The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, May 5, 2010, Page 1
SEEKS PR FOR ENERGY REVAMP
the most fossil fuel-dependent state in the country, is
looking for a PR firm to support a sweeping push called
the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, a program led by the
governors office to reduce foreign oil dependence
and change how the states citizens consume energy.
RFP issued April 27 calls for PR pitches for an account
capped at $500K and funded by the federal stimulus act to
encourage behavioral change via strategic media relations
traditional and social and a comprehensive
communications plan boosting renewable energy to Hawaiians.
Research, article writing and events are among other tasks
outlined in the RFP.
fuels power 86% of the states energy needs and 97%
of its transportation fuel comes from foreign oil, according
to the governors office.
energy initiative, to be implemented under a deal signed
with the U.S. Dept. of Energy, sets a goal of moving Hawaii
to a clean energy economy.
contract running through the end of April 2012 is expected
to be awarded with five option years.
the RFP at odwyrpr.com/rfps.
FABIANI COUNSELS GOLDMAN
Democratic PR strategist
Mark Fabiani has been counseling Goldman Sachs as the bank
pushes back against political, media and public pressure
in the wake of an SEC civil suit.
Fabiani bolsters a PR
roster for the bank which includes the Republican-heavy
Public Strategies Inc.
Fabiani has been a partner
in Fabiani and Lehane in La Jolla, Calif., with fellow former
Clinton administration PR operative Chris Lehane after serving
as a communications deputy for Al Gore's losing presidential
bid in 2000.
The Harvard Law grad has
worked for former Gov. Gray Davis and the San Diego Chargers
in the football team's bid for a new stadium. He was also
deputy mayor of Los Angeles and chief of staff to Mayor
VISA ALUM HEINONEN JOINS B-M
Cheryl Heinonen, a former
global stakeholder communications chief at Visa, has taken
the managing director/corporate & financial communications
post at Burson-Marsteller's San Francisco office.
She worked at Visa from
1997 to 08. In the stakeholder post, Heinonen handled
employee/client communications, focusing on business literacy,
training and preparing the company from its shift from private
association to a publicly traded one.
IPG SHAVES Q1 LOSS
Interpublic CEO Michael
Roth reported a $70.3M first-quarter net loss, down slightly
from the $73.6M deficit in last years period. Revenue
slipped 1.2 percent to $1.3B.
Harris Diamond, CEO of
IPGs constituency management group, told ODwyers
that PR enjoyed a good quarter as revenues jumped
in the 6.5 percent range.
Weber Shandwick and GolinHarris were stand-outs in the PR
group that includes MWW Group, Rogers & Cowan and DeVries
and consumer clients stepped up spending in both digital
and traditional off-line sectors. Harris expects business
to strengthen through the year as PR is normally the first-in
and last-out of an economic downturn.
Roths buoyed by
the broader economic stabilization that helped
IPG trim the percent of organic revenue decline to 2.9 percent.
U.S. organic revenues increased three percent.
Hes pleased by another
quarter of significant sequential improvement in our organic
revenue performance. He believes that shows
the economy is recovering and anticipates more progress
during the remainder of 2010.
IPG reduced operating
loss from $81.9M to $59.4M. The company took a $5M hit
from Hugo Chavezs Venezuela, an expense related to
the transition to inflationary accounting in that country.
The ad/PR firm, which
shows $1.9B in cash/marketable securities, launched a tender
offer to buy up to 370K of its Series B stock, convertible
into 27.1M shares for $400M. It currently pays a $19.4M
dividend on those shares.
PR PROFS QUESTION TYLENOL
Repeated citations of
Johnson & Johnsons handling of the 1982 Tylenol
murders as the gold standard of crisis PR neglect
key facts surrounding that tragedy, says a study of iconic
PR crises in the winter online PR Journal of
the PR Society of America.
That phrase was used in
the April 10 Economist to describe J&J's handling
of the murders.
Tony Jaques, lecturer
at the School of Applied Communication, RMIT University,
Melbourne, says misleading or inappropriate lessons
can easily be drawn from such cases as Tylenol and
He notes that J&J
achieved fame for its nationwide recall of Tylenol capsules
but its first move was to withdraw two small lots from the
on page 7)
Edition, May 5, 2010, Page 2
FIGHTS SUBPOENA FOR KATRINA WORK
Rendon Group is fighting a subpoena by State Farm Insurance
which wants documents related to the PR firms work
for attorneys who sued insurers following Hurricane Katrina.
a Washington, D.C.-based agency which did PR work for a
law firm representing thousands of homeowners affected by
the hurricane, is contending among its three-point legal
argument that communications to and from PR professionals
in the context of a legal strategy and litigation are subject
to attorney-client privilege.
legal tussling is related to a case against State Farm backed
by the U.S. Justice Department and brought on by two sisters
Kerri and Cori Rigsby who worked for an insurance
adjuster after the Gulf Coast was decimated by Katrina and
claimed that State Farm minimized or ignored damage to avoid
paying claims. The case is known as a qui tam action, which
allows individuals like the Rigsbys to bring civil action
on behalf of the federal government, and is scheduled for
trial in December 2010.
Rigsbys' documents and claims were barred from court in
2008 when a judge said they were paid to be witnesses by
Scruggs Katrina Group, the lawyers who hired Rendon and
were representing victims of the hurricane suing State Farm
and other insurers. [Richard Scruggs, a prominent trial
lawyer leading the case, was indicted in 08 for trying
to bribe a judge and in 09 for mail fraud.]
filed its motion to quash the subpoena for its PR records
on March 9 and a hearing was held last week, although no
ruling has yet been made on whether the firm must turn over
its filing, Rendon's lawyers at D.C. firm Cohen Mohr argue
that the subpoena requires documents to be produced which
may be irrelevant to the case and subject to attorney-client
privilege. It also says the documents contain confidential
commercial information and/or trade secrets and that the
subpoena provides an undue burden and expense on the PR
The Rendon Group declined to comment on the case citing
the ongoing legal matter.
CAPLAN REPS GULF GREEN
reps Mobile Baykeeper, which bills itself as the top environmental
advocate in the Gulf Coast, as oil from BPs spill
begins to wash ashore.
Casi Callaway, executive
director of MB, promises to keep close tabs on BP and U.S.
Government clean-up operations that may post a further threat
to one of the world's most productive fisheries. Seventy
percent of U.S. shrimp and oysters come from the region
spanning from the Mobile Bay Estuary to Galveston Bay.
Callaway rips BPs
post rig explosion containment plan because
if they had one at all, it has failed the Gulf of
Mexico and all those who benefit from its pristine waters
MB fears that an ongoing
hemorrhage of oil could last for several months.
MEDICARE SEEKS FAITH-BASED
The federal government
has put out a feeler for agencies that can put together
a communications strategy for reaching out to faith-based
organizations with the goal of getting to Medicare and Medicaid
beneficiaries and their families.
The Centers of Medicare
& Medicaid Services office of external affairs
has issued a sources sought notice asking for
PR agencies that can handle such a task.
CMS notes that an executive
order signed by President George W. Bush in 2001 (13198)
encourages federal agencies to expand partnerships with
faith-based groups to meet social and community needs. The
federal agency said that such groups can be the most
credible and reliable partners in educating beneficiaries.
The notice issued by CMS
does not commit the government to issue an RFP, although
that could be the result. Responses are due May 13.
Details are at odwyerpr.com.
F-H ADDS SIZZLE TO STIFEL
Fleishman-Hillard is handling
hometown St. Louis brokerage house Stifel Financial Co.
in its bid to acquire San Francisco's Thomas Weisel Partners
SFC is a conservative
investment house that advises middle-market deals and underwriting,
while Weisel was among hottest boutique bankers in Silicon
The Wall Street Journal
reports SFC has added 3,200 staffers since 04,
and has been "eagerly cherry-picking from the recent
Wall Street carnage." It leases Manhattan real estate
once occupied by Bear Stearns and scooped up wealth management
branches from UBS.
SFC's $300M stock deal
values Weisel at $7.60 a-share, off its $23.40 high during
the tech boom. Thomas Weisel, a 40-year veteran of Silicon
Valley, is to serve as co-chairman of the firm. He reports
to SFC CEO Ron Kruszewski and sees "virtually no overlap"
between the two marriage partners.
Fleishman's Tim Beecher
DEBT-RIDDEN GREECE LOOKS FOR
Financially strapped Greece
is on the hunt for a global PR firm amid its troubles.
Bloomberg first reported that financial PR heavyweights
Brunswick Group, FD and Maitland Consultancy are among firms
under consideration for the assignment.
minister George Papaconstantinou scrapped a plan to meet
firms on a recent trip to New York as the countrys
financial woes intensified, according to the news agency.
The International Monetary
Fund has taken the lead in putting together a rescue plan
for Greece, which some fear could drag Europe back into
The IMF and European Union
reached a bailout deal with Greece on May 2 which includes
110B euros over three years.
The country will have
to drastically cut spending to avoid defaulting on its loans.
Edition, May 5, 2010, Page 3
MAN TIERNEY OUT AT INKY
man Brian Tierney is out as chief of the Philadelphia
Inquirer and Daily News as a creditor group led
by hedge fund Angelo, Gordon & Co. won the media properties
at a bankruptcy court auction.
winning investors, which include Credit Suisse and GE Capital,
offered $105M in cash, which was $10M more than the bid
of a competitor group spearheaded by Tierney, Revlon CEO
Ron Perelman and his philanthropist father, Raymond.
leading a local group called Philadelphia Media Holdings,
purchased the papers for $560M in 2006 from McClatchy Cos,
which acquired them in the Knight Ridder takeover.
took the loss in stride, joking to the Daily News that he
planned to go home tonight and sleep like a baby,
which means Ill wake up every hour crying. Tierney
has promised to aid in the transition to new ownership.
Hall, the 65-year-old former publisher of the Philadelphia
papers from 1990 to 2003, consulted the new owners and will
be COO. He says employee contract concessions are a priority.
bankruptcy judge must approve the deal. A hearing is set
for May 25. Closing could happen in June.
Named Pub of Philly Papers
Osberg, former president/publisher of Newsweek, has
been named publisher of the Inquirer and Daily News.
takes the job once the Angelo, Gordon & Co. deal closes.
exited Newsweek two years ago to run Buzzwire, which provides
streaming media to mobile phones. Customers include Verizon
Wireless and AT&T.
is expected to concentrate rebound efforts at the Inquirer
and News on delivery of digital data.
headed Newsweek from 2000-08.
also did a two-year stint as president at CNET, the tech
SCRIPPS DUMPS CHARLIE BROWN
E.W. Scripps is selling
its United Media Group licensing group to Iconic Brand Group
UMG is the home of the
Peanuts characters created by the late Charles Schulz. Its
licensed merchandise generates more than $2B a year with
more than 20,000 new products approved annually.
Peanuts items (Snoopy,
Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus) account for the bulk of the
revenues. Scripps unveiled the Peanuts comic strip in 1950.
New York-based Iconix
owns or has ventures covering brands such as London Fog,
Joe Boxer, Mossimo, Candid's, Ed Hardy and Danskin.
Rich Boehne, CEO of Scripps,
says he is selling UMG "in recognition of changing
times and news strategies." Exiting the license business
enables Scripps to "advance our focus on being an innovative
leader in the rapidly evolving news industry."
Scripps has ten TV stations
and community papers in 13 markets.
Meanwhile, Scripps has
named Chris Doyle, president/publisher of the Naples
Daily News, as VP/content for the newspaper division.
The 42-year-old Doyle
is to work with Bruce Hartmann, VP-sales, on product development
and alliances within and outside Scripps. Their goal is
to find new ways to connect with readers.
Doyle joined Scripps in
2006 at the Naples paper. He began a newspaper career as
a crime and court report for the Key West Citizen.
FT LAUNCHES VIDEO HUB
The Financial Times
has unveiled a new technology platform and a dedicated section
of the website solely earmarked for videos.
There also will be more
video material embedded in its stories and analyses.
The effort is to win more placement of FT material on mobile
devices including Apples iPad.
FTs video section
includes guidance such as editor's choice selection
of the videos considered must watches and a
most popular reference.
Its technology was developed
with Brightcover, the cloud-based online platform.
Steve Pinches, lead product
manager for FT.com, expects videos to be extremely
popular to both users and advertisers.
CBS PUTS LURIE IN STRATEGY
CBS has tapped Zander
Lurie for the senior VP/strategic development position to
stand at the center of next-generation content initiatives.
The job is to spearhead new methods of distribution and
Lurie was executive VP/CFO
of CBS Interactive, which made a big splash with the acquisition
of CNET Networks in 2008. Lurie has been in financial and
planning roles at CNET.
Earlier, he was at JPMorgan
in New York and San Francisco, handling mergers and acquisitions
in the Internet sector.
POWELL PLUGS INTO WEATHER
a veteran TV sector PR executive who stepped down as senior
VP of corporate communications for Turner Broadcasting Systems
this year, is moving about 10 miles to the north in Atlanta
for the top communications slot at The Weather Channel Companies.
Powell takes the
reins as executive VP of corporate comms. serving as its
chief spokeswoman, and she guided external PR and comms.
for the company, which includes the network, digital properties
like Weather.com and its B2B division.
Powell guided the
launch of the Cartoon Network in 1992 and later was VP of
media relations for NBC in Burbank, Calif.
She held that same
title for the Disney Channel and Toon Disney.
At Turner, she led
PR for properties like CNN, TBS and TNT.
news continued on next page)
Edition, May 5, 2010, Page 4
GROUP: SEARCH WAS ILLEGAL
series of recent legal and criminal inquiries have stoked
the debate as to whether bloggers should be treated under
equal terms as traditional print, TV or online journalists.
one case, authorities revoked a bloggers rights to
news gathering materials that are granted to members of
the press, an act experts claim is illegal under the Privacy
on April 23 raided the Fremont, Calif., home of Gizmodo
editor Jason Chen, seizing personal computers as well as
hard drives and a digital camera. Chen had previously landed
a scoop in the blogosphere when he published an exposé
detailing the prototype of a new, yet-to-be-released model
of Apples iPhone, complete with photos.
story came under dubious circumstances. Chen allegedly obtained
the phone by paying an undisclosed third party $5,000. The
seller, whom Chen has so far refused to identify, claims
the phone was found at a bar in nearby Redwood City.
story was enough to catch the ire of Apple, a company that
enacts notoriously iron-fisted research and development
policies. The companys lawyers contacted Gizmodo,
and the blog eventually returned the iPhone. Gizmodo claims
it had previously tried to give the phone back to Apple
but received no response.
has not been arrested for any crime.
Dalglish, executive director for The Reporters Committee
for Freedom of the Press and former media lawyer, said that
if police were not investigating Chen for breaking the law,
their search warrant is illegal and they didnt have
the right to confiscate his personal property.
the property seizure was a violation of the Privacy Protection
Act of 1980, which protects news gatherers from being searched
and having the materials they use to present a story (in
this case, an iPhone) confiscated.
was a screw up and theyre getting very defensive about
it. Congress passed a law 30 years ago to protect journalists
against these circumstances, and thankfully (Chen) has a
very good lawyer, she said. In a situation like
this theres a Federal law that says if you want news
gathering materials, you need to supply a subpoena.
is owned by Gawker Media. In a letter to authorities, Gawker
Media chief operating officer Gaby Darbyshire reiterated
the claim, stating that under both state and federal
law, a search warrant may not be validly issued to confiscate
the property of a journalist. She referred to Chen
as a journalist who works full time for our company.
said the only time the Privacy Protection Act does not protect
journalists against search and seizure is under "very
narrow circumstances" where a journalist is considered
the perpetrator in a criminal act.
authorities believe Chen committed a criminal act in the
course of acquiring the phone, experts have speculated that
Chens profession as a journalist may not be called
into question as much as whether he knowingly received stolen
property, in which case its use could be rendered immaterial.
could prove to be a pointless debate however, as the warrant
used to search Chens home did not reveal him as a
suspect in a criminal act.
This was a classic fishing expedition, Dalglish
said. (Police) could have asked for (the iPhone),
but by the time they searched his house hed given
many headlines have said otherwise in recent weeks, Dalglish
said Chens ordeal has absolutely nothing to do with
current state shield laws, which effectively strip journalists
of any binding legal obligation to reveal their sources
laws vary state-by-state (there is currently a proposal
Federal law on the floor of the U.S. Senate), but under
California state law, Chen may invoke this qualified privilege
if asked to reveal the identity of the individual who sold
him the phone, though this scenario has not been discussed
by authorities at this time.
STUDY: MANY HOOKED
ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Students who abstained
from social media and cell phones reported experiencing
"withdrawal" symptoms, according to a recent April
study conducted by the University of Maryland.
A class of 200 UM journalism
students took part in the study, which was administered
in the form of an assignment that stipulated
students spend a 24-hour period free of all media
no iPhones, iPods, laptops, televisions or radio. Students
got to choose which day they would spend media-free, and
were then asked to write about their experiences, their
successes and failures.
in the experiment reported a number of withdrawal symptoms
not unlike those suffering from chemical addictions, listing
specifics like anxiety and fidgeting.
Although I started
the day feeling good, I noticed my mood started to change
around noon. I started to feel isolated and lonely,
wrote one student. By 2:00 p.m. I began to feel the
urgent need to check my email
I felt like a person
on a deserted island
. as if I was addicted to my
iPod and other media devices.
While students reported
abstaining from mediums like TV or newspapers with relative
ease, they found that becoming technological teetotalers
from devices like Blackberries or iPhones was noticeably
I clearly am addicted
and the dependency is sickening, said another student.
I feel like most people these days are in a similar
situation, for between having a Blackberry, a laptop, a
television, and an iPod, people have become unable to shed
their media skin.
Edition, May 5, 2010,
OF PR FIRMS
SEEKS U.S. PR PITCHES
Caribbean Tourism Organization, which represents 34 governments
in the region, is reviewing its U.S. PR account with an
RFP through the end of May seeking pitches from New York-based
Hammond & Associates is the incumbent. Annual budget
is $125K, including fees and expenses, and a one-year contract
is planned with an option year.
CTO wants a firm to handle media relations, issues and crisis
management, events, social networking and other tasks, as
well to liaison with the PR agencies of CTO members.
must have at least five years of experience in the travel/tourism
Download the RFP at odwyerpr.com/rfps.
PN REVAMPS LIFE SCIENCES UNIT
Porter Novelli said it
has reorganized its life sciences practice with the recent
exit of Carin Canale Theakston, who stepped down for a start-up
in the sector but will remain a consultant to the PR firm.
PN said the practice will
be driven from three locations Chicago, Los Angeles
and New York.
Virginia Amann heads Chicago,
while Betsy Merryman handles Los Angeles and Stig Albinus
will oversee New York for the division.
The evolution of
our Life Sciences practice enables us to structure unique
service offerings across the Porter Novelli network that
match the needs of large and growing clients in such critical
areas as reputation, crisis and issues management and product,
science and technology communications, said CEO Gary
EURO UNVEILS NEW INITIATIVES
Euro RSCG Worldwide PR
said it kicked off two new initiatives: the Center for Account
Management Excellence and SoMe Central, a think tank for
social media trends in PR.
Senior VP Ann Hemingway
heads CAME, while SoMe is led by senior VP Ana Cano as chief
marketing officer Stacy Mackler oversees both entities.
CEO Marian Salzman said
the initiatives are part of a broader push to develop in-house
thinking campaigns to generate ideas and approaches.
Last month, Euro launched
a push to connect marketers with teens called The Sisterhood.
MICHIGAN EYES AIR POLLUTION
entity for the capital region around Lansing is on the hunt
for a firm to guide its four-year-old public education campaign
centered on air pollution called Clean Commute Options.
The area has made improvements
in air quality by EPA standards and is looking to hold on
to grants and other benefits that come with those inroads.
The Capital Area Transportation
Authority, which handled 11.4M passenger trips in 2009,
wants an agency with new ideas for reaching the public about
options like car pooling, riding the bus or walking. The
work includes press outreach, social media, newsletters
brochures, public service ads and collateral materials.
RFP is at odwyerpr.com/rfps.
+ Company, New York/BioNJ, biotechnology trade group
for New Jersey, to redevelop the groups website.
PR, New York/Iconosys, mobile application support,
for media relations.
& Marketing, New York/Berkline, home furnishings manufacturer,
as AOR for PR.
Group, New York/mediabistro, for PR for the Think
Mobile Conference in September in San Francisco.
New York/DayGlo Color Corp., as AOR for PR and strategic
comms. planning in North America.
Promotions, New York/Anita Intl, German bra
manufacturer, for PR in the U.S.
IR, New York/Banks.com, financial services media
properties and search websites, to develop an investor relations
Leedy & Associates, Mount Kisco/Conair, for social
media to introduce new hair products, and Fleming Pharmaceuticals,
to target blogs for its Ocean nasal saline products.
PR, Staten Island, N.Y./My Metabolic Makeover, nutritional
approach to weight loss, for PR.
Marketing, Paramus, N.J./England Furniture, for Internet
marketing and online PR. IM is part of PR agency Rosica.
Strategic Communications, Boston/Honey Dew Donuts,
coffee and donut shop chain with 145 locations in New England,
Baltimore, Md./IZI Medical Products, for PR, product
naming and branding, and integrated marketing.
Communications, Washington, D.C./OReilly Media
and UBM TechWeb to serve as PR partner for the Gov 2.0 Expo
May 25-27 in D.C.
PR, Miami/Baltus Collection, high-end furniture from
Spain, as AOR as it opens a Miami showroom, and the 2010
American Institute of Architects National Convention, both
for brand management counsel, PR and media outreach to consumer
and trade audiences.
Group, Miami/The Water Club, as AOR for PR for its
opening on May 28. Media relations and events support are
part of the assignment for the dining and entertainment
facility, and Buffalo Wings & Rings, casual dining restaurant,
for PR for its Coconut Creek, Fla., location.
PR, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./BallenIsles, country
club, for strategic outreach.
& Associates, Chicago/MFV Expositions, for PR
for the Nov. 5-7 West Coast Franchise Expo in Los Angeles.
Rutter, Milwaukee/Catholic Knights-Catholic Family
Life Insurance, as AOR for brand dev.
& Company, Campbell, Calif./The Brix Group, parent
company of American Wireless and Pana Pacific Research Corp.,
as AOR for PR and social media.
Edition, May 5, 2010, Page 6
ACQUIRES MONITORING CO. DNA13
news wire company CNW Group has acquired its monitoring
software company partner dna13.
dna13 has attracted more than $7M in venture financing and
made inroads into a crowded U.S. media monitoring field.
Edelman is a key user.
move puts CNW in deeper competition with companies like
Cision and Vocus that combine news dissemination with monitoring
tools and clipping services.
CNW has marketed dna13s software in Canada for the
past five years as MediaVantage while it carried the dna13
brand in the U.S.
VMS UNVEILS CONCEPTUAL
VMS unveiled an upgrade
of its flagship media monitoring platform on April 29 that
includes web video and social media, as well as a new development
known as conceptual search that aims to identify
issues and themes before they would normally hit the PR
VMS developed conceptual
search capabilities with its U.K. software developer partner
Autonomy to be a proactive form of monitoring and kind of
digital crystal ball for marketers and brands.
Clients want to
be able to anticipate what the emerging trends are before
theyre front page news so they can either capitalize
on something thats positive or protect their brands
or minimize the damage from something negative, VMS
president and CEO Peter Wengryn said. Social media
is a great early warning system.
Wengryn said such a system
could have brought McDonalds into the obesity debate
before it was essentially dragged into it.
The April 29 launch of
the service, as well as an upgrade of its Insight platform
that includes real-time tracking across all forms of media
Internet video and audio and social media, as well
as traditional print, TV and radio in a single service
and follows months of beta testing the conceptual search
process, Wengryn said.
Other additions include
the incorporation of visual analysis tools like tag clouds
(VMS calls them idea clouds) cluster graphs,
which groups themes among large sets of data, and heat maps,
which show clusters of search terms and phrases and adds
color to indicate positive or negative sentiment. Spectrographs
show how a story develops and narratives offshoot, from
early media hits to the current time of a search.
This is a game-changer
that will make other monitoring tools obsolete, added
LA GOV SEEKS PRESS CLIPPER
Louisiana Governor Bobby
Jindals office is reviewing its press clipping account
with an RFP through May 18.
Jindal, a former Congressman
and rising star in the Republican Party who was elected
as governor in 2007 at the age of 36, has become a national
political story beyond the Pelican State.
A one-year contract calls
for monitoring local and national media. Metro Press Clipping
is the incumbent.
The governors office,
based in Baton Rouge, says it generates about 7,800 clips
per year. Download the RFP at odwyerpr.com/rfps.
Martin, head of GolinHarris public affairs
practice, to Ketchum, Washington, D.C., as senior VP, public
affairs, and director of business development in the D.C.
office. She was previously VP of the Federation of American
Hospitals and held senior comms. posts at the American Red
Cross, Health Insurance Association of America and the National
Cable TV Assn.
OLeary Lopez, assistant VP of PR and corporate
comms. at Thornburg Mortgage, to Ogilvy PR Worldwide, Chicago,
as executive VP and group director of the firm's Windy City
corporate practice. Nathan Friedman, who held the post,
was promoted in January to managing director. Lopez was
previously with Weber Shandwick and Ruder Finn.
Mobley, director in WeissComm Group's Washington,
D.C., office, to Brand Resources Group, Washington, D.C.,
as VP. She was with Ketchum for seven years, including as
VP, group manager in healthcare in D.C., and led Cohn &
Wolfe's healthcare practice. Earlier stints included the
Centers for Disease Control, Fleishman-Hillard and Burson-Marsteller.
Murray, who headed Edelman's digital practice, to
president of Edelman Chicago, the firm's 500-plus-staffer
co-headquarters. He takes over for co-presidents Janet
Cabot and Mark
Shadle who are shifting into new roles - Cabot as
head of its U.S. food and nutrition unit, and Shadle as
leader of the corporate affairs division at its Zeno Group
unit. Nancy Ruscheinski,
president and chief operating officer for Edelman U.S.,
will lead the digital unit until a successor is named "in
the very near future.
Reuter to director, corporate communications, Nissan
North America, Nashville, Tenn, effective May 10. He succeeds
who retired as of April 1 after 18 years with the company.
Reuter, a Ford veteran who recently headed comms. for the
Americas arm of Bentley Motors, reports to VP/corporate
comms. Scott Stevens.
MacDonald to VP of community and corporate relations,
Bridgestone Americas, Nashville, Tenn. MacDonald takes over
for Christine Karbowiak,
who was upped to chief administrative officer in March.
Bridgestone has also hired Elizabeth
Lewis from Dye Van Mol & Lawrence account as
PR coordinator, and former Tennessean reporter Angela
Patterson as digital media coordinator.
Sroka to senior VP, U.S. Hispanic practice leader,
Porter Novelli, New York. She joined the firm in Los Angeles
in 2006 from Weber Shandwick's Axis multicultural unit.
PN also said that Guillermo
Villarreal, a member of Edelman's Hispanic unit,
has joined the agency as an account manager in the Hispanic
Edition, May 5, 2010, Page 7
QUESTION TYLENOL PR
nationwide recall only came five days after the first death
was attributed to poisoned Tylenols, he says.
todays environment, he adds, It is difficult
to conceive that seven deaths would not lead to an immediate
quotes B.A. Olaniran of Texas Tech University and D.E. Williams,
formerly of TTU, as questioning why J&J waited until
the murder of 23-year-old Diane Elsworth of Peekskill, N.Y.
in 1986 before replacing the demonstrably vulnerable
capsules with tamper-proof solid product.
wrote in PR Review in 1994: It is uncertain whether,
but quite possible that J&J based its decision not to
withdraw capsules purely on financial reasons.
Jaques commented that If true, this would, at the
very least, color the much-vaunted gold standard
response to the first poisoning and the apparent management
often cites its credo that allegedly puts the
welfare of its consumers first.
Hide J&J Involvement
an issue and crisis management specialist, said a
lesser known feature of the Tylenol story is that
J&J initially focused attention on its McNeil subsidiary,
deflecting attention away from itself.
announcements and news reports provided all mention
of the company as McNeil, he writes.
of the ads telling how to exchange capsules for tablets
only referred to the makers of Tylenol, he notes.
Jaques: The concept of a parent company using a subsidiary
identity to protect its name during a crisis, or obscuring
its identity entirely, was effectively demonstrated, though
this is not usually part of the fable.
flaw in the Tylenol story, says Jaques, is that J&J
VP-PR Larry Foster at first said there was no cyanide present
in company plants but later reversed himself and won praise
for volunteering this information to reporters.
wrote Jaques, the AP found out about the cyanide and Foster
only discussed it after reporters raised the question.
portrayed itself as a victim and product
friendly" news media of the time gave it unchallenged
media opportunities to tell its own story and promote its
quote is attributed to Carole Gorney, retired professor
emeritus of Lehigh University, a Fellow of PRSA and longtime
leader of the Society.
with The Cline Group, Bala Cynwyd, Pa., she was in the five-member
Philadelphia Assembly delegation in 2004. All five voted
against non-APRs being allowed in the Assembly although
that bylaw change passed.
in PR Strategist of PRSA in 2002 decries the mystification
of the Tylenol crisis and feels it has become almost
mythical in both the mass media and PR literature,
Perpetuate Tylenol Myth
D.C., counselor Eric Dezenhall, described by Jaques as a
contrarian, has cynically asserted that
many parties have a vested interest in perpetuating what
he called the Tylenol legend, writes Jaques.
2004 book, Damage Control, is quoted as saying,
The media love the story because it validates the
canard that fessing up' is the best form of crisis
schools worship the model because its teachable and
had a happy ending for the manufacturer. PR firms use it
to sell spin as the answer to industrial woes.
Jaques: Deeper examination of the Tylenol and Exxon
Valdez incidents indicates how easy it is to be led to wrong
or inappropriate lessons from highly exposed cases.
held to be tardy and insensitive in handling the oil spill
in Alaska, is usually portrayed as the polar opposite of
Tylenol, he notes.
literary fables are fictitious or legendary tales intended
to convey a moral, so too are some of the iconic crisis
cases have become little more than shorthand references,
or Burkian representative anecdotes, intended
to encapsulate a supposed maxim of crisis management or
crisis communication, he writes.
wants current managers and schools to analyze new case studies
that can provide the basis for genuine learning.
big lesson that oil companies learned in 1989 was
not to identify the owning company in the names of oil tankers.
Exxon Valdez was renamed the Sea River Mediterranean.
16-page paper of Jaques including 49 references is at odwyerpr.com.
TWIN CITIES TRANSIT REVAMP
Cities are looking for PR help as the region was selected
as one of four communities for a federal program to build
a network of bike lanes and pedestrian pathways as alternatives
to motorized transportation.
Minneapolis was tapped
in 2005 - Sheboygan County, Wisc., Marin County, Calif.,
and Columbia, Mo., rounded out the quartet - to get $21.5M
in federal transportation funds for the project and to study
its effect on traffic, energy use, health and the environment.
Transit for Livable Communities,
a St. Paul-based non-profit, was designated to administer
the program in the Gopher State and projects in the program
in Minnesota are approaching completion.
PR assignments include
support for three key projects in the program opening this
year, as well as similar unveilings in 2011 and 2012.
The account is in the
six-figure range and funded from the federal allotment.
TLC said it plans to award a two-and-a-half-year contract
from June through the end of 2012.
Proposals are due May
12. Hilary Reeves, ([email protected])
communications manager for TLC in St. Paul, is overseeing
Download the RFP at odwyerpr.com/rfps.
Edition, May 5, 2010,
Australian PR professor Tony Jaques has outed
Johnson & Johnsons spin on its 1982 Tylenol recall,
criticizing the company for not immediately switching to
tamper-proof tablets and for claiming quick
action when it actually took five days to recall the vulnerable
A casualty of J&Js
marketing-oriented tactics is the fabled J&J credo
which says the company puts the public first.
Its behavior relative
to Tylenol showed that it put profits first, the Jaques
The paper, carried in
the online PR Journal of PRSA hosted by Prof. Don Wright
of Boston University, is a gutsy piece but a lot of hard
facts and context are needed to flesh out this tragic story
that resulted in the murder of 23-year-old Diane Elsworth
image is that of a cuddly teddy bear dedicated to helping
babies and their mothers.
But the business world
knows J&J as a ferocious lion of a competitor whose
lust for sales and profits sometimes causes it to cross
the ethical line.
While the public thinks
of it as a single company, it is made up of more than 230
subsidiaries, most of them purchased. It was 150 companies
Its a hugely profitable
enterprise, with net in the first quarter of 2010 totaling
$4.5 billion or almost as much as its entire sales were
in 1982 ($5.76B). Profit on sales of $61.8B in 2009 was
$12.2B. Ranked No. 33 by Fortune, its profits were exceeded
by only five other companies in the top 33. It netted almost
as much as AT&T which had net of $12.5B on sales of
The Wall Street Journal,
looking in 1982 for possible enemies of J&J, noted it
was an aggressive, even predatory marketer that frequently
used litigation to stymie competitors.
The U.S. Justice Dept.
in January 2010 accused J&J of paying tens of millions
in kickbacks to nursing homes to boost the sales of its
said nursing home patients are often treated much
like prisoners, mentally shackled with chemical restraints
known as pharmaceuticals.
This is an angle that
has particular resonance in the PR community since Denny
Griswold, founder of PR News and known as the Queen
of PR, was held incommunicado in a Connecticut nursing home
for the last five years of her life. Her countless friends
were unable to contact her by phone, letters or visits.
The motive for Griswolds
imprisonment? Leaders of the PR Society were asking her
to donate her 85th st. townhouse to the Society for a library
and schools were seeking her 50 years of PR memorabilia
for their libraries. A niece got wind of this and no one
from the PR world was able to contact her until her death
five years later in 2001. Not a nickel of Griswolds
estate nor any of her papers ever went to anyone in the
A state ombudsman found
Griswold strapped in bed and without her hearing aid.
Treatment of those in
senior homes remains an area that needs plenty of investigation.
lesson of Tylenol is that a corporate giant, with
the acquiescence of the business and general press and PR
academia, was able to stand a set of facts on their head,
spinning them like a top.
J&Js success in this, described by J&J CEO
James Burke and VP-PR Larry Foster to the 1983 PR Seminar,
had a telling impact on the 120 blue chip corporate PR execs
at the meeting.
They learned that a company in crisis could get away
with having no press conference; could distance itself
from a mishap by shifting some attention to a subsidiary
(McNeil Laboratories in this case), and could shift attention
away from the real problem to a phony one with enough PR
The real problem was the easily spiked capsules and not
whether they were in tamper-resistant bottles
The PR industry was
just recovering from the PR of the 1979 Three Mile
Island nuclear accident that was so disastrous that no new
nuclear plant was ever ordered after it. PR executives were
anxious for a success story and Tylenol seemed to fit the
bill, even though a lot of shoehorning would be needed.
Foster and the other PR executives at the meeting, believing
that more PR for PR was needed than was being
done by the PR Society, decided to create a public face
for the secretive Seminar. They started the Arthur W. Page
Society, dedicated to telling the truth. Seminarians
could do PR for the industry without giving up their private
four-day wingding each year at a plush resort.
Page was chartered in December 1993. More than half of
those on its current 30-member board are also Seminarians
including president Bill Margaritis of FedEx; Ray Jordan
of J&J; Jon Iwata of IBM and Gary Sheffer of General
Electric. Twenty-one of the 30 people on the 2009 Seminar
board are also members of Page, which has a total of about
360 members, almost all of them in corporate jobs.
Under the influence of PR Seminar/Page, the gap between
PR and the press has widened to Grand Canyon proportions.
Secretive Seminar obviously believes that the best press
relations is no press relations. Executives and editors
of virtually all the major media who attend this annual
blast (June 2-5 in Tucson this year) go along with this.
None have ever reported even the existence of Seminar.
This no doubt encourages the executives in the belief that
major media can be handled. The acceptance of
the Tylenol myths by the New York Times, Fortune,
Economist, etc. indicates this.
The power of PR to squelch and twist stories has multiplied
in recent years and is one factor in the decline of newspapers
and other media.
Regrettably, the PR Society actively preaches avoidance
and distrust of the press. Going along with this policy
is Gary McCormick, the head of the Society, who works for
Scripps Networks Interactive, a spin-off from the E.W. Scripps
newspaper empire. No one from SNI, E.W. Scripps or the Scripps
Howard Foundation, which is dedicated to the cause
of the free press, will say anything. Also silent
is the Society of Professional Journalists.
Casualties of the false Tylenol story are the ethics
codes of J&J itself, E.W. Scripps, the Scripps Howard
Foundation, Page, the PR Society, and the SPJ. These codes
and credos have been shown to be not worth the paper theyre
written on when the chips are down.