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Internet Edition, January 26, 2011, Page 1


California’s Dept. of Transportation is reviewing its $2.1M public engagement account with an RFP open through Feb. 8.

PR and outreach efforts are required of states to receive federal funds for projects.

The state agency, known as Caltrans, notes in the RFP that “getting the ‘general public’ to actively participate is often no small task” because of hurdles like “suspicion of government, the emotions of stakeholders, and the politics of power plays (as in the resistance of Not in My Back Yard associations).”

The state wants a consultant or agency to build relationships with community based organizations to foster such outreach.

Download the RFP at


Becton Dickinson & Co. is using APCO Worldwide as its D.C. lobbyist for healthcare issues. Former U.S. Senator Don Riegle spearheads the push for the medical supplies and diagnostic products company.

He chairs APCO’s government relations practice and serves on the independent firm’s international advisory council.

BD earned $1.3B on $7.3 revenues in fiscal 2010. The company has embarked on a $1.5B stock repurchase program in the aftermath of the sale of its ophthalmic and surgical blades unit. Franklin Lakes, N.J.-based BD employs 29,000 people.


GolinHarris named Elke Heiss executive VP/technology practice co-leader and chief of its San Francisco office.

The Sterling Communications alum has more than 20 years of PR experience and has worked in the enterprise software, wireless, networking, security, embedded and clean technology categories.

She was managing director at GlobalCom PR, a pan-European network, and began her career in marketing/sales at Alliant Computer.

GH's technology group reps Texas Instruments, Nintendo of America, VTech and Infosys. Interpublic owns GH.

Heiss reports to Judy Johnson, western region managing director, and coordinates activities with tech co-leader Stephen Jones.


FTI Consulting, the holding company for management consulting units including PR division FD, said it will convert all of its businesses to the FTI brand by November 2011.

The move will mark the demise of the FD name created in 2002, when Financial Dynamics executives bought the firm out from Cordiant Communications and renamed it FD Morgen-Walke, later dropping the M-W.

FTI president and CEO Jack Dunn said in a statement that “one brand more powerfully represents the mission of our firm.” The company will take a $25M charge in its fourth quarter 2010 earnings to retire and write off acquired trade names.

FTI has acquired 25 companies over the past five years, including the $260M acquisition of FD in 2006. It claims 3,600 employees in 26 countries across units like M&A, litigation consulting, strategic communications, and restructuring.

“Our one brand strategy represents the culmination of several years of thoughtful integration of these businesses,” said Dunn.


J. Christopher Preuss will step down as president of OnStar to start a communications consulting business on Feb. 1, relinquishing the reins after a year at the helm of GM’s technology and security service.

Preuss was a seasoned corporate communications hand at GM when he was tapped to head OnStar in March 2010. Posts included VP of corporate communications, VP of GM Europe, and staff director of government affairs and technology communications, among others during 17 years at GM and Chrysler.

OnStar’s director of public affairs and corporate comms., Vijay Iyer, told O’Dwyer’s that “opening up a consultancy is something that Chris has been thinking about for some time and he’s planning to pursue now,” but Iyer couldn't provide details “at this point in time.”


Although 2011 PR Society chair Rosanna Fiske told PR Newser Dec. 7, 2010 that “diversity” would be a “key issue” during her term, the 2011 board lacks African-Americans for the fourth year in a row.

Gone are the two African-Americans who had served as non-voting senior counsels last year-Gold Anvil winner Ofield Dukes and Wynona Redmond, VP-PA and government relations, Dominick’s Fine Foods of Safeway, Chicago.

(Continued on page 7)


Internet Edition, January 26, 2011, Page 2


Covington & Burlington has sided with Ivory Coast opposition leader Alassane Ouattara, who was elected President Nov. 28 but has been blocked from taking office by forces loyal to ousted strongman Laurent Gbagbo.

Working on a pro-bono basis, C&B is providing “advice on international legal and policy matters,” according to a report in the Washington Post.

The United Nations is sending 2,000 additional troops to the Ivory Coast to cope with an upswing of violence and rape. The European Union has placed sanctions on coffee and cocoa imports to protest Gbagbo’s power grab.

C&B says it’s working toward the twin goals of cutting off international funding to pro-Gbagbo factions and getting Ouattara recognized as the “legitimate” leader of the Ivory Coast.

Last month, Ouattara tapped Jefferson Waterman International to handle Ivorian national interests in categories such as economic/financial, military/security, trade/investment and PR. JWI also is working to “marshal maximum support” from the U.S. executive/legislative branches, media, think tanks and NGOs.

Following the election, Gbagbo reached out to Lanny Davis & Assocs., inking a three-month contract worth $300K.

Davis, who was legal counselor to President Clinton, has terminated that contract.


Northwest Cherries, the promotional entity for sweet cherry growers in four western states, is looking to expand its PR reach overseas and has issued two RFPs for PR and marketing covering Australia and South America.

NC, formally known as the Washington State Fruit Commission, represents growers in Washington, Oregon, Utah and, its newest member in 2007, Montana.

The RFPs call for trade and market promotional efforts like reaching out to food editors, grocery chains, importers and other influential bodies on behalf of cherry growers. A presence at trade fairs, reports on market conditions and other tasks are included in the expected year-long contracts.

Proposals are due Feb. 15.

RFPs are at


Jim Dowd, whose sports and entertainment shop was acquired by Middleberg Communications in 2009, has moved on to GolinHarris in New York.

Dowd takes the title senior VP, national media relations, for the Interpublic firm.

He is a former director of publicity for NBC who launched the successful reality series “The Apprentice” there after managing program publicity for The History Channel. His agency worked for Apprentice producer Mark Burnett Productions, as well as clients like LinkedIn, Beam Global Spirits and Kodak.

At GH, he reports to managing director Jennifer Cohan.


India will pay Podesta Group a $350K six-month fee under a partnership that began in November.

Democratic-connected PG is to provide “strategic counsel, tactical planning and PR assistance” on policy matters before the White House, Congress, select state governments, academic institutions and think tanks. The work runs through July 11.

India’s Ambassador to the U.S., Mera Shankar inked the letter of agreement with PG CEO Kimberley Fritts on Dec. 22. Either party may terminate for any reason upon 90 days of written notice.

India’s ties with the U.S. are on the upswing following President Obama’s visit there in November.

U.S. National Security advisor Tom Donilon last week called India a “great power and a great partner for the U.S.”

That statement came right before a meeting that Obama had with Pakistani leader Asif Ali Zardari and the impending state visit of China’s President Hu Jintao.

Pakistan and China are India’s biggest military, political and economic rivals.


Sard Verbinnen & Co. is working the bankruptcy reorganization of Orchard Brands, the apparel and garden products retailer owned by private equity firm Golden Gate Capital.

OB, which markets brands like Monterey Bay and Gold Violin to a 55-plus demographic, filed a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan on Jan. 19 with $730M in debt after unsuccessfully seeking a buyer.

SV&C's New York office is speaking for the company, including managing director Denise DesChenes and principal Robin Weinberg.

The company, formally known as Appleseed's Intermediate Holdings, said it has agreements with more than 80% of lenders to cut $420M of its debt, leaving about $310M, OB said.

“We look forward to emerging from this process as quickly as possible with a capital structure that will firmly position us for long-term success,” CEO Neale Attenborough said in a statement from SV&C.

GGC also owns Herbalife and Eddie Bauer.


The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, a "green" business incubator in the Green Mountain State, wants to hear from PR firms in an RFP process ahead of the launch of three major programs and to handle general messaging for the group.

The Fund, which has issued $4.1M in grants over the past decade, had about $690K in operating revenue last year. It is looking to raise $2.4M to fully capitalize.

The incubator wants to hire a PR agency or consultant for a six-month pact.
Knowledge of Vermont and greater New England media and the capacity to tell the group's story to the widest audience possible are among the capabilities the Fund is looking for.

Proposals are due by Jan. 28.

Download the RFP at


Internet Edition, January 26, 2011, Page 3


Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, announced that he is stepping down as CEO on April 4 to turn over the management reins to Google co-founder Larry Page.

He will take on the executive chairman position to focus on deals, partnerships, government relations, business development and industry thought leadership.

Page is to oversee day-to-day operations of the search giant, while fellow co-founder Sergey Brinn will concentrate on product development.

The executive revamp is supposed to streamline decision-making, create clearer lines of responsibility and bolster accountability at the top.

In a statement, Page said Schmidt was the CEO who “could have kept such headstrong founders so deeply involved and still run the business so brilliantly.”

Schmidt blogged that for the last decade the trio was equally involved in decision-making. “This triumvirate approach has real benefits in terms of shared wisdom, and we will continue to discuss the big decisions among the three of us.”

Prior to Google, Schmidt was chief technology officer at Sun Microsystems and CEO of Novell.


The Federal Communications Commission last week approved by a 4 to 1 margin the Comcast/NBC Universal venture.

The panel accepted Comcast's promise to increase local news coverage, enhance Spanish language programming, bolster the number of children's shows, offer reduced broadband rates to low-income households and introduce high-speed services to schools, libraries and underserviced communities.

The Commission requires that Comcast does not restrict online distribution of its own programming to other providers and offer access to its network to other providers.

Commissioner Michael Copps offered the sole “no” vote. In a statement, Copps said the combination “reaches into virtually every corner of our media and digital landscape and will affect every citizen in the land.”

The transaction “confers too much power in one company's hand,” he said.

Copps complained that his request that Comcast make a “major commitment of its resources to beef up the news operation at NBC” was never taken seriously.


Andy Coulson, communications director for British Prime Minister David Cameron, is stepping down as controversy swirls about his possible connection to the News of the World hacking scandal.

He was editor-in-chief of the Rupert Murdoch property in 2007 when a reporter and investigator pleaded guilty to illegally intercepting calls to aides to Prince William and Prince Harry.

Coulson then resigned from the paper, but claimed the hacking was a one-time incident. He became spokesperson for Cameron’s conservative party.

British police have launched fresh investigations into whether the hacking extended to the calls of celebrities. Several lawsuits have been filed.

In a statement, Coulson said continued coverage of the News of the World scandal makes it difficult to “give the 110 percent” needed to serve Cameron, adding “when a spokesman needs a spokesman it’s time to move on.”

Coulson will leave his government post in a few weeks.


Randy Falco, former CEO of AOL and president of NBC Universal’s TV operation, has joined Spanish language network Univision as executive VP and COO.

Most recently, Falco was advising Comcast as it worked through the mechanics of setting up the joint venture with NBCU, a deal approved by the Federal Communications.

At Univision, Falco assumes marketing, ad sales, research and business development duties, reporting to CEO Joe Uva.

In a statement, Falco lauded Univision as a TV pioneer that recognized the influence and potential of the fast-growing Hispanic market.

Univision is the No. 1 Spanish language network. It reaches 95 percent of Hispanic households.


Apple’s PR chief Katie Cotton landed at No. 7 and is the only PR pro on the San Jose Mercury News’ list of the 10 most powerful women in Silicon Valley.

Per the Merc:

“Katie Cotton, 45, vice president, worldwide communications, Apple: Here is a woman who possesses the greatest of all superpowers: invisibility. Cotton oversees the most powerful mythmaking organization this side of Disney. Not only does she do a masterful job of stoking the cultlike fervor for Apple products, but she's also considered to be the cultivator of Steve Jobs' image, which just might be the most valuable commodity in Silicon Valley. And she does it all while rarely appearing in public, sending reporters e-mails or getting on the phone.”

Cotton last year landed at No. 50 on Fortune magazine’s 50 most powerful women in business list.

Earlier this month, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said he is taking another leave of absence from the company for health reasons. Apple shares declined and the news sparked a flurry of speculation about the company’s image and future.


WPP CEO Martin Sorrell opened up about his weekends to the Wall Street Journal on Jan. 14, noting he splits his work weeks between London and New York and often spends Friday nights on a plane heading back to the U.K.

“The good thing about the weekend is that the amount of email traffic is less and you get time to think about the things you didn't do in the week and I get time to read things like magazines and newspapers, which I am increasingly doing from an iPad,” he said.

Full article:

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, January 26, 2011, Page 4


Reporters Natasha Singer and Reed Abelson of the New York Times hung Johnson & Johnson out to dry Jan. 16, citing the recall of 288 million items and failure of the company to respond to government complaints.

At least the story, which led the Sunday business section, did not repeat the claim that J&J set the “gold standard” for crisis handling in 1982 after seven people died from poisoned Tylenols.

Instead, it gives another false statement—that J&J issued an “apology” in 1982.

It did no such thing.

J&J claimed it had absolutely nothing to do with the seven deaths and only offered a $100,000 reward. It rushed back on the market (in six weeks) with the flawed, easily-spiked capsules (when tablets worked just as fast) and 23-year-old Diane Elsroth of Peekskill, N.Y., died of poisoned Tylenols in 1986.

Prof. Tony Jaques of Australia wrote in the online PR Journal of PRSA that the flawed capsules should never have been marketed in the first place and especially not after they had been used to murder seven people.

Scott Bartz, a nine-year J&J employee, is writing a book that claims there is credible evidence that the poisonings took place within J&J.

E-Mailed Singer e-mailed to Singer in the past several months many articles on our research and the research of Bartz and Jaques on the Tylenol murders, pointing out there was no “immediate” recall of Tylenols unless five days can be considered “immediate.”

Efforts had also been made by J&J to confine the recall to two small lots that had Chicago as one of their destinations.

Here is the passage in the Jan. 16 story on the 1982 Tylenol murders:

“Consumers have typically been willing to forgive a brand for one incident or product problem, industry analysts say, if a company acts swiftly to rectify the situation and to issue an apology—as J&J did in 1982 when seven people died in the Chicago area after a tampering incident in which Tylenol was laced with cyanide.”

On May 3, 2010, she had written: “J&J is considered a model for the consumer products industry for its fast and adept handling of a Tylenol scare in 1982 in which seven people in Chicago died after taking capsules that had been laced with cyanide.”

Ray Jordan Absent from Story

The only person quoted in behalf of J&J was Bonnie Jacobs, described as a “spokeswoman” of the McNeill subsidiary.

J&J VP-PR Ray Jordan has not been quoted in the NYT series on the company’s product problems in the past year or so.

He is a trustee of the Institute for PR which says it brings “scientific rigor” to PR issues and subjects.

J&J, with $62 billion in sales, has net income of $13.6B, making it one of the most profitable of the 100 largest companies.

Critics note that J&J, although noted for its baby products, is actually made up of about 250 companies and that the baby products are only a small component. The critics claim that top management has apparently lost control of such a very large “family.”

‘Gold Standard’ Cited Many Times

Major media writing in 2010 about J&J’s current troubles cited its handling of the 1982 murders as an example for other companies to follow.

The media included, in addition to NYT, the Financial Times; Christian Science Monitor; The Economist; Advertising Age; The Motley Fool, and

Fortune magazine on May 28, 2007, lauded J&J/Tylenol as the “gold standard in crisis control” in a full-page feature.

Tactics of PRSA, gave a full page to J&J/Tylenol, saying the company provided “an enduring example of crisis management done right.”


The Society of American Travel Writers has hired the D.C. firm of a former Burson-Marsteller director for a two-year PR pact, following an RFP.

The 1,200-member group hired Praecere PR to build membership, offer experts to media, and to promote the organization under a new brand, “Travel’s Most Trusted Voices.”

Praecere is the firm of Babak Kafarnia, an attorney and former director in Burson’s crisis and issues unit and a director in Levick Strategic Communications’ international practice, which had him advising the government of Dubai, among other clients.

In a statement, SATW noted that vacation bookings are up, airline revenues are rising, and media continue to follow traveler security issues, keeping travel and tourism at the forefront of news.

Praecere will handle traditional and social media outreach, assist with an overhaul of the 55-year-old group’s website, and help recruit sponsors for its annual convention, which is slated for New Zealand in the fall.

As previously reported by this NL, the SATW issued an RFP in July and finalized the decision at a board meeting in San Diego last week.

Previously, PR for the group was handled on a volunteer basis by PR-sector members.

The contract runs for two years with two options.

Praecere has previously handled the International League of Conservation Photographers and IT/security company Dependable Global Solutions.


The Huffington Post has teamed with BET co-founder Sheila Johnson to plan an online site for news and content related to the “black experience.”

Dubbed “HuffPost GlobalBlack,” the site will be aimed as a “go-to destination for both the African-American community and everyone who cares about these deeply important issues -- in America and across the world,” according to Arianna Huffington.

Johnson said the project intends to create “a thriving online black community of scale, a forum for ideas and discussion meant to inform, engage, surprise and entertain.”

Internet Edition, January 26, 2011, Page 5


Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher vaulted to the top of U.S. M&A communications advisors in 2010 counseling $133.6 billion worth of deals last year, according to mergermarket.

That included advising CenturyLink in its $22.2 billion bid for Qwest Communications, the No. 2 U.S. transaction in 2010, along with FirstEnergy’s nearly $9B acquisition of Allegheny Energy. The largest deal of the year - the U.S. Treasury’s sale of its stake in AIG, valued at $48B - did not list any outside PR counsel.

Kekst and Company was the most prolific U.S. advisor in 2010, handling 98 transactions, five more than Abernathy MacGregor Group.

Globally, Brunswick Group and FD remained atop mergermarket’s rankings for a second straight year. Brunswick topped deals by value in 2010 at $227.8B, while FD worked 223 transactions, 55 more than second-place Brunswick.

The two firms also topped the European and Asia-Pacific rankings, as well.

Mergermarket said that U.S. M&A activity was up only four percent last year from 2009, while global activity rose nearly 25% The number of deals in the U.S. rose 30%, however, with 3,499 transactions recorded.

In the U.S. by deal volume, Joele Frank was followed by Kekst, Sard Verbinnen & Co., Brunswick, and AMG. FD, Finsbury Group, Owen Blicksilver PR, Kraeb Gavin Anderson and Edelman rounded out the top 10. Kraeb GA jumped from 20th last year to land at No. 9.

Measured by number of deals, Kekst was followed by AMG (93), Joele Frank (88), FD (78), Sard Verbinnen & Co. (67), Brunswick (65), Owen Blicksilver (37), Finsbury (34), Citigate (25) and Edelman (20).


The 125-year-old Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind has floated an open RFP to develop a marketing communications campaign through stakeholder meetings, messaging and other tactics.

The boarding school, based in St. Augustine and founded in 1885, is the largest of its kind in the U.S. with annual budget of $30M and spanning 72 acres.

Budget is capped at $85,000 for the 2010/11 school year, intended to cover two or three stakeholder meetings on the campus and creation of a comprehensive marketing communications plan to reach both internal and external audiences.

The RFP was issued Jan. 17 and carries a Jan. 28 deadline. Details:


New York Area

Ogilvy PR Worldwide, New York/, as AOR for PR after the firm was tapped in 2010 following a competitive review to handle projects for the web portal. Ogilvy has a two-fold mandate to build awareness and preference for among digital and “locally minded” marketers, and to highlight its content generated by more than 68,000 contributors across 240 U.S. and Canadian markets.

Crenshaw Communications, New York/Sleepy’s, mattress retailer, for its “Sleep Better in 2011” PR push.

Workhouse, New York/Miz Mooz, footwear brand, as AOR for integrated promotional campaigns and to execute a PR plan for domestic publicity and special events.

Rubenstein PR, New York/Ballet Beautiful, ballet training software created by professional ballerina Mary Helen Bowers, for PR.

Affect Strategies, New York/Omni Hotels, to develop and execute a social media strategy targeting meeting and event planners, part of an integrated marketing strategy managed by ad agency AvreaFoster.

Stern + Associates, Cranford, N.J./PrimeGenesis, consulting firm focused on “executive onboarding and transition acceleration”; Edward Lawler and Christopher Worley, co-authors of “Management Reset: Organizing for Sustainable Effectiveness,” and MIT professor Sherry Turkle, for her new book, “Alone Together.”


Birnbach Communications, Boston/Zebek, mobile targeting platform for businesses, for launch and ongoing PR, including media relations, social media marketing and analyst relations.

HB | Hart-Boillot, Newton, Mass./Eclipse, fuel tank management technology, for PR.

Fleishman-Hillard, Atlanta/Carlisle FoodService Products, for marketing communications for the company and its brands - Dinex, Marko and Carlisle Sanitary Maintenance Products - following a competitive review. PR, advertising, trade shows, web revamp, and social media are included in the scope.

MLMC, Tampa, Fla./The oneCARE Co., consumer packaged goods in laundry, pet care and cleaning products categories, as AOR for marketing, PR, social media and media buying.

Mountain West

Snapp Conner PR, Salt Lake City/AppTime; AtTask; Element Funding; Milleniata; NASCAR Car Wash; Property23; RiverRock Bioscience; Setpoint Systems, and Utah Community Credit Union, for PR.


LFPR, Irvine, Calif./Sage North America, business management software and services, as AOR for North American PR.

Zeno Group, Irvine, Calif./ WiseWindow, business intelligence data services, for corporate marketing communications and PR.


The Communications Group, Toronto/KRP LLP (Kestenberg Rabinowicz Partners), accounting firm, for PR consulting.

— Greg Hazley

Internet Edition, January 26, 2011, Page 6


The New York Chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute is looking for partners in the local IR, PR and corporate comms. sectors who can offer internships for the chapter's internship program for relatives of 9/11 victims in the summer 2011.

Previous participants in the Logler 9/11 Internship Program included Capital Bridge, PepsiCo, Veeco Instruments, EDGAR Online, Burson-Marsteller, Delphi Financial, Altria and Hain Celestial.

The program, set up in honor of former eSpeed VP of IR, Elizabeth Logler, who died in the 9/11 attacks, is run by chapter volunteers and aims to provide "meaningful paid summer internship opportunities" to relatives of victims of the 2001 terror attacks.

Companies interested can contact Patrick Tracey at [email protected].


Business Wire said all of its releases are now automatically disseminated via Twitter through content categories, a feature that has been tested for months.

Clients are asked to choose at least one category keyword (technology, science…) when uploading releases through its Connect platform. Press releases are assigned a shortened and unique URL to facilitate easy sharing on Twitter and other social networks.

Laura Sturaitis, executive VP, media services & product strategy for BW, said the feature adds visibility to Twitter's 106 billion accounts and 600 million search queries a day.

BRIEFS: Alison Tyrer, director of comms., Georgia Dept. of Economic Development, was given PRSA/Georgia’s Chapter Champion award on Jan. 20 for service to the group. Tyrer was presented with a certificate and inscribed pen at the chapter’s monthly meeting last week. A 13-year member, she was an on-air personality at radio stations including WFOX-FM, Gainesville/Atlanta before moving on to PR posts at the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, Atlanta History Center and the Margaret Mitchell House & Museum. Georgia is PRSA’s second-largest chapter behind D.C. ...PRSA’s Gulf Coast Chapter has elected Kathy Saenz, corporate communiations manager for INgage Networks, as president of the group's board for 2011. She takes over for 2010 president Clay Cone of Cone Comms. Company. Rounding out the chapter's leadership ranks are Danielle Broderick, marketing comms. specialist for Arthrex (treasurer); Angela Aline, PR specialist, Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB (secretary); Mary Ann Green, PR officer, The Shelter for Abused Women & Children (membership chair); Donna Heiser, president, The Genesis Group (APR chair); Cassandra Engeldinger, marcomms. specialist, Arthrex (social media marketing chair), and Pete Cento, president, The Cento Group (publicity chair and Hispanic market committee chair).



Alyssa Garnick, senior VP/group manager, Ketchum, to Ogilvy PR Worldwide, New York, as an executive VP and head of its consumer marketing practice. She was previously with Burson-Marsteller and Edelman. Tori Rappold, director of PR, Cynthia Rowley, joins as a VP in the practice. She was previously director in Burson-Marsteller's retail and fashion sub practice.

Heather Riva, director of premium sales, TD Garden, Boston, to Pan Communications, Andover, Md., as director of business development.

Matt McDonald, associate White House communications director during the recent Bush administration and aide to Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential, to Hamilton Place Strategies as its sixth partner. McDonald was also a senior advisor to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's re-elect and directed the Bush re-election's rapid response operation in 2004.

Sue Zoldak, VP at Goddard Claussen Public Affairs, to Adfero Group, Washington, D.C., as a VP.

Ed Patru, comms. director for Linda McMahon's high-profile Senate bid in Connecticut last year, to DCI Group, Washington, D.C., as a VP. He joins with Obama White House Midwest political director Campbell Spencer, also named VP for the Washington, D.C.-based public affairs firm. Patru has been a partner at D.C. comms. consulting shop Amplifico since April 2009. Campbell worked for the Obama presidential campaign in Iowa, and also was an operative for John Kerry, the DNC and worked in the Clinton administration’s Dept. of Agriculture.

Jean Medina, who led external comms. and guided comms. for United Airlines through its merger with Continental, to the Air Transport Association of America, Washington, D.C., as VP, communications. Previous PR stints included Tellabs and Ameritech. She takes over for David Castelveter, a U.S. Airways veteran who held the ATA post for more than five years.

Bill Briggs, director of Federal Government Services, Clean Harbors, to Direct Impact, Washington, D.C., as a VP. He was director of the office of public outreach at the EPA and was an advance representative for the Office of Vice President Dick Cheney. Samantha Stark, VP for Rubenstein PR, joins DI as a VP. Previous stints included Hunter PR, The Campbell Group and Entertainment Works.

Ziba Cranmer, director of social innovation, Nike, to Cone, Boston, as a VP in the firm's cause branding unit focused on Hilton and Purina. She was previously a CSR specialist for the World Bank. Alexandra Nicholson, social media strategist for USA Today, joins as director of new media. She was a publicist with National Geographic and worked in Allison & Partners’ D.C. outpost.

— Greg Hazley


Internet Edition, January 26, 2011, Page 7

PRSA BOARD LACKS BLACKS (cont’d from pg. 1)

They had been appointed by 2010 chair Gary McCormick.

McCormick Promised Blacks on SPC

As chair-elect in 2009, McCormick was chair of the Strategic Planning Committee. He said he would appoint African-Americans as well as reporters to that committee. No such appointments were ever made.

Dukes said he only went to the January 2010 meeting and became inactive after that because of health problems. There was no board meeting in the second quarter, the first time that the board had skipped an in-person quarterly meeting.

Dukes said he and Redmond were serving one year terms on the Society board. Redmond did not return a phone call and e-mail. She is past president of the National Black PR Society.

Dukes, Lewis Defeated for Board

Dukes ran for at-large national director in 2009 but was defeated by Barbara Whitman of Hawaii.

African-American Regina Lewis, head of communications of the Potter's House large non-denominational church of Dallas, ran for at-large director in 2010 but lost to Susan Walton, a PR teacher at Brigham Young University.

Lewis has been a member of PRS since 1992 while Walton joined Nov. 10, 2005. Only two blacks have served on the Society board in its 61-year history-Debra Miller and Cheryl Procter-Rogers.

Members said Lewis was the better candidate because not only was she a member much longer than Walton, but was from the corporate side.

Most directors are solo practitioners or with PR firms. The 2011 board has a record five educators on it.

The Society in late 2009 closed its Multicultural Section because there were fewer than 100 members, far below the 200 it said was needed for a viable section.

Fiske, in a letter to Advertising Age Jan. 17, said that “diversity within the (PR) profession will be the key” to the success of PR firms.

FIU J Program Called ‘A Mess’

Criticism has surfaced about the FIU School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where Fiske is an associate professor.

“FIU’s Journalism Program Is a Mess,” headlined the Miami New Times April 2010.

The article brought more than 25 comments from students and recent grads, most of them negative.

Complaints were made of class sizes, not enough attention from teachers especially in the area of improving writing skills, lack of student influence with the administration, and poor morale among faculty and students.

One student wrote that most of the classes at the school were “a load of tedious B.S…it’s not the professors' fault, because I've had awesome experiences with everyone I've taken so far; it's just that the SJMC, like most of FIU, is tied down by their own bureaucratic dead weight. The school is so obsessed with test scores and new buildings and all that other glittery, but utterly meaningless stuff that it totally forgets about the students.”

Board Asked to Investigate Threats

Jack O’Dwyer of this NL has asked the board to investigate repeated threats of physical harm to him by an Assembly delegate as well as interference with his coverage of the 2010 Assembly.

The following e-mail was sent to the board:

To Society Board Members:

As you know, the delegate who threatened me in Washington has now sent an anonymous note threatening to beat me to “a pulp” if I did something again (i.e., improperly kiss national director Marisa Vallbona, which I deny doing).

This is a matter that should be investigated by the board. One of the directors witnessed this verbal attack on me and knows who the delegate is, according to an e-mail to me from VP-PR Arthur Yann.

The board should also be fully informed of the impediments thrown in my way on Oct. 16 when I tried to cover the Assembly.

I was blocked from taking any pictures, even before the Assembly started, blocked from recording anything (for the first time), blocked from attending the Assembly lunch when I needed to interview the delegates about the APR vote, and then was subjected to obscenities screamed at me by a delegate while I waited for my ride in front of the Hilton hotel.

A "Flash Mob" of about 20 delegates rudely interrupted me while I was trying to interview delegate Art Stevens, a leader of the Committee for a Democratic PRSA.

In addition, the Society tried to charge three O'Dwyer reporters $3,825 to cover the conference when reporters for PR News and PR Newser were given free passes.

The only reason given for this-that O'Dwyer reporters did not cover the 2009 conference-was false.


Jack O'Dwyer


Kobo, the e-book retailer, is looking for a PR firm to handle its $400K-$500 budget.

Indigo Books & Music, Borders, REDgroup and Cheung Kong Holdings back the Toronto-based company that supports “open standards” for e-books, believing consumers should be able to buy a book and read it on any digital device (e-readers, desktops, laptops, smartphones) they choose.

Kobo’s chief competitors – Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook – are closed systems.

Kobo is looking for a firm to work U.S., Canada audiences and potentially overseas. It wants PR to build the Kobo brand and further develop corporate identity.

Mike Serbinis heads Kobo. He was president of Indigo’s “Shortcovers” digital operation that was rebranded as Kobo in Dec. 2009.

Liz Ridout, Kobo’s VP-marketing, is handling the PR search. She is at [email protected].

A PR firm is expected to be in place by late February.


Internet Edition, January 26, 2011, Page 8




Two PR Ph.,D.s, Dean Kruckeberg, co-chair of the PRSA Commission on PR Education and Katerina Tsetsura, a Society member and former Russian journalist, have written “Transparency, PR and Mass Media: Combating Media Bribery Worldwide.”

This disingenuous and mischievous book, to be published in the spring by Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group, attacks an already-debilitated media.

It's pure spin in that it puts media on the defensive while deflecting attention away from the bribers.

This is the current PR wisdom-don't defend, attack.

The book will not help media to become financially strong which is what is needed if media are to do independent reporting.

We don't doubt that bribery of journalists is flourishing worldwide. Reporters like to eat as much as anyone.

Media cannot exist on news reporting alone when there is so much free news and information on the web.

What PR people should be doing is helping reporters to become businesspeople.

A good example is the Washington Post supporting itself via its Kaplan University unit that is doing nearly $3 billion a year.

Fund-Raisers, Schools, ‘Sugar Daddies’ Needed

PR pros can help media to develop major side sources of income that will support the news operation.

Organizations such as New York Women in Communications, Institute for PR, New York Financial Writers Assn., Overseas Press Club, and the Committee to Protect Journalists have banquets that have generated millions over the years.

Both NYWICI and NYFWA raise about a half million yearly with their "Matrix Awards" and "Financial Follies," respectively; The CPJ raised $1.75M at its Nov. 23, 2010 black-tie banquet at the Waldorf-Astoria. Helping the IPR is its $350-a-plate dinner at the Yale Club each year.

The formula is pretty simple. Get some stars and charge $400 (or a lot more) for seats.

Newspapers and others could put on such shows.

Start Writing School

Who knows more about writing than staffers at a local paper?

Newspapers could have Kaplan-like wings that teach writing and possibly a lot of other things. The public would understand that reporting needs support by other activities.

Newspapers also have large databases about local businesses, laws affecting businesses and instructional topics and could package this for sale to the business community and public at large.

Get ‘Sugar Daddy’ Like ProPublica Did

There are plenty of multi-millionaires and even billionaires who would like to invest their money in a worthwhile cause.

Media have to talk them into supporting the free press as one of the noblest of all the causes-the one profession that keeps the other professions clean.

Perfect example is ProPublica, investigative unit that has obtained more than $10 million from Herbert and Marion Sandler. The Sandlers made $2.4B by dumping Golden West Financial on Wachovia Bank in 2006. A huge pile of bad loans at GWF forced an almost immediate sale to Wells Fargo.

You won't find anyone at ProPublica taking bribes-not with their salaries.

Editor-in-chief Paul Steiger, perennial chair of CPJ, is paid $570K annually and managing editor Stephen Engelberg got $451,972 in 2008.

Engelberg’s pay included about $125,000 for “moving expenses.” Richard Toffel, treasurer and secretary, pulled down $296K.

The top eight employees listed on the 2008 IRS Form 990 were paid $2,049,935 and salaries were said to be level for 2008-2010 (about $6M in three years).

Dan Gillmor of said such pay is far beyond the norm for a small non-proft and that it “detracts from the mission” of ProPublica.

Journalists should go after some of that dough themselves. Become salespeople. Attend those charity balls and other events and rub elbows with the rich and powerful.

PR Will "Clean Up" News?!

A 24-page report on the work of Kruckeberg, Tsetsura and others, written by Bill Ristow, formerly of the Seattle Times and now a “journalist trainer,” praises PR pros for bringing up the subject of bribery of reporters and says "PR people have worked with their journalist counterparts to clean up the business of news."

Ristow, the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), TRACE International, which helps companies deal with corruption, and others mentioned in the 24-page report should take a close look at the PR Society, which now says it wants to help news media.

NED has its critics. A creation of the Reagan administration in 1983 and given about $135M yearly by the government, it has been accused of meddling in the affairs of foreign countries.

The website International Endowment for Democracy says NED, under the guise of "spreading democracy," has used funds for "everything from manipulating elections to coordinating coups."

PR Society Sold Authors’ Articles

The PR Society is the same group that ripped off writers and reporters from 1980 to 1994, selling hundreds of thousands of copies of their articles and whole chapters of their books without permission.

The Society wouldn't even talk to the authors much less pay them a nickel. Its unbending position left only the alternative of a long and costly lawsuit which the authors rejected. But the debt to them still remains.

PRSA’s restrictive press policies included forbidding any recording or photographs at its 2010 Assembly, one of the most important in its history because of the move to let non-APRs on the board after 35 years.

Kruckeberg and Tsetsura should come to our offices and review the box of copied articles as well as the financial reports of the Society that showed it was netting about $60,000 a year from the sale of the copied articles.

Does PRS Promote Independent Media?

The claim of the Kruckeberg/Tsetsura book-that PR people want to strengthen independent media-has to be seen against the backdrop of the Society's own publishing activities that make it hard for independent PR media to survive.

PRS's 21,000 members pay for the monthly Tactics and quarterly Strategist as part of their $225 dues and are therefore not good prospects for buying other PR media.

PR Reporter, a weekly that focused on research, and PR Quarterly, which was an outlet for essays by PR professors and PR pros, both died in their 50th years last year.

The Society, which complained about the printing/postage costs of its members' directory and cancelled it, should switch T&S to online-only and offer the members' directory as a PDF.

— Jack O'Dwyer


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