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Internet Edition, December 22, 2010, Page 1

Happy Holidays to all our readers. The next issue of the newsletter will be Jan. 5. Follow breaking news on


The office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that handles criminal illegal aliens is planning an RFP for communications and public outreach services on a pact that could stretch five years.

The work is to include strategic counsel, message development, stakeholder relationship management, media monitoring and analysis, and a speakers bureau, among other tasks. ICE’s Office of Secure Communities combines data from the Dept. of Homeland Security and Dept. of Justice to identify aliens arrested by local authorities.

Its fingerprint/biometric sharing program – dubbed “Secure Communities” – has drawn criticism and a legal challenge in New York since its implementation by the Obama administration in 2008.

The government said 47,000 illegal immigrants had been removed under the crackdown as of August, although some communities – Arlington, Va., San Francisco and Santa Clara, Calif. – have tried to opt out citing civil liberties concerns as well as claims that the program has swept up innocent victims as well.

The resulting OSC PR contract is expected to run for 11 months with four year-long options. The Secure Communities Program is slated to go national by 2013.

The Cardozo Law School has brought a suit on behalf of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network in New York which seeks to obtain government documents surrounding the program.


Marty Russo, CEO of Cassidy & Assocs., has accepted a “generous buyout” and is leaving the Washington lobbying firm Dec. 31, according an internal e-mail from Gerry Cassidy.

The former Congressman from Illinois spent 18 years at the Interpublic unit founded by Cassidy in 1975.

Russo’s departure comes as C&A slates a restructuring in a bid to rebound from a slump brought on, in part, by the Congressional backlash against “earmarks,” a C&A specialty.

Roll Call reports that C&A cut 20 percent of its staff this year.

The firm will soon expand its government relations capabilities via the Jan. 1 acquisition of The Rhoads Group, which has strengths in federal marketing, national security, defense and healthcare.

Barry Rhoads is slated to become president of C&A. Cassidy will remain executive chairman.


Brunswick Group is handling the sale of the former Blackwater – now XE Services – training and security operation to USTC Holdings, which is led by private equity firms Forte Capital and Manhattan Partners.

Blackwater lost its status as America’s go-to security contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan after its guards were accused in 2007 of slaughtering 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad, an event that triggered a raft of probes and lawsuits.

With the takeover, XE Services CEO and former Navy Seal Erik Prince is divesting his entire stake in the company and will neither be involved in management nor its operation, according to the agreement. The new XE remains subject to a consent agreement that was signed with the State Dept. to settle violations of U.S. export control regulations.


The Sunshine State’s affordable housing entity is on the hunt for agency pitches to handle its research-based PR programs, as well as some media planning and buying focused on minority markets.

The Tallahassee-based Florida Housing Finance Corp. issued an RFQ on Dec. 10 with a deadline of Jan. 7 (questions by Dec. 20). Multiple three-year contracts are possible to handle assignments as they arise over that terms. Two option years will also be attached to any pacts. The RFQ calls for a descriptions of a PR or media buy campaign with a budget in the $100-500K range.

Download the RFP at


Gary Karr, executive VP in Edelman’s healthcare unit, is slated to join the Advanced Medical Technology Association as EVP of public affairs in January.

The association, known as AdvaMed, is the D.C.-based trade group for medical device and diagnostic companies.

The EVP slot had been held by Michael McGarry, a former Royal Dutch Shell communications exec.

Karr was previously director of media affairs for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, serving as chief spokesman as the agency rolled out the Medicare prescription drug plan in 2004. He joined Edelman in 2006.


Internet Edition, December 22, 2010, Page 2


President Barack Obama has appointed MWW Group CEO Michael Kempner to the first-ever White House Council for Community Solutions, which is to advise the president on ways to mobilize businesses, non-profits, individuals and government to solve local needs.

Kempner told O'Dwyer’s that he is looking forward to working with the Council.

The group is chaired by Patty Stonesifer, former chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and now chair of the Smithsonian Institution’s board of regents.

Other members include Byron Auguste, senior partner at McKinsey & Co.; Paula Boggs, executive VP at Starbucks Coffee Co.; John Donahoe; president/CEO, eBay; Nancy Rubin, co-chair, Amnesty International; Steven Lerner, managing partner of Blue Hill Group; Bobbi Silten, chief foundation officer, Gap Inc. and singer Jon Bon Jovi.


Robinson Lerer & Montgomery is handling the bankruptcy filing of the storied Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., which at its peak during the 1930s operated 16,000 supermarkets from coast-to-coast.

Founded in 1859, A&P began its decline in the early 1970s, hammered by competition from mega-stores and shrinkage of small-town America. Germany’s Tengelmann bought A&P in 1979.

Today’s A&P has 395 stores in eight states from Massachusetts to Virginia with names including A&P, Pathmark, Waldbaum’s , Food Emporium, Best Cellar's, Super Fresh and Food Basics. Annual sales are in the $9B range.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved a debtor-in-possession financing package ironed out by JPMorgan Chase on Dec. 13.

A&P CEO Sam Martin is telling customers, employees and vendors that they will see little impact from the Chapter 11 filing.

RL&M’s Scot Hoffman and Eric Andrus are working the A&P account. WPP owns RL&M.


Carmichael Lynch Spong has won PR duties for four Newell Rubbermaid brands, including the flagship Rubbermaid, following a six-month review.

CLS’ sister advertising unit, Carmichael Lynch, won the ad account review, which was conducted simultaneously.

CLS’ scope includes Atlanta-based NR's Home & Family brands, which also include Levolor, Kirsch and Amerock.

Doug Spong, president of CLS, said the brands covered in the new account have a “strong sense of purpose” that drives engagement.

“Our job is to translate that brand essence to consumers in a way that endears brand devotion,” he said. Search consultant The Bedford Group handled the review.

Reader Note: Due to a numbering error, there is no issue No. 49 this year. This is issue No. 50, the final publication of the year.


Patton Boggs has inked a $35K a-month pact to represent oil rich and human rights poor Azerbaijan, the former Soviet Union republic. It works with Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to the U.S.

Thanks to WikiLeaks, American/Azeri ties have been in the news. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dialed up Azerbaijan president Ilham Aliyev on Dec. 15 to express regret about a WikiLeaks disclosure of U.S. diplomatic cables that compared him to a mafia boss in “The Godfather” films. She assured him that U.S. ties with Azerbaijan are strong.

In his Dec. 16 briefing, State Dept. spokesperson P.J. Crowley said Aliyev does not believe the cables will impact the long-term relationship between the two countries.

Another WikiLeaks reveals how BP narrowly avoided a potential explosion from a natural gas field leak, 18 months before its Gulf of Mexico spill.

President Obama met with Aliyev in New York during U.N. Week and expressed his hope for democratic reforms and increased human rights protections in Azerbaijan.

Human Rights Watch published a report on Oct. 26 called “Beaten, Blacklisted and Behind Bars: The Vanishing Space for Freedom of Expression in Azerbaijan” that outlines the crackdown on journalists and activists.


The public sector authority that runs Detroit’s million-square-foot convention hall and hosts the North American International Auto Show is on the hunt for a PR firm via an RFP.

The Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority, which took over a 30-year lease on the Cobo Hall Convention and Exhibition Center last year, issued an RFP on Dec. 6 for strategic PR and media relations.

The center has hosted the auto show since 1961, as well as other trade shows and events to draw about 1.5M visitors each year. Deadline is Dec. 23.

Download the RFP at


Ken Spain, fresh from victory as communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee, has been tapped as VP of PA for the Private Equity Growth Capital Council, the trade group for the PE sector.

The three-year-old PEGCC was founded as the Private Equity Council to defend private equity firms from criticism and burnish the industry’s image. Its name changed in September.

Robert Stewart, former corporate comms. chief at Caesars Entertainment and Teligent, has been VP/PA for the group since its inception. He moved to TheWadeGroup as a senior VP.

In a statement to O’Dwyer’s, PEGCC said: “Robert helped build an effective communications program for the PEGCC during some very tumultuous times and made important contributions in this area and others over his four year tenure.”


Internet Edition, December 22, 2010, Page 3


Eleanor McManus, a veteran senior producer for “Larry King Live,” which ended its 25-year run on Dec. 16, is moving to Davis-Block as a partner in the D.C. firm’s strategic communications unit on Jan. 1.

D-B is the firm of former Clinton White House troubleshooter Lanny Davis and political strategist Josh Block.

McManus was King’s top political producer, wrangling heavyweights from President Obama to Vladimir Putin for King’s show during her 10-year term on the CNN show.

“She was an invaluable resource for all things Washington – there was no one more plugged into the D.C. political scene than Eleanor,” King said in a statement.

D-B noted that in addition to her Rolodex, McManus is widely sought as a TV and media trainer.


Bloomberg News has tapped a former New York Times editorial page hand and ex-State Department public affairs chief to head its foray into publishing commentary.

David Shipley, deputy editorial page editor and op-ed editor of the Times, and James Rubin, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs during the Clinton administration, will take the helm of the new “page” dubbed Bloomberg View as executive editors in January.

Bloomberg editor-in-chief Matthew Winkler praised the experience and skill the two hires will bring to BV’s “mandate” of developing a view “consistent with the values and beliefs” of the company and founder Michael Bloomberg.

BV will include columns and commentary across the company’s platforms, including digital, print and broadcast.

Rubin will focus on Central and South America, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Shipley is to oversee the U.S. and Canada, Bloomberg said. Both editors report to Winkler.

Rubin said there is a need for “ideology-free, empirically-based editorial positions.”


The U.S. Air Force is blocking computer access to the New York Times and media sites that have published reports about information contained in documents acquired by WikiLeaks.

The affected websites include U.K.’s The Guardian, Germany’s Der Spiegel, France’s LeMonde and Spain’s El Pais.

The Air Force says it frequently restricts access to sites that carry “inappropriate material.” The WikiLeaks ban comes from the 24th Air Force unit led by Major Gen. Richard Webber who is in charge of cyberwarfare and computer security.

The NYT released a statement on the ban, calling it “unfortunate that the U.S. Air Force has chosen not to allow its personnel access to information that virtually everyone else in the world can access.”


Yahoo! is slicing 600 people (four percent of its work force) in a bid to halt the slide of the Internet company.

These “personnel changes are part of our ongoing strategy to best position Yahoo! for revenue growth and margin expansion and to support our strategy to deliver differentiated products to the marketplace,” the company said in a statement.

The bulk of the cuts are taking place in the company's products group, which includes the news, sports and financial pages and the email service.

Yahoo! fired 600 workers in `09.


Pulitzer Prize-winner Robin Givhan is leaving the Washington Post to join Tina Brown at Newsweek, the joint venture of IAC/Interactive and audio kingpin Sidney Harman.

Brown released a statement to say she is thrilled that Givhan is “bringing her stylish pen, reportorial rigueur and keen cultural insight to Newsweek and The Daily Beast.”

During a 15-year career at the Post, Givhan worked largely as a fashion editor. Post “Style” editor Ned Martel says he'll miss Givhan’s “reasoned, elegant columns.”


Viacom’s Comedy Central is joining The Onion to launch next month a comedy site featuring news, analysis, rankings and charts.

The site will be an extension of the Onion Sports Dome series that debuts Jan. 11.

It plans to encourage fan connectivity and community based on a presence on Facebook and Twitter.


Staples VP of PR Paul Capelli has moved to QVC as VP of corporate communications and community affairs for the global home shopping giant.

Capelli, an Arthur W. Page Society board member, spent eight years at the office supply retailer after two-year stints as VP of PR at CNBC TV and senior PR executive at from 1998-2000.

QVC, with had third quarter revenue of $1.8 billion and is owned by Liberty Interactive Corp., has been expanding its empire to the online arena. now accounts for one-third of the company’s revenue. In a lengthy Dec. 9 profile, the U.K.’s Guardian wondered, “Can things get any better for shopping channel QVC?”

Capelli started out in the agency realm and rose to senior VP at Ketchum in seven years at the Omnicom firm, eventually directing its Miami office and Latin American network. Earlier stints included Creamer Dickson Basford and Backer Spielvogel Bates.

QVC is based in West Chester, Pa.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, December 22, 2010, Page 4


Randy Rothenberg, CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau for the past three years, has been named chief digital officer of Time Inc.

The former New York Times ad columnist is to scout for acquisitions and map new revenues opportunities for the Time Warner unit when he begins the job next month. He also was chief marketing officer and senior director of intellectual capital at Booz Allen & Hamilton.

Jack Griffin, CEO of Time Inc., believes Rothenberg is the ideal person to position brands such as People, Sports Illustrated and Time as innovators in the tablet and other emerging digital categories. He took over for Ann Moore in August.

At the IAB, Patrick Dolan, executive VP and COO, will lead the trade group until Rothenberg’s replacement is hired.


Conservatives wanting to junk the individual mandate of the healthcare law are not acting in the best interests of the insurance industry, according to Wendell Potter, author of “Deadly Spin.”

The former Cigna PR executive told The California Endowment Dec. 14 that the insurance industry’s business model isn’t sustainable without the mandate. He has referred to the mandate as the Insurance Industry Protection Act of 2010.

Potter explained that without healthy individuals enrolled in healthcare plans until they become sick, insurers would be forever jacking up premiums to the point at which “more and more people priced out of the system.” That would erode bottom lines and either “hasten the demise of the insurance industry” or “bring about something far less free market-driven.”

Potter spoke in the aftermath of a federal judge’s decision to declare the mandate provision of the healthcare law unconstitutional. He anticipates the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately decide the fate of healthcare law based on how political it wants to be.

What about enrolling everyone in Medicare?

In an email to, Potter described how past efforts to expand Medicare to cover everybody failed. Senator Ted Kennedy tried to achieve universal coverage through Medicare expansion during the Nixon years, according to Potter. “Nixon responded by offering the HMO Act, which led to the rapid movement of Americans into HMOs and other managed care places over the subsequent years,” he wrote.

Insurers and other special interests have fought a behind-the-scenes battle to fight off recent bids to expand Medicare. An expansion “would require a relatively simple bill but would lead to massive change in the financing and delivery of care, which special interests don't want,” noted Potter.

Conservatives would “mount the mother of all spin campaigns” to prevent it from happening, he said.

Potter concedes that expanding Medicare would increase taxes, but would overall reduce overall healthcare spending, especially on insurance premiums.


David McCurdy, top Washington PR man for the auto industry, is leaving Feb. 1 to reportedly helm the American Gas Assn.

The exit comes at a critical time for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers as the new Congress will tackle safety, emissions and efficiency standards.

The Alliance, which includes General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Chrysler, BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen, Mitsubishi, Toyota and Jaguar-Land Rover, has named John Whatley, VP and general counsel as its interim head. It plans to launch a national search for McCurdy’s replacement in the new year.

The Detroit News gives McCurdy, a former Congressman from Oklahoma, high marks for building consensus among the competitive auto companies.


The Government of Honduras has signed Lanny Davis & Assocs. to a four-month $80K contract designed to improve its relations with the U.S.

While at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe in `09, President Clinton’s former legal advisor worked for the Honduran Latin American Business Council of business interests that backed the ouster of then President Manuel Zelaya.

Current Honduran president Porfirio Lobo says he wants a legal remedy for the return of Zelaya, who is currently living in the Dominican Republic.

According to WikiLeaks, former U.S. Ambassador to Honduras Charles Ford wrote a memo that said Zelaya advisors had links to organized crime. On Dec. 10, Zelaya issued a statement that called the allegations “reckless accusations that constitute the crime of defamation.”

Davis was Clinton's chief defender during the Monica Lewinsky crisis. He reports to Honduran Ambassador Jorge Ramon Hernandez-Alcerro.


The Vidalia Onion Committee, the Georgia-based collective which markets the sweet onions, has moved its PR account to Langston Libby Group of Atlanta after an RFP review.

Vidalia onions are trademarked and grown only in the Peach State, where they were designated the state vegetable in 1990.

Tampa, Fla.-based Sahlman Williams was the incumbent, handling the account for the past four years.

The committee said its choice came after an “extensive search involving some of the best PR firms in the country,” including agencies of all sizes. Executive director Wendy Brannen, who headed the search, said the choice of firms that received the RFP was a “very meticulous process.”

Steve Langston, an Atlanta-based food marketing pro who worked on the committee’s “Shrek Forever After” promotion with Dreamworks Animation in April, partnered with Langston Libby Group on the pitch.

Finalists pitched Dec. 9 and the decision was made Dec. 14 by the committee, which represents 100 growers and was set up in 1989 under a federal marketing order.

Internet Edition, December 22, 2010, Page 5


James Newmyer, who founded Newmyer Assocs. in 1943 with his father and brother, died Dec. 10 of congestive heart failure. He was 91.

In its obit, the Washington Post hailed the now defunct firm as “one of Washington’s most venerable public affairs and government relations firms, a low-profile family business whose heavyweight clientele was the envy of many competitors.”

The firm ranked as the “city’s most respected suppliers of information on political and regulatory news trends.”

The Newmyer brothers, who retired about 20 years ago, staffed the firm with journalists and former government officials who were experts on pension regulations, labor relations, antitrust and consumer affairs, according to the paper.

They neither lobbied nor pitched the media, preferring to provide access to top level execs from clients such as IBM, Exxon, Ford Motor, AT&T, CBS, Gillette and Citibank.


New York-based fashion PR firm KCD has unveiled KCD Digital, a division the firm said, is meant to apply its fashion PR and production experience to the digital realm.

Keith Baptisa, senior VP of production at KCD, and VP of PR Rachna Shah will oversee the digital unit as managing directors.

KCD has also added Danielle McGrory, former marketing manager at Intermix, to the new unit.


Two productions by Tallahassee-based Ron Sachs Communications were awarded 2010 Emmy Awards by the Suncoast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

The projects included “Quality of Life,” a PSA campaign for the Florida League of Cities, and “Prevent Child Abuse,” a PSA for The Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida.

The awards are the fifth and sixth Emmys for the firm since 2006.


Syngenta Crop Protection and its agency Gibbs & Soell PR won a 2010 Communitas Award for leadership in community service and corporate social responsibility.

The awards program is organized by the Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals.

G&S and its client won for the Weeding out Hunger with Halex GT campaign, created by the firm and launched in early 2010 to support Sygenta’s herbicide Halex.

Syngenta introduced the push to engage growers in supporting food banks in corn-growing regions of the United States as 49 million Americans are said to suffer from hunger. The effort also created a “positive way” for Halex GT to stand out in the marketplace and offered another channel for Syngenta to advance its mission of helping to feed nine billion people by 2050, the firm said.


New York Area

Hamilton PR, New York/Hofstra University, to create an overall marketing campaign for the school’s 2010-11 basketball season after handling the assignment last year, and Hips & Curves, online plus-size lingerie store.

Rubenstein PR, New York/Dr. Steven G. Dorsky, spinal surgeon and author, for PR.

Affect Strategies, New York/Bug Labs, products and services that allow businesses to produce networked devices;, web guide to electronics deals;, online dating service, and Valiance Partners, software and services for businesses with significant risk in data and content migrations, all for PR.


Pirozzolo Company PR, Boston/Husin Intelligence Group, to conduct PR and crisis management training in Southeast Asia for the executive training company based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Executives from companies like Coca Cola, Acer, HSBC Bank and DHL are taking part.

Duffy & Shanley, Providence, R.I./Staples, to manage its 2010 PR efforts for the holiday shopping season. The office supplies giant has been a client for the past two years.

Vitamin, Baltimore/RMF Engineering, East Coast engineering firm, as AOR for PR, including messaging, media relations, media training and ongoing counsel. The firm developed RMF’s new website in October.

Crosby Marketing Communications, Annapolis, Md./Catholic Relief Services, for a strategic marketing assessment of Operation Rice Bowl, a Lenten humanitarian program, and to develop interactive tools to allow staff and partners to design programs for child-focused international relief programs.

The Buzz Agency, Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Gamo Outdoor USA, air guns and accessories, for PR and social media.


JSH&A PR, Chicago/SKIL Power Tools, as AOR for traditional PR and social media relations for its tool products.

Mountain West

Red Jeweled Media, Denver/Hygeia, to promote its breastfeeding products to new and expecting moms throughout the U.S.


Schwartz Communications, San Francisco/blueKiwi Software, a division of Paris-based blueKiwi Software SA, as AOR for PR via the firm’s business software and solutions practice group.


AxiCom Cohn & Wolfe, London/ITU Telecom World 2011, for PR and social media, following a competitive pitch process, to drive brand awareness and understanding of the event marking its 40th anniversary in Geneva next year. The account is led by Richard White, telecoms practice leader. C&W acquired European tech firm AxiCom in 2008.

— Greg Hazley

Internet Edition, December 22, 2010, Page 6


New York City broadcast PR firm Mark Haefeli Productions has hired Stacy Shapiro Mello as VP/executive producer. She joins from Vidicom, where she handled day-to-day operations and was responsible for all content.

Mark Haefeli, creative director/president, says Mello adds “another dimension of competence, excellence and creativity” to the shop. He expects her to be a “major contributor on every level.”

Mello is a 15-year programming veteran. She began her career at WNYW Fox Channel 5 in New York, served as part of the launch team of the Fox News Channel and then shifted to WCBS-TV as entertainment producer. At VH1, MTV and A&E Networks, Mello gained long format production experience working with Elvis Costello, Britney Spears, Lenny Kravitz and Ozzy Osbourne.


Staffers from WestGlen Communications took part in New York Cares’ Winter Wishes Program earlier this month to provide gifts for disadvantaged children and families for the holidays.

Each staffer recived a “Dear Santa” letter from a child requesting a gift. They then bought the presents, wrapped them and sent them off to the individual children.


New York-based broadcast PR services company News Broadcast Network unveiled an enhanced video/audio content hosting site and social media distribution platform

NBN said the revamped site, which lets users view and download video and audio news content, has a more sophisticated design interface along with improved syndication and general site capabilities, as well as a more user friendly landscape.

Content is organized in several categories from business to travel and is geared twoard both general users and professional journalists, the firm said.

All content is free and unrestricted for use in formats like Flash, WMV, MOV and MP3, as well as broadcast quality.



Brendan Daly, comms. director for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, will join Ogilvy PR Worldwide’s D.C. office as an executive VP to direct its national public affairs division early next year. Daly, a former journalist, was chief spokesman and comms. director for the California Democrat since 2002. He joined her office from the gun control advocacy group, the Brady Campaign, as comms. director. Earlier, he worked for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

Magi Curtis, associate director of legislative advocacy programs for the National Association of Children's Hospitals in Washington, D.C., and Nikki Cary, former comms. director for Data Systems International, to Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock, Nashville, Tenn. Eleanor Boyer, former deputy press secretary for U.S. Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.), and account manager with DCI Group, has also joined the firm.

Mitch Anderson, communications intern at Edina Public Schools, and Elizabeth Kitt, a staffer at Landau PR, to Tunheim Partners, Minneapolis, as A/Es. Bill Brozak, who joined the firm in 2007, was promoted to A/M.

Chris Lippincott, spokesman for the Texas Department of Transportation, to Weber Shandwick, Austin, a return to the Interpublic after his earlier work at BSMG/D.C. during the 1990s.

Dan Peterson, director of comms. for real estate developer The Alexander Company, to JohnstonWells, Denver, as a senior associate.

Joe Dowling, GM of IR and corporate affairs, Lihir Gold, to Nautilus Minerals, Toronto, as VP of IR and communications.

Robert Eakins, senior VP and healthcare practice leader of Publicis’ MS&LGroup’s Canadian operation, to GCI Health, Toronto, part of WPP.


Michael Graham to VP of government and public affairs for the American Dental Association, Washington, D.C., starting Jan. 3. He joined the trade group in 1995.

Kaitlyn Sweeney to senior A/E, The Marcus Group, Little Falls, N.J., handling PR and social media efforts. She joined in 2009.

Jennifer Miltner to A/S, Fleishman-Hillard, Cleveland, Miltner joined in 2007. Cari Steiner, who joined in 2009, was upped to A/E, and Karen Luke ('08) was promoted to coordinator. In Columbus, Bob Beasley ('07) was promoted to VP and Molly Sustar ('05), to managing supervisor.

Tina Barry to executive VP, corporate affairs, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Plano, Tex. She joined the company in 2008 as VP/corporate comms.

Kate Catlin to senior A/E, MMI PR, Raleigh, N.C.

— Greg Hazley


Internet Edition, December 22, 2010, Page 7

REVIEW OF 2010 by Jack O'Dwyer _______

With PR increasingly being asked to build employee morale, we liked this advice from David Ridley of Southwest Airlines: “The best way to have happy employees is to hire people who are already happy.”

Bill Margaritis of FedEx said companies should get their employees, suppliers, stockholders, etc., to tell good stories about the company to each other and the outside world. In other words get the choir to do the preaching.
Companies should also create their own “modern media companies” to reach audiences since traditional media have both shrunk and become fractionated, he added.

PR pros paid big to learn how to use “social media” including a $1,195 session at Coca-Cola h.q. in Atlanta Feb. 22-24 co-sponsored with Ragan Comms.; $1,900 for the Social Media World Forum in London March 15-16; $1,495 for the SM Newcomm Forum April 20-23 in San Mateo, and $999 for PRSA SM session Jan. 27-28 in D.C. PR pro Doug Fenichel reported receiving 27 SM pitches from Sept. 27-Oct. 1.

Coke and other soft drink companies were targeted by Michelle Obama who is leading a $10 billion “Let’s Move” campaign against childhood obesity.

Financial writers, who took a beating for not foreseeing the economic nosedive, claimed no one listens to them anyway. Barron’s reporter Erin Arvedlund nailed Bernie Madoff in 2001 but said only silence met her research that included 100 interviews.

The Committee to Protect Journalists raised $1.47M at a banquet Nov. 23 but it’s almost 100% focused on persecution of journalists abroad while (figurative) slaughter of U.S. journalists gathers steam. Despairing U.S. journalists need help but so far CPJ chair Paul Steiger is turning a deaf ear to our calls to him on this.

Steiger and his fellow executives at ProPublica are under fire from journalists for taking “eye-popping” salaries. Dan Gillmor of Mediactive says the $570K pay of Steiger and high pay for other staffers “hurts” the credibility of ProPublica. Small non-profits do not pay anywhere near such salaries, he says.

Some journalists say ProPublica is not publicly-funded at all but gets almost all of its money from Herbert and Marion Sandler who gave it $10M. The money is tainted because the Sandlers made $2.4B by dumping Golden West Financial on Wachovia Bank in 2006. A huge portfolio of bad loans was discovered at GW that caused an almost immediate “fire sale” of Wachovia to Wells Fargo.

CPJ, New York Financial Writers Assn. and the Overseas Press Club raise lots of money via $400 and up tickets to the banquets mostly supported by blue chips. But so far we have been unable to interest leadership of the groups in the plight of U.S. journalists. They don’t want to rattle the cages of their corporate sugar daddies.

Customer Relationship Management, which can be an insidious practice, became a buzzword. Basically it means lavish attention on your best, most profitable, easiest-to-deal-with customers and either dump or slight those small, pesky, unprofitable ones.

PR Society of America practices CRM on its Assembly delegates since they elect the board and pass bylaws. No one else really counts. So the 110 chapter presidents, who under the new bylaws are the delegates, get $550 each in cash and five free meals including a dinner at the Leadership Rally in New York each June. Plenty of other “goodies” are available to them. Rank-and-file members get short shrift—barred from knowing who is in the Assembly, what the delegates said, or how they voted.

As for other “goodies” available to favorites, here’s a sample: a PRS Counselors Academy promotion says the “No. 1 question” PRS receives each month is, “Where can I find a PR firm or consultant?” Who gets those new business tips?! They’re not on the Society website.

The 2009 O’Dwyer PR firm rankings showed 15 of the top 25 and 32 of the top 50 had declines. Edelman, by far the biggest at $440M, only had a 2% drop.

Healthcare PR continued to boom with 80 firms reporting fees in this category topped by $98.3M for Edelman. No. 2 was Ruder Finn at $50.6M and No. 3 was APCO Worldwide at $24.3M.

An poll found New York PR pros want a neutral midtown library/meeting place (rather than having to use offices of PR firms). Uninterested (so far) are any of the PR groups including Arthur Page, Council of PR Firms, IPR, PRSA, etc., whose cash/savings total about $13 million.

Failed “putsch” of the year was the attempt to remove the APR rule for the national board of the PRSA after 35 years. The drive crippled itself by praising APR as “a hallmark for professional improvement.” Perplexed APR fans asked, “How can you devalue something and value it at the same time?” Only one of the 110 chapter presidents supported the drive.

Ferocious arguments took place in a PRSA e-group with 2001 chair Kathy Lewton alone posting more than 10,000 words.

Referring to APR, Sam Lubetkin said it was a case of “eating our own dog food,” a remark he no doubt regrets.

Lubetkin also said (correctly) that removing APR as a requirement for national leadership would probably be the death of APR. Yes—killed by democracy.

Julia Hood ended a ten-year editorial career at PR Week by joining Page with the title of president (upgraded from executive director).

Page’s status as a 501/c/3 “charity” is open to question since members receive benefits and strict membership rules are applied. Charities normally let anyone “belong” and “benefits” of membership are nil. They don’t charge yearly dues of $1,395 as Page does.

Johnson & Johnson got hit repeatedly by the New York Times (reporter Natasha Singer) and others as about 136 million of its Children’s Tylenol and other products were recalled. FDA is conducting a criminal investigation.

At least eight major media including the NYT, Economist, Financial Times of London and Christian

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Internet Edition, December 22, 2010, Page 8




REVIEW OF 2010 by Jack O'Dwyer _____________

(Cont'd from page 7)

Science Monitor, played J&J’s current troubles off the backboard of its supposed expert handling of the Tylenol murders in 1982-86.

But Prof. Tony Jaques of Australia and former employee Scott Bartz are arguing that J&J’s marketing of Tylenols in easily-spiked capsules was anything but admirable and especially not after seven people were murdered with them. J&J offered a disingenuous $100K award both times.

Deaths in 2010 included AT&T PR executive Marilyn Laurie; Harvey Greisman, corporate PR veteran (GTE, IBM, MasterCard); John Beardsley, retired CEO of Padilla Speer Beardsley and 1995 PR Society president; Betsy Ann Plank, 1973 PRS president active with PR students, and Joseph Cerrell, L.A. counselor.

Laurie’s death, from brain cancer, focused interest on the suspicion that cellphones cause such cancers. Harper’s predicted an epidemic of brain cancers in about 20 years, saying cellphones emit the same radiation as microwave ovens.

“Social media” (meaning electronic socializing) may be booming but real socializing and in-person meetings are a fraction of what they once were. Only half of the 24 New York PR chat groups that met in the 1970s are still left. The list is here.

Socializing in the 1960s and ’70s meant PR and press couples going “out-on-the-town,” trading home-and-home visits and dinners, and companies hosting sporting and other events at which spouses were welcome.

Social skills used to be sharpened at college but students have become grinds immersed in their own worlds, wrote the New York Post’s Andrea Peyser Nov. 15. College is now “an alienated pressure cooker where developing social graces, making friends or simple conversation seems the last item on a long list,” she said. Peyser describe a game at Columbia University called “The Social Experiment” designed to bring students out of their shells.

A course that is lacking in PR education is “personality development.” The agency business, where most PR is these days, hinges on bringing in new business. Half or more of the principals’ time may be spent on this.

A good exercise for a PR student would be cold-calling all the merchants, businesses and organizations in his or her hometown, offering promotional help or to do whatever is needed by the organization. A PR student who is too shy or is repelled by this idea should seek another career.

Ben Sonnenberg, one of New York’s most successful PR pros, sought to find out what clients “really” wanted and often it wasn’t more money or sales. It might be getting an offspring in college. Do a favor for a client’s child and you’ll never lose the account, he advised. One of his first jobs was door-to-door salesman. “He frequented Broadway, seeking doors that were ajar and could be pushed in,” wrote biographer Isadore Barmash.

PR pros, especially at corporations and institutions, have become serious, formal and tight-lipped. They remind us of the guards in front of Buckingham Palace.

Organizational PR pros are on a short leash—confined to e-mail “conversations” with reporters that are supervised by legal. So wrote PR pro-turned journalist Wendell Potter, author of “Deadly Spin,” a critique of healthcare industry PR.

Potter, who is on a nationwide, barnstorming tour for his book, has some key statistics in it: the big five insurers (Wellpoint, United Healthcare, Aetna, Cigna, Humana) had $12.2B in profits in 2009, up 56% from 2008. Their cost of family plans has risen 97% from 2000-2008 or 4.6X as fast as general inflation.

“PR specialists” outnumber “reporter/correspondents” by nearly five-to-one, according to 2008 U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics quoted by Potter: 240,610 to 50,690.

PR has also emerged as the “corporate gestapo, poised to jump on anyone who dares to speak about the company without permission including not only employees but suppliers. Viacom’s 48-page “gag” booklet was called “corporate terrorism” by the Village Voice.

The tight-as-a-bolt PR Society warned members of its confidential e-mail groups that if they forwarded any posting to someone else or made more than one copy of a posting that they faced prosecution under New York State laws as well as the “intellectual property laws of the United States.”

In the same vein, a “Media Policy” directive to PRSA members as well as national officers and directors says “all unsolicited telephone, e-mail and postal inquiries” from journalists about the Society can only be handled with the permission of the VP-PR (Arthur Yann) or a PR staffer. Not even the elected chair can give such permission.

Driving “PR” away from engaging personalities and towards numbers are the “measurers” led by Katie Paine of Berlin, N.H., the “Measurement Queen.” Any PR awards entry that cites the value of press clips in terms of ad dollars should be tossed, she said.

About 200 leaders of a half dozen PR groups met in Barcelona in June and decided that “outcomes” are what counts—not communication. Working behind the scenes or keeping something secret might be the answer to a client’s problem.

Want to know what is destroying the country?

Boards of directors which are hotbeds of bone-crushing, teeth-rattling conformity and timidity.

So wrote The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki, who noted that boards of the financial giants were silent as they engaged in reckless speculation that brought the country to its knees.

Even worse are the non-profit boards.

— Jack O'Dwyer


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