The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, March 24, 2010, Page 1
RESEARCH SEEKS MEDIA MONITOR
communications office of the U.S. Navys Virginia-based
science and technology office which executes and promotes
programs for the Navy and Marine Corps wants pitches through
the end of the month for a media monitoring and analysis
Office of Naval Researchs corporate strategic communication
unit is on the hunt for a web-based PR monitoring and crisis
communication service via an open solicitation issued in
January. The pitch deadline has been extended three times
and now sits at March 31.
contracting official told ODwyers that the call
for pitches is a new requirement and, as such, there is
the needs of the ONR are media aggregation, distribution
of clips and analysis, as well as the maintenance of a public
website for daily public affairs use and a dark site
for events and incidents.
one-year contract with four year-long options is expected.
ELLISON RETURNS TO BURSON
Helene Ellison, president
and founder of Healthstar PR, has moved to Burson-Marsteller
to head its global healthcare practice in a third stint
with the firm.
Gail Cohen, who led B-Ms
healthcare division since 2008, left in February for WeissComm
Ellison, who is based
in New York and started her career at the WPP-owned B-M,
was previously EVP, GM and head of healthcare for Edelmans
PR21 unit, a predecessor to Zeno Group, and was a GM at
Edelman. She was also VP/healthcare in a second stint at
Ellison has been named
global chair of B-Ms healthcare practice with oversight
for a division that has staff in every region of the firms
HealthStar executive VP
Erinn White, the firms second employee dating back
to 2003, is slated to take over as president and CEO of
the specialty healthcare agency that posted nearly $9M in
revenue in 2007.
PR Chief to B-M/S.F.
Nathan Ballard, who stepped
down as San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsoms communications
director in February, has landed at Burson as a managing
Ballard left the high-profile
mayors office after two years to re-start his PR firm
Earned Media and spend more time with his family. He was
a spokesman for the presidential campaigns of Sen. John
Kerry and Gen. Wesley Clark in California and Missouri,
respectively, as well as the states largest labor
union, the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.
PATERSONS PRESS SEC.
Marissa Shorenstein, press
secretary for embattled New York Governor David Paterson
has resigned due to her unwitting involvement in recent
news stories, says her statement.
The New York Times
reported Shorenstein intervened in an effort to have domestic
violence charges dropped against David Johnson, who was
Patersons top aide.
Shorenstein, a former
spokesperson for the New York Jets football team, says she
can no longer do her job effectively in the aftermath of
the news reports.
According to the statement,
Shorenstein believes she has performed her duties professionally
and with integrity, basing my actions on what I believed
to be true at the time.
Paterson has tapped Morgan
Hook, upstate press secretary, to replace Shorenstein, whose
departure follows the exit of Peter Kauffmann, communications
director, earlier this month.
PS TAPS VOCE, KETCHUM
brand has expanded its relationship with Voce Communications
and signed on Ketchum and its Access Communications unit
for its PR business.
Voce, which was handling
social media for PS since 2007, adds corporate communications
and the PlayStation Network online gaming service to its
duties, following an RFP.
will handle PlayStations hardware while parent Ketchum
works software PR, the firm said.
Porter Novelli previously
handled the account while SparkPR worked on its PlayStation
Bragman Nyman Cafarelli
and Omnicoms InterActive PR handled the launch of
the PS3 system in 2006.
Hill & Knowlton and
BNC guided the PS2 launch and Fleishman-Hillard launched
the first version in 1995.
PAGE SEEKS NICHOLSON SUCCESSOR
The Arthur Page Society
(the W has been dropped) is looking for a successor
to Thomas Nicholson who has been executive director since
April of 2007.
The search for his successor,
who will have the title of president, is being handled by
Richard Marshall of Korn/Ferry International.
(Continued on page 7)
Full table of PR firms
ranked by 2009 revenue in high-tech and food/beverage categories
on pg. 4.
Edition, March 24, 2010, Page 2
FIRMS SUE OVER CENSUS PR PACT
small group of black PR and communications firms, with the
backing of the Florida Black Chamber of Commerce, has filed
a discrimination suit against Florida Gov. Charlie Crist,
the states purchasing division and a four-firm partnership
involving Ketchum and Moore Consulting Group, which was
awarded a key part of the Sunshines States wide-reaching
$2.1M census PR account last month.
plaintiffs are led by Tallahassee-based N-Tersections Communications
and include Steele Communications Group (also of Tallahassee),
Medium Four (Ft. Lauderdale), Circle of One Marketing (Miami),
and the chamber.
are suing for damages and relief citing racial and ethnic
discrimination based on what they claim is the states
failure to award contracts to African-American vendors in
violation of the so-called One Florida initiative,
a program implemented by former Gov. Jeb Bush to prohibit
discrimination in state contracting. The groups say not
enough black-owned firms are winning contracts as lead bidders.
African-American portion of the census account was broken
down into two contracts worth a combined $420K. While local
media have reported that Ketchum-Moore hired two minority
firms to subcontract the work, Terrie Ard, senior VP at
Moore Consulting Group, told ODwyers that contention
is false and said the four firms are equal partners on the
who dare to stand on their own as prime contractors are
typically excluded in sizeable contracts such as this,
said Gene Franklin, president and founder of the black chamber
in announcing the suit.
plaintiffs claim that one of the judges in the RFP review
whom, they said, gave disparate scores to black-owned bidders,
has a professional affiliation with several bidders and
should have recused herself.
firms in the suit, noting Bushs executive order was
never rescinded, said that African-American spending by
the state has dropped from $450M under Bush to $100M now,
an 88 percent decline. Most minority-owned contracts
are going to women-owned businesses, which account for about
44% of state spending, they said, recalling the states
Jim Crow past.
F-Hs ST. LOUIS DIGITAL
Andy Barnett, who led
Fleishman-Hillards digital practice at its St. Louis
headquarters, has moved to Elasticity, a word-of-mouth digital
firm launched in 2009 by F-H vets.
He adds social media strategy,
online research and search engine marketing expertise to
the firm led by Brian Cross (ex-global digital comms. leader
at the Omnicom firm), Dan Callahan and Aaron Perlut.
Elasticity, part of the
St. Louis-based agricultural marketing agency Osborn &
Barr, also hired Christine Schmidt Ryder, who worked for
AOL and iVillage in Chicago, to lead its marketing-to-woman
JFWBK HELPS FEND OFF ICAHN
Joele Frank, Wilkinson
Brimmer Katcher is handling Lionsgate as the studio fends
off a hostile takeover bid from corporate raider Carl Icahn.
The company dismissed
Icahns inital partial takeover offer of $6 a-share
as financially inadequate and coercive and not
in the best interest of shareholders. Icahns effort
to bolster his current 18.9 percent stake to nearly 30 percent
is a way to veto matters that need to
be approved by a special resolution of shareholders, which
consist of several fundamental decisions including certain
acquisitions, business combinations and reorganizations,
The company is considering
the purchase of film libraries of Walt Disneys Miramax
and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; both moves are opposed by Icahn.
It already owns 12,000 motion picture and TV titles.
Lionsgate currently has
nearly 20 shows on 10 different networks, including Mad
Men and Weeds. Its feature film business
has generated more than $400 million at the North American
box office in the past year.
ALL CASTS IRONS
Todd Irons, a seasoned
D.C. PR pro recently a deputy for the Republican National
Committee, has moved to the right-leaning digital public
affairs shop David All Group in the capital as a VP.
Irons was deputy director
of communications at the RNC, stepping down shortly after
the late 2009 exit of comms. director Trevor Francis following
GOP wins in gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey.
Irons joined the RNC from
the PR agency realm. He was a VP in four years at GOP communications
firm ViaNovo, managing director at Qorvis Communications
and an account manager at Porter Novelli.
EDELMAN GUIDES RELIGARES
Edelman is handling New
Delhi-based financial services powerhouse Religare Enterprises,
which has mapped out a plan to make thoughtful acquisitions
in the U.S.
Religare has targeted
the asset management space, according to Edelmans
contract that is worth $15K a-month, plus a 10% service
charge on expenses.
Edelman is to get the
wheels rolling by developing relationships and an understanding
of Religares business and value proposition
with reporters and editors at top tier business/financial
outlets and trade press.
The No. 1 independent
firm is to provide transaction support around acquisition
announcements including planning and strategy development,
support in drafting/editing materials, and media coordination.
Edelman is charged with
working seamlessly with bankers, lawyers, advisors
and other communications agencies to provide consultancy
support at all stages of the deal.
Thomson Reuters reported
on Religares global ambitions on March 13 noting Religare
Capital Markets has applied to the U.S. Financial Regulatory
Authority for a license to operate here and is on the prowl
for a CEO.
Edition, March 24, 2010, Page 3
IN FOCUS FOR FINANCIAL JOURNOS
reporters are moving their focus toward how financial institutions
are working to repair their images and communicate effectively,
a year after probing the causes and immediate aftermath
of the sectors near-collapse.
of financial reporters say financial services firms
PR efforts have been fair or poor
in the wake of public resentment over taxpayer bailouts
and industry bonuses, according to a survey by Bostons
BackBay Communications and Marketwire.
percent graded financial institutions communications
efforts as fair while 21 percent hit them as
poor, said the poll of 107 journalists in the
space. That compares with 21% who said PR efforts in the
sector have been good and only 2% who rated
Haynes, president, of BackBay, said the results show the
extent to which trust has been lost and needs to be rebuilt.
poor performance was outlined by respondents who said the
greatest challenges facing financial institutions right
now are overcoming the credibility gap with their constituencies,
managing crises and responding to regulatory changes. The
credibility gap has especially come into focus as it was
named by 82% of reporters, up from 66% last year.
the lens on themselves, just over 40 percent of financial
reporters said they deserve a fair grade for
effectiveness, while 12% said they earned a poor
rating for performance.
of reporters responding said finding the time and resources
to cover the news is their biggest challenge. Forty-four
percent cited the ordeal of getting financial institutions
to communicate in a downturn, while another 41% said its
challenging to know who to believe in such a situation.
ducking and mislead the press will have a negative effect
on coverage, they said. Evasive responses were cited by
nearly 80% of journalists as among the most common mistakes,
while 78% cited a failure to respond to calls or emails.
Seventy-three percent said failure to communicate newsworthy
developments promptly and honestly is another frequent mistake.
said sources for stories primarily come from personal contacts
(89%), direct communications from companies (77%) and wire
CNNS AMANPOUR TO ABC
Christiane Amanpour, CNN's
top international correspondent, has been named anchor of
ABC News This Week. She joins in August.
ABC News president David
Westin said Amanpour will provide international analysis
on key issues and host primetime documentaries on international
He praised Amanpour as
a highly respected journalist who has a "deep
commitment to bringing news of the world to the American
Amanpour replaces George
Stephanopoulos, who took the Good Morning America
slot in December. Senior White House correspondent Jake
Tapper anchors The Week until Amanpour arrives.
Amanpour spent 27 years
at CNN, reporting from hotspots such as Iraq, Afghanistan,
Pakistan, Rwanda and the Balkans.
She leaves CNN with the
utmost respect, love and admiration for the company
and everyone who works there.
NYT REVAMPS POLITICAL TEAM
The New York Times
has revamped its political coverage as Adam Nagourney, chief
political correspondent, is moving to head the Los Angeles
Executive editor Bill
Keller has assigned new duties to reporters Jeff Zeleny,
Matt Bai and Jim Rutenberg.
In his memo, Keller notes
the day of the lone national political correspondent
has passed. He cited the incessant demands of print
and web and the mushrooming of competition.
In the new set-up, Zeleny
will be day-to-day political reporter, covering breaking
news, analysis, profile and blog posts. He had been focused
on the White House.
Bai is shifting from the New York Times Magazine to the
paper for a new political columnist post similar to the
columns of David Leonhardt and Joe Nocera in the business
Rutenberg is to concentrate
on campaign-related investigative and enterprise stories
behind the news, according to Kellers note to staffers.
PEW: SAND RUNS OUT FOR NEWSPAPERS
The newspaper business
has lost $1.6B in reporting/editing capacity since 2000,
according to the annual state of the media survey of the
Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism. Working with the
Poynter Institute, Pew projects there is $4.4B in editorial
Newspapers shed 5,900
staffers in 2010. A third of newsroom jobs that existed
in 2001 have been wiped out. Specialty beats such as science,
arts, and statehouse governments have been the hardest hit.
Journalism losses in the
newspaper business are especially tough, since that sector
accounts for 90 percent of editorial budgets in the U.S.
Citizen journalism has
received much play, but Pew notes that a little more than
$140M of non-profit money has gone into new media ventures.
That's less than one-tenth of the losses in newspaper resources.
Sand in hourglass
Pew believes the countdown
has long ago begun for newspapers to develop business models
to recast themselves. It uses the metaphor of sand in an
hourglass to describe the state of the newspaper sector. Unless
some system of financing the production of content is developed,
it is difficult to see how reportorial journalism will not
continue to shrink, regardless of the potential tools offered
by technology, the study said.
Currently, Pew sees little
evidence that journalism online has found a sustaining revenue
model. Regarding web advertising, Pew notes that 79
percent of online news consumers say they rarely if ever
have clicked on an online ad.
news continued on next page)
Edition, March 24, 2010, Page 4
Ranking of High-Tech PR Firms
here for ranking.
PR FIRMS JOIN FOOD CATEGORY
food & beverage category of the ODwyer rankings
drew entries from 54 firms reporting 2009 revenue, almost
the same number as for the previous year when there were
of the 25 largest food PR practices showed declines while
ten had gains and three were even. Food PR firms reported
revenue totaling nearly $103M for 09.
leader Edelman had a 5% decline to $51,947,570 while second
place APCO Worldwide had a gain of 16% to $6,546,408. Hunter
PR, New York, in third place, was about even at $5,669,985.
newcomer in the No. 4 spot, weighing in at $5,651,110, is
FoodMinds, based in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.
of Food/Beverage PR Firms
here for ranking.
Edition, March 24,
2010, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
VETS SET UP EVOLUTION
veteran healthcare pros have set up Evolution Health Strategies
in Los Angeles.
include Robert Berra, a co-founder of FischerHealth who
was recently with FH/Porter Novelli, Steve Moya, ex-chief
marketing officer of Humana and senior VP at LatinWorks
Marketing, and Miriam Weber Miller, also a FischerHealth
veteran and co-founding senior executive of Chandler Chiccos
who serves as president & CEO of the new entity, said
the firms charter is to partner with growth-focused
early-stage, mid-cap and select mature healthcare clients
to to find clarity in this maze of confusion in order
for their companies to continue growing and evolving.
said three key challenges shaping the market include new
populations previously outside the system joining, the indefinite
battle over cost and access, and new products and services
requiring greater efficiency and patient outcomes.
KETCHUM BOOSTS MIDEAST ALLIANCE
Ketchum has boosted its
partnership with Middle East-based TBWA/RAAD/PR in a joint
venture to handle communications work in the region.
TBWA has been a Ketchum
affiliate since 2006 covering the Middle East and North
The new venture creates
Ketchum Raad Middle East operating in 14 cities in 12 countries
like the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Jon Higgins, CEO of international
operations for the firm, said the region is increasingly
important to clients and carries an excellent
POLITICAL PR FIRMS MERGE
In a merger of political
PR firms, Jackson, Miss.-based Meadowbrook Strategies has
acquired six-staffer Nashville public affairs shop Flat
Under the deal, Flat Creek
managing partner Allen Fuller operates as managing partner
for Meadowbrook Strategies Nashville office.
Blake Parsons, Flat Creeks
creative director, becomes a partner as well. Info: fcreek.com.
Communications, New York/Connectiva Systems, revenue
and risk management services for the telecomms. sector,
as AOR for PR.
+ King Company, New York/StickerYou, online platform
for customizing and ordering personalized stickers, for
PR and social media.
Public Relations, New York/Rent2Buy.com,
rent-to-own services for business owners across
industries like electronics, real estate and furniture.
& Shanley, Providence, R.I./Delta Dental of Rhode
Island, for advertising and social media.
& Knowlton, Washington, D.C./American Airlines,
for PR and public affairs related to commercial airline
legislation and regulations.
Merrell & Partners, Raleigh, N.C./National Humanities
Center, as AOR for PR for the non-profit.
Ink PR, Miami Beach/Altamare and Cobalt at Vero Beach
Hotel & Spa, eateries; David Whyko, chef of Delishe
catering; Exhale Spa at Epic, and Tacontento on Lincoln
Road Lane, restaurant, for PR, marketing and events.
Glass + Associates, Bannockburn, Ill./Freudenberg
Household Products, for launch of its O-Cedar wet floor
cleaning system at the IHA International Home + Housewares
Show in Chicago.
Group, Minneapolis/Shock Doctor, athletic mouthguard
marketer, for social media marketing, consumer PR and strategic
communications, and sparkhouse, curriculum and design services
for the Christian education community, for PR projects.
Gold & Associates, Denver/Alpine Access, home-based
customer care and contact center services, for PR for its
cable and telecomms. practice.
PR, Denver/Mexicos Riviera Maya Destination
Marketing Office and the Estes Park (Colorado) Convention
& Visitors Bureau, for media relations and social media
PR, Las Vegas/Todd English P.U.B., eatery at Crystals
in CityCenter, as AOR, including media relations, publicity,
and promotional efforts for its grand opening.
PR, San Diego/Annie Chuns, gourmet Pan-Asian
foods, as AOR for PR and integrated marketing for the brand
and its meal solutions.
Communications, San Diego/Bali Hai, for launch of
the 57-year-old, newly renovated eatery; KSDS Jazz 88.3
FM, member-support station, for PR and community relations;
EYELEVEL, retail and branding fixtures firm, for a global
PR, Los Angeles/Visionary Apps, smartphone application
developer, for PR via the firms iPhone app PR
department to launch the companys Complete Realty
Suite business app.
Communications, Los Angeles/PERI Software, for branding
and media relations.
Edition, March 24, 2010, Page 6
AGAIN SEEKS NEWS RELEASE VENDOR
$35K contract to distribute news releases for the state
of California has been put out for bid for a second time
after an RFP earlier this month failed to yield acceptable
official from the states Dept. of Industrial Relations
said the department could not award a contract because no
responsible bids were received.
Wire currently handles the account.
two-year contract runs from May 1 to April 30. 2012. The
invitation for bid requires that companies pitching must
have 24-hour customer service, three years of experience
with at least four reputable clients, including
three California state agencies.
the RFP at odwyerpr.com/rfps.
ADFERO, PRESS CLUB START PR
The National Press Club
and Adfero Group in Washington, D.C., have created the Get
PR Smart series of continuing education events for
PR pros, a key membership group of the club.
The series, open to members
and non-members of the club, covers topics like how social
media has changed PR and using new, inexpensive technologies
to get messages out.
William McCarren, executive
director NPC, said that many NPC members are non-journalist
communication professionals so the partnership with
Adfero is meant to serve that base.
McCarren said events throughout
the year will include three half-day conferences as well
as six classroom-style educational seminars.
The first event is March
26 with others running through December. Info: www.press.org/prsmart.
VISIBLE UPGRADES MONITORING
Monitoring company Visible
Technologies said it has enhanced its truCAST Suite with
the latest release of truREPUTATION, its online reputation
The Bellvue, Wash.-based
company said as content from blogs, social networks and
consumer review sites become increasingly integrated within
search results, marketers need to move beyond simple ad
hoc monitoring and search engine optimization tactics
which it sees truREPUTATION 2.0 as fulfilling.
The service collects and
analyzes search results from engines like Google, Yahoo
and Bing, and incorporates numeric values to signify sentiment
of a brand into its analysis.
Components of the service
include the search result management (domestically and internationally),
weekly, monitoring reports, tracking and reporting, and
sentiment scoring, among other features.
BW HAS MOBILE APP
Business Wire has tapped
Viigo for a co-branded mobile application to deliver content
to smartphones running Blackberry and Windows software.
BW content will be categorized
by industry, language, subject and multimedia.
The app is available for download at viigo.com/partner/businesswire.
Szumera, director, PR and marketing comms., Lazar
Partners, to MedThink Communications, Raleigh, N.C., as
VP, PR practice lead. He was previously a managing director
in Burson-Marstellers New York healthcare practice
and has worked with sector bluechips like Merck, Johnson
& Johnson, Pfizer and Novartis.
Watts, senior A/E, SunStar Strategic, to JCPR, Parsippany,
N.J., as an executive VP. Michelle
Pittman, A/S, Beckerman PR, joins JCPR as associate
Myers, VP of state government affairs, UnitedHealth
Group, to DaVita Inc., Denver, as VP of communications for
the Fortune 500 provider of kidney care. He was previously
in corporate comms. and government affairs during 11 years
at Qwest Communications.
Craig, who ran her own consultancy, CPC Communications,
for eight years, to Landis Communications, San Francisco,
as senior counselor, client relations. She was previously
PR manager for the The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco, and Little
Mendelson PC. Jordana
Frishman, assistant placement counselor, Town &
Country Resources, joins Landis as an A/C.
de Bold, who ran his own consultancy and was co-founder
to MS&L, Toronto, as VP, social media and digital marketing.
He was previously VP of web marketing for Viigo.
Linford Kelly to VP, global communications, Unitus,
global non-profit based in Seattle. She was previously director
of marketing comms. in a decade-long career at Cobalt.
Kautz to director of brand management, Rawle Murdy
Associates, Charleston, S.C. Kautz has been with the firm
for 11 years. Erin
Watson was upped to senior account director.
Berick to senior managing director, Dix & Eaton,
Cleveland. Berick, who joined the firm in 2001, is a member
of the firms leadership committee and heads its investor
relations practice. He was previously director of corporate
comms. and IR for Scott Technologies and VP and director
of IR for Watt, Roop & Co.
Koenig and Michael
Cummings, VP and business development manager, respectively,
at Kellen Company, New York, will be honored by the N.Y.
Society of Association Executives at the groups Synergy
Awards on April 21. Koenig is in line for the Outstanding
Association Executive award while Cummings will be
honored as Outstanding Committee Chair.
Edition, March 24, 2010, Page 7
from page 1)
200 resumes were sent to Page when word of the opening was
of those applying are members of Page or PR Seminar or both.
About 40 members of Page and Seminar are said to be in the
was making $180,000 plus $17,000 in benefits.
reports are that the salary for the new post will not go
above $200,000 although another school says $250K will be
needed to attract the right person.
in a departing statement to Page members, noted that the
group has a record high membership and that it had its second
straight year of positive cash flow after five years of
negative cash flow.
VP-PR and communications, HSBC North America, and director
of PR, all retail formats of Sears, Roebuck & Co., he
intends to return to corporate PR.
IRS Form 990 for 2008 showed cash/investment totaling $581,000.
The total was $841,277 at the end of 2003.
Costs Are Issue
members of Page and PR Seminar said the employers of the
PR executives are uneasy with them attending high-cost meetings
in both April and May.
spring meeting of Page in New York (April 8-9 at the Waldorf-Astoria
this year) costs $1,195 plus hotel and meals for at least
two days. As many as 200 attend.
theme of this years meeting, ironically say some Page
members, is Becoming Indispensable to Your Organization.
It is the 25th annual spring seminar of Page.
Seminar's four-day meeting is held at the end of May in
a top-level resort.
Registration per couple last year was $3,350. Almost all
attendees bring spouses or companions.
for a couple including hotel, meals and transportation can
easily top $7,500.
veterans said that in recent years executives have been
attending one or the other meeting but not both.
of the 127 PR executives at the 2009 Seminar at the Ritz-Carlton,
Laguna Niguel, Calif., including 2009 Page president Maril
MacDonald, are also members of Page. Seminars 30-member
executive committee includes 21 Page members.
Had Record Low Attendance
127 total for Seminar was a record low attendance caused
partly by the recession and partly by criticism of corporate
meetings at expensive resorts.
had come under a torrent of criticism in 2008 for meeting
at such resorts after receiving billions in federal bailout
dues of Page are $1,095. More than $150,000 is provided
in the form of tax-deductible grants to Page which is a
organizations in this category are charities such as the
Red Cross or United Way or educational or cultural institutions
such as ballet companies or symphonies. The IRS description
of a c/3 non-profit says it is for religious, educational,
charitable, scientific, literary, testing for public safety,
or prevention of cruelty to children or animals organizations.
are for business leagues, chambers of commerce, real
estate boards. Tax law sources further say that membership
in a c/3 should be available to the general public
and that benefits to members are negligible.
Contributions sought are supposed to be for benefits to
the general public. Page got its c/3 status in 1983 by positioning
itself as an educational institution.
of the public cannot join the 350-member Page which has
highly restrictive membership policies even for PR pros.
Most of the members are from corporations.
making 2009 tax-deductible contributions to Page included
the following that gave more than $10,000 each: Abbott,
FedEx, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft Foods, Prudential Financial,
State Farm Insurance and Weber Shandwick.
more than $5,000 each were Royal Dutch Shell, Staples, Edelman,
Coca-Cola Enterprises, IBM, Manning Selvage & Lee and
others made contributions of more than $1,000.
OF DISGRACED PR PRO OPENS SHOP
Martin, business partner of the Nashville PR pro Walt Baker
who crippled his firm after he sent out an email
which compared first lady Michelle Obama to a chimpanzee,
has set up his own firm in the city with several clients
and staffers from the previous venture, Mercatus Communications.
Walts actions coupled with the intensive reaction
has crippled Mercatus to the point where we will close,
Martin told ODwyers, referring to Baker, with
whom he founded Mercatus along with Tom Hannon in 1995.
new venture is Phil Martin Affiliates (615-268-8000) handling
strategic media, message development and execution, he said.
held top posts including president in 10 years at Ericson
PR prior to Mercatus. He was previously marketing and corporate
communications director for Winners Corp. and earlier stints
included Dye, Van Mol, Lawrence & Ericson, Holder Kennedy
& Co., and Burson-Marsteller.
clients began leaving Mercatus after Bakers email
was blasted by city officials, PR pros and journalist who
received it. Baker apologized shortly after the incident
and called the email political humor.
has been an incredible case study in how rapidly one can
fall and be punished in a viral environment, said
Verbinnen & Co.
is handling Phillips Van-Heusen's $3B acquisition of Tommy
Hilfiger BV, a deal that bolsters PVHs reach in Europe. The
combined company will have revenues of more than $4.5B.
Tommy Hilfiger, who has no management role in the company
that bears his name, is to remain principal designer.
Edition, March 24, 2010,
an historic meeting (our first interview with a sitting
PRSA chair since early 2006)
this writer and ODwyer editor Kevin McCauley met with
chair Gary McCormick and president Bill Murray for nearly
an hour March 19 in ODwyer offices.
think all would agree that no one budged an inch on any
of the issues raised.
again stated our demand that the Society pay us at least
$200,000 for the more than 50,000 copies of our articles
that it sold up until 1994, when we exposed the practice.
Society, while admitting no wrongdoing, immediately removed
all our articles from the information packets, joined the
Copyright Clearance Center, and announced that info pack
prices were raised from $20 to $41 for members and $55 to
$76 for non-members.
articles constituted a quarter to a third of some of the
60-70 page packets.
made the Society join its most expensive service, reserved
for publishers who set prices for individual articles, because
what the Society was selling was not education,
but professional development.
of the service hoped to make or save money, hoped to improve
their job skills, by using the advice in the articles.
copied ODwyer articles included one on How to
Hire a PR Firm, copied and sold thousands of times.
Packet volume was 3,800 in one year. Other articles told
PR firms how to write contracts with clients, how to place
stories in general and specialty media, etc.
of Society members were able to read ODwyer articles
without paying us a nickel.
No Financial Harm
Yet Joe Vecchione, 1994
president, wrote to Society leadership: We do not
believe we are in violation of the copyright laws nor have
we caused Mr. ODwyer any financial harm.
Both statements were absurd.
The Authors Guild made the same comment when we showed them
the Societys practice.
Since then, the Society
has been on a flight from reality, embarking on an all-out
campaign to vilify this reporter and the ODwyer Co.
rather than take up the responsibility for the unauthorized
sale of hundreds of thousands of copies of works by authors
without their permission.
A dozen authors hired
a law firm and pressed for a lawsuit. But none of their
publishers would back them. The copied authors, unable to
afford the $200K needed to wage the suit, were left twisting
in the wind.
But the moral obligation
to pay them, in the form of money and ads for their books,
We Are Evil Incarnate
McCormick and Murray presented
a list of ODwyer behaviors that they say are so offensive
that the Society will have absolutely nothing to do with
us. That includes letting us join or buy ads or having our
questions answered by Society staffers.
This vilification has
been spread to the 100+ chapters for nearly two decades.
No chapter president will talk to us much less buy any ODwyer
A sure route to ostracism
at the Society is for a member to be caught talking to or
helping the ODwyer Co.
Whether this war has hurt
the ODwyer Co. is open to question since a lot of
our readers like to hear about the almost endless shenanigans
of the Society.
It has not done the Society
any good because membership is only a little above the 19,800
members it had in 1998. More importantly, the Society has
failed to live up to its lofty ethical standards.
We offer to publicly debate
McCormick and Murray on these issues with the proceeds going
to victims of the Haitian earthquake or the groups that
help families of slain and imprisoned journalists.
Alternatively, we would
like a trial before 12 PR pros in which we present our copious
evidence. Only two should be APR. Others should be corporate
and agency PR executives and several reporters.
Pressed for concrete reasons
for our ostracism, McCormick and Murray pointed to the full
page attack on us in the Sept. 2008 Tactics. We had given
them a copy of this attack along with a dozen pages on the
copying scandal and the Societys help to PR Week/U.S.
when it was launched in 1998.
The boards letter,
after accusing this writer of stepping far beyond
the bounds of accurate and professional reporting,
specifically referred to our e-mailing and calling superiors
of Prof. Gail Baker of the University of Nebraska in early
2008 (although neither Baker nor the University were named
in the letter).
Baker had become Ethics
Board chair although she had never served on the EB, a break
with tradition. She wouldnt return our phone calls
or e-mails, which we consider unethical, especially in an
Although past EB chairs
such as Bob Frause or Dave Rickey worked for themselves
or a corporation and also didnt talk to us, an EB
chair at an educational institution represented a golden
opportunity to us.
Plagiarism or even failure
to properly credit an idea taken from another educator are
cardinal sins in academia.
One can imagine what educators
would think of the massive copying and sale of articles
without their authors permission that the Society
engaged in for many years.
We presented documentation
of this practice by e-mail to University Chancellor John
Christensen at 11:55 a.m. on March 20, 2008. Less than four
hours later, at 3:49 p.m., staffer Joseph DeRupo e-mailed
us that Baker was no longer EB chair. The school had obviously
given her a choice: stay as EB chair or stay with U of N.