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Internet Edition, February 3, 2010, Page 1


San Francisco has allocated $600K and issued an RFP for a public education campaign backing its CleanPowerSF program under which the city is entering the clean power business in competition with a major utility.

The city’s Public Utilities Commission is looking for a firm via an RFP process to help counter negative campaigns against the endeavor – it fears a strong push by utility giant PG&E – as well as to promote the initiative to the public.

The CleanPowerSF effort stems from the 2002 energy crisis in the Golden State, when the state assembly created a program called Community Choice Aggregation, which later led to a 2004 San Francisco measure that empowers the city and county to become wholesale electricity purchasers for residents and businesses served by PG&E.

Consumers have an option to opt out of the program, but the city now sees it as an opportunity to boost use of renewable energy and stabilize prices.

PG&E has lobbied and campaigned against the CCA program.

This year, the CleanPowerSF program is slated to select an energy provider (it issued an RFP for that service in December) and the city/county will then begin providing power.

A 20-month PR campaign is slated and the resulting contract carries a possible one-year extension.

Proposals are due Feb. 11 (questions by Feb. 4).

Download the RFP at


Wendy Lund, who was executive VP/global & business development at MS&L Worldwide, takes the helm of GCI Health on Feb. 8.

She also served as CEO of Publicis Consultants PR, which has been folded into MS&L.

Lund played a key role in building MS&L's healthcare practice. Prior to joining MS&L, Lund was VP-marketing at Planned Parenthood Federation of America and VP in the marketing group at the National League of Nursing.

Jill Dosik remains president of GCI Health, part of WPP's Cohn & Wolfe. Donna Imperato heads C&W.

At MS&L, Jeanine O'Kane, who was executive VP in charge of Ogilvy PR Worldwide’s New York healthcare operation, joins as North America health director, a new position.

She also is in charge of the New York healthcare practice, which includes Boston.


Robinson Lerer & Montgomery is advising Toyota as the Japanese automaker announces a huge recall and suspends production of models that generated nearly 60 percent of its revenues due to faulty accelerator pedals.

The WPP Group unit, which is headed by Walter Montgomery, is reportedly aiding the Japanese automaker as media reports rise that it may have taken its eye off quality control in a bid to topple General Motors as the world’s No. 1 car company. Montgomery could not be reached for comment.

RL&M steps into the fray as Toyota pulls corporate advertising that lauds its autos as safe, reliable and dependable.

Toyota brands that have been put on a production hiatus include Camry, Corolla, Tundra (pick-up), RAV4 (crossover) and Highlander/Sequoia (SUVs).


Tom Cruise has dropped Rogers & Cowan for 42West, the entertainment PR shop headed by Leslee Dart that handled his last hit film "Valkyrie."

Cruise became an R&C client in 2005 after a series of strange PR moves while he was under the tutelage of his sister, who became the actor's PR rep when he fired powerhouse firm PMK in 2004.

Amanda Lundberg, co-head of 42West’s entertainment marketing unit, confirmed to O’Dwyer’s that Cruise is now a client. She is the former worldwide PR head at now-defunct studio Miramax and was senior VP of worldwide publicity at MGM, which marketed Valkyrie in 2008. Lundberg oversaw that effort at 42West.


The 2010 board of the association we have dubbed the “Not Availables” (because they’re unavailable either to the press or members) met Jan. 29 in New York.

None of the 17 directors, including 2010 chair Gary McCormick of Scripps, has time to meet with O'Dwyer's editors so we have e-mailed McCormick and the other directors as follows:

Hi Gary: I've tried to get you to meet with O'Dwyer's editor Kevin McCauley and me with no success. It looks like another year of Society leaders running from the press and members. I think this sets a very bad example for the PR industry at a time when America needs an increased flow of information.

The Society should be setting new records in providing information rather than withholding it.

(Continued on page 7)


Internet Edition, February 3, 2010, Page 2


After a review process of more than a year, the federal government has cancelled RFP processes to hire PR and advertising firms to support the Corporation for National and Community Service, the agency that runs AmeriCorps and similar programs.

An RFP was issued in December 2008 to review the $750K-a-year account handled by Hill & Knowlton. An RFP was also issued for its creative and marketing account.

Last summer, the government extended the period for which proposals would be valid until the end of February 2010, biding time in a process that was originally scheduled to end in mid-2009.

But last week procurement officials told firms that have pitched for the account that both RFP processes have now been canceled “due to a change in the government's requirement.”

It’s unclear whether budget constraints or other factors have affected the process. An inquiry to CNCS about the cancellation was not returned.

One possible reason is a surge in interest about AmeriCorps. Acting CNCS head Nicola Goren told Congress in September that applications to the service program have tripled since 2008, a flood that would change or even negate a key tenet of the PR contract intended to recruit volunteers.


Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency has signed Cassidy & Assocs. to a one-year $340K pact to help Korean companies crack the U.S. Government services market.

The Interpublic shop is to coordinate efforts with the Agency’s Korea Business Center in D.C. It will “identify and prioritize specific government procurement opportunities” for a roster of 15 Korean companies, according to the firm's contract.

Cassidy is shooting for contracts of $20M, a goal that's key for “favorable consideration in subsequent requests for proposals or renewal of this Agreement.”

C&A has counseled other foreign companies about entering the U.S. procurement market. Those clients include Global Security (U.K.), Alcatel (France) and Bombardier (Canada).


Gail Cohen, who chaired Burson-Marsteller’s healthcare practice, joined San Francisco-based WCG on Feb. 1. She is to oversee the healthcare firm’s international push.

Cohen has more than 20 years of PR experience. Prior to B-M, she served on the leadership council of Chandler Chicco Cos., where she was responsible for affiliate relationships in South America and Asia-Pacific and branding initiatives.

Cohen has counseled Johnson & Johnson, Oxford Health Plans, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Novartis.

She reports to Diane Weiser, president & CEO. WCG (WeissComm) has offices in Austin, Chicago, Washington, New York and London.


Rhode Island meat packer Daniele Inc. has called in Levick Strategic Communications as the company recalls more than 1.2M pounds of Italian sausage products because of potential Salmonella contamination amid an outbreak in the U.S.

More than 187 cases have been identified across 39 states, according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, which said it became aware of the problem during the course of an ongoing investigation of a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella serotype Montevideo illnesses.

Daniele issued the recall of 18 varieties of products on Jan. 23 and said it is working with state and federal regulators to inspect facilities and conduct further tests.

David Dukcevich, VP of sales for Daniele, stressed in a statement that Daniele is a “family business [that] has been producing premium gourmet products for over 60 years” adding that it is working to remove products that don't meet its “high standards for quality and taste.”

Levick VP Jason Maloni, who worked the E. coli outbreak in the U.S. spinach supply in 2006, is handling the Daniele recall.


Nevada, where unemployment has climbed to 13 percent making it the second-highest in the nation, is calling for PR proposals to highlight its services for employers and job seekers.

The Governor's Workforce Investment Board runs the Nevada JobConnect service, which has 10 locations around the state and a website to aid companies in recruitment and provide services like counseling and listings for those looking for work.

Firms must have an office in Nevada to pitch for the contract, which is being floated via an RFP. The work, centered on JobConnect's existing brand, logo and website, is geared toward recruiting more businesses to the program and highlighting its services through a mix of PR, PSAs, promo materials and online efforts.

Nevada trails only Michigan at 14.6% for the highest unemployment rate in the U.S.

Pitches are due by Feb. 18.


New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was re-elected in a tighter-than-expected race last November, is bringing in Democratic communications consultant Howard Wolfson, according to two reports.

Wolfson, who has been a managing director at Glover Park Group, is slated to join the Bloomberg administration’s third term as a counselor to the mayor, according to the N.Y. Post, which said the former communications director for Sen. Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid will have a broad portfolio from crafting policy, drafting an agenda, and advancing the mayor’s message.

Jim Anderson, Bloomberg's communications director, stepped down earlier last month after three years to head comms. for Bloomberg's foundation.

Wolfson was a paid advisor to Bloomberg's recent re-election over challenger Bill Thompson.


Internet Edition, February 3, 2010, Page 3


The New York Times has revamped its online management structure with the plan to go to a metered payment system next year.

Eliot Pierce, who was VP-operations and strategy, gets the VP-advertising and digital strategy, business development and ad operations post. He reports to Denise Warren, senior VP and chief advertising officer.

Paul Smurl, VP-advertising, becomes VP-paid products responsible for the implementation and financial performance of the metered model. He also will have revenue responsibility for crossword subscriptions and mobile game products.

Nick Ascheim, VP-product management, takes on the VP-new ventures job. He will explore new services and platforms including video opportunities.

Ira Silverstein, VP-classified products, becomes VP for product management and classifieds. Rob Larson, VP-digital production, is appointed VP-search products. He is in charge of the index, archives and online services.


McGraw-Hill has denied media reports that it was booted from the Jan. 27 launch of Apple’s iPad because its CEO, Terry McGraw, spilled the beans about it on CNBC before Steve Jobs ceremoniously unveiled the tablet computer.

A slide unveiled at the San Francisco launch presentation showed Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and Hachette as partners of the iPad.

The 61-year-old McGraw, who was being interviewed about growth prospects, told CNBC that his company “worked with Apple for quite a while” and that the tablet “is going to be based on the iPhone operating system and so it will be transferable.”

Steven Weiss, VP-corporate communications at McGraw-Hill, issued a statement, saying that McGraw-Hill was “never part of the launch event and never in a position to confirm details about the device ahead of time.”

McGraw’s “speculative comments” were “simply intended to suggest that if the new device were to use iPhone applications, many of our education products wold be compatible with the technology and could be made easily available on it.”

The company regrets that “many mistakenly interpreted” the CEO’s words.


Michael Kinsley, former founder of Slate, has decided not to edit a news business newsite that is coming from Atlantic Media, publisher of The Atlantic.

He has decided that his soul really wasn't into covering spot news and analysis of business issues, according to DailyFinance.

Kinsley decided to jump ship after a conversation with Justin Smith, who was upped to president of AM, and told him that he wasn't really obsessed with business.

A search for a new editor is in the works for the site that is expected to launch in the spring. Kinsey wil continue his work on The Atlantic Wire, an opinion aggregation site.


ABC-TV’s “Nightline” on Jan. 26 excoriated the dairy industry based on research by “undercover” teams that roamed the country.

In a show called “The Disturbing Reality of Dairy Land,” it branded as false and misleading the ad campaign that shows celebrities with white moustaches caused by milk and commercials that show cows chatting away about "how wonderful" their surroundings are.

Animal rights activists blasted the ad theme that “America’s milk comes from happy cows.”

An activist group visited a farm in upstate New York where 5,000 cows spend their entire lives in “giant, manure-filled barns, eating grain and nutrients once a day and kept perpetually pregnant to produce milk.”

“Worst” practices highlighted, which were said to be common throughout the industry, were cutting off the ends of cows’ tails and burning off the horns of young cows.

The tails are cut off because they might interfere with milking operations, causing loss of time, a milk farmer explained.

Activists said both practices are not only extremely painful since anesthetics are not used but are “totally unnecessary.” They labeled the practices as “outrageous” and “barbaric.”

Critics said that sentient cows are regarded as no more than “milk-producing machines.”

They noted that California has now outlawed cutting off cows’ tails (docking) and that a similar bill was introduced in the New York State legislature this month.

Book Hit 'Farming' of Animals

“Eating Animals,” by Jonathan Safran Foer, criticized dairy cow practices as well as those for many other animals that are raised for food.

The book was especially hard on the factory farming of pigs, saying it’s “plainly wrong to eat factory-farmed pork or to feed it to one’s family.”

Factory-farmed chickens and fish live brief lives in “horribly cramped conditions” and suffer all sorts of ills because of the “bioengineering” that is applied to them, wrote Foer.

1% and 2% Milk Called ‘Misleading’

Critics of the marketing of milk say that if milk with 1% fat and 2% fat are to be called “reduced fat,” then whole milk should have prominently on cartons the statistic “3.25%” since whole milk only has slightly more fat that “reduced fat” milk.

There are 2.5 grams of fat in 1% milk, 5 grams in 2% milk and 8 grams in whole milk. Buyers of 1% and 2% milk think they’re getting only one or two percent of regular fat content when they’re actually getting one-third or two-thirds of regular fat content, say the critics.

The ABC-TV program ended with a spokesperson for an activist group saying, in response to the “Got Milk” campaign, “Got Ethics.”

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, February 3, 2010, Page 4


"Everything gets out sooner or later. There are no secrets," said Tom Goodman, president and CEO, Goodman Media International, Inc.

Working in damage control has always been a tough racket. Given the media's vast evolution in recent years, in a world where the news cycle nears real-time and an ongoing soap opera in the entertainment industry has bred a culture hooked on schadenfreude, never has the need been greater for professionals who can respond to and rehabilitate client image on a second's notice.

Quick judgment, a clear strategy and defensive thinking are paramount in an industry where anything can happen.

“Crisis management has changed extraordinarily,” Goodman said. “In the old days we’d send items to the press with couriers. Now, you’re forced to look at things so quickly. Time is not on your side, time is the enemy. The people who are good at crisis are the ones who are good and fast. The problem many are having in crisis today is the story is moving faster than they can respond.”

Peter Himler, founding principal of Flatiron Communications, said good crisis management is predicated on arranging information internally and having a clear plan ready with senior management. Himler also served as moderator for the event.

“What exacerbates a crisis is holding off,” he said. “But if it’s not genuine, they can get burned. It has to be authoritative.”

Good Crisis PR is Defense

But when does an act become a crisis? Kellie Castruita Specter, senior director of communications for WNET.ORG, said because the profession places her as a constant target for scrutiny, she’s had to “think defensively,” analyzing when and how a hypothetical crisis can erupt.

“A crisis exists before it gets announced. Good crisis management is defensive thinking, it’s being able to anticipate what the bad news will be. I've had to recreate the way I think.”

Crisis moves faster than ever today, and with the advent of social media there are virtually millions of outlets where an infestation can take root. So, when do you engage? Is the blog with 100 readers as important as a breaking news story from the New York Times? Do you handle smaller outlets differently, with less veracity?

“It depends on the constituents of who received that information,” Goodman said. “A crisis is a crisis when it hits that hyper-local group that affects your client.”

The media’s thirst for salacious content has reached historic highs in recent years. The public loves a crisis, and the media - some blogs in particular - are absolutely unapologetic in the lengths they will go to deliver.

The panel noted that often reporters have a preconceived story in mind before they’ve amassed a single fact.

As a result, crisis teams are often left to weigh the consequence of being damned if they do, damned if they don't.

“There is no sympathetic media. If there’s a crisis no outlet is going to be nicer than the next,” she said. The media is like a pack of wild dogs.”

Forecasting Public Reactions

Specter said one trick is to deliberately leak the full story to a competitor. This gives the communications team leverage because the final authority - truth - is given to a news group that isn’t out for blood, and the other outlet loses credibility because it only broke part of the story. It may be a small victory, but it can balance perspectives to a degree.

Himler asked about the hypocrisy of celebrity worship, why celebrities like David Letterman are given a free pass in matters of infidelity while Tiger Woods is raked over the coals. Is it because pop culture gives some celebrities a pass, or is it because media is so ephemeral that nothing sticks? Is it because we love to hate, almost as much as we love a redemption story?

The panel admitted that a large part of their profession involves an ability to predict emotive, often irrational reactions from the public. Royal Caribbean’s recent gaffe of docking sunbathers on a Haitian beach while earthquake victims suffered several miles away made the company look awfully stupid.

However, it had been a stop on the cruise line for decades (the company actually donated $1 million to Haiti). To the public, perception is everything.

“Sometimes you have to defy the rationale. It’s all about perception. What does it look like?” Goodman said.

In this aspect, the panel noted that crisis should also be a proactive pursuit.

Himler mentioned a Ford executive who went to Twitter when his company refused the government bailout money given to other auto manufacturers. This simple act drove the company's conversation at a time when auto morale was low.

Himler asked: “Is there ever a case where you shouldn’t go straight out with a response? What if a client asks you to lie?”

“Tell the truth and shame the devil,” said Goodman at the panel event, hosted by the Entertainment Publicists Professional Society and the International Cinematographer’s Guild. “Get it all out. It’s free. Get it out and move on.”


Bloomberg BusinessWeek editor Josh Tyrangiel has added Eric Pooley and Hugo Lindgren to his team.

Pooley, former managing editor of Fortune, takes the deputy editor post on Feb. 8. He is a Bloomberg columnist who wrote the upcoming book “The Climate War: True Believers, Power Brokers and the Eleventh Hour to Save the Earth.” In a memo to staff, Tyrangiel hails Pooley as “one of the finest editors in the business.”

Lindgren joins March 8 from New York Magazine, where he is editorial director. He takes the executive editor post. Tyrangiel credits Lindgren with a "long record of editing top notch feature stories and memorable special issues. He also worked at the New York Times Magazine.

Ellen Pollock, executive editor, and Ciro Scotti, managing editor, continue in their posts.

Internet Edition, February 3, 2010, Page 5


Ketchum and its Pleon European unit have combined operations to set up a change management division called Ketchum Pleon Change.

The division, which operates out of several offices like Atlanta, New York and London, combines Pleon’s Change & Transformation unit with Ketchum’s Stromberg Consulting operation.

Ralf Langen, managing director of Ketchum Pleon Germany who was Europe leader for Pleon’s “change unit, will serve as president of the combined change division. He is based in Munich. David Rockland, who heads Ketchum’s global research network, serves as CEO of the combined division.

Atlanta-based Tyler Durham leads the North American operation.


Ron Green, former PR director for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, has opened a PR firm in the Indiana capital.

Green, who also handled PR for Brickyard Crossing Golf Course, IMS Productions and Brickyard Authentics retail stores under the Speedway umbrella, said R.Green Communications will provide focused PR and media relations that only a small firm can provide.

He was formerly media relations director for the Indy Racing League and director of PR for the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Info: 317/341-1820.


New York independent firm Makovsky + Company has formed an alliance with Concept Communication, a Mumbai, India-based firm.

M+C president Ken Makovsky said clients interested in the Indian market will benefit from the “ground level” collaboration.

Concept chief Vivek Suchanti plans to establish an “India Desk” in New York to handle PR for India-based companies as well as U.S. companies eying the Indian market for services like investor relations and financial communications.

BRIEFS: The Vandiver Group named senior A/E Casandra McCloud Employee of the Year for 2009. ...Insight Marketing Communications, Navarre, Fla., has opened a Panama City outpost under the direction of Lara Herter. ...BackBay Communications, Boston, has opened a New York office at 708 Third Avenue under the direction of Jen Dowd, a three-year veteran in Boston. ...CommCore Consulting Group marked its 25th year on Jan. 12. Andrew Gilman founded the firm in 1985. Clients include PepsiCo, General Motors and eBay. ...Sabatino|Day, Dayton, Ohio, won a Diamond Award in the consumer-related marketing tactics category from PRSA/East Central District for its work with Pioneer Electronics’ mobile business group. The firm handled a national media outreach campaign for Pioneer’s “wearable” XMP3 satellite radio and MP3 player earning coverage in media like the New York Times, Navy Times, National Geographic Adventure and Spin.


New York Area

Propheta Communications, New York/Alto Group Holdings, to oversee communications for its gold mining operations. AGH has a major drilling and mining project underway in Ghana.

Trylon SMR, New York/Copyright Clearance Center, licensing solutions, as AOR for media relations.

Embassy Global PR, Orchard Park, N.Y./Sherborne Sensors, inclinometer and other instrument developer, for global marketing and PR for 2010.


Sagefrog Marketing Group, Philadelphia/Penn Pharma Americas, U.K.-based pharma development and manufacturing, as AOR for marketing and PR.

Devaney & Associates, Baltimore, Md./3-Point Products, arthritis relief products, for positioning and media strategies.

Warschawski, Baltimore/Avon Protection Systems, respiratory protection products, for strategic comms.; Shiftman Mattress, Newark, N.J.-based handmade mattress maker, for comms., and Concurrent Technologies Corp., management and tech services for gov’t and private sector.

Chris O. Communications, Severna Park, Md./Smith Growth Partners, management consultant, to position the firm as a turnaround and growth strategist for mid-sized firms, and Capitol Communicator, social media platform for comms. professionals, for PR.

VARCom Solutions, Herndon, Va./Core180, telecom network integrator, as AOR for PR.

French/West/Vaughan, Raleigh, N.C./Legacies & Lifelines, products for Baby Boomer consumers who need help caring for elderly family members, for PR.

Jackson Marketing Group, Greenville, S.C./Peace Center, performing arts venue, as AOR for marketing comms.

Mountain West

Heinrich Marketing, Highlands Ranch, Colo./Fitness Together Franchise Corp., personal training franchise, for direct marketing and advertising.


Landis Communications, San Francisco/KMD Architects, for strategic comms.; SFJAZZ, for a multi-year campaign; Wolfe Video, for PR for top distributor of LGBT films, and Divine Wellness, Internet yoga instruction, for launch PR.

MSR Communications, San Francisco/The Smalls’ Street Sounds project, for social media marketing, and JangoMail, email marketing, for PR.

JMPR PR, American Exhibitions, as AOR for media relations for the Mummies of the World exhibition, debuting this summer.

The Bohle Company, Santa Monica/RFD-TV, 24-hour cable network focused on rural America; CyberDefender, anti-malware software and services, and Crisp Thinking, moderation software to protect kids who play games online, for PR.

PRx Communication Strategists, San Jose, Calif./LibraryWorld, web-based library automation, for business and trade publicity, as well as social media; East Side Teachers Association, teachers union, for public information and community relations, and San Jose Cannabis Buyers Collective, for media and government relations.

Internet Edition, February 3, 2010, Page 6


California’s Dept. of Industrial Relations has issued an RFP for a company to distribute news releases statewide and occasionally across the country.

The state has capped the contract at $35,000 to handle print and digital dissemination to journalists from a variety of media – newspapers and wire services to trade publications and business journals.

The pact is expected to run from May 1, 2010, through April 30, 2012.

Companies pitching must have 24-hour customer service, three years of experience with at least four "reputable" clients, including three California state agencies.

Proposals are due March 15.

Download the RFP.


D Simon Productions produced three satellite media tours from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month.

The New York-based broadcast and digital shop put together an SMT for Advanced Micro Devices to show the “ultimate man cave.”

Doug Simon said strong pick-up of more than 100 placements is a sign of an improving economy and “media’s increased openness to airing positive stories.”

Simon also produced a co-op tour with Cat Schwartz as well as a tour for the Consumer Electronics Association focused on eco-friendly tech gear.

BRIEFS: Meeting management and survey software developer Cvent said its staff grew more than 25 percent in 2009 to surpass the 500 mark globally. The McLean, Va.-based company said it picked up clients like The Nielsen Company, Hyatt and Bayer Healthcare in the robust year, which was its 10th anniversary. The company’s software helps manage events, conduct web surveys, manage suppliers and provide other similar tools. ...Online ad video consultancy BBE has named Rob Hirschberg East Coast director of sales. He was national director of online advertising and operations for Playboy Enterprises and previously was director of multimedia ad sales at News Corp. ...Big Voice Unlimited has created a Facebook game called “Inheritance” which it says is designed to deliver PR messages to target audiences. Players compete to renovate and design homes to boost value, but brands like consumer packaged goods, home decor and furnishings are placed through the game. Fusion Creative Studios created the game, which is set to be unveiled in April. FCS says the game allows brands to “actively engage with extremely large online audiences.” ...Social media monitoring company Visible Technologies said recording artist Lady Gaga was dominating online conversations in the run up to Jan. 31’s Grammy Awards. Buzz about the artist was included in 20 percent of total social media comments (146K posts), VT said, while music power couple Jay-Z and Beyonce Knowles measured a close second with more than 92K comments.



Cristina Lawrence, previously with Edelman and Fleishman-Hillard, to Razorfish, Chicago, as director of digital word-of-mouth marketing focused on the Central region of Atlanta, Austin and Chicago.

Thomas Pyden has stepped down after 26 years at General Motors for the VP/corporate communications slot at Ilitch Holdings, the Detroit-based owner of Little Cesar’s Pizza and the Detroit Red Wings hockey franchise. Pyden held various PR and communications roles at GM, most recently as VP, GM North America communications and executive director, corporate communications for GM. That included handling recent launch of the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro amid reams of coverage about GM’s financial woes. He takes over at Ilitch for another GM alum, Karen Cullen, moved to an advisory role with the company on Feb. 1 and remains president of the holding company’s charitable arm. She has been with Ilitch since 2005 after posts at Delphi and GM. Cullen joined Ilitch Holdings, Inc. in September 2005. Prior to that, she served in a variety of senior communications and public relations positions with Delphi Corporation and General Motors. Other Ilitch units include the Detroit Tigers baseball team, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, and the MotorCity Casino Hotel. Revenue for 2007 topped $1.5 billion.

Sarah Thomas, former director of the Public Policy Institute Health Team at AARP, to the National Committee for Quality Assurance, as VP for public policy and communications.

Jason Young has left a VP post at Glover Park Group to serve as managing director and GM of the D.C. office of ASGK Public Strategies, the PR firm founded by David Axelrod, Eric Sedler and John Kupper.

Matthew Faraci, VP of comms. for the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, to Americans United for Life, as VP for comms. and marketing.

Cozette Phifer Koerber, director, corporate communications, Jenny Craig, to Johnny Rockets, eatery chain based in Lake Forest, Calif., as VP of brand marketing and corporate comms. She was strategic PR program manager at Sony Electronics and senior manager of PR at Eddie Bauer.

Victoria Main, chief sub-editor on Reuters’ London Treasury desk, to FD Blueprint, Brussels.


Parker Blackman to chief operating officer, Fenton Communications, San Francisco. He joined the firm in 2001 and has been a managing director. Lisa Witter, a 10-year veteran, was named chief strategy officer. David Fenton, CEO of the firm known for its progressive client roster, said the “dream team” of Blackman and Witter will take the firm into a new era with Witter tranforming products and services and Blackman handling operating management and staff development.


Joanne Barry, executive director of the N.Y. State Society of Certified Public Accountants, has earned the Certified Association Executive credential.


Internet Edition, February 3, 2010, Page 7

MCCORMICK LETTER (Continued from pg. 1)

Lack of information is at the root of the current economic malaise.

Members Are Passive

It seems that as long as few or even no members complain about your "not available" policies you're not going to meet with us, let me or an O'Dwyer staffer join, release financials now or at least in Feb. (as 1997 president Debra Miller did), and your going to continue to withhold the minutes of the 2009 Assembly which was almost three months ago, refuse to make any written arrangements to accommodate my hearing problem at the next Assembly, and refuse to provide a list of 2009 Assembly delegates to the general membership, among other undemocratic and anti-information practices.

As long as no one but me complains you feel it's o.k. and you can get away with it.

Where Is Assembly on Website?

Members tell me they can't find anything about the Assembly on the website. Apparently it's been designed out unless you’re a member of the Assembly.

You refuse to answer any of my questions such as what was the paid membership as of Dec. 31, 2009?

I would also like the list of chapter member counts that the Society used to give me.

Just confirming--you are not going to make a transcript of the Assembly for the first time in many years.

If it's not necessary for creating the minutes, why did the Society prepare transcripts all those years?

The minutes, according to Robert's, are supposed to provide a tally of every single vote that was taken in the Assembly since minutes are a record of actions taken and votes are actions taken (that's what Robert's experts tell me).

I understand that only 30 showed up for the social media conference today and yesterday in D.C.

There are numerous other conferences on social media that are in competition with yours, which cost $899 for members and $999 for non-members.

I don't think you should be competing with private companies at all since you're playing with tax-free dollars. If you want to ignore all of the above, that's up to you.

It is not a pretty picture--Society leaders not only evading me but members. Not once in 2009 did the bylaws committee face a chapter in person about the bylaws. If you think you're setting a good example for the industry, I'd sure like to know the reasoning.


Jack O’Dwyer


Catherine Huggins, director of external comms. - corporate affairs at Aviva USA in Des Moines, has become the fourth sitting director to resign from the board of the “National Assn. of Not Availables" (the name this newsletter has given to the PR Society of America because of its press and member evasion-practices).

A release was obtained from the NANA website.

Huggins, in the second year of a two-year term on the board, cited "pressing professional obligations."

She told this NL that she moved from Western & Southern Financial Group to Aviva USA, fifth largest insurance company, and had increased job duties.

Asked where she stood on making transcripts of Assemblies available to members and the press, she said she favored that.

Transcripts of Assemblies have not been available since 2005. Among other things withheld from the membership are the names of the nearly 300 Assembly delegates.

Only three other sitting directors had resigned in the 63-year history of NANA: Sherry Treco-Jones, Decator, Ga., counselor, who resigned in 2004 just after the national board rejected governance proposals of a committee she was on, and Gary McCormick of Scripps and Ron Owens of Kaiser Permanente, who resigned in 2006.

Sources said McCormick and Owens resigned partly in protest to heavy workloads being given to the directors. Veteran members of NANA said Huggins may have resigned to make room for Ofield Dukes as a voting board member.

Mike Cherenson, 2009 chair, had pledged at the start of his term to seek more diversity in NANA leadership and had even mentioned Dukes as a legend" in the PR industry.

Dukes is currently on the board as a non-voting “senior counsel.”


Colorado is reviewing its tourism accounts for Canada, the U.K., and Germany with open RFPs through mid-March.

The state’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade and the Colorado Tourism Office are handling the RFP process. The works calls for development of PR plans, handling media inquires and organizing press trips, in addition to acting as the in-market tourism representatives for the state.

Budgets outlined in the pitch process are $200K each for the U.K and Germany, and $120K for Canada.

Each contract to be awarded will run for a year with three year-long options. Firms are required to have an office in the country where Colorado is targeted travelers. One covers the U.K. and Ireland, while another involves Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and the final review is for Canada.

Deadlines are March 23 (U.K), March 25 (Germany) and March 30 (Canada) with a decision expected by June. RFPs are at


The Department of Defense has named Google vet Sumit Agarwal as deputy assistant secretary of defense for outreach and social media.

Agarwal, who was appointed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates last week, was head of mobile product management at Google.

He’ll serve in the Senior Executive Service civil service class under Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Price Floyd at the Pentagon.

The MIT grad also serves in the Air Force Reserves.


Internet Edition, February 3, 2010, Page 8




PR’s madcap love affair with “social media” is in full gear with the $1,195 session at Coca-Cola h.q. in Atlanta Feb. 22-24 “sold out” (600).

Sponsor with top billing is Coke itself. Third billing goes to the National Assn. of Not Availables, the name we give to the PR Society because of its information-blocking policies not only with the press but members.

NANA COO Bill Murray will make a rare public appearance, speaking (symptomatically) about how “traditional media outlets are shrinking while social media channels seem to multiply daily.”

Murray, in three years as COO has never appeared before the NANA New York chapter nor any New York PR group nor addressed the PR press.

Attendees are told that they will be able to “revolutionize” their “traditional PR strategies.”

Lead-off speaker is Clyde Tuggle, senior VP of global PA and communications of Coke. Also keynoters are New York Times tech columnist David Pogue and Brian Solis of FutureWorks.

With Coke taking such a lead in the social media “revolution,” we have looked at Coke’s extensive (three pages) “Online Social Media Principles.”

The main advice needed for bloggers getting payment of any kind is in the Coke “Principles” but it’s buried.

Only on the third page, under ten “Expectations for Online Spokespeople,” do we find (under No. 4), the words, “State your relationship with the Company from the outset, e.g., ‘Hi, I’m John and I work for the Coca-Cola Co.’”

This should be the first sentence in the Coke principles.

Lawyer Michael Lasky of Davis & Gilbert told NANA/New York last week that the FTC requires identification of anyone making an endorsement or testimonial on the web. Such participants are considered “advertisers” by the Federal Trade Commission and must state that relationship. That reflects our view. PR pros, who are professional communicators, should deal with other professionals, namely journalists or other knowledgeable or expert sources tapped by journalists.

PR people can communicate directly with consumers, and more of this is taking place as traditional media shrink, but such communications are legally advertising and are subject to extensive rules about endorsements and how endorsements are disclosed.

Punishment can include “cease and desist” orders but the worst punishment is public disclosure.

Lasky noted the huge publicity that surrounded broadcaster Armstrong Williams and the Dept. of Education when it was revealed in 2006 that Williams was paid by the DoE to speak well of “No Child Left Behind.”

A side issue here is Coke and Pepsi promoting themselves as public-spirited companies when many of their products contribute to obesity, As much as 64% of the U.S. population is overweight and it is a particular problem among youth.

It is not only a factor in heart disease, diabetes and other diseases but has resulted in many overweight adults having to get new knees and hips. Fat people have a harder time finding a mate.

We wonder where Coke’s sensitivities were when it got into bed with NANA.

Coke in 2000 paid $192.5 million to settle charges of racial discrimination. African-American salaried employees claimed Coke discriminated against them in pay, promotions and evaluations.

The 2010 NANA board, despite attempts by a noted African-American to join it, remains all-white.

Ofield Dukes, described by 2009 NANA chair Mike Cherenson as a “legend,” was turned down when he sought a seat on the 2010 NANA board. Instead, he was “sent to the back of the bus” as a non-voting member.

The NAACP and the law firm of Mehri & Skalet, which won the case against Coke and similar cases against Texaco and Ford, have surveyed the ad/PR industries and found that blacks are only 10% as likely as white counterparts to hold a post paying $100K+.

NAACP and M&S have talked about a possible class action lawsuit but nothing has yet been filed.

Ray Crockett, head of North American PR for Coke, sat on the 2007 NANA board as a non-voting member after being appointed by 2007 chair Rhoda Weiss.

NANA/Georgia is the second biggest chapter with nearly 1,000 members in its area.

Crockett’s presence on the board in effect gave Coke’s approval to the numerous noxious practices of NANA/national including withholding the transcripts of the Assemblies from 2005-2008 and refusing even to make a transcript of the Nov. 7, 2009 Assembly. That meeting was heralded as the most important in the history of NANA since bylaws were completely re-written.

Almost three months after the Assembly, NANA has yet to publish the minutes of it. Names of Assembly delegates are available only to delegates and they have to make a request for this.

NANA, in the last two weeks of 2009, dissolved the Multicultural section claiming the 73 members were below the quota of 200.

Despite protests by leaders of the section, who say they were not adequately warned of such an action, there has been no move to re-instate the section.

Coke executive Frank Stansberry expressed outrage in 1994 when the NANA nominating committee rejected African-American Debra Miller for treasurer, which would have made her the 50th anniversary president in 1997.

The nomcom instead picked Janice Newman, whose firm name, “Newman, Newman & Jones,” was found to be misleading. The second Newman and the Jones were not “real people” but represented her “talents.” When asked if she had any experience in managing the finances of a big organization, she replied, “My own retirement fund.”

Miller, who had a Ph.D. in education, was responsible for managing the $2 million budget for the Journalism & Mass Communications Dept. at Florida International University.

The resignation of NANA board member Catherine Huggins puts the spotlight on the dysfunctional governance of NANA. It is out of step with the major professional groups such as those for lawyers, doctors, CPAs and psychologists.

All the above get their direction from bodies similar to the Assembly.

They boss the board around and not vice versa as at NANA.

Directors of those groups carry out policy that is set by their delegates who meet at least twice a year (vs. once a year for the NANA Assembly).

Huggins, who answered 13 questions we put to her when she ran for the board in 2008, was able to talk to us last week since she is no longer a director of NANA. She told us of her new job and of the many things she had been doing for NANA including working on advocacy and getting PR recognized by business schools. There is no need whatever for her to quit since there are 16 other directors to share the workload.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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