Edition, November 24, 2010, Page 1
MERGES WITH PSI
& Knowlton has announced it is merging with powerhouse
sister WPP lobbying shop, Public Strategies Inc., a government
relations firm with 175 staffers in Austin, Dallas, Mexico
City and Washington, D.C.
Martin, founder and chairman of PSI, becomes executive chairman
of the combined entity that springs to life on Jan. 1.
Paul Taafe assumes the global CEO slot, while PSI CEO Dan
Bartlett, a former counselor to George W. Bush, becomes
CEO of H&K USA and remains at the helm of PSI.
firm will retain its brand for the immediate future in the
operation with 2,300 staffers in 44 countries.
TIERNEY RE-ENTERS PR
Brian Tierney, the Philadelphia
PR maven who tried to turn around the citys top daily
newspapers, has moved back into the PR game.
Tierney, who was ousted
as the newspaper group CEO in April after it filed for bankruptcy,
has started Brian Communications Group, a King of Prussia,
Pa.-based holding company for Brian PR and digital marketing
shop Realtime Media, the latter being an acquisition.
I have a rather
unique background and Im finding that CEOs, corporate
boards and top communications officers are seeking out this
type of counsel, Tierney said.
His previous agency, Tierney,
continues to carry his name and Interpublic owns the rights
to the name Tierney Communications after buying his firm
REID PRESS CHIEF STEPPING
Jim Manley, a longtime
Senate press aide and key PR professional for Democrats
in that chamber, is stepping down as spokesman and communications
director to Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Manly spent more than
two decades in the Senate as a PR and communications staffer
for Reid and Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and George Mitchell
Reid, in a statement,
called Manley one of the best communicators I have
ever had the fortune of working with.
Reid, who was re-elected
this month, announced a revamp of Democratic communications
in the Senate this week that includes merging his own messaging
operation for the party led by Manley with the Democratic
Policy Committee, a combined entity to be led by Sen. Charles
NEW PRODUCTS SET FOR ODWYERS
New products of PR service
companies will be highlighted starting in January in a new
New Products Section of ODwyers
PR pros are very
interested in the many new services that can help them do
their jobs better, said publisher Jack ODwyer.
The January issue includes
the annual PR Buyers Guide, which is used
all year long by the PR industry.
New PR Products
will be a paid advertising section like the PR firm profiles
each month. Cost is $150 for 200 words. Pictures or artwork
are $50 extra.
The section will also
appear on odwyerpr.com and the news will be picked up in
Send copy and images to
John ODwyer at [email protected].
Deadline for the inaugural
section is Friday, Dec. 10.
INDIA REACHES FOR PODESTA
India has tapped Podesta
Group to keep eye on the U.S. political scene, maintain
contacts with Congress/staff and work with reporters and
non-governmental organizations. A formal contract outlining
terms of the arrangement has not yet been finalized.
Podesta is to build on
the warming ties between the U.S. and India gained from
President Obamas trip to New Delhi, where he bonded
with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, earlier this
month. Following a joint-press conference, the two warmly
Indias PM is among
a handful of world leaders to publicly back U.S. economic
policy. Obama expressed support for a permanent India seat
on the United Nations Security Council. The countries announced
a U.S.-India Partnership on Open Government and pledged
cooperation on nuclear control issues.
PRSA MEMBERS STUDY 85
Dissident members of PR
Society of America, dissatisfied with information-witholding
practices of current leadership, are studying the protest
against such practices waged by the Houston chapter in 1985.
The chapter in January
of that year voted to withhold national dues until leaders
provided more information. National president Dave Ferguson
met Jan. 13, 1985 with the board which was dissatisfied
with his evasive answers to some questions.
Houston, headed by Dave
Dodrill, demanded written answers.
(Continued on page 7)
Edition, November 24, 2010, Page 2
TO FALL SHORT ON `10 REVS
announced today that 2010 revenues will fail to meet management
expectations as contract negotiations with large international
accounts are taking longer than anticipated. Its stock fell
7.1 percent to 71.75p on the news.
Peter Chadlington remains confident the delayed revenue
will hit Huntsworths books next year. This years
profit is in line with expectations.
notes that Huntsworth has made the very difficult
transition from being a series of loosely affiliated companies
into a streamlined, efficient international communications
instance, Grayling, which accounts for 49 percent of group
revenues, has picked up big wins such as Hilton Worldwide
and Volkswagen Middle East.
also announced that Tymon Broadhead, group finance director,
is leaving the company and board of directors, during the
first-half of 2011 to pursue other career interests.
He will be replaced by Colin Adams, who will join from Bloomsbury
PEPSICO TAPS APCO EXEC FOR
NEW REP POST
PepsiCo has created a
new global reputation post and tapped APCO executive VP
and seasoned corporate communications veteran Timothy Cost
to fill it.
Cost takes the reins as
executive VP, global corporate affairs, for the beverage
and snack company on Dec. 1 reporting to chairman and CEO
Indra Noovi. His mandate, according to the company, is strengthening
and protecting PepsiCos corporate reputation
and aligning its communications, policy, foundation, IR
and other agendas.
As the role of corporations
in society continues to evolve, it is critical that we be
very thoughtful, strategic and consistent in how we reach
out to our many different stakeholders, Noovi said
in a statement.
Cost was EVP at APCO after
serving as senior VP, corporate affairs, for $22 billion
drug giant Wyeth, now part of Pfizer. He held similar roles
as executive VP and senior VP at Aramark and Pfizer, respectively.
Other stints included Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Centocor.
L.A. PUBLICIST DIES AFTER
Ronni Chasen, a longtime
Los Angeles publicist and former senior VP of global publicity
at MGM, died Nov. 16 after reportedly being shot five times
and crashing her Mercedes-Benz in Beverly Hills.
Chasen, 64 and a veteran
Hollywood PR pro who worked on campaigns for Driving
Miss Daisy and On Golden Pond, has run
her independent PR firm Chasen & Co. for years. She
was tapped for the MGM post in 1993.
L.A. news station KTLA-5
reported that police received multiple calls about gunfire
and a vehicle accident around Sunset Boulevard and Whittier
Drive and found a female driver with gunshot wounds in the
wreckage of her car at around 12:30 a.m.
She had apparently driven
into a light pole and was later pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai
GLOVER HIRED TO PROTECT U.S.
The U.S. Leadership Coalition
has hired Glover Park Group to stave off cuts to the U.S.
international affairs budget as Republicans get set to control
the incoming 112th Congress with cutting on their minds.
The Coalition, in the
aftermath of this months election, issued a statement
to say that though it recognizes budget realities
it is critical to support the Defense Dept. which calls
for greater investments in the civilian side of our
global engagement tools. It looks forward to working
with expected Speaker of the House John Boehner to forge
cost-effective programs which are critical to building
a better, safer world.
In September, the Coalition
released a poll that found nearly 90 percent of military
officers agree that public diplomacy and a strong military
are critical to U.S. security. Eighty-three percent say
food/health/education assistance and economic development
funding are important to national security.
The Coalition also favors
federal programs to support exports, saying each dollar
spent returns $40 to the U.S. economy.
The Coalition includes
more than 400 companies and non-governmental organizations
like General Electric, Northrop Grumman, Wal-Mart, CARE,
Catholic Relief Services, Pfizer, American Israel Public
Affairs Committee, Microsoft, Mars Inc. Better World Campaign,
Lockheed Martin, Mercy Corps and International Rescue Committee.
NAVY SEEKS PR SOFTWARE
The U.S. Navy is looking
for a PR software and media management vendor through an
RFQ process with a short turnaround.
The Office of Naval Researchs
corporate strategic communications office issued the RFQ
on Nov. 17 with a Dec. 3 deadline for quotations. It wants
a web-based PR software platform with a media database and
plans to award a year-long contract with four option years.
Download the RFQ at odwyerpr.com.
BRUNSWICK ADDS SEIFERT, HOTMIRE
Mark Seifert, a senior
advisor in the Commerce Department, and Erik Hotmire, former
SEC staffer and Senate communications director, have joined
Brunswick Group's Washington, D.C., outpost.
Hotmire, who takes a director
slot at Brunswick, headed external and internal communications
for the Securities and Exchange Commission chairman and
senior officials since 2008, a term which included scrutiny
from the financial crisis. That posting followed a stint
at Clark & Weinstock.
He also managed communications
for the Bush administrations USA Freedom Corps and
held PR posts for Sens. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) and Sam Brownback
Seifert, an attorney and
partner at Brunswick, has been a senior adviser to the Dept.
of Commerces National Telecommunications and Information
Agency during the Obama administration, following time in
the House and at the FCC. He worked the Kerry-Edwards and
Wesley Clark presidential campaigns.
Edition, November 24, 2010, Page 3
INDEPENDENT SHUTS DOWN
Washington Independent, the non-profit investigative
website, is closing after a three-year stint, according
to a post from its editor Aaron Wiener.
which sent reporters to Afghanistan and Guantanamo, was
not just a journalistic experiment, but a financial one,
and ultimately, the successes of the former couldnt
sustain the strains of the latter, he wrote.
site relied on donations from foundations seeking
to promote journalism in the public interest, but
those donations began drying up long ago, according
than 20M people visited TWIs website since its launch.
believes the crisis in the world of journalism today
isn't really about journalism - its about the bottom
and editors everywhere are trying to find a way to keep
their very good work alive, he said. We thought
our model had a chance. It put up a good fight.
FORBES FAMILY EXITS FORBES
Forbes Media CEO Steve
Forbes and COO Tim Forbes are exiting the publishing company.
Mike Perlis ex-CEO of
Ziff Davis publishing and president of Playboy Publishing
Group, takes the CEO reins Dec.1.
Steve Forbes stays as
editor-in-chief of Forbes, while Tim assumes the
chair of Forbes Digital.
The Forbes family sold
a big chunk of their ownership position in 2006 to Elevation
Partners, a Silicon Valley investment firm, for $250M. Perlis
has been a partner in Softbank Capital for the last ten
RATHER SUMS IT UP
Former CBS News anchor
Dan Rather is publishing his memoir, Summing Up,
that will cover his career from the Kennedy assassination,
Watergate to his messy departure from the once Tiffany
Network over the piece about George W. Bushs
The 79-year-old Rather,
who currently has an hour-long program on HDNet, wants to
give readers an honest perspective on the present
and more important, on the future of news.
The book is expected to
be out in 2012. It will be published by Grand Central Publishing,
which is part of Hachette Book Group.
PBS NEWSHOUR LAUNCHES SCIENCE
PBS NewsHour has launched
PBS NewsHour Science (pbs.org/newshour/topic/science),
a site for the latest in science, engineering and technology.
Features will be compiled
by NewsHour science correspondent Miles O'Brien, digital
reporter Hari Sreenivasan and reporter/producer Jenny Marder.
There will be a weekly
Just Ask section in which viewers' questions
are answered by top researchers/scientists; twitter feeds;
story links, and podcasts.
The site is funded by
the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Science Foundation,
Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and The Gordon and Betty
AMERICAN MEDIA ENTERS CH.
American Media, the Boca
Raton-based publisher of titles like the National Enquirer,
Star and Mens Fitness, filed a prepackaged
chapter 11 bankruptcy plan last week listing debts between
$500M and $1B.
The company said the move
is the next step in an ongoing financial restructuring that
includes a play to significantly de-lever its
David Pecker, chairman,
president and CEO, said the move will give AM the ability
to compete even more aggressively with our peers in
the industry. He said there will be no impact on its
staffers or operations.
KRAFT TAKES REINS AT
Seven-year American Media
veteran Tara Kraft has been named editor-in-chief of Shape.
Kraft, who takes over
for Valerie Latona, was beauty and fashion director of Star,
including its 2004 re-launch as a glossy mag.
Latona has left the company.
Kraft reports to AM president and CEO David Pecker.
It will be an empowering,
must-read, that not only inspires women to set life-improving
goals, but gives them the tools to reach them, said
AYROMLOU TUNES IN AT RF
Maryam Ayromlou, a 16-year
broadcast journalist, is now at Ruder Finn as senior VP
in its New York office.
She joins from CBS News/The
Early Show, where she was supervising producer responsible
for planning interview-driven segments.
Kathy Bloomgarden, CEO
of RF, says Ayromlous experience in knowing how the
media think and operate and her knack of crafting stories
that build credibility will be big plusses for the independent
Ayromlou also worked at
MSNBC and Fox News Channel. At MSNBC she worked eight years
as primetime senior producer on programs such as Countdown
with Keith Olbermann.
She was on loan to NBC
in 2003 and traveled to Iraq for the start of the war and
went to Iran with Tom Brokaw to cover the presidential election.
While senior producer
at Fox, she helped launch Happening Now, a daytime
MEDIAFINDER UNVEILS NEWSPAPER
MediaFinder database is offering a free newspaper app for
the iPhone and iPad that links to data on more than 8,000
U.S. and Canadian newspapers.
The MediaFinder app lets
users to find newspapers by title and city/state to get
descriptions of the publications and links to their websites.
Trish Hagood, president
said travelers and researchers can find local news, publishers
can research competitors and PR people and advertisers can
find new outlets with the service.
news continued on next page)
Edition, November 24, 2010, Page 4
REVAMPS D.C. BUREAU
Street Journal editor-in-chief Robert Thomson is moving
Washington bureau chief John Bussey to New York to write
a weekly column on international business. He is upped to
assistant managing editor and executive business editor.
Journal and Newswires bureaus are now merged under bureau
chief and Capital Journal columnist Jerry Seib and two deputy
Rose is responsible for daily coverage at the Journal, while
Newswires Rob Wells will have an enhanced role
overseeing real-time reporting, according to Thomson's
memo to staff.
praised Bussey for restructuring the bureau, promoting
emerging talent and developing coverage at a time when our
audience has grown significantly.
MSNBC SUSPENDS SCARBOROUGH
MSNBC suspended Joe Scarborough,
the former Congressman and current Morning Joe
host, after he informed management of his political contributions,
a violation of NBC ethics policy.
Scarborough made eight
contributions between 2004 and 2009 to local candidates
running for office in Florida.
MSNBC president Phil Griffin
said of Scarborough in a Nov. 19 statement: He will
immediately be suspended for two days without pay and will
return to the air on Wednesday, Nov. 24. As Joe recognizes,
it is critical that we enforce our standards and policies.
Scarborough agrees with
Griffin's decision, but noted that he gained nothing personally,
politically or professionally from these donations.
The money went to his
brother and three family friends and was considered by Scarborough
to be "simple acts of friendship."
Griffin suspended Keith
Olbermann, host of Countdown with Keith Olbermann,
AP VET JOHNSON TO CPI
Sandy Johnson, a 30-year
staffer at the Associated Press, has moved to the Center
for Public Integrity as managing editor for politics and
government. Johnson headed the AP's 120-member Washington
bureau from `98 to `08.
Center executive director
William Buzenberg touted Johnson's "sterling editorial
instincts and proven leadership skills."
Johnson, for the past
two years, produced state news for AARP Bulletin.
DEALEY DONE AT WASHINGTON
Sam Dealey, editor at
the Washington Times since early this year, has left
the paper as new ownership takes command.
Christopher Dolan, managing
editor, is now acting editor of the paper owned by Rev.
Sun Myung Moon and three former Times staffers bought the
paper from Preston Moon for $1.
A national search is underway
for a new editor.
PALINS PUBLISHER SUES
News Corp.s HarperCollins
Publishers sued Gawker Media for posting excerpts from Sarah
Palins book, America by Heart: Reflections on
Family, Faith and Flag, that was officially released
The material has been
removed from the site.
HCP claims the posting
of 21 pages of the book is a copyright violation, while
Gawker says it is protected by fair use doctrine.
A Nov. 30 court date is
Palin had initially complained
about the posting via Twitter.
CR CAMPAIGN MARKS NAUGHTY
kicked off a holiday public education campaign Nov. 22 singling
out 10 naughty and nice companies
based on consumer policies for returns and fees.
A full-page ad in USA
Today on Nov. 22 was backed by a Facebook campaign inviting
consumers to list their own positive and negative feelings
toward company policies.
Tod Marks, senior editor
for CR, said the goal of the effort isnt to endorse
or hit one company or another, but to call out specific
policies that we think put consumers first or put them behind
the eight ball.
The top three naughty
companies are electronics retailers.
tops the list for its no returns policy for TVs larger than
27 inches, as well as not giving a phone number for customer
service on its website.
CompUSA follows for its
punitive restocking fees of up to 25 percent
and Best Buy is third for a 14-day grace period for returns
of several electronics.
Spirit Airlines was whacked
at No. 4 for charging $30 for carry-on bags in advance and
$45 at the gate, and Verizon was jeered for doubling its
smartphone termination fee to $350.
On the flip side, Southwest
Airlines is lauded for its lack of charges for two pieces
of checked luggage, including golf clubs or skis.
LL Bean got the No. 2
nice slot for its 100% satisfaction guarantee,
which lets consumers return any item at any time for any
Shoe e-tailer Zappos.com
gets plaudits for its free shipping and free returns, while
Costco, U.S. Cellular and Orvis also placed high in the
TIMES STARTS FILM CLUB
The New York Times
debuted a membership-based film club Nov. 22 offering opportunities
to attend screenings of new previews and restored classic
films in New York and Los Angeles.
Membership costs $100
and the Times plans to host discussions with its journalists,
film industry professionals and experts after screenings
The first Times Film Club
red-carpet screening will feature the digitally remastered
The Godfather at The TimesCenter in New York
on January 5.
Info is at NYTFilmClub.com.
Intel, Marc Jacobs, Nespresso
and Tourneau/TAG Heuer are sponsors of the endeavor.
24, 2010, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
ACQUIRES CHINA PR FIRM
Groupe has inked a deal to acquire 16-year-old Beijing-based
PR agency Eastwei Relations, which will be folded into its
which works for Sony, IKEA and Porsche, among other clients,
has 120 staffers across its Beijng base, Shanghai, Guangzhou
has 3,700 staffers in 50 Chinese cities. MSLGroup CEO Olivier
Fleurot said Eastwei will become a key hub for the PR unit
in the Chinese market.
Bjorksten, a media personality in China, is founder and
chairman of Eastwei.
deal is the latest in a series of acquisitions in the Asia
region including a move in India by Publicis earlier
this year by global PR agencies.
GF TAPPED FOR COLORADO ED
Groundfloor Media Communications,
a Denver-based PR firm, has won an RFP process to guide
a statewide campaign to increase the number of Centennial
State residents with post-secondary degrees.
Gov. Bill Ritter introduces
the campaign Nov. 8.
The effort, dubbed Complete
College Colorado, is led by the office of Gov. Bill Ritter
with private and public-sector support from entities like
Qwest Communications and The Piton Foundation.
GroundFloor media, working
on a six-figure contract, was tasked with launching the
campaigns website, blog, Facebook page and YouTube
channel, as well as events and other PR efforts like media
outreach. Key points of the campaign are highlighting the
impact of a degree on the states workforce and economy,
financial aid resources available, and programs available
to help adults complete degrees.
Ritter announced the effort
on Nov. 8 with a press conference in Denver noting the states
ability to compete economically will depend on preparation
"which will increasingly require a college degree."
COSSETTE BECOMES VISION 7;
the Canada-based advertising and PR conglomerate acquired
in a private equity deal at the end of 2009, is being restructured
into two entities an integrated agency focused on
Canada and a group of specialty firms for the U.K. and North
The holding company is
also taking on the new name Vision7 International.
Claude Lessard, chairman
and CEO of the Quebec City organization, said the move is
intended to keep it ahead of an industry that is experiencing
a major reshuffling of its global business landscape.
The integrated Canadian
operation will retain the Cossette name and operate as a
streamlined agency under CEO Brett Marchand.
The second entity, named
Esprit de Corps Communications and containing its PR and
social media operations Paine PR, Optimum PR and Band &
Brown, among other units, includes specialty operations
for the U.K., U.S. and Canada led by Gregor Angus in Europe
and Colin Schleining in North America.
Cossette was taken private
in a $115M acquisition led by Lessard and Mill Road Capital
in December 2009.
+ Company, New York/CW Financial Services, commercial
real estate finance and investment management; Sica Wealth
Management, financial planning, for media relations and
social media; Wong Diversified International Investments,
leader in the distressed real estate market, for comms.
during its expansion, including brand positioning, corporate
identity, website design and development, and a thought
& Baum, New York/Lourdes Castro, director of
the Culinary Academy at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables,
Fla., and Chef Julian Medina, along with Medinas restaurants,
Toloache and Yerba Buena, for PR.
Izzo Integrated Communications, New York/Los Cabos,
Mexican vacation destination, a renewal of a 10-year PR
Magrino Agency, New York/Eataly, artisanal Italian
food and wine marketplace in New York City, for media relations
for a series of holiday season events.
PR, Staten Island, N.Y./Bella Media Group, parent
of BELLA magazine, for PR.
Communications, Boston/Affle, for PR in the U.S.
for its cross-platform messaging application, Pinch iMessenger,
including strategic consulting, product reviews, awards,
event support and strategic SMS-based campaigns to drive
& Associates, Baltimore/Payce Payroll, payroll
services, for marketing tools and strategic media outreach
in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., metro area.
Venture Solutions, Westminster, Md./OpenTravel Alliance,
travel-sector consortium focused on adoption of information
standards, for marketing, branding and PR.
Associates, Washington, D.C./Vertichem, green tech
based in Toronto, as AOR to include investor and media relations,
shareholder comms., branding and social media. Executive
VP Mike Smith manages the account.
Boineau & Company, Charleston, S.C./WSI B2B Marketing,
digital agency, for media relations and marketing communications
Group, Boca Raton, Fla./American Academy of Anti-Aging
Medicine, to publicize the non-profit trade organization
comprised of more than 22,000 medical doctors and health
care professionals worldwide.
Tampa, Fla./FIMC, membership-based benefit programs, for
PR targeting the automotive aftermarket industry.
Loughlin/Michaels Group, Sunnyvale, Calif./ViVu,
venture-backed startup that makes videoconferencing software,
as AOR for PR.
Sturgess Company, Newport Beach, Calif./Doctor Evidence,
medical evidence and literature technology, for medical
Edition, November 24, 2010, Page 6
PLAYS BALL WILL CELTICS, HUNTER
services provider VMS has been tapped by the National Basketball
Associations Boston Celtics for media monitoring and
VP of corporate partnerships and business development Ted
Dalton said the club will track its PR activities and further
quantify this for our corporate and community partners.
Boston Celtics is an historic franchise, and were
pleased an organization with such a storied history sees
the power our media monitoring provides, said VMS
president David Stephens.
Celtics have won 17 NBA championships, tops among the leagues
has also signed a deal with New York-based Hunter PR.
Amy Coles said the service allows us to provide better
reporting and more placements for our clients.
VOCUS HIRES EXEC FOR
PR software provider Vocus
has hired M&A executive James Bruno as senior vice president
of corporate development for the company.
Vocus made three acquisitions
this year -- HARO (U.S.), BDL Media (China) and Datapress
(France) -- and said more are likely in the works.
President and CEO Rick
Rudman said the market is laden with opportunities
and said Bruno will help the company identify targets.
Bruno had been in the
pharmaceuticals sector, working as VP of sales Remedi Senior
Care for the past two years and senior VP of commercial
operations for Arpida.
Previous stints included
marketing and PR posts at Medimmune, Pharmacia and GlaxoSmithKline.
Vocus third quarter
revenue was up 17% to $24.7M.
MYPRGENIE LAUNCHES VER. 5.0
News dissemination and
media contacts service MyPRGenie has unveiled a new version
of its platform that embraces social tools like follow
and like options that companies can incorporate
into their newsrooms.
Miranta Tan, CEO, said
MyPRGenie 5.0 represents the first business social
network designed solely for companies to promote themselves.
New features include sharing
buttons for social media, an iFrame which shows a companys
website in a press release and profile, along with greater
search optimization for content.
Dec. 1 -- IABC Web Seminar, Building a Case for Social Media:
Why its Vital to Your Brands Success and How
to Get the C-Suite on Board," with Paolina Milana,
Marketwires EVP of Marketing, Media and Editorial
Operations. Cost: Member Site License/$219.00. Info: iabc.com.
Little, former executive VP of Amies Communications, to
Rubenstein PR, as a VP for the firm's financial and real
estate clients. She was previously at Kitchen PR. Sara
Gramling, former A/S at Kaplow Communications, joins
Rubenstein as an associate VP in the firm's consumer and
lifestyle units. She previously handled accounts at Keith
Sherman & Associates.
Caniato, VP of marketing and advertising, Liz Claiborne
Inc., to Veeder+Perman, New York, as a partner and chief
innovation officer. The agency has been renamed VP+C to
reflect the addition. She was previously director of PR/corporate
marketing for Claiborne.
Dissett, GM and director of PR for Riester in Salt
Lake City, to Vladimir Jones, Denver, as director of brand
communications. He held senior posts at GroundFloor Media,
Vanguard Communications and Ogilvy PR Worldwide in Denver.
Singer, who handled social media and SEO campaigns
for TopRank Online Marketing, to Lewis PR, San Francisco,
to lead its U.S. social media practice. Singer, who founded
the marketing blog TheFutureBuzz.com,
reports to senior VP Lucy Allen.
Isbell, VP of corporate communications at Orient-Express
Hotels, to CEO of PRCo Ltd, London, effective Jan. 2011.
Isbell built up and sold her own agency, PIPR, in 1998,
when she joined Orient-Express.The firm has offices in New
York, Paris, Moscow, Munich, Milan and Dubai.
Leveton, CEO of Burson-Marstellers Proof Integrated
Communications and managing director at Penn Schoen Berland,
to executive VP, worldwide, for B-M. The WPP-owned firm
said he will work closely with senior worldwide management
and U.S. CEO Pat Ford to focus on growth in the U.S. He
continues to oversee Proof and is serving as the interim
chair of the U.S. brand marketing practice. Richard
Powell, COO, Worldwide, at B-M takes the additional
role of global corporate practice chair to build the marketing
and growth of B-Ms global corporate business. EMEA
CEO Jeremy Galbraith,
based in Brussels, was named global public affairs practice
chair. Don Baer,
worldwide vice chair, gets a larger role as chief strategy
officer and a member of the firms senior management
team. Hell also head the expansion of the firms
global strategy team.
Smith Mesnik to VP, corporate communications, Beasley
Broadcast Group, Naples, Fla., a publicly traded radio station
operator. BBG owns 45 stations mostly in the southeastern
Edition, November 24, 2010, Page 7
chapter, with 450 members, is currently the ninth biggest
and was similarly ranked in 1985.
The ban was lifted in
when answers were obtained. Ferguson had also threatened
to drop boycotters from the 1985 members directory.
chapter president is Stephanie Dedeaux, communications lead
at Hess Corp.
Would 1985 Houston Do?
members currently are not allowed to see the national list
of Assembly delegates, know how they vote, or know what
they say while in session.
and tapes of Assemblies have been withheld since 2005. Suggestions
that the Assembly be audiocast are ignored.
of the members directory was stopped in 2006 on the
ground that it was too expensive and quickly out-of-date.
said a PDF of the directory would be up-to-date and not
involve any printing or mailing by h.q. but leaders refuse
to discuss this.
48 Staff Names Removed
of this year, members cant see the names and contact
points of the 55 h.q. staffers. Only seven names remain.
the second year in a row, leaders withheld IRS Form 990
from the Assembly.
contains pay/benefits of the top eight staffers and other
information not in the audit (such as legal costs which
were a record $124K).
pay (2009-10) of COO Bill Murray is withheld. Pay/benefits
and nontaxable benefits totaled $373K in 2009.
Fought All Year
fought all year long with national leaders.
Societys current Media Policy (media.prsa.org/prsamediapolicy)
says no volunteer leader or even rank-and-file member may
speak with the media "as a representative of PRSA and/or
on PRSA's behalf" without the permission of VP-PR Arthur
Yann or one of his staffers. Not even the elected chair
can give permission for an interview.
in the 1980s complained that directors, district and section
heads had no business being in the Assembly and thus voting
on their own proposals.
major issue in 1985 was the possible move of h.q. from New
York to one of seven other cities whose chapters made extensive
pitches for it-Houston, Dallas, Denver, Chicago, Indianapolis,
Memphis and Atlanta.
Washington, D.C., the most logical city for Society h.q.
after New York, was not allowed to pitch.
Capital chapter president Paul Forbes said no one at h.q.
asked him for anything. He said he felt strongly that D.C.
is the only logical place for the office and
would be amazed if another city was chosen because
it made the best presentation.
trade groups have either moved to D.C. or have a branch
there, he noted. NCC currently has by far the largest number
of members in its area-1,350+ or about double the 767 in
the New York chapter.
Houston members including the entire board sent a petition
in August 1985 to the national board demanding that any
relocation decision be made by the Assembly.
Societys lease at 845 Third Ave. (52nd St.) was up
in April 1987.
Threatened to Quit
the board voted 7-5 at its meeting Aug. 16 to keep h.q.
in New York. One factor was that virtually the entire staff
of 40 said it would quit and it would cost $200k in fees
to recruit new staff.
Chapter president Margot Dimond, currently a principal in
DoubleDimond PR of Houston, (www.doubledimondpr.com)
accused h.q. of railroading the issue and member
Wellington Osterloh said the board's action without
even waiting for discussion by the Assembly is an outrage
said the issue would be pressed at the Nov. 19 Assembly
board told the Assembly it would reconsider its decision
after a 126-20 vote to ask for such reconsideration. The
board not only stuck to its decision but chopped the rebellious
Assembly in half-permanently cancelling the spring Assembly
on the ground the Society couldn't afford it. One beef of
Assembly delegates was that the board refused to come up
with projected costs for staying in New York.
costs rose from $1,027,652 in 1987 to $5,368,206 in 2009.
Occupancy costs rose from $160,741 in 1987 to $755,982 in
Yorkers Got Their Way
delegates, all APR, miffed at their quest to move h.q. from
New York, shifted the offices out of midtown to midtown
south (17th St.).
APR program, meanwhile, lost $2,926,080 from 1986-2002.
Only 55 of the 767 members of PRSA/NY are APR.
losses on APR were $104,781 in 1987, $120,000 in 1988, and
$150,410 in 1989.
losses mounted to $205,771 in 1997, $329,235 in 1999, and
$441,467 in 2000 which was more than the occupancy costs
that year of $393,586.
were shifted further away from the New York PR/ad/media
community in 2004 when a 13-year lease costing $5.6 million
was signed. The roomy new offices had 22,000 sq. ft. vs.
14,000 sq. ft. at 33 Irving.
after decades at h.q., was evicted in 1992 on the ground
that the Society needed the space.
2010 Assembly, which rejected a roll call vote on allowing
non-APRs on the board, cut off debate after 30 minutes,
and then trounced the APR reform by nearly a two-to-one
FIRMS WORK HYPERCOM DEAL
Sard Verbinnen & Co.
and Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher are working the
$485M acquisition of electronic payment systems provider
Hypercom Corp. by European rival VeriFone Systems.
The deal, announced Nov.
17, has been approved by the boards of both companies. VeriFone
CEO Douglas Bergeron said his company made the deal to establish
itself in Europe, where Hypercom is entrenched in the secure
Edition, November 24, 2010,
Margaritis of FedEx and PR pro-turned author Wendell Potter
want to restore trust in corporations but from different
chair of the Arthur W. Page Society, whose guiding principle
is Tell the truth, told the Institute for PR
Nov. 11 that a poll by Frank Luntz for FedEx found almost
40% of Americans have little or no trust in
corporate America and 47% have little or no trust
in CEOs. Such numbers have never been worse,
Margaritis approach, emphasizing the positive, calls on
CEOs to lead the way in bridging any gap between a companys
lofty ideals and actual practice.
calls for the development of reputational intelligence
which he defines as creating a holistic approach to
managing culture, brand, and reputation and the interdependencies
among them, in a multidisciplinary framework with all internal
stakeholders at the table.
asks for good old fashioned truth and candor
and getting past a mania for control which is simply
not realistic in most circumstances today.
must teach and empower even junior communicators to
respectfully question and probe business practices, standards
and proposed actions with their business-side counterparts,
in Different World
The world of Potter, who
we heard for two hours on Nov. 16, the day his book, Deadly
Spin, was published, is a completely different one.
It is almost entirely negative although the ex-Cigna chief
spokesperson does concede that PR has also been used
to great and positive effect for deserving individuals,
organizations and causes.
While the Margaritis speech
is mostly abstract, Potters book is loaded with facts,
figures and individual cases.
His big beef is the soaring
cost of healthcare, an issue that is the No. 1 complaint
of PR firm owners, according to Rick Gould of StevensGouldPincus.
Annual cost of a mid-level
family plan by Oxford, the most popular insurer in New York,
reached $25,068 this year. Individual cost is $8,040. Average
Cost of a non-group family plan rose 13% to $52,248, said
the New York State Insurance Dept.
The Great Recession that
caused untold misery for millions of Americans and businesses
was unnoticed by insurers who had boosted group health plans
by 97% for families and 90% for individuals from 2000-2008
which was 3.3 times as fast as the rise in wages and 4.6
times faster than general inflation, says Potter.
The five largest insurersWellpoint,
UnitedHealth Group, Aetna, Cigna and Humanahad profits
of $12.2 billion in 2009, up 56% from 2008.
One result of the high
cost of a family plan is a sharp decline in marriages.
Only half of Americans
are getting married now vs. 72% in 1960, a Pew study showed.
A recent college grad
with a spouse and children would carry a $25K healthcare
bill that has got to be paid by the employer one way or
The Obama health plan
failed to obtain the government-run public option
that the President once said was needed to keep insurers
honest, notes Potter, although he is in favor of the
plan as better than nothing.
The plan will force millions
to buy coverage by HMOs. The U.S. remains the only industrialized
nation without a single player plan.
Also a main target of
Potters is front groups. He says corporate
sponsorship is often masked by companies that use their
PR firms to launder money that goes to the groups.
PR firms may not list such groups among their clients if
they have a public list of clients at all.
Potter says that if he
had his way he would file felony charges against
groups that mislead the public.
He says it is perfectly
legal for them to mislead and misinform. Those who
pay insurance premium dollars often are not aware how some
of their dollars are being spent, he says.
Potter decries the simultaneous
gain in PR jobs and decline in journalism posts. He quotes
a 2008 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report as saying
PR people now outnumber journalists by nearly five-to-one240,610
PR specialists to 50,690 reporter/correspondents.
UNITY Layoff Tracker said
that 45,559 jobs were lost in journalism from Jan. 1 2008
to late 2009three times the rate of job loss in other
industries. Some estimates are that half the journalists
working in 2001 no longer have full time jobs in that industry.
Almost all PR people in
the past two generations have gone directly into PR without
first steeping themselves in the hard-and-fast rules of
journalist and its ethics, Potter writes.
are Shouted Down
Potter describes attack
PR, saying theres an unsettling effort
to shout down legitimate traditional sources of news
and that inflammatory, often outrageous rhetoric is
used recklessly to inspire anger or even incite violence
in an effort to gain financial power.
uses the news media as a whipping boy in order to instill
mistrust of the mainstream media and turn audiences
toward alternative, biased news sources with
barely disguised agendas.
That comment struck a
responsive chord in us since a PRSA Assembly delegate shouted
a stream of obscenities at us in front of the Washington
Hilton Oct. 16.
We had been barred for
the first time from recording or taking pictures of the
Assembly or having the assistance we needed since only note-taking
We were also blocked from
the Assembly lunch. PR Society press policy can be summed
up as: brainlessly nasty.
Potter, a longtime member
of the PR Society, lamented that it dropped enforcement
of its Ethics Code in 2000.
He describes the activities
of numerous front groups and urges readers to
be wary of groups with positive-sounding names that provide
no physical addresses on their website nor full details
of their sponsors.