Edition, February 23, 2011, Page 1
ARMED FORCES TO REVIEW AFGHAN PR
public affairs operation supporting U.S. forces in Afghanistan
plans to review its PR support contract with an open competition
International is the incumbent contract for the media monitoring
and PR support pact, which was previously handled by The
Rendon Group. SOSi, which is based in Reston, Va., and operates
out of Kabul in Afghanistan, won the business in its last
open review in 2006, a pact initially capped at $67M but
extended in October for an extra six months.
contracting will oversee the RFP process. The RFP is slated
to be released on or around March 4 with a 30 day open period.
A base contract with up to four option years is planned
for the upcoming RFP.
work is strategic communications advisement and support
services, as well as foreign media analysis.
OMCS Q4 NET RISES 7.4%
Omnicom on Feb. 15 reported
a 7.4 percent rise in fourth-quarter net to $246.5M on a
9.8 percent jump in revenues to $3.6B. Full-year profit
rose 4.4% to $827.7M on a 7 percent jump in revenues to
Ketchum, Brodeur Partners, Kreab Gavin Anderson and Porter
Novelli-led PR group showed a 7.9 percent revenue rise in
the quarter to $299M. It up was 6.5 percent to $1.1B for
CEO John Wren spent $184M
for acquisitions in 2010. Fourth-quarter pick-ups included
Ketchums purchase of a controlling interest in Greater
China and the acquisition of Maslov PR in Russia.
Omnicom ended the year
with 65,500 staffers, up from 63,000 at Dec. 31, 2009. Its
stock hit a 52-week high of $50.84 on Feb. 18.
HEALTH INSURANCE TECH CO.
Connecture, which markets
distribution technology and services to health insurers,
is on the hunt for a PR agency of record with an RFP process
We are looking at
a select group of firms who specialize in the health insurance
industry, said Megan Riddle, lead marketing specialist
Its software automates
the health insurance sales process for carriers, helps state
governments offer coverage, and assists insurance brokers
to sell policies.
The company wants an agency
that can show a track record in healthcare technology campaigns.
QORVIS WORKS STRIFE-TORN BAHRAIN
is handling media for Bahrain, where at least four people
were killed and 100 injured Feb. 17, after riot police broke
up a pro-democracy camp at Pearl Square in the capital city
Hundreds of police fired
shotguns and tear gas at the camp during the early morning
hours. Tanks and armored personnel carriers took control
of the capital. Miquel Marguez, correspondent for ABC News,
was among those hurt. He reports being beaten the thugs
Qorvis CEO Michael Petruzzello
confirmed via e-mail his firms representation of that
Middle East tinderbox.
The Washington-based firm
began work for Bahrain in August under a subcontract with
Britains Bell Pottinger.
Its mission was to position
Bahrain, home of the U.S. Navys Fifth Fleet, as a
key ally in the war on terror and forceful advocate for
peace in the Middle East.
Pitches were thrown at
top media outlets including the New York Times, Washington
Post, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Associated
Press and Los Angeles Times. Qorvis staffers working
the account are Matt Lauer, former executive director of
the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy at the
State Dept.; Seth Pietras; Nicole Silverman and Art Swift.
SCHOEN, OTTO ADVISE WEBER
Weber Shandwick has tapped
pollster Doug Schoen and long-time Procter & Gamble
PR chief Charlotte Otto as senior advisors and members of
its corporate strategic advisory board.
chief Mark Penn, Schoen is founding partner of Penn, Schoen
& Berland. He has counseled Bill Clinton, New York Mayor
Mike Bloomberg, ex-Indiana Governor/Senator Evan Bayh, Time-Warner,
AT&T and P&G.
Schoen is a Fox News contributor
and author of 10 books, his latest being Mad As Hell:
How the Tea Party Movement Is Fundamentally Remaking Our
Two-Party System. He will counsel clients on issues
management, corporate reputation and PA.
Otto stepped down from
P&G in 2010 after a 13-year stint as its top global
PA and external relations officer. She handed media relations,
product publicity, employee/shareholder communications,
government affairs and philanthropy under five CEOs of the
Cincinnati-based consumer powerhouse.
Edition, February 23, 2011, Page 2
LAUNCHES COMEBACK AMERICA
Strategic Communications handled the Feb. 14 launch of the
Comeback America Initiative drive designed to
educate the U.S. public about the dangers connected to rising
national debt and reliance on foreign lenders.
campaign is funded by the foundation of billionaire Pete
Peterson, ex-Commerce Secretary, Lehman Brothers CEO and
Blackstone Group co-founder. It is based on the Comeback
America book that was published in 2010 by former Comptroller
General and Government Accountability Office head David
main point: the U.S. isheaded for a fiscal abyss and
must change course to prevent a global economic collapse.
of the Initiative are readying a fiscal solutions
tour of town hall meetings and conference calls with
elected officials who want to engage constituents with the
hard choices required to get the U.S. back on track.
Initiatives board includes Bill Novelli, ex-president
of Porter Novelli; Mel Martinez, ex-Florida Senator and
now JP Morgan Chase executive VP; Norm Augustine, ex-Lockheed
Martin chief; Harold Ford, former Tennessee Congressman
and now Bank of America executive vice chairman; Andy Stern,
former president of the Service Employees International
Union and Josh Weston, ex-CEO of Automatic Data Processing.
foundation, meanwhile, issued a statement that called President
Obamas proposed 2010 budget a starting point
to begin addressing our national's fiscal challenges.
LITERACY GROUP ISSUES RFP
The International Reading
Assn., which bills itself as the world's leading organization
of literacy professionals, has issued an RFP for PR and
corporate communications services.
The Newark, Del.-based
group runs www.reading.org.
It has more than 70K members who teach reading to learners
of all ages. About 90 percent of members are school or university-based.
Others work in psychology, speech pathology, publishing,
government and non-profit organizations.
More than 5,000 institutions
subscribe to IRA publications, such as The Reading Teacher,
Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy and Reading
The IRA is currently engaged
in a transitional plan that created a new professional development
unit and a strategic communications component.
The strategic communications
plan calls for lining up external PR expertise to enhance
the groups reputation as a literacy education leader,
create a speakers bureau and pitch IRA leadership to TV
morning shows and evening news programs. The IRA board has
approved a $15.6M operating budget for 2010-2011.
Responders to the RFP
face a March `10 deadline. Proposals go to Dan Mangan ([email protected]).
HAHN ROLLS WITH FORMULA 1
Austin-based PR agency
Hahn has picked up U.S. PR duties for Formula 1, the global
racing phenomenon that will be setting up shop in Texas
for 10 years starting in 2012.
Last year, Austin was
awarded hosting duties for the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix
from 2012-2021 on a 900-acre track facility under construction.
The U.S. race, which first ran in 1908, has not been held
since 2007 in Indianapolis, although Formula 1 racing takes
place around the world and is considered among the top three
global sporting events behind the Olympics and World Cup.
was formerly Bonner Inc. and TateAustin and also has operations
in San Antonio and Corpus Christi.
Jeff Hahn, a former Motorola
communications exec who bought the agency in 2007, told
ODwyers that a number of referrals set up the
opportunity for his firm to pitch the account.
Formula 1 U.S. has also
hired Austin-based ad agency Exopolis for creative.
Sandy West, VP of corporate
affairs for Formula 1 U.S., said the project was looking
for agencies that could make a full commitment to the work.
We are creating a world-class business and entertainment
destination, she said.
The bid effort to bring
Formula 1 racing to Texas is backed by Clear Channel Communications
co-founder Red McCombs and former NASCAR driver Tavo Hellmund.
The Texas track is expected
to hold 120,000 fans.
TAYLOR PARTNER ROLLS TO NASCAR
Brett Jewkes, managing
partner at Taylor, will move to client NASCAR in April as
VP and chief communications officer for the racing league.
The appointment comes
nine months after NASCAR began to revamp its communications
division after longtime VP Jim Hunter stepped down amid
a battle with cancer. He died on Nov. 1.
NASCAR, which has suffered
from TV ratings declines in recent years, said it vetted
more than 50 candidates and interviewed nearly 20 before
deciding on Jewkes.
Jewkes takes up the post
atop the leagues new integrated marketing communications
unit on April 13 based in Charlotte, N.C., where he previously
opened an office for Taylor.
He also founded the firms
motorsports practice and won a Silver Anvil for handling
Ask.com's Safe Search Schools partnership with NASCAR. Other
client experience includes the NFL, MLB and U.S. Olympic
Committee, as well as Nestle Purina and Merck.
He'll oversee all of NASCARs
communications functions, from business and crisis communications,
to brand and consumer marketing.
NASCAR CEO Brian France
noted Jewkes unique understanding of NASCAR
and our industry in announcing the hire.
Edition, February 23, 2011, Page 3
RECRUITS MPAA PRO
which has filed a $1B copyright infringement suit against
Googles YouTube, has recruited Daniel Mandil, chief
anti-piracy official at the Motion Picture Assn. of America
to oversee its legal efforts.
starts April 1, according to a report in The Hollywood
Reporter. Mandil, who exits MPAA as senior executive
VP, joined the group in 2009 from Sony BMG.
he was a partner at Covington & Burling. At Viacom,
he will report to Michael Fricklas, general counsel.
last month, promoted Mike Robinson to the executive VP,
content protection, chief of operations. It also named Kevin
Suh to the senior VP, content protection, Internet position.
movie trade group is looking for a replacement for ex-chief
Dan Glickman. Bob Pisano serves as interim CEO. Former Connecticut
Sen. Chris Dodd will reportedly take the post.
CARNEY DEBUTS AS PRESS SECRETARY
Former Time correspondent
and bureau chief Jay Carney made his White House press secretary
debut on Wednesday, drawing praise with a relatively uneventful
but well-attended briefing.
Carney's first question
from the White House press corps asked how he sees his role
as a press secretary and former journalist.
We obviously all
here serve the President. I work for him, he said.
But the press secretary is a unique position within
a White House. And not just because Im a former journalist,
because I think every press secretary understood this and
understands it -- I work to promote the president and the
message that hes trying -- the messages hes
trying to convey to the American people.
Carney added that he also
works to help reporters do their jobs. So I think
its been said before that the office that the press
secretary has is somewhat symbolically located about halfway
between the briefing room and the Oval Office, and I think
that says something about what the nature of the job is,
Keith Koffler, the veteran
W.H. correspondent who pens the White House Dossier blog,
called Carney's debut smooth and unruffled and
said he sounded like he'd been press secretary for
about six years.
He added that overall,
as a professional matter, an excellent performance. Carney
was under extreme pressure, and he pulled through. Even
made it look easy.
Writing for GQ,
Ana Marie Cox called the debut less a news event than
She wrote: He performed
as well as anyone in the position to can be expected to:
He made no newsnot-making-news is in the press secretary's
job description. He was minimally charming and maximally
on point. He wore a dark maroon tie with blue stripes.
The White House also said
Wednesday that deputy press secretary Bill Burton is leaving
the administration to set up a political consulting shop
with former Rahm Emanuel adviser Sean Sweeney in D.C.
SIMMONS TRADES DISNEY FOR
Courtney Simmons has moved
from the VP/communications slot at Disney Interactive Media
Group to head publicity for Warner Bros.s DC Entertainment
in Burbank, Calif.
WB said last fall moved
to integrate DC Entertainment more closely into Warner Bros.
to build more platforms for DC Comics characters like Green
Lantern and Batman.
Simmons takes a senior
VP role to handle PR strategy for DC Comics characters,
in addition to overseeing media relations and internal communications
for the company. She also has oversight of its New York-based
She reports to executive
VP John Rood, who said Simmons is joining at at time when
the company is working the comics business into WBs
films, video games, TV and consumer products.
Other DC properties include
MAD Magazine and Vertigo Publishing.
Earlier in her career,
Simmons was at Sony Online Entertainment on the PR launch
of DC Universe Online, a gaming venture with Warner Bros.
She previously headed
media relations and government affairs for The LEGO Group
and headed PR for The Six Flags Theme Park in Los Angeles.
WB rival Disney bought
DC rival Marvel comics in a $4 billion deal in 2009.
HALLMARKS CARR DIES
Nancy Carr, senior VP-corporate
communications at Hallmark Channels, died Feb. 18 in Los
Angeles. She was 50.
She joined Hallmark in
05, departing the VP-communications post at CBS after 15
years at the Tiffany Network.
Earlier, she worked as
senior publicity manager at Fox and senior account executive
At Hallmark, Carr handled
PR/PA, government relations, diversity outreach, media and
Hallmark is grateful that
Carr guided the companys corporate media strategy
for more than five years, according to a statement from
its president Bill Abbott.
The company cared
deeply for and about Nancy will never forget her dedication
to lifes smallest creatures, as she worked tirelessly
for animal rights and animal rescue.
Carr was active in the
Los Angeles chapter of the Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals.
news continued on next page)
Edition, February 23, 2011, Page 4
APOLOGIZES TO PAUL
News apologized Feb. 17 for airing a tape from last years
Conservative Political Action Conference at which boos were
heard when Texas maverick Ron Paul was announced as winner
of its presidential straw poll.
old footage aired Feb. 15 during an interview with Paul,
who again won CPACs poll last weekend before an upbeat
downplayed the error, calling it an honest mistake.
made light of the incident -- as he did last year on Fox
-- when initially queried about the rough reception. Foxs
Bill Hemmer asked Feb. 15: Who was in the audience
booing you, did you get a name, did you get an ID on those
people? The doctor replied that he wasnt at
that little ceremony at the end but it shows you that
people are not unanimous on this cause of liberty.
on air Feb. 17, Hemmer admitted that Fox clearly made a
mistake, noting there were audible boos in 2010, but a lot
more cheering this year for the 76-year-old Congressman
ABC: OBAMA FORGES PROPAGANDA
The Obama Administration
has narrowed access by the mainstream media to an unprecedented
extent, according to Ann Compton, ABC News White House
correspondent. Access here has shriveled, says
the veteran of seven administrations.
She is among those quoted
in an ABC piece called Obamas Media Machine:
State Run Media 2.0 that was posted Feb. 15 by Devin
The White House press
office via its website, blog, YouTube channel, Flickr photo
stream, Twitter, Facebook and a barrage of daily videos
extolling the president's accomplishments has successful
done an end run around the traditional press, according
to the report.
Its latest offering, Advise
the Advisor: Your Direct Line to the White House allows
people to offer their opinions/suggestions and promises
a prompt response from a senior official.
While these innovative
communications tools ostensibly offer greater transparency
and openness, critics say they have come at a troublesome
expense: less accountability of the Administration by the
independent, mainstream press, wrote Dwyer.
Heather LaMarre, a University
of Minnesota journalism professor, told Dwyer that Team
Obama is opening the door to kick the press out of historic
events and opening the door to having a very filtered
format for which they give the American public information
that doesnt have any criticism allowed.
David Perlmutter, director
of the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass
Communication, imagines the outrage if President Nixon was
able to put such a propaganda machine in place.
If Nixon had announced
he was going to start the Nixon channel and
said they were only going to run stuff he approved of people,
people would have said, Oh my God, this is like Communist
Russia state media.
White House spokesperson
Josh Earnest says the effort to build an online audience
is intended to supplement the independent press, not
ABC noted that the White
House has amassed 1.9 million followers on Twitter, 900,000
fans on Facebook and averages 250,000 visits to its YouTube
channel per month, compared with the news organizations
own reach of 1.2 million followers on Twitter, 150,000 fans
on Facebook, and 21.7 million unique visitor average per
month to ABCNews.com,
according to ComScore.
THREATENED REPORTERS CALL
BLUFF AT FIU
Threats by Florida Intl
University athletic officials to boot reporters who asked
about rape charges against baseball star Garrett Wittels
proved to be hollow at a Feb. 17 press conference.
A barrage of queries
about the rape charges were fired at Wittels and others
and the conference became a media circus, reported
the schools student mediafiusm.com.
Rico Albarracin, sports
writer, said athletic director Pete Garcia at one point
looked like he was trying to stop the conference which had
turned into a firestorm.
on Feb. 16 also criticized the PR surrounding the charges
against Wittels, saying it was ridiculous for
Garcia and others to block questioning about the alleged
rape and worse to threaten to revoke credentials for
the season because of a question about the rape charges.
that a player charged with a felony is even allowed to play,
hitting streak ended on Feb. 18, two short of a 1987 record
set by Robin Ventura.
Times Benches Self
ESPN.com yesterday said the rape allegations against
Wittels and two other FIU students is a big story,
the New York Times has not mentioned it, except for
a one-paragraph item in a sports column in the Dec. 27,
The alleged rapes took
place at the Atlantis Resort & Casino on Paradise Island
in the Bahamas.
Victims, according to
reports, are two 17-year-old women who described themselves
as being students at the University of Nebraska. The legal
drinking age in the Bahamas is 18 and the age of sexual
consent is 16.
The Atlantis is a major
advertiser in the NYT, frequently running color, full-page
ads in the first news section.
Albarracin reported that
Wittels handled the press conference well. He said
the right things and probably handled the questions like
Wittels has not cut his
hair since the batting streak began.
FIU coach Turtle Thomas
has said that Wittels is innocent until proven guilty.
Albarracin also criticized
the Athletic Dept. for withholding the decision on letting
Wittels play until minutes before the press conference.
He asked whether the decision
was that hard to make?
As for the threats against
the media, Albarracin said FIU needs the press more than
the press needs FIU.
23, 2011, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
EXPANDS IN KY
Guthrie/Mayes PR has opened an office in downtown Lexington
to serve as a base for expansion into central Kentucky.
McGuire, an agency veteran most recently serving as an independent
consultant, heads the new outpost. She was previously an
account director for Laura Davidson PR in New York and spent
four years at Northlich.
handles clients like Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Philip
Morris USA and Thomas & King.
PARTNERS ALIGNS WITH RUNYAN PA
D.C.-based Story Partners has aligned with Runyan Public
Affairs as founder John Runyan has relocated the firm inside
SPs Georgetown offices.
Story Dittus, chairman of SP, said Runyans experience
leading multi-industry business coalitions will expand the
previously managed federal government relations for International
Paper and was senior government relations advisor to McGuiness
OPENS ENTERTAINMENT PR SHOP
top Lifetime TV corporate communications exec Josh Sabarra
has set up Breaking News PR, a Beverly Hills-based firm
focused on entertainment personalities, film studios and
other media entities.
has recently been producing the cable TV movie Nancy
Graces The Eleventh Victim. Grace is a start-up
client of Sabarras.
is a PR veteran of the L.A. studio scene. Before a year-long
stint as senior VP at Lifetime Networks that ended amid
a large layoff at the company in late 2009, he was senior
VP, marketing communications and publicity, for New Line
Home Entertainment (Wedding Crashers) and VP
of media relations for Miramax Films (Kill Bill,
he directed national publicity for Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
and started out in publicity at Buena Vista (Disney).
said the new firm will also have a New York presence and
handle services from publicity and communications to social
media, event planning and creative marketing.
KEKST WORK $20B GENZYME DEAL
MacGregor Group is PR adviser to Sanofi-Aventis SA as the
French drug company locks up a $20.1B deal to acquire Genzyme
which focuses on treating rare diseases, works with Publicis
Kekst and Company.
$74/share deal was announced by both companies on Feb. 16
following a nine-month pursuit by Sanofi, which made a $17.6B
offer last July. The acquisition, which has cleared anti-trust
approval in the U.S. and Europe, is expected to close in
the second quarter.
MacGregors New York office is supporting corporate
communications for Paris-based Sanofi. Genzyme is based
in Cambridge, Mass.
Agency, New York/Jamaica
Inn, resort; Hotel Saint-Barth Isle de France, beach hotel;
The Surrey, New York hotel, and MSC Yacht Club, Mediterranean
cruises, for U.S. PR.
& Campion, New
York/The 1st New York Wild Film Festival, documentary film
festival to feature films about exploration, wildlife and
adventure related to the natural world. Work includes all
media outreach, development of print, broadcast and social
media profiles for the festival and participating films
with an April 7 launch date.
New York/North Shore-LIJ Health System, network of 15 hospitals,
as AOR for PR.
New York/Gramercy Park Hotel, as PR AOR in North America,
as well as an international campaign with the firm's sister
offices in London, Paris, and Munich.
Marblehead, Mass./UNIT4 CODA, financial and accounting software,
as U.S. AOR.
D.C./Design-Build Institute of America, design and construction
industry group, for national PR to increase understanding
and use of design-build project delivery, and to promote
membership and education efforts of the group.
Raleigh, N.C./TCAR, the Triangle Commercial Association
of Realtors, as AOR following a Sept. 2010 project to create
and launch its commercial information exchange, Tacquire.com.
Work includes CRM campaigns, PR, advertising and promotional
Miami/Rosewood Mayakoba Resort (Riviera Maya, Mexico), and
the Sandpearl Resort (Clearwater Beach, Fla.), for PR and
CPA Group, CPA and professional services firm, for marketing
Knowlton, San Francisco/Responsys,
cross-channel marketing services, for PR, including messaging
and positioning, event support, media relations and digital
AERO Products, as its AOR for PR and marketing, including
targeted media outreach, social media marketing, new product
debuts, events, advertising and special projects for the
launch of the company as it unveils a line of automotive
surface care products.
Beach, Calif./H-Bomb Media, production house for action
sports and motorsports industry, and H-Bomb co-founder Wes
Millers Bomb Squad Racing ATC racing team, for marketing
London/Tommy Walsh, DIY and gardening guru, for integrated
search and PR, and social media relations.
Edition, February 23, 2011, Page 6
PSA AIRINGS UP FROM 2009
and digital PR service provider West Glen Communications
said it tracked a 23 percent increase in PSA airings in
2010 over 2009 as it tracked more than 1.6M airings last
year for 205 TV and radio campaigns.
number was up 36 percent over 2008.
company also said fewer than one-third of TV PSA airings
occurred during the lesser-viewed overnight hours from 1
a.m. to 5 a.m. as airings during the so-called waking
day parts were up 8 percent over 2008. Twenty-four percent
aired during the coveted morning and afternoon drive times,
airings showed a positive trend, the company said airings
in national and top markets remained consistent over the
past three years, with 24% (TV) and 28% (radio) hitting
the top 25 media markets.
the video PR and marketing boutique founded by MultiVu and
Medialink alum Larry Thomas, has partnered with NBTV Studios,
a New York-based media production and interactive services
company, led by Nick Buzzell, a veteran of social media
agency Big Fuel.
companies said the alliance combines NBTV's global media
production, interactive and creative expertise with Latergy's
corporate communications, PR and marketing capabilities.
said that most PR and marketing departments are under-staffed
and under pressure to do more with less
and sees the combination of the two shops providing a greater
value on senior level guidance.
reel is at nbtvinc.com/partnership.html.
TAPS MICROSOFT'S ISAAC
giant TNS has tapped Microsoft vet Tim Isaac as global marketing
was marketing director for Microsoft advertising in the
EMEA region responsible for developing and executing regional
marketing for the company's digital advertising business.
spent nine years at British Airways before moving to the
strategy & marketing practice of PA Consulting Group.
was also head of brand development for Capital One.
Wittenbraker, managing director of brand & communications
for research provider GfK, will move into the role of managing
director of corporate innovation for the company, a new
oversees GfKs Research Center for Excellence and Product
Conrad was tapped as managing director of brand & communications
to take over for Wittenbraker. He was president of Canadian
research company Hotspex, handling clients like Wrigley,
Colgate, Coca-Cola and Molson Coors.
was also president of Millward Brown (MB) Canada.
LePain, managing editor, New England Cable News,
to Greenough Communications, Boston, as a senior manager.
She was previously chief assignment editor at WPRI in Providence,
R.I., and a reporter for Lowell Cable News.
Guittard, executive director of Business for Diplomatic
Action, to Howard Consulting Group, Washington, D.C., as
VP of global affairs. She also held senior positions at
the U.S. Department of State. Travis Brown, a political
operative and former Republican State Committeeman in Massachusetts,
joins as an associate.
Ling, reporter for Energy & Environment Publishing,
to Outreach Strategies, Washington, D.C., as a VP. She spent
four years reporting on energy and environmental policy
on Capitol Hill.
Medish, a former senior staff member of the National
Security Council during the Clinton administration, to APCO
Worldwide, Washington, D.C., to head its executive advisory
service, Global Political Strategies, as an executive VP.
He was a special assistant to Clinton and also worked under
Treasury Secretaries Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers.
Most recently, he was VP at the Carnegie Endowment for International
McIntyre, senior regulatory consultant in the pharmaceutical
sector, to 3D Communications, Washington, D.C., as a senior
Cano, social media consultant, Sears Holdings Corp.,
to JSH&A PR, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., as digital and
new media director. He was a community moderator for Sears
and managed social media efforts for its MyGofer brand.
Janka, director of PR and client services, BrandCulture
Co., to The Phelps Group, Santa Monica, Calif., as a PR
specialist focused on financial services clients. She was
previously a VP at Southard Comms.
Dawson, former comms. director for the Oregon Museum
of Science and Industry, to LT PR, Portland, Ore., as a
director. He previously managed comms. for Dark Horse Comics
Vigrass and Emily
Venugopal to president and VP, The Brandman Agency,
New York. Melanie Brandman continues as founder and CEO.
She said both will be instrumental in moving the agency
forward as we celebrate our 10th anniversary in business.
Ward to director of public and media relations, Pelican
Products, a Torrance, Calif.-based lighting systems and
virtually indestructible cases.
Edition, February 23, 2011, Page 7
SEEKS TOURISM FIRM FOR U.K.
Ministry of Tourism has put out an RFP for PR agencies in
the U.K. and Ireland to award a contract for up to five
years promoting the country as a tourism destination.
ministry, which has a London office, wants to reach media,
the travel trade, and consumers - both general and Jewish
- in the U.K., Ireland and Scotland under the scope of work
outlined in the RFP.
to Israel from the U.K. was down 8% through June 2010 in-line
with a seven percent decline since 2008.
ministry wants to boost Christian travel by 25% annually
and overall bookings by 15%, according to its goals for
RFP for the U.K. follows a move by Israels Foreign
Ministry in January to seek PR support in several European
countries to pitch the countrys tourism, industry
and culture and move beyond the narrative that associates
it with its tense relationships in the Arab world.
that work for Greece, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Cyprus
and the Palestinian Authority are excluded from the U.K.
review process as they are viewed as competing destinations
by the ministry of tourism.
call for pitches asks that PR firms have a London-area office
and be expert in tourism destination management and
promotion with prior experience with a regional tourism
organization covering at least an area with 100,000 residents.
Agencies must have at least five staffers and have billed
at least from £600K-£1.2M in annual PR fees
in the target areas.
tourism ministry is spending about £1M annually on
advertising in the U.K. market.
Associates, MWW Group and 5W PR are among agencies that
have worked for the Israeli tourism ministry in the U.S.
SV, HSC HANDLE NYSE TAKEOVER
Sard Verbinnen & Co
and Germanys Hering Schuppener Consulting handled
the official announcement Feb. 15 that Germanys Deutsche
Boerse is taking over the New York Stock Exchange.
The Germans will control
60 percent of the not yet named venture that will create
the worlds leading in derivatives and have revenues
The partners expect the
combination will result in savings of $400M.
DB will appoint nine directors
to the 15-member board that will be chaired by DB CEO Reto
Francioni, who will be responsible for overall strategy
and global relationship management.
NYSE Euronext CEO Duncan
Niederauer will helm the venture that will be incorporated
in the Netherlands.
George Sard and Paul Verbinnen
are working the deal with HSCs Alexander Geiser and
The deal is subject to
European Union and U.S. regulatory approval.
JOELE FRANK FLIES TO RESCUE
OF ST. JOE
Embattled St. Joe, one
of Floridas biggest private land owners, is using
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher as it moves to fend
off an effort by two former directors to oust management
due to its lackluster performance.
Investors Bruce Berkowitz
and Charlie Fernandez of Fairholme Capital Management, owner
of 30 percent of St. Joe shares, stepped down Feb. 14 from
the real estate developer's board after six months of service.
They have hired headhunter
Spencer Stuart to recruit directors to fill out a seven
or nine member board to replace the current directors.
A website, takebackjoe.com,
is under development to get shareholder input. Charlie Crist,
former Governor of the Sunshine State, has been put forth
as a director by the Fairholme group.
According to Florida law,
a majority of shareholders by written consent can remove
an existing board of directors.
St. Joe blames the housing
slump for the red ink that it suffered during the past 10
consecutive quarters. It lost $13M on $27M during its latest
The company on Feb. 8
announced that it has retained Morgan Stanley to study financial
and alternative strategies to bolster shareholder values.
Joele Frank and Andrew
Siegel work the media for St. Joe.
GLOVER PARK TAKES RIDE ON
Glover Park Group has
picked up BNSF Railway Co. as Congress takes up reauthorization
of the surface transportation bill.
chair Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa) is a key target. He took
aim at the Obama administrations plan to spend $53B
over six years for railroad infrastructure projects for
That money "just
prolongs the inevitable by subsidizing a failed Amtrak monopoly
that has never made a profit or even broken even. Government
won't develop American high-speed rail. Private investment
and a competitive market will, said Shuster on Feb.
GPGs BNSF team includes
Alex Mistri, former chief of staff to Shuster, and Joel
Johnson, special assistant for policy and communications
in the Clinton White House.
BNSF, the former Burlington
Northern Santa Fe railroad and a unit of Berkshire Hathaway,
announced a $3.5B capital commitment program for 2011 earlier
this month. It operates 32,000 miles of track in 28 states.
YAMMER CONNECTS WITH OGILVY
Yammer, the social
networking upstart focused on the internal communications
sector, has moved its PR account to Ogilvy PR Worldwide.
Francisco office will manage the business with a focus on
positioning Yammers service to businesses, IT execs
Horn Group picked
up the work last year but parted ways with the client three
months ago, around the time it raised $25M in venture funding.
Former Horn San Francisco office head Dee Anna McPherson
is Yammers VP of communications.
Edition, February 23, 2011,
lapses involving Florida Intl University
and its star baseball player Garrett Wittels are available
for all to see on two videotapes.
can be seen on ESPN3.com taking a fastball on his left hand
and nearly falling down in pain at 1:55 of the game Feb.
18 in which his 56-game hitting streak ended.
of taking first base as is required under 6.08(b) of baseballs
rules, Wittels told umpire Michael Baker that the ball hit
the knob of his bat.
who had waved Wittels to first base, reversed his decision.
writer Tim Reynolds interviewed Wittels after the game who
told him that failing to take first base, when runners were
needed by his team, was his worst moment ever
in baseball because he was selfish and didnt
take my base.
dont really know what was going through my head at
the time, he told Reynolds.
is a startling admission because Wittels has portrayed himself
as a deeply religious person. FIU officials have declared
him innocent (thus far) of rape charges that
have been leveled against him.
told a press conference Feb. 18 that such charges are baseless
and he quickly falls asleep each night because he has a
Papers Flop on Story
lapses on this story also appeared in two Miami papers.
Miami Herald barely mentioned the hit-by-pitch incident.
Writer Adam Beasley reported that an inside pitch
ran in on his hands and appeared to strike him. It cost
FIU a baserunner, but ironically helped Wittels, as it extended
Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel wrote that Wittels
appeared to clearly be hit in the left hand by (Brandon)
Effersons first pitch, but the umpire ruled it was
a foul ball off his bat. Wittels removed his batting glove
and tried to appeal to (the sentence ends there with
words apparently missing).
then continues: Fans packed into the 2,000-seat ballpark
booed loudly as Wittels took off his left batting glove
to show the umpire the welt. Coach Turtle Thomas came out
of the dugout to no avail.
to the Sun-Sentinel, Wittels was trying to get a pass to
first base although Wittels told the APs Reynolds
PR Lapses at Press Conference
and PR lapses are evident in the 22-minute video of the
press conference that took place Feb. 16. FIU waited until
the press conference itself, two days before the game, to
announce that it would let Wittels play.
gave reporters no time to prepare questions and receive
definitive answers on such things as the policy of FIU and
other schools on athletes accused of felonies.
director Pete Garcia brushed aside questions about FIUs
ethics policy, saying violations involving felonies or other
charges were handled on a case-by-case basis.
to question Wittels about the rape charges were rejected.
Rosa Jones, VP of
student affairs, told reporters that Wittels was under the
protection of the federal Family Educational Rights and
Privacy Act and under no need to answer questions about
a pending legal matter.
FERPA concerns the
right of students to view their educational records and
have some control over who has access to such records. It
has no relevance to criminal charges such as those filed
Jones left the room
after giving her admonition and was not available for questioning.
SVP external relations, did not return either a phone call
or e-mail from this website. A staffer directed us to the
FIU athletic dept.
It appears FIU corporate
PR has little or no influence on how the school is handling
the Wittels case.
Rosanna Fiske, elected head of the worlds largest
association of PR people, the PR Society of America, is
a PR teacher at FIU.
Fiske on Feb. 14
authored a report on the organizational meeting of the PR
Society board two weeks earlier that was deceptive, in our
opinion. It failed to note that for the first time, the
organizational meeting was by telephone.
corporate board would hold its first organizational meeting
by telephone nor even a regular meeting.
Alcohol & Sex; Duke Redux
The Wittels case,
in which two 17-year-old women who had been drinking allegedly
had sex five times with Wittels and two other FIU students
whom they had just met, puts the spotlight on drinking and
This topic is examined
in the Jan./Feb. Atlantic under the headline: The
Hazards of Duke, which reports on a female students
descriptions of sex with 13 Duke athletes. Physician Leonard
Sax is quoted as saying that, Drink per drink, alcohol
is more dangerous to young women than it is to young men,
even after adjusting for differences in height and weight.
to damage girls brains differently and more severely
than the same degree of alcohol abuse affects same-age boys.
Recent Duke grad
Karen Owen assembled 42 slides accompanied by photographs
of the men and descriptions of their sexual behavior. She
sent this to three friends but they forwarded it to numerous
others resulting in a huge audience, writes contributing
editor Caitlin Flanagan.
Lacrosse Team Recalled
Flanagan is unstinting
in her criticism of Duke, saying it has a large share
of rich students displaying their money in the form of expensive
cars and clothing. She writes of their huge
TV sets and love of porn and says Duke
is a profoundly anti-intellectual university whose
thoughtful students are overshadowed by its voraciously
She revisits the
rape charges placed against three members of the lacrosse
team in 2006. There was no trial since the North Carolina
attorney generals office declared the accused innocent
of all the charges.
Flanagan says that
what the Duke athletes did fell far outside the realm
of what anyone can call decent behavior.
She said they hired
two strippers (at $400 each) who were desperately
poor, one of them a mother of two, and became angry
when they turned out not to be white, suggesting the
women use a broomstick as a sex toy, and then hurling racial
slurs at them as they stumbled back into their car.
case, she wrote, resulted in the Duke players being
pictured as victimized solid citizens.