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Internet Edition, June 30, 2010, Page 1

Happy Fourth of July to all our readers. The next issue will be July 14. Follow breaking news on


The U.S.-led military force in Iraq has awarded an eight-month $2.6M contract for strategic communications services SOS International, a Reston, Va., company which has handled media monitoring and other PR tasks for the military in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Army issued an RFP in May for the assignment to support the U.S. force with media advisement, monitoring, engagement, digital content production, and research, among other tasks, as the U.S. works to wind-down its presence in the country.

Fulcra Worldwide, a PR agency previously known as Lincoln Group, previously handled the strategic communications work on a pact that covered Iraq and Afghanistan.

The grueling assignment – all personnel under the contract are required to put in 72-hour work weeks – has SOS personnel working alongside the Army’s J9 Strategic Communication unit in the Green Zone in Baghdad.

The contract covers eight months with a nine-month option period, according to the Army's contracting operation.

SOS is a major military contractor that handles a variety of services, including IT, intelligence analysis and operational support.

The company won a large multimillion-dollar, multiyear contract in 2006 to provide media monitoring services to the U.S. Strategic Operations command.
SOS declined to comment on the new pact. Federal government contractors typically can't speak to the press without permission.


Gordon Johndroe, a communications aide and spokesman during all eight years of President George W. Bush's administration, has been tapped by APCO Worldwide as a VP in its D.C.-based government relations unit.

Johndroe served as deputy assistant to President Bush, deputy White House press secretary and served as a spokesman for the National Security Council.

The Texan also directed strategic communications at the State Dept. and served as press secretary to First Lady Laura Bush and the Dept. of Homeland Security. He joined Bush during the 2000 presidential campaign.

Johndroe works under managing director Robert Schooling at APCO.


California's Department of Consumer Affairs has pulled the plug on a multimillion-dollar RFP for PR and advertising targeting the automotive sector, citing budget constraints.

In a brief statement, the department said it has elected to reject all bids for the $4M –a-year account with the Bureau of Automotive Repair, a 38-year-old state agency set up to protect drivers in the car-loving Golden State through consumer rights, emissions education campaigns and other efforts.

Astone Crocker Flanagan was the incumbent having handled the work since June 2007.

The RFP was issued in early March and drew interest from several large agencies, mainly because of its requirement that $2M in agency revenue be derived from California work.

The pact had been about 75% advertising, but the department indicated it was willing to revamp that allocation.


Duncan Boothby, civilian press aide to General Stanley McChrystal, resigned June 22 following the uproar surrounding the profile of the Afghan commander that ran in Rolling Stone.

The former O’Dwyer’s staffer arranged McChrystal’s interview with journalist Michael Hastings, who penned the RS piece called “The Runaway General.”

McChrystal was summoned to the White House to explain the piece to President Obama before tendering his resignation (see pg 3). Secretary of Defense Gates released a statement June 22, saying McChrystal “made a significant mistake and exercised poor judgment in this case.”

Boothby, via email, told O’Dwyer’s that “clearly the days of being a low-profile national security flack are over.” He departed O’Dwyer’s for a producer job at CNN and worked in Iraq for the Lincoln Group and then joined the staff of Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, a commander of McChrystal’s staff.

He has been on McChrystal’s staff for a year.


Internet Edition, June 30, 2010, Page 2


The Cloud Foundation, a Denver-based non-profit focused on preserving wild horses, has blasted the federal Bureau of Land Management’s PR strategy – including the hire of a PR firm – to support a revised policy toward wild horses and burros in the western U.S.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar last year unveiled a $100M plan to control wild horse populations via adoptions, fertility treatments and relocations to preserves – an initiative that has drawn suspicion and protest from activists like the Cloud Foundation.

San Francisco firm Kearns & West was hired after a competitive selection process and began work in early 2010 after the BLM first tapped the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, an independent federal agency known by the acronym ECR, to help develop a strategy to engage the public on Salazar’s wild horse plan.

ECR oversaw the process that led to hiring K&W senior director Mike Harty, an attorney who specializes in public engagement and conflict resolution.

“By hiring a high-powered PR and public affairs firm, it seems that BLM is aiming to extinguish the opposition rather than solve the controversy over their management of our wild herds,” said Ginger Kathrens, volunteer executive director of the foundation, who said K&W’s work for energy giant PG&E makes the firm biased toward “big energy” at the “expense of federally protected wild horses who somehow are in the way of ‘The New Energy Frontier’.”

Harty is out of the office with limited availability through the end of the month.

A 32-page plan for public engagement by Harty dated April 26, 2010 outlines a strategy to build stakeholder — within BLM and external – support of Salazar’s plan through public meetings and other endeavors leading up to September 30, when the BLM is slated to report to Congress on the wild horse plan.

Among PR obstacles Harty noted is the perception that the BLM is selling wild horses for slaughter, which would be a violation of federal policy.

He included an excerpt from an animal rights advocacy web site making the allegation and used it as an example of “the challenges of ensuring that reliable information forms the foundation for public dialog and advocacy.”

The BLM, which was given responsibility for wild horse and burros on public land under a 1971 law, is slated to report to Congress in September on the wild horse plan.


Kansas City is on the hunt for a communications firm to educate city employees about access and usage of the city’s health plan, which includes insurance, a wellness program and employee clinic.

The city plans a year-long contract to develop and implement a PR plan highlighting issues like use of emergency rooms, generic drugs and other semantics of its benefits. Proposals are due July 29.

An RFP was issued June 23.

Download the RFP at


Edelman and Lucas Public Affairs have won a competitive bid to provide PR and PA counsel to the $118B California teachers’ pension system known as CalSTRS.

The second-largest public pension fund in the country issued an RFP in March to handle work like media relations, speakers’ bureau, internal communications and member outreach, as well as representation in Sacramento, where both of the winning firms have offices.

Lucas is led by Porter Novelli vet Donna Lucas, who was a deputy to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver.

A two-year contract was up for grabs. While there is no incumbent for the work outlined, CalSTRS told O’Dwyer’s that Runyon, Saltzman & Einhorn has recently handled PR work.

Ogilvy PR teamed with Lincoln Crow Strategic Communications were the only other firm/combo pitching the account.

CalSTRS was roughed up in the so-called Great Recession as its portfolio in 2009 was pegged at $118B, down from $172B in ’07.


Blue Star Strategies has inked a $144K pact to promote economic development in Ecuador.

The contract with the Ministry of Coordination of Cooperation, Production, Employment and Competitiveness calls for Blue Star to improve Ecuador’s profile as a “country open to partnerships for innovation, manfacturing goods and value added services that offer high quality employment and economic development for the country.”

Blue Star is the firm of former Clinton White House staffers Karen Tramontano and Sally Painter.

Tramontano was Clinton’s deputy chief of staff and counselor to top presidential aides Erskine Bowles and John Podesta. Painter worked outreach and advocacy for the late Commerce Secretary Ron Brown.

They launched Blue Star in February after exiting Dutko Worldwide, which Huntsworth acquired in 2009.


Miami firm The Cunningham Group has won a four-way shootout to guide PR for dozens of stimulus road projects in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties in Florida.

The state’s Department of Transportation issued an RFP in April to award a three-year contract budgeted at about $590K for the first two years.

Cunningham, which specializes in transit PR issues, edged planning and transit firms Keith and Schnars (Ft. Lauderdale) and Corradino Group (Miami), along with Media Relations Group (Palmetto Bay) in the tight competition.

Projects include a high-speed rail project connecting Miami and Palm Beach and dozens of other endeavors backed by the federal stimulus law. Services include communications planning, public relations and community involvement, website development, preparation of media communications and collateral materials.


Internet Edition, June 30, 2010, Page 3


President Barack Obama has relieved Gen. Stanley McChrystal of command over the war in Afghanistan following controversial remarks made to Rolling Stone magazine.

In a brief, 14-minute address to reporters, the president praised McChrystal's distinguished career but said "the conduct represented in the recently published article does not set the standards that should be set by a commanding general."

“I welcome debate among my team, but I won’t tolerate division,” said Obama, citing the need for a “strict adherence” to the military chain of command and “respect for civilian control over that chain of command.”

Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the U.S. Central Command, was nominated by the president to take over in Afghanistan, pending Senate confirmation.

The ouster of McChrystal comes a day after his civilian press aide took the initial fall for the piece, which included comments by the general and his staff critical of Obama and mocking Vice President Joe Biden and others.

Obama stressed he made the decision out of national security concerns and not out of personal insult or because McChrystal did not carry out orders faithfully. “He has earned a reputation as one of our nations finest soldiers,” the president said.


Disgraced former New York governor Elliot Spitzer has been tapped by CNN to co-host an 8 p.m. rountable program with journalist Kathleen Parker set for a fall debut.

The show takes the time slot being relinquished by Campbell Brown.

The two hosts follow the classic left-right TV commentary format given Spitzer’s Democratic ties and Parker’s conservative roots.

CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein called the duo “two of the most intelligent and outspoken figures in the country.” He described the show as a "lively roundup of all the best ideas."

Parker won a Pulitzer this year for commentary after kicking off her column in 1987 as a staffer for the Orlando Sentinel and hitting syndication in 1995.

“With Eliot Spitzer as my co-host, Wall Street and Main Street will finally meet,” she said in a statement. “It can’t possibly be boring.”

Since resigning the governor’s office in 2008, Spitzer has inched back into the public eye as a news commentator. He remains a contributor to


BP’s precipitous decline in PR and stock value equates to a brand value loss of nearly $1 billion, according to a report from marketing analysis company General Sentiment.

Calculating the loss in value to BP’s brand based on news media and social media content and using an ad-equivalency dollar value, GS said the decline has equated to more than $32M a day since the Deepwater Horizon explosion on April 21.

The steepest decline came from May 30-June 5, when GS calculated BP’s brand to lose more than $188.5M because of news and social media coverage. That week, BP stopped its "top kill" effort and began its third attempt to stop the well by slicing off the leaking pipe and causing more oil to flow before installing a cap. The oil slick was fast approaching Florida at the time.

GS notes the amount works out to about $6.66 per gallon of oil spilled.


“Tone matters as much as what is being said,” said Weber Shandwick's Leslie Gaines-Ross today, as the firm unveiled a poll of Americans and social media opinions that found a large percentage tuning out social networking because of rude discourse.

The poll by WS, its Powell Tate public affairs arm and KRC Research found that one-third of Americans say they are “tuning out” social networking sites as 39% cite rude behavior as a key reason.

The findings, culled from a survey of 1,000 people in April, are significant because even as companies and brands can control the content they disseminate via social media, feedback like comments can often gestate out of control and turn off consumers and “fans.”

Forty-five percent said they have “defriended” or blocked someone online because of offensive comments, while 38% stopped visiting a site, and 25% left a fan club or online community because of uncivil users.

Three-quarters of respondents said companies that act uncivilly should be boycotted and more than half (56%) said they have skipped buying a company's products that acted that way. Perhaps more notable is the 49% that advised others to do so, as well.

Weber Shandwick’s digital chief Chris Perry said the findings should resonate with companies investing communications capital in the space: “If there is a difference of opinion, we expect respectful dialogue. If not we tune out.”

Asked to rate social media based on civility, most (51%) said blogs are more uncivil than social networking sites like Facebook (43%) Twitter (35%).

Ross noted that blogs often accept anonymous comments, while Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter are more closed communities of followers with more accountability.


The media industry has lost $1.5B on its investments in social media, according to a June 20 report in the U.K.’s Guardian.

The story follows blockbuster news that AOL is ditching its Bebo site for $10M after paying $850M for it.

The Guardian reports that ever-developing applications and scant customer loyalty mean “social networking sites can become huge, almost overnight, and crash just as quickly when the next big thing comes along.”

The publication depicts the travails of MySpace, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., which shelled out $580 for MySpace in 2005 and took a $450M impairment charge against the property last year.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, June 30, 2010, Page 4


In its first case against a social networking service, the Federal Trade Commission said Thursday that Twitter has agreed to settle charges that it deceived consumers and put their privacy at risk after security breaches in 2009.

The FTC said lapses at Twitter allowed hackers to gain control of accounts and personal information of users including then-President-elect Barack Obama and Fox News.

“Consumers who use social networking sites may choose to share some information with others, but they still have a right to expect that their personal information will be kept private and secure,” David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement.

Twitter’s general counsel, Alexander MacGillivray, noted the two incidents came early in 2009 when the company had fewer than 50 employees.

“Even before the agreement, we’d implemented many of the FTC’s suggestions and the agreement formalizes our commitment to those security practices,” he said in a blog post June 24.

Under the terms of the deal, Twitter is barred for 20 years from misleading consumers about the extent to which it protects the “security, privacy, and confidentiality of nonpublic consumer information, including the measures it takes to prevent unauthorized access to nonpublic information and honor the privacy choices made by consumers.”

The company also must establish and maintain a comprehensive information security program, which will be assessed by an independent auditor every other year for 10 years.

In January 2009, according to the FTC complaint, a hacker used an automated password-guessing tool to gain administrative control of Twitter. The federal agency noted the company’s administrative password was a “weak, lowercase, common dictionary word.”

One tweet sent by the hacker from Obama’s account offered his more than 150,000 followers a chance to win $500 in free gasoline.

The second breach, in April 2009, saw a hacker guess the administrative password of a Twitter employee and gained access to nonpublic user information and tweets for any Twitter user.

The FTC’s complaint said that Twitter was vulnerable to these attacks because it failed to prevent unauthorized administrative control of its system.


Richard Tofel, treasurer and general manager of ProPublica, the group of journalists funded by private foundations, answering charges that leaders of the group are overpaid, said the group pays “market rates” in order to attract the finest journalists.

Pay/fringes/payroll taxes of the eight highest-paid employees totaled $2,049,935 in 2008, the latest figure available (from IRS Form 990). Total such pay for all employees was $4,005,731 in 2008.

Form 990 for 2009 will be available by Aug. 15, said Tofel. He said the pay of president/editor-in-chief Paul Steiger has not increased since 2008, indicating he was paid $570,000 in salary for 2009 and 2010.

“In general,” said Tofel in an e-mail, “salaries were frozen in 2010 at levels put in place on Jan. 1, 2009.”

Salaries of Steiger, managing editor Stephen Engelberg ($451,972), and Tofel ($296,370) are “set by our board and are based on an independent appraisal of news industry comparables — it’s the news business, not non-profits per se, from which we generally draw our talent, and we have aimed to pay market rates in all cases,” Tofel said.

Since the salaries/benefits of the eight employees listed in the 2008 Form 990 totaled $2,049,935, the indication is that just over $6 million will have been paid to the eight as of the end of this year.

Tofel said that the 990 for 2009 is not yet ready but will be filed by Aug. 15, the second deadline for such filings.

First deadline is May 15 and the last deadline is Nov. 15. Non-profits have to request an extension if they miss one of the filing dates.

ProPublica is a 501/c/3 non-profit, a category reserved for charitable and educational institutions that must obtain a certain percentage of their funding from the public (such as the Red Cross and United Way).


Gary Faulkner, the Colorado resident who said he was hunting Osama bin Laden when he was taken into custody in Pakistan, has retained The Publicity Agency, the Florida PR firm headed by Glenn Selig that has carved a niche representing media sensations.

Recent assignments for Selig have included former Army sergeant and Guantanamo Bay prison whistleblower Joe Hickman, as well molding a comeback for disgraced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Faulkner was detained in Pakistan near the border of Afghanistan – bin Laden’s rumored hideaway – on June 13, when he was found to be carrying a pistol and sword. He was released back to the U.S. on Wednesday without charges.

“You could say I’m a religious freak, you could say I'm a Rambo or a samurai or whatever, but you know what? I'm a person who said I’m going to get off my ass and do something,” he told CNN. Selig, who is based in Tampa, said Faulkner “has an incredible story to share with world and we will help him do just that.”

Faulkner’s media tour was slated to start with David Letterman’s show on June 28.


Reid Walker, VP of global communications and sponsorships at Lenovo, has been recruited for the VP/corporate communications slot at T-Mobile in Bellevue, Wash.

Walker was previously VP/comms. in four years at Honeywell Specialty Materials and director of global marketing communications at GE Global Exchange Services.

Judith Cushman & Associates handled the executive search for T-Mobile, which claims 36,000 employees and is part of Deutsche Telekom AG.

Internet Edition, June 30, 2010, Page 5


A U.S. campaign for Gatorade to boost exercise among adults over 30 by ad agency TBWA\Chiat\Day and supported by Fleishman-Hillard, among other agencies, won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions awards festival in France today.

The push, called “Replay,” replayed a high school football game between Easton and Phillipsburg, Pa., with the original players from 1993 that ended in a 7-7 tie.

The game sold out 15,000 seats in 90 minutes and aired on TV in primetime across two states garnering an estimated $3.4M worth of editorial coverage off of $225K in paid media, including a six-page spread in Men’s Health.

Fleishman execs working on the account included senior VP Jim Motzer and VP Adam Tanieleian, as well as VP Bonnie Block and senior A/E Julie Mason. Paragon Marketing Group and digital agency Caviar also worked on the campaign. TBWA and F-H are part of Omnicom.

Replay was named as one of CNN’s top stories of 2009 and is now a documentary television series with a follow-up game slated for this year. Gatorade has received thousands of petitions from athletes to replay games.

F-H also won a gold Lion -- the only U.S. gold winner besides the Gatorade campaign -- for its “Riding Shotgun with Papa” campaign for Papa John’s. Ogilvy PR Worldwide picked up a silver Lion at Cannes for its “Sociable Drive” campaign work with Ford.

This year is the second for the PR awards at the Cannes Lions.

Paul Taaffe, CEO of Hill & Knowlton and chairman of the Cannes Lions jury for PR awards, wants the long-running competition to change its name to reflect the variety of marketing disciplines now honored, including PR.

Taffee said there was a big increase in PR entries this year, the second for PR to be honored, but entries from PR agencies were down as ad agencies took several awards, including the top PR honor, in the category.

"The advertising industry is eating our lunch at these awards and the PR industry has to raise its game," he said.

Taaffe said he’ll talk to organizers about getting the PR industry more engaged in the 57-year-old awards.


Kekst & Co. is serving as communications advisor to investment Metropoulos & Co., which today completed its acquisition of 166-year-old Pabst Brewing Company.

In addition to its namesake Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, which has been rejuvenated by popularity among young, urban drinkers, Woodridge, Ill.-based Pabst’s portfolio of beer brands includes Old Milwaukee, Lone Star, Colt 45, Old Style and Schlitz.

The acquisition price was not disclosed but Pabst posts annual revenues in the $500M range and the Wall Street Journal previously put a $250M price tag on the deal.


New York Area

Makovsky + Company, New York/Itron, intelligence metering and smart grid software for utilities, for corporate communications and development of an education program targeting businesses, investors and consumers. Makovsky won a pitch which included Ruder Finn, Abernathy Macgregor and Hill & Knowlton.

Rubenstein PR, New York/The Agency Group, entertainment booking, for media relations, PR and events. TAG has 57 agents representing 1,500 clients.

Loving + Company, New York/Sue Wong, designer, for brand building, media and blogger relations, new product launches and other efforts.

JS2 Communications, New York/Canada’s Shaw Festival, producer and presenter of the work of George Bernard Shaw and playwrights of his era. The firm has worked with the festival in the past.

Feintuch Communications, New York/The Sodrugestvo Group of Companies, agro-industrial company headquartered in Kaliningrad, Russia with 18 locations and operations in seven countries, as AOR.

Susan Magrino Agency, New York/vineyard vines, sportswear and lifestyle products, for U.S. PR and branding for the company.

Trylon SMR, New York/Both Sides Now, radio show featuring Mark Green, Arianna Huffington and Mary Matalin, for PR for launch of a nationally-syndicated talk radio program.

Nancy J. Friedman PR, New York/The Elysian, Chicago hotel, for PR for the hotel and its restaurants, Balsan and RIA, and the Sheraton Lincoln Harbor Hotel, Weehawken, N.J., to handle all hotel and restaurant PR activities,following an $18M property-wide renovation.


360 PR, Boston/Dorel Industries, for a campaign supporting its Dorel Juvenile Group’s portfolio of brands like Safety 1st, Quinny and Cosco. The firm won a competitive review last year to launch Dorel’s Air Protect car seat technology.

Schwartz Communications, Waltham, Mass./Lancope, network performance and security monitoring, as AOR for PR.

Vitamin, Baltimore, Md./Big Steaks Management, as AOR for PR, including media relations, social media, community relations and integrated marketing consultation for the franchisee of nine Ruth’s Chris Steak House locations in Maryland, New Jersey and N.C.


TransMedia Group, Boca Raton, Fla./BP campaign, for PR for the effort to sell t-shirts to benefit wildlife rescue and environmental groups works on the oil spill cleanup.


LEWIS PR, Los Angeles/Fonality, cloud-based business phone systems and contact center solutions, as AOR for PR in the U.S. and Australia following a competitive pitch. The six-figure assignment touting its phone sytems started in May. Steve Shimek, GM of LEWIS’ L.A. office, heads the work reporting to Corey Brundage, VP worldwide marketing at Fonality.

Internet Edition, June 30, 2010, Page 6


PR Newswire’s international expansion has continued with its parent company’s acquisition of Hong Kong’s Corporate 360 in a deal worth up to $1.4M.

United Business Media opened its wallet earlier this month to acquire PRN operations in Brazil and Argentina.

“We continue to see significant opportunities to develop PR Newswire in China and in the wider Asia Pacific region,” PRN CEO Ninan Chacko said in a statement.

UBM said it made the Hong Kong deal for an initial cash payment of $350K with earn-outs that could add up to $1M over three years.

The company said Corporate 360 will enable PRN to expand its multimedia and investor relations offerings in Asia.

Corporate 360 handles webcast and other business communications services across the Asia Pacific region, including China. UBM said its 2010 revenue would be in the $400K range.

PRN bought out its China partner Xinhua in November 2008 for $6M.


The 2010-2011 U.S. Hispanic Social Media Guide is now available free to marketers at

The 57-page booklet, produced by the Hispanic PR Blog, Hispanic Public Relations Association and the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, features best practices and discussions from top executives in the sector discussing trends and tactics for social media.

Articles featured cover how to build and manage an Hispanic online community, working with Latino bloggers, and measuring multicultural social media.


D.C.-based executive search firm Patino Associates, has signed an affiliate partnership deal with VMA Group, a European company focused on corporate communications.

The companies said the alliance creates one of the largest global practices focused on the recruitment and placement of corporate communications professionals with consultants in D.C., London, Manchester and Brussels, and a goal of establishing operations across Europe, the Far East, Middle East and Australia over the next three years.

Patino was set up in 2008 by Michael Patino, a veteran of Russell Reynolds Associates and Spencer Stuart.

Patino noted the “continued globalization of the communications discipline” in announcing the deal.

BRIEF: Business Wire has promoted Ibrey Woodall to VP of its web communications services. The company said her promotion follows the successful launch of its NewsHQ online newsroom and InvestorHQ solutions. Woodall, who’s based in Florida and joined the company in December, is responsible for leading the sales and service of the products under those two banners, as well as other upcoming web communications services.



David Binkowski, who recently left MS&L after leading digital for clients like P&G, Underwriters Laboratories and Citibank, to Lippe Taylor Brand Communications, New York, to executive VP of digital marketing. He’ll continue to speak at industry conferences and blog at, and Every Other Thursday.

Denise Young Farrell, director of communications and strategic partnerships for the N.Y. Diabetes Campaign, to The Partnership for a Drug-Free America, New York, as director of public affairs. She was previously director of public affairs for Lifetime Networks.

Steve Hardwick, former president of Grey Group, to Fleishman-Hillard, as general manager of its New York office and president of its Eastern region, including Boston and Cleveland. He succeeds Nancy Seliger, who was promoted to executive VP for global client relations earlier this year and he joins the firm’s senior management committee. Hardwick spent three years at Interpublic overseeing the Bank of America account as COO and managing director.

Mary Maguire, senior VP and director of comms., non-profit AED, to Abt Associates, Calbridge, Mass., as senior VP, strategic communications. She was previously with Fleishman-Hillard, director of external comms. for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and PR manager of Roy Rogers Restaurants.

Lara Cohn, PR consultant and veteran agency pro, to The Halo Group, New York, as VP/director of PR. She was previously senior VP of consumer healthcare at HealthSTAR PR, senior VP at Zeno Group and senior VP at Steele Rose Communications. Previous stints included MWW Group and DeVries PR.

Scott Wasserman, A/E at Ross Public Affairs Group, to The Marcus Group, Little Falls, N.J., as an A/E in its PR division.

Paul Rose, director of comms. for Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums, to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, as media relations manager, effective July 1. He previously held comms. posts for the Bay Area Chapter of the American Red Cross and N.Y. City Council Speaker Gifford Miller.


Lori Jung to account director, JB Cumberland PR, New York. She handles clients like iSi North America, Starfrit USA, fusionbrands and MLA –Australian Lamb. Jung joined the firm in 2006.

Linda Krebs to assistant VP, G.S. Schwartz & Co., New York. She joined the firm in 2006 as a senior A/E from Bridge Global Strategies.

Anne Costello to regional director South Asia for Text 100. Steven Murphy, who was regional operations director for So. Asia, was upped to RD for North Asia.


Internet Edition, June 30, 2010, Page 7


Gerard Corbett, candidate for chair-elect of PR Society of America, stresses the need for “diversity” in his presentation to the nominating committee, saying this includes being “open and responsive to diverse thought and opinion.”

“Diversity should be an integral part of every PRSA activity including all activities, processes and thought leadership."

He said diversity “is no longer just about race or gender.”

Corbett pledges continued collaboration with the Black PR Society and the Hispanic PR Association as well as seeking alliances with other related organizations.

Tate Emphasizes “Servant Leadership”

Chair-elect candidate Philip Tate also pledges commitment to diversity while emphasizing commitment to “servant leadership,” which means “collaboration, trust, empathy and the ethical use of power.”

He credits Robert Greenleaf as the originator of that phrase.

Tate talks about his work in the mentor/protégé program of the Charlotte chapter, of which he was president.

He notes that the College of Fellows recently took the lead in promoting mentoring programs for PR pros.

“Fellows are mentoring practitioners of all ages through the PRSA Jobcenter and have designed programs for new professionals, who are mentoring PRSSA students about to enter our profession,” he said.

Said Tate: “Our objective as PRSA leaders should be to enhance growth of individuals in the organization to increase personal involvement and teamwork. By acting as collaborative servant leaders, we commit ourselves to working with others to find the best possible solutions and create the most dynamic leadership team possible.”

Full statements are online at

Along with Corbett and Tate, here is the full list of candidates from PRSA:

Treasurer: Steven Lewis Grant, senior manager, PR, National Education Association, D.C.; Gail D. Liebl, director, communications & branding, Travelers, St. Paul, Minn.

Secretary: Kathy Nelson Barbour, communications manager, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla.

Board of Directors: East Central, Debra DeCourcy, VP, director of corporate comms., Fifth Third Bancorp, Cincinnati, Ohio; Stephen Iseman, Ph.D., professor, Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio; Mid-Atlantic, Linda Burkley, president, Ardis Strategic Comms. & Training, Harrisburg, Pa.; Midwest, Rose McKinney, president, Risdall McKinney PR, New Brighton, Minn.; Debra Peterson, manager, external comms. and community relations, CenturyLink, Overland Park, Kan.; Northeast, Kirk Hazlett, assistant professor, comm., Curry College, Belmont, Mass.; Sunshine, Geri Ann Evans, president, Evans PR Group, Longwood, Fla.; Tri-State, Joseph Cohen, group VP, MWW Group, East Rutherford, N.J.; Deborah Radman, counselor, Darien, Conn.; Western, Jane E. Dvorak, APR, president, JKD & Company, Lakewood, Colo.; Marisa Vallbona, president, CIM Incorporated, La Jolla, Calif.; Director-At-Large, Regina Lewis, chief comms. officer, The Potter’s House of Dallas, Tex.; Cher Merrill, VP of PR, marketing and comms., Associated Industries, Spokane, Wash.; Susan Walton, associate professor, comms., Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

Assembly Delegates: At-Large (two positions open), Michael Brown, associate, strategic comms., Booz Allen Hamilton, Norfolk, Va.; Joyce Lofstrom, senior manager, corporate comms., HIMSS, Chicago, Ill.; International Delegate-at-Large (two positions open), Anthony Bradley, director, Bradley O'Mahoney PR Limited, U.K.


Regina Freeman Lewis, chief communications officer, The Potter’s House of Dallas, a non-denominational megachurch, is seeking nomination as director-at-large of PRSA.

She would be the third African-American woman on the Society board in 63 years if elected.

The other two were Debra Miller, 1997 president, and Cheryl Procter-Rogers, 2006 chair.

Only one African-American male has been elected to the board, Ron Owens of Kaiser Permanente, Pasadena, Calif. He resigned after five months of a three-year term that started in 2006.

Ofield Dukes, African-American Washington, D.C., counselor who was awarded the Gold Anvil in 2001, sought to join the board last year as at-large director. The nominating committee, headed by Rhoda Weiss who had major clients in Hawaii, picked Barbara Whitman of Honolulu instead. Gary McCormick, 2010 chair, named Dukes and Wynona Redmond of Dominick’s as non-voting directors.

Redmond is president of the National Black PR Society of which Lewis is the parliamentarian.

Her application says her current membership is “offered via PRSA-to-NBPRS Alliance” and that she is a past member of the Miami, Atlanta and Los Angeles chapters. She joined Potter’s House this month from the Celsius Holdings Corp., a PR firm in Jupiter, Fla., where she was president. Her bio says she was a principal in the firm from 2001-2010.

From 1986 to 2000 she was at nine other firms including IXL, FitzGerald Communications, Capital Relations/MS&L, Freeman Assocs., Fleishman-Hillard, The Bohle Co., Kodak, Media Cybernetics, and Hi-Tech PR of Shandwick.

Opposing Lewis are Cher Merrill, VP-PR, marketing and communications, Associated Industries, Spokane, Wash., and Susan Walton, associate professor, communications, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

Lewis’ presentation to the nomcom says she would bring experience outside of the “mainstream of PR” and by virtue of her ethnic and gender would give the board “additional diversity.”

Having lived in various parts of the West and Southeast, she says she could bring a geographical point of view “that can bridge the communications gap.


Internet Edition, June 30, 2010, Page 8




We wish Regina Lewis success in becoming the third African-American woman on the PRSA board (page 7).

The Society talks a lot about diversity but has a poor track record in this area.
Lewis would be only the third black woman on the board in the 63-year history of the Society.

Only one black man made it to the board – Ron Owens. He quit in 2006 after only five months of a three year term.

Ofield Dukes, 2001 winner of the Society’s Gold Anvil, tried to be the second black male on the board last year but was rejected by the nominating committee.

He wound up in the “back of the bus” as a non-voting board member appointed by chair Gary McCormick.

The Society last year dumped the Multicultural Section because it did not bring in enough revenues – a slap in the face to African-Americans and other minorities.

Few blacks are going to join when it costs $225 in dues plus $65 initiation fee when they can join any of a half dozen Black PR Societies in major cities for dues of $50 or so.

Lewis heads communications at The Potter’s House, a non-denominational “mega-church” that draws 100,000 to its annual revival.

We’re hoping she will bring a major infusion of morality and openness into the Society that has sunk deeper into itself in recent years.

We’re hopeful of open elections during July, August and September instead of the nominees being picked behind closed doors followed by two months of silence.

ProPublica top dogs are overpaid. Pay/benefits of the top eight people at this “investigative” charity (501/c/3) total just over $6 million for the three years 2008-2010.

This is way over the top at a time when there are so many starving journalists.

We realize that “charity begins at home” but this is carrying it too far.

Editor-in-chief Paul Steiger, ex-Wall Street Journal, is collecting three times $584,000 or $1.75M. A close second is managing editor Stephen Engelberg, ex-New York Times, at $1.43M.

Fellow journalists are calling this level of pay “mind-boggling” and “eye-popping” and we don’t blame them. ProPublica won’t reveal exact 2009 pay until filed with the IRS Aug. 15.

PRSA has the same policy of divulging pay only in the 990.

Is Media Devastation a Good Thing?

Journalist Paul Gillin and others have opened a blog called, “Is Media Devastation a Good Thing?”

He tracks the decline of traditional media and the rise of “social” media.

Gillin estimates that about half of the journalists at work in 2001 no longer have jobs and that major consumer magazines have lost more than 60% of their circulation in that period. Carnage is the only word that applies to what is going on at newspapers.

These are not good developments for PR pros since clients are still judging them on placements in mainstream media.

An issue like this should concern the PR Society rather than its obsession with its own inner workings.

Big Companies Like Regular Media

In this same vein, researcher Angus Reid said June 15 that traditional media have much more impact on how blue chips are viewed than social media and advised caution by such companies in seeking notice on SM.

Only a few brands such as Nike and Apple do well on all media, he noted. Vision Critical, with whom he works, feels that the “provocative” content needed to score on SM could actually damage brands such as Johnson & Johnson and Kraft, which score at the top of VC’s polls.

Companies Stopped Subscribing

Vision Critical as well as PR trade associations and individual PR pros should not just sit on their hands but urge these giant and smaller companies to start subscribing again to mainstream as well as trade publications.

The PR industry has lost seven publications because big PR firms/corporations stopped buying them.

These include PR Reporter, a weekly that carried many research reports, and PR Quarterly, an outlet for PR professors and PR pros. Both died in their 50th years.

The Ragan Report, a weekly mostly on internal communications that was just about as old, stopped its printed edition.

Companies should subscribe because individuals will not. They may be non-subscribing themselves out of “real” jobs and find they have to make do with a pastiche of freelance assignments.

Current trend, especially with health insurance costs escalating, is for PR firms and companies to rely increasingly on outside contractors.

PR pros are finding themselves almost like the laborers who show up at gas stations in the Hamptons hoping for a day’s work on someone’s estate.

Adding to media devastation is the short term view of marketers who want proof that any ad or PR placement brings tangible results.

The marketers, shunning schedules in publications, only advertise in special issues that speak to their needs.

This is like watering a flower only when you want to look at it or feeding a pet only when you’re back from a trip. Pretty soon, both are dead.

PR pros previously only had to get plugs in media or elsewhere. Now they have to show proof it “moves the needle.”

The industry could be researching itself to death.

Cell phones are dangerous. In about 15 years there will be a pandemic of brain cancers “worse than the Black Plague,” said electronic engineer Lloyd Morgan in the May Harper’s (“For Whom the Cell Tolls”).

He warns that those objects pressed to almost everyone’s ear are piercing the brain with dangerous high-frequency electronic radiation.

A recent victim was Senator Ted Kennedy, a constant cell phone user, who developed a rare cancer in back of the ear used for his cell phone.

The danger has increased lately, Morgan notes, because children as young as five are starting with the cell phone habit.

We note that little is ever said about this issue in newspapers which get lots of cell phone ads these days. Media mostly ignored the dangers of heavily advertised cigarettes for more than 100 years.

Morgan advises keeping cell phone usage to minimum, never keeping a cell phone in your pocket, never putting a “laptop” computer on your lap, staying at least 15 feet away from a working microwave oven (waves go right through the door), and not using light “dimmers.”

The strength of electromagnetic waves can easily be measured by putting a radio near a computer or TV screen, microwave, light dimmer, etc.

It took 60 years before scientists found that X-rays in improper dosage caused cancer, Morgan notes.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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