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Internet Edition, January 27, 2010, Page 1


Missouri’s Children’s Trust Fund, which educates the public about child abuse, is reviewing its six-figure communications account through the end of the month.

The Fund wants agency help in increasing its child abuse awareness and prevention programs, boosting financial support among stakeholders, and other PR tasks like annual report production, op-eds and letters to the editor, and PSAs.

Budget is $260K per fiscal year which ends in June, when the contract out for bids would begin.

Past campaigns have centered on Shaken Baby Syndrome, discouraging parents from leaving children unattended, and emotional abuse, as well as its blogging service-powered website,

The Fund has a public affairs coordinator, but the RFP notes that position traditionally works directly with the hired agency.

The CTF is mainly funded by the sales of marriage licenses, branded licenses plates and social services funds in the state. Deadline is Jan. 28.

Download a copy of the RFP at Firms are required to register with the state’s bidding system for updates and addition documents.


Raytheon Technical Services has recruited Amy Smith as VP-communications.

She joins from Burson-Marsteller, where she handled the U.S. Treasury and other government entities as a managing director.

Earlier, Smith worked for the Pentagon in Baghdad as director of its Iraq Reconstruction Project and Contracting Office.

RTC, which is based in Reston, Va., has more than 9,000 staffers. Revenues are about $4B.

The operation provides mission support for the armed services, counter-proliferation/terrorism, and engineering services.

Raytheon leads the “Warrior Training Alliance,” which has more than 100 companies including General Dynamics, Computer Sciences Corp and MPRI.

The Waltham, Mass.-headquartered company employs 73,000 and generates more than $23 billion in annual revenues.

Raytheon made big news last month when it received a $1.1B contract for a Patriot Air and Missile Defense System for Taiwan, a deal that infuriated the Government of People’s Republic of China.

China, this month, claimed it tested its first land-based missile defense.


Citi Investment Research & Analysis initiated coverage of Omnicom on Jan. 19, slapping a “buy” on its shares with a target price of $47. OMC is now trading at $36.63. [OMC hit a $53.10 ($107.21 before a two-for-one split) all-time high on Dec. 17, 1999.]

Citi calls OMC a “best-in-class global marketing services company” with a growth rate that’s “benefited from the consolidation of the agency business.”

It believes Wall Street’s concerns about "moderating growth are overblown.” The Citigroup unit expects OMC to grow via l) “smart deployment of cash” either by returns of capital or acquisitions; 2) shift to digital advertising; 3) modest margin expansion on a top-line recovery and rent control initiative, and 4) weakening of the dollar.

Citi IR&A offers two caveats. OMC is dependent upon global economic growth and top-line results could suffer with a downturn. John Wren’s management team has made “smart acquisitions,” but there is a risk that OMC may overpay for future acquisitions to drive growth.

Wren received more good news. Standard & Poor’s has removed its “sell” rating on OMC to “hold.”

S&P expects OMC to “see increased margin support in 2010 with demand stabilizing in the first-half of the year as cost-cutting continues.”


Ann Subervi, president and CEO of Utopia Communications, Eatontown, N.J., has been named 2010 chair of the Counselors Academy of PR Society of America.

Subervi, who heads an “ethically-focused PR firm that strives to represent organizations, ideas, people, products and services that enhance the human condition,” said she will seek to build the Academy, which has 450 members from the U.S., Canada and abroad.

She authors the blog Ethical Optimist.

A member of the Academy for 10 years, Subervi said, “I know firsthand the value it offers to senior managers of the nation's top PR firms.”

“The Academy’s mission at a time when our industry is facing a severe economic downturn, is more critical than ever before," she said.

J.R. Hipple of Hipple Reputation Management, Atlanta, is chair-elect and past chair is Sydney Ayers of Ayers PR, Denver.

Other officers are Elise Mitchell of Mitchell Communications Group, secretary-treasurer, and Abbie Fink, HMA PR Network, Phoenix, ex-officio.


Internet Edition, January 27, 2010, Page 2


The Publicity Agency is handling whistleblower and former Sgt. Joe Hickman, who in an article slated for the March issue of Harper’s that was posted online Jan. 18, alleges human rights abuses at the Guantanamo Bay prison.

The piece, “The Guantanamo Suicides: A Camp Delta Sergeant Blows the Whistle,” contends that three deaths at Guantanamo were not suicides by hanging in their cells as reported by the U.S. military.

Hickman and three other former members of military intelligence say the prisoners were removed from their cells and taken to a secret site called “Camp No,” where they may have been abused by interrogators.

The Publicity Agency reps Hickman and his law firm, Denbeaux & Denbeaux, which has been probing conditions at Gitmo, according to Glen Selig, founder of Tampa-based TPA.

Joshua Denbeaux says Hickman “came forward because it was the right thing to do and because doing anything else would be wrong and un-American.” His client looks forward to cooperating with any Guantanamo probe that may result from the story.

Mark Denbeaux, Joshua's father, is a law professor at Seton Hall University. They released a report in 2006 called “Report on Guantanamo Detainees, A Profile of 517 Detainees through Analysis of Department of Defense Data.”

The March issue of Harper’s hits newsstands the week of Feb. 15. The magazine says it posted an “exclusive advance” of the piece by contributing editor Scott Horton online because of “intense public interest.”


A global consortium of businesses and law enforcement focused on cyber attacks known as phishing has teamed with the D.C.-based National Cyber Security Alliance and issued an RFP to develop a streamlined public awareness message.

463 Communications, a D.C.-based PR firm that is part of Next Fifteen Group, currently works with the NCSA, which is backed by the Dept. of Homeland Security and corporate entities like Symantec and Cisco.

The Anti-Phishing Working Group, which includes business affected by harmful phishing attacks, law enforcement and government agencies, as well as trade groups, said it is working with the NCSA to form the Online Consumer Security & Safety Messaging Convention. The goal is to produce “online security and safety messaging” that can be used by consumer-focused business and governments.

The APWG is backed by a variety of retailers and tech companies from eBay and Wal-Mart to Visa and AT&T.

The RFP, with a deadline of Feb. 12, calls for creative ideas on the message and how it can be developed and disseminated. That will form the basis for a PSA campaign that the selected firm would play a role in developing.

Finalists must present in San Francisco in early March. RFP is at


Sunshine, Sachs & Associates has been tapped to defend Yele Haiti, the charity set up by recording artist Wyclef Jean, amid questions about its finances.

Scrutiny of Yele was sparked by The Smoking Gun website late last week as more than $1M in donations flooded Jean’s relatively modest organization in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake. Tax documents and analysis by The Smoking Gun was picked up by wire services, Gawker and the Washington Post, among other outlets, drawing a “disgusted” YouTube and written defense from Jean and leading Ken Sunshine and Sawn Sachs' New York-based entertainment PR firm to deal with a media onslaught.

“It is impossible for me to even comprehend the recent attacks on my character and the integrity of my foundation, Yele Haiti,” said Jean. “The fact that these attacks come as we are mobilized to meet the greatest human tragedy in the history of Haiti only serves to perplex me even further.”


The National Honey Board has moved its PR account to Kansas City independent firm Barkley, following an RFP process.

Wisconsin-based Stephan & Brady was the incumbent and pitched for the work.

Barkley is charged with guiding media relations, web content, collateral, crisis management and consumer research as part of the account, worth as much as $880K. A national campaign is slated for the spring.

Barkley PR president Mike Swenson said the board recognized that the honey marketplace has become crowded and added that the firm will work on educating consumers about pure honey’s benefits.

About 430M pounds of honey are consumed in the U.S. each year.

RLPR of Los Angeles handles Hispanic PR for the NHB.


Matt Reid, executive VP for Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, has moved to the Business Software Alliance in the global trade group’s VP of communications post.

He fills the post vacated by Dale Curtis, who joined the BSA in late 2008 from FD Dittus and left the organization in September ’09.

Reid founded WaggEd’s public affairs and social innovation units overseeing the firm’s Washington, D.C., and Brussels offices.

The BSA is the trade association for the software industry mainly focused on copyright issues. Its members include the largest publishers, developers and hardware marketers like Intuit, McAfee, Dell, Adobe and Microsoft, the latter which is the largest client of WaggEd.

Reid, a former VP at Fleishman-Hillard and senior VP/PA director at GCI Group, is in charge of public affairs, media relations, digital and internal communications for the group.


Internet Edition, January 27, 2010, Page 3


The New York Times will begin to charge for access to its online content next year by installing a meter to allow readers free access to a fixed number of stories every month.

If a user exceeds the limit, a charge will be levied.

Home delivery subscribers will get unlimited free access to the site.

Janet Robinson, CEO of the NYT Co., expects the additional revenue to make the media company “less susceptible to the inevitable economic cycles.”

The company believes the metered system, like the one in place at Financial Times, will provide the "necessary flexibility to keep an appropriate ratio between free and paid content and staying connected to search engines.

The FT allows free access to ten stories a month.

The NYT has not yet decided how much to charge readers or the number of stories that will be free on the site. Its executives have been studying the shift from a free to paid site for more than a year.

The NYT website is the No. 1 newspaper site, attracting more than 17M readers in the U.S. every month.

The NYT tested TimesSelect from 2005-2007. That service charged $49.95 for access to its editorials and columnists. More than 200K people subscribed for that service.

TimesSelect was killed to cash in on the then-boom in web ads.


Air America, the progressive radio network heard on 100 stations, has closed due to a “very difficult economic environment.”

The company plans an “orderly winding down of its business” under the protection of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, according to a statement from its president Charlie Kireker.

AA tried to line up new investors, but fell short in that quest.

Kireker said AA could not escape the “laws of economics.” The immediate advertising outlook of “less bad” is not enough to put AA on the road to financial stability.

This is the second trip to bankruptcy for AA, which restructured in 2006.


Cablevision and Scripps Networks have settled their high-profile dispute, which resulted in the denial of the “Iron Chef” program to 3M households in the New York metro market.

Cablevision is returning Scripps’ Food Network and HGTV to its programming line-up. They haven’t appeared on Cablevision's schedule since New Year’s Day when the two parties could not agree on fees paid for the FN and HGTV.

Details of the settlement are not public. Cablevison called the deal “fair,” while Scripps branded Cablevision a “valued distribution partner.”


Newspapers should pay Google for the traffic it directs to their websites, said blogger Jeff Jarvis at a Jan. 19 panel discussion sponsored by Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal.

A fan of the “link vs. content economy,” Jarvis believes news has morphed from a product to a process in which search engines and aggregators play a major role in a reader’s “discovery” of information.

He faults current newspaper industry thinking that Google and others are ripping them off. News, to Jarvis, has become “commodified.”

The job of publishers is to monetize the traffic that Google delivers.

Publishers seething at Google could simply deny it access, according to Jarvis, who added “they are not stupid.” That wrath is nothing more than “show and blow.”

Jarvis, author of “What Would Google Do,” blogs at He directs the interactive journalism program at City of New York's Graduate School of Journalism.

Alan Murray, deputy managing editor and executive editor of, took a shot at Jarvis’ contention that a person can make a good living blogging full-time.

He wanted to know the name of the blogger that, Jarvis claims, sells $200K a year in advertising. Jarvis wouldn't divulge the name of the person.

Murray then asked Jarvis how much he makes on his blog. Jarvis said he sold about $17K in advertising last year.

The WSJ exec took a shot at “citizen journalists.” He has attended local government meetings and watched citizen journalists in action. “They are the last people that you would want to report the news,” Murray said.

The event was held at NASDAQ's Times Square headquarters to celebrate the recent launch of the WSJ Professional Edition, which joins the online paper with FACTIVA.

The session was called “From Newspapers to Twitter to Tablets: The Future of the News Business.”


Jeffrey Birnbaum, who was editor of the Washington Times’ digital operations before resigning in late December, has been tapped as president of BGR PR in D.C.

The veteran journalist will help lead BGR’s PR team in D.C. and London, the firm said.

Birnbaum’s career has included stints as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and Time, D.C. bureau chief of Fortune magazine and columnist for the Washington Post. He’s a regular guest on Fox News Channel.

BGR PR is part of the BGR Group founded by Ed Rogers and Haley Barbour.

“These days, the media follow policy makers and policy makers follow the media,” Rogers said in a statement announcing Birnbaum’s hiring.

Former Bush administration PR staffer Bill Turenne Jr. and ex-Democratic aide John Cpin are VPs at BGR PR.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, January 27, 2010, Page 4


The Obama campaign promised the most “transparent” White House in history, but reporters are getting far less access to decision-makers than they had expected, writes Ken Auletta in the Jan. 25 New Yorker.

Obama’s former communications director, Anita Dunn, said Team Obama's definition of transparency covered making decisions public along with their rationale, not about the process in which the decisions were arrived at.

Discipline is Job No. 1 of Obama’s press shop. Leaks are non-existent. White House staffers are good at returning phone calls; conversations differ slightly in tone but are strictly “on message.”

“The press office has an adjunct in [chief of staff] Rahm Emanuel, who is unusually active in the media,” writes Auletta. Emanuel works reporters as he did Congressmen when he served in the Huose. He understands it is better to work with reporters than to shut them out.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs pays special attention to the New York Times because he believes it drives the news. About 20 percent of Obama's print interviews have been given to the NYT. is another favorite of the White House. “Politico has also become a forum where the White House can directly rebut its adversaries, and at times the cross talk resembles an Internet comments page,” according to Auletta.

Due to the rise of the Internet, the battle between the White House and press is different than past conflicts. “That difference is the result of the technological transformation of the media and the way that transformation has influenced how the press goes about its work,” writes Auletta.

There is pressure in the media to “entertain or perish, which has fed the press's dominant bias: not pro-liberal or pro-conservative, but pro-conflict.”

Historian Michael Beschloss told Auletta that after President Kennedy addressed the nation about the Cuban Missile Crisis, the networks immediately returned to regular programming. Pundits and cable talking heads today would dissect Kennedy’s speech for hours.

“The transformation of media has not only undermined the imperial institutions of the media; it has undermined the imperial Presidency,” writes Auletta.


Johnson & Johnson today is rapped by the New York Times for failing to live up to its “gold standard in brand crisis management,” a perception gained from its 1982 recall of its tainted Tylenol pills after several people died after taking the medication.

The Harvard Business School holds the Tylenol case as the model for crisis communications.

This NL has long been critical of J&J’s handling of cyanide-laced Tylenol disaster, believing the drug company is richly undeserving of its PR halo.

J&J’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare recalled several hundreds of batches of Motrin, Benadryl, St. Joseph Aspirin, Rolaids and Tylenol on Jan. 15, which was 20 months after receiving complaints about moldy-smelling bottles of Tylenol Arthritis Relief, according to a warning letter sent by the Food and Drug Administration to McNeil.

Some consumers reported nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, or diarrhea after taking the pills.

The FDA's Deborah Autor, head of its Office of Compliance at the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, believes J&J should have moved faster after getting complaints.

J&J has determined the smell comes from a chemical used to build wood pallets that handle and store the pills.

It is investigating the matter and is “taking further actions that include ceasing shipment of products produced using materials shipped on these wood pallets and requiring supplies who ship materials to our plants to discontinue the use of these pallets,” according to the FDA document.

Natasha Singer, who wrote the NYT’s “News Analysis,” reports some analysts say the "company’s seemingly slow response appeared out of character for one of the most trusted corporate brands in America.”

Timothy Calkins, marketing professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, speculates that McNeil managers “might have underestimated the extent of the chemical contamination or might have underestimated the PR issue that could ensue,” reports the NYT.

Also on Jan. 15, the Justice Dept. filed suit against J&J for an alleged kickback scheme, charging payments to a nursing home pharmacy in return for the writing of prescriptions.

J&J denies any wrongdoing.


Sitrick & Co. is handing the “pre-packaged” Chapter 11 filing of Affiliated Media, the parent company of Dean Singleton’s MediaNews.

AM says the reorganizations will have no impact on the daily operations of MediaNews’ collection of 54 dailies, including the Denver Post and San Jose Mercury News, and more than 100 non-dailies in a dozen states.

The move reduces the amount of AM debt by $930M to $165M.

Singleton and his management team will be okayed to own a 20 percent stake in the revamped company.

He says the restructuring will provide the company with one of the strongest balance sheets in the business and give it “breathing space to create a new model for the newspapers we publish.”


Reader’s Digest Association said it plans to emerge from bankruptcy by Jan. 31.

RDA's reorganization plan was confirmed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York last week. RDA plans to cut its debt by 75% from $2.2 billion to less than $555M.

Mary Berner, president and CEO, called the court okay a “major step” that provides RDA “a strong foundation for our future.”

Internet Edition, January 27, 2010, Page 5


IPREX, the network of independent PR firms, has added wbpr of Germany as a partner.

The firm has offices in Munich, Berlin, Potsdam and Budapest with 60 staffers focused on business communications and public affairs.

It joins Dusseldorf-based m/E brand communication in the IPREX network.

Clients of wbpr include the Ministry of Economy, Betfair, Fair Berlin and Robowatch.

Managing partner Michael Schroder is former CEO of Euro RSCG ABC and CEO of Hill & Knowlton’s Germany operation.


APCO Worldwide has set up a new consultancy division focused on geopolitics, global economics and new market opportunities.

APCO’s Global Political Strategies division is co-chaired by Tony Lake, a former advisor to President Bill Clinton and the Obama campaign, and Carlos Gutierrez, Sec. of Commerce during the recent Bush administration.

Darren Murphy, ex-special advisor to British Prime Minister Tony Blair is managing director. Consultants in the new unit include former political advisors and ambassadors with roots in Poland, Africa, UAE, NATO and Japan, among other countries and entities.


Brighton, Mass., tech firm Shift Communications has entered the Big Apple PR scene with its third U.S. office, a push toward growing its consumer practice.

John Carter, VP who heads the firm’s consumer/digital lifestyle practice, oversees the new outpost at 915 Broadway. He joined the firm in 2006 after stints at Fleishman-Hillard and FitzGerald Communications.

Principal Todd Defren said the move made sense because a lot of inquiries it receives are from New York-based consumer and tech companies. He said Shift’s consumer unit has grown to represent about half of the firm’s revenue, which was $12.2M in 2008.

The top 20 independent firm, which also has a San Francisco office, has between 80 and 100 staffers.

BRIEFS: Hart-Boillot, a Boston-based B2B advertising and PR agency, has opened a San Antonio, Tex., office as it anticipates growth in its technology and higher education practices in the region. The firm notes that San Antonio landed at No. 2 on Forbes’ recent list of the “fastest-recovering” cities. ...Salt Lake City-based SOAR Communications has split with parent company Politis after five years. Chip Smith, president of SOAR, has taken the reins as CEO of the firm, which handles outdoor recreation clients. David Politis, who founded SOAR, continues at the helm of Politis. ...Lane PR, Portland, Ore., has expanded its seven-year-old New York office into larger space on Madison Avenue. Amber Roberts heads the outpost. Heather Gleason recently relocated from Portland.


New York Area

J PR, New York/The Chanler at Cliff Walk, Newport, R.I., resort, and Pure Entertainment Group, event management and luxury concierge, for PR.

G.S. Schwartz & Co., New York/Shapeways, The Netherlands-based 3D printing unit of Royal Philips Electronics, and Dona Paula, Argentina wine producer, for PR.

Kreab Gavin Anderson, New York/Exousia Advanced Materials, eco-friendly industrial products for infrastructure, as AOR for strategic comms. counsel.

5W PR, New York/Kymaro, health, beauty and spa brands, for publicity and branding.

The Morris + King Company, New York/Music Choice, video/music network, and BuzzMedia, pop culture website publisher, for PR.

JFK Communications, Princeton, N.J./PharmaNet Development Group, clinical research, for PR.


CWR & Partners, Worcester, Mass./SpectraScience, medical device company, as AOR for PR.

Conover Tuttle Pace, Boston/Panini America, publisher of sports and entertainment collectables, as AOR.

BackBay Communications, Boston/Consensus Advisory Services, investment banking and advisory firm, as AOR for media relations, strategic thought leadership and other marketing.

Jackson Marketing Group, Greenville, S.C./NACCO Materials Handling Group, lift truck maker, as AOR for planning, creative, dealer support and marketing, web development, PR and events for its Hyster and Yale brands.

E. Boineau & Co., Charleston, S.C./Threat Management Group, military operations support contractor, as marketing and PR AOR.

Trevelino/Keller Communications Group, Atlanta/Granite Transformations, kitchen and bathroom franchise, for consumer and local media placement, trade media, grand opening support, franchise sales, trade shows and social media. GT has more than 100 franchised locations.


Howard Miller Communications, Miami, Fla./The American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, non-profit, for local and statewide PR for its Florida scholarship program.

rbb PR, Miami/Fluenz, language learning software, and Global Keratin, hair prodcuts, for brand management counsel and national media relations.


Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods, Little Rock, Ark./Kum & Go, third largest private owner-operator of convenience stores, as advertising AOR.


Leonard & Finco PR, Green Bay, Wisc./The Lake Companies, manufacturing solutions, for a strategic email campaign to educate business leaders about its services.

Fast Horse Inc., Minneapolis/Northcott Hospitality Int’l, parent of AmericInn Int’l hotel chain, as AOR for media relations, brand development and online engagement strategies.

Internet Edition, January 27, 2010, Page 6


PR Newswire has launched a Spanish language version of its ProfNet source service.

The company is eying the thousands of Spanish-language media and communications pros in the U.S. ProfNet en Espanol provides access to the 5,000 media contracts on PRN-owned Hispanic PR Wire’s press list.

PRN also noted that the service will help PR pros reach the 35M U.S. residents who speak Spanish at home.

The 16-year-old ProfNet service distributes contact information for sources that journalists can speak with as expert sources for stories. It also posts queries, or “avisos” in Spanish, from journalists working on stories.

BRIEF: Josh Rehrer has been promoted to regional VP for the mid-Atlantic territory at Business Wire. He joined the company as an A/E in Phoenix in 1999. Rehrer has been VP for mid-Atlantic sales since early last year.


Advertising Value Equivalency, a go-to measurement figure for PR pros, is not dead yet.

Three members of the Institute for PR's measurement commission have proposed a new metric for calculating the value of PR placements after the IPR and others in the field rejected the widely used AVE, last year.

But the new metric, dubbed Weighted Media Cost, or WMC, and closely aligned with the monitoring company VMS, still embraces tenets of AVE like the factoring in the cost of paid media when gauging PR results.

The proposed change deals more with the way data is crunched, rather than a sea change in what information is used to measure PR results.

WMC takes into account negative coverage, measuring only space where a client is mentioned, rather than an entire editorial piece. It also suggests using actual advertising costs, rather than rate-card figures that are rarely paid. AVE puts a value on a news story by equating it to the cost of advertising and has been a go-to method for scoring PR results despite criticism of its shortcomings.

Critics acknowledge that AVE is still embraced because it puts a dollar amount on PR placements, but a key flaw is that it can stress quantity over quality of placements, a practice which most PR pros admit to embracing, according to the IPR.

The IPR research team – Angela Jeffrey, VP of editorial research at VMS; Bruce Jeffries-Fox, president of Jeffries-Fox Associates with ties to VMS, and Bran Rawlins, chairman of Brigham Young Univ.'s Dept. of Communications – said there is value in connecting media coverage and business results by factoring in the cost of media, but sought to distance the new WMC metric from the maligned AVE.

The new method involves a more thorough analysis that includes subtracting negative coverage, assigning cost only to space or air time occupied by a client and using actual cost rather than the rarely paid rate-card cost.



Tony Saucier, PR account director, Gabriel deGrood Bendt, to Olson, Minneapolis, as associate account director and social media strategist. Phil Shannon, who handled web analytics and optimization at Ameriprise Financial, joins as senior web data analyst.

Gordon S. LaVigne, VP of business development for the Autism Society of America, to The ALS Association, Washington, D.C., as chief development and communications officer.

Scott Grubin, who held various human resources roles at Merrill Lynch, to Porter Novelli, New York, as chief talent officer and partner.

Alysa McKenna, senior A/E at Bullfrog & Baum, to Turchette Advertising Agency, Fairfield, N.J., as director of PR and communications. She was also a senior A/E at CooperKatz.

Dwayne Lawler, former VP of executive communications at PepsiCo, to Widmeyer Communications, Washington, D.C., as senior VP in its health and wellness unit. He was previously director of reputation management at S.C. Johnson & Son and earlier served as communications director to Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Rep. Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.) and Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.).

Angela Connor, a consultant and managing editor of user-generated content at, the website for CBS affiliate WRAL in Raleigh, to Capstrat, as social media manager for the firm. She was assistant news editor/multimedia at the South Florida Sun Sentinel and an assistant manager at WPTV in West Palm Beach. Capstrat has also added Adam Cohen as creative director.

Ashley Ford, principal land use planner at Rose Law Group in Boise, to Red Sky PR, Boise, to lead its public affairs practice.

Julie Livingston, former senior director of PR for the Toy Industry Association, has formed a strategic alliance with Child’s Play Communications, New York.

Tina Manzo, publicist for Playboy Enterprises, to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Major League baseball franchise, as manager of corporate communications. The team also hired former Phoenix Woman Magazine publisher Kristine Hedlund as director of community affairs.


Jena Stauffer to marketing specialist, The Simon Group, Sellersville, Pa.

Andy Payment to director of new media, William Mills Agency, Atlanta. He’ll manage all agency and client digital and social media marketing. Nneka Egwautu, Joy Harper and David Jones were upped to senior account agents.

Melissa Koski to senior A/E, Edward Howard, Cleveland. The firm is being acquired by Fahlgren Inc.

Jack Ekstrom to VP, corporate and government relations, Whiting Petroleum Corp., Denver, Colo.


Internet Edition, January 27, 2010, Page 7


Weight Watchers is working with Weber Shandwick as the weight loss company has sued rival Jenny Craig for an allegedly “false and misleading” ad campaign comparing the two programs.

Weight Watchers International filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York last week seeking an injunction and damages against Jenny Craig.

WWI claims an ad campaign by Jenny Craig “seeks to mislead and deceive consumers” into believing that JC’s claims are based on a head-to-head scientific study comparing the Weight Watchers program with JC’s meal system. “No such study was done or exists and the claims made in these ads are not supported by fact or science,” WWI said in a statement.

Hallie Bozzi, a former Sard Verbinnen & Co. staffer now at Weber Shandwick, is listed as a contact for WWI. Neither she nor Weight Watchers returned inquiries about the suit.

Julie Safer, PR director of Jenny Craig, sent a statement to O’Dwyer’s saying that the company’s advertising claims are supported by an independent trial comparing separate studies, which is detailed on its website. It says more results will be posted later this year. CEO Patti Larchet said in the statement she would welcome a “head-to-head challenge” between the two companies.

David Kirchhoff, Weight Watchers president and CEO, pulled no punches: “The fact that Jenny Craig chose to deceptively try to compare themselves to Weight Watchers in a manner that is clearly unsupported by fact or science suggests to us a lack of confidence in their own current offerings.”

MS&L Worldwide, part of Publicis, works with WWI. Krupp Kommunications handles consumer PR in the U.S. Weber Shandwick, owned by Interpublic, works the account in Asia and Australia.

PMK-BNC, the IPG-owned entertainment firm, works with JC.


Howard Kalt, who became a senior VP of Ruder Finn when his IR firm, Kalt Rosen & Co., was acquired in 2007, has cut short his five-year employment deal with the No. 4 independent firm and set up a new shop.

Kalt Communications starts up with two publicly traded clients — healthcare company Beckman Coulter and online security provider VeriSign. Kalt said he’s handling disclosure counsel, transaction communications, IPO readiness and other financial communications services.

“But I am eliminating the 1.5-hour commute each day, the press and distraction of non-productive chores [including timesheets], never-ending new business development, and people management,” he said in an email.

Kalt was based in San Francisco in Ruder Finn. He’ll run the new shop about 30 miles south from Menlo Park.

RF’s acquisition of Kalt’s firm was his return to the agency, where he worked in the late 1970s and early ‘80s. He was previously VP/comms. for Fred S. James & Co. in Chicago and VP for Gardner, Jones & Co.


Denver-based GBSM has fended off a challenge from nine other firms to continue handling a lucrative PR contract with the Denver Water.

DW, which dates back to the 1800s, operates independently from the city and provides water to the Mile High City’s 1.1M area residents. Ongoing drought and water wars in the West provide ongoing PR challenges to the organization.

The pact, capped at $290K, was reduced by $60K this year as the internal communications component was handed off to another firm competing for the PR pact — Communication Infrastructure Group — as the water entity faces a change in leadership this year.

Seven firms were tapped as finalists but the board, citing the GBSM’s “thorough knowledge” from nearly 20 years of experience on the account, ruled in favor of the Denver-base agency.


Two top fashion houses cut back on PR operations this month amid the global economic downturn.

Beth Shapiro, director of global marketing and PR for Karl Lagerfeld since July 2008, left the company last week amid a downsizing.

In remarks that raised eyebrows last year, Lagerfeld called the global recession a “cleaning up” and later asked people to “stop crying” after a Paris fashion show in a Wall Street Journal piece headlined “Let Them Eat Foie Gras.”

Meanwhile, Versace, also last week, put the final touches on closing its U.S. PR operation, which had three key staffers, and the Italian fashion brand hired the New York firm PR Consulting to fill the void.

Lisa Hellman, VP of communications for Versace USA, Mindy Webster, PR manager, and Celia Nichols, PR director, have left the company. first reported the Lagerfeld PR move, while FashionWeek Daily was on the Versace news.


John Halligan, long-time PR director of the New York Rangers hockey team, died Jan. 20. He was 68.

Halligan joined the Rangers in 1963 and is credited for lifting the profile of the team and the National Hockey League’s in the country’s No. 1 media market. New York Times hockey writer Stu Hackel believes Halligan’s success in the market led to the expansion of the Islanders and Devils plus the shift of NHL’s headquarters from Montreal to New York.

Halligan spent 24 years with the Rangers (1963-83 and ‘86-90) and also worked in the NHL’s office as director of communications and special projects. He handled the 75th anniversary of the NHL and the 100th anniversary of the Stanley Cup. He is remembered for returning the call of every sportswriter.

Halligan wrote “New York Rangers: Seventy-Five Years,” “Images of Sport: New York Rangers,” and “The Game of My Life: New York Rangers.” In ’07, he received the NHL’s Lester Patrick Trophy, which honors outstanding service to hockey in the U.S.


Internet Edition, January 27, 2010, Page 8




Pundits, alarmed at media pillars toppling like dominos (Forbes having to sell $100M of Faberge eggs and even its building, and failing Business Week offloaded to Bloomberg’s), are searching for reasons such as the rise of “social media.”

They’re neglecting one big reason: marketing.

Marketing is behind PepsiCo’s decision to pull ads from the Super Bowl and instead put $20 million into its “Refresh Project” which asks consumers to vote on which non-profits the company should fund.

Joshua Karpf, the company’s senior manager of digital media communications, told the Business Development Institute social media seminar Jan. 13 that he believes “mass communications” are being supplemented by “personal relationships with consumers.”

This is the dream of marketers—direct, one-on-one pitching of products and ideas to “targets” without any “middlemen” such as media, reporters or interference of any kind.

“Social media” are being clasped to their bosoms as the direct royal road direct to consumers’ hearts.

Tech journalist Paul Gillin estimates that U.S. newsroom employment is about half of what it was in 2001 and we agree with that estimate.

Marketers are the power hitters of business. They seem to have an “Alexander the Great” complex—lording over everything around them and “driving” programs. A clue to their attitude is the name of the website of the American Marketing Assn.: “” Another favorite word of theirs is “target.” We’re all targets and not really conversational partners.

Imus Show: Marketers Gone Wild

The “Imus in the Morning Radio Show” has become marketer’s paradise.

About half the show, by our actual measurement, is advertising or plugs of one sort or another.

We found a five-minute segment devoted to ads last week including two minutes on a service to help people quit smoking. It gave the phone number seven times (followed by a dot-com web address).

Almost every Imus ad has phone numbers and web addresses so that marketers can measure the response. Imus himself is forced to give many of the ads and personally recommend the products.

Inserted in the middle of the Imus weather and traffic reports are commercial plugs. A blast of ads surrounds the top of the hour.

Expecting a five-minute news report, listeners instead get 1.5 to two minutes of news and then more ads.

Coca-Cola also has a huge campaign on to promote itself as a public-spirited citizen. It had three successive full-pages in the New York Times (and probably many other papers) Jan. 14 touting its contributions to Boys & Girls Clubs, scholarships and conservation.

We give Coke ($30B in sales) credit for taking ads in media. But if Coke and Pepsi ($46B in sales) really want to do something for the U.S., they should attack one of its biggest health problems (obesity) by halting all sales of sugar-laden products.

Trying to reach press contacts via the Coke and Pepsi websites illustrated much about today’s institutional PR: names, phone numbers and e-mails are almost totally lacking. Pepsi said media names/phones were once posted but too many members of the public contacted them.

Pepsi in the 1960s and 70s had one of the most aggressive PR outreach programs. PR pros Bob Windt, John Frango and Mike Yuro regularly visited media offices, chatting with editors at their desks or taking them to lunch or nights on the town with spouses present.

Frango invited editors to his home for parties and went on picnics with their families. Long after Frango and Yuro left Pepsi we were still socializing with them.

Dozens of corporations had similar programs including W.R. Grace, ITT, American Can, Monsanto, General Motors, Chrysler, and the big New York banks, to name a few of them. The big ad agencies and PR firms all had full time PR people who built personal relationships with reporters. They had their own group of about 35 called The PR Roundtable.

The move now is to replace unsupervised personal interaction with electronic interaction that can be tracked. Big Brother is watching everything that goes on in social media. The security-conscious ad/marketing/financial world does not like rank-and-file employees “shooting the breeze” with each other which was common practice in the 60s and 70s. Even reading the ad/PR trade press can be dangerous.

Nearly 400 New York PR pros met monthly for lunch at the Waldorf-Astoria in those decades to hobnob. Holiday parties of the groups attracted hundreds.

Such unstructured gatherings ended in the 80s. The Waldorf lunches stopped because the big companies and agencies stopped buying tables. The group that held the lunches is what we call NANA—National Assn. of Not Availables. We don’t think the name they claim—PR Society—is living up to the promise in “PR” that the public will be related to. Its New York chapter has not had a “general membership meeting” for many years.

PR pros, if they want personal interaction with other PR pros, have to shell out lots of money for high-priced seminars. At least four are scheduled on social media: the $999 NANA meeting Jan. 27-28 in D.C.; the $1,195 Coke/Ragan meeting in Atlanta Feb. 22-24; the $1,900 Social Media World Forum in London March 15-16, and the $1,495 Social Media event of the Newcomm Forum April 20-23 at the San Mateo Marriott.

Another speaker at the BDI seminar Jan. 13 was Michael Mendenhall of Hewlett-Packard ($115B in sales and 321,000 employees) who sees social media as “amplified word-of-mouth” and portrayed HP as a good corporate citizen (trying to reduce energy consumption).

If HP is so interested in its consumers it should find a way to cut the astronomical price of ink which, by weight, costs more than gold.

PC World in December figured out that buying cheap printers (some as low as $15 but more often $40 or $50) is cheaper than buying black and color cartridges at about $25 each. The printers come with free cartridges.

Ink cartridges are so complex that there’s no way around buying them from the tech giants.

The O’Dwyer Co., with five printers, is paying about $3,000 yearly for ink. Our Dell printer only cost $150.

What is consumer-loving HP, Dell or any of them doing about this?

Tech companies such as HP are hyper about security. HP’s efforts to find the source of a leak resulted in criminal charges being filed in 2006 against HP chair Patricia Dunn, chief ethics officer Kevin Hunsaker, and three outside investigators. The gumshoes impersonated HP directors and nine journalists to get their phone records.

The charges were dismissed against Dunn but Hunsaker and two investigators pleaded no contest to wire fraud charges.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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