The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, January 6, 2010, Page 1
SEEKS BREAST CANCER COMMS. HELP
National Institutes of Health has put out a feeler for agencies
as it considers how to disseminate information on breast
cancer research without causing a panic.
move by the NIHs Institute of Environmental Health
Science comes more than a month after a federal task force
sparked confusion and controversy by recommending women
start breast cancer screening at age 50, not at 40, as it
RFP could be issued as early as February 2010.
NIH has issued a sources sought notice calling
for firms or companies to indicate interest and capabilities
for helping the federal entity develop processes to provide
breast cancer research information to citizens without
inciting undue health concerns, according to the notice.
federal agency wants help in convening two or three panel
discussions of risk communication experts who would develop
messages to be disseminated via outlets like breast cancer
communications toolkits and local breast cancer organizations.
contract, which would begin in late September 2010 and run
two years with possible options, would be funded by the
federal stimulus law.
WS LANDS NEVADA CENSUS PACT
Minneapolis office beat seven firms to win a high-six-figure
contract to guide public outreach for the 2010 census in
WS teamed with Reno-based
The pact through April
2010 is worth $886,055, according to the contract, which
covers PR, social media, partnerships, PSAs and other outreach.
The Nevada Secretary of
State Ross Miller said in a statement that WS/Minneapolis
has extensive census experience. The Interpublic
unit is already working on a large federal contract for
the 2010 count.
Other bidders for the
Nevada pact were Katz & Associates (Sacramento, Calif.),
and in-state firms Faiss Foley Warren, WG Communications,
CLM Design Advertising and Interactive, Media Directions,
Glen Group, and Greg Mason Advertising.
R&R Partners of Las
Vegas handled the 2000 census marketing for Nevada, an effort
which improved its dismal 1990 response rate more than any
Several states have begun
assembling RFPs, conducting searches and awarding contracts
to educate the public about the federal count, which determines
distribution of about $400 billion in federal aid and congressional
representation, among other outcomes.
GM REVAMPS PA LINE-UP
General Motors has recruited
John Montford to take over government relations and global
public policy duties from Ken Cole, who joined the automaker
Montford served as president/external
affairs at Southwestern Bell and senior VP/state legislative
affairs at AT&T under Ed Whitacre, GMs CEO who
was brought in after the U.S. bailout of the automaker.
Montford was Texas Tech
Universitys first chancellor and CEO of the Lone Star
States university system before joining SWB. He also
served in the Texas Senate for 14 years.
Cole is to remain as an
advisor at GM until he retires later in 2010.
GM also has hired Bob
Ferguson from Public Strategies Inc. for the VP-government
relations post. He is another AT&T veteran.
Bails Out of GMAC
Toni Simonetti, chief
communications officer for financially troubled lender GMAC,
has moved to Medicaid health plan operator Centene Corp.
as senior VP of public affairs.
She is charged with leading
the companys newly aligned corporate marketing and
comms. unit and will develop an integrated PR plan for Centene
and its subsidiaries.
Simonetti, a former Detroit
journalist, was VP of comms. for GMAC before moving into
the CCO slot for the auto and mortgage lender, which is
getting another $3.8 billion from the U.S. Treasury (on
top of $12.5B previously) to boost the governments
stake to 56 percent.
Earlier, she was executive
director of media relations, financial and public policy
comms. for GM.
PRSA SHUTS MULTICULTURAL SECTION
PR Society leaders
announced just before the Holiday break that it was closing
the Multicultural section after 26 years because the 73
members (paying dues of $60) were far below the minimum
of 200 required for sections.
Also shut for the
same reason was the Corporate Social Responsibility Section.
The Travel and Food Sections were merged. Multicultural
memberships were shifted to the diversity committee of the
howled that they were not consulted about the dissolution
and complained that the diversity committee does not have
a vote in the Assembly.
(Continued on page 7)
Edition, January 6, 2010, Page 2
PULLS PLUG ON TIGER
has dropped embattled golfer Tiger Woods, according to a
statement from the telecom giant. We are ending our
sponsorship agreement with Tiger Woods and wish him well
in the future, said AT&T.
33-year-old golfer won the AT&T National tournament
this year at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, MD
and has served as its host since the event was created in
Tour spokesman Ty Votaw said that since Woods is on indefinite
leave from professional golf, he will not serve as host
for the 2010 AT&T National slated for Aronimink Country
Club outside Philadelphia June 29 to July 4.
Tiger Woods Foundation will continue to be the beneficiary
of the AT&T National, under a contract that runs through
2014, Votaw said.
joins Accenture in severing ties with Woods. Gillette and
Tag Heuer have scaled back sponsorships with Woods.
U.S. professors have estimated the loss to shareholders
of companies associated with Tiger at up to $12 billion.
University of California, Davis, economics professors Victor
Stango and Christopher Knittel studied the stock market
for 13 days after Woods crashed his car outside his Florida
home on November 27.
focused on nine sponsors: Accenture, American Express, AT&T,
Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf (Electronic Arts), Gillette, Nike,
Gatorade, TLC Laser Eye Centres and Golf Digest.
calculation is based on a comparison of returns for Woods
sponsors to those of the total stock market and of each
sponsor's closest competitor.
SHEFFER UPPED AT GE
Gary Sheffer, who joined
General Electric in 1999, is now one of its 190 corporate
The 49-year-old former
executive director of communications & PA has been promoted
to a VP slot. He handles global external/internal communications
and strategic PA for GE executives.
Sheffer spent 17 years
in journalism and government communications before joining
GE, which is represented by Edelman.
HAWAII TAPS OBAMA FOR PR
Spirit Media, an Oregon-based
ad/PR agency, trumpeted its Hawaii resort client as the
Winter White House as the First Family vacationed
at the Oahu retreat for the second time.
The Paradise Point Estates
got national exposure as the Obamas returned to the swank
resort for a 10-day retreat after first staying there in
The Obama Winter
White House overlooks spectacular views of Kailua Bay,
read press materials about the resort, also noting that
"young Barack and his grandfather would often make
the short trip to Kailua Beach to swim...
Hawaii's tourism entity,
Go Hawaii, also cashed in on its most famous tourist with
a section of its website tracking the president's activities
there. Photos depicting the president body-surfing, eating
shave ice with his kids and golfing are prominently featured.
UTAH SEEKS POLICE FEE PR PLAN
Utahs Salt Lake
County is seeking a PR firm for a year-long contract to
help smooth the implementation of a fee to pay for law enforcement
in the unincorporated county, which is facing an $11M budget
A decline in sales tax
revenue led to the police district covering the area to
move from a tax to a fee structure, which requires payments
from tax-exempt organizations like churches, as well.
The Salt Lake Tribune
has noted alternatives were to raise property taxes or lay
off police officers. The paper editorialized that the fee
is "unfortunate," but not unfair.
The public awareness effort
will be developed at the behest of the Salt Lake Unified
Police District, which funds local law enforcement in the
county. The fee, intended to raise $12.5M of the regions
$21.5M police tab, will be higher for those who place a
larger demand on law enforcement, the district said. It
would be about $175 per year on a single-family home.
The district wants a public
education and awareness campaign targeting fee payers. The
resulting contract will carry three year-long options.
ASBURY SHIFTS ACCOUNT TO PN
Asbury Automotive Group,
which is moving from New York to Atlanta and had 2008 revenues
of $4.6 billion, has wound down its work with RF|Binder.
Melissa Corey, manager
of PR and communications at Asbury, told ODwyers
that the company wanted to find a new agency with a strong
presence in the Atlanta market as it leaves the Big Apple.
Over the last few
months, we spoke with a number of local agencies, and explored
our options through a typical review process, she
PN/Atlanta took the PR
reins in January handling various aspects of its communications
from internal and customer comms. to media relations and
social media strategies. Brad MacAfee, partner and managing
director at PN, led the pitch team.
Publicly traded Asbury,
now based in Duluth, Ga., runs 81 retail auto centers covering
37 brands, mostly foreign.
SERBIA GETS IMAGE HELP
Picard Kentz & Rowe
has inked a $30K monthly pact to improve the image of Serbia
and to promote investment there.
The firm also is to play
matchmaker for Serbian and American companies looking for
business partners from the other state.
also calls for creating stronger ties between U.S. policymakers
and opinion leaders with the Socialist Party of Serbia,
which was founded by former stronger Slobodan Milosevic
who ruled Serbia from 1990 to 97. The SPS is currently
part of the coalition government.
is with the Agencija Za Konsalting Sigma Team Plus. The
engagement letter is signed by Edward Rowe, a PK&R partner
who has experience working in Serbias neighbor, Bosnia-Herzogovina.
Edition, January 6, 2010, Page 3
COMMS. SVP TO EXIT
Powell, senior VP of corporate communications for Turner
Broadcasting, will step down in early 2010 to take
a bit of a break.
43-year-old executive exits after six years as senior VP
at the Time Warner unit and has worked for the company since
the early 1990s. Based in Atlanta, she recently supervised
PR for the CNN News Group and the various Turner Entertainment
Group networks like TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network and, TCM.
replacement has not yet been named. Executive VP Kelly Regal,
to whom Powell reported, will oversee communications during
a transition period.
Los Angeles Times has noted a key part of Powells
role has been to keep Turner Broadcasting CEO Phil Kent
described as "something of a recluse when it
comes to media" out of the press.
previously held posts at Disney and NBC.
AGE BRINGS NEW FOCUS ON EPKs
press kits, the digital form of traditional media releases,
have dropped in cost with advances in technology, but PR
pros need to follow protocol to use them effectively, according
to a Dec. 10 Entertainment Publicists Professional Society
costs really depend upon the distributor and what their
resources are as they can run from a couple of thousand
dollars to 150K, said David Naylor, president, The
DVD Group. The notification of movie distribution
comes partly from studios, the EPK vendor and the publicists
themselves. It is more profitable to have everything in
one group getting a better bang for your buck.
the '80s and '90s, EPKs were expensive and satellite feeds
didn't work well. Today instead of mailing a hard copy of
video content, many upload to a server.
first piece for the movie Cujo (1983 Steven
King thriller) cost Warner Bros $25,000, said Reba
Merrill of Reba Merrill Associates, an Emmy award-winning
producer. Three movies she worked on in the old days cost
$130,000 and generated a profit of $13,000. It was
mass appeal, I did four pieces and I got $40,000,
says what has changed are the distribution and formats,
thanks to the digital age. Snail mail with postage cards
and video tapes have been replaced by online marketing and
Im working with someone who's got a literary property
and theyre trying to promote the author and the book,
we're working in concert with notification and distribution
teams to promote both, said Rod Dovlin, The Cannery.
everyone still loves to see their properties end up on big
syndicated TV shows like Extra, Access
[Hollywood] and Entertainment Tonight,
said Naylor. But certain people, like my video game
producer, want [for example, his] skateboarding video on
ESPN not on ET.
panelists agreed that a piece should run from one to three
minutes on the web. It may go up to five minutes if the
material highlights a specific part of the film, an interview
with the director or a very big stunt.
know there are social networks that have groups that deal
more with various aspects of it, said Dovlin. I
just did a mixed martial arts film, and most of my marketing
and outreach was getting it to these sites people never
think the more you try to push and deliver goods that really
look like youre trying to really push, that movie
can be rejected, said Mark Herzog, president/CEO,
Product Entertainment. "Word of mouth spread is what
you really want out of social networking."
verdict is still out on format changes behind the scenes,
too. Im more concerned about getting the best
footage I can for an EPK, said Brian Dzyak, EPK Cameraman
and author of What I Really Want To Do On Set In Hollywood.
still using HD cameras and mixing managing media on the
set, which isnt the best method, but the bigger challenge
is managing the media afterwards, said Dzyak.
management on the set can be a real problem, because sometimes
the cameras used are better quality than the movie cameras,
said producer Craig Byrd, Mobscene Creative + Productions.
The idea for us is to shoot the best possible quality
that we can. If the EPK was shot on standard def because
the client wanted to save money, it can come back to bite
you if you have to distribute the EPK in high def. That's
why as an agency we try to sit down and look at every possible
EPPS event was sponsored by the International Cinematographers
Union Local 600 in Hollywood.
TUNES IN CITADEL
Verbinnen & Co. is advising Citadel Broadcasting, the
nation's largest "pure play" radio company, as
it works through Chapter 11 under a crushing $2.1B debt
Las Vegas-based company syndicates Don Imus' program and
owns 165 FM and 58 AM stations, including WABC in New York
and WLS in Chicago.
reports that it has agreed with more than 60 percent of
its lenders on a financial restructuring that would cover
$1.4B in debt.
Suleman, CEO, says he looks forward to working with the
remaining lenders to "ensure a complete and expeditious
restructuring." He promises business "will continue
as usual and the company will work to emerge from the restructuring
process as quickly as possible."
says revenues have been hurt by a sharp drop in advertising
from the auto, banking and restaurants sectors. U.S. radio
advertising will hit $17.4B in `09, down from $19.2B in
is the country's No. 3 radio company, behind Clear Channel
and CBS. It provides programming to 4,400 affiliates.
news continued on next page)
Edition, January 6, 2010, Page 4
NEWS RANKS TOPS IN SUNSHINE STATE
percent of Floridians consider TV their primary source of
news, according to a poll conducted for Ron Sachs Communications.
still top online as the No. 2 source of news by a 20 percent
to 16 percent margin. That balance of power is shifting
as the senior market (65 and older) is the most dependent
on newsprint for information. Thirty-two percent of seniors
report newspapers as primary info source vs. 10.7 percent
of Floridians aged 18 to 34. Nearly eight-in-ten (79 percent)
of seniors read a paper every day compared to a third of
younger people polled.
enjoys strong support across all age groups. Fifty-four
percent of seniors, 60 percent of people aged 50 to 64,
58 percent of respondents aged 35 to 49 and 52 percent of
people aged 18 to 34 say TV is their primary source of info.
poll shows television is still king of media,
said Michelle Ubben, COO at RSC. Moreover, its reign
appears likely to last several more decades as its dominance
spans all age groups.
Polling & Research conducted the survey of 625 Floridians
in early November. The poll found that more than half (55
percent) of young Floridians have a Facebook page. Thirty
percent of the respondents overall do Facebook.
percent of respondents go to YouTube, four percent are on
the LinkedIn networking site, three percent Tweet and two
percent use the Flickr photo-sharing site.
PRESS HIT BY WASH. POST COLUMNIST
Media columnist Howard
Kurtz of the Washington Post, reviewing media news
of the past decade, said credibility in the media took a
sharp dive south as reporting failed in the crucial tests
of the Iraq war and housing bubble.
He called these the
two biggest disasters of early-21st century press coverage.
Media failed to
challenge the Bush Administrations case for invading
Iraq and after cheerleading the tech bubble
fell way short on the housing and lending bubble,
were fostered for President Obama which inevitably
crashed into the messy reality of governing, he noted.
Major media boo-boos included
the breathtaking fabrications of Jayson Blair at the
New York Times and Jack Kelley at USA Today.
Media bias was revealed
in the prime time parade of Republican lawmakers and
commentators on Fox while Democratic lawmakers had
MSNBC as their turf.
What Kurtz does like is
the huge storehouses of knowledge that are available
at the click of a mouse and striking observations
about the news, zingers in ongoing debates, and perhaps
a funny line or two via Twitter, Facebook and other
places in Blogville.
Media, he notes, must
figure out how to get people to pay for what we produce
rather than Googling it for free.
Low, Dishonest Decade
Tricking the public was
a major occupation of both the government and business in
the past ten years, argued Wall Street Journal columnist
Thomas Frank on Dec. 23.
Ensuring that the
public failed to get it, he wrote, was the common
theme of at least three of the decades signature foul-ups:
the hyping of tech stocks by Wall Street analysts; the accounting
scandals of 2002, and the triple-A ratings given to mortgage-backed
sabotaged and their agencies turned over to the regulated,
said Frank, arguing that the press and politicians
were asleep at the switch.
He singled out Citibanks
long struggle against the Glass-Steagall Act
whose erasure paved the way for the banks financial
Glass-Steagall was overturned
in 1999 at a cost of $300 million in lobbying fees, economist
Joseph Stiglitz has estimated.
The problem was
not so much that newspapers were dying, he said, but
that they failed to do their job in the first place, to
scrutinize the myths in a way that might have prevented
the catastrophes like the financial crisis or the Iraq war.
He fears banks are being
bailed out while not being subjected to new
D.C. JOURNO ANDERSON TO PODESTA
John Ward Anderson, contributing
editor at Politico, will move to Podesta Group in D.C. in
January as a principal.
Anderson will handle PR
and media strategies, in addition to helping the firm started
by former White House chief of staff John Podesta and his
brother, Tony, in 1988 grow internationally.
Anderson was a 27-year
veteran of the Washington Post before moving to Politico.
At the Post, he started out as night secretary and eventually
became of foreign correspondent for 6 years, including a
stint as Paris bureau chief and postings in Iraq, India,
Mexico, Turkey and Israel.
His wife, Molly Moore,
is a former Post reporter and is a senior VP at D.C. PR
agency Sanderson Strategies Group.
Tony Podesta heads PG.
NEWSWEEK SELLS BUDGET TRAVEL
Newsweek said Dec.
17 that it has inked a deal with Fletcher Asset Management
to sell Budget Travel magazine.
Newsweek, part of The
Washington Post Co., acquired BT in 1999. Financial terms
of the deal were not disclosed.
Under the pact, Fletcher
will support the current management team responsible for
the day-to-day operation of magazine and website. Newsweek
said the firm has indicated that it intends to keep essentially
all of Budget Travels employees.
:We are delighted that
under the ownership of Fletcher, Budget Travel's legacy
will carry on and its staff will continue to do their great
work, said Tom Ascheim, CEO, Newsweek.
Edition, January 6,
2010, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
WINS ART MUSEUM RFP
Schroeder Associates edged three firms in an RFP process
to raise the national and global visibility of the Samuel
P. Horn Museum of Art in Gainesville, Fla.
Hammond & Associates, CKG Indi PR and Stuck in My Head
Media also pitched.
budget is just under $70K with another $50K set aside for
museum is owned by the Univ. of Florida and marks its 20th
year in 2010. It is planning to open a 26K-square-foot Asian
art wing in 2011.
HOUSTON COUNCIL TAPS 4 FIRMS
Area Council, the planning entity for 13 counties on Texas
Gulf coast, has tapped a quartet of firms to share in its
$375K budget for PR in 2010.
The council issued an
RFP in October to give out two-year PR contracts each carrying
two option years for work ranging from logo design and Internet
marketing to media relations and press release writing.
KGB Texas, EC Productions,
Tribe Creative Agency and BQR emerged from a field of 24
Other firms that pitched
included Pierpont Communications, Naumann Blanchard, Vollmer
PR and Allyn Media, among others.
EX-GIULIANI AIDES BACK RIVAL
NLO Strategies, the New
York firm of Rudy Giulianis former communications
director and legislative aide, is touting Erie County Executive
Chris Collins for a potential Republican bid for governor
of the Empire State.
Giuliani decided not to
run earlier this month, throwing his support behind Rep.
Rick Lazio, a Long Island Congressman and former senate
candidate who was handily defeated by Hillary Clinton in
NLO, formerly Nicholas
& Lence Comms., is led by George Lence and Christyne
Nicholas. The latter was president and CEO of NYC &
Company, the Big Apples tourism company, and served
as communications director for Giuliani when he was mayor.
Lence was a lobbyist for Giuliani who worked with Nicholas
at NYC & Co. Bill OReilly, a former Linden Alschuler
& Kaplan VP, and Jessica Proud, ex-deputy director of
PA for the New York State Senate majoritys office,
round out the NLO team.
is driving the proposed takeover of Ford Motors Volvo
Car unit by the fast-growing Zhejiang Geely Holding Co.
of China. Geely emerged as Fords preferred bidder
in October, and the partners expect to have an official
agreement in place during the first quarter of 2010. Brunswick
partners Tim Burt (London) and Anders Fogel (Stockholm)
work the Geely business. ...The
PR Global Network has added new member firms in Toronto
and Germany to its ranks, which now total 40. The additions
include Frankfurt-based cometis AG, a nine-year-old financial
and corporate comms. shop, and Toronto-based PR firm Fantail
PR & Marketing, New York/Seedco Financial Services,
national non-profit funding and providing tech support for
small businesses in underserved communities, as AOR for
Leedy & Associates, Mount Kisco, N.Y./Cotys,
for PR and social media rollout for the launch of its Jovan
fragrance brand for men and women, and Pedia-Lax, for PR/SM
to support its dietary fiber supplement for kids, Fiber
Westport, Conn./Seneca Foods Corp., canned produce, for
shareholder communications support.
Butler & Clark, Wilmington, Del./Nixon Uniform
Service & Medical Wear, medical apparel, linens and
other products, for a web redesign; Omega Medical Center,
occupational health services, for web development, and Radian
Group, mortgage insurer, for print collateral and online
Marketing PR, Baltimore, Md./The Classic Catering
People, caterer serving D.C./Baltimore area, for a PR and
social media campaign.
Communications, Falls Church, Va./Big Picture Learning,
for public affairs for the high school redesign company;
National Cable Television Association, for strategic planning
for its Cable in the Classroom program, and the Univ. of
Colorado at Boulder, as AOR for its Public Interest Center
in partnership with Arizona State Universitys Education
Policy Research Unit.
Atlanta/HD Supply, wholesale distributor, for internal comms.;
Men Stopping Violence, for marketing, PR, social media planning
for 2010, and infinitee, ad agency, for media relations,
content creation and social media.
Boca Raton, Fla./Gold Solutions Marketing, for introduction
of credit cards backed by gold bullion under the Visa or
MasterCard brand. CardWorks is the credit card service company
managing the cards and will be included in the campaign.
| PR, Glenview, Ill./QuamTel, Dallas-based telecomms.
technologies, to manage PR. Subsidiaries include DataJack
Marketing Group, Birmingham, Mich./ALTe, electric
vehicle powertrain supplier, for PR. The system is designed
to retrofit V-8-powered vehicles to boost fuel efficiency.
& Finco PR, Green Bay, Wisc./Recoveron Restoration
Services, commercial and residential property restoration
from incidents like fire, water and mold, for PR.
Group, Minneapolis/CaringBridge, non-profit providing
free websites to link families during a serious health event,
and LOGIS/Local Government Information Systems, consortium
of local govt units sharing tech services, both for
Street Communications, Salt Lake City/NOA Audio Solutions,
for PR to develop and maintain a trade press presence for
the audio archiving company in broadcast, government and
Edition, January 6, 2010, Page 6
Partners acted as financial advisor to Triad Digital Media
as it secured significant growth capital from
M&A advisory firm also counseled Monitor Group in its
Dec. 4 sale of its Strategic Oxygen research unit to Forrester
Triad deal was announced Dec. 3.
manages digital advertising and other content for large
retailers and e-commerce sites for their portals, including
Walmart.com and CVS.com.
terms of both deals were not disclosed.
said the Forrester deal particularly is an example of strategic
buyers returning to the market.
ZOCALO CREATES RECOMMENDATION
Group research and measurement unit has developed Recommendation
Index to gauge which brands are most recommended across
a varierty of consumer word of mouth activity.
Zocalo says that unlike
other metrics that only ask Would you recommend this
brand? the new index attempts to gauge why, where
and how often brands are suggested and how they compare
to others in the same category.
Once marketers truly
understand why and how brands recommended in their category,
they can adjust their messaging, communications and
even their operations to ensure that they become
and stay the most recommended, said Zocalo president/CEO
The index ranks recommended
brands positively and negatively and creates a score to
compare brands of similar categories.
The RI initially focuses
on the casual dining sector noting the top brands are California
Pizza Kitchen, Texas Roadhouse, Outback Steakhouse, Applebees
and the Cheesecake Factory.
Wire said it has enhanced its global distribution
platform to include a wider range of mobile outlets and
increased measurement reporting. The new features took effect
on Jan. 4. The company said an expansive deal
for mobile distribution with a major worldwide news organization
is set to be announced in the first quarter. It already
has deals with AP Mobile, Viigo, Yahoo Finance! Mobile,
Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters and others.
Thurs., Jan. 21 -- PRSA/Georgia luncheon, H1N1 and
the Inside Communications Story," 11:30 p.m., Maggianos
Cumberland, 1601 Cumberland Mall S.E., Atlanta; panel discussion
with representatives from CDC; Gwinnett County, Georgias
largest school district; and Childrens Healthcare
of Atlanta, outlining best practices of communications for
the flu epidemic. Info: prsageorgia.org.
20-22 -- True Spin: A National Conference on Media
Relations for Progressives, Curtis Hotel, 1405 Curtis
St., Denver, Colo. PR practitioners from progressive advocacy
groups around the country gather for two days of panels,
practical workshops, and networking. Info: truespinconference.com.
McCook has returned to Rubenstein PR, New York, as
senior VP. He had been at Burson-Marsteller working on the
Transition Optical account and doing media relations training.
At Rubenstein, McCook will handle the Simon Wiesenthal Center,
City Harvest (food rescue program), Florisity Floral Designs
and Timothy Chase, a cosmetic dentist. He was previously
at RPR for eight years and did stints at Hill & Knowlton
and Cairns + Assocs.
Johnston, a marketing exec for Nortel and Sprint,
to Capstrat, Raleigh, N.C., as VP and A/D.
Gagnier, former chief of staff for Quebec Premier
Jean Charest, to Hill & Knowlton Canada, as part of
its KHDP group of consultants in Quebec.
Rabiner, who handled business development for Business
Wire in British Columbia, to Red Metal Resources, Thunder
Bay, Ontario, as director of corporate communications.
Kennedy, a media relations staffer for the Minnesota
Twins, to the Milwaukee Iron, Arena Football team, as director
of media services. He was previously with Potawatomi Racing.
OShea, A/S, G.S. Schwartz & Co., to Duffy
& Shanley, Providence, R.I., as a senior A/E. She was
previously an A/E at RLM PR.
Mechem to VP of public affairs, Mortgage Bankers
Association, Washington, D.C. He joined in 2006 from the
American Forest & Paper Assn. Michael
Sorohan, director of electronic comms. for the MBA,
was named associate VP.
Teagarden to VP, Jetstream PR, Dallas. She joined
in 2004 and was dubbed a pillar of the firm
by president and founder Tony Katsulos. Teagarden handles
healthcare and tech clients.
Seiden to VP, global corporate communications, The
Estee Lauder Companies, New York. She joined the company
in 2001 handling its Aramis and designer frangrances. Seidens
duties include comms. strategy, leading its breast cancer
awareness campaign, comms. of Leonard and Evelyn Lauder,
and social/digital media efforts.
Pinkham to head of corporate affairs and communicatins
in North America, Ericsson, based in Washington, D.C. He
was head of global investor and analyst relations. The telecom
has tripled its NA staff since early 2009 to more than 14,500
employees following its acquisition of Nortel and other
Bratina to VP, Volkswagen Group corporate comms.
and Volkswagen brand communications. She had been director
of corporate comms. and is a former comms. director for
Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida. Anna-Maria
Schneider was upped to VP, industry and govt
Alpay, director, IR, Medidata Solutions; Mary
Beth Kissane, principal, Walek & Associates;
director, IR, Interactive Data Corp., and Michelle
Levine Schwartz, director, IR, JDSU, to four-year
board directors of the National Investor Relations Institute.
Edition, January 6, 2010, Page 7
SHUTS MULTICULTURAL UNIT
Yann, VP-PR of PRS, who called one member ignorant
and irresponsible after the member said PRS
was going back to the 1800s, said the Multicultural
section had been given warnings two years ago.
Allen, of Revolucion, New York, Hispanic brand communications
firm, co-chair of the executive committee of the section,
said in a statement: On the eve of 2010, what organization
would scrap its multicultural initiatives? What's next on
the chopping block? That silly social media thingy?
who posted more than 20 times on Twitter blasted leaders
and staff for announcing the decision just before the staff
took an 11-day break from Dec. 24, 2009 to Jan. 4, 2010,
leaving no way to reach the staff until Jan. 4. Bloggers
said that there was no mention of the possible closing of
the section at the section council meeting at the conference
in San Diego in early November and that section leaders
were told on Nov. 18 in a teleconference that its membership
numbers were on par with those of other sections.
said, If their social media section were down a couple
of members, would they tell them the day before their office
was closed for two weeks for the holiday after 26 years
Disabilities Now Included
CEO Bill Murray said Dec. 22, that the definition of "diversity"
is being expanded to include not only racial, ethnic
and cultural diversity, but the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual
and transsexual community and individuals with physical
disabilities, all of whom can be better accommodated and
served under a single umbrella.
note: the staff and leaders of PRS refused three requests
for better seating arrangements or use of earphones which
were made by editor Jack O'Dwyer of this NL at the Assembly
Nov. 7 and the opening conference session Nov. 8 featuring
Arianna Huffington. ODwyer said he has a hearing loss
and was unable to hear much of the proceedings. With assistance
of several organizations, including the National Assn. of
the Deaf, ODwyer is exploring whether PRS violated
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Title
III covers hotels, theaters and other public places and
non-profit as well as for-profit organizations. It says
that efforts must be made to accommodate handicaps of any
type. Those who are hard-of-hearing must be given "assistive
hearing devices" or other aid of their own choosing
as long as it is not financially prohibitive. ODwyer
asked to sit up front or use available earphones].
Corporate Social Responsibility Section is now a Council
of Experts without a vote in the Assembly. Its library
will be available free to all members, said Murray.
PRS nominating committee this year rejected an attempt by
Washington, D.C., counselor Ofield Dukes to become an at-large
would have been the only African-American on the 17-member
board and only the second African-American male on the board
in 63 years.
McCormick, 2010 chair, has appointed Dukes and Wynona Redmond,
former president, National Black PR Society, Chicago, as
non-voting "senior counsels" to the board.
discussions have been held with Ivette Zurita of the
Hispanic PR Society to develop initiatives, he said.
Miller and Cheryl Procter-Rogers are the only African-American
women to serve on the PRS board. Ron Owens of Kaiser-Permanente
was elected to a three-year term in 2004 but quit after
nomcom headed by Rhoda Weiss picked Barbara Whitman, Honolulu
counselor, instead of Dukes. Weiss has spent much time in
Hawaii working for St. Josephs Hospice.
York counselor Michael Paul, who blasted the all-white PRS
board earlier this year, had tried to set up a meeting with
PRS staffers and officers but this was rejected.
LOW PRIORITY FOR
DIVERSITY AT PRS
A 2008 survey by the PR
Society found that members give a very low priority
to diversity issues, Lynn Appelbaum, national board liaison
to the diversity committee, said in a statement on the PRS
website Dec. 23.
Appelbaum, associate professor,
advertising and PR program director, City College of New
York, said the 73 section members paying the annual fee
of $60 was far below the 200 minimum.
The board concluded
that a committee would be more effective at reaching more
Society members on multicultural topics than continuing
the section, she said.
Chair of the diversity
committee is Sonia Sroka, VP of Hispanic marketing, Porter
Novelli, New York.
Vice chair is Joseph Carleo,
executive producer, Advanced Language and Media Services,
Sharp criticism greeted
the end-of-the-year move including a Twitter post by Prof.
Richard D. Waters of North Carolina State University that
said, Taking voting away from minorities/multicultural
members sounds just like the 1800s.
Other Twitter posts, among
20, complained that the Multicultural Section had no chance
to defend itself-the decision was presented to it as a fait
accompli just as the PRS h.q. staff was shutting down for
11 days until Jan. 4.
Estimates are that only
a few dozen African-American and Hispanic PR pros are among
the Society's 21,000 members.
Veteran members say that
with multiculturals making up less than one percent of members,
PRS leaders are involved in wishful thinking and false promises
when they talk about paying more attention to minorities
and other diverse groups.
This is like all
their talk about the Strategic Plan, APR, bylaws revision,
advocacy and ethics that goes nowhere and is just time-wasting
hot air, said a senior member.
More than 1,000 black
PR pros are in the National Black PR Society and local black
PR groups in cities including New York, Chicago, Atlanta,
Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
Edition, January 6, 2010,
no doubt that what they are now
calling The Great Recession is largely due to
a lack of transparency in financial dealings.
movements of money including gambling large sums without
adequate back-up helped to inflate the financial bubble.
was the Decade of Hype in which expectations
about lots of things including housing prices and even President
Obama were raised beyond practical levels.
the victims of this imbalance, suffering in terms of lost
jobs, lost homes and lost educations like everyone else,
are none other than PR people.
in the industry of hype appear to outnumber those in the
newsgathering industry. Certainly, those in the former are
paid more than those in the latter.
now, bankers, brokerage houses and accountants are battling
full exposure of off-balance sheet entries as well as trading
in derivatives and other dangerous financial instruments.
public is getting little for its trillion-dollar bailout
of banks and others. The financial industry spent $300 million
in overturning Glass-Steagall in 1999 and shows no signs
of wanting it back. Citigroup led the march on that economic
safeguard, instituted after the 1929 debacle.
Frank Rich of the New York Times, Howard Kurtz
of the Washington Post and Thomas Frank of the Wall
Street Journal did a good job in the past few days of
dissecting what Frank called, A low, dishonest decade.
Rich saw Tiger Woods as
the Person of the Year because he typified the
decades flimflams including the run-up
to the Iraq war and the overheated housing market.
Kurtz echoed Rich in saying
permanent stains on journalism are its failure
to challenge the falsehoods about Iraq and failure to unmask
banks imprudent and quickly off-loaded housing loans.
Media credibility took
a sharp dive downward, wrote Kurtz. Pew Research found only
29% of Americans feel media report accurately, down from
55% in 1985.
double whammy of hype and stonewalling hit the economy.
NYT columnist Floyd Norris
said CPAs let the nation down by allowing off-book cubbyholes
to hide debt and that politics at the U.S. and international
Financial Accounting Standards Boards is blocking reform.
Vanity Fair editor
Graydon Carter said a few hundred bankers are guilty of
what may well turn out to be the greatest nonviolent
crime against humanity in history.
Looking back on our 40
years of covering PR, its easy to discern a complete
flip-flop in the attitude of PR pros to the press-from enthusiastic
help and cooperation to cold, resistant, officious behavior.
Hard sell replaced soft sell.
PR has become marketing
and hype, which organizations need to prosper, but has pulled
back on its duty of helping the press to cover topics in
Democracy runs on good
information and the info pipelines have become clogged by
lawyers, marketers, financiers and association people who
are not keen about public discussion and debate.
group with the gold-plated PR name is the Public
Relations Society of America. This name has both PR in it
and America and many PR pros see this as a desirable thing
on their resumes.
In most cases, their employers
are paying the tab so they don't much care what goes on
at the Society.
However, do we find examples
of openness and transparency at this Society? Cooperation
with the press? Regular press conferences? Regular meetings
of officers and staff with rank-and-file members? Complete
and timely financial reporting? Broadcasting of the annual
Assembly to members? Providing a transcript of that Assembly
to members? No!
Only three PR
people are allowed among the 55 or so staffers and the three
are kept under lock and key. PR is unwelcome in its own
new board is headed by Gary McCormick of the HGTV unit
of Scripps Networks Interactive, a spin-off from Scripps
However, McCormick now
has his hands full as Cablevision of New York has refused
to pay a 300% hike in fees for Scripps HGTV and the Food
Network. This points up the need for at least a half dozen
senior PR pros working at headquarters.
Scripps has the most elaborate
ethics code of any journalistic enterprise in the U.S. It
promises Compassion, Courage, Excellence,
Fairness, Integrity and Respect.
Employees go through an
ethics lecture that sounds like a Bible-belt revival.
Sports editor Nick Gholson
of the Wichita Falls Times Record News on Nov. 10,
2006 wrote of sitting through a three-hour ethics
presentation that had him walking out the door
singing, Glory, glory, hallelujah, His truth is marching
on. Sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me.
Gholson concluded that
the session was inspirational but all we really needed
was the Golden Rule.
of leading the march for more transparency by practicing
it itself, the 100 or so people who have taken control of
PRS (we find it hard to use the A standing for
America) are steeped in secrecy and undemocratic practices.
An example is its insistence
on doing something about diversity (page one
This takes the form of
naming new people to committees and seeking outreach with
black and Hispanic groups.
But probably less than
one percent of PRS members are minorities and this is not
likely to change given the $290 first year membership fee
and $225 yearly after that. Black and Hispanic groups are
typically $50 a year so this initiative is going nowhere.
The Society, not realizing
what it was doing, got African-American counselor Ofield
Dukes to be a non-voting (?!) member of the board after
the nomcom headed by Rhoda Weiss picked Barbara Whitman
to be at-large director over Dukes.
Dukes at first turned
down McCormick's invitation to sit in the back-of-the-bus
of the board.
Dukes no doubt realized
the image of a black not having a vote was nothing short
We advise Whitman to step
down and let Dukes be the voting member.
PRS will not like it if
national media get on its case for depriving a black of
The rejoinder we get from
Society leaders is that it's better to be part of a group
you criticize than be on the outside and unable to make
Okay, so why dont
U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan join the Taliban where they
can be more influential? Why dont Republicans join
the Democratic party and vice versa. Joining a group is
not the only way to reform it.