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Internet Edition, October 6, 2010, Page 1


Ogilvy PR Worldwide has picked up a contract worth up to $26M funded under the federal stimulus law with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Dept. of Health and Human Services research unit charged with improving healthcare in the U.S.

Ogilvy’s Washington, D.C., office was tabbed to create a “publicity center” to market comparative effectiveness research reports and related materials to various audiences, including healthcare providers and consumers.

The contract, which could stretch three years, is funded with $18M in stimulus funds in the first year, plus two $8.4M option years.

It was awarded Sept. 30 following a request for quotes in May.

Funding comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Ketchum picked up two big contracts earlier this year to handle marketing communications supporting electronic medical records as part of the stimulus law’s funding of healthcare technology.


David Bolger, former global PR director for UPS, has joined Burson-Marsteller's D.C. office as managing director of its PA practice. He reports to practice chair head Mike Lake.

Bolger handled public policy, media relations, crisis and internal/external communications for the world’s largest package delivery service.

Earlier, he served as VP-communications for the U.S. Telecom Assn, representing the needs of more than 1,200 local phone companies.

He worked as PA director for the Federal Railroad Administration and on the staff of former Senator now Vice President Joe Biden.

Most recently, Bolger was president of Executive Briefing, consulting top executives on media, crisis and policy issues for U.S. and European Union-based firms.

Shannon McAleavey, a five-year public affairs and PR veteran at World Disney World Resort, is stepping down as VP of PA. McAleavey joined Disney World in 2005 from Darden Restaurants and was elevated to VP/PA three years ago.

“In the near term, I plan on spending more time with my two young kids as I get ready for the next phase in my career,” she said in a statement.


Edelman has acquired Vollmer PR, a Texas heavyweight, in a move that doubles the No. 1 independent firm’s stake in the Lone Star State.

The deal caps a 20-year courtship, according to Helen Vollmer, who was initially contacted by Dan Edelman a dozen years ago by Edelman’s former U.S. chief Pam Talbot.

Nancy Ruscheinski, Edelman COO/U.S., contacted Vollmer about a year ago and “things just fell into place.”

It’s been a “love story,” added Vollmer.

Vollmer’s Houston base becomes home of Edelman’s new southwest region (Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, New Mexico and Kansas) with more than $9M in revenues and 50 staffers. Edelman folds Vollmer’s Austin, Dallas and New York operations into its own offices.

Vollmer, who founded the firm in 1981, is now Edelman/southwest president, while COO Allen Caudle takes the regional executive VP/crisis and issues slot. She said her firm’s strength in the Texas consumer market complements Edelman’s corporate orientation.

Edelman didn’t have a Houston office before ironing out the deal.

Vollmer PR’s client roster includes the City of Houston, Texas Tourism, Travelocity, Sabre Holdings, Air Liquide America, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and Comcast Houston.

Vollmer also cited Edelman’s role as an independent firm, “not beholden to Wall Street,” as a factor in concluding the deal. Richard Edelman told O’Dwyer’s that Vollmer is a “great fit” for his firm as it continues to look for small to mid-sized firms to acquire.


Don Bates, veteran PR counselor and educator, debating in a PRSA e-group on the topic of whether APR should be required for service on the national board, said PR skills are best demonstrated on the “playing field,” such as taking part in public discussion, rather than taking a computer-based exam.

Bates, currently teaching advanced writing at The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management, cited his experience as a Little League baseball coach and former football coach.

(Continued on page 7)


Internet Edition, October 6, 2010, Page 2


The Federal Trade Commission hit pomegranate juice marketer POM Wonderful with an administrative complaint on Monday over health claims made in its marketing, charges which the company says are “completely unwarranted.”

The FTC on Sept. 27 charged POM and sister corporation, Roll International, with making false and unsubstantiated claims that its products – Pomegranate Juice and POMx supplements – prevent or treat heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction.

The commission said ads online, in stores and in publications like Fitness and the New York Times violated federal law by making the deceptive claims.

“Any consumer who sees POM Wonderful products as a silver bullet against disease has been misled,” said David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Contrary to POM Wonderful’s advertising, the available scientific information does not prove that POM Juice or POMx effectively treats or prevents these illnesses.”

Daniel Portolan, who handles corporate communications for POM, said in a statement that the company “fundamentally disagrees” with the FTC and pointed to extensive scientific research and its “First Amendment rights to communicate” the results in pushing back against the FTC action.

Sitrick and Company helped POM fend off a boycott drive by PETA in 2007.

POM says it has provided more than $34 million to support scientific research on pomegranate over the past decade. The administrative complaint precedes a hearing before an administrative law judge in eight months.


APEC 2011 Hawaii, the planning committee for Hawaii’s hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders Week in November 2011, has issued an RFP to develop a communications program to support the high-profile event.

The RFP is not being distributed electronically and is available only for pick-up by an agency or representative in Honolulu at the Hawaii Tourism Authority or the East-West Center.

President Barack Obama tapped his native Hawaii as the site of the meeting at last year’s event in Singapore. Heads of state, ministers and other representatives attend the annual APEC meetings to work out trade and economic issues.

The event is expected to draw more than 10,000 people to Honolulu, along with global media coverage. The 2011 confab is the first in the U.S. since 1993’s meeting at Blake Island, Wash.

The RFP calls for pitches to produce and implement a strategic marketing, PR and communications program for the host committee. Information on the RFP can be obtained from [email protected].


Glover Park Group has inked a one-year $400K contract with South Korea’s Washington embassy to handle legislative and government affairs work.

According to the contract, GPG is to assist the Embassy on a “reasonable best effort basis.” As independent contractor, the firm is not to “hold itself out to the public as an employee, agent, partner, spokesperson or representative of the Korean Embassy.”

The firm’s $33,333 a-month fee does not include costs for website development and ongoing maintenance fees. The first military talks between North and South Korea since the sinking of a South Korea warship broke off last week.


The California commission that represents more than 200 cut flower growers in the Golden State is reviewing its PR and promotion account covering the next three years as it looks to bolster market share amid entrenched competition from South America.

The 20-year-old California Cut Flower Commission issued an RFP on Sept. 21 for an agency to work alongside commission staff to produce and implement a PR plan for the 2011-13 marketing years. It is taking proposals through Oct. 20.

Fleishman-Hillard has worked with the group over the last few years. On the radar is a firm with experience in the agriculture space which can incorporate its government affairs and other programs in a PR plan.

Download the RFP at


Atomic PR has scooped up Saatchi & Saatchi S North America, the consulting firm that advises companies on corporate social responsibility, sustainability, citizenship and social good initiatives.

Judah Schiller, S&SSNA CEO, expects Atomic’s “analytics-enhanced planning and expertise in the social media arena” with help bolster the level of dialog around issues that impact business, communities and individuals.

Schiller has worked on projects for General Mills, Wal-Mart and Wellpoint.

Andy Getsey, Atomic’s CEO, told O’Dwyer’s that the San Francisco-based firm has “good hooks” into the sustainability world earned by engagements with Echelon, GreenBuilders (developer) and Grid Alternatives (group solar power).

Saatchi & Saatchi is part of Publicis Groupe, parent company of MS&L Group.


Karen Tripp, who led corporate communications at L-3 Communications, has been tapped for the vacant executive VP slot at The Hartford Financial Services Group.

Connie Weaver left as SVP of marketing and communications at Hartford in April for a similar role at fund manager TIAA-CREF.

Tripp, who is relocating to Hartford from Cincinnati, reports to CEO Liam McGee with responsibility for advertising, executive and employee comms., media relations and philanthropy.


Internet Edition, October 6, 2010, Page 3


Yahoo has been rocked following executive exits including Hilary Schneider, head of U.S. operation.

Schneider took command of Yahoo's North American sales operations earlier this year after Joanne Bradform left for Demand Media.

CEO Carol Bartz sent an e-mail to say that Schneider is "moving on to the next phase of her career" but will stay on for a transition.

David Ko, senior VP audience, mobile and local/North America and Jimmy Pitaro, VP-media also are leaving the company.

In her email, Bartz told employees to “stay calm,” adding that Yahoo has “a good plan in place.” Bartz wrote that she is “more fired up than ever and can roll with the punches.”


Hugo Lindgren, former executive editor at Bloomberg Businessweek, will become editor of the New York Times Magazine on Oct. 25.

He will take over for Gerry Marzorati, who will oversee special projects and business ventures for the NYT.

Lindgren handled the redesign of Businessweek after it was sold by McGraw-Hill. He also was an editor at George, senior editor at New York and a NYT mag alum. Lindgren created “The Way We Live Now” section of the Times’ glossy.

Bill Keller, executive editor of the NYT, announced the news via memo to staffers in which he praised Lindgren as “a gifted editor who has helped breathe new life into two magazines and is fully ready to run his own.”

Candidates were considered both within and without the NYT and Keller “enjoyed much discussion of what this journalistic treasure should be in its next incarnation.”

Keller thanked Marzorati for “keeping the magazine on form during the successor search.”

Marzorati’s new role is the “newsroom's master entrepreneur.”


CNN’s Anderson Cooper signed a deal with Warner Brothers for a daytime show that will cover events, social issues, pop culture, celebrities and human interest stories when it hits the air in the fall of 2011.

He will continue to host “Anderson Cooper 360” that airs on CNN at 10 p.m. Cooper said in a statement that he remains committed to CNN and will be with it for years to come. Warner Bros. and CNN are part of Time Warner.

Cooper’s daytime show will benefit from the wind-down of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” that will go off the air in September.

Ken Werner, president of Warner Brothers Domestic TV Distribution, noted that next fall “begins a transition period when long established franchises are leaving the air and making way for a new generation of shows.”

He considers Cooper “one of the most distinctive voices of the next generation of television.”


News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch told Congress that his Fox News operation is not anti-immigrant following his testimony on Sept. 29. He was challenged by California Democrats Linda Sanchez and Maxine Waters.

Murdoch called Fox “misunderstood,” adding that “I have no problem in supporting what I'm saying today on Fox News nor would the great number of commentators on Fox News.”

The Australian-born executive supports broad immigration reform and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

He believes it’s “nonsense to talk about expelling 12M people. Not only is it impractical, it is cost prohibitive.”


AOL has bought TechCrunch, the technology news/opinion blog, for more than $25M in its latest move to offer its own content. The deal includes Engadget, the gadget blog.

TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington says the company generates $10M in annual revenues and $3.5M in profit. It attracts 3.8M unique visitors a month, while Engadget gets 7.3M visitors.

Arrington plans to stick around at TechCrunch and promised that AOL will “not impose its bureaucracy” on his operation.


The Magazine Publishers of America is being rebranded as MPA-The Association of Magazine Media to play up the print evolution to web and mobile devices.

Nina Link, president & CEO, says the new moniker “clearly defines members as magazine media companies whose brands and content engage consumers across multiple platforms.”

It also reflects the fact that publishers now operate on a global scale since digital content engage consumers anywhere.

The name change is the second switch since the organization was founded as the Magazine Publishers Association in 1919.


Elle Décor, the shelter book of Hachette Filipacchi Media, has added a trio to its editorial team.

Ingrid Abramovitch, senior editor at Workman Publishing’s Artisan Books, takes the editor at large post. She also served as deputy features at House & Garden and senior editor at Martha Stewart Living and Success magazines.

Allison Mezzafonte, who was with AOL as senor home & garden editor for and, is now Elle Décor's online executive editor. She also did a stint at Hearst’s Country Living.

Caryn Prime, assistant managing editor at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s Whole Living, assumes the managing editor slot.

She spent nine years at Time Inc.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, October 6, 2010, Page 4


Consumer Watchdog has paid for a digital ad in New York’s Times Square, blasting Google for denying the consumer advocacy group’s challenge for a debate over the search giant’s online privacy policies.

The Jumbotron ad displays an image of a chicken labeled with Google’s logo and asks: “Why won’t Google debate your privacy with Consumer Watch?”

Jamie Court, founder of CW, notes that Google is discussing “new frontiers of ad exploitation” in presentations during last week’s AdWeek.

The company is “sponsoring political discussions at Washington events, but won’t engage in a meaningful discussions of the company’s most fundamental issue: online privacy,” according to Court.

A CW poll in July found that 80 percent of respondents support a “Do Not Track Me” bill patterned on the Federal Trade Commission’s “Do Not Call” list aimed at telemarketers.

There is almost universal support (86 percent of respondents) for an “anonymous button” to prevent marketers/research companies from tracking online purchases. CW did score one victory over Google.

The search company initially refused to air ads criticizing Google through its “AdWords” program, but then dropped that opposition after CW penned a letter of protest to Google CEO Eric Schmidt.


“Even in these days of pervasive social media, building a solid and lasting relationship with the press lies at the heart of the practice of public relations,” says Fraser Seitel, author of “The Practice of Public Relations,” in the new 11th edition of the textbook.

The statement appears on the first page of the 480-page edition published by Prentice-Hall, a unit of Pearson Education.

More than 250,000 copies of the textbook are in print. First edition was in 1982.

Seitel has written a twice-monthly column for this website for the past seven years. He is the only PR textbook author whose latest views are available online, often within a day or two of the eruption of a crisis or PR issue.

New material in the 11th edition includes an interview with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and a new chapter on “Launching a Career,” part of which describes 11 websites for job-hunting. Each of the 20 chapters has a mini-case history involving PR ethics.

11 New Case Histories

The textbook, which pioneered use of PR case histories, has 11 new ones including crises involving Jet Blue, the auto industry bailout, Michael Vick, and Don Imus.

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, who wrote that he lied on behalf of President George W. Bush, is criticized by Seitel for being disloyal to an employer.

Shorter interviews are with Al Neuharth, founder of Gannett; Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman; Ray Jordan of Johnson & Johnson, and John Stauber, founder of the Center for Media & Democracy, a critic of PR.

Stauber says the job of reporters is to make the work of PR people as visible as possible and eliminate “hidden persuaders.”

Poor Communications Aided Financial Mess

A foreword by David Rockefeller, former CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank – where Seitel worked from 1977-92, rising to SVP and director of PA – says that “Opaque, confused, and inadequate communications by business and financial leaders characterized the 2008 financial crisis.”

“Unfortunately,” Rockefeller added, “their political brethren have not done much better in explaining what happened and what they are going to do about it. As a result all our institutions are under unprecedented stress and scrutiny.”

Rockefeller says, “The dissemination of principled policies by seasoned PR professionals will allow the rest of us to understand the basic issues and lead to the formulation of more appropriate and effective policies.” Rockefeller said he learned to trust Seitel’s instincts and abilities at Chase and “continues to rely on his advice to this day.”

Rockefeller is the son of John D. Rockefeller Jr. who hired Ivy Lee for PR in the early 20th century. Lee, says Seitel, “deserves recognition as the real father of PR.” Lee opened a press bureau for Standard Oil in 1906 with the promise that its function would be to “answer all press questions most cheerfully.”

Social Media Covered

A chapter on the internet and social media includes an interview with Internet specialist Hoa Loranger, co-author of “Prioritizing Web Usability.”

She advises internet users to “keep it short and sweet” and avoid terminology or jargon. “Writers often overwrite and choose hype over simplicity,” she says, adding: “Sophisticated verbiage makes people work hard to find the information they need.”

She advises word count of “about half of that used in conventional writing” and says the worst thing a PR pro can do is confront a reader with “a large wall of text.”

Book Is Dedicated to Weingarten

Seitel dedicates his 11th edition to Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten, who excoriated PR pros in columns that ran May 20 and Nov. 25, 2007.

The initial column gave some of the same criticisms as Loranger. In a second column on PR Nov. 25, 2007, Weingarten complained of having to spend the first 15 minutes of each day deleting PR e-mail messages.

The third right-hand page of the new Seitel book has this inscription:

“Dedicated to Gene Weingarten, Washington Post columnist and avowed enemy of public relations, who lacked the courtesy to respond to four e-mails and one FedEx request for an interview for this book. Nonetheless, I still love him.”

Internet Edition, October 6, 2010, Page 5


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services plans to solicit agency pitches this fall to tap a new pool of PR and advertising agencies which it will use to assign tasks for up to the next seven years.

The process, known in government procurement parlance as IDIQ, or indefinite delivery indefinite quantity, will award open-ended pacts – starting at one year, with six year-long options – to four to six agencies.

Ketchum, Ogilvy PR Worldwide, Weber Shandwick and Porter Novelli were given five-year IDIQ pacts in a review in 2006. GCI, now folded into Cohn & Wolfe, and Academy for Educational Development, have previously had IDIQ status with the federal Medicare agency.

CMS said a formal and fully open solicitation will be issued in late October or early November.


San Francisco’s redevelopment authority has called for pitches to develop a new communications plan to improve ties with the community in both the city and San Francisco County.

An RFP issued Sept. 27 calls for a PR plan to reach a “diverse public constituency,” from the general public to businesses, nonprofits and government entities.

The budget for the project is estimated at $100K.

A non-mandatory pre-proposal meeting is slated for Oct. 14 and pitches are due by Nov. 1.

Traina PR has recently worked with the 62-year-old redevelopment authority, taking over assignments after the 2009 death of well-known city PR maven Ave Montague. Download the RFP at


The University of Colorado is looking to hire a firm to develop a strategic communications plan for its new $30M Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, seen as the anchor in the regional development of a “Silicon Valley of Health & Wellness.”

Officials broke ground on the new center Sept. 7 in Aurora, Colo. The center is part of the university’s Denver-based medical school and will focus on treating individuals as well as corporate wellness programs.

A key goal is for the center – slated for a spring 2012 opening – to serve as an anchor of a larger “wellness campus” and eventually foster a health and wellness industry in the region akin to Silicon Valley in northern California.

An RFP issued Sept. 28 calls for a PR plan to reach both internal (students, researchers, medical pros) and external audiences (the public, companies, government agencies and funding sources) at the local, regional and national level. The university said it plans to award a one-year contract with four option years.

University procurement official David Turner said he’ll take any questions ([email protected]; 303/764-3434). Proposals are due Nov. 2.

Download the RFP at

RFP: Maryland county wants qualifications from PR agencies to plan public outreach efforts as it installs elevated water tanks countywide. Download document at


New York Area

Allison & Partners, New York/Louis Hernandez, Jr., Open Solutions chairman and CEO, for PR support of his new book, “Too Small to Fail: How the Financial Industry Crisis Changed the World’s Perceptions,” following a competitive search process led by Lovallo Communications Group.

Alison Brod PR, New York/Be&D, handbags, for PR.

Nancy J. Friedman PR, New York/El Convento; La Concha upscale beach resort; Courtyard Isla Verde Beach Resort, and newly renovated Doubletree San Juan. The firm has also been tapped to launch the Condado Vanderbilt luxury hotel in spring 2011 in Puerto Rico.

R&J Public Relations, Bridgewater, N.J./Raritan Bay Medical Center, and American Properties Realty, home builder, both as AOR for PR.


SPIN, Baltimore/RL 52 Style, apparel line developed by pro football player Ray Lewis; Delmarva Site Development, excavating contractor; Schoenhardt Architecture + Interior Design (Tariffville, Conn.), and TND Planning Group, sustainable community design consulting.

Arketi Group, Atlanta/Aderant, software for law and professional services firms, as AOR for marketing and PR.


Martin E. Janis & Company, Chicago/Z3 Enterprises, content producer for film, TV, online and mobile platforms which recently acquired VoIP provider Usee, for PR. Z3 was formerly Bibb Corp.

Mountain West

GroundFloor Media Communications, Denver/LiveWell Colorado, for media relations and social media, and The Medical Center of Aurora, community hospital, to update and refine messages and conduct media and message training for the hospital’s leaders and physicians.

Turner PR, Denver/Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail, Capella Telluride and Moonlight Basin Ski Resort, for PR.


Atomic PR, San Francisco/shopkick, location-based shopping application, as AOR including strategic consultation, event management, speakers bureau, classical PR services in print, broadcast, and online media relations and assorted digital/social services. Atomic handled shopkick’s company launch in August.

HPA Strategies, San Francisco/Unified Grocers, for government relations representation at the federal, state and local levels, counsel on key legislative, community and stakeholder issues, and strategic communications. HPA president Kevin Herglotz is a former senior VP of public affairs and government relations for Safeway.


Hanmer MS&L India, Mumbai/NIKE; Life Insurance Corporation of India; HCL Technologies; United Technologies Corporation, and Fortis Healthcare.

— Greg Hazley

Internet Edition, October 6, 2010, Page 6


Video and digital PR services firm Latergy has forged a deal with Onstream Media to provide webcast and encoding services that let clients take charge of online video production and distribution.

Latergy president Larry Thomas acknowledged it may seem “counter-intuitive” for a production company to offer a do-it-yourself alternative like Onstream's iEncode service, but he noted: “I’ve learned that you cannot outrun technology. My goal is to help companies and associations of all sizes meet the demand for online video.”

Thomas said the service makes online video more affordable and accessible, but added that, ideally, video and webcast content should be professionally produced when possible.

Onstream’s software supports interactive features like polling, slides, Q&A and registration, and clips can be streamed live and on-demand.

Applications run from training and sales support to webinars and events.

Thomas, a former PR Newswire and Medialink exec, said unlimited annual usage costs less than $25K. He's at


Monitoring giant VMS has signed JetBlue Airways as a client of its new InSight software platform for monitoring and analysis.

JetBlue cited the service's data mining capabilities and real-time content as key to the selection.

“We need to be able to track our coverage, and that of our competitors, across all media types quickly and easily,” noted Alison Croyle, manager of corporate communications at JetBlue.


Social media software developer Engage121, the former eNR Services, has aligned with BurrellesLuce to provide its services via BL's WorkFlow portal, introduced last month.

In Late September, Norwalk, Conn.-based Engage121 kicked off Enterprise, a SM monitoring and engagement application.

Engage said it tracks more than 200,000 blogs, along with social and traditional media and allows clients to interact with individuals on such platforms.


PR Newswire has tapped Garry Durston, a marketing sector veteran, as marketing communications director for the EMEA region.

Durston had been head of digital media at advertising agency Dewynters and previously held senior marketing posts at Time Out (commercial marketing director), Visit Britain, AMX Digital and D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles.

Lisa Ashworth, CEO PR Newswire Europe cited his experience in digital and the international market.

She said: “As our clients' needs change and the lines between PR and marketing continue to blur, Garry's appointment significantly enhances our ability to prepare our clients to take advantage of new opportunities.”



Tej Herring, founder of boutique film and TV publicity shop THPR, to Rogers & Cowan, Los Angeles, as a VP. She brings clients like Zachary Levi and Joshua Gomez (“Chuck”) and Mark Moses (“Mad Men”).

Kim Myers, recently with NewsPRos, to Arbitron, New York, senior media relations manager, a new post as the company’s primary press and media contact. She was previously with Brainerd Comms.

Ally Berry and Suki Miller to Thompson & Co. PR, Anchorage, Alaska, as A/Cs. Berry works out of the firm’s New York office to promote Alaskan tourism, while Miller is in Anchorage.

Claire Kunzman, A/E, Y Partnership, to Cheryl Andrews Marketing Communications, Coral Gables, Fla., as senior A/E.

Les Freed, a CBS News and PC Magazine veteran, to Star2Star Communications, Sarasota, Fla., as director of media relations.

Ginny Boland, formerly of Feinstein Kean Healthcare, to MedThink Communications, Raleigh, N.C., as manager, PR. Dawn Crawford, director of comms. at the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition, joins as manager, social media.

Katie Cycan, senior A/E, Crier Communications, to JS² Communications, Los Angeles, as an A/S. Also in L.A., Monica Pallan, an AA/E at Porter Novelli, joins as an A/E, along with Kat Nguyen (A/E) and Kurtis Ovesen (AA/E). In New York, the firm has added Elizabeth Cahill, as an A/D, Brodeur alum Rachel Colley as a senior A/E, and Cynthia Patnode as an A/AE.

Dana Stone, a GolinHarris and First Data veteran, to Dovetail Solutions, Denver, as director of client services. Tyler Lyons, who worked in Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien’s office, joins as manager of client services.

Jason Meyers, director of PR for Desert Schools Federal Credit Union, to Mindspace, Tempe, Ariz., as director of PR. He was previously director of marketing communications for the Heard Museum.


Sydney Steinhardt to associate director of comms., Fordham University’s news and media relations bureau. Joseph McLaughlin to associate director of internal comms./editor of Inside Fordham; Janet Faller Sassi to senior staff writer, and Gina Vergel to staff writer/media relations coordinator. All report to Robert Howe, director of communications.

— Greg Hazley


Internet Edition, October 6, 2010, Page 7


“I can assure you,” he said in a posting Sept. 27, “that the criterion for success in sports is performance, not a certificate for passing a test in a particular sport's theory and practice.”

Tim Russert told the 2007 conference of the Society that the job of PR pros is to give “hard answers to tough questions” of reporters.

Recent PR practice, especially evident at the PR Society, has been to minimize the press relations part of PR jobs.

Stephanie McFarland, an Assembly delegate from Indianapolis, posted Sept. 30 that a study of practitioners found that the average practitioner spends only 5% of his or her time on “media relations.”

The study she referred to was made by the Universal Accreditation Board among about 1,500 PR people when the APR exam was being revised in 2003.

Said McFarland, who is PR director, Indiana Dept. of Revenue: “So the ‘journalist in residence’ practice of PR-of knowing how to write a good news release, give a good interview to the media, and be merely persuasive-has become obsolete. PR pros are so much more today…”

Commenting on the UAB’s 5% finding, Bates told this NL that every study he has ever seen places media relations as the most important function of a PR pro.

The latest edition of Fraser Seitel's The Practice of Public Relations says “Building a solid relationship with the press lies at the heart of the practice of PR.”

No chapters of the book are recommended in the 150-page APR Study Guide nor does the book make the Guide’s “short list” of recommended texts.

Echoing McFarland’s sentiments is that the Guide only gives three pages to media relations and says only 5% of the questions in the computer-based exam are on that subject.

No Binding Chapter Votes Being Taken

Delegate Debra Bethard-Caplick, of Dialectic PR, Chicago, posted Sept. 29 that “The (APR) arguments have been presented, the information in most cases are being relayed, discussed and voted on at the local chapter, section and district level, and the vote (at the Assembly) will happen.”

The arguments in the sequestered e-group cannot be relayed by delegates to non-delegates unless such delegates want to face prosecution by the Society for breaking a legal agreement that has been circulated (if they signed such an agreement).

There are no formal, binding “votes” being taken at any chapter that this NL knows of (meaning secret ballot voting supervised by an outside service). The Boston chapter, for instance, “polled” its members and found 60% want to remove the APR rule. But the board is only taking that poll under advisement and will make its own decision.

APR ‘Foxes’ at Assembly ‘Hen House’

Bates also said that “the Assembly pretty much represents the fox guarding the hen house door.” [APRs comprised 72% of the 2009 Assembly-editor's note].

Bethard-Caplick found this remark “insulting.”

She posted: “Insulting the delegates who have put in considerable time and energy into being a delegate is not the way to persuade them to support one's position on this issue. It’s bad enough to have to put up with flak from O’Dwyer and his perpetual temper tantrum against the Society and the Assembly-we don't need to resort to internal fighting and name calling that does nothing to resolve this issue.”

APRs Defy Own Ethics

A lawyer told Bates that APRs appear to be ignoring “Professional Standards Advisory PS-10” of July 2009 whose title is “Phantom Experience: Inflating Resumes, Credentials and Capabilities.”

“Inflated resumes, credentials, documentation and capabilities are a growing problem in American industry and commerce these days,” says the advisory.

The website of the Universal Accreditation Board says it is unethical for an APR to “imply that lack of APR in any way affects a competing professional's competence.” Those who violate the rule can have their APRs removed by the UAB.

By denying non-APRs the right to run for national office the APRs are saying they are better than the non-APRs, said several senior members.

H.Q. ‘Cleansed’ of PR Pros in 1980

Bates was on the staff of the PR Society in 1980 when Patrick Jackson became president.

Jackson’s philosophy with reporters was “duck ’em,” “screw ’em,” and “go direct” (to target audiences). He believed that h.q. staff should be nearly 100% association careerists. From 1980-94, the only PR staffer was Donna Peltier, who was kept under tight control.

Jack O’Dwyer of this NL only lunched with her three times in ten years and each time COO Betsy Kovacs was present.

All PR pros left the staff in 1980 by one route or another including Bates, the first head of professional development; educational director Chris Teahan, and librarian Mary Smith, who retired.

Rea Smith, who had been COO, was shifted to COO of the Society Foundation and given an office away from h.q. She was not allowed to visit h.q. Smith, whose deceased husband, Shirley, had also worked on the Society staff, lived by herself and had only distant relatives. She was found dead in her bathtub at the age of 63 on May 17, 1981 by a Society staffer who said there were signs she committed suicide.

Bates also noted that “95% or more” of senior PR executives do not have APR after their names and this has helped to drive them away from the Society.

Corporate executives formed the Arthur W. Page Society in 1982 and counselors formed the Council of PR Firms in 1998.

The educational Institute of the Society broke away from it in 1989 claiming it was hobbled in fund-raising and leadership by the rule that all Institute directors had to be APR.

The Institute for PR had revenues of $747,700 in 2009 while the Society Foundation's revenues for 2008 (latest year available) were $179,584. The IPR moved to the University of Florida in Gainesville although the other major PR groups remained in New York (PR Society, Page, CPRF and PR Seminar).


Internet Edition, October 6, 2010, Page 8




The bylaw of PR Society of America that bars non-accredited members from holding national office appears to violate the ethical code of the Universal Accreditation Board.

The website of the UAB says APRs “cannot imply the lack of APR in any way affects a competing professional's competence.”

This observation was made Sept. 30 in a Society e-group posting by Michael McDougall, VP, corporate communications and PA, Bausch & Lomb, Rochester.

He asks, “Does excluding non-APR members from national board roles in effect imply a lack of competence? Are we upholding the UAB guidelines in practice? If not, then what stands in the way of non-APRs serving the Society in board leadership positions?”

He notes the UAB also says that “An individual can have APR revoked for improper usage per these usage guidelines.”

The APRs in the e-group who want no change in the rule say they are better than non-APRs in several ways.

APRs say non-APRs have not shown the same “commitment” as APRs to the Society’s “own credential” or to the “professional development” that APR represents.

Non-APRs are also charged with failing to show “that one is truly dedicated to the profession,” says one posting.

Such remarks imply that non-APRs are unmotivated, lazy, and disloyal to their own organization and the industry in general.

McDougall says that he and another Rochester chapter delegate, Christopher Veronda of Eastman Kodak, who was on the Society board in 2007-08, will both vote in support of the amendment that would let non-APRs on the board.

Argument Ignored so Far

The argument of McDougall is being ignored by those who want to keep non-APRs off the board.

Also ignored is advice of the American Society of Assn. Executives that groups like the PR Society and IABC must not put too much emphasis on their accrediting programs lest they become liable for misbehavior or poor performance by accredited members.

Groups that “accredit, certify or credential some of its members or non-members encounter a host of legal issues,” lawyer Robert Portman told an ASAE meeting Dec. 5-7, 1999 in Indianapolis.

He presented a 21-page paper on the subject.

Not making a dent in the position of the keep-non-APRs-off-the-board faction is the Society’s own survey of 750 members in 2008 that found that 84% of members want any paid up member to be able to run for the board.

Another finding that is ignored is the “Leadership Briefing” of Feb. 20, 2009, that said, “Most associations allow any voting member in good standing to run for their boards.”

A large majority of the postings in the Society e-group on the APR proposal by the Committee for a Democratic PRSA are against it.

Roll Call Votes Needed at Assembly

Assembly delegates, if they are to truly represent the members and not just their own interests, should demand that all votes be roll call and the results made available within a few minutes.

The numbered electronic voting devices are set up to do that but arrangements must be made in advance so this is possible on the day of the Assembly.

There has been only one roll call vote in the Assembly since the devices were introduced in 1999-the vote allowing non-APRs in the Assembly that was taken in 2004.

Non-APRs were allowed in the Assembly by a vote of 181-83.

Since a two-thirds margin was needed, the bylaw only passed by a margin of six votes.

Members did not get to see the actual voting record until nearly two months later.

Paul Wetzel of the Boston chapter had proposed taking the roll call vote at the start of the meeting.

It should have been done far in advance so the staff could have made arrangements to print out and circulate on the floor of the Assembly who voted what way.

A major mystery of last year is how 56 proxy votes were voted. Only a few insiders know the answer.

That should not happen again this year.

Delegates Should Use Podium

Society leaders speak from a stage looking down on the delegates but force delegates to speak from the floor looking up at the board.

Many fellow delegates just see the backs of the heads of delegates who are “addressing the chair.”

Any delegate who dares to address the other delegates is quickly hit with the demand, “Address the chair!”

That is false advice that the Society’s parliamentarian customarily does not contradict.

Robert’s Rules, on page 23, says, “Members address only the chair, or address each other through the chair."

This means a delegate can say, “Mr. or Ms. Chair” as a courtesy, and then address the delegates directly.

Delegates should be able to use the mikes at the podium just like the leaders do.

Another problem with the aisle mikes is that many delegates are not used to talking on mikes and fail to speak closely enough to them.

Some delegates fail to identify themselves fully by name and chapter.

Even delegates with normal hearing have problems hearing the delegates in the aisles.

It’s about time leaders decided that a “best practice” is giving delegates equal access to the podium. The meeting is supposed to be of, by and for the delegates and not the board.

Under Robert’s, it is the board that is supposed to report to the delegates and not vice versa, as it is at the Society.

The “assemblies” of lawyers, doctors and CPAs all are the “ultimate authority” in these groups and tell their boards what to do.

This 2010 Assembly should definitely not approve a “hard landing” at 5 p.m. because it will take a two-thirds vote to overturn it.

The Assembly could show its independence by electing its own chair for the meeting and setting no adjournment whatever. It can just remain in session indefinitely.

— Jack O'Dwyer


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