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Internet Edition, June 16, 2010, Page 1


California’s San Bernardino County is reviewing its $300K waste reduction and recycling PR account with an open RFP through mid-June.

Stephen Groner and Associates is the incumbent through June 30, said Olivia Sanchez, recycling specialist for the county.

Several communities in the 1.7M-plus-resident county have formed a public education committee known as the Zero Waste Communities Committee to cut down on landfill use and boost recycling within state mandates.

San Bernardino’s Public Works Department issued the RFP to award a three-year contract with two option years. Firms must have government agency public education experience.


BP has brought back Ogilvy PR Worldwide to help with its digital strategy as the oil giant continues to navigate the Gulf spill crisis.

The WPP-owned Ogilvy, along with advertising unit, Ogilvy & Mather, handled the highly touted re-branding of BP from 1999-2000.

BP is also working with its longtime U.K.-based firm Mindshare on the Deepwater Horizon response, a PR executive engaged in the oil spill response told O’Dwyer’s.

Ogilvy declined to comment on the work but directed this website to BP. The firm picked up the account in May. BP faces a glut of criticism in the digital space led by the popular satirical Twitter feed @BPGlobalPR.

The company last week leaned on Twitter to have that account more prominently labeled as "satire" as some readers mistook the spoof as BP's own PR communications.

Ogilvy joins a growing PR roster for BP centered in D.C. that includes Brunswick Group and Purple Strategies.

Anne McCarthy, executive VP for corporate affairs for Western Union, Englewood, Colo., is leaving the company at the end of the month.

She joined WU in 2007 from SAP A.G. COO Hikmet Ersek, 49, was named president and CEO of WU in late April to succeed retiring Christina Gold.

McCarthy had been with the company since 2002 and has been in charge of global media relations, employee comms., reputation management, public affairs, community relations and the Western Union Foundation. She was previously senior VP of global communications for SAP A.G.


David Wells, who heads JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s press office for the EMEA region, is moving to Goldman Sachs in a managing director slot at the end of the summer.

Wells is slated to take up a role overseeing U.S. media strategy reporting to communications chief Lucas Van Praag.

He oversees corporate media relations across Europe, the Middle East and Africa at JPMorgan and sits on the company's regional reputation risk committee.

Wells stepped into the PR sector with JPMorgan Chase in 2008 after serving as editor of international company news at the Financial Times. Earlier stints included NPR and Bloomberg News.


Japan’s Pioneer Electronics has selected Atomic PR as agency of record following a hotly contested pitch in Los Angeles.

The San Francisco-based firm will handle positioning, messaging, social media, video, events, corporate communications and product promotion. Andy Parsons, Pioneer’s senior VP-corporate communications, likes Atomic's “modern approach to PR campaign planning and execution.”

Andy Getsey, CEO of Atomic, says his firm is a long-time user of Pioneer’s products and is eager to launch a drive that will help consumers get the “best for their hard earned cash.”

He is chopping at the bit to apply Atomic’s “methodology, expertise and energy to support that mission and to reintroduce Pioneer as a best in breed product offering to the masses.”

Atomic has a partnership with U.K.’s Huntsworth Group.


The nine-member board of PRSA/Maryland has e-mailed the Committee for a Democratic PRSA that it is “strongly against” the CDP’s petition calling for an end to the APR requirement for national officer and board posts.

Writing the e-mail was chapter president Laura LaChapelle of LaChapelle Communications, Baltimore.

Three of the nine directors of the chapter are APR.

The Maryland chapter has 340 Society members in its area and four Assembly delegates.

Detroit/PRSA, with 350 members, said it will conduct an “e-survey” to “poll its members” last week on the issue. It is not a “vote.”

(Continued on page 7)


Internet Edition, June 16, 2010, Page 2


Ireland’s WPP has created Ogilvy Noor, which bills itself as the “world’s first multidisciplinary global Islamic branding practice.”

Martin Sorrell’s ad/holding combine formally launched ON at the sixth annual World Islamic Economic Conference in Kuala Lumpur last month. It followed completion of a two-year survey conducted by Ogilvy & Mather on “Islamic branding.”

The survey's goal was to determine what drives the “new Muslim consumer” set against the "vast backdrop of ethnic, economic, political and religious diversity" in the Islamic World.

O&M says its research has identified trends and opportunities in the world's "most interesting, dynamic yet controversial marketplace."

ON sees a market of 1.8B ready to be tapped by its staffers in Dubai, Pakistan, Malaysia and London. According to, the number of Muslims in Britain jumped from 500K to 2.4M during the past four years.

The number of Christians dipped by more than 2M in that same period.

Nazia Hussain, O&M's director of cultural strategy, believes “young Muslim consumers are open to positive change and innovation just like consumers everywhere, but that change must be aligned with their values from the start.”

ON feels some global marketers shy away from Muslim countries because they fear “getting it wrong” or alienating potential customers. It promises to “clear up the apprehension by shedding light on what works and what doesn't with the modern Muslim consumer.”


Brunswick Group, which has BP CEO Tony Hayward apologizing to anyone within earshot for the Gulf oil mess, also counsels Prudential PLC, which has joined the “so sorry” ranks.

Britain’s Prudential faces shareholder wrath over the June 3 termination of its $35B takeover deal of AIG's vast Asian operation, a move that would have transformed the 162-year-old company and better positioned it in fast growing markets.

The deal collapsed as AIG's board rejected a re-negotiated price tag.

Prudential chairman Harvey McGrath and CEO Tidjane Thiam apologized to stakeholders via a video posted on the company's site June 7. Cantos produced the videos.

In his video, McGrath says he understands the “anger” over the failed transaction that “required a tremendous amount of work, Thiam is sorry, though he believes pursuit of the deal was “absolutely the right thing to do.”

He said Prudential “came close” and added: “If one tries, one must accept the possibility that one might fail.”

McGrath told the Financial Times there will be no resignations in the aftermath of the AIG debacle.

Prudential must pay AIG a $200M termination fee, and reportedly shelled out more than $650M in various fees connected to the botched AIG deal.


Scott Stevens, VP of corporate communications for Nissan Americas, is leaving the automaker to "pursue opportunities outside the company," Nissan said in a statement.

Stevens was hired for the VP post in May 2009 after running an Austin-based communications shop. He previously held posts at Motorola Semiconductor and its successor, Freescale Semiconductor.

David Reuter, who was promoted in April with the retirement of Fred Standish, has been promoted again, to senior director, corporate communications, Nissan Americas, reporting to chairman of the automaker's Americas management committee, Carlos Tavares.

Reuter adds oversight and alignment across product and internal communications and will coordinate the operations of the communications departments across the Americas.

"We wish Scott the best as he begins the next chapter in his career and welcome David to his new responsibilities," Tavares said in a statement.

Nissan was sixth among automakers in sales for May 2010 behind Japan-based competitors Toyota and Honda.


Washington, D.C., is looking for healthcare PR support for its Live Well DC campaign, a new healthy lifestyle effort pushing messages from anti-smoking to stress relief.

The office of communications for the district's Dept. of Health issued an RFP on May 27 for a firm to develop and execute a social marketing, public education and communications effort underlying the tenets of the Live Well campaign.

The Live Well push was launched in December 2009 and sharpened its focus in February 2010 with a list of ten healthy living tips. The RFP calls for an agency to develop the Live Well DC “brand” via public service ads, emerging media and other efforts.

The resulting contract is capped at $75K. Proposals are due June 28.

Download the RFP at


Sard Verbinnen is working PR for Providence Equity Partners, which has scooped up corporate intelligence leader Kroll Inc. from Marsh & McLennan Cos. for its Altegrity background checker operation.

Altegrity is headed by Michael Cherkasky, the former CEO of both MMC and Kroll. He worked as U.S. District attorney and chief of the rackets bureau and investigations unit. Cherkasky led the prosecution of mobster John Gotti and the 1993 bombers of the World Trade Center. He is assisted by former New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, chairman of Altegrity's international operation.

PEP is paying $1.1B in cash for Kroll, which has more than 3,000 employees in 27 countries. Falls Church, Va-based Altegrity and its nearly 8,000 staffers provide drug screening tests to more than 25 percent of the Fortune 500. They also do due diligence, investigative and consulting work.


Internet Edition, June 16, 2010, Page 3


ABC News political director David Chalian is moving to PBS’ “NewsHour” in July in a similar capacity.

D.C.-based Chalian, who joined ABC in 2003, will direct political coverage and oversee editorial content covering Congress, White House and the Supreme Court.

He’ll also appear as an on-camera political analyst on TV and in webcasts while developing original digital content for

He has co-anchored the ABC-Washington Post webcast “TopLine” since March 2009 in addition to guiding all editorial coverage of politics at ABC.

Linda Winslow, executive producer of “NewsHour” said the hire will continue a “transformation” of the program started in December to become a “multi-platform news operation.”

He started out in TV News at NY1 News producing “Inside City Hall” in the early 2000s.


Sally Singer, fashion news and features editor at Vogue, is the new editor of T: The New York Times Style Magazine. She assumes the post next month. Stefano Tonchi traded T for W, Conde Nast’s fashion offering, in April.

Singer joined Vogue in 1999. Earlier, she was fashion editor at New York Magazine and editor at the London Review of Books.

She has also written for The Economist and Atlantic.


Newsweek national correspondent Michael Isikoff and PR chief Frank De Maria have left the news magazine.

Isikoff is taking off for a national investigative correspondent slot at NBC.

The 16-year Newsweek veteran will appear on “NBC Nightly News,” “Today,” and will have a “branded destination” for Isikoff on MSNBC.

Isikoff also wrote Newsweek’s DeClassifed blog. He worked at the Washington Post prior to Newsweek, which is losing money and has been put on the auction block by Washington Post Co.

De Maria, VP of corporate communications for Newsweek, is moving to the NASDAQ OMX Group to lead global PR and corporate comms.

He will take the slot vacated by Bethany Sherman, who joined Dow Jones & Co. as its chief communications officer in March.

De Maria, who is slated to take the senior VP of global corporate comms. title at NASDAQ on June 21, guided Newsweek’s PR through its print and digital re-launch in 2009 in two years there.

He was previously head of global media relations at Thomas Reuters and, earlier, at Reuters before its acquisition by Thomson Corp.

De Maria worked on the agency side at Brunswick Group.


Ziff Davis is being purchased by Grant Hill Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm and Vivek Shah, a Time Inc. alum. The sale price is in the $150M range.

ZD has had six owners since 1994. It owns technology and electronic websites such as ZD went out of the print business in ’09 via the shutdown of PC Magazine.

ZD was started during the ’20s. The Ziff family sold the company for $1.4B in ’94. A year later, takeover firm Forstmann Little sold ZD to Japan’s Softbank for $2.1B.

ZD filed for bankruptcy in ’08 and emerged owned by creditors.


The Wall Street Journal is introducing a weekly leisure and lifestyle section to its weekend paper in the fall.

Deborah Needleman, former editor at Domino is consulting on the development. She told Ad Age that the goal is to create a “newspaper section with a magazine-y sensibility.”

The section will have from 15 to 17 pages of editorial and advertising. The Saturday paper was launched in `05 as part of News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch’s effort to compete with the New York Times.


Le Monde, France’s newspaper of record, is up for sale. Publisher Eric Fottorino informed readers of the move in a front-page letter.

Five bidders are lined up as potential owners. That roster includes Pierre Berge, former partner of departed fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent.

Fottorino promised readers that the new owner must guarantee editorial independence from the paper that was founded in 1944 as German troops were driven from Paris.

France’s media combine Lagardere owns 17 percent of Le Monde. Fottorino says Larardere is not interested in hiking its stake.

Le Monde has a circulation of 320K.

BRIEF: Jeremy Herb, a freelancer for the Boston Globe in D.C., has moved to Minneapolis/St.Paul’s Star Tribune as a correspondent in its Washington, D.C., bureau. ...Seventeen-year Mediaweek veteran Michael Burgi is leaving as editor-in-chief of the magazine for the VP/comms. slot at at Canoe Ventures.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, June 16, 2010, Page 4


The Washington Post raised eyebrows last week as a top reporter for the paper canceled a book party sponsored by a D.C. PR firm.

The incident followed last summer’s debacle that had the Post’s marketing department soliciting donations up to $250K from lobbyists to support off-the-record” salons at the home of Post publisher Katharine Weymouth.

The New York Times reported on June 9 that Post healthcare reporter Ceci Connolly, a co-author of a forthcoming healthcare book, “Landmark: The Inside Story of America’s New Health Care Law and What it Means for All of Us,” backed out of a party for the release of the tome hosted by Blue Line Strategic Communications, the firm of Democratic PR strategists Michael Meehan and David DiMartino.

The Times said the episode put the Post “in another potentially embarrassing and ethically compromised position.”

Meehan sent out an email the day of the event saying that Connolly had a “last-minute scheduling conflict,” according to the Times.

Last July, Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli said he was “appalled” by the plan to host the salons with Post staffers.

The paper’s ombudsman, Andrew Alexander, noted then: “For a storied newspaper that cherishes its reputation for ethical purity, this comes pretty close to a PR disaster.”


CJones & Associates is handling PR for Victor Perillo, former agent of Gary Coleman, on news that deathbed images of the ex-child actor were taken by his former wife and sold to the tabloid Globe.

Perillo is “personally appalled to hear the news that individuals are selling photos of Gary in the hospital,” said a statement distributed by Charles Jones. The sale of the images, he said, is “unconscionable and despicable.”

Coleman’s family “would like to thank all of his fans for their generous support,” according to the statement.

Perillo appeared on NBC’s “The Today Show” June 9 to denounce the sale of the photos. Coleman, who starred in “Diff’rent Strokes,” died May 28. He was 42.

CJ&A also handled PR for the Rothstein, Rosenfeldt, and Adler law firm in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Its managing partner, Scott Rothstein, confessed to operating a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme and was sentenced to 50 years in prison June 9.

Jones, who was at Wragg & Casas before opening his own shop, also worked the Anna Nicole Smith trial and opened a Miami office of the law firm of the late Johnnie Cochran.


Linda Douglass, who was President Barack Obama’s healthcare spokeswoman, is joining the Atlantic as VP to handle communications and strategy.

The former ABC and CBS correspondent was a contributing editor at National Journal, sister publication of the Atlantic, before joining the White House PR shop.

Douglass told the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz that her role is to bolster the “visibility” of the Atlantic by highlighting its “smart analysts and great writers.”

The National Journal is the midst of a hiring spree, hiring about 30 reporters as it ramps up its digital transformation.

The publication has created a unified online newsroom, which includes other sites such as Hotline and Congress Daily.


A decline in ad revenue and a shift to web reviews by numerous bloggers have resulted in a "drastic kill-off" of movie critics, writes columnist James Wolcott in the July Vanity Fair.

Casualties include Mark Clark from USA Today; Andrew Sarris from the New York Observer; Todd McCarthy after 30 years at Variety, and David Ansen from Newsweek.

Blogger Sean Means of the Salt Lake Tribune has tracked the departure of 65 film critics.

Wolcott notes that the picture is “no brighter on TV.” A.O. Scott of the New York Times and Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune tried to take over the “At the Movies” show of Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel, but Disney “yanked its life support,” he notes.

“The Great Recession,” writes Wolcott, “has proven to be not a typical, cyclical downturn but a profound reordering of the media universe — the cannibalizing of traditional print by digital.”

Book, dance, theater and fine arts reviewers have similarly been driven to the Internet and services like Twitter where “some adapt and thrive — like Ebert — and others disappear without a twinkle,” he adds.


Edwin Chen, senior White House correspondent for Bloomberg News, has resigned from that post to re-join the Natural Resources Defense Council as federal communications director.

Chen, who moves to the NRDC on June 21, joined Bloomberg in 2007 after about a year in the NRDC post. He is also the exiting president of the White House Correspondents Association.

Chen said in an email obtained by Politico that the BP oil spill was a “divine signal to redouble my efforts to help clean up the environment,” wean the country off its “petroleum addiction,” and pressure officials to tackle climate change.

He previously covered the White House for the Los Angeles Times leaving in 2006 for the newly created D.C. post at the NRDC.

Internet Edition, June 16, 2010, Page 5


BondPR, a London-based firm focused on cross-border PR campaigns, has merged its U.S. operation with Rainemakers, a S.F. tech firm founded by Debra Raine in 2009.

Bond CEO Tom Burgess said he looked at a number of options in S.F. but saw Raine as the best fit. She now heads BondPR's international U.S. business.

Raine was GM of the western region and head of global business development at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, EVP for the Bay Area at Porter Novelli and EVP/head of Asia Pacific for Copithorne & Bellows Technology PR/Porter Novelli.

Burgess said BondPR is now active in 50 countries via a network of affiliates working for 40 clients, including Regus in 30 countries across three continents, and U.S.-based Autodesk in five markets across Central and Eastern Europe.

Raine said Bond's business model fit in with her own “service model that does away with the complex and costly practices of traditional agencies.”

BRIEFS: jacobstahl, a New York PR firm, has aligned with specialty brand strategic consulting firm Vivaldi Partners to initially focus on healthcare clients. Sandra Stahl, partner at jacobstahl, said strategic alliances are a key part of the firm's business model, noting the firms are already in engaged in several proposals.Erich Joachimsthaler, CEO of Vivaldi said it takes a strong combination of capabilities, including communications, to build and manage brands. Vivaldi is based in New York with operations in Europe, Latin America and Asia. ...Bell Pottinger is helping Sri Lanka rehabilitate its image, which was tarnished by last year’s brutal crackdown against the Tamil Tigers rebel group. A key priority is to restore good ties with India, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. ...Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said he will cancel a $30K PR contract with Philadelphia’s Bellevue Communications to research his legacy leading the Keystone State. Rendell said his administration will ask the firm to return $10K already paid under the pact. Bellevue is headed by former Rendell communications aide, Kevin Feeley, who was deputy mayor for communications when Rendell was mayor of Philadelphia. Feeley didn’t return an email. ...Patton Boggs is helping the National Coalition of African American Owned Media pressure Comcast to commit to 100 percent black-owned channels as a condition for its backing of the $28B takeover of NBC Universal. Former Federal Communications Commission chief Kevin Martin is spearheading the NCAAOM push. He is a partner at Patton Boggs. ...Richard Keil, a director at Public Strategies and former White House correspondent for Bloomberg News, is slated to take a crisis communications role at Purple Strategies, the D.C. shop currently working with BP. Keil covered the recent Bush White House, the 2000 and '04 presidential elections, and other political assignments in nine years at Bloomberg. He spent 10 years at the Associated Press in D.C.


New York Area

Zeno Group, New York/Sobieski Vodka, Polish liquor brand, as AOR following a competitive pitch process. Zeno is charged with marketing and PR, including Sobieski’s relationship with actor Bruce Willis, a company stakeholder, as well as events, social media and other outreach. SV is imporated by Imperial Brands, part of Belvedere S.A.

M Booth & Associates, New York/Pirate Brands, all-natural health snacks including the Pirate’s Booty brand, as AOR for PR targeting consumers, nutritionists and media. Account supervisor Frani Lieberman heads the work for the 23-year-old Sea Cliff, N.Y.-based company. The company re-branded from Robert’s American Gourmet Food last year.

JS2 Communications, New York/CHOZEN Ice Cream, family owned and operated artisanal kosher ice cream brand set to launch this summer, for PR.

Affect Strategies, New York/Regus, workplace solutions, as AOR for PR and social media in North America following previous assignments. Affect handled a New York project in Q4 of 2009, followed by a Q1 2010 effort in several cities.

The Morris + King Company, New York/David Barton Gyms, boutique U.S. gym operator, for a comprehensive social and digital campaign. DBG has gyms in New York, Miami, Chicago and Seattle.


Wall Street Warriors, Parkland, Fla./Diamond Ranch Foods, Bronx meat and poultry processing and food service company, for a corporate communications media plan. DRF is publicly traded on the OTCBB.


Skyya Communications, Minneapolis/Bluelounge, design studio; ET Water Systems, green technology for irrigation management; Mad Mobile, mobile marketing, and SpeakLike, human translation service.


The Pollack PR Marketing Group, Los Angeles/The National Notary Association, to heighten awareness of the group coinciding with its publication of a compilation of essays on the thirtieth President of the United States, “Why Coolidge Matters — How Civility in Politics Can Bring a Nation Together.” Coolidge was the only U.S. president to have taken the presidential oath administered by a Vermont Notary Public, his father, rather than the chief justice of the Supreme Court.

Allison & Partners, San Diego/Envision Solar International, solar clean energy systems for commercial, residential, and public entities, as AOR following a successful project last year. A&P will focus on building awareness of the company’s solar installations, and investor relations.

Formula, Los Angeles/Cost Plus World Market, home décor, entertaining solutions, food and wine retailer, for a regional PR program focused on six key West Coast markets – L.A., San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, Portland and Seattle. Media relations efforts targeting food, beverage and lifestyle media are underway with social media in the works.

Internet Edition, June 16, 2010, Page 6


Vocus has acquired journalist lead service HARO (Help A Reporter Out), a two-year-old company founded by PR pro and social media consultant Peter Shankman.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

HARO, a free, advertising-supported competitor to PR Newswire’s premium ProfNet, was started as a Facebook group forwarding source and interview requests from journalists to PR pros and transitioned to a stand-alone service. It counts 30,000 reporters and bloggers and more than 100,000 users.

Shankman told O’Dwyer’s that Vocus is HARO’s biggest advertiser, by far, and talks about a combination started in earnest in December.

“The majority of HARO users are small businesses,” he said. “Either they can’t afford a PR firm or don’t know how to do PR. When Vocus heard that, they said ‘That’s what we do.’”

Shankman said he had been talking to other potential suitors for some time but noted Vocus made the most sense for his company. “They just got it,” he said.

Rick Rudman, president and CEO of Vocus, called the free HARO service a “perfect on-ramp” to Vocus’ premium PR software.

Shankman, who is closely linked to the HARO brand, is joining Vocus “to help drive continued innovation for HARO and other social media products,” Vocus said. He said he signed a one-year contract but plans to stay with Vocus. “I’m not going anywhere,” he said. “I know what HARO can be and I want to grow it.”

HARO and Vocus have both eyed international expansion as key to the companies’ respective growth. In April, Vocus, which has a London office, acquired PR services companies in France and China.

Vocus said the deal is not expected to have a material impact on Vocus’ financial results for Q2 or full year 2010.


The profit margins of U.S. PR firms fell to a four-year low last year of 13.5 percent of revenues, according to StevensGouldPincus.

The consulting firm polled 111 firms nationally and found the profit percentage sink from 15.6% in 2008 and 19.7% in 2007.

Also falling was the average monthly retainer – from $10,332 a year ago to $9,808 – although the figure varies widely based on geography. In D.C., for example, the average was $12,500/mo., compared with just under $6,000/mo. in the Southwest.

Rick Gould, managing partner at SGP, said the profit percentage was brought down by smaller firms with revenues under $3M, which posted a paltry net profit average of 10.4% of revenue. Larger firms in the $3-10M range averaged nearly 15%, while those in the $10-25M range were at 17%, SGP found. The largest agencies of revenue of more than $25M were at 15%, the Best Practices Benchmarking Survey found.

More at



Michael Slaby, who directed technology for the Obama campaign, transition team and advised the administration, to Edelman as an executive VP and global chair of its digital practice. Slaby, who took up the post on June 8, had been handling comms. and tech strategy for VC firm TomorrowVentures. He takes over for Rick Murray – named Chicago chief for Edelman – overseeing the 300-staffer unit.

Tyler Pennock, senior VP, director of social media for Ruder Finn, to Cohn & Wolfe, New York, as senior VP, digital media, and co-lead of the firm’s New York digital team with senior VP Andrew Foote. He was at Weber Shandwick and Chandler Chicco Agency.

Jared Whitley, a former Hill and White House communications aide, to Defense Dept. translation/interpreter contractor Mission Essential Personnel, Chantilly, Va., as gov’t and media rels. coordinator.

Trey Ditto, a former deputy press secretary, Spanish spokesperson, and deputy director of strategic partnerships for the U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings and Under Secretary Sara Martinez-Tucker, to KCSA Strategic Communications, New York, as a managing director for its PR division. KCSA has upped Marybeth Csaby, a six-year KCSA veteran, to managing director and director of investor relations; Anne Donohoe to MD and director of PR; Garth Russell, another eight-year veteran of the company, to MD of the firm's IR team.

Deirdre Sullivan, co-founder of fashion and lifestyle firm Gritty Pretty PR, to MWW Group, East Rutherford, N.J., as VP of its DialogueMedia practice. She was senior director of web strategy and social media at and earlier worked with Lucky magazine, and handled the launch of

Martha Feingold, former VP at Edelman most recently at The Horn Group, to Burson-Marsteller, as a director in its San Francisco technology practice. She was director of talent and booking at TechTV and spent 12 years at Disney-ABC, including as a news producer. She was a VP and media director at Horn.

Scott Gardiner, an Edelman, SC Johnson, Global Crossing and Sony vet, to The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Fla., to manage public and media relations strategy.

Leslie Hermelin, director of media at Mute Records, part of EMI, to Susan Blond, Inc., New York, as associate VP. At Mute, she handled artists like Moby and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.


Jennifer Scott to global managing director of Ogilvy PR Worldwide’s Strategy + Planning Group, succeeding Steve Dahllof, who was named regional CEO of Ogilvy PR Asia Pacific in January. Scott joined in 2006 from Edelman’s StrategyOne research unit and has a doctorate in politics from Oxford.

Catherine Wolfe to senior director, corporate and strategic comms., Toshiba America Medical Systems, Tustin, Calif.


Internet Edition, June 16, 2010, Page 7


Eleven of the 17 Detroit directors are APR. The four officers are required to be APR.

The chapter has 133 APR members or 37% of the total, which is far above the national Society average of 20%.

No chapter is known to be taking a vote on this issue, prompting some members to say this gives weight to the claim of the CDP that the Society is undemocratic.

The Society’s Code of Ethics says members are to “contribute to informed decision making in a democratic society.”

Leaders Should be APR—PRSA/MD

LaChapelle, writing on behalf of the board, said “We on the PRSA-MD board feel so strongly against this (CDP) petition that we decided to respond to this e-mail. As a whole, we support keeping the APR as a qualification for PRSA leadership.”

She said that if APR is to remain “vital and worthy,” PRSA itself must recognize that and “ensure that its leaders are APR.”

Removing the APR rule would be the same as saying it “doesn’t matter any more,” she added.

“No employer can ask for the credential if the sponsoring trade group doesn’t,” she wrote.

She advised members who want to be leaders to take the time and effort to earn an APR, which she compared to a CPA.

“APR provides a recognized shared body of knowledge that ensures that no matter our education or professional background, having an APR means we have a universally recognized skill set,” she said.

LaChapelle, who has an MBA from the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business (cum laude) and a BA from Loyola College in Maryland (advertising major and psychology and business minors), started her own firm in 2005 after being marketing project manager for United Health Group.

PRSA/Detroit to Survey Members

Rich Donley, president of PRSA/Detroit, said last week that an “e-survey” will be conducted of chapter members to “get a sense of what they are thinking so we can determine the board's next steps.”

It is not a “vote” such as would be normally conducted at a board meeting or at an annual meeting when officers and directors are elected, he added.

The poll was to be conducted mid-week last week.

Donley will put the following statement in the chapter newsletter:

“Early on in my public relations career, I was skeptical and questioned the value of APR.

“I felt this way, in part, since I was not schooled in public relations; I majored in journalism and radio/TV/film.

“As I moved up in the PR profession and became actively engaged in PRSA-Detroit, I fully embraced the challenges and opportunities of earning my accreditation.

“It was one of my most rewarding career accomplishments, and certainly a major highlight in my life.”

Detroit is the “home chapter” of Rhoda Weiss, 2007 national chair of the Society. She is a graduate of Michigan State.


The Committee for a Democratic PRSA on June 7 e-mailed the entire 21,000-member list of the Society.

The blast e-mail argues that 80% of members “don’t have the chance” to serve the Society nationally because of the rule that officers and board members must be APR.

Recipients are asked to go to the petition website at and provide their signatures.

There is also a link so that the letter can be sent “to a friend.”

The CDP says it “fully supports and encourages APR for practitioners” but does not believe it should be a requirement for those seeking national office.

Leaders of “the most prominent and influential PR firms in our industry” are not APR, the letter notes.

CDP members include Richard Edelman, Bill Doescher, Art Stevens, Deborah Radman, Sandra Fathi and Davie Rickey.


Smooch Reynolds, a veteran PR sector recruiter, has been named VP of communications for Los Angeles-based real estate developer Irvine Company and will hand off her search firm to Stanton Chase.

Reynolds, who founded The Repovich-Reynolds Group in 1987 and became a respected agency in job searches for communications and investor relations, said the move may be her biggest career decision.

She said she was approached by the company to do a search for a new communications chief, but after a meeting, Irvine management asked if she would consider the post. In a similar time frame, executives at Stanton Chase had approached her about a role there, as well.

Reynolds started out a press deputy to L.A. councilwoman Pat Russell and later moved on to a post as regional PR director for United Cable Television and, eventually, Hill & Knowlton.

Irvine, which focuses on Orange County real estate, is privately held.


Bishoff Communications’ crisis guidance for the Melrose (Mass.) YMCA amid charges that a basketball coach raped two young team members earned the Publicity Club of New England's Super Bell Award on June 7.

The PCNE honor was part of the group's annual Bell Ringer Awards competition.

The Boston-based firm, led by Janey Bishoff, worked on crisis communications for management of the YMCA as a former girls basketball coach was arrested in February 2009 and charged – he pleaded guilty last week – to 20 charges related to sexually assaulting two girls numerous times while employed at the YMCA and using video cameras to record himself.

Schwartz Communications of Waltham, Mass., was the top winner with 18 awards –including a Gold Bell for getting a New York Times feature on artificial ankles -- while RDW Group of Providence, R.I., won 11 Bell Awards and 360 PR of Boston took home 10.


Internet Edition, June 16, 2010, Page 8




The Village Voice has outed the draconian speech-stifling policies of Viacom.

A 48-page PDF to employees of the $14.6 billion entertainment giant warns that anyone who breathes a negative word about Viacom will be “disciplined” (i.e., fired).

Only the “officially designated spokesperson” may deal with the media or “post on the internet or otherwise publicly share” information on the company.

Furthermore, any contact from media people must be immediately reported to corporate communications.

The policy applies to freelancers, suppliers and anyone remotely connected with the company.

The PDF is “48 pages of internal corporate terrorism,” says the Voice. PR pros sound like corporate gestapo.

Some who commented on the VV website said Viacom is just describing common corporate PR policy and we agree.

Blue chip websites typically reveal no names of PR contacts—only a general phone number for “media inquiries.” An “assistant” takes down info. No PR pro will pick up the phone--much less the head of the dept.

An alternative is to leave an e-mail in a box that is provided and hope for a reply.

A “non-disparagement” clause in the Viacom PDF tells employees/suppliers “You may not criticize, ridicule or make any negative statement concerning Viacom to any author, producer…or any customer, client or supplier.”

Oddly, Viacom, which owns MTV, BET and Paramount Pictures, also hosts “Comedy Central” on which Jon Stewart mocks everyone and everything.

Jay Leno of NBC constantly ridicules the network for its allegedly small audience and failed programs. We wonder if forthcoming new owner Comcast will allow this. Approval of the deal is set for July 15.

Journalist Profs Rap ‘Reclusive’ Obama

The Association for Educators in Journalism and Mass Communications (3,600 journalism and PR profs; revenues of $2M), led by Carol Pardun has bashed President Obama for his “general lack of transparency and accessibility to journalists,” noting his May 27 press conference was his first “full, open-ended conference in ten months.”

The 308-day gap till May 27 exceeded the longest gap by President George Bush (204 days).

The AEJMC said it is “alarmed by restrictions to Presidential coverage that at best curtail and at worst prevent citizens from understanding critical issues…” It wants Obama to live up to his promise of “creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.”

AEJMC was hit with a hail of criticism and praise for its stand. Several members said they would either quit the group or not attend its annual conference to protest a “political statement” that was not cleared with the entire membership.

Harshest criticism came from Jay Rosen, New York University journalism faculty member and head of the dept. from 1999-2005. He said the statement is "crude—gross even. It is thinly sourced and badly reasoned. It is as narcissistic as the White House press corps at its worst. The statement doesn’t know what it is talking about… He feels that not enough “facts” were gathered to obtain the “full institutional picture…it is not professional, quality work.”

Merely saying that Obama has not had many press conferences “cannot bear the weight the AEJMC has placed on it,” wrote Rosen. His bio says he had a “very brief" career at the Buffalo Courier-Express before becoming a full time academic in the 1980s.

Israel Raps ‘Political Right’

Prof. Bill Israel of St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas defended Obama’s reticence with the press, saying the “political right” has undercut the news for the past 40 years with help from conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute.

Their number grew from 70 in 1980 to 500 by 2000, he said, and “so changed Americans that we elected Ronald Reagan who now looks like a moderate,” elected President Bush who “lost the popular vote" and "pushed us into a useless war,” and “nearly defeated even watered-down healthcare 100 years after its proposal and decades after passage by every other western democracy.”

Obama, he said, has to deal with “news dependent on the sourcing and framing of the Right” and he doesn’t blame him for “seeking to keep his head down” in such an environment.

Try Our World—No Press Conf. for 6,025 Days

We sympathize with the Village Voice and all media that have to deal with communications-blocking corporate PR depts. and with the White House press corps that finds President Obama evasive.

We’d like reporters to look at our world where the last press conference of PR Society leaders was at the 1993 annual conference in Orlando, Fla.—6,025 days ago.

PRSA sets itself up as the “government of PR,” creating ethical and PR practice standards worldwide not only for members but the entire “profession.”

Hal Warner, 1993 president, an employee of Manning, Selvage & Lee, set up a formal press conference at the annual conference that year with board members and about five PR trade reporters. It lasted from 8 to 9 a.m. as the directors fielded any and all questions.

We feel MS&L CEO Kirk Stewart was behind this and a perpetual $5,000 annual gift to the Society for an “Ethics Conference” involving reporters and PR pros.

Regrettably, PR pros at the first such conference in 1994 said so many embarrassing things (including Patrick Jackson telling Morley Safer that Jackson's policy with the press was “duck ’em and screw ’em”) that the first conference was the last.

Our access to the elected head of PRSA has been almost non-existent since 2005.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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