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Internet Edition, February 9, 2011, Page 1


The U.S. Small Business Administration is preparing an RFP to overhaul its online communications and improve its website functionality and engagement with citizens.

The Obama administration is promoting small business and SBA programs to boost economic recovery, although some members of Congress, which controls the agency's budget, have said they are eying cuts to the SBA.

The 60-year-old federal agency said it plans to release an RFP on Feb. 14 with a mid-March deadline for a contract valued between $500K and $30M for its duration, which could stretch from 10 months to more than four years.

A firm will be awarded the business on an “all or none” basis, but joint ventures can pitch if declared before the proposal deadline.

The scope of work is wide-ranging, from strategic planning and content development to social media management, web design and technical analysis of its online operations.

The SBA, based in Washington, D.C., said it has “taken strides” over the past year to improve its overall approach to online media, strengthen its ability to provide enhanced information services, and to build a “personalized and dynamic” website.


The legendary Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel, which recently completed an expensive renovation, is circulating a request for qualifications as part of its periodic agency review process.

A spokesperson told O'Dwyer’s that only a handful of firms received the invitation.

The hotel’s contract with Susan Magrino Agency expires March 1.

The Miami Beach landmark has more than 1,500 guestrooms, 11 restaurants, two nightclubs, swimming pools and a dramatic oceanfront location.

The PR plan is to build awareness of the “Fontainebleau brand as a uniquely tropical and cosmopolitan luxurious destination” and to appeal to niche markets such as the film/fashion/entertainment, African-American and gay & lesbian and business travel segments. The Fontainebleau requires a PR firm with extensive national and market experience.


Podesta Group earned $279K in fees from Egypt during the second-half of 2010, according to its federal filing released Jan. 28. The firm collected a total of $911,385 from its foreign client roster.

Tony Podesta led a group of five lobbyists who contacted the offices of senators on the status of U.S.-Egyptian relations.

Key targets included Democratic Sens. Harry Reid (Nev.), Bob Casey (Pa.), Diane Feinstein (Calif.), Kristen Gillibrand (N.Y.), Bob Menendez (N.J.) and Ben Cardin (Md.).

Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi was the only Republican targeted by PG. Elizabeth Morra, who was spokesperson for the Senate Appropriations Committee when it was chaired by Cochran, made that contact.

Podesta also reached out to Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.).

Egypt was the firm’s second largest client during the period. It trailed the National Security Council of Georgia, which registered fees of $300K.


Joe Clayton, former president/CEO of Widmeyer Communications, has joined GolinHarris in Washington as executive VP in the Interpublic unit's public affairs practice.

As founding partner of Outreach Strategies, Clayton most recently counseled energy, sustainability and environment clients such as U.S. Climate Action Partnership and World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

At Widmeyer, Clayton handled clients McGraw Hill Cos., Assn. of American Publishers, Shell Chemicals and Chase Card Services.


Sean Kevelighan, a Hill and White House communications alum, has been tapped as head of communications and public affairs for Citi's North American consumer banking business.

Kevelighan was press secretary for the White House Office of Management and Budget for a year during President George W. Bush's second term, a post that followed a year as a spokesman at the Dept. of Treasury.

He joins Citi from Zurich Financial Services, where he was VP and head of group media relations for North America.

Earlier in his career, Kevelighan was a VP and tech policy director at Hill & Knowlton and worked for Colorado Republican Rep. Bob Schaffer.


Internet Edition, February 9, 2011, Page 2


Washington lobbying outlays were “flat” last year as the Great Recession took a toll on K Street, according to a report by the Center for Responsive Politics.

The Center tracked $3.47B in lobbying in ’10, comparable to the record $3.49B spent in the previous year. It expects last year’s numbers to edge up a bit after late-filers are documented.

Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center, says though “special interests have finally hit the brakes in Washington’s high-stakes big-dollar influence game, it’s no surprise that they are as deeply entrenched as ever.”

The Center notes that lobbying hit a feverish pitch in 2009 as the bulk of the work was done on key categories such as climate change, economic stimulus, student loans, financial regulations and healthcare reform.

The top lobbying spenders last year were U.S. Chamber of Commerce ($132.1M, -8.6%), PG&E Corp. ($45.5M, +623.9%), General Electric ($39.3M, +43.8%) FedEx ($25.6M, +53.3%) American Medical Assn. ($22.6M, +8.9%), AARP ($22.1M, +5.0), PhRMA ($21.7M, -16.9%), Blue Cross/Blue Shield ($21.0M, -11.2%) and ConocoPhillips ($19.6M, +8.6%).


Five teams of California PR and advertising agencies are pursuing an $850K PR contract with the First 5 Sacramento Commission, which funds programs and services to help children develop through their early years.

The commission issued an RFP in early January with proposals due by Feb. 8. Five groups of firms have indicated they intend to pitch the contract after a mandatory conference was held in mid-January.

There is no incumbent for the work, although Astone Crocker Flanagan has worked the account in the past.

The teams include Tmdgroup, pitching with IN Comms., Silvina Martinez Multicultural PR, and Designs for Health; Runyon Saltzman & Einhorn, with Solsken PR and SpanishOne Translations; Katz & Associates, with Minicucci Associates and Imprenta Comms. Group; ProProse, with Fuel Creative Group and BP Cubed; and Deutschman Comms. Group, with VMA Comms. and Ziegler Associates.

To pitch, firms are required to have a Sacramento office in business for the past five years.

The resulting contract stretches to mid-2015.


New Florida Governor Rick Scott has named Florida Lottery PR chief Cynthia O’Connell head of the nation’s No. 3 lottery. She is upped from the director of research and promotions post.

O’Connell ran O’Connell Consulting before joining the Lottery. Earlier, she was at Hill & Knowlton, (SVP/GM of its Tampa office) and Weber Shandwick.

The widow of Florida Supreme Court Justice and University of Florida president Stephen O’Connell is a UF trustee.

The Lottery had ticket sales of $3.7B in 2010.


The Pan American Games have issued an RFP to hire an experienced sports PR agency for the run-up to the event in Toronto in 2015.

The expected contract will carry a mid to high six-figure budget for the Games, which includes competing countries from the Americas and are held every four years.

Organizers say the Toronto games will be “significantly larger” than the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games drawing 10,000 athletes to compete in nearly 50 events.

The RFP calls for a PR agency with an established sports track record to develop a strategy for the 2015 Games.

Deadline for proposals is Feb. 17.

The 2011 Games are slated for Guadalajara, Mexico, in October. Info:


Sard Verbinnen & Co. is pitching Alpha Natural Resources’ $7.1B takeover of Massey Energy, news that drove ANR’s stock down 7.1 percent to $53.74.

The combination creates one of the world’s largest metallurgical coal company poised to benefit on the worldwide upswing in steel manufacturing.

Kevin Crutchfield, ANR's CEO, believes Massey, owner of the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia where 29 miners died in April, will benefit from his company’s employee-driven “Running Right” safety program.

The Wall Street Journal reports the takeover of 95-year-old Massey means the end of one of the most influential and controversial U.S. coal producers.

Massey is remembered for its massive battles with the United Mine Workers Union and its pugnacious former CEO Don Blankenship, who stepped down in the aftermath of Upper Big Branch disaster.

Massey, on Jan. 28, rejected the government's report on the reasons for the worst mine explosion in 40 years, which is the subject of criminal and civil investigations.

SV’s team of Drew Brown, Michael Henson and Jonathan Doorley is working the takeover.


Atlanta PR veteran Rob Baskin is now president of Weber Shandwick's office in that city. With more than 30 years in PR, Baskin spent 15 years at Coca-Cola, ten at Cohn & Wolfe and nine at MSLGroup.

At Coke, Baskin was director of corporate relations, Coca-Cola North America PR director and director of corporate marketing communications.

On the PR firm side, he counseled clients such as Home Depot, Philips Electronics, McDonald's , AFLAC, Emory University and Ernst & Young.

Baskin headed the Atlanta offices of C&W and MSLGroup. He also served as interim managing director of MSL operations in Los Angeles and San Francisco.


Internet Edition, February 9, 2011, Page 3


AOL said Feb. 7 it will pay $315M to acquire the Huffington Post, the news aggregation, opinion and reporting site founded by Arianna Huffington in 2005, placing its co-founder, Arianna Huffington, at the helm of all AOL content.

The deal includes $300M in cash and $15M in stock. AOL said the combined media group will reach 117M Americans and 270M globally.

Huffington said AOL CEO Tim Armstrong and VFO Artie Minson had lunch at her Los Angeles home last month with Armstrong telling her he wanted to buy the site and install her as president and editor-in-chief of all AOL content.

The deal was signed at the Super Bowl, she said.

“Far from changing our editorial approach, our culture, or our mission, this moment will be for HuffPost like stepping off a fast-moving train and onto a supersonic jet,” she said. “We’re still traveling toward the same destination, with the same people at the wheel, and with the same goals, but we’re now going to get there much, much faster.”

AOL said Huffington will take over as president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, which will encompass sites like TechCrunch, MapQuest, AOL Music and others. AOL noted the Huffington Post “over-indexes on educated, affluent users, reaching the key decision makers in C-suites around the globe.”


The New York Times Co. reported a 26.2 percent slide in Q4 2010 net income to $67.1M as revenues dipped 2.9 percent to $661.7M.

Janet Robinson, CEO, blames a “volatile” ad market for the lackluster performance.

“The progress we made on the print advertising front in October and November was not sustained in December due to a combination of difficult year-over-year comparison and advertiser caution about he economy and consumer spending,” she said in a statement.

Digital advertising grew 11 percent to $100.6M during the quarter but could not offset the seven percent dropoff of ads on the print side. Digital accounted for 26 percent of NYTC’s quarterly ad revenues.

Robinson said the NYTC showed further progress in ’10 toward its “long-term strategy of re-engineering” the company.


Erika Masonhall, press secretary for lame duck Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), has left for a PR slot at NBC News.

Masonhall has been tapped to manage communications for “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams,” “Meet the Press” and the network’s political reporting unit.
She was previously a communications staffer for the Democratic Leadership Council before joining Lieberman in 2007.

Amid a difficult political climate for the Democrat-turned-Independent, Lieberman said last month that he would not seek a fifth term.

NBC has also promoted Meghan Pianta to publicist under Masonhall and upped “Today” publicist Megan Kopf to director.

All report to Lauren Kapp, senior VP, NBC News marketing and communications.


The National Journal Group has hired Maggie Fox as managing editor for technology and healthcare.

Fox joins from Thomson Reuters, where she worked for the past 21 years and exited as health and science editor.

Based in Washington since 1997, Fox covered stories such as the avian flu scare, stem cell research and the H1N1 pandemic. She launched coverage of the biotech sector and developed Reuters’ online presence.

Prior to D.C., Fox worked for Reuters in London on the world desk. She handled mostly financial regulation and transportation pieces.

Ron Fournier, editor-in-chief of NJG, expects readers to benefit from Fox's “deep-rooted insight” as healthcare and technology stories move to the center of the public policy debate.”


CBS Sports rejected a “Let Us Play” ad from the National Football League Players Assn. that was to air Feb. 5, a day before the Super Bowl.

The NFLPA created the ad to rally public support for its side in the labor squabble with the NFL, a standoff that could result in a lockout this year.

The ad shows locked gates, empty lockers, dark stadiums with players saying “Let Us Play,” and fans saying “Let Them Play.”

CBS and Fox, NBC, ESPN and DirecTV pay $4B to the NFL for television rights. CBS decided to refuse the ad because it didn't want to appear at take sides in the labor tussle.

The networks' deal with the NFL calls for the continued payment for TV rights even if the games are canceled. The NFLPA has filed a suit against the NFL, charging that arrangement is “lockout insurance.”


While openings on job search engines are on the rise, jobs are still not to be had in medialand, according to the Jan. 30 New York Times.

Sites such as Simply Hired report that media jobs declined 39 percent in December compared to the year earlier month. Only the military showed a bigger decline, falling 68 percent.

New York and San Francisco are the strongest markets for media jobs. The transportation, automotive and legal categories rank as the three biggest job gainers.

Simply Hired lists about 5M jobs. That information is garnered from newspapers, companies, job boards, government agencies and non-profit groups.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, February 9, 2011, Page 4


Hearst Corp. announced last week that it has made a binding cash offer of $890M to acquire more than 100 magazine titles from France’s Lagardere.

The titles include Woman’s Day, Car and Driver, Road & Track, Cycle World and the non-French editions of Elle. They generate more than $1B in annual revenues and profit in the $65M range.

Hearst and Lagardere began negotiations to acquire the magazines on Dec. 31. The deal is expected to close during the third quarter.

Arnaud Lagardere, CEO, says he made the deal because his company lacked the scale to compete in the U.S. The divested magazines also sell in the U.K., Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Russia, Ukraine, China, Taiwan, Japan, Mexico and Canada.

Hearst's magazines include Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, O, The Oprah Magazine, Town & Country, Seventeen, Marie Claire and Harper’s Bazaar.


Brunswick is supporting communications for Citigroup’s takeover and restructuring of music giant EMI Group, which handles music for artists from Pink Floyd to Coldplay.

Citi took the reins of the U.K.-based company on Feb. 2 from private equity firm Terra Firma and wrote off $3.5 billion, or 65 percent, of its loan to TF. That left EMI with $1.9 billion in debt after a disastrous four-year run under TF, which bought the music company with a large loan from Citi in what the Wall Street Journal has called “one of the most disastrous leveraged buyouts of last decade’s deal doom.”

Brunswick’s London and U.S. offices are handling media relations for the EMI-Citi deal.

Finsbury handles PR for Terra Firma, which told media the PE firm is “pleased that EMI’s debt burden has been reduced through Citi agreeing to write down a substantial proportion of EMI's debt.”

EMI CEO Roger Faxon said in a statement: “With [a new] solid footing, we are confident in our ability to drive our business forward.”

EMI is the smallest of the music industry’s “Big Four,” also made up of Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group.


Microsoft chairman Bill Gates has agreed to keynote the “Wired Business Conference: Disruptive by Design” event to be held May 3 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City.

The symposium joins entrepreneurs with executives from the tech, media and marketing worlds. It is a partnership between Wired and MDC Partners. Microsoft is the presenting sponsor.

Wired editor-in-chief Chris Anderson says the forum is for leaders who are reinventing their companies. “During the past two years, disruption toppled many outmoded firms and ideas. Now we see very day how it is powering the recovery and driving innovation,” he said in the conference announcement.

MDC chief Miles Nadal believes “there has never been a greater need for companies to deliver transformational results at tremendously accelerated speed than there is in today’s marketplace.”

Registration is by invitation. Executives may apply for an invitation at a To be considered, they must submit title, company name and size, annual revenue and description.


News Corp. named John McKinley corporate chief technology officer and tech president of its digital media group.

He had been servicing as product design and technical lead for News Corp.’s The Daily tablet newspaper.

Miller did a three-year stint as chief technology officer and digital services president at AOL. Earlier, he was executive VP/global technology at Merrill Lynch and technology chief at GE Capital. He began his career at Ernst & Young.

At News Corp., McKinley reports to Jon Miller, chief digital officer.


Elizabeth Spiers, founding editor of Gawker, is the new editor of the New York Observer, succeeding Kyle Pope, who was NYO’s fourth editor since the NYO was purchased in 2006 by real estate maven Jared Kushner.

Kusher said he plans to work closely with Spiers to “further build on the great progress we have made over the past few years.”

Spiers is founder of Dead Horse Media, which publishes the Dealbreaker, Above the Law and Fashionista blogs. She was editor-in-chief of, editor at New York Magazine and columnist at Fortune.

Pope will remain at the Observer through March to play an advisory role. The online Observer gets about 700K visits a month.


News Corp. has hired top media investment company Allen & Co. to chart the future of its struggling MySpace social site.

Rupert Murdoch's media combine expects to figure out an exit strategy by the end of the first half. It could decide to keep a financial stake in the online operation.

News Corp. COO Chase Carey says MySpace's partners here and overseas have expressed interest in a deal.

MySpace's traffic was down 27 percent in December to 50M visitors. News Corp. bought MySpace in 2006 for $585M.


Adam Miller is now executive VP/corporate affairs at Comcast’s NBC Universal operation.

The Abernathy MacGregor Group president joined Comcast last year to help shepherd approval of the deal through the media and regulatory thicket.

At AMG, Miller counseled media/entertainment clients such as Comcast, Viacom, Thomson Reuters, AOL, Legardere and Yahoo.

Comcast completed its takeover of NBCU last month.

Internet Edition, February 9, 2011, Page 5


Blockbuster, the video rental giant trying to revamp in bankruptcy, has hired Weber Shandwick to bolster its communications.

Jason Treu, a veteran tech PR pro recently with HP, told O’Dwyer’s that he is working as a consultant for WS in-house at Blockbuster. WS has a large Dallas presence, where Blockbuster is based.

The company saw the departure of senior PR exec Patricia Sullivan last month.

Blockbuster filed for Chapter 11 protection last year and is closing nearly one-third of its 3,000 U.S. stores as it tries to recover from competition by rivals like Netflix and Coinstar.

Blockbuster worked with Pierpoint Communications last year when its longtime communications director, Randy Hargrove, left the company.


Hill & Knowlton has aligned with Kuwaiti investment firm Masseleh Investments, which is eying private equity deals in the media and marketing sectors in the Middle East.

H&K, which recently merged with Public Strategies and has been operating in Kuwait for 25 years, said the agreement gives the WPP unit a sponsor to develop further in Kuwait.

Dave Robinson, who heads H&K’s Middle East operations, added that the pact acts to “reaffirm” the agency’s commitment to “one of the region’s most dynamic and exciting markets.”

Ziad Al Duaij, vice chairman of Massaleh Media, said in a statement that the private equity unit is “pleased” that H&K “has agreed to have its operations in Kuwait sponsored by Massaleh Media.” He added: “Marketing and communications is developing quickly in Kuwait and we believe that the expertise and experience of international companies such as Hill and Knowlton can only help this process develop further.”

H&K’s local office is in Kuwait City. Sara Gourlay, who was GM for Kuwait and Qatar, was relocated to Singapore last year.


Prime Policy Group has an agreement to represent Agim Ceku, the former Prime Minister of Kosovo and chief of the Kosovo Liberation Army.

As leader of the Social Democratic Party of Kosovo, Ceku is to brief policymakers on the post-election landscape in his country.

PPG’s agreement calls for a range of meetings in D.C. for Ceku with members of the National Security Council, State Dept., House and Senate Committees on Foreign Relations, U.S. Helsinki Commission, think tanks and media.

Special outreach is slated for New York Democratic Congressman Eliot Engel, who "maintains a keen interest in Kosovo," according to the engagement letter written by Lisa Cotter Colangelo, senior international consultant at PPG.

The current work is conducted on a pro bono basis, but PPG looks to provide more service to the SDPK as the year progresses.


New York Area

R&J Public Relations, Bridgewater, N.J./Promark International, Bartlett, Ill.-based manufacturer of photographic and video lighting products, as AOR for PR for its brands, including Photogenic, Smith-Victor, Norman and Cool-Lux.

Propheta Communications, New York/Constellation Asset Advisors, for corporate comms. partner.

Rubenstein PR, New York/Byron Janis, classic pianist, for PR in conjunction with Klinger Vision. He released a book and was featured in a PBS documentary in December.

Lippe Taylor, New York/Word of Mouth Marketing Association, to provide counsel on SEO/SEM and analysis of WOMMA’s marketing efforts.

Automotive PR, Waldwick, N.J./Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s; Tire Rack One Lap of America presented by Motor Trend; MMR Motorsports Marketing Resources, and John Galt Films, for PR.


LaVoie Group, Salem, Mass./Invida Holdings, Singapore-based specialty pharmaceuticals company, as global AOR for 2011.

Clear Blue, Huntersville, N.C./Char-Broil, grill marketer, as AOR.

919 Marketing, Holly Springs, N.C./The Interface Financial Group, as PR agency for North America.

Crescendo Communications, Atlanta/Pacific Bepure Industry Inc., China-based footwear manufacturer, for financial PR.

Max Borges Agency, Miami/Verbatim Americas, digital storage products, for PR and media relations.

Cheryl Andrews Marketing Communications, Coral Gables, Fla./Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa, to manage the resort's PR and publicity efforts.

TransMedia Group, Boca Raton, Fla./Diabetica Research Solutions, for PR to publicize its drsi ReStore! Energy formula for people with diabetes.


Luxury Marketing Partners International, Chicago/Luxury Living Savannah, luxury rental mansions in Savannah, and Cotton Tree Resort (Cayman Islands), for PR, media relations, digital, travel outreach and events.

Strategic Storyteller, Minneapolis/LiveRoof, horticultural science company, for PR and media relations.

Innis Maggiore, Canton, Ohio/Associated General Contractors; Children's Home & Family Services; Berries For Life; Center For Health Affairs; Greenport Financial Advisers; Roscoe Medical; Ryerson Healthcare Consultants; Santmyer Oil; Stark Industrial; Szarka Financial Management; Tebo Financial Services, and Westfield Bank.

Mountain West

Turner PR, Denver/Alpha Industries, garment manufacturer for the U.S. military, for PR.


GolinHarris, Los Angeles/Dole Food Company, for launch of Dole Fruit Bowls in 100% juice, including consumer marketing, media relations and social media efforts.

— Greg Hazley

Internet Edition, February 9, 2011, Page 6


Douglas Wilburne, VP-IR of Textron, has been elected chair of the National Investor Relations Institute.

He succeeds Brad Wilks, Chicago CEO and managing director of Sard Verbinnen & Co.

“Doug brings an outstanding balance of well-rounded business acumen, hands-on IR experience, understanding of relevant regulatory issues, and a clear vision for NIRI’s future,” said Jeffrey Morgan, president and CEO of NIRI.

Wilburne serves on the Executive Leadership Team of Textron and the Enterprise Finance Council.

Before joining Textron, he set up an IR program at Rite Aid. He headed IR for AMP until the company merged with Tyco International in 1998.

Before AMP, he spent 20 years at Bell Atlantic Corp. in engineering operations, regulatory, finance and treasury, with increasing levels of responsibility, and then became director of IR.

He has a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Pennsylvania State University and an M.B.A. in finance from Drexel University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Four New Directors Elected

New directors of NIRI are:

John Chevalier, director of IR for Procter & Gamble Co., Cincinnati.

Ruth Cotter, corporate VP of IR for Advanced Micro Devices, Sunnyvale, Calif.

Jane Okun Bomba, SVP and chief customer process officer at IHS, Englewood, Colo.

William Walkowiak, VP, finance and IR, Novatel Wireless, San Diego.

NIRI, based in Vienna, Va., has 3,500 members representing 2,000 public companies with $5.4 trillion in capitalization.


PR Newswire has debuted a multimedia news dissemination service dubbed ARC for Marketing, a branch off its ARC for PR service which debuted last year.

PRN’s broadcast and multimedia division oversees the service, which the company said is intended to allow marketers to create and disseminate full, interactive campaigns from a single platform.

ARC is an acronym for Access, Reach, Connect, and pulls together content like video, photos, coupons or other promotional content, which can be updated after it’s disseminated, in a single place.

Bev Yehuda, VP of web engagement for MultiVu, said ARC is useful for efforts like product launches, branding campaigns, event promotions and viral video as it combines “speed, efficiency and measurability.”

The service’s multimedia player can be modified to show up to five individual segments of encoded video or audio content. Video content is hosted within the platform and also disseminated via PRN’s distribution network, which includes YouTube, Yahoo! Video, Metacafe and AOL Video.

Viral sharing buttons, and options for viewers to perform actions like “click-to-purchase” or social media tagging are also available.



Paddi Hurley, senior VP, Fleishman-Hillard, to Chamberlain Healthcare PR, New York, as a senior VP overseeing Boehringer Ingelheim's Pradaxa anticoagulant. Catherine London, senior VP, Resolute Communications, joins as a senior VP overseeing BI’s diabetes franchise and working on BG Medicine. Bob Josefsberg was promoted to senior VP at Chamberlain. He’s a six-year veteran of the firm.

Mitch Cohen, who ran his own shop for three years, to senior VP and head of Martopia PR Group, Chicago, a division of marketing communications agency Martopia.

Doug Thornell, who oversaw Rep. Chris Van Hollen's (D-Md.) press operation, to SKDKnickerbocker, Washington, D.C., as a senior VP. He was press secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2008 cycle. Anna Bell Gall, director, DCI Group, joins as a VP. She was a staffer in the office of House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer from 2002-05 and later served as media and legislative coordinator at the Association for Justice.

Joseph Schepers, director of investor relations and corporate communications, Shionogi/Sciele Pharma, to pediatric pharmaceutical company Pernix Therapeutics Holdings, Magnolia, Tex., in that same title, a new post. He was previously at Novartis, ICN Pharmaceuticals and Cryolife.

Kathy MacDonald, a CPA and finance veteran, to Mead Johnson Nutrition Company, Glenview, Ill., as VP of investor relations, taking over for Kathryn Chieger, who retired Jan. 31.

Sona Chaturvedi-Harris, senior consultant, Richmond Towers Communications, London, to Publicis Consultants USA, Seattle, as a VP to head its Nestle business, including prepared foods and corporate initiatives. She was previously at Digitas, Saatchi & Saatchi and Ayer Advertising.

Mark Macdonald, VP of communications for BBC Worldwide, to Sony Pictures Television, London, as executive director, corporate communications, Europe. Johanna Cassells the post in late 2010 for PR firm Bottle.


Teresa Valerio Parrot to senior VP, Widmeyer Communications, Washington, D.C. She heads the firm's higher education practice. Also, public affairs staffers Kristofer Eisenla and Jim Luetkemeyer to VPs; Katie Reardon to assistant VP on the firm’s PreK-12 education team; Amy Leahing to senior associate/health and wellness, and Sara Kabakoff to senior marketing manager.

Alison Betty, Susan Feeney and Kaia Lenhart to partners, GMMB, Washington, D.C. Betty worked toward healthcare reform passage last year directing the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation coverage team and joined the firm in 2002. Feeney joined in 2009 and is based in Seattle. Lenhart also joined in 2002. GMMB is part of Fleishman-Hillard.

Amanda Walsh to PR, marketing and social media coordinator, Furia Rubel Communications, Doylestown, Pa. She joined as an intern in 2008.

— Greg Hazley


Internet Edition, February 9, 2011, Page 7


The “Up in the Air” film partnership of Hilton Hotels & Resorts won the “Best of Show” in PR and Nancy Friedman of Nancy J. Friedman PR was honored for lifetime achievement in PR at the annual awards dinner of Hospitality Sales & Marketing Assn. Int’l Jan. 31 at the New York Marriott Marquis.

J.R. Marriott Jr., CEO and founder of Marriott Int’l, which has more than 3,500 properties in 70 countries, was honored for lifetime achievement in advertising.

Hilton won a “starring role” with the film “Up in the Air,” in which George Clooney played an executive who traveled the country to cut staff of client companies.

Lou Hammond & Associates was the biggest award winner in the PR category at the event.

The Hammond firm, which has been a perennial front runner in this contest, took home six golds, seven bronze and six silver awards for a total of 19. Five awards were given for its work for the Panama City Beach (Fla.) Convention & Visitors Bureau -- two golds, two silvers, and one bronze.

“This is a stunning endorsement of the destination and its prominence on the national scene,” said Lou Rena Hammond, chairman.

A highlight of the year was a visit by President Obama and his family. The firm also handled the crisis communications for the city, which is on the West coast of Florida and which was affected by the BP oil spill.

Weber Wins Two Platinums

Weber Shandwick won platinum awards for its work for the Royal Caribbean International, the world’s biggest cruise ship, and InterContinental Hotels Group. It won eight golds, six silvers and three bronze awards for a total of 17.

The platinums are conversions of gold awards and are not counted twice.

Weber Shandwick now has 15 platinums which it believes is the record for this award.

In addition to the awards, two of Weber Shandwick’s clients, Tracy Quan, director of brand communications at Royal Caribbean International and Kelly Schulz, VP of communications and PR at the New Orleans CVB, were recognized among HSMAI’s “Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing,” which honors the best sales and marketing professionals in the hospitality, travel and tourism industries.

“We are honored for our work to be so widely recognized by some of the industry’s most influential people,” said Rene A. Mack, president of Weber Shandwick’s Travel & Lifestyle practice. “It is clients like Tracy and Kelly that compel and inspire us to create award-winning campaigns and we couldn’t be prouder of their accomplishments.”

The 2010 Weber Shandwick winning client campaigns are:

Platinum PR Awards:

• Campaign: Special Event – “Holiday Inn Stacks a Full House, The Holiday Inn Key Card Hotel” (InterContinental Hotels Group) – a five-day promotional event that, with a 400 sq. ft. Holiday Inn Key Card Hotel as the centerpiece, engaged consumers and media alike and underscored Holiday Inn’s key message of change.

• Campaign: New Opening/Launch – “Launching Oasis of the Seas” (Royal Caribbean International) – a multi-faceted, diverse consumer campaign that utilized both traditional and new media resources to launch the world’s largest and most revolutionary cruise ship, culminating in a debut that commanded international attention and made “Oasis of the Seas” the most Googled phrase on the day she arrived into the U.S.

Gold PR Awards:

• Feature Placement, Television – Matt Lauer (Canadian Tourism Commission)

• Feature Placement, Online – Consumer Media – “Priority Club Rewards’ Luckiest Loser Competition” (InterContinental Hotels Group)

• Feature Placement, Television – “Who Dat? It’s NBC TODAY in New Orleans” (New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau)

• Campaign: Marketing Program, Consumer – “Omni Hotels & Resorts Launches 72-Hour Sale” (Omni Hotels & Resorts)

• Feature Placement, Television – “GMA’s Biggest Getaway” (Royal Caribbean International)

• Feature Placement, Online – Consumer Media – “Airline Food Doesn’t Always Have to Suck” (Singapore Airlines)

Friedman Gets Grice Award

NFJPR, headed by Nancy Friedman, who was honored at the HSMAI dinner for lifetime achievement in PR, won eight gold, six silver, and three bronze awards.

Friedman, who founded her firm in 1987, has worked for numerous global brands including JW Marriott, Westin, Sheraton, Ritz-Carlton and Hyatt domestically as well as Sofitel, Thistle and Camino Real internationally. She has helped to open or has represented more than 40 hotels in New York. Many of the firm’s clients have been with it more than ten years.

“I share this honor with the amazing clients who have entrusted us with their businesses and the enthusiastic, hard-working staff responsible for executing their dreams, enhancing their visibility, and making work fun every day,” she said.

Platinum PR winners were:

• Royal Caribbean Int’l w/ Weber Shandwick

• Hilton Hotels & Resorts

• Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp.

• Visit Orlando

• Nicaragua Tourism Board w/ Murphy O’Brien PR

• Offshore Sailing School w/ Redpoint Marketing PR

• Abercrombie & Kent w/ Laura Davidson PR

• InterContinental Hotels w/ Weber Shandwick.


Internet Edition, February 9, 2011, Page 8




This reporter ran into difficulties trying to pry facts out of the PR dept. at the 8.8-mile Pocahontas 895 Toll road in Virginia but a few minutes on the web helped us breeze right through the toll gates.

Critics say money-losing Pocahontas 895, which boosted tolls by 25 cents Feb. 7 to $3.00, overcharges users, vastly overpays its managers, and was forced to take back illegal contributions to state lawmakers in 2006.

The contributions were taken back, according to, which said relevant deals had already been made with the state. Virginia took $611M from Transurban Holdings of Melbourne, Australia, for the 99-year lease.

We were attracted to this subject by a feature in the New York Times Jan. 7 on how Mary Ellin Arch had switched from reporting for the Roanoke Times & World News to PR for Pocahontas 895.

It was a “golly, gee whiz, here I am in PR and it's wonderful” type of story.

Toll Road?!

The concept of a toll road struck us as anachronistic if not downright medieval since our state, Connecticut, got rid of all toll roads in 1988.

Toll plazas waste a lot of time and gas when there are better ways of collecting money such as car registration fees, licenses, and gas taxes.

Even the best toll roads are 25 times less efficient in collecting revenue than gas taxes, according to a study by

If states are going to go back to toll roads why don't doctors use leeches to draw blood and our armies dust off bows and arrows?

Arch Not Much Help

Arch bucked us to Transurban execs in Melbourne, where there is a 16-hour time difference.

At 9:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 7, when we were writing this editorial, it was 1:30 a.m. Tuesday in Melbourne.

The NYT article had a quote from Brenda Wrigley, chair of the PR dept. at Syracuse University, who said she researched the issue of PR vs. journalism and concluded that journalists and PR pros “make ethical decisions in the same way.”

This is not a direct quote from Wrigley but something written by article author Cecilia Capuzzi Simon.

We wonder about that.

John Doorley, who heads the master’s in PR program at New York University, is quoted as saying that PR has outgrown its second-tier status in ad/journalism programs and is now a “social science and business discipline of its own.”

This is also something Simon wrote rather than a direct quote of Doorley.

This website is offering Wrigley, Doorley and their students free access to for the next several months so they can see how PR is practiced in this current, real-life situation. They will learn more about PR from this story that what is in any textbook. Whether they will avail themselves of this remains to be seen.

Arch could not talk to us when we first reached her by phone because she was working on “three media monitoring reports.”

Toll Roads Have Their Critics

So we dialed up Pocahontas 895 on the web and what a can of worms we found!

This is a cautionary tale for anyone studying PR who thinks they are going to put out some kind of “message” or “framing” of something and get away with it.
The web--a deluge of facts and information available instantly for free-is going to wash away whatever they're doing.

They must learn to deal with this but so far we have found that business and institutions are not doing so. They mostly resort to dodging and stonewalling. But those “stone walls” are more like Swiss cheese.

Arch Studied PR at Grad Level

Arch, who lost her job in 2007 after 29 years in newspapers, spent a year at Virginia Commonwealth Univ. studying PR research, leadership and law, marketing, strategic media relations, crisis communications and reputation management.

How many zeros make one is our thought?

None of the above study areas is going to help Arch make a silk purse out of this sow's ear.

The deal that Transurban has with Virginia forbids the state from improving competing highways unless certain compensation arrangements are made.

According to, the top six North American executives took $34.6 million in pay and other benefits in 2007. Operating loss that year was $140M.

Execs Well-Paid

North American president Michael Kulper was paid $3,056,337 in 2007 and $2.3M in both 2009 and 2010. Retiring CEO Kim Edwards took home $14.3M in 2007, said

The top ten Transurban execs took in $17.5M in pay in 2010 vs. $16.8M in 2009.

Pay plans include PAP (performance awards plan); PRP (performance rights plan); STI (short term incentive); LTI (long-term incentive), and EEP (executive equity plan).

Motorists Gripe About Tolls

This week’s toll boost on Pocahontas caused one motorist to post on WWBT NBC 12: “No one in their right mind is going to pay three bucks each way to save a few minutes of travel time” because there are “so many other options.”

Transurban has debt of Australian $4B (about the same in U.S. dollars). It is carrying $7.6B in "intangible assets" on its books and $4.1B in total equity. This means it has tangible net equity of minus $3.5B.

Pocahontas 895 took in $11.8M in 2010 and had a “proportional net loss” of $15.7M. Interest costs were $20.4M and interest revenue, $87K.

Revenues of Transurban were $880M and "proportional net profit" was $13.2M.
Other Foreign Road Deals

Cintra-Macquarie, a Spanish-Australian venture, in 2004 paid Chicago $1.82B for operating/revenue rights to the Skyway, 7.8-mile toll bridge and highway.

C-M in 2006 paid Indiana $3.85B to operate and collect tolls on the 157-mile Indiana Toll Road.

C-M also operates the Dulles Greenway in Virginia. C-M lost $1.7 billion in the year ended June 30, 2009.

— Jack O'Dwyer


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