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Internet Edition, March 9, 2011, Page 1

2011 Rankings Issue
Full table of 2010 revenues from 148 PR firms.
See page 5...


The newly merged transit agency for northern California’s East Bay is reviewing its six-figure PR and media relations account with an open RFP this month.

The Alameda County Transportation Commission was formed last year with the merger of two major transportation agencies – the Alameda County Transportation Authority and Alameda County Congestion Management Agency.

The ACTC issued an RFP on March 1 covering work like media outreach and briefings, public information pieces and “ensuring effective, clear and comprehensive information is delivered...” Development of a strategic communications plan for the commission is a key tenet of the scope of work.

Berkeley-based Moore Iacofano Goltsman has recently handled communications for the two entities that now make up the ACTC. It has a $206K pact with the ACTIA and a $20K contract with ACCMA.

A mandatory pre-proposal meeting has been set for March 11 in Oakland.


Bill Reihl, who had headed Ogilvy's North American consumer marketing practice, has joined Weber Shandwick as executive VP in its global consumer marketing practice.

Based in New York, he reports to Lisa Sepulveda, global consumer marketing chief.

Reihl also held key consumer posts at Edelman and BSMG Worldwide, which was merged into Weber Shandwick.

During a nearly 20-year career, Reihl represented Unilever, Ford Motor and Marshall’s and has handled luxury accounts likes Concord/Movado watches, Hugo Boss, and the Plaza Hotel.


Peter McCue, a 40-year PR veteran, mentor and crisis specialist whose notable assignments included handling Cargill's grain sales to the Soviets in the 1970s and unveiling the B-2 Stealth Bomber, died Feb. 26 at his Rye, N.Y., home. He was 64 and an executive VP at Fleishman-Hillard, where he spent the last 24 years and played a key role in the firm's history.

The firm is planning a memorial service.


Only one of the ten biggest firms reporting their numbers to O’Dwyer’s had a down year in 2010 – a sharp contrast to 2009.

Seventy-one of 150 firms reporting had double-digit gains led by Edelman, which soared past the half-billion mark.

APCO Worldwide, second largest firm, added 13.1% to its fees for a total of $113.4M

Healthcare specialist WCG (formerly WeissComm Group) grew 37.6% to $37M while financial specialist ICR grew 20% to $26.5M.

MWW Group came on the list for the first time since its acquisition by Interpublic, weighing in at $34.7M and No. 7. It bought itself back last year.

Another newcomer is Beckerman, handling technology, healthcare, consumer and other practice areas, which has the fifth biggest gain in the top 50-up 32% to $6.1M.

Atomic PR up 46%

Atomic PR, tech, consumer and entertainment firm, posted the biggest gain in the top 50-up 46% to $11.1M.

“Firms did well in spite of the country being in the third year of a recession-no matter what the economists say-partly because there is of lots of work dealing with the many thousands and even millions of new ‘social media,’” said publisher Jack O’Dwyer.

This “Wild West” of opinion and fact has to be tracked and measured and often dealt with on a one-to-one basis, he said.

Consumer-oriented firms seem to be getting most of this business, he added.

O’Dwyer noted that WPP head Martin Sorrell, in a speech to the Institute for PR Nov. 10, 2008, said that SM is made to order for PR people because they are used to interaction and “nuanced” communication. He told the Financial Times March 4 that he expects "new media" will make up to 35-40% of WPP's revenues in the years ahead as opposed to 29% currently.

WPP, one of the two biggest ad agency holding companies with $15 billion in revenues, owns many PR firms including Hill & Knowlton and Burson-Marsteller. WPP and the other conglomerates have not allowed any dollar or employee totals to emerge from their PR firms because of Sarbanes-Oxley considerations.

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Internet Edition, March 9, 2011, Page 2


The energy-industry umbrella group fighting to protect and expand drilling and exploration rights on the massive Marcellus Shale is ramping up its PR with the hire of a former communications aide to House Speaker John Boehner.

The Marcellus Shale is a rock formation running through large parts of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, as well as other states, and containing vast reserves of natural gas. As drilling technology has improved, the industry in recent years has only begun to tap the 390-million-year-old rock formation with a process hit by environmentalists and known as “fracking.”

The Marcellus Shale Coalition, as the industry group is called, has tapped Steve Forde, a former communications director to Boehner who recently served as senior director of corporate communications for Education Management Corporation. He takes on the role of policy and communications director for the group.

The hire comes at a time when cash-strapped states are eyeing revenues from natural gas drilling, pitted against environmental and public health concerns that are only beginning to be studied and understood. One recent study said Pennsylvania alone could reap $8-$15B of annual spending if drilling were maximized along the shale. Landowners stand to gain $250B over time, the study said.

Forde is among a trio of new hires for the 165-company coalition, along with a membership services director and conference director.

The industry said last year it hopes to drill 30,000 wells by 2020. The group last week faced the results of a seven-month investigation of fracking wastewater in Pennsylvania by the New York Times published in a series of articles which has drawn an extensive rebuke from the MSC, although the group is quoted in the pieces. The Times investigation found health and environmental risks in the wastewater left behind after natural gas is extracted, lax regulations, as well as flaws in efforts to recycle the water.


The airport authority for San Diego is reviewing its $800K-a-year PR account with an RFP open through March 22.

Porter Novelli is the incumbent through June 30, winding down a $2.7M total contract. Cook and Schmid and New West PR previously worked the account.

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority wants pitches for public outreach from agencies with experience in public and strategic communications, media relations, and public outreach related to major development projects, as well as social media and PA.

A one-year contract with two year-long extensions is expected to be awarded following the process.

The RFP can be downloaded at the Authority’s procurement portal.


WPP chief Martin Sorrell on March 4 reported a 15.8 percent rise in earnings (EBITDA) to $2.3B on a 7.4 percent revenue rise to $15.1B as the U.S. “behaved more like a fast-growing” or “emerging market.”

Part of the U.S. comeback was due to a “dead-cat bounce” as the ad market rebounded from the worst recession since the mid-1970s.

Sorrell also tipped his hat to the economic stimulus package and the Citizens United Supreme Court decision that unleashed a wave of political advertising from corporations and independent groups for reviving the communications business.

Sorrell said the strong 2010 finish carried into 2011, projecting a five percent growth for the year. He expressed concern over the turmoil in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya and implications for other countries such as Jordan or Saudi Arabia. The Middle East accounts for 1.7 percent of WPP’s revenues.

On the PR front, Sorrell reported strong performances at Burson-Marsteller, Dewey Square, BWR, Robinson Lerer & Montgomery and Public Strategies.
PR and public affairs rose 6.1% for the full year 2010 to about $1.38B.


Former Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd takes the helm of the Motion Picture Assn. of America on March 17.

The 66-year-old Dodd, who will earn a $1.5M salary, is the consummate D.C. insider who views his new post as a continuation of work on Capitol Hill. Dodd says he is eager to work to protect intellectual property rights and expand international trade.

He was elected to Congress in 1974 and moved to the Senate in 1981. Dodd succeeds Dan Glickman, former Kansas Congressman and Secretary of Agriculture, who did a five-year stint.

The move is an attempt by MPAA to regain some of the political clout it enjoyed under the 40-year reign of Jack Valenti, a former aide to President Johnson.

Dodd takes the helm as the movie business suffers from plummeting DVD sales, shrinking theater attendance, piracy and the digital upheaval.


San Francisco-based healthcare giant WCG has tapped Aaron Strout as social media group director to counsel clients and position the firm as a thought leader in the mobile and location based marketing arena.

Strout, who is co-writing a book, “Location-Based Marketing for Dummies,” will step up his speaking engagements, blogging and podcasting to build WCG’s presence in the social media mix.

Strout joins WCG from Powered Inc., where he was CMO for more than two years before it was acquired by Dachis Group late last year Earlier, he was VP-social media at Mzinga, and director of online marketing at Fidelity.


Internet Edition, March 9, 2011, Page 3


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee March 2 that Arab satellite TV station Al Jazeera is gaining traction because it offers “real news,” while U.S. media are not keeping up.

Al Jazeera is “changing people’s minds and attitudes” and is effective whether “you like it or hate it,” she said.

Viewership in the U.S. is on the rise because Al Jazeera offers real news around the clock compared to domestic outlets that “air a million commercials” and endless “arguments between talking heads.”

U.S. news is “not particularly informative to us, let alone foreigners,” said Clinton.


Salon Media Group took itself off the auction block and plans to map out a plan to profitability.

CEO Richard Gingras said he considered some opportunities but couldn’t come up with either a good price or partner that was a good fit.

Salon attracts about 5.5M unique monthly viewers.

The New York Times reported that Salon had talks with Newser, but negotiations broke down in the aftermath of AOL’s $315M deal for Huffington Post.

Salon lost $724K during Q4, which was better than the $1.7M that it lost during the 2010 period.


New York Times Sunday op-ed columnist Frank Rich is moving to New York Magazine in June to serve as editor-at-large and columnist focused on politics and culture. He will oversee a special monthly essay section at the weekly and contribute to the NYM website.

Adam Moss, a NYT alum and editor-in-chief of NYM, praised Rich as a “giant, a powerhouse critic of politics and culture, a rigorous thinker, a glorious stylist, a skeptic and optimist at the same time.”

Rich has written op-ed pieces for the Times since 1994. He was the paper’s chief drama critic from 1980-93. He also is a creative consultant to HBO, where he is executive producer of “Veep,” a comedy in production starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

In leaving the Times, Rich thanked the paper for the opportunity to “serve in two dream jobs in journalism.”

At NYM, Rich believes he will be able to “write with more reflection, variety and space than is possible within the confines of a weekly newspaper column.”


Fox News Channel has suspended the contracts of GOP presidential wannabes Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.

Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee and John Bolton remain on the Fox payroll as contributors.

Gingrich and Santorum’s pacts are suspended for 60 days. On May 1, the contracts will be terminated unless they decide against running for the White House.


Nick Lehman, who is a veteran of Viacom’s MTV Networks, is now president of NBCU entertainment and digital networks. In that new post, he reports to chair Lauren Zalaznick.

Lehman’s “powerful combination of creative and business expertise in multiplatform and new product is the ideal person to build on our success,” according to Zalaznick.

Variety reports that Lehman will oversee units such as iVillage, Fandango and Daily Candy that are “pure-play” digital operations, not extensions of NBCU brands.


CBS News has named Sonya McNair head of communications, two years after she joined the news division as a consultant.

She takes the reins for media and talent relations, as well as public affairs, internal and external communications for CBS News, CBS Radio News, its online properties and polling and survey unit.

McNair, a former spokeswoman and director of PR for Conde Nast’s The New Yorker, reports to chairman Jeff Fager and executive VP Gil Schwartz.
“I look forward to the contributions she will make during this time of change and opportunity for CBS News,” said Schwartz.

McNair joined CBS News in March 2009 as a consultant and was named VP a few months later in May, directing publicity and media relations. Previously, she was VP of corporate comms. for Time Inc.’s Essence Communications unit and VP of publicity and corporate communications for Fox Broadcasting Co.


Christian Dior fired creative director John Galliano four days after he apparently made anti-Semitic remarks in a Paris bar and following the web posting of a video of another incident.

Dior, which works with Kekst and Company for PR in the U.S, said on Feb. 25 that it had suspended Galliano from his position pending the conclusion of an investigation by authorities after the designer allegedly said he loved Hitler and made other slurs against patrons at a bar. France has a law against making anti-Semitic remarks.

Chairman and CEO Sidney Toledano March 1 said in a statement that the company has commenced “termination proceedings” noting Galliano’s words “are in total contradiction to the longstanding core values of Christian Dior.”

Video of Galliano was published by the U.K.’s Sun newspaper on Feb. 28 in which appears to say, “I love Hitler. People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be f****** gassed.”

Galliano’s remarks have been widely condemned, including by Dior fragrance spokeswoman and actress Natalie Portman, who said in a statement that she “will not be associated with Mr. Galliano in any way.”

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, March 9, 2011, Page 4


Blue chip companies were told last year to approach the web with caution during a press conference held by Vision Critical, which does research for blue chips.

SM is an “expensive and potentially explosive medium” but tends to represent “the bleeding edge of humor, provocativeness, candor or shock value,” the conference was told.

Clients Expanded Services at Edelman

Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman, said much of the gain was from current clients expanding their budgets.

“Clients took advantage of our expanded digital offerings,” he said.

The firm built online “embassies” for Unilever and eBay on Twitter and Facebook.

“Our global network hit full stride in 2010 as accounts based in New York and London ran campaigns out of overseas offices,” he said.

“Especially active” were Shell and liquor marketer Diageo.

International generated 34% of the fee total, rising 18.2% to $179M.

The firm operates in 27 markets overseas. China revenues grew 27.7% to $10.4M; Brazil up 68% to $6.8M; Singapore up 36% to $6.3M, and Hong Kong up 21.3% to $5.3M.

“Clients are no longer asking ‘just for press’ but for a range of things,” said Edelman. “Clients are now operating from a different runway, they now ask us to tell them what to do,” he said.

APCO Grows in ‘Non-Traditional’ Areas

Margery Kraus, CEO of APCO, said the firm's “entire business” grew in all geographic sectors and in many industry categories.

She attributed the growth to “the changing global landscape and convergence of stakeholder groups in non-traditional ways, which plays to APCO’s unique heritage as a company and our integrated approach to client opportunities and challenges.”

New initiatives that drew interest from clients included Global Political Strategies, the firm's executive advisory service; Return on Reputation Indicator, a “groundbreaking” research-based management tool that takes a “broader, more holistic,” 360-degree view of reputation, and Social EQ, a new model to assess the effectiveness of a company's social media efforts.

WCG Has Biggest Gain in Top Ten

WCG, formerly WeissComm Group, had the biggest gain in the top ten-up 37.6% to $37M, in fifth place behind Waggener Edstrom at $111.9M, up 5.9%, and Ruder Finn, at $97M, up 8.8%.

Kathy Bloomgarden, co-CEO of RF, said “Social and digital media are now part of almost all of our PR programs. Online channels have changed conversation and engagement with all stakeholder groups.

“Ruder Finn Innovation Studios is a critical partner in helping us to create integrated campaigns with social media expertise deeply embedded in all of our practices. This has created more robust programs with larger budgets,” she said.

“Activism and market uncertainty have reinforced corporate reputation efforts and issues management plans,” said Bloomgarden.

She said corporate attention is focused on emerging markets such as China. RF campaigns in China for Chinese companies and multinationals have “grown expansively,” she said.

Weiss Cites Healthcare and Other Growth

WCG CEO Jim Weiss cited growth in its core healthcare business as well as expansion into consumer and technology categories.

“We had great strategic hires in the past year,” he said.

These included creative/interactive practice leader Gail Cohen, formerly at Burson-Marsteller; group creative directors Trip Hosmer from Chandler Chicco and Scott Schindler from Deutsch; consumer practice director Vicky Lewko from CarryOn PR, and chief people officers Laurie Torres from Juniper Networks," he said.

The firm added about 20 staffers to its interactive and social media practice for a total of more than 40 professionals.

Aaron Strout, who is writing the book, “Location Based Martketing for Dummies,” joined WCG this month as social media group director.

Weiss says he’s aiming for the $45M mark in 2011 which will be the tenth anniversary of the firm he founded.

MWW Joins List as No. 7

Michael Kempner, CEO of MWW Group, who engineered a management buyout of the firm from Interpublic after a decade of ownership by the ad/PR conglomerate, said he expects independence will “unleash the talent, creativity and spirit” of the firm which is “returning to its roots as a nimble strategic management consultant.”

The firm has 184 staffers in East Rutherford, N.J., New York City, Trenton, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and London.

Norwalk, Conn.-based ICR spurted 20% to $26.5M as it added a net of 63 new clients.

CEO Tom Ryan said that "As companies work through the volatility of the current environment, they are increasingly realizing that financial communications is a major determinant of equity value, and therefore have sought out ICR’s expert counsel.”

“Revenues rebounded in 2010 (they were down 16% in 2009) and we rationalized expenses in 2009,” said Ryan, resulting in last year being a “great year for the firm” and 2011 starting off “very strong.”

(Continued on page 8)

Internet Edition, March 9, 2011, Page 5

O’Dwyer’s Rankings of Independent PR Firms With Major U.S. Operations

(Click Here for Rankings)

Internet Edition, March 9, 2011, Page 6


San Diego-based Clearpoint Agency has moved to larger offices in Encinitas, doubling its space and expanding its social media offerings as the firm said it has found success in presenting a unified public image for clients.

“Although PR tactics and tools have morphed considerably over time, the value of a cohesive communication strategy never changes,” said VP and co-founder Beth Walsh of the agency’s offering it calls the Positioning Program. “Many clients think they have one when they don’t. It’s an important first step that many agencies run through too quickly, so we have made it a cornerstone of our services.”

The firm handles B2B and B2C clients like Verance, Synteract and CUSO Financial Services.

Co-founder and president is Bonnie Shaw.

BRIEF: Agency veteran and PR professor Larry Parnell has set up a Washington, D.C., area firm after spending the last few years building up the PR masters program at George Washington University. Parnell said he’ll handle strategy development and implementation, CSR and management training while developing a network of specialized PR practitioners. Contact: [email protected]; 571-223-3888.

NEWS OF SERVICES _______________________________


PR Newswire parent company United Business Media on March 1 reported a 4.9% rise in 2010 revenues to £889.2M, including a 12.3% increase at PR Newswire, on strong growth in emerging markets like China, India and Brazil.

UBM, which reports the non-GAAP adjusted operating profit, said that figure was flat at £171.8 in part because it shelled out £258M for 22 acquisitions last year.

In the U.S., PRN turned in a “resilient” performance, the company said, posting a nearly 3% increase in revenue. UBM’s targeting, distribution and monitoring division, which includes PRN as well as IR services like EDGAR filing and website production, represents about 20% of the company’s revenue and a quarter of its profit as it posted revenue of £181.2M for 2010.

UBM said paid queries to PRN’s ProfNet source service also increased last year.
Acquisitions last year included PRN operations in Brazil and Argentina and the media monitoring company dna13.

PROJECT: Cherry Hill, N.J.-based Lubetkin Communications produced a documentary video in conjunction with PROFIT Communications, Blue Bell, Pa., featuring residents of retirement community The Pines at Whiting, for Keswick Pines, to be used as part of conversations with prospective residents. The video is online at



Child's Play Communications, New York/, online store and e-community for buying and selling used baby and children’s gear, for PR for site, launched Feb. 23.

MWW Group, Washington, D.C./BioReference Laboratories, clinical testing lab; SFK-Success for Kids, non-profit; Molycorp Minerals, rare earth elements deposit owner working to establish a supply chain for America; National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering; Cleveland State Univ., public research institution, and NEOUCOM, interprofessional training of health pros. New Jersey office client NJPure has expanded its account to D.C. to work on medical malpractice reform at the federal level.


Bianchi PR, Troy, Mich./The National Defense Industrial Association Michigan Chapter, to execute its media relations and event promotion efforts for the 2,500-member group.


RFPR, Los Angeles/Next Door Lounge, L.A. cocktail lounge and eatery styled on a 1920s-era speakeasy, for hospitality PR.

Cook + Schmid, San Diego/Diagnostic Marketing Association, DxMA, to promote the 2011 Dx Creative Communications Awards and 33rd Annual DxMA Global Marketing Summit in San Diego April 27-28.

PEOPLE ____________________________________


Kelly Cusumano, formerly of HealthSTAR PR and MSLGroup, to GCI Health, Atlanta, as senior VP to oversee brand and corporate PR for healthcare companies and non-profits. She has handled programs for Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Genentech, Sanofi Aventis, BioSouth and Merial. GCI Health, which has more than 80 staffers, is owned by WPP.

Jim Barbagallo, partner and managing director, Porter Novelli, to Morrissey & Company, Boston, as managing director.

Ankit Desai, finance director at the Health Information Center, a pro-reform group, to MWW Group, Washington, D.C., as a senior VP. He was managing director for venture capital firm Third Security, former finance director for Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and political director for Vice President (then-Sen.) Joe Biden (D-Del.).

Sara Sciammacco, political reporter, Capitol News Connection, to the Environmental Working Group, Washington, D.C., as a press secretary.

Anne Brady, deputy chief of staff to Rep. Mark Schauer, to Story Partners, Washington, D.C., as a VP. Mollie O’Dell, perviously with North Bridge Communications, joins as a director, and Mary Elizabeth Margolis of the Business Industry PAC, as an associate.

— Greg Hazley


Internet Edition, March 9, 2011, Page 7


Runyon, Saltzman & Einhorn sued client the United Football League for $264,000 in fees on Feb. 4, claiming the three-year-old league breached its contract with the Sacramento PR agency after 10 months of work. The league said it has begun making payments.

Attorneys for RS&E filed the four-count complaint in Superior Court against the league and 20 “John Does.”

“A significant payment on the outstanding amount owed was made [Feb. 4] and the United Football League has agreed to repay the remaining balance," said a statement from the UFL forwarded by league VP of communications Michael Preston. He declined to comment on the suit.

RS&E’s attorney, Angela Schrimp de al Vergne of the Sacramento firm Knox, Lemmon, Anapolsky & Schrimp, did not answer a request for comment.
The PR firm was hired by the five-team UFL in February 2010 for a 10-month, $10K/month contract to handle efforts like public and community relations, creative development and media planning as the independent league, which held its first season in 2009 as a competitor to the National Football League.

The pact also gave RS&E a 7.5% commission on media buys.

RS&E, which is also seeking attorneys fees, argued that it had not been paid for its work, a bill totaling $264,892.35, plus late charges of 1.5% per month that added up to nearly $6,500 as of mid-January.

Florida’s First Coast News reported last week that the UFL is being sued by the Mayo Clinic for unpaid medical bills.

The league said it will start its third season in August.

With an uncertain labor situation in the NFL, there is a chance that the UFL will be the only professional football being played in the U.S. next season.


Andrea Saul, press secretary for Carly Fiorina’s failed 2009 Senate bid with experience at the RNC and the McCain-Palin presidential ticket, has moved to Mitt Romney's political action committee as a communications advisor ahead of the former Massachusetts governor's expected White House bid.

Romney has been speaking across the country and funneling money to candidates via his Free and Strong America PAC, which Saul will serve in a PR capacity.

She is a former communications aide to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and directed media affairs for the McCain-Palin presidential ticket in 2008, later moving to the RNC.

She was also communications director for Gov. Charlie Crist's Senate bid, but quit when he switched his party affiliation from Republican to independent.
She also worked at DCI Group earlier in her PR career.

Romney and other rumored contenders like Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee have not declared their candidacies for the 2012 race, although the first debate is less than two months away on May 2 at the Reagan Library.


The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is calling for PR pitches through Friday for its campaign to curb the high school dropout rate in the U.S.

The push, known as CPB's Dropout Awareness and Youth Engagement Initiative, highlights the nation’s 3-in-10 public school student dropout rate as one of the biggest crises facing the U.S.

CPB has issued an RFP with a March 4 deadline for PR agencies to support the program, which will be executed through 12 hub communities where the dropout rate is most acute.

It wants an agency to handle media relations, public awareness, partnerships and assistance in developing a tagline and collateral materials.

The CPG is a non-profit corporation funded by the U.S. Congress.


Matt Wolfrom, who was executive VP/corporate and portfolio communications at Edelman, is the new managing director of Makovsky + Co.’s technology and energy markets practices.

Ken Makovsky lauds his new hire as “among the best in the business.”

At Edelman, Wolfrom counseled Brown Brothers Harriman, TIAA-CREF and PwC. The 20-yeara veteran also worked as North American corporate practice chief at WPP’s Cohn & Wolfe and executive VP and GM at Havas’ Euro RSCG Magnet unit.

Wolfrom has corporate PR experience gained at SmartPipes (a Kleiner Perkins-funded software outfit) and Exite@Home, the cable Internet and broadband operation.

At his new home, Wolfrom handles intellectual property, business development and client service, reporting to CEO Makovsky.


Colorado, one of five states awarded federal grants under a $46M substance abuse prevention program, has issued an RFP for PR support as it mobilizes the program.

Proposals are due March 31. RFP:

The Centennial State's Division of Behavioral Health Community Prevention Programs will administer the five-year grant, doled out by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Partnerships for Success. It is worth $2.3M a year.

The RFP calls for a social marketing effort blending PR, research and public service ads to reverse a negative trend among 12-17 year olds in underage and binge drinking rates, as well as a disparity in rates among Latino youth. The contract will be about $85K/year.

BRIEF: House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chair Rep. Darrell Issa launched a probe of his own office and fired his press secretary, Kurt Bardella, after investigating whether his spokesman improperly shared emails from other reporters with a New York Times scribe writing a book on politics.


Internet Edition, March 9, 2011, Page 8





Text 100, part of the Next Fifteen Communications Group, was the only PR operation in the top ten showing a decline-off 3.9% to $46.7M.

CEO Aedhmar Hynes said that revenues are up 20% since last August and more than 40 staffers have been hired.

She sees “lots of growth” in digital communications and social media.

“Solid growth,” she said, is coming from Asia and North America.

Coyne Up 32% to $16M

Third biggest gainer in the top 25 was Coyne Public Relations, Parsippany, N.J., up 32% to $16M.

CEO Tom Coyne said there was in-house growth as well as new business in its dozen practice areas.

“Star performer,” he said, was the pet group which includes Milk-Bone, 9Lives, Snausages, Meow Mix, Arm & Hammer cat litter and Billings in the group were up 165%.

Gaining 100% in fees was the sport group which includes the National Football League, Campbell Soup, U.S. Tennis Assn., Harlem Globetrotters, NASCAR, and U.S. Olympic Committee. A highlight of the year was the launch of an iTune app for the “Coyne PR Hot Sheet.”

“It pays tribute to the best in social media and the most thought-provoking stories of the week,” he said.

Getsey Cites Digital

Atomic PR CEO Andy Getsey, described the “Atomic style” as “lots of re-contextualization, content strategy, media relations, digital and social media, community outreach and video all working together.”

He said such techniques were applied when the firm kicked off the year with the re-launch of Polaroid at the Consumer Electronics Show which included the participation of Lady Gaga.

Another major account was the Trust for Public Land. The firm developed a high-profile campaign to “Save the Land” surrounding the iconic "Hollywood" sign that sits on a mountainside.

Said Getsey: “This included a huge stunt, public affairs, press conferences, top Los Angeles political leaders, the ‘Governator,’ A-list celebrities and even the Vatican News Service plus a microsite about the Sign and Facebook, Twitter and custom applications.” Playboy’s founder Hugh Heffner gave a $1 million donation and even Tweeted about it.

Existing clients expanded budgets including Verizon, Intuit/, Living Social, Hotwire and RealityTrac. New business wins included Netgear, Citrix Online, Pioneer, LendingClub, PeopleMedia and Shopkick.

The 46% jump in fees to $11.1M required the addition of 35 staffers.

F/W/V Handled High-Profile Accounts

Raleigh-based French/West/Vaughan boosted fees 18% to $13.6M partly on its work for two high-profile accounts-the rehabilitation of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, whose dog-fighting activities earned him time in a federal prison, and damage control for long-time client Wrangler after Vikings quarterback and company spokesperson Brett Favre was accused of sending improper photographs to a woman.

Expanding accounts included VP Corp., parent of Wrangler, and Dey Pharmaceutical. New business wins included U.S. Polo Assn., Focus Brand's Moe’s Southwest Grill restaurant chain, and Swiss energy company ABB. An office in Dallas was added. F/W/V also has offices in New York and Tampa and plans a Los Angeles office in the spring.

Zeno Spurts 24% to $12.4M

Zeno, sister company of Edelman, was one of the leading gainers in the top 25 by growing 24% to $12.4M.

CEO Barby Siegel attributes growth to “our highly client-centric, collaborative model that delivers insight-driven strategy, unexpected creative, and hands-on involvement from our highly experienced staffers.”

Growth has come from both current and new clients in consumer, corporate, healthcare and technology.

“Strong and expanding social media capabilities is integral to all we do,” she said.
Siegel also cited the firm’s “top tier, best-in-class talent” that draws clients to the firm.

“There is a real appetite in the marketplace for an agency of our size, scale and approach-big, ‘challenger’ thinking in a nimble, flexible environment-enabling us to move fast on behalf of our clients,” she said.

Alan Soucy, CEO of Sparkpr, San Francisco, which grew 22% to $8.8M, said 2010 was the tenth straight year of revenue growth.

“Our roots are firmly planted in Silicon Valley,” he said. The firm, he said, has become “a valued partner to the most innovative companies across many sectors.”

The agency got involved early in social media and building online communities, he noted.

Despite the recession, he said the firm “experienced unprecedented demand for our services,” adding his team across San Francisco, New York, London and Cape Town “bring a level of commitment, enthusiasm and value to our clients.”

Imre, founded in 1993 by David Imre, was the fourth fastest growing firm in the top 50, up 33% to $7.69M.

Imre said Target and Pfizer expanded their relationships with the firm while new clients included Wells Fargo and T. Rowe Price. Long-time client John Deere named the firm for social marketing.

A new unit is IMRE Sports which will build on the firm’s experience in promoting corporate relationships with the NFL, PGA Tour, NASCAR and other such groups for clients including Travelers, Black & Decker, Target and John Deere.

— Jack O'Dwyer


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