Contact O'Dwyer's: 271 Madison Ave., #600, New York, NY 10016; Tel: 212/679-2471; Fax: 212/683-2750
O'Dwyer's Inside News of Public Relations & Marketing Communications -
ODWYERPR.COM > Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter return to main page

Return to NL Archives Index

Jack O'Dwyer's NL logo
Internet Edition, December 8, 2010, Page 1


London-based healthcare communications company Creston has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire Cooney/Waters Group, the New York-based healthcare PR specialist with $12.3M in revenue last year.

The cash deal, worth up to $30M-plus, would put C/W and its Alembic Health Communications advocacy unit within the Creston Health division of the London-based company. C/W has been affiliated with Creston’s U.K. PR unit Red Door Communications for the past two years.

Lenore Cooney, founder and chairman of C/W who will remain at the helm of the unit as CEO, called the move the “next stage of growth” for the firm with operational benefits for both parties.

Cooney will report to Creston CEO Don Elgie. Creston, which also owns PAN Advertising and medical education unit ROCK Medical Communication, said it will keep C/W’s senior team in place, including Timothy Bird as president and COO, executive VPs Fred Lake and Lisa Weiss, and Alembic president Sherri Michelstein.

Despite a rough year for PR firms in 2009, C/W's $12.3M in revenue was up 18 percent over 2008, although it posted a $900K loss before tax for '09. Its staff is in the 40-45 range. The acquisition price includes an initial payment of £5.9M ($9.2M) and earn-out payments up to £13.5M ($21M) earn-out to be paid in two installments in March 2013 and March 2015.

The deal goes to Creston shareholders on Dec. 15.


Nick Calio, who heads Citigroup’s global government affairs, will helm the Air Transport Assn. on Jan. 1. He succeeds Jim May, who guided the airline industry group through the upheaval following the 9/11 terror attacks.

Calio joined Citi in 2003. Earlier, Calio worked for both Bush Administrations in the role of assistant to the president for legislative affairs and chief liaison to the Congress.

The ATA says its members account for $1T of annual economic activity and handle 90 percent of passenger and cargo traffic in the U.S.

According to ATA and United Continental Holdings chairman Glenn Tilton, Calio is to deal with issues such as improving access to international markets, hike federal investment in air traffic infrastructure and reduce excessive taxation and regulation.


Greenpeace claims in a complaint filed Nov. 29 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that Ketchum and Dezenhall Resources engaged in an unlawful campaign to steal confidential information about the environmental group on behalf of fellow co-defendants and chemical giants Dow Chemical and Sasol North America.

The environmental group sees violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act in the alleged effort to undermine Greenpeace from 1998 to 2000 while it was charging Dow and Sasol with polluting the environment.

Ketchum spokeswoman Jackie Burton, who responded to an inquiry to agency CEO Ray Kotcher, said the firm will review the complaint and “address it in the appropriate venue. As a company that views integrity as fundamental to our values, we take this matter seriously.”

Eric Dezenhall declined to comment.

Greenpeace alleges that the defendants enlisted the services of a private security firm, Beckett Brown International to engage in unlawful surveillance activity that featured “dumpster dives.”

According to the complaint: “Defendants obtained a steady stream of inside information from Greenpeace as a result of BBI stealing confidential documents and internal records from dumpsters and recycling bins located at Greenpeace’s offices.”

The complaint says the defendants’ “U Street Project Objectives” (Greenpeace was headquartered on U St. in Washington, D.C.) aimed to obtain financial information about funding including donors and “money trails.”

The environmental group wants punitive damages in an amount to be determined at trial.


Debra Cabral, general manager of FD’s Washington, D.C., office, has moved to Porter Novelli Public Services in the capital as an executive VP.

She’ll report to public affairs head and veteran Democratic communicator Kiki McLean, handling new business and counseling clients.

Cabral was senior managing director of public affairs at FD, and earlier worked at FD’s 2005 acquisition Dittus Communications, as well as The Capitol Group, The Jefferson Group and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

She also worked on the Hill for House Speaker Tip O’Neill, among other postings.


Internet Edition, December 8, 2010, Page 2


Three years after winning the rights to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, Russia was awarded the 2018 FIFA World Cup in a competition against three other bids from five countries.

FIFA also awarded Middle East emirate Qatar the 2022 World Cup, beating out the U.S., Australia, Japan and South Korea.

Burson-Marsteller worked bid PR for Qatar in 2009 and Brown Lloyd James took over the account this year.

The emirate will host the Asian Football Cup in 2011.

“We felt the bid had a very strong case to make for the power of football to help change perceptions of the Middle East and to help promote greater understanding between peoples,” said Mike Holtzman, partner at BLJ.
Russia, which worked with PR agency Eventica, beat bids from Portugal/Spain, Belgium/The Netherlands, and England.

Fleishman-Hillard handled PR for the U.S. bid, while Hill & Knowlton aided the joint Belgium/Holland pitch, England worked with Weber Shandwick, U.K.-based sports PR firm Fast Track backed the Spain-Portugal bid and Australian firm Square 1 Consulting worked on Australia’s pitch.

‘Vast PR Potential’

In evaluating Russia’s pitch, FIFA had this to say of its PR potential: “The country’s media landscape is huge and offers vast PR potential.” The report found 180 domestic and 30 community TV channels, 170 satellite cable programs, 27,400 newspapers and magazines, and 2,000 radio stations.

Qater’s media landscape was described by FIFA as “fast growing” as 77% of male Qataris and 64% of females tune in to soccer matches, which are the most-watched programs on TV in the country that is home to Al Jazeera and its 400M audience.

The 2010 World Cup final attracted more than 700M viewers worldwide.

FIFA said Qater’s communications strategy is focused on ensuring consistency of communications about the tournament and the country.


The California Urban Forests Council has issued an RFP for a PR agency to raise the profile of urban forestry, hone its message and help the group measure its efforts.

Based in San Rafael, the non-profit is governed by a board of public and private sector interests in urban forestry and pursues public policy and education goals on urban “greening.”

The CUFC has set development of a communication plan as a key priority for 2011.

The RFP was issued Nov. 29 and is open through the end of December.

Executive director Nancy Hughes is overseeing the effort. RFP is at


MDC Partners is paying $27M to private equity firm Newport Partners to acquire Capital C Communications digital ad firm and Kenna data analytics shop.

Headed by Tony Chapman, Capital C is a major force in the social media arena doing work for clients such as Nissan, Maple Leaf Foods, PepsiCo, S.C. Johnson, McCain Foods, Unilever and Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada. The Toronto-based shop has more than 100 staffers.

Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Kenna’s 140 employees offer a range of analytics and performance marketing services to companies such as Wrigley, BASF, Nissan CIBA Vision and MBNA.

CEO Glenn Chilton says Kenna benefits as marketing shifts from “episodic communications to continuous customer interaction and experience management.”

NASDAQ-listed MDC is trading at $15.44, just below its $15.50 52-year high. Its low was $8.23.


Sitrick and Company’s Michael Sitrick is spokesperson for IMG Worldwide chairman Ted Forstmann, target of a lawsuit that claims he bet more than $600K from 2004-07 on NCAA basketball tournament games that were coached by clients of the big agent/sports programming shop.

The crisis PR pro told the Dec. 1 New York Times that the list of the alleged bets cited in the fraud complaint lodged by Jim Agate, head of Agate Printing, is inaccurate. He’s confident Forstmann will prevail, if the suit ever goes to trial.

Agate contends that he placed millions of dollars of bets on behalf of Forstmann. The suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court also charges “breach of contract” as Agate maintains he never received business from IMG that Forstmann had promised.

IMG, according to Sitrick, is in the midst of creating a “rigorous compliance program restricting and prohibiting wagering” to avoid any issues in the future.

Forstmann says he quit betting three years ago.


Christopher Weymouth Hammond, 75, husband of Lou Rena Hammond and father of Stephen Hammond, founder/chair and president, respectively, of Lou Hammond & Associates, New York, died Dec. 3 in Charleston, S.C., after an extended illness.

He was a longtime New York resident before moving to Charleston 11 years ago.

His professional career included serving as a VP of PepsiCo and Manhattan School of Music. He was director of marketing, Middle East, for Pepsico, residing in Beirut, Lebanon.

Hammond, who was born in Portland, Me., was a graduate of Phillips Academy Andover and Harvard.

Active in the Charleston community, he was on the boards of the American College of the Building Arts, Charleston Orchestra Association, and the Catesby Commemorative Trust. He was a supporter of the Historic Charleston Foundation and was a member of the Vestry for St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.


Internet Edition, December 8, 2010, Page 3


News Corp. COO Chase Carey said the company would listen to an offer for MySpace, the struggling social network site that it bought in 2005 for $580M.

MySpace, which posted a $156M operating loss during the Sept. 30-ended quarter, has fallen well behind its one-time rival Facebook.

Carey told the Reuters Global Media Summit on Nov. 29 that a sale could be one of 20 things that he may decide to do with MySpace.

MySpace's traffic fell 9.3 percent in October to 58.1M unique visitors, according to comScore Inc.

MySpace is currently revamping as a “social entertainment” hub for music, video and games.


CBS News is replacing “The Early Show” co-hosts Harry Smith and Maggie Rodriguez with current Saturday anchors Chris Wragge and Erica Hill. The move is effective Jan. 3.

TES trails competitors “Today” (NBC) and "Good Morning America" (ABC). CBS News president Sean McManus believes the chemistry between Wragge and Hill will give the program a ratings boost. He gives them high marks for the ability to shift from weighty to lighter fare.

Smith has been an anchor of the morning program since 2002. He is to remain as news reporter and substitute on “CBS Evening News,” “Face the Nation” and “Sunday Morning.”

Wragge will give up his anchor slot at CBS' affiliate in New York.


The Federal Trade Commission Dec. 1 released a preliminary draft report calling for a “do not track” mechanism for the Internet to allow consumers to prevent marketers from tracking their viewing habits on the web and other personal data in a bid to better target advertising. The idea mimics the “do not call” registry for telephones.

According to the FTC, the “do not track” option is a way to “balance the privacy interests of consumers with innovation that relies on consumer information to develop beneficial new products and services.”

Said a statement from FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz: “Technological and business ingenuity have spawned a whole new online culture and vocabulary - email, IMs, apps and blogs - that consumers have come to expect and enjoy. The FTC wants to help ensure that the growing, changing, thriving information marketplace is built on a framework that promotes privacy, transparency, business innovation and consumer choice. We believe that's what most Americans want as well.”

Leibowitz testified in Congress earlier this year about how “do not track” is a tool to provide consumers control over data collection.

The FTC criticized marketers, ad agencies and retailers for not coming up with a self-regulatory scheme that would protect privacy. The report says industry efforts to address privacy through self-regulation “have been too slow, and up to now have failed to provide adequate and meaningful protection.”

The FTC does not have the authority to put a “do not track” system in place. The report is “intended to inform policymakers, including Congress, as they develop solutions, policies, and potential laws governing privacy, and guide and motivate industry as it develops more robust and effective best practices and self-regulatory guidelines.”

Congress has been debating a simple universal measure to allow people to “opt out” of being tracked online.

The FTC has now opened a two-month comment period on the report called “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: A Proposed Framework for Businesses and Policymakers.”


Billionaire Jerome Kohlberg, formerly of Wall Street domo Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, is buying the Vineyard Gazette of Martha's Vineyard for $3.5M.

The 164-year-old newspaper has been long run by the Reston family, which receives $2M. Martha Vineyard Preservation Trust gets $1.5M to purchase the historic building that houses the paper.

Kohlberg, 85, is a seasonal resident of the island with wife, Nancy. The paper is published twice a week in the summer and weekly in the winter. The Gazette’s summer circulation is 14,700.

Kohlberg wants the Gazette “to be a vibrant voice for the Vineyard community far into the future, continuing the wonderful traditions from the past, offering excellent, in-depth journalism reaching the Vineyard's diverse communities,” according to his statement.

Kohlberg stepped away from KKR in 1987.


Ben Sherwood, former executive producer of “Good Morning America,” has been named president of ABC News, succeeding David Westin.

Reporting to Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group, Sherwood is responsible for editorial/business matters of news programming on TV, radio and the Internet.

After working at the KCET (Los Angeles public television), Los Angeles Times, CBS News and News and Observer (Raleigh), Sherwood joined ABC News in `89 as producer at ABC News’ “PrimeTime” with Diane Sawyer and Sam Donaldson.

In 1997, he joined NBC’s “Nightly News with Tom Brokaw” as producer of the “In Depth” reports before returning to ABC in ’04 for the GMA slot.”

Sherwood played a major role in covering the war in Bosnia, impeachment of Bill Clinton, Florida recount, 9/11, southeast Asia tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. He is author of two novels and his most recent book, “The Survivors Club” is about bouncing back from adversity.

Sweeney hailed Sherwood for combining “intimate knowledge and success in the news business with a creative flair and entrepreneurial spirit that is second to none.”

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, December 8, 2010, Page 4


Jason Wagenheim, who was associate publisher of Vanity Fair, has taken the publisher spot at Entertainment Weekly that had been held by Ray Chelstowski until last month.

Paul Caine, president of Time Inc.’s style and entertainment group, says Wagenheim will “help EW cement its position as America's leading consumer magazine of entertainment and popular culture.”

Wagenheim had been at VF since 2006, and handled the magazine's integrated marketing thrust.


Google, which said it was “horrified” by a Nov. 28 New York Times piece showing negative online reviews can actually boost companies' coveted positions in search results, said it has deployed a solution.

The Times profiled a Brooklyn eyewear company,, whose brash owner said he sought to attract negative reviews to raise the company's Google search profile. The paper suggested the owner could be “a pioneer of a new brand of anti-salesmanship – utterly noxious retail” which “tramples long-cherished traditions of customer service, like deference and charm.”

Google said Dec. 1 that it convened a team after reading the article, developed an algorithmic solution and deployed it.

“I am here to tell you that being bad is, and hopefully will always be, bad for business in Google's search results,” said Amit Singhal, a Google software engineer.

The article, and a Times piece in October (“Good News, Bad News”) sparked conversations among PR pros about the age-old question in the industry: Is all publicity good publicity?


Media mogul Barry Diller, 68, is stepping down at IAC/Interactive, handing the CEO reins to Gregg Blatt, 42. Blatt had headed IAC's site and earlier served as IAC's executive VP and general counsel. He joined Diller from Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

The transition comes as IAC completes the buyout of John Malone's Liberty Media Corp., which owned a 60 percent stake. The deal involves $220M in cash and the exchange of IAC's and units to Liberty Interactive.

Diller, who now assumes the chairman and senior executive slot, says he relinquished the helm because IAC “needs a full-time aggressive and aspirational executive in the CEO role.”

Following the Malone transaction, Diller becomes IAC's biggest shareholder with a 34 percent stake.

He has the right to purchase up to 40 percent of IAC during the next nine months.

“I want this to be a long-term holding for me and my family” said Diller in a statement, adding that “I'm going anywhere.”

IAC’s stock hit a 52-week high of $29.70 on the news. It traded as low as $18.83 during the past year.

IAC properties include, CityGrid Media,, The Daily Beast, which has a joint venture with Newsweek, and


The coming year will see hotter tempers, more faith in tech over institutions, increased do-it-your-self work from gardening to repairs, and a growing desire for change and reinvention among consumers and the public at large, according to Euro RSCG Worldwide PR president and “trendspotter” Marian Salzman.

Salzman outlined 10 key trends she sees taking shape in 2011 in the firm’s annual list of predictions.

She said the polarized midterm elections showed more people leaning toward extremes than ever, fueling an anger that will continue to grow. “But we've also seen many people react to this anger, segregation, and perceived or real loss of control by doing a 180 and becoming even more interested in relationships than possessions and learning how to be more self-sufficient,” she said.

Salzman says the “smart money” is on a BP reputation turnaround next year. “Having shelled out a fortune in compensation and having been on a long-term diet of humble pie, there’s a fair chance that a rebooted BP will be a wiser and more responsible company,” she said, wondering if the millions of Americans who seek reinvention themselves allow corporations to do the same.

Salzman also sees a building stigma over wealth as “big money has begun to smell rotten.” She adds: “The extreme-cash bling of furs, fancy cars and luxury objects will be overtaken by the exteme emo bling of adoring friends going the extra 10 miles.”

Other “minitrends” Salzman sees for 2011 include the rise of African-American consumers, small-scale solar energy devices, mobile healthcare and "smarter" ways to read on the go.

The full report can be downloaded at


Stacy Green, manager of digital partnerships and social media marketing for the New York Times and its website, is moving to Mashable as director of communications for social media news site Mashable.

The site, which claims 10M unique visitors per month, said Green started on Dec. 6, overseeing PR and marketing to improve outreach, internal and external communications.

Green is a former PR manager for and helped launch the site’s blogger outreach and social media program for its corporate communications department.

Mashable has offices in New York and San Francisco.

Also exiting the Times, Patricia Eisemann, assistant director of media relations, community affairs and corporate communications for the paper, will move to Henry Holt, New York, as director of publicity for the publishing house, effective Jan. 3.

She was previously VP and director of publicity at Scribner. Nicole Dewey vacated the Holt slot in October for the executive director/publicity slot at Little, Brown and Company.

Internet Edition, December 8, 2010, Page 5


Public Relations Global Network, a global group of independent firms, has added new members in India and Russia, after approval at the group's semi-annual meeting in Mexico in November.

Perfect Relations in India, and CROS PR and Public Affairs, Moscow, are the new shops.

PRGN president Patricia Pérez of VPE PR in Los Angeles said the group's focus next year will be to market its regional scope and "make it convenient for companies to work with us whether they are looking for representation in one country or one continent."

Perfect Relations has offices in 17 locations with more than 400 staffers and clients like Coca-Cola, Tourism New Zealand and eBay.

CROS was founded in 1997.


Mustafa Stefan Dill, digital content manager at KOAT-TV, has set up a PR and new media advisory shop in Albuquerque geared toward Muslim institutions and businesses.

Dill said he created the firm, Ummah Relations, after analyzing the press and media activities of Muslim organizations over the past year on his blog and for, a group weblog focusing on current Muslim issues.

He said he's concerned about the effectiveness of the PR and media strategies by Muslim groups, as well as the "insularity of our own community."

Dill added: "From a professional point of view, the Muslim community at large needs help in their media savvy, and this is why I developed Ummah Relations."

Dill said Islamic organizations have been sending out press releases for nine years declaring Islam a “religion of peace,” but “Islamophobia has never been higher.”


Susan Davis International, Washington, D.C., won the Non-Profit Communications Campaign of the Year Award at the Stevie Awards for Women in Business competition.

The firm's work for the Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASP, Congressional Gold Medal campaign on behalf of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation won the prize.

SDI created a regional, national and international campaign for WASP highlighting the more than 1,100 women who served during World War II as the first women to fly military aircraft.

Fewer than 300 of the women were alive earlier this year to receive the Congressional Gold Medal.

BRIEF: New York education non-profit TORCH has awarded Porter Novelli a 2010 TORCH Benefit and L.I.G.H.T. Award, the first for a PR firm as previous honors have gone to ad agencies. TORCH supports career training and opportunities in creative fields for high school students in areas like communications and the arts. The awards go to those who “make a difference in the lives of underserved NYC high school students and the community at large.”


New York Area

JS2 Communications, New York/YottaMark, to promote the company's HarvestMark food “traceability” platform.

Alison Brod PR, New York/Mercedes-Benz USA, as AOR for PR for its lifestyle experiences and events, including Fashion Week in New York and Miami. The firm will also handle celebrity-related efforts throughout the year.

BackBay Communications, New York/Corporate Resolutions, business investigations and consulting firm, as AOR for strategic comms. and media relations.

Rubenstein PR, New York/GreenHouse Holdings, sustainable solutions aggregator, for media relations positioning the Pink Sheets-traded company as a clean-tech leader.

Krupp Kommunications, New York/Dr. David Perlmutter, neurologist, for brand management and consulting and national media relations for him, as well as his book, "Power Up Your Brain: The Neuroscience of Enlightenment” (Hay House 2011).

Susan Magrino Agency, New York/Women’s Wear Daily, for PR for its special edition large format book, “WWD: 100 Years, 100 Designers.”

KCSA Strategic Communications, New York/Marchon3D, 3D/sunglass eyewear maker, as AOR for PR. Marchon3D is part of VSP GlobalSM, an existing KCSA client.

MWW Group, East Rutherford, N.J./MDE Group, $1.3 billion wealth management firm, to develop and implement a communications strategy to introduce its Risk 3.0 platform and raise the firm's visibility among the financial advisor and professional investor community.

Beckerman, Hackensack, N.J./City of Perth Amboy (N.J.) Business Improvement District, to promote the advantages of doing business in the city and tax benefits of membership in its Urban Enterprise Zone.

R&J PR, Bridgewater, N.J./Somfy Systems, maker of specialized motors and electronic controls for residential and commercial interior and exterior window covering markets, as AOR for PR.

On Course Strategies, Greenwich, Conn./Birdy & Grace, women's golf apparel, for PR.


Abt Associates, Bethesda, Md./Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for two five-year contracts worth $29.4M to handle marketing and communications support to its office of communication and Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.

Crosby Marketing Communications, Annapolis, Md./Social Security Administration, for public information support; Health Resources and Services Administration, a 10-year client, for a new five-year pact for comms. support of its organ donation programs, and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, to support its outreach and education division on a one-year contract for motor carrier safety outreach communications.

— Greg Hazley

Internet Edition, December 8, 2010, Page 6


New York-based social media consultancy Converseon has tapped analytics veteran Mark Kovscek from Publicis as senior VP of enterprise analystics, a new post.

Converseon CEO Rob Key noted Kovscek’s understanding of “complex business challenges” as well as an ability to “fuse together” social data and more traditional data.

Kovscek’s held several posts at Publicis Groupe, including, most recently, senior VP at Starcom MediaVest Group, and, earlier, senior VP at VivaKi Nerve Center.


Sixteen-year-old digital marketing agency Real Branding has been acquired by Schawk, a global branding firm.

M&A advisory firm Ad Media Partners counseled Real Branding in the deal.
RB has worked with Coca-Cola, Michelob and The North Face among other clients.

Schawk said RB will be integrated in North America under its Anthem Worldwide division.


David Rockland, partner and managing director of Ketchum Global Research Network and CEO of Ketchum Pleon Change, was given the inaugural Services to Industry Award by the AMEC, the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication on Nov. 17 in London.

Rockland was honored for his work on the PR measurement standards known as the Barcelona Principles and for setting up the first AMEC chapter in the U.S.

Mike Daniels, AMEC chairman and director of Report International, said the principles "transformed the way that people look at program measurement."

Rockland serves on the board of AMEC and is the inaugural chair of its U.S. Agency Leaders Research Group.


Women Media Pros, Los Angeles, is expanding its media training services to Wisconsin. Home state of founder and former CNN VP Suzanne Spurgeon.

She said "with so many major businesses based in the Milwaukee area alone, there is a need here for our services."

Spurgeon, who said she and her team will be in the Badger State monthly and by appointment, worked at WVTV in Milwaukee early in her career and set up WMP three years ago. Info:

BRIEF: Chicago-based PR software and services company Cision said its global database of editorial calendars for 2011 is now available through its CisionPoint platform and on a limited basis through a free service at



Steve Rice, director of public affairs for the Food Allergy Initiative, to DDC Advocacy, Washington, D.C., as VP of field operations. He also ran grassroots shop East-West Advocacy after stints as senior VP at Mercury Public Affairs and CrossLink Strategy Group.

Sonia Diaz, a member of Burson-Marsteller’s Miami travel and tourism unit, to Cheryl Andrews Marketing Communications, Coral Gables, Fla., as a senior A/E. She started out at Edelman in Austin before B-M.

Bill Nowling, communications director and spokesman for Governor-elect Rick Snyder, to Duffey Ptrosky, Farmington Hills, Mich., as director of public affairs. He was a communications director for Republicans in the statehouse and the state GOP party, around stints as director of media relations at Sterling Consulting and dir., client service, for The Rossman Group.

Aaron Hoffman, VP of investor relations, Sara Lee Corp., to Corn Products International, Westchester, Ill., as VP of IR and corporate communications. He takes over for John Barry, who was tapped to lead integration of CPI's acquisition of National Starch.

Beverly Braga, former PR administrator for Kia Motors America in D.C., to Mazda North America, Irvine, Calif., as specialist, product communications. Her duties include product-related press kits and information, media comms. for R&D and design, new vehicle launches and promotions, acting as liaison with regional media associations, overseeing the national media fleet and other corporate comms.


Laura Kempke and Ross Levanto to senior VPs, Schwartz Communications, Waltham, Mass. Kempke handles SEO and “closed loop” PR programs, while Levanto is focused on various tech PR efforts.

Chip Davis to executive VP of advocacy, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Washington, D.C. Davis, an AstraZeneca vet who was senior operating officer of the trade group since April, is responsible for leading and managing federal, state and international government relations and advocacy efforts.

David Reuter to VP, corporate communications, Nissan Americas, Franklin, Tenn. Reuter, 39, joined Nissan in May as director from Bentley Motors.

Kimberly Mueller to VP of public affairs for the Manchester Monarchs, the American Hockey League affiliate of the National Hockey League's Los Angeles Kings. She's been with the club since 2003, when she joined as a PR assistant. The Monarchs, based in Manchester, N.H., have also hired intern Griffin Spencer as PR and community rels. coord.

Caroline Boren to managing director of loyalty marketing and customer advocacy, Alaska Airlines, Seattle. Boren, a former VP at Waggener Edstrom, was managing director of strategic and corporate communications. Paul McElroy replaces Boren in the corporate comms. slot.

— Greg Hazley


Internet Edition, December 8, 2010, Page 7


Qorvis has inked a $50K a-month PR contract with Brunei Investment Agency, which manages the $30B portfolio of the tiny oil-rich southwest Asia state.

The D.C.-based firm may receive another $20K in the event that “extensive algorithm development is pre-approved by the client,” according to its contract.

A “cohesive and thoughtful external communications plan” is on tap. Though “long-range deliverables are difficult to determine at this point, preliminary considerations” include message development/training, media relations and blog and online media monitoring.

Qorvis promises to troll the Internet for “indications of negative reactions that might influence the general media or the political world.” It will work for BIA to “develop immediate responses for the online media.”

The firm also will create social media releases, video content and text messages to support the social media push.


Business for Diplomatic Action, which was formed in 2002 as a private sector initiative to improve America’s image overseas, is winding down its activities at yearend.

BDA founder and ad man Keith Reinhard believes America's image abroad has improved to the point at which more nations view the U.S. favorably than unfavorably. He believes BDA’s actions played a part in that image upswing.

BDA’s board of directors including executives from ad/PR firms such as Weber Shandwick, Fleishman-Hillard, BKSH Assocs, DDB Worldwide, Bates North America and TBWA Worldwide. Edelman provided programming support.

“We are proud to have lent our energies and our voice to the improvement of America's relationship with the world,” said Reinhard in a statement. “And while there is always work to be done, we are pleased that so many U.S. corporations are integrating best public diplomacy practices into their day-to-day operations.”


Devaney Communications of Baltimore and New Orleans supported PR efforts for the Louisiana Office of Tourism as it works with a consortium to organize “America’s Night out for Gulf Seafood,” an effort touting the safety of local fish in the wake of the BP oil spill. Restaurants on Dec. 1 served special dishes with Gulf seafood like shrimp or crabs as part of an event dubbed “Dine America 2010.”

Lauren Overby, who heads accounts for Devaney’s New Orleans office, said nearly 300 eateries are taking part across the country to show that Gulf seafood “is safe to eat and is the most scrutinized and tested seafood in the entire world.”

Sales of the region's seafood have been hurt by the spill, as well as the economic downturn and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

As Cliff Hall of New Orleans Fish House said at a press conference announcing the event last month: “Our seafood was never tainted. Only our image was tainted.”


The Dewey Square Group and a subcontracted lobbying firm out of Little Rock, Ark., have owned up to sending forged letters to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission in the name of business leaders and Arkansas residents.

Bloomberg News reported Nov. 30 that the letters - including correspondence claiming to be from H.J. Heinz and Burger King Co. executives - were penned by Dewey Square subcontractor Goggans Inc. of Little Rock, which said it subcontracted the work further.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the letters appear in the public comments section of the CFTC and addressing a rule proposed by the commission regarding derivatives clearing and trading ventures.

“Dewey Square had no reason whatsoever to believe that the letters were not authentic and had no knowledge that they were in fact unauthorized until questions were raised in media accounts,” said a statement from DSG principal Ginny Terzano.

Miles Goggans, head of Goggans Inc. and former aide to Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), said in a statement the letters were written by a subcontractor of his firm and called the work “inexcusable conduct” that he deeply regrets.

Goggans said he’s worked with DSG for 16 years.

The firms did not disclose the client, however.


Sri Lanka has tapped Bell Pottinger and other units of its parent Chime Communications to lead the South Asian nation’s bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Sri Lanka is facing off against Queensland, Australia, to host the Games, which include 71 teams from various current and former member countries of the British Empire, from England and Australia to Swaziland and Namibia.

The country hired Bell Pottinger earlier this year to burnish its image in the wake of last year’s violent crackdown on the Tamil Tigers rebel group. It has worked with Qorvis Communications in the U.S.

The Chime team tapped for the Commonwealth bid includes its newly acquired sports marketing division pmplegacy, which is handling England’s 2018 World Cup pitch, as well as its Fast Track sports events unit and Populous, a sports "environment" designer and producer.

Sri Lankan Central Bank Governor Aiith Cabraal, who heads the country's organizing committee, said in a statement that the appointment “reinforces how important the 2018 bid is to Sri Lanka.”

Sri Lanka is planning to pitch its coastal city of Hambantota for the Games.

“We have a unique and compelling story to tell and our bid will act as an important catalyst in the island's post conflict and tsunami reconstruction and in raising Sri Lanka's profile on the world stage,” said Cabraal.

The country also said it hired PwC to advise on the bid.

An announcement of the winning country is slated to come in November 2011.


Internet Edition, December 8, 2010, Page 8




Bill Gates, the non-college grad billionaire founder of Microsoft, has shaken up the educational establishment by saying there is no correlation between seniority and M.A.’s and quality of teaching. Gates, who has spent billions on educational reform, told the Council of Chief State School Officers to stop linking teacher pay hikes to seniority and master's degrees because they are unrelated to student achievement.

He is now spending $335M on teacher-evaluation systems.

About half the teachers in his home state of Washington have M.A.’s and this costs the state $300M a year, he said. The annual price tag nationwide is $9B. Another $50B yearly pays for seniority-based annual hikes. Annual spending on public education is $500B.

Severe budget problems are forcing school systems to study costs and should help curtail raises based on seniority and M.A.’s, said Gates.

He asked: “Is there any other part of the economy where someone says, ‘Hey, how long have you been mowing lawns?...I want to pay you more for that reason alone.’”

PR Educators Push M.A. Programs

The issue is relevant in PR where practitioners are being urged to get M.A.’s if they want to advance their careers.

Recent grads and PR majors still in school ask us, “Should I seek an M.A. in PR or communications?”

The short answer is “No.” Credentials are apt to carry more weight in corporations and institutions where the main audiences are related to the company and include employees, customers, suppliers, stockholders, local communities, and retireds.

Corporate focus has also switched heavily to legislative goals at the national and state levels.

Agencies, which have mostly taken over the public discussion and press relations parts of PR, look for creativity, writing ability and personal sales skills.

Many grads already owe tens of thousands for their B.A.'s and an M.A. in PR will cost another $30-$40K.

Academics Drove APR Vote

Academics are riding high at PR Society of America where they led the Assembly to block non-APRs on the board. This condemns the group to an undemocratic setup for an indefinite future.

Academics put a high value on degrees, certificates, diplomas and credentials of almost any type and are against anything that devalues APR.

An indication of their political control of PRS is that only one of the 110 chapter presidents signed the petition of the Committee for a Democratic PRSA that sought non-APRs on the board. That was Eric Moses of L.A. New York chapter president Irene Maslowski put “New Jersey” after her name and NY delegate Art Stevens and 2011 president Sandra Fathi did the same.

Academics will hold a record five of the 17 seats on the 2011 PRS board-Stephen Iseman of Ohio Northern; Kirk Hazlett, Curry College; Susan Walton, Brigham Young; 2011 chair Rosanna Fiske, Florida Int’l Univ., and Steven Grant, National Education Assn.

NEA Is in Orbit about Gates

The NEA, the largest teachers’ union, is in orbit over Gates’ remarks saying “experience makes a difference in student achievement-teachers get better,” and that additional training “improves content knowledge and should be compensated.”

Grant’s election to a second straight two-year term as a director is an example not only of the power of academics in the Society but cronyism and defiance of Society tradition.

For its first 52 years, no PRS director or officer returned to the board. “Directors may not succeed themselves,” said the bylaws.

Grant, who ran for treasurer this year, was defeated for that post by Phil Tate (who succeeded his own self, another record). He simply moved his candidacy to Mid-Atlantic director, knocking out Linda Burkley of Harrisburg.

No doubt the ruling clique has Grant in mind for treasurer when Tate steps up to chair-elect.

Grant can thus be on the board for another five years or a total of nine altogether.

NEA Will Hold its Nose

NEA, which perceives Grant's role in PRS as both good PR and good politics, will ignore such Society abuses as its undemocratic governance structure, its anti-press policies, and its withholding of vital information to members.

Rank-and-file members are not allowed to see the national list of delegates; not allowed to know what the delegates said at the Assembly, and not allowed to know how they voted. Transcripts have been withheld since 2005.

There actually is no national list of delegates since the list is on a voluntary basis. Delegates themselves don’t get to see whatever names are there until about two weeks before the Assembly. If they want the list, they are forced to sign a promise of confidentiality before receiving it.

Press Policies Sink to New Low

Society press policies sank to a new low at the 2010 conference. Three O’Dwyer staffers were blocked from covering it unless registration fees totaling $3,825 were paid.

VP-PR Arthur Yann e-mailed a member Aug. 20 that O’Dwyer staffers had to pay because the O’Dwyer Newsletter “attended last year’s conference but never wrote about it.”

This was false because the Wendell Potter/Arianna Huffington session was covered extensively by the O’Dwyer website. Free admittance was given to reporters for PR News and PR Newser but denied to O’Dwyer staffers.

Not only was this reporter blocked from recording or taking pictures at the Assembly, a first, but a delegate shouted a string of obscenities at us. This was seen by a group of delegates including a national director, Yann said in an e-mail.

We described this incident on the phone to the Washington, D.C., police who asked us to come to h.q. to file a report.

A detective listened for about 15 minutes to the interferences with press coverage (including an attack by a “Flash Mob” of 20 delegates who pressed pens into our hand and fled) and a description of the verbal assault.

He consulted the law and said that while verbal assault is a crime in nearby Maryland and New York, an assault victim has to be “touched” in some way by an assailant in D.C. for a crime to be committed.

— Jack O'Dwyer


Copyright © 1998-2020 J.R. O'Dwyer Company, Inc.
271 Madison Ave., #600, New York, NY 10016; Tel: 212/679-2471