The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Edition, June 23, 2010, Page 1
HOUSING CORP. SEEKS PR
$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.
must have an Anchorage office or affiliate to pursue the
year-long account, with three option years.
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.
corporation wants to particularly target rural Alaskans
through the media, social networks, public service ads and
are due July 8.
FELD SUSPENDS AGENCY REVIEW
Feld Entertainment, producer
of Ringling Bros. and Disney on Ice, has suspended its PR
agency review, said VP of corporate communications Stephen
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 Felds
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
PETAs protests of the review absurd and
said that participating firms did their own due diligence
on the organization and none dropped out. PETAs 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.
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 GETS POST-CRACKDOWN
Thailand, in the aftermath
of the worst political violence in its modern history, has
hired Podesta Group to protect its international reputation.
Tony Podestas 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
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, Tonys
brother, was President Clintons chief of staff.
GOPs ROLLINS JOINS DILENSCHNEIDER
Republican political operative
Ed Rollins, who managed Ronald Reagans 49-state landslide
victory over Walter Mondale, has joined the Dilenschneider
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 Perots
independent bid for the White House. Most recently, he was
campaign manager for former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabees
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.
PRSA PITCHES SHUT-OUT VS.
PR Society leaders have
refused to let the Committee for a Democratic PRSA (CDP)
use the Societys 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 cant 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)
Edition, June 23, 2010, Page 2
PRESIDENT PLANS PR PUSH
President Felipe Calderon said he is launching an integral
publicity project that includes plans to hire a PR
firm to burnish the countrys image and fight perceptions
that its losing a war to drug lords.
my government, we are promoting an integral advertising
and public relations campaign, for which we have contracted
the worlds 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
inked a $1.4M deal with Mexicos 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.
agency Newlink Communications has also worked with the countrys
tourism entity to fight the negative crime image.
EDELMAN TELLS BOMBARDIERS
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 worlds largest rail equipment operation and
No. 3 producer of commercial aircraft.
Teamed with Alstom, Bombardier
built Amtraks fastest train, Acela Express, which
operates in the northeast at top speeds of 150 miles per-hour.
calls for message development, a steady stream of
briefings and relationship opportunities, speaking
engagements for Bombardier executives, digital communications,
IR support and mining the clients internal resources
to identify new thought leadership platforms.
KELASH HEADS IN-HOUSE AT ALLIANZ
Weber Shandwick VP Paul
Kelash has been tapped for the VP-corporate communications
slot at Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America
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
companys ties to Nazi Germany scuttled negotiations,
which the Daily News dubbed Shaming Rights.
OGILVY WORKS FEMALE VIAGRA
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
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
for Womens 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 Boehringers 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
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 SLICES EXEC RANKS
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 ODwyers.
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 drivers 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.
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.
Edition, June 23, 2010, Page 3
TAKES PUB SPOT AT BB
Wiley is shifting from publisher at Fortune to publisher
of the re-launched Bloomberg Businessweek. He is
charged with heading the integrated sales team.
president Paul Bascobert says Wiley brings leadership,
global experience and strong client relationships
to the magazine.
joined Fortune in 1985. At BB, he joins fellow ex-Time Inc.
staffers Josh Tyrangiel, editor, and Eric Pooley, deputy
GAUDOIN STEPS DOWN AT WSJ
Tina Gaudoin is stepping
down as editor of WSJ, the Wall Street Journals
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
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.
MAIDMENT EXITS FORBES
Paul Maidment, editor
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
Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief,
credits Maidment for positioning Forbes.com
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
He also was senior editor at Newsweek, deputy business
editor at The Economist and staffer at both the Wall
Street Journal and BBC.
W.H. REPORTER TO NRDC
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.
BSB REBUFFS RUPE
British Sky Broadcasting
June 15 rejected an $11.8 billion offer from News Corporation
for the 61 percent stake that it doesnt 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
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.
WARNER BROS. SHUFFLES PR STAFF
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 Rowes
senior VP slot at WB Entertainment.
MTV SEARCHES FOR FIRST S.M.
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 AMEXs
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
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
news continued on next page)
Edition, June 23, 2010, Page 4
URGED ON SOCIAL MEDIA
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.
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.
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 managements short
term thinking, secrecy, greed and arrogance.
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.
Danger in Social Media
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.
tends to represent the bleeding edge of humor, provocativeness,
candidness or shock valuemore so than a brand would
usually project, says Vision Critical.
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 dont 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.
and Apple are cited as examples of brands that "translate
well across all channels."
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.
sold it to Ipsos SA in 2000 and in 2004 became CEO of VC,
founded by his son Andrew. The company specializes in online
Urges Reality Connection
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.
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.
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 companys online Springboard America
panel. Demographic breakout included investors and active
U.S. census balanced sample included those aged 21 and over.
Future studies will be based on 1,000 Americans.
has come up with what it calls five media personalities.
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. Theyre more interested in TV
like all segments but are turning less to magazines and
never miss a favorite show and shun all media except TV
and online news. They dont use SM.
are old school who mostly avoid the media except for favorites.
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
VCs corporate benchmark.
AT SECRETIVE SEMINAR
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.
Edition, June 23,
2010, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
ACQUIRES CLEAN TECH FIRM
Jersey firm Beckermans expansion kick has continued
with the acquisition of San Francisco clean tech specialty
PR firm Antenna Group.
expanded to D.C. in February and acquired Avalanche Strategic
Communications last summer to put it in the $6M fee range.
president Keith Zakheim claimed that the firms own
clean tech unit combined with Antenna will create the largest
such PR practice in the country.
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.
firm has worked with 3M, eSolar and NanoH20 among its clients.
has worked with Atlantic Green Power and Carbon Sciences,
among others in the sector.
HORNER PARTS WITH HORNER
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.
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
joined John Himles then-seven-year-old firm in 1989
creating Himle Horner.
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.
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.
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.
FIRM PAIRS WITH S.M. SHOP
PR firm Syndicate has merged with social media shop WFG
Media to create a New York-based agency Syndicate Media
Group with 25 staffers.
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.
said the combined firm is facing a rapidly evolving
media landscape that is barely recognizable from a decade
or even five years ago.
was founded in 2007 by Nima Abbasi and counts among its
retainer clients Architectural Digest, Vogue
and Viceroy Hotel Group.
will team with Abbasi as the combined firms founding
partners. Syndicates VP of media strategy, Samantha
Kain, and WFG principal Liz Cebron are associate partners
of the firm.
PR, New York/The Centurion, luxury Fifth Ave. N.Y.
condo building, for media relations, events and partnership
+ Company, New York/Neoprobe Corp., biomedical surgical
oncology products, to develop a strategic communications
and IR program.
Kommunications, New York/Ultra Diamonds, jewelry
retailer, as AOR for PR, including brand management and
national media relations.
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
New York/Kingtone Wirelessinfo Solution Holding, China-based
software for wireless sector, for investor and media relations.
The company recently went public on NASDAQ.
Shandwick, New York/Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,
for global communications after handling the foundations
global development program and European global health program.
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
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
Financial Communications Group, Lake Mary, Fla./Force
Fuels, oil, gas and alternative energy developer, as public
and investor relations AOR.
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.
GHs D.C. and Singapore offices are among those supporting
the DMC work.
St. Paul, Minn./Explore Minnesota Tourism, for advertising,
online, social marketing, PR and materials to promote travel
to the state.
Public Affairs Consultants, Phoenix/Ice Edge Holdings,
for PA as the investment group works to buy the Phoenix
Coyotes hockey team.
Group, Sunnyvale, Calif./Infineta Systems, Silicon
Valley venture-backed data hardware start-up, as agency
of record for PR.
& Associates, Irvine, Calif./Infortrend, networked
storage technology, as AOR for PR, mktg.
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.
Edition, June 23, 2010, Page 6
INVESTS IN LATIN AMERICA
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.
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
regional operation will include the two newly acquired operations,
as well as its Mexican business.
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.
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.
ADMEDIA WORKS DENALI, OLSON
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
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.
Communications, Arlington, Tex., has launched DigitalNewsRelease.com,
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.
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.
Christopher, manager of public policy and D.C. comms.
for General Motors, to Volkswagen North America, as mgr.,
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
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.
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
George, most recently a director in 15 years at Burson-Marsteller,
to KP Public Affairs, Sacramento, as media relations director.
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.
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.
Kirk, VP of sales operations for Verizon Wireless,
to VP of PR, Verizon Communications, New York.
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.
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.
Negrin to director of client services, Maccabee Group,
Fitzpatrick was upped to senior PR counselor.
Edition, June 23, 2010, Page 7
PHONY RELEASE HITS THE WIRES
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.
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.
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.
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.
has confirmed that Javelins 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
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
said following the flap that it would stop accepting releases
via email and only take content through its BW Connect platform.
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.
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.
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.
Mills said June 16 that a news release sent over PR Newswire
the night before claiming that the Obama administration
is investigating the companys supply chain was a fake.
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.
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.
noted that headlines and stories appeared briefly on Dow
Jones Newswire, WSJ.com and Fox Business News. Automated
alerts further dispatched the phony headlines with links,
as well, the company noted.
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.
Mills said it is investigating and law enforcement is involved.
It vowed to prosecute the matter to the fullest extent of
VP of corporate communications, Rachel Meranus, said in
a statement to ODwyers 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.
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.
from page 1)
Salaries/fringes of the
PR department were $363,663 in 2009.
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 mealstwo breakfasts,
two lunches and a dinner Friday evening, June 4.
All proceedings were confidential.
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
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
Comments are allowed until
July 12 and nominations are announced on Aug. 3.
Nomcom chair is Jeff Julin,
2007 national chair.
Edition, June 23, 2010,
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.
got $55 million in direct public support and $16M in indirect
public support in fiscal 2007, its latest IRS 990 filing.
ProPublica and NPR profess the loftiest of public-service
goals so we dont know what theyre doing at PRs
premiere secret society, a group of PR people
who never, ever answer a press call about the Seminar.
dont 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.
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
Goes Out of PR
contrast between todays PR and that of the 1960s
and 70s gets sharper and sharper.
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.
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
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.
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.
Bloomberg about this was like calling PRS itself. Our requests
for the speech were instantly dismissed.
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.
Michel, editor of distributed reporting of ProPublica,
who addressed PRS, gave us slides that explain what this
iscitizen journalism. Volunteers are sought throughout
the U.S. to report on local happenings.
ran the citizen journalism site OffTheBus for
The Huffington Post (meaning reporters who were not on the
official campaign bus).
$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
Jobless journalists and
PR pros should learn to practice grantsmanshipobtain
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).
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.
File Finances Late
Like almost all non-profits,
ProPublica filed late in the yearseven 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 Seminars
tax status is 501/c/6, acknowledging that is a trade association
and that its members get something for their membership
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.
of PRS Soared
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 categoriesjournalism
We have e-mailed
the presidents of the Societys 110 chapters and thus
far none of them will express support of the Committees
goal nor take a binding vote on this issue among chapter
members. No chapter website even mentions the Committee.