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Internet Edition, February 16, 2011, Page 1


The Canadian Tourism Commission issued an RFP on Feb. 10 for PR and media relations services to market the commission and its “corporate brand” regionally, nationally and globally.

The commission, a public-private entity set up in 1995, says it has an "ambitious" corporate branding strategy in place for 2011 and the selected firm will support that with services like media relations, lining up speaking engagements, promotions and stakeholder relations.

Proposals are due Mar 3. The commission is planning a one-year contract with two option years.

The country markets tourism to nine key markets, including the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, China, Japan, Australia, South Korea and Mexico.

Firms must register at the procurement portal. Link is at


The drug industry’s top trade group has recruited Ketchum senior VP Josephine Martin to head communications.

Martin will take up the executive VP, public affairs, post on March 1 at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America’s Washington, D.C., headquarters overseeing communications and alliance development.

PhRMA chief Bill Tauzin stepped down last year. He was replaced by John Castellani, who previously headed the Business Roundtable.

Ken Johnson, a former aide to Tauzin, previously served as senior VP of communications for the group.

Martin was senior VP of public affairs at Ketchum and held agency posts at GolinHarris and National Media Inc. She was VP/comms., American Red Cross, and VP/PA for the Federation of American Hospitals.

PhRMA has added Cassidy & Assocs. to its lobbying lineup to deal with FDA issues and comparative effectiveness research matters, according to a U.S. filing.

PhRMA’s federal lobbying outlays dipped 16.9 percent to $21.7M in 2010 following aggressive spending in `09 to shape the healthcare reform bill now law.

Cassidy vice chairman & COO Gregg Hartley, who was chief of staff to former majority whip Roy Blunt, spearheads the five-member PhRMA team.


Publicis reported Feb. 10 a 23% rise in fourth quarter 2010 revenue to 1.56B euro. For the full year, profit soared 30.5% to 526M euro.

Maurice Levy, CEO of the Paris-based ad/PR conglomerate, said growth showed a “marked acceleration” in the fourth quarter, compared with the year’s overall mark of 8.3%.

Levy said the results have “put an end to the impact of the global financial crisis,” adding that the company has “emerged from this difficult context considerably stronger.”

In North America, Levy noted a “remarkable turnaround” as revenue ticked up more than 24% to 2.6M euro for the full year, bolstered by digital. In Q4, North America was up 25.2% to 683M euro.

European 2010 revenue, which was battered in 2009, increased 11.5% from 2009 to 1.8M euro.


Ogilvy PR Worldwide created a new post, executive VP/director of reputation risk, for Peter Hirsch, who joined the WPP unit on Feb. 1.

He had been running Peter Hirsch Strategies, providing corporate PR, executive visibility and crisis counseling services to clients including Johnson & Johnson and American Water.

Earlier, he was global corporate affairs chief at Porter Novelli and executive VP at Edelman here and in Germany, working for companies such as Procter & Gamble, British Airways and AstraZeneca.

Ogilvy also announced the hiring of Brooke Blashill as VP in its New York consumer marketing practice. She joined from Edelman, where she worked on Shell Oil, Kraft Foods and Turner Broadcasting.


Jack Daly, who stepped down as McDonald’s Corp.’s top PR executive last month, died Feb. 5 after a battle with cancer. He was 62.

Daly was a veteran of longtime McDonald’s agency GolinHarris before joining the company in 1992. He retired in January as senior VP of corporate relations and chief communications officer and had been fighting cancer for two years.

Daly started out as press secretary for Ohio Gov. Jim Rhodes before founding J. Daly and Associates in Columbus. He joined GH in 1988 and headed the McDonald’s account.

He is survived by his wife, Gail, and sons Brendan, Evan and Patrick, among others.


Internet Edition, February 16, 2011, Page 2


California is reviewing its oil recycling public education account, including the “3,000 Mile Myth” campaign, a three-year-old effort to discredit belief that drivers must change their oil every 3,000 miles.

The Golden State charges a fee to oil manufacturers on every gallon of oil sold in the state, while certified collectors get incentive payments to collect used oil under a 1991 law.

California’s Dept. of Resources Recycling and Recovery, known as CalRecycle, oversees the state’s oil recycling programs. It issued an RFP on Feb. 7 for its oil recycling public education work with a maximum budget of $1.5M over 18 months.

The work supports CalRecycle’s office of public affairs.

A key component is the 3,000 mile campaign as the state notes many new cars recommend oil changes at intervals from 5,000 up to 10,000 miles, while retail stores and some dealers still pitch the 3,000-mile mark.

In addition to the 3,000 mile campaign, the public education work covers a planned pilot program to encourage recycling of used oil filters, as well as education for recycling grant recipients.

The resulting contract is expected to begin in June.

Proposals are due April 8 with a conference slated for Feb. 17 in Sacramento.

Download the RFP at


Wells Fargo’s Patricia Callahan, who headed the transition team for the integration of Wachovia into San Francisco-based WF, has assumed responsibility for corporate communications, government relations, corporate social responsibility and marketing at the $1.3T (assets) bank.

The appointment follows the shocker resignation last week of chief financial officer Howard Atkins.

New CFO Tim Sloan had been in charge of communications in his former chief administrative officer role.

Atkins, who just turned 60, served as WF’s face to Wall Street and key shareholders. WF is the second most valuable stock on the Big Board, trailing only JPMorgan Chase.

“Atkins’ retirement is unrelated to the company’s financial condition or financial reporting,” according to the bank's statement.

The retirement is said to be for “personal reasons.” It becomes effective in August, following an “unpaid leave of absence.”

Before joining WF in 2001, Atkins was CFO at New York Life Insurance and Midatlantic Corp. He rose to corporate treasurer after 17 years at Chase Manhattan.

Atkins is poised to collect $22M.


Jared Hendler has joined MWW Group, a top independent firm, as executive VP/global director of digital and creative services.

In that new post, Hendler will be responsible for MWW’s dialogue digital operation, which covers social media, marketing and branding initiatives.

The veteran of Edelman and Katalyst has handled clients such as American Express, Motorola, Red Lobster, Amerada Hess, Seagram’s, P&G, Hasbro and Monsanto.


Livingston Group, the firm of former Speaker of the House-designate Bob Livingston, received $132K from Egypt during the second-half of last year.

A major effort was to help squelch support for the Egypt democracy/human rights resolution (Senate Resolution 586) that was put forward by Sens. John McCain and Russ Feingold.

The non-binding resolution called for election monitors and release of political prisoners. It attracted a dozen co-sponsors but failed to make it out of the Foreign Relations Committee.

According to federal records, Livingston personally led the charge against the measure, contacting staffers in the offices of eight Republican members of Congress.

Introduced in July, the resolution rapped the government of Hosni Mubarak for continuing to “harass, intimidate, arbitrarily detain, and engage in violence against peaceful demonstrators, journalists, human rights activities, and bloggers.” It stated that political reform could help Egypt “counter extremism will also solidifying prospects for stability and prosperity.”

LG staffers also dealt with U.S./Egyptian security matters. The firm contacted various think tanks and NGOs on U.S./Egyptian ties and regional security matters.


Sard Verbinnen & Company is working with hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors as the Stamford, Conn., institution seeks to distance itself from two former employees hit with federal charges of insider trading last week.

Federal prosecutors said Feb. 8 that Noah Freeman and Donald Longueuil are accused of insider trading while employed at SAC last year. Freeman has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the government.

In a statement issued through SV&C, the hedge fund said the employees were dismissed in January and June 2010 due to poor performance.

“We are outraged by the alleged actions of two former employees, which required active circumvention of our compliance policies and are egregious violations of our ethical standards,” the firm said, noting the federal allegations say the two started the improper conduct in 2006 and continued when they joined SAC in mid-2008.

SAC, which has not been charged, is a $14B collection of funds run by billionaire Steven Cohen.

Jonathan Gasthalter, managing director for SV&C in New York, is handling the account.


Internet Edition, February 16, 2011, Page 3


Former Los Angeles Lakers basketball great Earvin “Magic” Johnson has teamed with supermarket magnate Ron Burkle to acquire a stake in Vibe, the hip-hop magazine, Uptown Magazine, lifestyle/luxury, and the “Soul Train” TV show library.

Johnson is now chairman of parent company, Vibe Holdings LLC.

Johnson’s role is to use his celebrity to bolster Vibe’s penetration of urban markets and connect with potential advertisers.

“Through programs designed to cultivate the existing profit potential of this burgeoning and frequently neglected demographic, we are able to revitalize and maximize profit margins,” said Johnson, head of Magic Johnson Enterprises.

He believes the “landscape of modern media lacks a platform” to serve the black market. He predicts Vibe Holdings will emerge as "center of influence for the coveted urban audience.”

Johnson, 51, has plans to revive the Soul Train song and dance show and step up the licensing of its content. The show’s library has more than 1,000 hours of video featuring performers from the likes of Marvin Gaye to the Jackson 5.

Vibe went out of business in 2009 but the brand was acquired by InterMedia Partners and Uptown Media, which re-launched the magazine as a quarterly and expanded its online presence.


Ousted MSNBC talk show host Keith Olbermann is moving to Al Gore’s Current TV as chief news officer and prime time host/commentator beginning in the spring.

With that move the liberal media icon is taking an investment stake in Gore’s Current Media.

In a swipe at his former employer, Olbermann said “nothing is more vital to a free America than a free media, and nothing is more vital to my concept of a free media than news produced independently of corporate interference.”

Olbermann, a sports correspondent for CNN and local TV and radio stations before joining ESPN’s “SportsCenter” in th mid-1990s, will be executive producer of the nightly Current show.

Current TV reaches 60M U.S. households, but averages only 23K prime time viewers each night.

The former Vice President called Olbermann a gifted thinker, amazing talent and powerful communicator.

“In a world where there are fewer and fewer opportunities to hear truly distinct, unfettered voices on TV, we are delighted to provide Keith with the independent platform and freedom that Current can and does uniquely offer,” said Gore in a statement.

42West handled Olbermann’s Feb. 8 announcement.


Wendy Goldberg, who was VP for business development & strategy at Hearst entertainment & syndication, is now executive VP/marketing & communications at Clear Channel Radio.

She’s in charge of PR, brand promotion, business-to-business support and local marketing efforts at CCR, which reaches 100M listeners a week.

Besides Hearst, Goldberg was senior VP/communications at Six Flags, responsible for PR and investor relations. She also held the VP-communications spot at America Online.

John Horgan, CCR president, believes Goldberg’s experience in developing new media platforms will support his company’s digital expansion.


Bloomberg is leasing more than 400K of office space at 120 Park Ave. as the company “outgrows” its state-of-art headquarters at “One Beacon Court” built on the site of the Alexander’s department store (Lexington and 58th-59th) that was torn down in 2000.

The move into 120 Park, which is the old Philip Morris headquarters on 42nd St across from Grand Central Terminal, is slated for later this year. The building is currently offering branding rights consisting of flags and signage on its Park Ave façade.

Bloomberg chairman Peter Grauer says the new digs will help Bloomberg position for future growth as the privately held media combine works to build upon its “record-setting year in 2010.”

New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg's company has 6,500 workers in Manhattan, up more than 1,800 from two years ago.

The company also is building a European headquarters in the City of London, which will have more than 500K sq. ft.

Bloomberg employs about 13,000 people worldwide.

Rhodes to CBS

David Rhodes, who was running Bloomberg’s domestic TV operations, is taking the presidency of CBS News post.

He will report to Jeff Fager, who is being upped from executive producer of “60 Minutes” to the CBS News chairman. The appointments are effect Feb. 22.

Rhodes was responsible for the 200 staffers at Bloomberg TV since November 2008. He was in charge of development, programming, editorial and production operation. Pre-Bloomberg, Rhodes worked a dozen years at Fox News, exiting as VP-News.

Fager took over “60 Minutes” in 2004 with the retirement of the show's founder Don Hewitt. He will keep his “60 Minutes” title.

Fager and Rhodes are succeeding Sean McManus, who was running CBS News and Sports. He will now focus exclusively on sports broadcasting.

BRIEF: Paul Werdel, news editor for Al Jazeera English, has moved Talking Points Memo as an associate editor.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, February 16, 2011, Page 4


The Society of Professional Journalists, saying the subject of Helen Thomas and her remarks about Jews had become too “divisive,” voted on Jan. 14 to entirely drop the “Helen Thomas Award for Lifetime Achievement” rather than remove her name from the award, which had been given since 2000.

Thomas, longtime White House correspondent, had ignited a firestorm of criticism last June when she said, among other things, that Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine.”

The SPJ board, headed by Hagit Limor, a reporter at E.W. Scripps WCPO-TV in Cincinnati, said, “The controversy surrounding this award has overshadowed the reason it exists.”

The board expressed the fear that continuing to offer the award would “reignite the controversy each year and take away from its purpose: honoring a lifetime of work in journalism.”

Limor said, “It’s time we in SPJ stop focusing on this divisive issue and start focusing on what unites us.”

Thomas was the original recipient of the award and SPJ said the board’s decision “will not impact that honor or subsequent honorees.”

Foxman and Ph.D Argue Both Sides

Commentary on the issue includes letters to the editor in the Jan./Feb. Quill, the magazine of SPJ, from Abraham H. Foxman, national director, Anti-Defamation League, and Matthew Stiffler, Ph.D., researcher at the Arab American National Museum, Dearborn, Mich.

Foxman said the claim by Thomas that “Zionists” control U.S. policy and opinion about Israel “repeated the classic anti-Semitic canard that Jews ‘control’ the White House and Hollywood.”

While the initial remarks of Thomas may have been “off-the-cuff,” her later remarks Dec. 3 in Dearborn were “carefully thought out and reveal a person who is deeply infected with anti-Semitism,” said Foxman.

Stiffler Says SPJ Bowed to Politics

Stiffler, who identified himself as an “academic,” said Thomas was neither anti-Semitic nor anti-Jewish” but had become “frustrated.”

He said she believes that “Israel is an oppressive, occupying regime that does not warrant the unwavering support of the U.S. government” and that this sentiment “is held by many academics and community organizers including myself.”

Stiffler, who received his Ph.D. in American Culture and Arab American Studies from the University of Michigan in 2010, said he believes that Israel and Zionism became enmeshed with Judaism and the Jewish people in such a way that to criticize the political entities is to blaspheme the faith. This is the root of this controversy.

Removing the name of Thomas from the awards “is short-sighted and reeks of the kinds of political pressure that journalistic integrity should rise above,” he wrote.

Thomas has been hired by the Falls Church (Va.) News Press and is seeking reinstatement of her White House press pass.


Ken Lerer, co-founder of Huffington Post, is exiting the site with its $315M acquisition by AOL. He will step down as chairman of HuffPo but take on an advisory role.

The former Robinson Lerer & Montgomery principal is one of the four largest shareholders of HuffPo with Arianna Huffington, SoftBank Capital and Oak Investment Partners.

He is expected to use some of the HuffPo acquisition proceeds to bankroll a new fund for Lerer Ventures, which he runs with his son Benjamin. LV has investments in more than 30 start-ups

Eric Hippeau, HuffPo CEO, is joining LV as a full partner. He stepped down from the board of Yahoo on Feb. 9 after 15 years of service.


Stephen Adler, who exited the editing helm at BusinessWeek following its 2009 takeover by Bloomberg, is now editor-in-chief of Reuters News service.

He also takes the newly created executive VP-news title to give him responsibility for overall strategy and operations.

Adler succeeds David Schlesinger, who is moving to chairman of Thomson Reuters China, after a four-year stint.

Adler joined Thomson Reuters in `10 as senior VP and editorial director of its professional division (legal, tax, accounting, healthcare and science).

He held the top editing job at BW for five years spent 16 years at the Wall Street Journal and edited The American Lawyer.


Vanessa Holden, editor-in-chief and creative director of Martha Stewart Living, is joining West Elm as senior VP/creative director. She becomes responsible for branding the home furnishings property of Williams-Sonoma in its catalogs, website and stores.

Jim Brett, president of West Elm, says Holden has a “wealth of experience in the art of storytelling through words and images” that will benefit his company's image and enhance interactions with consumers.

Holden joined Martha Stewart Omnimedia in 2008 as editor-in-chief of Martha Stewart Weddings. She also was creative director at Time Inc.’s Real Simple and co-founder of Donna Hay Magazine in her native Australia.

Ten-year-old West Elm is based in Brooklyn.


Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated announced an “All Access” digital subscription plan to deliver the print magazine to consumers with Android tablets and smartphones, as well as online.

SI was previously available for the iPad.

Time Inc. said it is the first of its emerging digital subscription programs and followed an announcement last week that titles Time, Fortune, People and SI would be made available for subscription on the HP TouchPad when it is introduced later this year.

Cost for the new edition is $48/year or $4.99/mon.

Internet Edition, February 16, 2011, Page 5


PR firms are supporting several clients pursuing IPOs this month, including two which debuted last week to mixed results.

Summit Hotel Properties, a Sioux Falls, S. Dak., real estate trust, announced an IPO of 26M shares at $9.75 Feb. 9.

Daly Gray PR of Herndon, Va., is handling financial communications. Shares debuted Wednesday by closing slightly below the IPO debut.

Peppercom and Stern IR are working with Gevo Inc., an Englewood, Colo., company which priced a 7M-plus-share offering at $15 Feb. 9. The company is developing systems to covert renewable raw materials into additives for fuel and other chemical products for green and economic benefits. Gevo’s debut surpassed expectations, closing at $16.44.

Christensen IR, New York, is working with Beijing-based TV advertising company China Century Dragon Media which filed Feb. 8 to offer 1.2M shares on the New York Stock Exchange at $5.25 each.

Pacira Pharmaceuticals, a Parsippany, N.J.-based specialty pharma producer, went public on Feb. 3 after cutting a target price in the $14 range down to $7. Pure Communications, New York, handles PR.

Trunkbow International Holdings Ltd., a Beijing-based company which provides mobile technology for telecom operators, priced at the low end of a $5 to $7 range in selling 4M shares on the Nasdaq Global Market on Feb. 3. CCG Investor Relations provides support in Shanghai and New York.


Ron Sachs Communications, Tallahassee, launched a digital division - SachsDigital - to handle efforts like social media consulting, online crisis communications, online advertising, email list management and online brand management among others.

The firm has tapped former comms. aide to Gov. Jeb Bush, Ryan Duffy, as managing director of the new unit. Duffy also worked for Sens. Mel Martinez and George LeMieux (R-Fla.).

Duffy said that while digital has become a “catch-all word” used to describe anything electronic, in the PR realm, it is increasingly used to describe the development of anything used to help convey a message electronically.

He also noted the importance of digital's constant evolution. “Unlike newspapers, which have been virtually unchanged since their inception, digital communications constantly take on new forms as technology improves,” he said, noting, for example, the rapid rise of smartphones.

“Unlike traditional one way communications such as television, radio and newspapers, digital media allows individuals to simultaneously absorb and produce content,” he added.

The new practice will serve business, government, political and non-profit clients, according to firm president Ron Sachs. “As more Americans embrace social media in their daily lives, it becomes increasingly important to know how to navigate this stage,” he said.


New York Area

DQMPR, New York/Perillo Tours, family-operated tour operator, for PR.

5W PR, New York/Jackie Robinson Foundation, not-for profit organization founded in 1973 in memory of baseball's Jackie Robinson and focused on higher education scholarships for minorities, for PR.

Hunter Outdoor Communications, Moorestown, N.J./SeaLife, underwater photography equipment, for public and media relations. Initial PR focuses on its new Mini II camera to extend its use beyond the dive market. HOC will also introduce several other products throughout the year.


Environics Communications, Washington, D.C./ Building Owners and Managers Association International, to promote the association's "360 Performance Program" nationwide. The 104-year-old federation includes more than 100 local associations and affiliated organizations like building owners, managers, developers, leasing professionals and medical office building managers, among others.


Morgan Creative Services, Nashville/Travis Stevens and Nick Delpopolo, amateur judo athletes expected to participate in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, for PR and media relations, as well as social media.


The Buzz Agency, Boca Raton, Fla./Max's Grille; GAMO Outdoor USA; Boca Raton and Delray Beach Magazines/JES Publishing; Dermatology Express; the GI Film Festival in Washington, D.C.; Fort Lauderdale Aquatics; the “He Wrote That?!” Show featuring Dennis Lambert, and for the second year, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Ypartnership, Orlando/Sterling Resorts, vacation rental management company covering northwest Florida and Mississippi, for PR.


Coles Marketing Communications, Indianapolis/Alliance Home Health Care, nursing, therapy and non-medical companion services for seniors, for communications, marketing, creative and social media activities.

Maccabee Group, Minneapolis/Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, for PR. Kimpton acquired the Grand Hotel Minneapolis in October. The firm has also picked up law firm Henson & Efron to coordinate media relations, social media marketing, brand strategy, new business development and corporate comms.


Hackney Communications, Austin, Tex./Davis & Wilkerson, Austin law firm, for development of a new website (


The Pollack PR Marketing Group, Century City, Calif./Koi Design, Santa Monica, Calif.-based clothing company, for PR and marketing.


Fathom Communications, Oakville, Ont./Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, as AOR for Canada.

— Greg Hazley

Internet Edition, February 16, 2011, Page 6


Vocus reported an 18% increase in fourth quarter 2010 revenue Feb. 8 over 2009, as new subscriptions doubled to 822 during the period and sales of its social media software accelerated.

Net loss narrowed to $397K for the quarter, compared with $821K in 2009, although its net loss widened to $3.7M for the full year.

Revenue ticked up 14% to $96.8M for 2010. The company forecasts 2011 revenue from $112.1M-$113.1M.

On releasing its earnings, the company said it has acquired Twitter-sifting software company Engine140 for an undisclosed sum to incorporate into Vocus’ social media offering.

Vocus also said it spent $12.2M last year buying back stock.


Executive search firm Berkhemer Clayton has promoted Krista Haley to senior VP in Los Angeles.

Haley, who specializes in corporate communications and marketing searches, joined the firm six years ago and previously worked in the PR sector in New York and L.A. at agencies like Weber Shandwick and BSMG Worldwide.

She’s handled placements for KIA Motors America, Gap Inc. and the Univ. of Michigan, among others.

She moved to the West Coast to help BSMG open its first Los Angeles office in 1997.


Business Wire has named Ali Paksima director of XBRL accounting services as a mandate from the Securities and Exchange Commission requiring compliance with the reporting format goes into full effect this summer.

Paksima, who joined the company in 2009 after financial stints at RBS Greenwich Capital and PricewaterhouseCoopers, leads a team of accountants who convert public financial statements into the eXtensible Business Reporting Language format. He reports to senior VP Michael Becker.

More than 8,000 smaller companies must begin filing in the XBRL format by July.


PR Newswire has launched a new mobile version of its main website,, and upgrades to its free iPad, iPhone and iPod app with push alerts, offline reading and a Spanish interface.

PRN said the new iPad app has enhanced searching capabilities, including customized email and push alerts, saved searches based on multiple keywords and stock market tickers.

Users can access all releases, photos and images and conduct searches from the mobile version of



Peter McDonough Jr., former director of comms. for New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman and founding partner of the Princeton Public Affairs Group, to Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., as VP of public affairs, effective March 1. He’ll be a chief adviser to university President Richard McCormick, governing boards and other university leaders with responsibility for developing and directing strategies for outreach and advocacy. He takes over for Jeannine LaRue, who is retiring after serving in the VP slot since 2007.

Ari Goldberg, press officer, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, as director of media relations and spokesman. He worked on the Hill for Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Howard Berman (D-Calif.). Goldberg replaces Josh Block, who stepped down last year for a joint venture with D.C. troubleshooter Lanny Davis.

JoAnn LaBrecque-Frenchhas, director of marketing and comms., Washington National Opera, to the Washington Ballet, Washington, D.C., as senior director of marketing and communications. She was director of marketing and comms. for Houston Grand Opera; PR manager of Los Angeles Opera, and an A/E with Davidson & Choy Publicity in L.A.

Erin Smith, former A/M, Sinclair & Co., to MMI PR, Raleigh, N.C., as an A/E. She was previously an A/E at Aigner Associates.

Liz Lindley to Fetching Communications, a Tampa, Fla., firm that caters to pet sector companies, as manager of client services. Lindley, a former senior VP for Jaffe PR and ex-director of PR for Kaplan, is based in Harrington Park, N.J. Katherine Brandenburg was promoted to lead agency development and strategic relations. She is based in Lincoln, Neb.

Miguel Cano, a social media consultant for Sears Holdings Corp., to JSH&A PR, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., as digital and new media director.

Alan Sudduth, administrator for Jackson County, Miss., to Chevron, Pascagoula, Miss., as public and government affairs manager for Mississippi. He starts March 7, taking over for the retiring Steve Renfroe.

Jenny Febbo, who handled marketing and communications at Ernst & Young, to Team Northeast Ohio, Cleveland, as VP of marketing and comms. for the nonprofit which aims to attract business to the region.

Laura Evenson, director of communications, ImageSpan, to HR research and consulting company Bersin & Associates, Oakland, Calif., as VP of communications. She was a director at SutherlandGold Group and a manager at Burson-Marsteller.

— Greg Hazley


Internet Edition, February 16, 2011, Page 7


Ketchum has been working with the Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority to create a media buzz for the Global Competitiveness Forum that ran in Riyadh from Jan. 22 to 25.

Beginning in October, the Omnicom unit contacted reporters including Sewell Chan/Motoko Rich (New York Times), Jeannine Aversa (Associated Press), Lesley Wroughton (Reuters) Francis Romero (Time), David Jolly (International Herald Tribune) and Bob Davis (Wall Street Journal).

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Saudi energy minister Ali Bin Ibrahim Al Naimi ranked among headliners at the GCF.

Ketchum has neither a formal contract nor written agreement with the Saudis. It has received nearly $60K from the Kingdom so far. Qorvis is Saudi Arabia's No. 1 PR firm, receiving $925K for the six-month period ended Sept. 30.

Russia and its energy giant Gazprom are Ketchum's other foreign clients. They kicked in $3.4M during the past year for services such as announcing the Twitter feed of Russian President Medvedev and arranging a Larry King interview for Prime Minister Putin.


The 70-year-old M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas in Houston is looking for a PR agency help to expand its presence in social and mass media.

The Center has issued an RFP for pitches to support its patient care, education and prevention, and overall reputation and status among the nation’s cancer centers.

Work includes PR backing of its “MD Anderson + You” campaign, a national cause marketing and philanthropic push kicking off this year.

The center is one of three in the country established as comprehensive cancer centers under the National Care Act of 1971.

It has been ranked No. 1 for cancer care for the past nine years in U.S. News & World Report’s closely watched annual rankings of hospitals.

Proposals are due Feb. 18.


Automotive service chain Pep Boys has tapped JMPR Public Relations as its agency of record for PR, after reviewing several firms for the six-figure account.

There was no incumbent.

JMPR is based in Woodland Hills, Calif, and handles several clients in the automotive space, including Motor Trend Automotive Group, Bentley and Ducati.

The firm is charged with guiding media relations and PR for Philadelphia-based Pep Boys, which operates in more than 600 vehicle service and repair locations in the U.S.

VP of marketing Ron Stoupa said the firm will help PB reach automotive enthusiasts as well as general consumers.

PB, which is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, was founded in 1921. Revenue for 2009 topped $1.9 billion.


Brunswick Group has opened its fourth U.S. office in Dallas and brought in former Enron VP of PR Mark Palmer as partner there.

Palmer and managing partner Jim Wilkinson will oversee the new outpost. Wikinson is a former Congressional aide to ex-House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Texas and held several high-ranking PR posts during the recent Bush administration.

Palmer was a top PR exec at Enron before and after its dramatic fall into bankruptcy in 2001. He joins Brunswick from Houston-based food services giant Sysco, where he was VP of corporate communications. He joined the company in 2006 from a managing director's post at Public Strategies, the Texas-based public affairs powerhouse that recently merged with Hill & Knowlton.

Brunswick said Dallas is its 17th office globally.


DKC Public Relations is handling the New York opening of Avenues, the “world school” venture fronted by former Whittle Communications chief Chris Whittle and ex-Yale University president Benno Schmidt.

The school promises a high-tech version of the liberal education offered by the best private schools and universities. It aims to promote “critical thinking, graceful clarity of expression and intellectual autonomy,” according to a statement from Schmidt.

Graduates are required to be fluent in at least one foreign language and complete the “world course,” which is described as “non-western-centric combination of history, geography and issues.”

Slated to open in Fall of 2012, Avenues is planned to part of a network of 20 schools to open over the next decade in cities such as London, Shanghai, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, Johannesburg and Abu Dhabi.

Tuition has not yet been set, but it will be in the neighborhood of $36K, the average tab for independent schools in Manhattan.

The school will be housed in a 10-story, 215K sq. ft building on the High Line in Chelsea.


Jon Huntsman, U.S. Ambassador to China who may seek the Republican presidential nod, has hired two former communications advisors to John McCain's `08 bid.

Tim Miller, director of public affairs at Glover Park Group, and Jake Suski, who was spokesperson for Chris Dudley's run for Oregon Governor, have joined Huntsman's Horizon PAC, according to a report in Politico.

Miller was communications director for McCain in Iowa, while Suski served as a regional finance director.

John Weaver, who was McCain's chief strategist, is an informal advisor to Huntsman, who is the son of the founder of Huntsman Chemical and former Utah Governor.

He is stepping down from his China post on April 30.


Internet Edition, February 16, 2011, Page 8




Florida International University continues to botch handling of the rape charges that have been lodged against its star baseball player Garrett Wittels, who owns a 56-game hitting streak.

That streak could be on the line Friday when FIU opens its baseball season but as of today, the school has yet to decide whether to let Wittels play.

The Miami Herald said today it’s “likely” that he will play Friday.

This is an unconscionable delay in making a decision that should have been made the day after Wittels was arrested in the Bahamas.

Middle Tennessee State University, faced with rape charges leveled in January against two of its baseball players, suspended them from the team the next day pending disposition of the charges.

That was the decision that FIU should have made.

Either that or Wittels himself should have withdrawn from the team.

The initial story on this, in the Dec. 27 Broward Palm Beach News, headlined “Deeply Religious FIU Baseball Star Arrested on Rape Charges.” It noted he recites a Jewish prayer while kneeling in the outfield before each game.

FIU's newspaper, The Beacon, called for the school to remove Wittels from the team on Jan. 27 although it took the paper more than a month to reach that decision.

A “dark cloud” will be placed over the image of the school and a “horrible precedent” will be set if Wittels is allowed to play with rape charges hanging over his head, said the paper.

A side scandal here is the shunning of this story by the New York Times, which thus far has carried one story on it-a one paragraph item from the AP that was part of Michael Schmidt's column in the Dec. 27 sports section.

The Atlantis Resort, where the alleged rape took place, regularly runs full page color ads in the NYT. The paper expended hundreds of thousands of words starting in 2006 when three Duke lacrosse players were charged with rape.

Press Threats Are Another Atrocity

FIU on Saturday, Feb. 12, said Wittels and other members of the team will face the press Wednesday at 2 p.m. but if anyone asks a question about the rape charges the “press conference will end immediately.”

Furthermore, media who pose such questions could lose their credentials for the rest of the season.

Such draconian threats belong in a dictatorship and not in America. All Wittels has to do is refuse to answer the questions.

Threatening the press this way is something that FIU’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication should squash.

Where is J&MC head Lillian Kopenhaver, who received the 2009 Outstanding Woman in Journalism and Mass Communication Award?

She came under ferocious attack last year in a study authored by Richard Cole, Ph.D., former J dean of the University of North Carolina.

Cole, who obtained 17 quotes from J teachers, most of them negative, said, “There is no question that most faculty members want her to be removed immediately.”

PRSA Head Teaches at FIU

We would also ask where is advice on this matter from Rosanna Fiske, associate professor in Kopenhaver’s dept. and chair of PR Society of America? The Society routinely declares it leads the entire industry.

Fiske should have hot-footed it to the office of FIU president Mark Rosenberg’s the day after the rape charges surfaced on Dec. 27 and urged that Wittels be shelved until his name was cleared.

He and two other FIU students were arrested on Dec. 20, 2010 by Bahamian police and charged with raping two 17-year-old women who had been drinking at the Atlantis Resort. The Broward Palm Beach News broke the story Dec. 27.

The Miami Herald followed with a story the next day which was carried word-for-word by the competing South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The papers share facilities and some stories.

Wittels was freed on bond of $10,000 and not required to make a plea, said a Feb. 11 story by the AP, which gained an interview with him.

FIU Officials Mostly Silent

Florida Int'l University brass including athletic director Pete Garcia, who have kept lips buttoned about the rape charges. FIU has ignored criticism in the past.

Cole was miffed that Kopenhaver did not respond to two phone calls from him last year. A call to a “University spokeswoman” was ignored as was an e-mailed list of questions, he said.

Cole said that in his entire career he had never seen such criticism of a dean by faculty members.

Sandra Gonzalez-Levy is SVP, external relations, at FIU, assisted by Maydel Santa-Bravo as director and Madeline Baro as assistant director.

Fernando Figueredo, former manager of a 17-country network of agencies in Latin America for Porter Novelli, is chair of the PR and Advertising Dept. in J&MC.

Phone calls and e-mails to the three were not returned as of press time.

Wittels is the most famous of FIU’s 44,000 students.

The Beacon, whose editor-in-chief is Jorge Valens, focused on the almost complete silence about the rape charges from Garcia, who has only said FIU is “continuing to gather information.”

“Staying silent is not an option unless they want to make themselves look bad on a national scale,” says the editorial.

Mid-Tenn. Did Better with Rape Charges

The Beacon noted how Middle Tennessee State University is currently handling similar charges-it suspended two baseball players the same day rape charges were made against them last month.

MTSU and FIU both play in the Sunbelt Conference.

The Beacon, which previously editorialized about the dangers of mixing alcohol and sex, correctly says that FIU should have done the same with Wittels. It is showing the good sense that FIU is not. FIU is playing politics with this issue.

Here is what PR is—good judgment, guts and speed. The broadest possible education is needed as well as continued wide reading and an open mind to all forms of knowledge.

— Jack O'Dwyer


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