, Philadelphia, has been named as the recipient of the 2010 Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce’s 2010 Paradigm Award.


Internet Edition, December 16, 2009, Page 7

LAW’S NARROW FOCUS (Continued from page 1)

that may impact on a client since almost anything is admissible in the court of public opinion.

“Tiger has not broken any law except for a minor infraction involved in knocking over a hydrant,” said Suckenik.

He admits there are huge legal implications in this situation but he says the PR implications are also huge.

Lawyers are so used to lining up what supports their case that they may not see the other side with any clarity, or may not look for areas of compromise, he added.

With law, “it’s one side vs. the other,” he said. There is virtually no contact with the other side which is positioned as “the enemy.”

1988 Column Still Holds True

Suckenik wrote a column for the February 1988 O’Dwyer’s magazine that answered a PR pro’s lament that “there has been a lot of talk about attorneys taking over or moving into the practice of PR.”

The PR pro said he was seeing “a wider and deeper penetration by lawyers into PR” and asked for Suckenik’s advice.

The columnist took a dim view of this trend which has become more pronounced in recent years. Lawyers can replace PR pros in a “few highly selective areas such as lobbying, legal issues, and litigation,” wrote Suckenik.

But he added that “In many ways the training and experience of practicing law makes a lawyer uniquely unsuited to be a PR counsel.”

Law students, he wrote, “first learn a long-standing body of intellectual doctrine, i.e., the common law; the intellectual background and the procedures by which statutes are enacted and rules governing their interpretation, i.e., statutory law, and the procedures by which these issues are raised in specific factual settings including the appellate process.

“What lawyers learn is a very finite, definitive existing body of knowledge, deeply rooted in fully documented past experiences that have been preserved and govern current and future conduct.

“Also, the study of common law case is, in reality, a study of transactions that went wrong.

“In studying and applying procedural law, attorneys learn to present cases and make arguments to either a judge—one person; appellate judges—three to nine persons, and juries—six to 12 persons.

Lack Training in Mass Communications

“Accordingly, lawyers have little familiarity with the concept of mass communications or mass marketing. An attorney's entire experience has been with the things that went wrong and presenting them in the most favorable light for his or her client before a very small number of specific people.

“The education and experience of PR pros is the opposite. They are experienced in mass communications, mass marketing, and in ignoring or certainly not dwelling on those aspects of a campaign or representation that engender problems or difficulties.

“PR pros down-play aspects that may go wrong. Lawyers are obsessed with them. PR pros are trained to assert those things that are positive.

“No client would readily accept a PR pro who at the first meeting notes all the defects in the client's products, what is wrong with the advertising, and explains why the communications are misdirected, ineffectual, and possibly in violation of state and federal law.

“This is exactly what a practicing attorney would do if he or she were engaged as PR counsel.

Lawyers ‘Enslaved by Past’

“PR pros are creative and not bound by what has gone before. They are unfettered by the past. Attorneys are enslaved by it. The only way attorneys can be creative is by applying existing law in a novel way or urging reversal of the law or some variation of the themes," he said.

“No attorney could remain an attorney if he or she ignored legal precedent. PR has none.

“Most of the techniques that are used in PR such as market research, identifying and surveying attitudes, creating a campaign and message, identifying target audiences, and implementing a campaign and message, are directed towards an unknown mass audience.

“This is contrary to everything that attorneys have learned and practiced,” said Suckenik.


CCG Investor Relations is working with Bermuda-based CRM Holdings as the workers’ compensation insurance company faces a $405 million civil suit from a New York state entity and possible civil charges from the state’s attorney general for unlawful practices.

The company said in statement Dec. 9 that Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, following a 19-month probe, intends to file civil claims against CRM and certain subsidiaries unless a settlement can be reach within five days. CRM, which has a Poughkeepsie-based unit, Compensation Risk Management, denies the allegations that it engaged in fraudulent practices in administering and marketing self-insurance trusts in connection with its initial public offering in 2005.

Los Angeles-based CCG partner Mark Collinson is handling the account.

Cuomo’s warning to CRM follows a civil lawsuit filed Dec. 9 in state supreme court by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board.

CRM also received word that it has until May to regain compliance or face delisting from the Nasdaq. CRM shares are currently around $0.31.


Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon has hired Rose & Allyn as an ABC affiliate in that Arizona city reported that the girlfriend and chief fundraiser of the recently divorced mayor has landed city contracts and appointments.

Jason Rose, president of the Scottsdale-based firm, has been defending the mayor’s actions and denied that Gordon had an extramarital affair with the fundraiser, Elissa Mullany. In a statement, Rose said that the mayor asked the city’s attorney about appointing Mullany to city commissions, which the attorney said was not in violation of any ordinance or law.


Internet Edition, December 16, 2009, Page 8




Tiger Woods is “flying the coop” and leaving an incredible trail of family and commercial wreckage in his wake.

No one can put a price on the pain suffered by wife Elin and their two children and the families of Tiger and Elin.

The monetary damage to valued trade names like Nike is incalculable. The Nike “swoosh” symbol, which Tiger had to display even when touting other products, could come to stand for obsessive tom-catting.

Hundreds of insiders including reporters knew of Tiger’s wanton ways years ago.

Among other things, this was a failure of the intelligence-gathering function of PR.

We believe Men’s Fitness editor Neal Boulton when he says the National Enquirer was onto the story in 2007.

There is such a gap these days between the press and PR that it’s possible that none of the nearly one dozen Tiger sponsors knew of his philandering.

PR pros were much more knowledgeable in past decades when they hobnobbed freely with reporters. Reporters know plenty that’s not quite ready for print or air time but will share with trusted PR pros.

There is so much corporate distrust of PR now that having a reporter as a known friend can be career-ending.

PR people for blue chips like Nike, Pepsi, Accenture and ATT should have warned their employers about Woods years ago.

Two schools are forming, one that says Tiger is finished as a corporate image tool and another that says, like Sports Illustrated, that people will forget and the “prying tabloids and websites” will eventually come to Tiger’s rescue “by replacing his scandal with someone else’s.”

What’s needed for starters are candid interviews by Tiger and contributions of mega-bucks to worthy causes.

The New York State Legislature is taking a lot of lumps these days.

New York Post columnist Andrea Peyser on Nov. 12 called the lawmakers “The Dumb, the Dumber, the Mentally Challenged, Morally Bankrupt and Outright Deranged—a collection of chowderheads, convicted criminals and impotent squirts whom we trust to run our state.”

She added: “To say state government is a circus is an insult to respectable clowns.”

Chiming in, NYP columnist Jacob Gershman on Nov. 25 called the legislature “bloated” with more than 2,700 employees while California’s legislature, twice the size, has 650 fewer employees.

Faced with a $3.5 billion shortfall, the New York lawmaking body can’t even control its own size, he wrote.

The one area where it shows restraint is ethics—spending only $160,000 last year on it.

The New York Times is no less a critic, headlining Dec. 9 that the legislature is “Indifferent, if Not Averse, to Ethics Rules.” Writing about the conviction of former Senate majority leader Joseph Bruno on two federal corruption charges, Danny Hakim said the state’s ethics laws “often enable corruption and even help conceal it from the public.”

The legislature “shields itself from disclosure rules that apply to the executive branch,” said Hakim. He noted that Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver works for Weitz & Luxenberg, “the giant Manhattan personal injury firm,” but that what Silver does at the firm has been “an Albany mystery.”

At the federal level, there is chronic failure to pass needed campaign finance reforms. The NYT headlined on page one Dec. 7 that Congressional junkets paid for by private groups continue for some lawmakers and even their families.

It’s hard to get a legislature to reform itself absent a full-scale public revolt.

The PR Society Assembly is thoroughly corrupt, undemocratic and dysfunctional and is incapable of reforming itself without member pressure or pressure from the PR community.

How bad is the Assembly?! It just passed a bylaw allowing proxy votes in which 56 proxy votes (22% of the total) were used. Proxy voting is a desecration under Robert’s Rules, which the Assembly pretends to follow.

But it’s a double desecration to use proxies to legitimize them.

At least half the delegates are APR which makes the Assembly unrepresentative of the 80% of members who are non-APR.

It’s no wonder the 2009 Assembly blocked a move to end the nearly 40-year monopoly APRs have on board and officer posts.

The bylaws revision process that PRS just went through was corrupt.

Ten of the 11 bylaws committee members were APR when only two APRs should have been on the panel.

Rank-and-file members were barred from submitting amendments, as advised by Robert’s. Only delegates could do so.

There were no face-to-face discussions of the proposed bylaws with rank-and-file members. Teleconferences and e-mails were used. Robert’s advises a series of meetings for a revision and never the regular annual meeting. The Assembly did its revision at the regular meeting at which 3.5 hours of the nine-hour day were eaten up by leader speeches and a 1.5-hour lunch.

Instead of each article being presented to the delegates, as advised by Robert’s, only those articles for which amendments were made were presented.

The Assembly blocked rank-and-file members from hearing a live audiocast of the Nov. 7 meeting that was billed as the most important in PRS’s history. It cost “thousands of hours” of members’ time and probably upwards of $200K. The 2008 legal bill was a record $110K. The 2009 conference then had live audiocasts of PRS leaders and speakers, showing how easy this would have been.

Members never get to know how their elected delegates vote and the complete list of delegates is available only to delegates and then only in the week before the Assembly.

As of 2005, when proxies were first used after a lengthy debate, the Assembly stopped giving out audiotapes or transcripts of its meetings.

Although delegates are aware that similar bodies for lawyers, doctors, CPAs and psychologists all have ultimate power over their boards of directors, the PRS delegates refuse to take up such responsibility.

We lay the blame for dysfunctional undemocratic PRS at the door of the Assembly. It has allowed PR to be unwelcome in its own house. Legal, financial, marketing and association cultures dominate at h.q. which has only two experienced PR pros on a staff of 55 or so.

As for interest in ethics, PRS only spent $2,317 on that in 2008 which was a decline from $4,360 spent in 2007. Total spending was $11.4M.

The only way this cycle of corruption can be ended is if chapter leaders step forward and wrest control of PRS from the board or if enough rank-and-file members protest.

Coverage of this mess by the NYT, Columbia Journalism Review and others would help but politics of one sort or another is at work here. Dirty politics.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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