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Internet Edition, September 15, 2010, Page 1


MDC Partners, the ad and PR holding company that has been on an acquisition tear, has picked up a majority stake in Kwittken & Company, the four-year-old New York firm headed by former Euro RSCG Magnet chief Aaron Kwittken and his former Euro colleague Jason Schlossberg.

The stake in K&C, which had revenue of $3M in '09 but has grown this year, will cost MDC from $10M-$15M and lands the firm within its Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal agency unit, which also includes the PR division Lime PR and Promotion.

Schlossberg told O'Dwyer's that the firm's leadership had a goal of growing the boutique shop into a mid-range agency in size, but decided not to pursue such growth by acquiring other agencies. K&C met with the major holding companies but didn't see a fit. “We would have been cogs in their machines,” he said, describing the firm's role under KBS within MDC as more integrated.

Schlossberg said the power struggle over digital and social media between ad and PR units should lead to more integrated approaches, not further entrenchment by the two disciplines.

“We're going to create integrated teams and cater to a more integrated approach [as part of KBS],” he said.

K&C's staff of about 22 is included in the acquisition deal.

MDC acquired financial PR specialist Sloane & Company in April. A month later, it added Allison & Partners. It has also added experiential marketing shop Relevant and analytics shop Integrated Media Solutions.

MDC’s 2009 revenues were $545M.


California’s Dept. of Consumer Affairs, which pulled the plug on a $4M RFP for public awareness of its automotive safety and services bureau in June, has re-issued the call for pitches with a deadline of Oct. 21.

Astone Crocker Flanagan is the incumbent and has handled the account since June 2007.

The social marketing, PR and public service advertising account supports the Golden State’s Bureau of Automotive Repair, which handles emissions education, consumer rights and other issues for the state’s 2.5M registered drivers.

The RFP was originally released in March. The new RFP has lowered the threshold for billings by ad and PR agencies to $1.5M after it originally required firms to do $2M worth of business annually in the state.

Options could carry the contract to $12M over three years. RFP is at


Miami-based rbb PR has acquired Thorp & Company of Coral Gables, a 21-year-old smaller firm focused on professional services and financial-sector work.

The move follows rbb’s acquisition of Fort Lauderdale-based Haber & Quinn in June, the start of what rbb CEO Christine Barney said at the time were “aggressive growth plans.”

Barney said the deal for Thorp bolsters rbb in two sectors – issues management and financial services.

Thorp, which posted revenue of $1.8M with 10 staffers in 2006, down from $2.3M in '05, according to O’Dwyer’s rankings data [the firm hasn’t ranked in recent years], is led by Patricia Thorp, who takes a senior counselor title at rbb atop its issues management and reputation practice.

Thorp’s chief strategist, Peter Whalen, heads rbb’s financial and professional services practice as a VP.

Thorp said both rbb and her firm have been “powerhouse PR firms” in Florida for years.

Thorp clients have included PNC Financial, ADP, DuPont, and Searle. Its staff will relocate to rbb offices in Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

Rbb had revenues of $4M in '09.


The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau has kicked off an open RFQ process to review its PR account covering the U.S. and Canada.

Development Counselors International is the incumbent and its contract expires at the end of the month.

The GMCVB said the process is a periodic review and does not reflect “dissatisfaction” with its current firm.

The account covers building the Miami “brand,” integrating PR with other campaigns, targeting niche markets, organizing press trips, and general development and implementation of a strategic PR plan, among other tasks.

A three-year contract is planned to be awarded from the RFP process running through September 2013.

The current schedule calls for presentations by selected firms in Miami Oct. 18-20.

RFP is at


Internet Edition, September 15, 2010, Page 2


CooperKatz & Co. has picked up Sarah Lawrence College in a competitive pitch to “burnish the brand” of the progressive liberal arts college that has lost a bit of its marketplace luster.

Bronxville, N.Y.-based SLC went co-ed in `68 and was declared “college of the year” by Time in 2000. Awareness of the college has decline “precipitously” since the Time award, according to the RFP.

Possible reasons are: 1) "the college neglected to communicate its strengths and achievements while peer institutions and others did so aggressively;" 2) the decision to drop SAT scores as a entrancement requirement, and 3) the move not to participate in US News & World Report’s liberal arts rankings.

The RFP admits that SLC’s “strong reputational history is manifest only among academics, and to a lesser degree, a small set of guidance counselors whom it regularly calls on.”

The general public “beyond the New York metro area and pockets of California” is “largely unaware of Sarah Lawrence.” Another headache: a lot of people aware of SLC believe it’s still a women’s institution.

The college, which was founded in 1926, is looking for a national PR program and is also eager to attract student interest from Europe, Asia and Latin America to “capitalize on the growing international interest in liberal arts education.” It wants to bolster the profile of college president Karen Lawrence.

Noted SLC graduates include Vera Wang, fashion designer; Alice Walker, writer, and Rahm Emanuel, former Congressman and President Obama’s chief of staff.


Dorel Juvenile Group, a top maker of baby car seats and strollers, has created a new top public affairs post and tapped a former spokeswoman for the federal agency that oversees product safety as greater scrutiny is placed on the industry amid multiple recalls.

Dorel brands include Cosco Juvenile, Safety 1st, Maxi-Cosi, and Quinny.

Julie Vallese, former public affairs director for the Consumer Product Safety Commission from 2005-09 and an ex-CNN journalist, has moved to Dorel in the new slot as VP of public affairs and strategic communications.

The hire follows Dorel’s recall of four million child car seats earlier this year – a move it fought for nearly a decade – as well as the recall of thousands of so-called drop-side cribs, a style blamed by the CPSC for the deaths of several infants over the past decade.

Dorel on Sept. 2 created the Dorel Technical Center for Child Safety, a multimillion-dollar development facility in Columbus, Ind., which the company is pitching as the first initiative in a $21M, three-year investment in the safety, design and manufacturing of its car seat products.

Infant carriers and cribs from various makers have been the subjects of several recalls by the CPSC in recent years.

In a statement, DJG USA President and CEO Dave Taylor said of Vallese hire: “Julie is a highly accomplished journalist and safety advocate and we are thrilled to have her expertise as we advance Dorel’s leadership position in juvenile products through consumer advocacy and education.” She was an editor and correspondent for a decade at CNN.

DJG is part of Quebec-based Dorel Industries.

360 PR works with DJG.


GoodWorks International, the firm of former congressman and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Andrew Young, has a $350K, one-year contract to assist Cameroon in its bid to qualify for a Millennium Challenge Grant.

Founded in 2004, the Millennium Challenge Corp. is a U.S. government entity formed to funnel aid to poor nations that exhibit good governance, economic freedom and investment in their peoples.

The MCC has provided $7B to 19 “compact countries” such as Honduras, Madagascar, El Salvador, Armenia, Ghana, Georgia and Senegal.

Another $470M has been given to “threshold countries” that fall a bit short of MCC standards, like Jordan and the Philippines. Liberia and Timor-Leste are in the midst of hammering out threshold standing. Cameroon, on its last MCC “report card,” failed in the civil liberties, control of corruption, trade policy, business development and education/health spending categories.

GoodWorks aims to inform U.S. decision-makers about Cameroon’s accomplishments and generate a better understanding of its policies.

The goal of GoodWorks is to place Cameroon on the threshold list within a year, and among the compact countries within two years – assuming the Atlanta-based operation gets its contract renewed.


Next Fifteen Communications Group, which owns Text 100, M Booth & Associates and Bite Communciations, among other firms, has unveiled a new 30-staffer digital agency called Beyond its founders say will combine digital media, PR, creative and other disciplines.

Next Fifteen said the unit was created by the merger of its recent acquisition, Type3, and Context-Analytics, a research firm.

Beyond has offices in San Francisco and London with more than 30 staffers and a client roster of clients like Google, Genentech and Virgin America. A New York office is in the works, the company said.

David Hargreaves, who was general manger of North America for Bite, heads the new shop. He said many digital shops come from the advertising sector, where an expensive digital property is marketing with a big media spend, while Beyond is more focused on predicting the content people will likely engage with and reaching them there, whether through paid, owned or earning media.

Next Fifteen CEO Tim Dyson said Beyond has been created in the disciplines of influence and listening, whereas traditional digital shops emerged in an era where the web was a one-way publishing channel and marketing was a one-way street.


Internet Edition, September 15, 2010, Page 3


CNN made it official Sept. 8, announcing that Brit talent show judge and journalist Piers Morgan will take over for Larry King when he steps down in January.

Jonathan Klein, CNN/U.S. president, in an email to staff, said he's happy that Morgan, 45, will "bring his dynamic, probing interview style to American television and to CNN viewers around the globe."

Morgan will remain a judge on NBC's "America's Got Talent” and continue to host British network ITV's "Life Stories" interview show.

The last show for the 76-year-old King is slated for Dec. 16.

Morgan will be based in New York, but also do shows from Los Angeles and London. He will have a regular column in addition to his Sunday column in the Mail.


Dee Dee Myers, the first female White House press secretary, serving two years at the outset of the Clinton administration, has joined the Democratic PR powerhouse Glover Park Group as a managing director.

Myers has been a political commentator and journalist, in addition to consulting for NBC’s drama “The West Wing.”

She started out in journalism and California politics as an aide to Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley and State Senator Art Torres before becoming press secretary for Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s gubernatorial bid in 1990. She moved on to serve as spokeswoman for Michael Dukakis' presidential bid before speaking for the Clinton campaign.

She was also Los Angeles bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times and has recently served as a contributing editor to Vanity Fair.

Myers, who is married to Vanity Fair editor Todd Purdum, joins Glover Park founder and former Clinton White House press secretary Joe Lockhart, a founding partner of the firm.


Edward Adler, Time Warner’s top corporate communications executive who stepped down earlier this year, is joining West Coast consultancy MediaLink LLC, as a senior partner.

Adler, who worked TW for his entire career first as a journalist then in corporate comms., announced his resignation in February as executive VP.

ML chairman and CEO Michael Kassan called Adler “one of the top names in the media, entertainment and digital industries.”

Adler is charged with building a strategic communications practice within MediaLink, including corporate communications, media relations, investor relations, crisis management, event management and corporate marketing.

ML has operations in Los Angeles and New York and caters mainly to entertainment and tech industry clients. Its roster includes Microsoft, Viacom, Paramount Studios and Hearst, among others.

It is not related to the former video PR company Medialink, which was acquired last year by TheNewsMarket to become Synaptic Digital.


The Hollywood Reporter is transitioning to a weekly glossy magazine and shifting away from its printed five-day-a-week schedule.

THR is also revamping its website to handle breaking news and said it will produce a daily digital edition in PDF format to replace its printed product.

Us Weekly vet Janice Minn is editorial director and joined the e5-owned publication in June.

The New York Times reported that annual revenue at the paper has fallen to about $30M, from $50M four years ago.


The Private Journey magazine, aimed at “ultra-high net worth” consumers, is slated for an October 2010 launch.

Roaring Thunder Media, a private jet advertising company, is backing the project by luxury sector marketing pro James Kerwin.

Quarterly circulation is pegged at 100,000 distributed exclusively onboard private jets in terminals throughout the United States.



Google’s YouTube unit earlier this week started a trial of a new live streaming platform intended to integrate live streaming into YouTube channels.

YouTube has parntered with four companies for the service test -- Howcast, Next New Networks, Rocketboom and Young Hollywood.

The live test includes a “live comments” module which let users engage a broadcaster and other users. “Based on the results of this initial [two-day] test, we’ll evaluate rolling out the platform more broadly to our partners worldwide,” the company said.

BRIEFS: Kim France, founding editor of Lucky magazine starting in 2000, has left the magazine.

Brandon Holley, editor-in-chief of Yahoo!’s Shine website for women and a former Condé Nast staffer, has taken the reins as editor of the shopping publication.

Bonnier Corp. said it is relaunching its 18-year-old WakeBoarding magazine brand as TransWorld WAKEBOARDING.

TransWorld includes other action-sports titles covering skateboarding, BMX and Motocross.

The integration will include a redesign and the extension of into the network.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, September 15, 2010, Page 4


Goddard Claussen Public Affairs has been hit with a copyright lawsuit by a litigious Nevada-based company which owns the rights to Las Vegas Review-Journal content.

RightHaven LCC filed a complaint Sept. 1 in Nevada’s U.S. District Court charged Goddard Clausen, on behalf of client Americans Against Food Taxes, infringed on RightHaven copyright by publishing content owned by RH online starting on Feb. 15.

The suit names GC Public Affairs, partner Ben Goddard and the food tax group as defendants.

It follows suit another against Las Vegas PR firm Kirvin Doak Communications and its partners, which were sued by RH this month after RH said the firm posted a R-J story on its website without authorization. The parties reached a settlement in that suit, but terms of the deal were not disclosed.

RH is asking the court to end the alleged infringement by GC and for the defendants to turn over documents related to the work, turn over the domain name to RH, in addition to compensation.

The Washington Post reported that RH has brought at least 126 similar lawsuits since March. Electronic Frontier Foundation attorney Kurt Opsahl, who is working with some defendents, told the Post: “Righthaven is purchasing the copyright and they are not owning these copyrights for the purpose of licensing them to others; their core business is filing lawsuits.”

GC, which has operations in D.C. and Sacramento, has 21 days to respond.


Rodale’s Prevention has inked a deal to offer “branded” workout mixes with Power Music, Inc.

The magazine will offer six compilations launching at least one per month until the end of the year focusing on different workouts like running, walking, interval training, active yoga and cardio.

The mixes will be sold online at iTunes,,, (part ofPower Music), and other digital retailers.

BRIEFS: Getty Images has signed a multi-year agreement with McClatchy-Tribune Information Services to license its editorial imagery from their network of McClatchy and Tribune papers.

Under the terms of the deal, Getty will have rights to license to commercial and editorial outlets worldwide imagery captured daily by McClatchy-Tribune staff and contributing photographers, in addition to more than 250,000 images contained within the MCT archive.

Content covered includes images from the Miami Herald, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Kansas City Star, Charlotte Observer, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and others.

Forbes said it will launch Forbes Ukraine through a licensing agreement with United Media Holding. The first issue of the magazine is slated to appear in the first quarter of 2011.


Aviation journalists Leithen Francis and Max Kingsley-Jones, along with airport and social media expert Rupa Haria, have joined Aviation Week.

Francis is AW’s new Singapore bureau chief; Kingsley-Jones, senior air transport editor in London, and Haria, also in London, heads up its commercial/maintenance, repair and overhaul team’s online efforts.

Francis was deputy Asia editor for Flight International and Kingsley-Jones was deputy editor there.

Haria was external and internal communications manager at London City Airport.


The Burlington Coat Factory, a unit of Bain Capital Partners, is looking straight into the eyeballs of a PR gift horse: the WTC/mosque squabble. Sadly, the chain is blinking, so far.

The Islamic Cultural Center is slated to be built on a site once occupied by a BCF outlet. That Park Place structure, two blocks from Ground Zero, was damaged as parts of a hijacked jet crashed through its roof.

Though BP, Toyota, Goldman Sachs and Hewlett-Packard may not buy the old chestnut about "there is no such thing as bad news/publicity," I believe BCF is missing a golden opportunity to cash in on the mosque flap.

Ed Bernays, the father of PR, even told me once that he’d be happy if a news article was only 51 percent correct. To Bernays, it was more important to get the client's name out there.

Back to BCF. The chain has a long history of supporting causes. It has backed the American Red Cross in Haiti relief, programs of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the “Warm Coats and Warm Hearts” campaign for the needy. It is well positioned to take on both sides of the mosque controversy.

Here’s how. BCF boasts of offering 70 percent off department store prices. How about tacking on another 10 percent discount for anti- and pro-mosque factions?

The anti-mosque people say they will protest for as long as it takes to stop construction and vow to carry on if building goes forward.

That means gloves, hats and boots will be needed for wintry New York. With coupons in hand, delighted protestors could trot up Sixth Avenue and present them for deals at the BCF emporium on 21St.

Happy shoppers make long-term customers for BCF.

In the event the mosque opens, BCF has activewear that will be handy for the gym portion of the complex, swimwear for the pool and children’s clothes for the lucky kids smart enough to get a seat in the eventual school at the Islamic complex. An eighty percent discount will build a lot of goodwill among people of all religions who use the Islamic complex site.

It’s time to for BCF to step up. It should have made that grand announcement before last Saturday’s anniversary of the 9/11 attack, but it’s not too late.
Ride that gift horse for all that it is worth.

— Kevin McCauley

Internet Edition, September 15, 2010, Page 5


Los Angeles-based ID PR has tapped The Weinstein Company PR vets Dani Weinstein and Sara Serlen as senior VP and VP of the entertainment PR firm.

Weinstein, who is not related to TWC’s founding brothers, will head ID’s film unit from New York, including representation of TWC’s film titles like “The Tillman Story” and “The King’s Speech.” She led the company’s publicity department for six years and had been with its predecessor Miramax in 11 total years between the two, after starting out at Don Buchwald & Associates. Her PR film credits include “Inglorious Basterds,” “The Aviator” and “Cold Mountain.”

Prior to TWC, Serlen was publicity director for United Artists (“Hotel Rwanda”) and held posts at mPRm and Magic Lantern. Her credits include “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Pollock.”

ID has also added Randi Peck, director of PR at Theory, as a VP in New York handling entertainment and brand strategies, and Rhett Usry, a DKC and Publicis veteran, as a senior publicist handling music and talent. Peck has worked with brands like Jose Cuervo and Dewar’s, while Usry has experience repping musicians like LeAnn Rimes and Mariah Carey.


Edelman is expanding space at its 250 Hudson Street headquarters in New York, hard by the Holland Tunnel in SoHo.

The firm, which moved from the heart of Times Square last year, has added 27K square feet to bring the total amount of leased space to about 168K sq. ft.

Edelman now has the entire floor of the building between Broome and Dominick streets. The asking price for that space was $43-a-sq.-ft., according to a report in Crain's New York Business. The lease on the new space is for 14 years, expiring the same time as Edelman’s other leases.

The world's No. 1 independent firm has been on a hiring spree in the Big Apple, adding headcount to a tune of 30 percent to reach the 600 mark, Robin Callif of Edelman told Crain’s.

BRIEFS: Los Angeles-based Englander Knabe & Allen and The PR Consulting Group of New York have entered into a partnership to offer crisis and litigation communication services nationally. PRCG is led by attorney James Haggerty, author of “In the Court of Public Opinion.” EK&A handles crisis management, litigation support and financial communications. “The focus of the partnership is on customized litigation and crisis management, not some-off- the-shelf PR plan which uses the same 10 strategies,” said managing partner Harvey Englander. ...Cognito, a Los Angeles-based financial PR firm, has unveiled an analytics service it says gives financial firms a clear picture of their media profile and allows them to track key competitors. Tom Combes, CEO of the firm, said: “All firms have a profile and we are now allowing them to see what it is, how they compare to their competitors and how they can improve.” Pricing starts at $500/month. Info and demo:


New York Area

MWW Group, East Rutherford, N.J./Altec Lansing, audio products, to enhance the brand’s reputation and product awareness among audiophiles and mainstream consumers.

Susan Magrino Agency, New York/China Grill Management, for influencer marketing events for Bar Basque, slated to open in October 2010 at the Eventi Hotel in North Chelsea. The firm has also picked up Oliviers&Co., purveyor of olive oils and artisanal food products from the Mediterranean, for U.S. PR and branding.

Feintuch Communications, New York/Health Club Media Network, Los Angeles-based in-club advertising and marketing program provider, for an integrated strategic comms. campaign.


919 Marketing, Holly Springs, N.C./Team Daniel and The Team Daniel Foundation, support services for people with development disabilities, for marketing strategies, brand development, and media relations campaigns.


BohlsenPR, Indianapolis/The Hoosier Environmental Council; The Timmy Foundation, and Indy Winter Farmers Market, for PR through its inaugural Back2Business program aimed to help organizations “get back to business” by providing 20 hours of free PR.

Mountain West

Trippe & Company, Westminster, Colo./StrongBear, LLC, security software, for capitalization and sales assistance to help the company reach the government market.


Allison & Partners, San Francisco/Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, for national pro bono PR through 2011. The agency said it will donate more than $150,000 in services to the organization throughout the year.

GCI Health, San Francisco/Robert Bosch Healthcare, telehealth systems, as AOR for PR to raise its visibility in the telehealth arena and boost awareness of the need for widespread adoption of its technology, which connects chronically ill patients at home with healthcare providers by remote monitoring of their health status, among other services.

Clearpoint Agency, San Diego/BluFi Direct Mortgage, online lender, to build awareness via media, PR and social media of its no-commission home loan process, and to position the company for growth within the mortgage sector.

Performance PR, San Diego/, adult entertainment, to manage it’s brand, messaging and ongoing PR.


Weber Shandwick, Toronto/Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research, for a pro-bono PR program, including comms. counsel, brand building, issues management, corporate comms., media relations and digital/social media strategy.

— Greg Hazley

Internet Edition, September 15, 2010, Page 6


Business Wire has opened an Austin, Tex., outpost, its fourth city in Texas joining Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.

It is BW’s 31st bureau.

Dylan Frusciano said the Lone Star tate is a “stand-out region for the newswire with clients like Dell, AMD, and Clear Channel.

The Austin and San Antonio teams will be led by Christye Weld, Austin-San Antonio sales manager, leads the Austin team, as well.

Contact info: Business Wire Austin, 510 South Congress, Suite #207, Austin, TX 78704.


Marketwire said it secured new online content partnerships with several Canadian outlets, including the Canadian Business Journal; Hamilton Spectator,; The Petroleum Services Association of Canada; MONEY Canada Limited, and Radio Canada.

Marketwire is owned by Canada's OMERS Private Equity.

RFP: Advertising and marketing for the Audubon Nature Institute, New Orleans, budget - $400K. Deadline: Oct. 29. Document download and info:

EVENTS: PRSA/Richmond will host a Sept. 29 discussion with Southwest senior communications manager Brandy King on crisis management from the perspective of an industry “that has been through drastic changes over the past decade.”

The 11:45 a.m. lunch event is slated for the Ramada Plaza Richmond West. Online registration is at

McDonald’s director of social media Rick Wion will present on the brand connects with customers and drives new sales using mobile social strategies at the Business Development Institute and and PR Newswire Mobile Social Conference in New York Sept. 15 at the Graduate Center of The City University of New York.

The half-day morning conference consists of case study presentations followed by moderated interactive roundtable discussion groups with 8-12 attendees each.

Participants from Park Slope Eye, BlogTalkRadio, 360i, Mediabistro, Porter Novelli, and others will participate. Cost is $200. Event runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Info and registration is at

PRSA/National Capital Chapter 2010 Thoth Awards Gala, Thurs., Sept. 23, at the Willard Inter-Continental Hotel, 1401 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. Cost: $85/members, $105/non-members. Call 703/691-9212 or go to the chapter’s website,, for more info.



Jonathan Zaback, former director of media relations at Ketchum’s Emanate unit, has returned to Ruder Finn, New York, as senior VP and media strategist. He’ll work with account teams in N.Y., D.C., Chicago, San Francisco and L.A. Zaback previously spent several years at the firm and was director of U.S. media relations at Burson-Marsteller.

Matthew Wohl, a 16-year veteran of Proctor & Gamble, to Welch’s, Concord, Mass., as chief marketing officer. At P&G’s Gillette, he lead product development, innovation, new product launches and marketing.

Barbara Cox, director of marketing comms. at Atlas Van Lines, to Bekins Van Lines, Hillside, Ill., as VP of marketing and comms., including oversight of PR, advertising, corporate comms. and corporate identity materials.

Laura Wilkinson, former press secretary for U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, to Ketchum’s public affairs practice in Washington, D.C, as a media strategist. Prior to Feinstein’s press office, she was at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, most recently as deputy director of congressional relations.

Nik See, director of brand planning and strategy, Seidler Bernstein, to HB | Hart-Boillot, Waltham, Mass, as senior brand planner and strategist. Freelancer Brandie Gerrish has joined HB as a senior PR account manager and Ashley Marsh joins its San Antonio office as an A/C.

Kristen Wesley, online social media outreach editor,, to Environics Communications, Washington, D.C., as a digital media specialist.

Joseph Grandmaison, former member of the board of directors of the U.S. Export-Import Bank and ex-head of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, to APCO Worldwide, Washington, D.C., as a member of its international advisory council.

Heather Rose, previously with Communications Strategies Inc., to Green Room PR, Boonton, N.J., as PR manager. Earlier stints included BMC Communications Group and Fleishman-Hillard.

Rafael Sangiovanni, online producer for the Miami Herald, to rbb PR, Miami, as a digital and social media coordinator.


Nathan Ballard and Cheryl Heinonen to co-market leaders for Burson-Marsteller in northern California, based in San Francisco. Heinonen continues as a managing director in B-M’s U.S. corporate practice, and Ballard as an MD in its media practice and issues and crisis group. Jennifer Graham Clary, who was interim market leader for the region at B-M, continues as global technology practice chair.

Keith Donovan to VP, healthcare IT practice, Airfoil PR, Southfield, Mass. Keith Ragland, Jennifer Ristic and Tim Wieland were upped to A/Ms.

Alison Morris, intern at Morrissey & Co., and Marissa Green, director of marketing, PR and social media for CitySquares Online, to The CHT Group, Boston, as A/Cs. Angela Malerba was promoted to A/M.

— Greg Hazley


Internet Edition, September 15, 2010, Page 7


Mark Irion, the head of Dutko Worldwide lobbying/PA firm, has assumed the co-head of Grayling’s global PA and government relations unit.

He shares management duties with Stephen Lock, Grayling’s regional director of the Eurasia region.

U.K.-based Huntsworth acquired Dutko last year in a $33.6M deal with the idea of expanding its D.C. presence and international presence. Grayling, in March, revamped operations, setting up international practice heads to key markets to provide more of an “international mindset.”

Irion’s job is to marry Dutko’s government relations, government markets, research and risk management consulting with Grayling’s PR and PA expertise.

Dutko and Grayling have 70 offices in 40 countries.


Weber Shandwick is providing PR services to the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research, which was founded in 1987 to raise awareness and generate funds for HIV and AIDS research.

The Interpublic operation, on a pro-bono basis, is to do PR, brand building, corporate communications, media relations, digital/social media strategy and issues management.

Greg Power, president of WS-Canada, says the partnership with Canfar is to drive “brand awareness and organizational success in the hopes that together, we can help win the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Canfar, which is in Toronto, has funded about $17M in research projects.


A water utility for the greater San Antonio area is reviewing its PR account with an open RFP process through October.

The work covers strategic comms. planning, crisis comms., community, media and government relations, as well as corporate comms. to maintain the Bexar Metropolitan Water District’s “reputation, enhance its prestige, and present a favorable image” to the 260K people it serves, according to the RFP.

San Antonio-based Connolly & Company has previously handled PR work for the utility, while TX Capitol Consulting Group of Austin worked the government relations beat.

Pitches are due Oct. 8.

Download the RFP at


Sphere Consulting has tapped Paul Atkins, former Securities and Exchange Commission commissioner, as senior partner.

He held the SEC post from 2002-08 and was known as an advocate of smarter regulation based on costs and benefits, decision-making consistency and investor protection.

Atkins represented the SEC during meetings of the U.S./EU Transatlantic Economic Council, World Economic Forum and the Transatlantic Business Dialogue.

Prior to the SEC, Atkins was partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers and its predecessor firm, Coopers & Lybrand. His focus was on financial services firms and issues such as risk management, internal controls and regulatory compliance.

Jim Courtovich is managing director of Sphere.


Goldline International, a large buyer and retailer of gold and silver, has brought in PR and lobbying support as it faces congressional scrutiny over its advice to customers.

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y) is expected to take the company to task over its business practices amid broader hearings about gold sales this month.

Goldline's website touts its "solid reputation."

The company, which advertises on conservative programs like those of Glenn Beck and Mike Huckabee, hired D.C. firm Powell Tate last month and lobbying firm Prime Policy Group last week ahead of the hearings.

The Hill reported that the House Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection Subcommittee will hold a hearing to investigate Goldline for “allegedly overcharging costumers for coins and offering bad investment advice.”

PPG is the WPP-owned lobbying and public affairs unit of Burson-Marsteller, formerly known as BKSH & Associates. Its Sept. 7 lobbying registration says its scope includes all legislative activities affecting the sale and marketing of precious metals products.

Powell Tate senior VP Eric Hoffman is heading the Goldline work for the firm. He told O'Dwyer's that PT was hired about a month ago and is "providing overall communications counsel" to the company. PT is part of Interpublic.

The PPG team includes vice chairman Bryce Harlow, deputy undersecretary at Treasury during the recent Bush administration, and Martin Paone, executive VP for the firm who worked on Capitol Hill for 32 years on the Democratic side.

‘Gold Peddler’ Mounts Defense

Goldline executive VP Scott Carter told “Good Morning America” Sept. 9 that the company offers customers sound investment advice and noted its A-plus rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Weiner has been after the company for months, starting earlier this year when Politco examined its ties to Beck. Weiner said Goldline encourages customers to buy gold coins at inflated prices and has also criticized Beck’s business ties to the company.

“Goldline is little more than a gold peddler posing as an investment advisor, an unfortunate byproduct of the Tea Party movement,” Weiner said in May as he warned consumers of the company.

Goldline said Weiner’s criticism is misstated and said it is committed to the “highest ethical business practices.”

Beck called an ABC report on the company "the biggest spin you've ever seen" and said it is part of a government conspiracy to run the gold industry out of business.


Internet Edition, September 15, 2010, Page 8




Marisa Vallbona, Western district candidate for the board of PR Society of America, has jangled one of its raw nerves by noting the minimal participation of African-Americans, Hispanics and other ethnic groups in the Society.

She calls on the Society to “embrace diverse members and cultures” in a Position Statement to the nominating committee, but adds:

“As long as I’ve been a member of the Society (since 1993), I’ve noticed it has been primarily dominated by a specific type of member. I’m Hispanic and can count on two hands the number of Hispanic members I’ve met in the Society over the last two decades. The same goes for other ethnic groups.”

Vallbona and the other ten candidates pay lip service to the need for racial diversity but ignore the chance to integrate the 2011 board that is staring them in the face—the candidacy of 25-year PR veteran Regina Lewis, chief communications officer of The Potter’s House of Dallas.

Lewis is Far More Qualified

Lewis, a business PR pro, is far more qualified than newbie academic Susan Walton, associate PR professor of Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, who was picked by the nomcom headed by Jeff Julin of nearby Denver.

She has held jobs in nine companies and PR firms since starting in PR in 1986 and has been a member of the Society since 1992.

Walton just joined the Society on Nov. 10, 2005 and did not become active until 2006 when she joined the Strategic Planning Committee. She has advised the Forum student publication of the chapter and was a Silver Anvil judge and site examiner for the “Certification for Education in PR.”

Lewis, who is also active in the Black PR Society of which she is parliamentarian, was director of the Los Angeles chapter in 1993-94. She could certainly teach the board a few things about basic parliamentary principles.

Unless Lewis gets on the 2011 board, it will be all-white for the fourth year in a row.

This is absurd, African-American PR pro Mike Paul has pointed out, at a time when the nation is headed by President Obama.

Only two blacks have ever served on the board in its 63-year history—Debra Miller and Cheryl Procter-Rogers.

We don’t count Ron Owens of Kaiser Permanente because he only lasted five months of a three-year term that started in 2006. He must have felt out of place.

Too Many Academics on Board

The last thing the Society board needs is another academic. Chair next year will be associate Prof. Rosanna Fiske of Florida University. Steven Grant of the National Education Assn. is coming back on the board for another consecutive two-year term (although founders of the Society, fearing takeover by a clique, decreed no director should ever succeed him or herself).

Joining the board will be Asst. Prof. Kirk Hazlett of the 2,000-student Curry College of Belmont, Mass., and Prof. Stephen Iseman of Ohio Northern University.

Five academics on a board of 17 are far too many.

Walton’s Concept of “Diversity”

“Race” is specifically mentioned in the nomcom’s question to candidates on “diversity.”

We couldn’t wait to read how Walton prizes “diversity” when BYU is more than 99% white. There are only 165 blacks among its 34,000 students, 98.5% of whom are members of the Church of the Latter Day Saints.

The Mormons for many years had very negative policies with respect to blacks. From 1849 to 1978 they could not be priests.

Answering the nomcom question on how her leadership style would embrace diversity, Walton cited her “diversity of experience.”

She says she worked in six different U.S. states and lived in Switzerland, managing European Plastics communications for Dow Chemical.

She has also “done business and implemented PR programs all over the world.”

There’s nothing in the statement about racial integration.

McCormick Confuses Ethnicity with Race

Chair Gary McCormick, answering a question by an O’Dwyer reporter Aug. 10 in Lexington, Ky., said Lewis’s “single criterion of ethnicity” was not sufficient enough to win her a nomination.

McCormick does not know the difference between “ethnicity” and “race” which are regarded as “separate and distinct entities” by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Society, in a bald affront to blacks, Hispanics and other ethnic groups, last December closed the Multicultural Section because it had only 73 members and was costing too much money.

Director Lynn Appelbaum of CCNY said a 2008 survey of Society members found they give “a very low priority” to diversity issues and that the number of Multicultural section members paying an annual fee of $60 each was “far below the 200 minimum.”

Prof. Richard Waters of North Carolina State University said, “Taking voting away from minorities/multicultural members sounds just like the 1800s.” The section lost its vote in the Assembly.

Kerri Allen of Revolucion, New York Hispanic brand PR firm, a leader of the section, blasted the move.

Vallbona Discusses Issues

Vallbona did her best to address 11 Society issues that this website and four Fellows of the Society have raised with the candidates.

Asked why the Society can’t offer members a PDF of the members’ directory, she said McCormick told her that members don’t want their names to be available to vendors.

We countered with the observation that the contact points of reporters and editors are public record and we are bombarded with communications from PR people. She agreed we had a point.

On the issue of the “secret” Assembly list, she said that she could get it if she wished from a chapter delegate but could not give it to us because that would be “unethical.”

On questions like audiocasting the Assembly, providing transcripts of it, allowing proxies in the Assembly when Robert’s Rules forbids them, removing all but seven staff names from the website, getting two extensions on IRS Form 990, and McCormick unilaterally deciding that direct elections is a dead issue (although ordered to report on this to the Assembly), she said we would have to consult McCormick, Yann or COO Bill Murray (who is not a member of the Society).

They almost never answer any of our questions and close to 100% of our e-mails to them are ignored. We can’t remember the last time we talked to Yann or Murray on the phone. Yann refused Paul’s efforts last year to set up a lunch.

Vallbona says Philadelphia got the national conference in 2013 after just having it in 2007, because the Philadelphia chapter made a better pitch than the New York chapter.

— Jack O'Dwyer


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