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Internet Edition, April 21, 2010, Page 1


Florida's Department of Transportation has an RFP out through the end of the month for a mid-six-figure contract for public communications consulting on construction projects in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties.

The transit agency plans to award a three-year contract through June 2013.

Three option years are also possible. Estimated budget is $590K for the first two years.

Projects on the Florida DOT's radar include a multibillion-dollar high-speed rail known as the SunRail train connecting Miami and Palm Beach, as well as dozens of federal stimulus projects.

The RFP, released on April 12, calls for services like communications planning, public relations and community involvement, website development, preparation of media communications and collateral materials, among other tasks.

Finalists will be required to present at the DOT headquarters in Miami in mid-May.

Proposals are due April 29.

Download the RFP at


United Airlines has hired Edelman as its agency of record following an RFP process that began last fall.

Edelman had previously worked with the airline but it did not have an AOR.

“Edelman is the right PR partner to support our strategic communications agenda and help us tell our story about the good things we are doing here at United,” Robin Urbanksi, manager of media relations for the Chicago-based carrier, told O’Dwyer’s.

United, the No. 3 U.S. airline, has reportedly been in merger talks with No. 4, U.S. Airways.

Edelman’s Chicago office heads the account.


Connie Weaver, who led marketing and communications at The Hartford Financial Services Group, is slated to take those reins next month at TIAA-CREF, the $400 billion financial services company.

She will take over for Steve Goldstein, executive VP and VP for public affairs and marketing, who is exiting on June 30 after seven years with plans to counsel companies on how to leverage country music to build their brands.

She was previously EVP and CMO at BearingPoint and held a similar role at AT&T.

Earlier stints included investor relations, comms. and marketing posts at Microsoft, MCI and McGraw-Hill.


MDC Partners, best recognized as parent of creative ad agencies Crispin Porter & Bogusky and kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners, is ready to make a big splash in the PR business, according to its CEO.

Miles Nadal says PR is a very attractive growth opportunity, citing reasons such as the rise in social media, greater consumer skepticism toward corporations, increased brand engagement, more governmental relations and all-intrusive 24/7 media coverage.

The world is becoming a much more complicated place, said Nadal, who believes PR is the best tool to make sense of things. The most “innovative initiatives” in the communications space are happening in PR.

His management philosophy is focused on the idea of a “perpetual partnership,” which leaves non-controlling or economic ownership in the hands of the operating management to incentivize long-term growth and drive entrepreneurialism.

MDC is committed to providing financial resources to the partnership and support of its global network.

Nadal has spoken or plans to speak with many CEOs that are listed in the O’Dwyer rankings.

MDC acquired a majority stake in Sloane & Co. this month.

Toronto-based MDC registered ’09 revenues of $545M. It ranks as North America's No. 4 communications holding company behind Omnicom, Interpublic and inVentiv Health.


Finsbury Group guides Quadrangle Capital Partners, the media/communications investment company, which has just agreed to pay a $12M fine to settle civil charges alleging it paid kickbacks to score business from the New York State pension fund.

Steven Rattner, Wall Street dealmaker, Democratic fundraiser, former New York Times reporter and President Obama’s one-time car czar, founded Quadrangle.

Rattner cut ties with Quadrangle to salvage General Motors and Chrysler.

The settlement with the New York Attorney General’s Office and Securities and Exchange Commission does not cover Rattner.

Quadrangle released a statement to “wholly disavow the conduct engaged in by Steven Rattner.”

The Finsbury-distributed statement says Quadrangle’s current management has cooperated fully with investigators and the firm neither admits nor denies the allegations.


Internet Edition, April 21, 2010, Page 2


Brunswick Group reports that optimism has returned to M&A advisors as 78 percent in a recent survey by the firm expect M&A activity to continue to increase for the remainder of 2010.

Steven Lipin, senior partner of the firm, called the finding a “substantial change in sentiment” in the sector as advisors see the robust first quarter continuing through the rest of the year.

“While it may be premature to sing ‘Bon Temps Rouler,’ overall the community is feeling much more positive,” he said.

That's a sharp contrast to Brunswick’s survey last year that found nearly 70 percent saying it would take up to five years to return to the level of activity in 2007.

Most activity is expected domestically with only a small percentage likely to involve foreign acquirers in the U.S., the survey found.

Activist investors will play a more prominent role this year than last, according to about 80 percent of respondents.

Sectors eyed for consolidation include healthcare (cited by 24%), energy (18%), and financial services (17%).

The optimism is fueled by perceived confidence at the CEO level, as seen by 36% responding, while looser credit and low interest rates (28%), as well as improving equity markets and stock prices (18%) got a nod. Only 10% cited an improving economy.

FD Was Top M&A Advisor in Q1

FD was top the M&A firm globally in the first quarter of 2010, while Kekst and Company held a commanding lead as No. 1 for deals in the U.S., according to research by mergermarket.

Kekst topped U.S. consultancies by the value and volume of deals in Q1 as it had a role in 27 transactions totaling $71.7 billion.

Global M&A was up 15% this year from Q1 2009 as 2,300 deals were completed. U.S. volume was up 22% to 695 during the period but total value fell 23% to $154 billion.

In the U.S., Kekst is followed by FD (22 deals; $56.2B), Brunswick Group (12; $54.6B), Sard Verbinnen & Co. (16; $43.6B) and Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher (18; $41B) in Q1 activity measured by value.

Measured by volume of deals, Abernathy MacGregor Group was No. 5 with 13 deals while Brunswick Group was at No. 6.

Top Deals of Q1

Some of the top M&A deals in Q1 included:

• MetLife's $15.5B acquisition of AIG’s American Life Insurance Co. - Sard Verbinnen worked with MetLife while Kekst counseled AIG.

• Coca-Cola Co.’s $12.2B acquisition of Coca-Cola Enterprises North America - FD and Kekst, respectively.

• Merck KGaA’s $6.5B acquisition of Millipore Cor. - Brunswick and Sard Verbinnen, respectively.

Globally, the top 10 firms by volume of deals in Q1 were FD, Brunswick, Kekst, Joele Frank, Sard Verbinnen, Citigate, Abernathy MacGregor, Maitland, Hering Schuppener Consulting and Publicis Consultants.


Massey Energy, the Virginia-based mining company coping with the death of 29 workers last week after a mine explosion in West Virginia, is working with two PR firms in the aftermath of the blast.

Dix & Eaton of Cleveland and Washington, D.C.-based Qorvis Communications are helping the company handle a barrage of media and regulatory scrutiny that has followed the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster, Massey confirmed in a statement to O’Dwyer’s.

Media and social media have been circulating negative safety reports and past quotes from Massey executives, providing a significant challenge for the company as it works to through the crisis.

D&E is handling media inquiries for Massey. Qorvis has worked with the company since at least last year.

The April 12 explosion was the worst U.S. mine disaster in decades, according to the federal government.

President Barack Obama on April 15 faulted both Massey and federal regulators for the explosion.

But Massey’s PR operation has been engaged in the criticism and pushed back against Obama’s statement as “regrettable” while calling the president “misinformed.”

The company, a large coal producer in the region, has also dealt with what it says are erroneous reports about benefits to the families of the victims.

In a statement April 15, the company cited as untrue an Internet report that claimed benefits were being paid to stave off lawsuits while noting that personal injury lawyers have published ads seeking cases and tried to contact family members.

Massey said there will be an appropriate time to discuss settlement options with the families.


Burson-Marsteller, which snared San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s ex-communications director Nathan Ballard last month, has now snatched his digital communications chief for its Proof Integrated Communications unit.

Brian Purchia was deputy communications director and tech advisor to Newsom, concentrating on new media.

Ballard credits Purchia for establishing Newsom among the “most tech-savvy political leaders in the world.”

He helped Newsom build a 1.3M Twitter following and move the city's 311 system to Twitter.

He also wrote blogs, speeches and op-eds for Newsom, who had considered a run for Governor of the Golden State.

Purchia has worked as reporter and producer of Voice of America and Fox40 News in Sacramento. He reports to PIC’s CEO Jay Leveton and Bill Kemp, managing director for the U.S. digital practice.

PIC is the offspring of the marriage of B-M’s Marsteller and Penn Schoen Berland’s PSBcreative advertising units.

B-M is part of WPP Group.


Internet Edition, April 21, 2010, Page 3


Elizabeth Estroff, who’s led corporate communications for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, has been tapped by the ASPCA as senior VP of communications for the animal care organization.

Estroff was at MSLO for eight years and exits as senior VP/corporate comms. She was previously director of corporate comms. at Ziff Davis Media and started out as a reporter and editor for Cowles Business Media covering the retail sector.

Estroff will serve as the ASPCA’s spokeswoman and lead all communications and media relations from its New York base.

The 144-year-old group made a splash last week when it donated $1M to the New York Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals to move animals from shelters to rescue groups with the goal of making the Big Apple a “no-kill” city by 2015.

The ASPCA, an acronym for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, also on April 8 kicked off a campaign offering monetary awards nationally – including a $100K prize – for local leaders that increase pet adoptions in their communities.

MSLO said a replacement for Estroff has not yet been named but media contacts remain the same -- business and trade press to director of comms. Katherine Nash and consumer reporters to associate VP/corporate comms. Katie Goldberg.


Elizabeth Graves, beauty and health director for Real Simple, has been named editor-in-chief of Martha Stewart Weddings, in addition to VP of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

She was previously associate VP, editorial director of beauty, health and fitness for MSLO and started out with the company at its now-defunct title Blueprint.

Graves started out at Self and Allure.


Newspaper executives are balking at ideas like government and alternative funding for operations, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Pew conducted a poll with the American Society of News Editors and Radio Television Digital News Association and found both concern for the future along with some optimism in the sector, despite layoffs and revenue declines.

An unidentified broadcast news executive told the survey: “[Outside funding options] are being used to ‘save’ old models of journalism that are no longer economically viable and will die out over time no matter what.”

The survey included 353 responses from the RTNDA and ASNE membership lists.

Only 10 percent responding said they are working on “pay walls” for content, while another 32% are considering such a move and 11% have dismissed the idea. Only 15% think such a move would be a significant source of revenue and 35 percent, more than one-third, have not even considering charging readers for content online.

Opposition to government funds or interest group backing is widespread, Pew found, as 75% said they have “serious reservations” about government support and 78% nixed interest group financing of news.

Fewer than half queried said they are confident their news operation will last another decade without any significant new sources of revenue, and one-third see a risk in five years or less time.

The study also found a divide among newspaper and broadcast executives with the latter being more pessimistic. Those in broadcast see journalism headed in the wrong direction at a nearly two-to-one clip – 64% vs. 35% – over newspapers.

But cultural shifts, younger and more tech-savvy staff and a sense of experimentation are all contributing to a tangible sense of a “change for the better,” Pew also found.


The Washington Post and New York Times led the 2010 Pulitzer Prize field for journalism with four and three awards, according to the list of winners announced this week.

Four Post reporters earned nods in feature writing (Gene Weingarten), commentary (Kathleen Parker), criticism (Sarah Kaufman) and international reporting (Anthony Shadid).

Weingarten wrote about parents who accidentally kill their children by leaving them in cars, while Parker is a columnist on politics and moral issues, Kaufman writes on dance and Shadid was honored for a series on the U.S. winding down its presence in Iraq.

The Times won an investigative reporting Pulitzer with ProPublica for a Times magazine piece on a hospital in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, as well as awards for explanatory reporting (food safety) and national reporting (use of mobile devices while driving).

The Bristol (Va.) Herald Courier was honored for public service, while the Seattle Times won an award for breaking news reporting and the Dallas Morning News got a nod for editorial writing.

Also, Mark Fiore won for editorial cartooning, Mary Chind of the Des Moines Register was honored for breaking news photography and Craig Walker of the Denver Post won for feature photography.

Complete list of the Pulitzer winners and briefs on their work is at

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, April 21, 2010, Page 4


Viacom announced April 15 it is extending the contract of CEO Philip Dauman, 56, for another five years through 2016.

Executive chairman Sumner Redstone, 86, called Dauman a “great leader who has demonstrated an extraordinary and consistent ability to deliver results to all Viacom shareholders.” Redstone controls 81.6 percent of Viacom’s Class A stock.

Financial terms of Dauman’s contract are not yet available but are expected to be set out in Viacom’s soon-to-be-released proxy statement.

The company did note that the “vast majority of Dauman's compensation continues to be in the form of performance-based awards, which are subject to the achievement of a combination of specific operational and financial targets and shareholder returns.”

Dauman’s contract had called for $2.5M in salary and a target bonus of $9.5M. In '08, Dauman’s total comp checked in at $22,999.517.

Viacom earned $1.6B on $13.6B in '09 revenues. Its properties include MTV Networks, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, VH1, Spike and Paramount Pictures.


The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the D.C.-based organization of church hierarchy in the U.S. which has been defending the Catholic Church amid renewed media interest in past sexual abuse cases, is looking to hire a social media specialist in the capital.

The Conference operates with the goal of “promoting the greater good which the Church offers humankind.”

An ad posted on calls for a practicing Catholic in good standing with the church to boost outreach in social media and provide support and consultation for bishops and Conference offices through its office of media relations. Spanish and working knowledge of Italian are “desirable.”

Pope Benedict XVI is the first pontiff to have his own YouTube channel and Facebook presence, although parishes are instructed by the church to disable comments on tools like blogs.

“Priests are thus challenged to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources (images, videos, animated features, blogs, websites) which, alongside traditional means, can open up broad new vistas for dialogue, evangelization and catechesis,” the Pope said in January ahead of World Communications Day in May.

The Conference has a robust PR operation with spokespeople across the U.S. and maintains a media blog and Twitter account, as well.

A network of other Catholic organizations like the Knights of Columbus and Catholic Relief Services makes up the Conference’s 90-page directory of communications contacts.

Much of the recent criticism and investigation of the lingering abuse cases has focused on the Pope when he was the Archbishop of Munich. Benedict dismissed some critics as dishing “petty gossip” in a Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square late last month.

Bloomberg reported that Benedict, the first pope to meet with abuse victims, convened with victims of sexual abuse by priests in Malta last weekend.
The Pope will meet “in a climate of prayer and reflection, not under media pressure,” a Vatican spokesman told ANSA news agency.

Media Bashing Strategy Called 'Stupid PR'

The Vatican’s lashing out at media for reporting on its sexual abuse scandal is a “stupid PR strategy that does not work; in fact it is counterproductive,” wrote Father Thomas Reese, senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, in the Washington Post April 14.

[The Catholic News Service in 2005 said Reese resigned after repeated complaints from then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict.]

“It makes the Church looks defensive and makes it look like the Church is trying to play down the problem of abuse” wrote Reese, who used to edit the Jesuit magazine, America, until he was forced out of Rome.

Reese took issue with Pope Benedict’s Palm Sunday dismissal of media reports of sex abuse as “gossip.”

He also criticized the Pope’s preacher who compared criticism of the Church to “anti-Semitism.” Both comments are “disastrous” and only serve to “pour gasoline on the fire.”

Reese does acknowledge that some reporting was sloppy and some commentators were over-the-top in their rhetoric.

There is also an element of one-upmanship involved. “When the argument is between the New York Times and the Catholic Church, it may simply be one infallible institution taking on another,” wrote Reese.

The bottom line: Reese believes the Church owes the media a “debt of gratitude” for forcing it to confront the sex scandal.

“Without the media coverage, the Church would not have cleaned up its act,” he wrote.

Economist Goes into the ‘Cloud’

The Economist launched “The Conversation Cloud” on April 15 to aggregate readers’ opinions from comments directed at its online stories, blogs and debates. Popular topics are presented as part of a cloud to provide users access to live discussions.

The British publication developed the Cloud with Jodange, a company that specializes in sentiment analysis. It claims the Cloud is a first for a “major media” outlet.

The Economist Online receives an average 25,000 comments per month. Ron Diorio, VP/product & community development at the Economist says the Cloud enables readers to “better navigate through conversations, and to encourage and facilitate intelligent conversation between readers.”

The goal is to make the Economist Online “more social” and a “global hub for intelligent debate and discussion.”

Internet Edition, April 21, 2010, Page 5


The planning council for metropolitan Kansas City, Mo., has called for pitches to develop a communications program supporting the area’s push toward embracing electronic health records.

The PR assignment is aimed to engage stakeholder groups about a new exchange system, temporarily called the Kansas City Bi-State Health Information Exchange, created to connect patients with healthcare providers and make health records more easily transferred via digital technology.

The metro K.C. area counts about two million residents and spans Missouri and Kansas.

An RFQ issued this month by the Mid-America Regional Council and open through April 23 includes various tasks like naming the new organization and developing its PR plan and materials leading up to and including its launch.

Download the RFQ at


Omnicom’s stock hit a 52-week high last week at $41.82 in the aftermath of an April 14 upgrade from Deutsche Bank.

DB slapped a “buy” on OMC, up from a “hold” rating, as its sees ad agencies "finally starting to participate in the ad market recovery already flagged by media owners and increasingly the forecasters."

The bank expects revenue, if not earnings per-share, to “enter an upgrade cycle” at the advertising and PR conglomerate.

OMC’s target price was upped to $46 from $37.

BRIEFS: The Fairmount Group, Cleveland Heights, Ohio, was one of 100 winners of British Airways' Business Opportunity Grants, which include airfare for 10 roundtrip business-class flights, free global shipments, and $1,000 toward hotel accommodations, among other prizes. Dawn Hanson, president and founder of the four-year-old firm, in a essay for the competition extolled doing business face-to-face while also embracing technology. …Craig Douglass Communications, Little Rock, Ark., picked up a $50K pact with the Arkansas Blue Ribbon Committee on Highway Finance as that entity looks for a new funding source for state highway work as most of the revenue currently comes from gas and diesel taxes. CDC will set up and assist with a series of public meetings in May. ...Jason Putorti, the digital designer behind, which quickly developed a huge online audience and was sold to Intuit for $170M, gave a hat-tip to PR in outlining the rapid growth strategy for the web portal. Putorti noted the “piling on against PR” and those who say lately that in-house PR is enough for a start-up, before he gave credit to's agency. “PR was extremely high quality traffic for us,” he wrote, “and the optics for the brand were undeniably good. We trounced all of our online competitors... [Founder and CEO Aaron] Patzer talked to every outlet from Entrepreneur to Essence.” He doesn't name the firm but has worked with Atomic PR since its outset.


New York Area

Lane PR, New York/Moonstruck Chocolate Co.; Redhook Ale Brewery, and Widmer Brothers Brewing, for PR.

The Dilenschneider Group, New York/Marriott Hotels & Resorts, for a global PR effort for the hospitality brand’s marketing campaign aimed at “high-achieving” business travelers.

Hill & Knowlton, New York/GEROVA Financial Group, U.K.-based specialty reinsurance, as communications agency of record focused on investors and stakeholders, following a search.

Feintuch Communications, New York/Bixby Energy System, Minneapolis-based "cleaner coal" energy technology developer, as AOR.

Adam Kluger PR, New York/The Brain Balance Achievement Center, Norwalk, Conn., for PR to promote the drug-free program for treating kids with AD/HD, Dyslexia and Autism, among other diseases.

Keiler & Company, Farmington, Conn./Connecticut Sun of the WNBA, as AOR for advertising, PR, social media and web design, following an RFP process among Connecticut agencies.


PAN Communications, Andover, Mass./HP Hood, social media program for; Crowe Paradis Services Corp., Medicare compliance; Aquire, HR data tools; mopay, network-based billing of small amounts; ShopVisible, e-commerce services; Verisae, energy cost and carbon emission measurement and monetization; Terra Technology, demand and inventory software for consumer products cos., and Yankee Barn Homes, builder.

Outreach Partners, Washington, D.C./The Environmental Defense Fund and The Philanthropic Collaborative, foundation advocate, for comms.

MMI PR, Raleigh, N.C./CAI Inc., human resources management, for PR including media relations, strategic planning, community relations, online strategy and special event services.


Roar Media, Miami/The South Florida Technology Alliance, as AOR for PR. Roar CEO Jacques Hart was named marketing chair of SFTA’s board.

Repùblica, Miami/Miami Dolphins and Sun Life Stadium, as AOR for integrated comms. for the team and stadium. The work includes advertising, PR and interactive in English and Spanish.


Sanderson & Associates, Chicago/MFV Expositions, for PR for its West Coast Franchise Expo in November in Los Angeles. Twenty-six-year-old S&A specializes in franchise clients.

Lambert Edwards & Associates, Grand Rapids, Mich./Greatland Corp., tax and financial software for business, for media relations and strategic counsel.

Impact Communications, Leawood, Kan./Jagen Investments, for investor relations and PR.


Morgan Marketing & PR, Irvine, Calif./Wienerschnitzel, hot dog chain, for PR, including media relations and social media.

Internet Edition, April 21, 2010, Page 6


CARMA International has tapped veteran PR measurement exec Alan Chumley as a senior measurement consultant.

Chumley was principal of measurement firm PRooph and director of measurement at Hill & Knowlton Canada.

He'll relocate to D.C. from Canada for his work at CARMA consulting with U.S. and global clients.

He was also a VP at Cormex Media Content Analysis and director of corporate comms. for Bell Canada.

CARMA CEO Albert Barr said Chumley "truly appreciates all sides of the measurement equation having worked in corporate communications as well as on agency and measurement supplier teams."


Washington Women in PR has created a new awards program for young women in PR and is accepting entries through April 30.

The Emerging Leaders Awards, started to mark WWPR's 30th anniversary, will honor three young women ages 21-35 in the D.C. metro area who have "demonstrated excellence and achievement in PR, communications and related fields.

Contestants must work in comms. or marketing and must be members or have applied for membership of WWPR.

Winners will be announced June 15 at a cocktail reception. More info:


Susan G. Komen for the Cure has tapped Cision to provide PR software services to the breast cancer organization.

Komen's PR staff, based in D.C., will use the CisionPoint PR platform for its national and global media relations and communications efforts.

Andrea Rader, director of comms., said the organization handles all media relations internally and needed a single PR measurement platform to contact media, monitor mentions, and analyze and report results."


Monitoring company Civolution has joined with content protection solutions provider Nagravision on a content watermarking and encryption service for premium video on demand.

The companies said that by utilizing watermarking technology in video on demand systems, content pirates will expose themselves to greater legal risk if they attempt redistribution of improperly obtained content.

The service works across cable, satellite, terrestrial, IPTV and PC video. Civolution operates the Teletrax service developed by Medialink and Philips Electronics.

BRIEF: Goebel Group, a Cleveland-based Search Engine Marketing firm, has unveiled Social Seen, a monitoring and analysis service for social media aimed at PR, media relations and marketing firms. Info:



John Dudzinsky, director at Kreab Gavin Anderson, to APCO Worldwide, New York, as a VP. He was previously managing director of media relations at Taylor Rafferty and will handle media assignments in financial communication and other practice areas at APCO.

Jennifer DeGuzman, a 16-year veteran of MTV's communications division, has moved to Bravo Media as VP of communications.

Mike Nelson, international communications and policy manager at Roche, to Hill & Knowlton, as a VP in its three-year-old West Coast healthcare practice based in Los Angeles. He focused on Roche's virology (hepatitis and HIV drugs) based in Basel, Switzerland and was formerly in product PR for Roche in the U.S. He also worked at MS&L in New York.

Ainsley Perrien, a former senior strategist at Rendon Group, to Burson-Marsteller as deputy practice chair of the U.S. media group. The 30-year plus communications veteran handled media for Mississippi Gulf plaintiffs in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina while at Rendon and most recently led the D.C. outpost of Nardello & Co., an investigative, due diligence and litigation support outfit. She began her career at Washington’s States News Service and was publisher of the U.S. edition of the Russia Journal, a weekly English-language newspaper covering business opportunities and politics in Moscow.

Carolyn Penner, an associate for global communications and public affairs at Google, has moved to Twitter, San Francisco, after nearly three years at the search giant.

Mike Huckman, pharmaceuticals correspondent for CNBC, to MS&L Group, New York, as senior VP, director of media strategy in the firm’s healthcare practice. The digital-savvy journalist was with CNBC for a decade after nine years at WXYZ-TV in Detroit.

Steve Hogle, VP of comms. and public affairs for Alberta Innovates, to The Katz Group, Edmonton, Alberta, as VP of public affairs and comms., effective May 10, to oversee media relations and stakeholder engagement for the Edmonton Arena District.


John LeRoy and Stephanie Shih to A/Es at 360 PR, Boston. Lindsay Durr and Skye McIntyre were upped to AA/Es. LeRoy joined the firm in 2008 after interning and handles Jabra, Oregon Scientific and Winning Moves Games. Shih also is a two-year vet and handles Stonyfield Farm, AllRecipes, Ball jars and Peapod.

Brett Dean, senior director of brand marketing and PR for Abercrombie & Fitch, to Perry Ellis International, Miami, as chief marketing officer.

Sharron Banks, VP of human resources at Flowers Communications Group, to director of comms. as a member of the exec board of the Nat’l Association of African Americans in H.R., Chicago.


Internet Edition, April 21, 2010, Page 7


New York State wants to streamline "buy locals" campaigns around the state to reduce consumer confusion and better tap the burgeoning consumer movement for locally grown food in the Empire State.

The state issued an RFP backed by federal Specialty Corp Block Grant funds to start new campaigns and support existing efforts in the New York's 11 designated vacation regions.

“The overall objectives are to foster increased consumer awareness and recognition of locally produced foods and agricultural products leading to increased sales and economic development within each region,” says the RFP.

The state’s “Pride of New York” food marketing campaign and Department of Agriculture and Markets are supporting the effort.

Products covered include fruits and vegetables, nuts, herbs, dried fruits and nursery crops.

Budget is just over $147K, or $13,400 per region.

Proposals are due June 3.


Breaux Lott Leadership Group is repping bailed-out Citigroup on corporate tax issues and financial services regulatory reform.

Former Louisiana Senator John Breaux and ex-Majority Leader Trent Lott are spearheading the thrust. They are assisted by ex-Breaux staffers John Flynn/Callie Fuselier and former Lott aides Manny Rossman and Bret Boyles.

Citi CEO Vik Pandit will announce first-quarter financial results on April 20. Wall Street anticipates a slight loss or break-even performance. Pandit has already outlined a plan to dismantle Citi's financial supermarket that was put together by former head Sandy Weill.

Former Citi CEO Chuck Prince and ex-chairman Bob Rubin testified before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission earlier this month.

The U.S. expects to chalk up an $8B profit on the sale of its Citi shares.


Linda Schoumacher Rozett, former senior VP of communications for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has joined the American Petroleum Institute in Washington, D.C., as VP of communications.

She replaces Jim Craig, who held the post until December 2009 and left amid a pruning and reorganization of API staff under CEO Jack Gerard, who joined in late 2008.

Rozett had recently been running her own consultancy, FirstWord Strategies, and served as comms. director for the Friends of Fred Thompson, the former senator's exploratory presidential committee.

Her energy experience includes stints at Edison Electric Institute (media relations manager) and the Natural Gas Supply Association (PR director).

She started out in TV news at ABC in D.C.

Gerard took the reins at the API after heading the American Chemistry Council and National Mining Association.


Companies should put as much effort into promoting the public health as they do in safeguarding the environment, according to the Edelman Health Engagement Barometer released April 13 at the Annual World Health Care Congress in D.C.

Businesses have gone “green,” now it’s time to go “health,” says Nancy Turett, chief of the independent firm’s global healthcare practice.

Nearly three out of four (73 percent) of the 15,000 respondents polled equate health with environmental protection as corporate priorities. About two-thirds (65 percent) would either recommend or buy products from a health-oriented company.

Edelman found that youngest age brackets (18-24 year olds) and (25-34) are most concerned about the public health issue.

More than half of respondents (51 percent) expect food and beverage companies to communicate potential risks of their products. Forty-nine percent of respondents expect those companies to address the obesity issue. Developing new products to improve health was cited by 47 percent of survey participants.

Edelman's StrategyOne unit conducted the health survey in 11 countries. That list includes the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, France, U.K., Germany, Italy, China, India and Japan.


The firm of Alaska’s former Senator and predecessor to ex-Governor Sarah Palin will receive $3,000 a-month in 2010 for counseling the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office.

Frank Murkowski's The Cedar Group began work for Taiwanese in `08 under a deal worth $16K a month. The firm received $10K monthly last year.

Murkowski promotes TECRO via "personal conversations" with U.S. officials. Those topics include arms sales, Alaska's mineral deposits, charitable events and establishing ties between U.S./Taiwan colleges.

One of Murkowski's discussions, according to Cedar's federal filing, was with Terry Paul, retired U.S. Marine Corps brigadier general. He heads Cassidy & Associates defense operations.

Murkowski is joined at The Cedar Group by son-in-law Leon Van Wyhe, who married daughter Eileen.

The Cedar Group donated $2,000 last year to the Senate campaign of Murkowski's other daughter, Lisa, and another $10,000 to her political action committee.


Rick Wion, VP of interactive media at GolinHarris, has moved to the firm’s longtime client, McDonald’s Corp., as the company’s first director of social media.

Wion exits GH after three and a half years, during which he worked on the McDonald's account. He joined the Interpublic firm after seven years with association management company SmithBucklin, where he handled digital and other technology assignments.

McDonald’s said Wion reports to external communications and PR director Heather Oldani as part of the company's Chicago-based media relations team.


Internet Edition, April 21, 2010, Page 8




Michael Arrington’s attempt to interview MySpace VP Dani Dudeck on camera last week, in which Dudeck did nothing but provide a Mona Lisa-like smile, provoked a lot of comments on several websites and deservedly so.

The non-interview says a lot about the short string that corporate PR is on these days.

Dudeck, who is VP of global corporate communications for MySpace, which has about 125 million users, had come by Arrington’s TechCrunch office to pitch a new product.

His new rule is that anyone who so invades his territory must sit for a videotaped interview.

The comment by “Jussp” on caught our attention:
“This is the epitome of corporate America—a bunch of losers with nothing to say, afraid of making ANY waves, whose #1 priority is protecting their backsides even if it means coming across as a total loser on video.”

It’s common for corporate PR people to be programmed to such an extent that they are literally speechless in any situation that is not scripted.

We don’t think giant enterprises like MySpace are going to crumble if one errant word is uttered by an employee.

Arrington was criticized for his approach. “Dan” said: “That wasn’t funny—a grown man shoving a camera in a business woman’s face when she obviously does not want to be interviewed.”

Another responder thought more could have been expected from someone who “manages all external and internal PR strategy, media and analyst relations, and crisis communications…(and) oversees all PR strategy on MySpace’s consumer, technology, product and international initiatives as well as its corporate issues management.”

Critics Need Protection

What caught our attention in this dust-up was the number of web postings that were anonymous.

Dudeck’s fear of saying the wrong thing was well warranted.

The corporate axe swings fast and sure on anyone who steps out of line. Even associating with the “wrong” types (such as newspeople) can be fatal. Loyalty to employers is the supreme value these days.

The most pungent postings are apt to come from those who hide behind the cloak of anonymity.

Said Oscar Wilde: “Give a man a mask and he’ll tell you the truth.”

We were enraged last week when the New York Post named a Brooklyn teenager who criticized her school.

Paul Robeson HS, as portrayed by the teenager, is “a violent, drug and sex-filled hellhole” whose staff and security guards are “lazy and inept.”

Having “outed” a source, the NYP ran a 4/15 story with the headline “School Revenge,” telling how fellow students and staff are shunning the critic with one student saying the critic would be “beat up” if found.

“Official” Sources Are Drying Up

Faced with a dearth of official sources, reporters must rely more and more on anonymous sources and must work harder than ever.

The May Vanity Fair cover story on Lazard’s secretive Bruce Wasserstein is a case in point. It’s loaded with anonymous sources.

Neither Lazard nor any family member would even tell writer William Cohan what hospital Wasserstein was taken to when he suddenly became ill in a taxi last October.

Sister Georgette Levis is “offended” when Cohan asks where Wasserstein is buried. She won’t talk to him and neither will Pamela, Wasserstein’s oldest child.

No one on the Lazard board would talk including Lazard banker Vernon Jordan.

Judi Mackey heads PR at Lazard and Howard Rubenstein is outside PR counsel.

Among those declining to talk was Irene Rosenfeld, CEO of Kraft which was a client of Lazard.

Kraft’s hostile takeover of Cadbury, described as a “bear hug” by Rosenfeld at the Arthur W. Page Society meeting April 8, is said to be one of the final deals engineered in part by Wasserstein.

A U.K. Parliamentary committee said Kraft “acted irresponsibly and unwisely” and had “damaged its U.K. reputation” in taking over Cadbury. U.K. unions are calling for a “Cadbury law” to block such acquisitions.

Wasserstein Worked on Kraft/Cadbury

Cohan notes that Lazard’s Philip Keevil told Bloomberg News that the Kraft/Cadbury deal “will be a monument to Bruce.” Bloomberg wrote that the deal “seals the legacy” of Wasserstein.

Wasserstein got press shy after a 1989 Forbes cover story called him “Bid ‘Em Up Bruce.”

The unflattering VF piece says Wasserstein was known for pushing clients to overpay for acquisitions and cites two Wasserstein clients that went bankrupt for doing that—Allied Stores Corp. and Federated Department Stores.

Kraft paid $19 billion for Cadbury, about double its sales.

Lazard and other advisers got “as much as $58 million for their work on the deal,” said VF.

Wasserstein, who believed in paying himself well, in January 2008 “wrung from his hand picked board” a $900K salary, unspecified annual bonus, and 2.7 million Lazard shares worth nearly $100M. His 2007 pay was $41M.

Rosenfeld has been criticized for a 41% pay hike in 2009 to $26M. Kraft says the jump was three years of bonuses.

Details of Wasserstein’s “hectic romantic life,” including fathering a child in 2008 with a recent graduate of the Columbia Business School, are provided.

This was after he split up with his third wife, Claude Becker. He was then married in January 2009 to Elaine Chao, Labor Secretary under President George W. Bush.

Much of the article will not sit well with family, friends and associates of Wasserstein.

But we notice that VF is packed with ads every issue. Its many articles on the economic ills of the U.S. are among the best pieces anywhere on this subject.

Public Discussion Needs Encouraging

When we see corporate PR heads like Dani Dudeck freezing in front of a reporter, a Brooklyn teenager being savaged because she dared to criticize her school, and door after official door being slammed in the face of a Vanity Fair reporter, we can’t help but campaign for more openness and public debate.

Few media have the money and friends in high places that VF has. When doors get slammed in the faces reporters, many are apt to just slink away, defeated.

This lowers the content of whatever media they’re writing for and is no doubt a prime factor in the decline of media.

PR is “winning” a lot of these pitched battles.

What beleaguered newspapers and other media don’t need at this time is Scripps employee Gary McCormick preaching distrust and avoidance of the media to the 21,000 members of the PR Society of America.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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