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Internet Edition, June 23, 2010, Page 1


The $5 billion Alaska Housing Finance Corp. has issued an RFP for PR and marketing proposals to pitch its positive impact on Alaskans and highlight housing opportunities and home energy savings the state offers residents.

Firms must have an Anchorage office or affiliate to pursue the year-long account, with three option years.

The AHFC is a self-supporting corporation with $5.1 billion in assets that is fully owned by the state. It runs low-income housing, administers federal Housing and Urban Development voucher programs, and serves as a secondary mortgage lender, among other tasks like educating homebuyers.

The corporation wants to particularly target rural Alaskans through the media, social networks, public service ads and events.

Proposals are due July 8.


Feld Entertainment, producer of Ringling Bros. and Disney on Ice, has suspended its PR agency review, said VP of corporate communications Stephen Payne.

The Vienna, Va.-based company issued an RFP in April to review its six-figure account which was handled by Hill & Knowlton. That move drew the protest of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which threatened to “educate” Feld’s selected firm with material critical of its circus operations.

Payne said the review was halted before selected finalists presented. “Right now we are taking it all in-house but may consult with firms on a case-by-case basis in the future,” he said, adding the move had “absolutely nothing to do with” PETA.

“We evaluated the team we had in house and concluded we had the talent and expertise,” he said.

Payne last month called PETA’s protests of the review “absurd” and said that participating firms did their own due diligence on the organization and none dropped out. PETA’s campaign included emailing CEOs of top firms, issuing an open letter and taking an ad in a PR trade publication.

Feld planned to award a two-year contract billing at about $30K/month. H&K has handled the work for the past six or seven years.

Chad Jacobs, co-CEO of Connecticut-based financial communications firm ICR, died June 11 after a bout with stomach cancer. He was 45.

Jacobs’ passing follows a year and a half after ICR founding partner and his prep school classmate John Flanagan died at 44.


Thailand, in the aftermath of the worst political violence in its modern history, has hired Podesta Group to “protect its international reputation.”

Tony Podesta’s firm is involved in message development, media outreach and communications training to Thai officials. It will earn $80K per-month for the three-month effort. A formal contract has not yet been finalized.

Eighty-eight people were killed in a police crackdown on demonstrators in Bangkok from May 12-19. At least 1,800 were injured.

A state of emergency remains in effect. The government is considering amnesty to protesters who were demonstrating peacefully.

John Podesta, Tony’s brother, was President Clinton’s chief of staff.


Republican political operative Ed Rollins, who managed Ronald Reagan’s 49-state landslide victory over Walter Mondale, has joined the Dilenschneider Group.

He served in the White House as director of political affairs, assisted by his deputy Lee Atwater. He departed in ’85 for a post at Sacramento-based Russo & Watts.

Rollins worked Ross Perot’s independent bid for the White House. Most recently, he was campaign manager for former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s bid to win the GOP Presidential nod in 2008.

Rollins is a senior political contributor at CNN and senior Presidential fellow at the Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency.


PR Society leaders have refused to let the Committee for a Democratic PRSA (CDP) use the Society’s e-mail list, forcing the Committee to build its own list of the 21,000 members.

Members say this is an arduous task since the online directory only brings up 10-50 names at a time and they can’t be printed out or saved.

All three official spokespeople of the Society were unavailable until Monday, June 21, including VP-PR Arthur Yann, who is unavailable until July 6.

E-mails to Yann are returned with the message, “I am currently out of the office through July 5” and “will respond upon my return Tuesday, July 6.” He advises reporters to call three others in the media relations dept., Joseph DeRupo, Diane Gomez and Cecilia Hughes.

(Continued on page 7)


Internet Edition, June 23, 2010, Page 2


Mexican President Felipe Calderon said he is launching an “integral publicity project” that includes plans to hire a PR firm to burnish the country’s image and fight perceptions that it’s losing a war to drug lords.

“In my government, we are promoting an integral advertising and public relations campaign, for which we have contracted the world’s best agencies to promote Mexico's image,” Calderon said June 15. The same day he announced the effort, a shootout saw Mexican soldiers kill 14 gunmen in the tourist town of Taxco, known for its silver jewelry. That came a day after 15 Mexican police were killed in Michoacan and Chuhuahua.

APCO inked a $1.4M deal with Mexico’s tourism board last year to gauge perceptions of the country and handle “rapid response media relations.” Qorvis Communications also had a $330K, one-year contract with the tourism board for an online PR program, covering marketing, new media relations, grassroots/allies outreach and web support.

Miami agency Newlink Communications has also worked with the country’s tourism entity to fight the negative crime image.


Canada’s Bombardier has given Edelman a $20K monthly contract to develop a “compelling narrative” to reflect its strong position in the aerospace and transportation markets.

The move comes as Bombardier is expected to be a key player in the construction of a U.S. high-speed rail network. The Montreal-based company is the world’s largest rail equipment operation and No. 3 producer of commercial aircraft.

Teamed with Alstom, Bombardier built Amtrak’s fastest train, Acela Express, which operates in the northeast at top speeds of 150 miles per-hour.

Edelman’s contract calls for message development, a “steady stream of briefings and relationship opportunities,” speaking engagements for Bombardier executives, digital communications, IR support and mining the client’s internal resources to identify new thought leadership platforms.


Weber Shandwick VP Paul Kelash has been tapped for the VP-corporate communications slot at Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America in Minneapolis.

Kelash, who handled financial accounts in WS’ Minneapolis office, including the American Council of Life Insurers, takes the title of VP at Allianz.

Nancy Jones, chief marketing officer, oversees corporate comms. for the company, which is a unit of Germany based Allianz AG.

Allianz caused a stir in 2008 when the company pursued the naming rights for the new football stadium for the New York Giants and Jets.

Public outcry over the company’s ties to Nazi Germany scuttled negotiations, which the Daily News dubbed “Shaming Rights.”


Ogilvy PR is handling the controversial educational campaign to convince women that low sexual desire is a medical condition called “hypoactive sexual desire disorder” that can be treated with a pill.

Former Playboy model and soap opera actress Lisa Rinna is spokesperson for the “Sex Brain Body: Make the Connection” ( campaign that says chemicals in the brain play a role in sexual response.

Washington’s Society for Women’s Health Research developed the educational push with sponsorship from German drug giant Boehringer Ingelheim, developer of flibanserin, which it says bolsters the female libido.

A Food & Drug Administration staff report rejected Boehringer’s data that showed an increase of sexual arousal among women who took flibanserin. An advisory panel decided June 17 the risks do not outweigh benefits of the pill. A final FDA ruling will decide whether to recommend the pill, a nod that could open a $2B market for Boehringer.

The New York Times ran a front page story June 16 about the promotional campaign. Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, a Georgetown University professor, called it a “classic case of disease branding.”


Spectrum, the D.C.-based healthcare firm, has pared its executive ranks to deal with a challenging economy and loss of key client, King Pharmaceuticals in late 2009, CEO John Seng told O’Dwyer’s.

He confirmed the departures of senior VPs Michael Cover, disease management practice leader; Mary Ann Chaffee, public affairs and health policy chief, and VP Kevin Walsh, digital strategy.

Seng called them “terrific people,” but he felt as owner of the firm that it was necessary for the group to depart. He is now “completely in the driver’s seat.”

Katherine Maynard, who joined Spectrum in ’98 and who assumed the COO post last year, is now a “senior advisor” to the firm. She decided to step back from the management post due to “family reasons,” according to Seng, who eventually will look for a new No. 2.

Seng said former VP and new mom, Susie Tappouni, has taken a post at the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He did note that Spectrum recently hired Anthony LaFauce as director of digital strategy.

Spectrum reported ’09 fees of $6.9M, up 8.6 percent from ’08. The firm reported ’05 fees of $8.6M.

OutCast Communications founder Margit Wennmachers is leaving the firm for a partner slot at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, which Outcast helped launch last year.

Wennmachers set up tech specialist Outcast in 1997 with Caryn Marooney.

AH, which has backed tech hits like Skype and Zynga and is reportedly in contention for a stake in Foursquare, raised $300M in starting up last year under Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen and Loudcloud founder Ben Horowitz. Wennmachers was a VP at Blanc & Otus before founding OutCast.


Internet Edition, June 23, 2010, Page 3


Hugh Wiley is shifting from publisher at Fortune to publisher of the re-launched Bloomberg Businessweek. He is charged with heading the “integrated sales team.”

BB president Paul Bascobert says Wiley “brings leadership, global experience and strong client relationships” to the magazine.

Wiley joined Fortune in 1985. At BB, he joins fellow ex-Time Inc. staffers Josh Tyrangiel, editor, and Eric Pooley, deputy editor.


Tina Gaudoin is stepping down as editor of WSJ, the Wall Street Journal’s magazine, with the completion of the October issue. She is moving to London.

Gaudoin will become contributing editor and cover the European fashion and jewelry beat with Patience Wheatcroft.

Robert Thomson, editor-in-chief, praised Gaudoin for creating a magazine that is now an “important franchise” for Dow Jones & Co. He noted that 80 new advertisers have been brought to the pages of newspaper via the magazine.

Gaudoin will assist in the search for a new editor.


Paul Maidment, editor of and executive editor of the business magazine, announced June 14 that he is leaving after a nine-year run.

In a memo to staffers, Maidment said he is ready to “advance to the next phase of my life” and feels “it is the right moment to make the break and take the plunge.” He will begin to take that plunge next month following wrap-up of World Cup action.

Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief, credits Maidment for positioning as “one of the most trusted and authoritative business and finance sites on the web, solidly founded on the traditions of the Forbes’ brand and voice.”

Traffic and the scope of editorial material expanded vastly under Maidment, according to Forbes’ statement.

Maidment was recruited from He also was senior editor at Newsweek, deputy business editor at The Economist and staffer at both the Wall Street Journal and BBC.


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 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.


British Sky Broadcasting June 15 rejected an $11.8 billion offer from News Corporation for the 61 percent stake that it doesn’t already own in the satellite TV operator.

BSB's board, which is chaired by James Murdoch, son of News Corp. chief Rupert, decided the offer was inadequate, but has agreed to enter further discussions with the media giant.

News Corp. has been an investor in BSB for more than 20 years. Chase Carey, News Corp.’s CEO, says the offer was made to consolidate a core business, increase geographic earnings diversification, reduce exposure to cyclical advertising and increase circulation subscription revenues.

He promised to take a “disciplined approach” in the bidding process.

BSkyB has 10 million TV, Internet and phone customers. It owns the rights to the U.K Premier League, Britain's top soccer league.


Scott Rowe, senior VP of corporate communications for Warner Bros. Entertainment, has been promoted to senior VP, worldwide communications, Warner Bros. TV Group. He oversees media and public relations, digital media and social networking for its TV production and distribution arms, including both “proactive and reactive” communications, the company said.

Tammy Golihew, who led PR for the TV group since February, has been upped to senior VP of publicity under Rowe.

The TV group has 26 series on the broadcast networks’ fall and midseason schedules.

Paul McGuire, who headed PR for UPN, the WB and the CW networks, is taking over Rowe’s senior VP slot at WB Entertainment.


Edelman’s Twitter scoring tool TweetLevel will help decide a contest by MTV and American Express to tap the music network's first “Twitter Jockey,” a post to rep MTV in social media.

MTV has teamed with AMEX’s new prepaid credit card, ZYNC, to run the contest, which will have 20 social media enthusiasts competing in Twitter challenges for the $100K-a-year job.

The competition is currently in the nomination phase and begins in July. A final will be broadcast on MTV Aug. 8 and the audience will choose the winner.

MTV is pitching the gig as a "modern-day re-imagining" of the network's VJs, who introduced music videos for decades, interviewed musicians and wielded some influence over popular music for two decades.

The network said its new “TJ” will be charged with engaging a “hyper-social” audience, answering questions, giving out news nuggets and passing along links to followers., Facebook, blogs, Twitter and video will be utilized, the network said.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, June 23, 2010, Page 4


Angus Reid, researcher who counsels many blue chip companies, June 15 urged them to be cautious in using social media, saying his research shows that most people still form their opinions from what they see in traditional media.

Reid, who heads Angus Reid Public Opinion, a division of Vision Critical, noted that while social media are popular, much of what is on that is not news and does not influence opinion as much as what is on normal channels.

Reid and other members of his team addressed a press conference at the Bryant Park Restaurant that introduced ReputationPlus, described as “a diagnostic reputation measurement and management approach that provides top companies with a comparative view of their corporate reputation and guidance for gaining a reputation edge.” It will probe such negative issues as executive compensation, and “management’s short term thinking, secrecy, greed and arrogance.”

“Concentrating on negative as well as positive metrics creates a clearer picture of the backlash against corporations since the financial meltdown starting in 2008,” the meeting was told.

Sees Danger in Social Media

Literature of Vision Critical says that social media is an “inexpensive and potentially explosive medium” that tempts advertisers with the possibility of “going viral,” but warns that leading brands may design “strictly for this effect” which could damage them.

SM “tends to represent the bleeding edge of humor, provocativeness, candidness or shock value—more so than a brand would usually project,” says Vision Critical.

This “bleeding edge” may not be consistent with the basic positioning of the product because that positioning “is earnest and thought-through and not designed for cheap gags,” says VC. This can “create confusion,” it adds. “You get noticed but you don’t communicate anything valuable.” It further says that attention-getters are one of two things: “an infatuation with oneself (more about the advertiser than the product) or with the medium. Neither can contribute much brand staying power.”

Nike and Apple are cited as examples of brands that "translate well across all channels."

Reid has been in research more than 40 years, heading the Angus Reid Group which became the largest research firm in Canada with revenues of $60 million.

He sold it to Ipsos SA in 2000 and in 2004 became CEO of VC, founded by his son Andrew. The company specializes in online opinion panels.

Gilfeather Urges ‘Reality Connection’

Researcher John Gilfeather, who has been consulting with VC on the new program, said, “It is important to dispel the myth that reputation can be captured in a simple index number.

“Reputation needs to be better connected to market and business realities. There are stakeholder segments which are more important and influential and segments that have less impact. These segments have different media consumption patterns. ReputationPlus recognizes this and can give corporations a specific insight and guidance into managing reputation,” he said.”

A benchmarking study has been completed by VC and results are available so corporations can gain a “deeper understanding of public perception across a variety of competitive sets.” Companies taking part were evaluated by 800 Americans drawn from the company’s online “Springboard America” panel. Demographic breakout included investors and active investors.

The U.S. census balanced sample included those aged 21 and over. Future studies will be based on 1,000 Americans.

Five ‘Media Personalities’

VC has come up with what it calls five “media personalities.”

“Media Maniacs” rarely pick up a newspaper or magazine and get almost all their information from social media, radio and TV. They tend to be more brand-conscious. “Socialites” also rarely pick up a magazine and are nearly indifferent to newspapers. They rely on the internet for news and can also be found on SM. They’re more interested in TV than radio.

“Broadcast Receivers” like all segments but are turning less to magazines and newspapers. “Joe Watchers” never miss a favorite show and shun all media except TV and online news. They don’t use SM.

“Tuned-Outs” are old school who mostly avoid the media except for favorites.

Companies can take part in a pilot study for $16,500 which would include a profile of American attitudes on broad issues and a company-specific report comparing their results to two other companies, plus VC’s corporate benchmark.


Daniel Doctoroff, former New York City Deputy Mayor for Economic Development who became president of Bloomberg in 2008, addressed (PR) Seminar June 3 but a Bloomberg spokesperson said the speech would not be made public.

Doctoroff, former managing partner of Oak Hill Capital Partners, served in the city post from 2001-2007, the longest such term for that office.

He spoke on opening day at the annual meeting of (PR) Seminar which took place this month at the Ritz-Carlton at Dove Mountain, outside of Tucson. His speech was titled, “Toward a Unified Theory of the Future of News.”

Seminar's rule is that anyone who speaks to the group must agree not to divulge what he or she said. Members also agree not to publicize the meeting in any way. Although more than 20 major media have been represented at the meeting, now in its 58th year, none of them have ever mentioned its existence.

On this list are media such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Financial Times, Economist, Forbes, Fortune, Newsweek and the major networks and cable TV shows. Speakers this year included Matt Thompson, editorial products manager, National Public Radio and Amanda Michel, editor of distributed reporting, ProPublica, the group of investigative reporters headed by Paul Steiger, former managing editor of the WSJ.

Internet Edition, June 23, 2010, Page 5


New Jersey firm Beckerman’s expansion kick has continued with the acquisition of San Francisco clean tech specialty PR firm Antenna Group.

Beckerman expanded to D.C. in February and acquired Avalanche Strategic Communications last summer to put it in the $6M fee range.

Beckerman president Keith Zakheim claimed that the firm’s own clean tech unit combined with Antenna will create the largest such PR practice in the country.

Antenna, which will keep its name under Beckerman, was founded in 1996 by Melody Haller, who was president and partner at tech firm Niehaus Ryan Haller.

The firm has worked with 3M, eSolar and NanoH20 among its clients.

Beckerman has worked with Atlantic Green Power and Carbon Sciences, among others in the sector.


Minneapolis firm Himle Horner said June 14 it has purchased the shares and essentially cut all ties with co-founder Tom Horner, who is mounting a gubernatorial bid on the Independence Party ticket in the state.

Horner, who has been dogged by political opponents demanding his connections and clients in the firm be revealed, leaves HH under the leadership of CEO John Himle and president Todd Rapp.

Horner joined John Himle’s then-seven-year-old firm in 1989 creating Himle Horner.

“With this transaction, Tom Horner will no longer have any ownership stake in the company and will leave his role as an employee, officer and director,” the firm said in a statement, noting it expects to get a new name and “rebrand” later this year.

“We have been examining some opportunities to further enhance the services we offer clients and any re-branding of the firm needs to be based on a thoughtful process aligned with our strategic direction and the leadership position we have established over the last several years,” Himle said in a statement.

Horner, a veteran Republican consultant and public affairs pro, sold part of his ownership stake in 2008 to Rapp as he wound down his role with the firm.


Lifestyle PR firm Syndicate has merged with social media shop WFG Media to create a New York-based agency Syndicate Media Group with 25 staffers.

Eight-year-old Syndicate, which has a Los Angeles office and is run by Nathan Ellis, currently works for clients like Culinary Concepts by Jean-Georges, Nobu and Ferrari.

Ellis said the combined firm is facing a “rapidly evolving media landscape that is barely recognizable from a decade or even five years ago.”

WFG was founded in 2007 by Nima Abbasi and counts among its retainer clients Architectural Digest, Vogue and Viceroy Hotel Group.

Ellis will team with Abbasi as the combined firm’s founding partners. Syndicate’s VP of media strategy, Samantha Kain, and WFG principal Liz Cebron are associate partners of the firm.


New York Area

Rubenstein PR, New York/The Centurion, luxury Fifth Ave. N.Y. condo building, for media relations, events and partnership development.

Makovsky + Company, New York/Neoprobe Corp., biomedical surgical oncology products, to develop a strategic communications and IR program.

Krupp Kommunications, New York/Ultra Diamonds, jewelry retailer, as AOR for PR, including brand management and national media relations.

Trylon SMR, New York/RSG Media Systems, software for media companies to monetize intellectual property, as AOR for media relations. RSG products include Rights Logic, Planit and AdVant.

Christensen, New York/Kingtone Wirelessinfo Solution Holding, China-based software for wireless sector, for investor and media relations. The company recently went public on NASDAQ.

Weber Shandwick, New York/Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, for global communications after handling the foundation’s global development program and European global health program.

Travers Collins & Co., Buffalo, N.Y./The Mantholatum Co., for advertising, interactive, PR and social media counsel for the July launch of OXY Clinical, a new line of skin care products.


Sawmill Marketing PR, Baltimore/“The DeMarco Factor: Transforming Public Will into Political Power” (Vanderbilt Univ. Press and American Public Health Assn. 2010), new book by former FTC chair Michael Pertschuk, for Maryland PR.


Elite Financial Communications Group, Lake Mary, Fla./Force Fuels, oil, gas and alternative energy developer, as public and investor relations AOR.


GolinHarris, Chicago/Dow Microbial Control, an expansion of the firm's work for Dow Chemical, for a multi-stakeholder communications program. GH added Dow Water and Process Solutions last year. GH’s D.C. and Singapore offices are among those supporting the DMC work.

Colle+McVoy, St. Paul, Minn./Explore Minnesota Tourism, for advertising, online, social marketing, PR and materials to promote travel to the state.


HighGround Public Affairs Consultants, Phoenix/Ice Edge Holdings, for PA as the investment group works to buy the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team.


Loughlin/Michaels Group, Sunnyvale, Calif./Infineta Systems, Silicon Valley venture-backed data hardware start-up, as agency of record for PR.

Lages & Associates, Irvine, Calif./Infortrend, networked storage technology, as AOR for PR, mktg.


Harvard PR, London/NVIDIA, visual computing technology like 3D and HD, for media and analyst relations in the U.K., following a competitive pitch. Harvard is tech-focused unit of Bell Pottinger.

Internet Edition, June 23, 2010, Page 6


United Business Media, the parent company of PR Newswire, has bought out its Brazil and Argentina joint ventures in an effort to establish a regional operation in Latin America based in Sao Paolo.

PRN paid $1.2M in cash with $200K in earn-outs due over the next two years to snap up the remaining 62% interest of 12-year-old PR Newswire Brazil. It also paid $40K in cash for the final 10% of PRN Argentina, which PRN described as a "small but fast-growing business" from which the company bought the Notilog media monitoring service in 2007.

The regional operation will include the two newly acquired operations, as well as its Mexican business.

UBM has also bought interests in two trade shows in the region. The company said on June 14 that it took a 60 percent stake in the Brazilian shipbuilding industry tradeshow and conference Navalshore, which had revenues of about $700K last year.

UBM also said it acquired a 75% stake in the Brazilian exhibition company Sienna Interlink, which runs the Concrete Show South America and Restaubar Show, a smaller trade show for the restaurant and bar industry. 2009 revenues were about $4M.


M&A advisor and management consulting firm AdMedia advised two recent deals. The firm counseled Denali Marketing in its merger with OLSON to create Minneapolis marketing agency OLSONdenali, which OLSON founder and chairman John Olson projects to have $50M in revenue this year.

AdMedia previously advised OLSON on its partnership with KRG Capital Partners, a Denver private equity firm. AdMedia said that deal assisted in the recapitalization of OLSON, which was critical to its management's plans for continued growth and completion of a successful merger with Denali.

BRIEFS: VNR-1 Communications, Arlington, Tex., has launched, a service to provide broadcast and web media access to story assets in a single venue with, what the company says, are more robust systems for broadcast media than current PR wire services. Features include downloadable broadcast-quality and web-ready video, audio, photography, text and graphics supporting each respective release. ...Digital watermark tracking service Civolution has unveiled a validation program for its NexGuard technology for use in digital theater systems. The tool is aimed to curb the use of illicit in-theater recording of movies. …St. Louis-based Search engine marketing firm Captiva Marketing said it has enhanced its “Empoweren” service with a module for publicists that allows clients to manage PR campaigns and also, automatically, send press releases to trade media. Mark Forst, partner and co-founder at Captiva Marketing, said the service was designed to streamline some of the “more time intensive areas of public relations work, most notably the time it takes to physically send pitch emails to the media.”



David Cantor, press secretary for New York City's schools and chancellor Joel Klein, to Widmeyer Communications, New York, to lead its education, arts and philanthropy practice. Earlier, he worked for the Anti-Defamation League as director of the Civil Rights Information Center.

Kerry Christopher, manager of public policy and D.C. comms. for General Motors, to Volkswagen North America, as mgr., product comms.

Lisa Fels, manager of media relations, Verizon Business, to Environics Communications, Washington, D.C., as an A/S. She was previously a director for The Glover Park Group and held posts at Porter Novelli and Edelman in D.C. and New York.

Régine Labossière, reporter, Hartford Courant, and Nicole Summer, media relations coordinator for law firm Debevoise & Plimpton, to Goodman Media International, New York, as senior A/Es. Brooke Botsford and Emma Mittelstadt, recent grads of the Univ. of Virginia and Swanee: The Univ. of the South, respectively, have joined as AA/Es.

Brittany Oat, on-air reporter and fill-in anchor at Cablevision, to Robin Leedy & Associates, Mt. Kisco, N.Y., as digital content producer and account manager. She worked in TV news in Vermont, Erie, Pa., D.C. and did a stint at the Hartford Courant.

Patrick George, most recently a director in 15 years at Burson-Marsteller, to KP Public Affairs, Sacramento, as media relations director.

Peter DeMarco, senior corporate relations manager, Allstate Insurance Company, to Perry Communications Group, Sacramento, as a senior VP. He was with Sitrick and Company and worked in California politics in several comms. posts.

Donna Berry, who ran InkSpot PR, to Landis Communications, San Francisco, as director for client services. She was previously with GCI Group, Publicis and Levenson PR.


Rose Kirk, VP of sales operations for Verizon Wireless, to VP of PR, Verizon Communications, New York.

Jennifer Roche to account supervisor and Jessica Smith to publicist, J Public Relations, San Diego. Roche handles Starwood's US Grant Hotel, JC Resorts and Rimel's Restaurant Group, among her accounts. Smith works on Harrah's Rincon Casino and Resorts and JC Resorts.

Deanna Killackey and Cheryl Georgas to VPs, JSH&A PR, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. Killackey is a seven-year veteran of the firm and has managed its key account with The Hershey Company.

Keith Negrin to director of client services, Maccabee Group, Minneapolis. Katie Fitzpatrick was upped to senior PR counselor.


Internet Edition, June 23, 2010, Page 7


The third phony news release to hit a major newswire in the past week was issued June 18 by Business Wire purportedly on behalf of Javelin Pharmaceuticals, the drug company said.

The dispatch comes just days after a phony release was issued under General Mills’ moniker through PR Newswire announcing an apocryphal Obama administration probe of the company.

The June 18 news release, falsely identified as originating from Cambridge, Mass.-based Javelin and dispatched by an unidentified third party, was titled “US Supreme Court split – rules in favor of Big Pharma.” It said a 5-4 Supreme Court decision ruled Javelin's acute pain products had been lawfully produced and marketed. The company said its content was false.

Rick Pierce, VP of investor relations for Javelin who was cited as the contact for the fake release, said the company quickly saw the hoax release and notified Business Wire, which issued a retraction the following morning at 7:45 a.m. The original fake release was issued at 11:19 p.m. the night before.

“Javelin has confirmed that Javelin’s electronic mail system was not used for the hoax and was not compromised,” said Pierce. “Law enforcement authorities have been contacted. Similar incidents involving at least two other companies and a different news release service occurred last week.”

It’s unclear what company was involved in a third instance Pierce referenced in his statement. PR Newswire declined to comment beyond its statement to this website following the General Mills incident.

BW said following the flap that it would stop accepting releases via email and only take content through its BW Connect platform.

“On Friday evening, June 18, Business Wire transmitted a press release for Javelin Pharmaceuticals that we have since learned was fraudulent,” said Neil Hershberg, senior VP of global media at BW. “The release was not issued or authorized by Javelin Pharmaceuticals. This is a case of stolen identity and is being treated as a criminal investigation.”

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune said June 18 that it received an email from the purported perpetrator of the General Mills hoax. The person identified himself as Matt Reed and answered the same phone number that was given on the fake news release.

“It’s not to manipulate stock prices, but to serve to discredit Obama,” Reed told the newspaper. “General Mills was not targeted specifically for any particular reason. They were just used as a vehicle for the press release.”

General Mills said June 16 that a news release sent over PR Newswire the night before claiming that the Obama administration is investigating the company’s supply chain was a fake.

“We were the victim of a hoax,” Tom Forsythe, VP of corporate communications for General Mills said in a statement distributed via Business Wire. “We found the false release and removed it within minutes, but even false information can still spread incredibly quickly on the Internet.”

The PRN release was disseminated around midnight Tuesday night and carried the headline “Obama Orders Full Investigation of General Mills Supply Chain Following Food Recalls.” GM spotted it and alerted PRN, which sent out a notice to disregard the dispatch.

GM noted that headlines and stories appeared briefly on Dow Jones Newswire, and Fox Business News. Automated alerts further dispatched the phony headlines with links, as well, the company noted.

A Google search with the headline continued to turn up copies of the fake release early this afternoon, but it appeared to have been removed around 1:30 p.m.

General Mills said it is investigating and law enforcement is involved. It vowed to prosecute the matter to the fullest extent of the law.

PRN’s VP of corporate communications, Rachel Meranus, said in a statement to O’Dwyer’s that the company issued a press release in the U.S. and the U.K. provided from “someone purporting to be from General Mills, Inc.”

Meranus said upon learning from General Mills that the release was a hoax, PR Newswire issued a “kill” notice advising media and databases to pull the press release immediately. She added: “We have reported the situation to the appropriate regulatory authorities and will cooperate in any investigation that may occur as a result of the hoax.”

PRSA SHUT-OUT (Continued from page 1)

Salaries/fringes of the PR department were $363,663 in 2009.

No Chapters Back Committee

This NL has e-mailed presidents of the 110 chapters and thus far no president will express support of the CDP; no chapter will take a binding vote among its members on the APR issue, and no chapter has reported news of the petition on its website.

Senior members, recalling that no chapter supported Central Michigan in 2006 in its proposal to make the board report to the Assembly, are saying that national is again pitching a shut-out among the chapters vs. the CDP. Chapter presidents-elect convened for a “Leadership Rally” in New York June 4-5.

Each received a $550 stipend to cover expenses and five free meals—two breakfasts, two lunches and a dinner Friday evening, June 4.

All proceedings were confidential.

CDP Gets Anonymous ‘Signatures’

The CDP as of noon June 16 had collected 304 signatures on its petition to remove APR as a condition for national board/officer service. A recent trend has been for “signers” not to provide their names.

Seven of the last 20 “signatures” have the notation, “Name not displayed.” There are nearly 50 such entries on the petition.

Senior members said certain members are fearful of getting on the wrong side of national leaders and h.q. staff. Candidates for board and officer posts are to be announced Monday, June 21 on the Society website.

Comments are allowed until July 12 and nominations are announced on Aug. 3.

Nomcom chair is Jeff Julin, 2007 national chair.


Internet Edition, June 23, 2010, Page 8




We’re used to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Economist and Financial Times being at PR Seminar, but were shocked this year to see speakers from ProPublica, the privately-funded investigative journalists, and National Public Radio, the publicly-funded nationwide radio network.

NPR got $55 million in direct public support and $16M in indirect public support in fiscal 2007, its latest IRS 990 filing.

Both ProPublica and NPR profess the loftiest of public-service goals so we don’t know what they’re doing at PR’s premiere “secret society,” a group of PR people who never, ever answer a press call about the Seminar.

We don’t think they respond to too many other press calls, either. Their attitude towards the press and indeed, any “outsiders,” is expressed at great length in the 46-page warning to employees of Viacom issued by VP Carl Folta, who has attended PRS.

The Village Voice described the 46-pages of threats as “corporate terrorism.” Basic message is: Keep Your Mouth Shut; Let PR Speak and Report Anything to PR Immediately.

Fun Goes Out of PR

The contrast between today’s PR and that of the 1960’s and 70’s gets sharper and sharper.

The main job of PR pros then was interacting with reporters in all sorts of ways including lunches, dinners, Broadway shows, sporting events, picnics, visits to homes, etc. Reporters were not only “friends,” but “family.”

This was the best part of their job. Both PR pro and spouse took part in all these entertainments. PR pros enjoyed rapping with reporters and sharing insights and gossip. Expense accounts were virtually unlimited. A common gambit was for a PR pro to host 4-5 reporters at lunch and let remarks fly.

Desk-bound PR pros now are the gestapo of their employers, monitoring all communications of employees including e-mails and blogs. Anyone remotely connected to the organization is tracked. PR pros snitch on anyone wavering from the corporate line. They also serve as press blockers for their CEOs and keep outgoing information to a minimum.

Bloomberg President Spoke

Another media big at PRS this year was Daniel Doctoroff, former New York City deputy mayor who became president of Bloomberg in 2008. He spoke on “Toward a Unified Theory of the Future of News,” a topic both we and readers would love to hear more about.

Calling Bloomberg about this was like calling PRS itself. Our requests for the speech were instantly dismissed.

We were also shut out at NPR. Its PR unit said Matt Thompson, editorial products manager who spoke at the 2010 Seminar, would not speak with us or answer e-mails.

Amanda Michel, “editor of distributed reporting” of ProPublica, who addressed PRS, gave us slides that explain what this is—citizen journalism. Volunteers are sought throughout the U.S. to report on local happenings.

She ran the citizen journalism site “OffTheBus” for The Huffington Post (meaning reporters who were not on the official campaign bus).

Steiger: $570K Salary in 2008

ProPublica is headed by Paul Steiger, who addressed PRS when he was managing editor of the Wall Street Journal. His 2008 pay was $570,000 plus other compensation of $14,242.

WSJ has sent the most speakers to PRS of any news organization. These include Peter Kann when he was president and publisher of WSJ; Robert Bartley, editor emeritus, and Alan Murray, executive editor of WSJ Online, who addressed PRS last year.

Neither WSJ nor any of these news organizations has ever mentioned the existence of PRS.

Jobless journalists and PR pros should learn to practice grantsmanship—obtain funding from a donor.

ProPublica gets almost all its money ($8 million of $8.5 million) from the Sandler Foundation of Herbert and Marion Sandler, who made $2.4 billion by selling Golden West Financial Corp. to Wachovia Bank in 2006.

Sandler also helps fund the Center for American Progress and ACORN (Assn. of Community Organizations for Reform Now).

ProPublica’s Form 990, filed Aug. 17, 2009, shows managing editor Stephen Engelberg was paid $451,972/$26,642; secretary/treasurer Richard Tofel, $296,370/$24,975; senior reporter Dafna Linzer, $166,976/$12,132, and senior reporter Jeffrey Gerth, $150,000/$9,533.

Non-Profits File Finances Late

Like almost all non-profits, ProPublica filed late in the year—seven and a half months after the close. The Independent Sector (800 non-profits), urges non-profits to stop getting “extensions” and to put both their audits and 990s on the front page of their websites in a prominent place.

ProPublica is a 501/c/3 (educational/charitable institution), a status oddly claimed by the Arthur W. Page Society.

This is an issue that new Page president Julia Hood, former editor of PR Week/U.S., will have to face when she arrives on July 12. So far, no one at Page will discuss this with us. PR Seminar’s tax status is 501/c/6, acknowledging that is a trade association and that its members get something for their membership fees.

Normally, if someone contributes to a “charity,” nothing in return is expected. Page members get plenty for their dues of about $1,100.

Page filed its 990 on Oct. 5, 2009, nine months after the close of the year. Its 990 for 2009 is not yet available.

Hood will be sharing an office with Kathy Cripps, COO of the Council of PR Firms, at 342 Madison ave.

Cash/Savings of PRS Soared

Cash/savings of PRS soared 218% in 2008 to $374,306 from $117,968 in the previous year. Since no one will speak on behalf of PRS, an explanation cannot be obtained for this sudden jump.

Income for the year to Aug. 31, 2009 was $541,238 and expenses were $284,900 for a profit of $256,338.

PR Seminar wants to be known as “Seminar” but its 990 IRS return says members are “leading public relations practitioners.”

PR groups such as ProPublica ($3.3M cash), PR Seminar ($374,306), Arthur Page ($596,838), Institute for PR ($305,071), Council of PR Firms ($822,000) and PRSA ($4.6M) should get together and fund a midtown New York library and meeting place for rank-and-file PR pros and journalists.

This would be a worthwhile activity for the Committee for a Democratic PRSA, whose goal is to add some non-APRs to the national board. That inward-directed activity will do little to help the plight of two distressed job categories—journalism and PR.

We have e-mailed the presidents of the Society’s 110 chapters and thus far none of them will express support of the Committee’s goal nor take a binding vote on this issue among chapter members. No chapter website even mentions the Committee.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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