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Internet Edition, January 20, 2010, Page 1


Santa Fe’s Convention and Visitors Bureau is reviewing its PR contract via an RFP process through the end of January as the city marks its 400th anniversary in 2010.

The RFP, released Jan. 5, calls for a PR firm with strong B2B and B2C experience with governments or destination marketing entities to help the region boost visitor travel and make it a 12-month destination.

The work covers all media inquiries, press release writing, generation of editorial coverage with an advertising equivalency of $2M, recruit and assist a minimum of 50 writers with story ideas and other information, social media, and media tours and other tactics.

An eight-member committee of CVB officials, hospitality business owners and a procurement official will evaluate pitches. An in-state/local preference goes into effect when firms are within five percent of low bids received from out-of-state firms. RFP:


Paul Johnson, who was vice chair at Fleishman-Hillard, has joined National Strategies in Washington as president of its PA and strategic communications unit.

A more than 20-year veteran of F-H, Johnson headed the Omnicom-owned firm’s mid-Atlantic region and handled acquisitions such as Strat@comm, R. Duffy Wall, Vox Global Mandate and GMMB.

NSI counsels clients on procurement, PA, legislative and regulatory processes at federal, state and local levels. It has offices in Atlanta, Tallahassee, Albany, New York and Brussels. The firm says it generated more than $7.3B in new revenues and passed or blocked dozens of bills for its clients.

Pegasus Capital Advisors, which manages $1.8B in assets, is a major investor in NSI.


Jill Hazelbaker, who led communications for Sen. John McCain’s presidential bid, has joined Google in a top communications role.

Hazelbaker is a veteran Republican comms. operative having worked for Tom Kean Jr.’s unsuccessful 2006 Senate bid in New Jersey, Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s recent re-election, and she worked at Omnicom’s Mercury Public Affairs unit, as well.

She started out as New Hampshire comms. director for McCain in late 2006 and was promoted in mid-2007.


Fahlgren Inc. has acquired Edward Howard & Co, the Cleveland-based shop founded in 1925. The combined Fahlgren Mortine PR and EH & Co. will have more than 60 staffers and revenues of about $10M, according to the firms. The partners have had on and off merger talks for several years.

Neil Mortine, president of FMPR, will head the merged firm. Kathy Cupper Obert, who was CEO of EH & Co., becomes president of EH, which will keep its name.

Mortine says the deal was made as the economy is poised for a rebound. He sees "increased demand for PR partners that can deliver cost-effective, responsible and measurable communications services."

The bulked up firm is headquartered in Columbus with offices in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton, Toledo, Atlanta, Denver, Fort Lauderdale and Parkersburg (W. Va).


Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer handled the roll-out of baseball slugger's Mark McGwire's confession that he used steroids during the `90s, including the summer of `98 when he shattered Roger Maris' single-season home run record as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.

New York-based Ari Fleischer Sports Communications helped McGwire break the news on the Associated Press and then follow-up interviews with USA Today, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, ESPN, New York Times and MLB Network.

McGwire's admission follows his 2005 Congressional testimony in which he refused to talk about past steroid use. That refusal was based on the advice of legal counsel who failed to gain a grant of immunity for the slugger, McGwire now says.

Fleischer’s firm counts Major League Baseball as a client.


By Jack O’Dwyer

Citing lack of a “budget” for it, PR Society chair Gary McCormick said PRS will not produce a transcript of the 2009 Assembly.

This is the first time in decades that such a transcript has not been produced.

Both transcripts and audiotapes of Assemblies were made available to press and others until 2005.

Many of the delegates who spoke at the Nov. 7 Assembly could not be heard because they did not speak closely enough to the microphones.

(Continued on page 7)


Internet Edition, January 20, 2010, Page 2


Atomic PR has picked up the Polaroid business and is charged with handling the rebirth of the instant photography company for the digital age.

Atomic co-founder Andy Getsey told O’Dwyer’s that Polaroid is a “large scale program” including strategy, messaging/positioning, social media, celebrity tie-in, massive media blitz, events and video.

He declined to give the size of the budget but said it is “among Atomic’s largest budgets to date.”

The San Francisco-based shop recently snared the Intuit business, as well.

Atomic’s Polaroid program kicked off at this month’s Consumer Electronic Show with news that recording artist Lady Gaga (“Paparazzi,” “Just Dance”) is serving as creative director for a new line of Polaroid specialty imaging products to launch this year. She’s sold more than eight million copies of her debut album and more than 35M singles.

At the Las Vegas show, Polaroid also demonstrated an array of digital products along with the return of its classic but updated “Polaroid OneStep” film camera.

Getsey says he’s juiced about working for a “cultural icon like Polaroid” and having a “hand in creating the next chapter in its future.”

Jon Pollock, COO at Polaroid, says the company picked Atomic for its “track record in bringing aggressive start-up style energy to sizable brands.”


Credit Suisse, the Swiss banking giant that has taken some press hits over the past month, has brought in a former CNBC chief in the new post of chief talent, branding and communications officer.

Pamela Thomas-Graham, former CEO and chairman of CNBC; group pres., Liz Claiborne; partner, McKinsey & Co., and managing director at Angelo, Gordon & Co., took the reins on the new post Jan. 11 overseeing HR, corporate comms., corporate branding and advertising. Charles Naylor, who heads corporate comms. and branding at CS, continues in that role.

Earlier this month, the bank was slapped with a $24 billion federal lawsuit accusing it of doling out predatory loans to investors in four swank resorts.

In December, the bank agreed to pay a $536M settlement after a three-year joint probe by New York and the Dept. of Justice found the bank helped clients in rogue states like Iran, Sudan, Libya and Cuba access U.S. currency while avoiding authorities.

The bank said such operations were halted in 2005 and it closed its Tehran office in 2007.

The Zurich-based bank said Thomas-Graham’s appointment links its image with its workforce.


New York-based entertainment and lifestyle firm Dera, Roslan & Campion is working to blunt criticism of evangelist Pat Robertson, who said last week that Haiti suffered from a devastating earthquake because the country is cursed and made a deal with the devil.

Speaking on his “700 Club” TV program, Robertson said Haitians vowed to serve the devil if he freed them from French colonial rule. “True story,” he said. “And so, the devil said, 'Okay, it's a deal.”

The remarks have been widely criticized.

Chris Roslan, a partner at DR&C, told O’Dwyer’s that Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network, CBN, has been a client of the firm for several years.

“If you watch the entire video segment, Dr. Robertson’s compassion for the people of Haiti is clear," Roslan said in a statement, adding that Robertson’s “humanitarian arm” has sent a shipment of medications and disaster team leaders. Roslan said Robertson’s comments were based on a “widely-discussed” 1791 slave rebellion in Haiti, where slaves allegedly made a pact with the devil in exchange for victory over the French.

“This history, combined with the horrible state of the country, has led countless scholars and religious figures over the centuries to believe the country is cursed,” Roslan said.

Twenty-two-year-old DR&C is headed by former Rogers & Cowan executive VP Joseph Dera.


The Yeatman, a luxury hotel set to open June in Portugal's wine country, is looking for a PR firm to generate awareness and create a buzz.

It boasts of Portugal’s first “enogastronomic” restaurant, a place that features local produce. The 14 suite and 68 room-each equipped with a terrace offering a panoramic view, facility--is located in Oporto, a world heritage city.

The Yeatman is a property of the Fladgate Partnership, producer of Taylor’s Port.

The RFP names luxury/lifestyle, wine, gastronomy, spa & well-being, extraordinary travelling and travel trade as its “target motivations.”

The U.S., Canada, Brazil, U.K., Germany, France, Spain and Portugal are the hotel’s “strategic markets.”

André Novaes ([email protected]) is point of contact.


Su-Lin Cheng Nichols, senior VP of communications for the Newspaper Association of America, moved to Brunswick Group as a director in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 19.

Brunswick said it has nearly doubled its D.C. staff in the past year.

Nichols led communications for the NAA since 2004, a stint that included serving as publisher of its magazine, Presstime, until May '09. She joined the newspaper trade group after a term as executive director of ABC News’ Washington bureau for more than a decade speaking for “Nightline” and “This Week.”


Internet Edition, January 20, 2010, Page 3


The Nielsen Company has sold the shuttered Editor & Publisher to Duncan McIntosh Co., an Irvine, Calif., marine publisher.

The move will breathe new life into the magazine, website and conference entity, which has been shut down for two weeks after the release of the January 2010 edition. A February print edition is planned and online reporting has already commenced.

McIntosh publishes titles like Boating World magazine and The Log Newspaper.

“I've been a reader of E&P over the course of 30 years and know its incredible value to readers and advertisers,” said Duncan McIntosh, who heads the company.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

E&P publisher Chas McKeown continues in that role. Editor-at-large Mark Fitzgerald was named editor.

Nielsen shut down E&P in December.


The News & Observer, the McClatchy Co. paper in Raleigh, is cutting 21 jobs via immediate and voluntary layoffs. According to a memo from publisher Orage Quarles, the N&O's revenues continue to slide so there is a pressing need to cut costs to spur growth.

Quarles admits the cutback announcement is “distracting and disruptive,” but urges remaining staffers to stay focused and continue to “work hard to help our company continue to make its way through these difficult times.”


Anne Keating, senior VP of PR, special events and corporate philanthropy for Bloomingdale's, is the winner of a 2010 Matrix award from New York Women in Communications in the PR category.

The 40th annual awards banquet April 19 in the Waldorf Astoria will be emceed by Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor, "NBC Nightly News." Host is NBC Universal.

Leslee Dart won last year’s PR Matrix.

Seven other awards will also be presented to "exceptional women who have established themselves in the communications fields."

Other winners are:
• Susan Chira, foreign editor, New York Times
• Sheryl Crow, singer/songwriter
• Tina Fey, exec. producer, head writer, star, NBC's “30 Rock”
• Ina Garten, author/host, Food Network Program, “Barefoot Contessa”
• Doris Kearns Goodwin, author and presidential historian
• Gayle King, editor-at-large, O, The Oprah Magazine, host, “The Gayle King Show,” Sirius XM Radio
• Marissa Mayer, VP, search products and user experience, Google

Denise Warren, president, NYWICI, said, “We are thrilled to recognize the exceptional work of these eight women.”


Michael Sherrod, an AOL alum and CEO, will serve as publisher of the Texas Tribune throughout 2010.

He is credited for re-launching the Examiner, bolstering its number of monthly unique visitors from 8.5M to more than 17M.

At AOL, Sherrod was VP & GM of community operations and network integration during an eight-year stay. He also worked at, American Airlines and Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Sherrod becomes the first publisher of the not-for-profit TT.


Randy Siegel, president of Parade Publications, assumes the president/local digital strategy for Advance Publications on Feb. 1.

Steve Newhouse, who oversees digital operations for AP, says Siegel is to leverage online and print assets to develop new capabilities, expand the revenue base and meet the changing needs of consumers and advertisers.

Siegel is working with Peter Weinberger, president of Advance Internet.

Parade Publications publishes Parade, which reaches nearly 75 million readers in more than 500 newspapers. It is part of AP.


A web video news clip by BBC technology reporter Dan Simmons in which he broke an “unbreakable” cell phone at the Consumer Electronics Show has warped into the echelon of unexpected PR video successes by surpassing one million views on YouTube in three days.

Simmons, while standing next to Bob Plaschke, CEO of the phone’s maker, Sonim, dropped the phone in a fish tank to show its water resistance (it passed) and then whacked the device against the side of the tank, cracking the screen to the surprise of both the reporter and the executive.

“At first I was horrified, but then I saw the publicity that we were getting out of it,” Virginia Jamieson, the former Bite PR VP who handles PR for Sonim, told O’Dwyer’s.

“We’ve gotten the eyeballs of people that we never would have before and circulation has been global. We’ve been on prime-time news around the world -- the 6 o’clock news in The Netherlands. There is a downside because the phone did break, but there is upside as well,” she said.

Sonim’s Plaschke laughed at the unexpected result on the video, while Simmons of the BBC seemed apologetic. “Bob handled it well and I think that helped the video,” said Jamieson, who heads Warming Trend Global Communications.

She said some negativity of the video may have partially been offset by Sonim customers who defended the company’s products in web comments to the video clip.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, January 20, 2010, Page 4


Transparency, openness, authenticity, community, connections and relationships were themes stressed at the “Social Integration” conference held Jan. 13 in New York.

Organized by the Business Development Institute, the social media-focused event was held at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
Michael Mendenhall, chief marketing officer at Hewlett-Packard, kicked off the session on a light note when the executive of the world’s largest technology company urged the audience to “keep printing.”

He told of H-P’s plan to achieve growth as a “sustainable company” that will benefit from rapid global population growth, urbanization and an information explosion.

A mere two percent of the world’s info is currently digitalized.

Mendenhall, who spent 17 years at Walt Disney Co. before departing as executive VP in charge of marketing and communications for its theme parks and resorts, views social media as “amplified word-of-mouth on a huge scale.” It signals the shift from “interruptive to engagement marketing.”

PR firms and ad agencies, to Mendenhall, operate in a historic time in the evolution of communications. Successful ones will guide clients through the “information renaissance” in which data are created, stored, analyzed, mined and put to use to promote a product, service or point of view.

‘Move Impressions to Connections’

Josh Karpf, senior manager/digital media communications at PepsiCo, spoke of the social media connected with the launch of “Trop50” (Tropicana's juice product with 50% less sugar/calories). Tropicana teamed with the BlogHer community of women.

Karpf says PepsiCo’s social media imperatives are to “move impressions to connections" and "sound bites to sound blasts.”

David Patton, who was senior editor at before taking the editor-in-chief slot at Waggener Edstrom, talked about the challenges in feeding the social media beast, which requires sustained engagement.

In his view, strong and authentic content wins over style. “Social media allows a company to tell its story the way it wants it to be told,” said Patton.

He believes people understand that a company operating in the social media world has an agenda, but its information will be accepted as long as it's credible and compelling.

Patton said content begets more content. A white paper, for instance, can be broken down into an executive summary, video, blog and tweet that links Twitter fans back to the original material.

Social Media Softens Harvard Biz Image

Brian Kenny, chief marketing and communications officer at Harvard Business School, sees social media as a way to trash the perception that HBS is an intimidating place associated with “mahogany and taxidermy.”

Kenny is trying to shift the perception of HBS with brands such as Microsoft, Coke and Cadillac to Apple, Red Bull and BMW.

Living in the social media world, however, requires one to be “comfortable with the uncomfortable.”

As an example, Kenny gave last November’s arrest of a HBS student for assaulting a cop at the annual “Priscilla Ball,” an event at which male students dress in drag.

100-Year-Old Icon Goes Digital

Lynn Mann, director of external communications at Michelin North America, uses social media to get people to think about tires.

She conceded that most people don’t worry about their car tires until they are stuck on the side of the road at midnight in pouring rain with a flat tire and an expired AAA membership card.

Mann had just returned from the Detroit auto show, where the Michelin Man mascot hung out with auto execs and journalists.

The 100-year-old Michelin Man has his own Facebook page and Twitter site, where he gives tire tips and news of discounts/promotions. He also stars on YouTube.

Mann reinforced the idea of authenticity in social media.

She warned that if your information is not authentic “people will go screaming in the opposite direction.”


The conservative New York Post and liberal Village Voice sang with the same voice Jan. 13, hammering President Barack Obama with eye-catching front pages featuring opinion pieces by Michael Goodwin and Nat Hentoff.

“Dear Mr. President, Why Do You Hate Us,” graced the cover of the Post.

Goodwin hit Obama for socking New Yorkers with “massive new taxes to fund his healthcare monstrosity,” punishing Wall Street for making too much money, threatening “political jihad against anybody who dares challenge the too-precious Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand” and telling Gov. David Patterson to “take a long walk off a short bridge.”

The Voice took no prisoners, branding the president as “George W. Obama.”

Hentoff blasted Obama for “continuing much of the Bush-Cheney parallel government, and in some cases, is going much further in disregarding our laws and the international treaties we’ve signed.”

Wrote the columnist: “If Dick Cheney were a gentleman, instead of continuing to criticize this president, he would congratulate him on his faithful allegiance to the many signature policies of the Bush-Cheney transformation of America.”

Obama took about 63 percent of New York’s vote in 2008, the third highest percentage among the states. Tipping his hat to the famous Daily News cover of “Ford to City: Drop Dead,” Goodwin can’t recall a time since that the Empire State was so clearly in the White House’s crosshairs.

Goodwin feels Obama’s lack of gratitude is enough to turn the blue state red.

Internet Edition, January 20, 2010, Page 5


Cohn & Wolfe is merging Enfatico, the WPP firm set up to handle Dell’s marketing communications, with its AxiCom European-based technology division.

The move makes AxiCom agency of record for Dell, in addition to other clients like Cisco, iPass and McAfee.

WPP’s Enfatico move has been scrutinized over the past year as the 1,000-staffer advertising and PR division suffered job losses early last year amid cutbacks at the computer giant client.

AxiCom, which operates independently of C&W, counts about 100 staffers across Europe, Asia, Africa/Middle East, as well as U.S. offices in Austin, San Francisco and New York. Its U.S. base is San Francisco under Kelly McGinnis, who was chief communications officer at Enfatico leading Dell’s PR business. She takes a president role for AxiCom U.S. reporting to C&W CEO Donna Imperato.


Florida’s Dept. of Elder Affairs is looking for a PR firm to create a public awareness campaign for its Medicare and health insurance counseling services targeting African-American and Hispanic citizens.

The work, a mix of PR and public service spots, “should not only result in positive statewide editorial coverage, but a notable increase in public awarenesss and volunteer recruitment within the respective targeted communities,” reads the RFP issued on Jan. 8.

Budget is $135K.

The crux of the campaign is the Shine program, an acronym for Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders, a free Medicare counseling program aimed at seniors and the disabled. Four hundred volunteers staff the program through 11 statewide agencies.

Marianne Moody of the DEA ([email protected]) is overseeing the RFP process.

Proposals are due Jan. 28 with an award expected around Feb. 10. Download the RFP.


Republican members of Congress are outpacing Democrats in nearly every category of Twitter use, according to a study by Fleishman-Hillard senior VP Mark Senak.

Of the 132 active members of Congress using Twitter, 89 are Republicans and only 43 are Democrats. That comparison is more even-handed in the Senate, where 14 Republicans and 11 Democrats are tweeting. But the House stats illustrate the lopsided microblogging on the Hill, as 75 members of the GOP (42% of their caucus) use Twitter, while only 32 Democrats, or 12.5%, have embraced the platform.

Senak said he sees Twitter not as an election predictor but as a “communications barometer,” but acknowledges that its future impact on the electorate remains to be seen.

Despite their numerical advantage, F-H’s analysis through the Twitalyzer tool found that Democrats in the Senate surpassed their Republican colleagues in “influence” and “clout,” suggesting more engagement and less broadcasting than the GOP in that chamber.



The National Coffee Association of the U.S.A. is calling for PR proposals for a $75K account as it approaches its 100th anniversary in 2011.

The New York-based trade group, which began as the National Coffee Roasters Traffic and Pure Foods Association in 1911, wants a year-long centennial PR program to start in March of this year and run through its annual convention in March 2011.

A key cog in its PR activities will be to develop National Coffee Break Week for January 2011.

The RFP was issued Dec. 7 and is open through Jan. 31. The group is currently chaired by Jonathan Feuer, president of instant coffee company LM Zuckerman. Starbucks senior VP Dub Hay is vice chair.

Download the RFP at


Salt Lake City’s Love Communications won a competitive shoot-out in the Beehive State over seven other firms to guide PR for the implementation of a law enforcement fee to cut into an $11M police budget gap in the state’s largest county.

John Becker PR, The Carter Political Consulting Co., The Exoro Group, Letter 23, Orton Group, Riester and Vanguard Media Group also pitched.

The public awareness and education campaign will be developed for the Salt Lake Unified Police District, which hopes to raise $12.5M with the new fee – about $175 per year on a single-family home – targeting unincorporated areas of the county.

New York Area

Parenteau Guidance, New York/Iconic Brands, celebrity-branded alcoholic beverages, for media relations and PR.


LevLane, Philadelphia/American Law Institute-American Bar Association, as AOR for advertising and PR, the group’s first agency under that title. The work includes law trade and national business media advertising and PR, along with social media.

Podesta Group, Washington, D.C./, carbon offsets and certification, for government relations.

Sinclair & Co., Raleigh, N.C./Sunstates Security, contract security company, as AOR, including online strategy, media relations and B2B marketing.


Dresner Corporate Services, Chicago/Enviro-og, eco-friendly manufactured fire logs, for PR. The logs are made from recycled, waxed cardboard and are said to burn cleaner than wood while generating more heat.

Edward Howard, Cleveland/Leggett & Platt, as AOR for its consumer products group, following a review. RLF Communications had the account since 2006.

Olson, Minneapolis/KraftMaid Cabinetry, as AOR for work including advertising, PR and interactive.


JWalcher Communications, and FARM Advertising, San Diego/United Way of San Diego County, for pro bono support of a campaign to end chronic homelessness.

Internet Edition, January 20, 2010, Page 6


Hispanic PR groups have kicked off a four-month census to put a count on PR professionals who spend nearly one-third of their time devoted to Hispanic PR or social marketing in the U.S. or Puerto Rico.

The Hispanic PR Association has teamed with the Hispanic PR blog, a PR Newswire-backed venture, which runs through April 30 and is counting PR professionals through an online form.

The move comes as the PR Society of America merged its multicultural division into another covering diversity and the Hispanic PR Assn. has courted disaffected members.

HPRA president Lourdes Rodriguez said the count is the first national census to quantify the size of the Hispanic PR sector, covering corporate, agency, non-profit and governmental posts.

Results will be revealed at the group’s May conference in Dallas.


VMS has unveiled what it calls a “broad expansion” of its real-time media monitoring services for Internet content like news, social media and web video.

Audio and video web content, social media like Twitter, and thousands of online print publications are included, in addition to traditional TV, radio and print coverage.

The company has also revealed the first module of its next-generation Insight web-based media monitoring platform. In addition to setting up alerts, VMS said clients can use the company’s editorial and analytics experts to build search profiles, review coverage, and sort hits by message/topic and tonality.


A few PR services companies are offering their free and/or heavily discounted assistance to disseminate content in the wake of the devastating Haiti earthquake.

Business Wire and PR Newswire are offering complimentary release distribution for Haiti-related earthquake news.

Ed Lamoureaux, senior VP of WestGlen Communications, said his firm is offering a 50% discount on traditional PSA services and giving its radio PSA distribution service free to organizations providing disaster relief.

The "Live Read" service sends a 30-second PSA script to 1,000 stations with an "alert" that features a group's logo. Info: 212/704-9111; [email protected].


Zane Robbins, former Midwest bureau chief of Medialink for nine years, has re-joined the company following its acquisition by The NewsMarket.

He serves as VP of client solutions and oversees business development in region from the company’s Chicago outpost.

“Zane is one of several key appointments we’re making as we expand our team to provide clients with the latest video communications tools and strategies available,” said Jack Serpa, senior VP, client solutions.



Jessica Nelson, director of marketing for Westwood One/Metro Networks, to product placement firm Davie Brown Entertainment, Los Angeles, as senior manager, PR. DBE is part of Omnicom.

B.L. Ochman, a long-time independent PR consultant and new media blogger, has moved to Burson-Marsteller as a managing director of its Proof digital media and advertising unit. She’ll work under Proof CEO and Penn, Schoen & Berland managing director Jay Leveton. B-M formed Proof last June as a joint venture between its Marsteller ad unit and PS&B’s own ad division. Ochman, an independent counselor since 1981, pens the “What’s Next” blog.

Emily Wilson, VP, Murphy O’Brien PR, New York, to Nancy J. Friedman PR, New York, as a VP. She was previously with Hershey Associates and in-house at City of Hope cancer center.

Daniel Kaufman, to Widmeyer Communications, Washington, D.C., to lead its pre-K-12 education practice. Kaufman was director of comms. at the Maryland State Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, and earlier worked in PR at the National Education Association. He started out as a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and columnist Jack Anderson, served as an American Political Science Association Congressional fellow.

Joel Johnson, managing director of Spike Lee’s ad agency, Spike DDB, to Porter Novelli, N.Y., as senior VP, strategic planning and research. Johnson will lead efforts overseeing the integration of digital and social media programming into all planning efforts reporting to Michael Ramah, partner and director of strategic planning. Jennifer Jones, a veteran of Ogilvy, Alexander Comms., Macquarium Intelligent Comms. and Fletcher Martin, joins PN/Atlanta as senior VP, digital and social media. Also, Jodie Fleisig, senior executive producer and supervisor, CNN, as senior VP, media strategy and relations, and Judy Willis, CMO of Merge Agency, as senior VP, consumer in Atlanta.

Kevin Slagle and Tom Knox, both of Porter Novelli’s soon-to-be-closed Sacramento office, have joined Edelman. Slagle, a 15-year PR veteran, assumes a senior VP slot. He has handled environmental, land use issues and community relations programs for companies and coalitions in the Golden State. Knox takes on a VP title. He has issues management and coalition experience connected with infrastructure issues. Steve Telliano is GM of Edelman/Sacramento, which counts clients such as Kaiser Permanente and Blackboard Connect. PN, part of Omnicom, is closing its Sacramento office Jan. 29.


Internet Edition, January 20, 2010, Page 7


A delegate had asked on a bylaws teleconference for live audiocasting of the Assembly but was turned down by chair Mike Cherenson who said it was “near impossible, technologically challenging.”

PRS leaders took part in such audiocasting a couple of days later at the conference.

Most Important Assembly Ever

The 2009 Assembly was described by leaders as the most important in the Society's history since an entire re-write of the bylaws was at stake. “Thousands of hours” of members' time were spent on the project and legal/parliamentarian costs are estimated at well over $100,000.

Cost of transcribing the 7.5 hours of proceedings would have been about $1,180. Ubiqus, the Society's transcription service, charges $157.50 per hour of talking. It produced the 136-page transcript of the 2008 Assembly.

Several members have petitioned New York County Supreme Court for a copy of the transcript but have not yet heard back from the Court.

There was also a transcript of the 2007 Assembly that was referred to in the minutes of that Assembly. The transcript was said to be “on file” at PRS h.q.
PRS spent $11.4 million on various expenses in 2008.

Many Delegates Were Inaudible

Delegates complained at the Assembly that many of the nearly 100 delegates who rose to talk at two microphones in the aisles could not be heard.

While leaders such as McCormick, Cherenson, and bylaws chair Dave Rickey, as well as COO Bill Murray, spoke from a stage looking down at the Assembly, delegates spoke from microphones set up in two aisles and faced the stage.

Most delegates only saw the backs of the heads of delegates making remarks.
This was especially true of anyone in the press section which was at the left rear of all the seats.

Senior members said one reform needed is for delegates addressing the Assembly to speak from the stage and face the other delegates with monitors making sure they speak close to the mikes.

In certain instances, delegates are allowed to speak from the stage.

McCormick Says Tests Were Made

McCormick said that PRS staff did “sound checks” in the Assembly room to make sure that “the audio could be heard with equal volume at all seats in the room.”

However, critics said such tests must have been made with people speaking close to the microphones.

This reporter, who has a hearing problem, sought help from about a half dozen delegates and members at the rear of the Assembly.

Even though all had normal hearing, they could not hear much of what was being said and were unable at times to say whether someone speaking was either for or against a proposal.

McCormick, then asked why PRS staff did not supply this reporter with a set of earphones such as were being used by a half dozen hotel technicians, replied that there was only one such set of earphones available and it was being used by one of the technicians.

Lawyers for groups that help the deaf and hard of hearing say that PRS was compelled to accommodate this reporter’s requests for hearing assistance since he was invited, credentialed reporter and not an interloper.

Society leaders have been saying in recent years that the only purpose of the transcript is as an aid in preparing the minutes of the Assembly.

Veteran members scoff at this saying the minutes are only the record of actions taken such as motions passed or not passed and elections.

Minutes are Inadequate Record

Completely absent from minutes are anything that has been said, they noted, which misses the meaning of the Assembly.

Members said they should have access to everything that was said at an Assembly and particularly the 2009 Assembly that debated for about 5.5 hours a re-write of the entire bylaws.

There were lengthy discussions of the meaning of "PR" and "communications, the rights of chapters to have the final say over who will be Assembly delegates, and how PRS might enforce its code of ethics.

Members have also said the validity of the Assembly is under question because not all of the 15 articles in the bylaws revision were discussed as demanded by Robert's Rules.

“If you’re going to cite Robert’s as your parliamentary authority, you have to obey its rules; otherwise don't cite it,” said senior members.

They also noted that not only were 56 proxy votes used, which is against Robert's, but that the Assembly voted approval of proxy voting.

Other parliamentary guides besides Robert's bar proxy voting and no legislature in the U.S., up to and including the U.S. Congress, allows such votes, it was noted.


New York City’s DolceGoldin is handling former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford, Jr., who is weighing a Senate primary challenge to Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand.

After representing the Volunteer State for more than 20 years, Ford lost a bruising Senate election to Bob Corker in 2006. The current primary bid has received the cold shoulder from the Empire State's senior Senator Chuck Schumer and others who are concerned with Ford's conservative streak.

Davidson Goldin, who serves as Ford’s key spokesperson, told O’Dwyer’s his firm was hired last week. He has close ties in the NYC media world.

Goldin was editorial director for MSNBC, playing a major role in the rebranding of that channel as “the place for politics.” He hosted “Inside City Hall” for cable's NY1 and produced segments for Dateline NBC, ABC News and Fox News. DG’s website credits Goldin for writing stories for the New York Times, New York Post and being a consulting editor for the defunct N.Y. Sun.

Goldin’s partner, Joe Dolce, was editor-in-chief at Details.


Internet Edition, January 20, 2010, Page 8




It is fitting, on Martin Luther King’s birthday, that we baptize the PR Society with a new name that more accurately describes its leaders and practices—National Assn. of Not Availables.

The Society has forfeited its right to use either “public relations” or “America.”

One of the current inexcusable actions of NANA is appointing African-American leader Ofield Dukes to its board as a non-voting member after he sought to be a voting member.

He would have been the only black on the board but such a concept evaded the nominating committee headed by 2007 chair Rhoda Weiss.

We think a call to chair Gary McCormick from the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Rev. Al Sharpton or President Obama himself is in order. This editorial has been sent to Sharpton’s office.

Another unforgiveable insult to the black and minority communities is the dissolution of the Multicultural Section just before year-end.

In thinking up a new name for the Society it occurred to us that what chiefly marks it is its rampant unavailability.

--The full membership list is unavailable to members although it used to be. Providing it as a PDF would be cheap and easy. Staff wants it for its own use to push seminars/webinars and other purposes.
--The names of Assembly delegates are unavailable except to delegates (who have to ask for it).
--The transcript or audiotape of the 2009 and most important Assembly in NANA’s history are not available to members or delegates.
--The Assembly could easily and cheaply have been audiocast live but it was not available.
--Still unavailable more than two months after the Assembly are the minutes of the meeting.
--Bylaws re-write committee members were never available throughout 2009 for face-to-face meetings with any of the 109 chapters.
--The committee wanted direct elections by the entire membership but rules for this were unavailable.
--The 2008 IRS Form 990 with much financial info was not available to the Nov. 7 Assembly although it was filed on Sept. 15.
--National leaders have not been available to us for interviews for many years. Membership in NANA is unavailable to us as well as ad space in NANA media with no reason given for this.

Assembly delegates on Nov. 7 underwent their usual annual humiliation at the hands of the board.

The delegates, facing the momentous task of rewriting the entire bylaws, sat inert while “leaders” opened the meeting with an hour and a half of procedural minutiae and sales pitches.

Worst was none other than chair-elect Gary McCormick who provided 17 minutes of flapdoodle.

The delegates, who did not see a list of fellow delegates until the week before the Assembly (and some delegates refused to be on the list), would only get to discuss and vote on about half the 15 articles in the new bylaws. The others were not made available.

This group can’t even obey the most basic rules of Robert’s although citing Robert’s as its “parliamentary authority.” Proxy voting is barred by Robert’s and all articles in a revision must be presented for voting and discussion. Fifty-six proxy votes were allowed.

While “leaders” on stage faced the delegates and spoke loud and clear, the nearly 100 delegates who rose to comment on the new bylaws had to face the stage and turn their backs to much of the audience.

About half of what they said could not be heard even by delegates with normal hearing.

Had the delegates even a suspicion of their rights, they would have demanded equal access to the stage mike so that they were looking at fellow delegates who, after all, were the ones doing the voting.

The worst rap we have on them is that they refuse to take up their responsibility which is setting policy for NANA.

NANA constantly talks about “profession” and “professionalism” (mentioned 15 times in McCormick’s opening essay to members) but the Assembly refuses to do what similar bodies do for the “real” professions-- lawyers, doctors, CPAs and psychologists.

Such bodies set policy. Their boards report to the houses of delegates and not vice-versa as at NANA.

Not only was the 2009 Assembly treated in the usual demeaning, contemptuous way, but the McCormick board now refuses, for the first time in memory, to prepare a word-for-word transcript of the Assembly. Cost would only be about $1,000.

The specious claim is made that the transcript (withheld since the 2005 board) only serves to help prepare the minutes. No transcript is needed to prepare minutes since minutes are only a record of actions taken. A layperson can easily take such notes by hand.

Worse yet is that the historic Assembly could have been audiocast live for several hundred dollars. NANA leaders howl all the time about the need for “member involvement” but skipped this golden chance.

McCormick has given no indication he will attempt to change the toxic policies of NANA.

These include late, non-existent and misleading financial reporting at a time when poor financial reporting and hidden transactions have caused immense suffering in the nation.

There was no six-month financial report last year. It was folded into the nine-month report which, in effect, hid the poor Q3 results (down 45%).

Improved IRS Form 990, which now shows salaries and other payments to the top six officers and stock trades, was filed Sept. 15 but withheld from the membership and the delegates.

It showed an investment loss of $415,000 in 2008 and legal costs of $110,000. All of this should have been available to the delegates but it wasn’t.

We expect NANA’s policy of petty harassment of us to continue. Neither this editor nor any O’Dwyer staffer will be allowed to join, forcing us to obtain information from members.

The three full-time “PR” staffers at h.q. will not be allowed to help us in any way nor respond to any e-mails or other communications.

NANA will not allow us any rebuttal space in PR Tactics which attacked us in a full page ad in the Sept. 2008 issue.

The O’Dwyer Co. will not be allowed to advertise any of its five informational products on NANA media although the assn. made much money from selling more than 50,000 copies of our articles. No reason will be given for this boycott.

NANA not only tramples on us and ignores financial reporting standards, but is engaged in competition with private, tax-paying companies by hosting PR seminars when we believe its IRS status as a non-profit corporation prohibits that.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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