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Internet Edition, March 16, 2011, Page 1

Full table of PR firms ranked by 2010
revenue in high-tech and healthcare
categories on pg. 7...


The promotion and marketing entity for Louisiana seafood has released an RFP for communications strategy and advertising to fight negative public perception in the wake of last year’s Deep Water Horizon oil spill.

Seventy percent of the U.S. remains concerned about seafood safety and the Pelican State’s seafood industry has lost market share to other protein products “and the perception of our seafood is challenged, to say the least,” reads the March 3 RFP from the The Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board.

The board wants pitches for a $15M contract to develop a strategy at the local, national and global level, develop ads and educational materials, and handle social media, food sampling events and other PR tactics.

Proposals are due April 3. RFP:


Libby Langsdorf, a public affairs pro at the New York City Economic Development Corp., has joined Atomic PR’s Big Apple office as senior director.

She handled mainstream and digital media campaigns surrounding the launch of 60-plus start-ups in the technology, communications and other categories.

CEO Andy Getsey believes Langsdorf’s “deep involvement” with the New York tech/startup community and expertise in consumer PR and PA is a good fit.

Langsdorf handled the NYC BigApps Competition and the NYC Next Idea business plan competition. Prior to the NYCEDC, she was at Rubenstein PR and LaForce + Stevens.


Jennifer Risi, co-founder of Weber Shandwick’s global strategic media practice, joined Ogilvy PR Worldwide on March 1 as executive VP and chief of its 360 media influence operation. She will tackle media relations, brand innovation and work with clients to develop impactful “content-rich” campaigns.

At Weber Shandwick, Risi counseled clients such as Siemens, Fresh Direct and MAC AIDS Fund and created its VoiceBoxx approach to line up speaking opportunities.

Kate Cronin, Ogilvy’s New York managing director, praised Risi's skills in creative problem-solving, CEO positioning and knowledge of the evolving media landscape.


PR firms taking part in the 2010 O’Dwyer rankings boosted the number of specialty practice fees they reported from 496 in 2009 to 594 in 2010, a gain of 98.

“The increase in specialty reporting shows that clients are looking for PR firms with expertise in defined areas such as healthcare, tech, and finance,” said publisher Jack O’Dwyer.

There were gains in 11 of the 12 practice areas tracked by the rankings, the only exception being beauty/fashion where the number of reporting firms dropped to 24 from 27.

Edelman, whose $521.9 million in total fees is nearly five times as big as No. 2, APCO Worldwide at $113.4M, led in ten of the 12 categories, often swamping the next largest firm in the category. It had $113M in healthcare fees vs. $38M for Ruder Finn and $101M in tech fees vs. $62M for Waggener Edstrom.

Edelman’s $71M in the food/beverage category was far above No. 2 Hunter PR at $8M. Its home furnishings total of $43M compared with the $4M reported by sister company Zeno and $3.1M reported by L.C. Williams & Assocs., which were in second and third places.

Edelman was edged out in financial/IR by ICR which had $24,994,066 in such fees to Edelman’s $24,465,150.

Taylor was No. 1 in the sports/leisure category at $10.6M with Catalyst PR No. 2 at $4.4M and Edelman No. 3 at $4.0M.


Cynthia Gordon has plugged into the vacant VP/corporate affairs post at Nintendo of America ahead of a major product launch this month.

The recent VP at Boston-based 360 PR started March 14 based in Redwood City, Calif., ahead of Nintendo’s kick-off of the 3DS gaming system in the U.S. March 27.

Gordon previously ran PR and new media for Universal Studios as a VP and held in-house posts at Dunkin’ Brands (director/corporate comms.) and Togo’s. She also headed the Chrysler account at GolinHarris in Chicago. At 360 PR, she headed digital and social media for the agency.

The VP/corporate affairs post had been vacant for more than a year following the exit of Denise Kaigler in November 2009 after a short stint.


Internet Edition, March 16, 2011, Page 2


The Atlanta-based tour operator behind high-profile exhibitions like “Bodies” and an exhibit of Titanic artifacts has issued an open RFP as it consolidates its account with one national agency.

Premier Exhibitions, which is publicly traded, wants a firm to manage national media relations, provide strategic PR counseling and assist in a strategy to engage ticket buyers. Monthly retainer is set at $20K plus expenses.

PR manager Alison Sawyer said the company currently hires local PR agencies in its markets, but is moving its account to a single firm with the search.

Premier's current touring exhibits are “Bodies… The Exhibition,” “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition,” and “Dialog in the Dark,” a “sensory exhibition” slated to open on permanent display in New York this summer.

The company notes in the RFP that the competition for the “attention and entertainment dollar of today’s families is fierce” while noting its high-profile exhibits often reach consumers first through media coverage.

Premier’s Bodies exhibit has drawn controversy as it includes preserved human bodies presented in cross sections and various forms of dissection. The company has paid millions for Chinese cadavers from a medical school in that country.

Katherine Seymour, VP of comms. for Premier, is overseeing the search. Intent to submit a proposal is due by March 25. Proposals are due April 4. RFP is at


A top communications executive of Credit Suisse in New York is leaving the bank, which has launched a search to replace her.

Cristina von Bargen, a managing director who headed the bank's Americas communications, is a well-known figure in Wall Street PR circles, according to the New York Times’ Dealbook blog. She is slated to step down in May and the bank hopes to have a replacement by the fall.

The move comes 14 months after Credit Suisse tapped former CNBC chief Pamela Thomas-Graham to a new post overseeing, talent, branding and communications.


MDC Partners CEO Miles Nadal has reported $11.5M in Q4 profit compared to an $18.5M year ago loss as revenues surged 42.7 percent to $213.4M.

Nadal said the firm “invested significantly in talent and other growth initiatives and made strategic acquisitions aimed at enhancing market leadership.” He believes MDC, which is parent to Allison & Partners, Kwittken and Co., and Sloane & Co., is positioned to deliver an “even more impressive 2011.”

Nadal projects 2011 revenues in the $850M to $870M range, while EDITDA to rise more than 25 percent to the $108M to $112M mark.

For the full-year, MDC lost $15.4M, down from $18.3M in 2009. Revenues rose 28 percent to $698M.


Hilton Worldwide has tapped Edelman as a global AOR to handle PR and social media for several units of the company, following a review.

In a statement provided to O’Dwyer’s, Paul Brown, president of global brands and commercial services, said: “Edelman was selected as the global agency of record by Hilton Worldwide to support the Hilton HHonors [reward program] and multi-brand public relations and social media initiatives, as well as the global agency of record to represent Hilton Worldwide’s luxury brands Waldorf-Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts.”

Cohn & Wolfe previously handled the account but did not take part in the recent review.

Murphy O’Brien handles PR for the Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand.


Microchip giant AMD is reviewing its North American PR account with an RFP process after a leadership shakeup at the Silicon Valley company.

Bite Communications is an incumbent for the lucrative account and also handles AMD PR business overseas.

Drew Prairie, director of corporate communications for the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company, said AMD is conducting the review of its North American/headquarters PR to “select an agency partner that can help shape and position AMD’s ongoing corporate evolution as an innovative technology leader.”

AMD CEO Dirk Meyer exited in January, a move followed a month later by the departures of its chief operations and administrative officer, along with its senior VP of corporate strategy. CFO Thomas Seifert is serving as interim CEO.

Prairie said incumbents have been included in the review but he declined to provide details on how many firms are being considered. “We did engage with a number of different agencies at the start of the process,” he said.

AMD is the number two semiconductor maker with about 14% of the market behind industry giant Intel, which claims more than 85% of the business. Revenue for 2010 was up 20 percent to $6.49B on net income of $471M.


Gibbs & Soell has recruited 25-year PR vet Greg Sherry to expand its consumer practice at the New York-based shop that is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Sherry takes staffers and clients of his SK Communications (U.S. Tennis Assn., HEAD USA, BenQ, Archdiocese of Newark, Wenger/Swiss Army and Commonfund) to G&S’ consumer lifestyle practice group.

He founded The Sherry Group, which was acquired by Publicis/BCOM. Earlier, Sherry served as director of comms. for Spalding and Evenflo Cos. and was a VP at Robert Marston Assocs.


Internet Edition, March 16, 2011, Page 3


NPR CEO Vivian Schiller resigned March 9 in the aftermath of the “sting” operation orchestrated by conservative political operative James O’Keefe, who secretly videotaped the network’s chief fund-raiser making disparaging remarks about the Tea Party and Republicans.

O'Keefe, who pretended to be a rep from the Muslim Education Action Center, also told fund-raiser Ron Schiller (no relation to Vivian) that the group was considering making a $5M donation to NPR to counter “Zionist coverage” of other news outlets.

Ron Schiller is also quoted as saying NPR, which is fighting off Republican efforts to cut its taxpayer funding, would be better off without federal dollars.

The senior VP-development officially resigned March 8, though he announced plans last week to depart to the Aspen Institute. He is no longer joining Aspen.

The night before her resignation, NPR released a statement in Vivian Schiller’s name that called the money-raiser's remarks “contrary to what NPR stands for and are deeply distressing to reporters, editors and others who bring fairness, civility and respect for a wide variety of viewpoints to their work every day.”

In a March 9 announcement the next day, NPR chairman Dave Edwards accepted Vivian Schiller’s resignation with “understanding, genuine regret and great respect for her leadership” during the past two years.

Joyce Slocum, senior VP-legal affairs and general counsel, moves to the interim CEO slot and the board has established an executive transition team to hunt for new leadership.


Al Jazeera, the Arab satellite TV network, is negotiating with Time Warner and Comcast to air its children’s channel on their U.S. cable properties, according to a report to Fast Company.

The goal is to debut an English-dubbed channel here by 2012. Al Jazeera launched an Arab-language kid station in 2005, featuring a mix of syndicated and original program.

Viewing fare includes “Saladin,” a cartoon show about the Crusades presented in the viewpoint of the famous Muslim warrior, and "Still Alive in Gaza," a documentary about Palestinian kids living in the Gaza Strip.

Fast Company reports that Al Jazeera Children’s Channel “takes a distinctively high-minded approach to programming,” sharing the “same ‘edutainment’ values found on PBS and the BBC.” The channel is targeted at children ages seven to 15, while a sister network, Baraem TV, goes after pre-schoolers.

AJCC general manager Mahmoud Bouneb doesn’t believe his station will face the same U.S. distribution problems as the English version of Al Jazeera.


Martha Stewart Living got its fourth editor-in-chief in four years on March 8 with the appointment of Cookie and founder Pilar Guzman to the top slot.

Guzman fills a vacancy left by Vanessa Holden, who left in February to become creative director for Williams-Sonoma’s home furnishing brand West Elm.

Guzman was founding editor-in-chief of the short-lived but critically acclaimed parenting title Cookie and went on to co-found in the same niche. She was a senior editor at Real Simple and executive editor of architecture title One after starting out as a food and lifestyle writer at the New York Daily News.

MSL is the flagship title of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s profitable publishing arm. Guzman reports to the chief creative and editorial director Gael Towey.

Martha Stewart said the new EIC is “an accomplished editor who understands what the Martha Stewart Living reader needs and wants.”

Towey and Michael Boodro have edited the magazine since 2009.


David Broder, the “dean of the Washington press corps,” died March 9 of complications from diabetes. He was 81.

The Washington Post columnist won a Pulitzer Prize in 1973 for coverage of the Watergate scandal that brought about the downfall of Richard Nixon.

Broder covered every presidential election since 1956 and his column on national politics was syndicated in more than 300 newspapers.

Following a stint in the Army, Broder joined Congressional Quarterly and then wrote for the Washington Times and New York Times before joining the Post in 1966.

Ben Bradlee, former executive editor of the Post, noted that Broder was the first top-rate reporter to leave the Times for the Post. He remembers Broder as the “best political correspondent in America.”


David Bohrman, CNN’s Washington bureau chief for nine years, is taking the senior VP/chief innovation officer post for CNN Worldwide, a new position, on May. 1.

He will report to Jim Walton, president of the news network.

As chief of CNN’s election coverage, Bohrman broke new ground via the CNN/YouTube debates and the launch of the “magic wall,” according to a staff memo from Walton.

Walton praised Bohrman’s “passion for what is new and next” and his ability to use emerging technology to provide a “bigger canvas” for CNN’s editorial output.

CNN expects to name a new CNN/D.C. chief as soon as possible.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, March 16, 2011, Page 4


The top public affairs official and spokesman for the State Department, P.J. Crowley, resigned on March 13 after pointedly criticizing the Pentagon’s detention of a soldier suspected of providing WikiLeaks with reams of data.

Crowley called the Defense Dept.’s treatment of Pfc. Bradley Manning “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid” at a Massachusetts Institute of Technology event, according to a BBC report.

“My recent comments regarding the conditions of the pre-trial detention of [Manning] were intended to highlight the broader, even strategic impact of discrete actions undertaken by national security agencies every day and their impact on our global standing and leadership,” Crowley, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, said in a statement, which did not retract the remarks. “Given the impact of my remarks, for which I take full responsibility, I have submitted my resignation…”

Manning is being held in Virginia under conditions that have been criticized by his lawyer and Amnesty International. President Obama said March 11 that his treatment meets “basic standards.”

The resignation also came after Crowley posted a Twitter message, since removed, about the Japan tsunami that raised some eyebrows. “We’ve been watching a hopeful tsunami sweep across the Middle East,” said the tweet. “Now we’re seeing a tsunami of a different kind sweep across Japan.”

Sec. of State Hillary Clinton said in a three-sentence statement accompanying Crowley’s resignation that she accepted his exit “with regret” and praised his more than three decades of service in the military and government.

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Michael Hammer, formerly of the National Security Council, will take over Crowley’s role on an “acting” basis, Clinton said.

State Dept. reporters say that Crowley and Clinton never forged a tight bond and the New York Times reported that he had been seeking reassignment.


NBC Universal corporate communications VP Joe Libonati has been tapped by Principal Communications Group as a partner in a new East Coast outpost for the Los Angeles-based entertainment PR firm.

Libonati exits NBCU as VP of corporate communications and media relations after a six-year stint.

He takes the title of managing director, PCG East, this week.

He was previously a VP at I/D PR and started out at entertainment powerhouse PMK in New York.

PCG was set up by former Universal Pictures communications SVP Paul Flug and solo PR practitioner Melissa Zukerman in 2006.


Dan Glickman, who stepped down in 2010 as chief of the Motion Picture Association of America, will join the Aspen Institute April 1 as executive director of its Congressional program. He succeeds Dick Clark, who is retiring.

The former Kansas congressman is to arrange themed conferences/breakfasts to join members of Congress with public policy pros.

Lobbyists are not permitted at the sessions, which are billed as politically neutral.

The congressional program is tackling areas such as energy, political Islam, nuclear security and education reform. Aspen claims the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Program to store/destroy weapons of the former Soviet Union and No Child Left Behind educational initiative grew out of its discussions.

Glickman spent 18 years in Congress and served as Secretary of Agriculture from 1995-01. He represented the Hollywood studios for six years.


John Concannon, former president of the New York Financial Writers Assn. (1971-72) and PR director for the Big Apple’s St. Patrick's Day Parade for nearly 20 years (’66-85), died March 3 in Austin. He was 86.

The Bronx native got his journalism start in the mail room at Collier’s Magazine. He worked there for six years, departing in 1954 as writer of the "What's New" column.

Moving to Newsweek, Concannon rose to the associate editor slot before retiring in 1989. He then contributed to the Irish Echo, served as national historian for the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and co-wrote the book, “The Irish American Who's Who.”

Donations in Concannon’s name go to the Irish Christian Brothers, 33 Pryer Terrace, New Rochelle, NY 10804.


Chrysler says it isn’t going to renew the contract of the social media firm that was responsible for dropping an “F-bomb” yesterday on the company’s Twitter account.

“I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the Motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f------ drive,” read the offending tweet on the ChryslerAutos site.

The tweet was removed and the automaker issued an apology to say that its “account was compromised” and was “taking steps to resolve it.”

Pete Snyder, CEO of New Media Strategies, posted a blog March 10, regretting “this unfortunate incident.”

He added: “It certainly doesn’t accurately reflect the overall high-quality work we have produced for Chrysler. We respect their decision and will work with them to ensure an effective transition of this business going forward.”

Snyder and NMS have counseled blue-chips such as Burger King, Time Warner, CBS, Revlon, Northwest Airlines, Reebok and Coca-Cola.

Internet Edition, March 16, 2011, Page 5


New Hampshire, which shares a 58-mile border with Canada, is on the hunt for a PR agency touting its tourism offering to Canucks.

The state Division of Travel and Tourism has an RFP out to award a two-year contract with two options years to represent the Granite State to Canadian consumers, media and the travel trade as a year-round vacation destination.
Travel Marketing Experts of Toronto is the incumbent.

The account covers various aspects of PR, including media relations/inquiries, press releases, story pitches, monitoring, and organizing press tours of New Hampshire.

Pitching agencies must have 3-5 years of international PR experience and detailed knowledge of Canadian media.

Budget is capped at $75K.

Proposals are due April 8. Download the RFP at


A marketing push touting California-grown produce in China is on the hunt for nine months of PR support in the People’s Republic.

The Buy California Marketing Agreement, a 10-year-old initiative run by the Golden State’s agriculture industry, is developing a “California Grown” campaign to kickoff in China this year. It issued an RFP March 7 with a short deadline of March 18 for a PR agency to support that effort with media relations and in-store promotions in China.

Budget is capped at $175K running April through December.

Fleishman-Hillard handles U.S. PR for the BCMA.

Bryant Christie, a Sacramento-based company that helps food and agriculture clients tap foreign markets, is overseeing the campaign and handling the RFP process for a PR firm.

While China’s markets began opening in 2001, when it joined the World Trade Organization, import tariffs have declined steadily over the past five years, boosting U.S. exports. Fresh fruit, a key California export, is a particularly growing, but pricey niche there.

Cherries, olives, kiwifruit, plums, wine and almonds are products covered in the marketing campaign.

The overall goal of the effort is to build positive awareness and consumer conceptions of Golden State goods in the media and at retail.

“BCMA understands that China is a price sensitive market and high-value products like California fresh fruit are often more expensive than locally grown produce,” reads the RFP. “Therefore, careful program timing and activity design will be critical to the program’s success.”

Download the RFP at

RFP: PR planning and services for arts center in Southampton, NY; deadline 4/9/2011. Download at


New York Area

Lou Hammond & Associates, New York/Marriott and Renaissance Caribbean & Mexico Resorts, as AOR for PR, following a competitive review for the portfolio of nine oceanfront resorts.

Susan Magrino Agency, New York/Le Cirque New York, eatery, to oversee all U.S. PR and branding.

The Hayzlett Group and MediaLink, New York/TRA Inc., TV advertising measurement and analytics software, for marketing and communications strategy. Jeff Hayzlett and MediaLink’s Ed Adler lead the work.

CJP Communications, New York/Travelex, foreign exchange and payments specialist, for North American PR for its global business payments unit.

JS2 Communications, New York/Dr. Cindy Haines, medical communications consultant and writer, and Suzanne Evans, business coach, for PR.

Goodman Media International, New York/J.H. Cohn LLP, audit, tax, and business advisory firm, as AOR for PR. Former N.Y. Yankees manager Joe Torre, a Goodman client, is J.H. Cohn’s spokesman.

Trylon SMR, New York/NetElixir, online marketing campaign management and optimization technology for retailers and agencies, as AOR for media rels.

MWW Group, East Rutherford, N.J./GoNewark Sports & Entertainment Committee, to promote “GoNewark HoopFest” March 23-27 as Newark’s Prudential Center hosts the 2011 NCAA East Regional Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament.


202 Communications, Springhouse, Pa./NVerzion Inc., broadcasting and TV station automation services, for PR to develop and maintain a presence for the Salt Lake City-based company in the trade press.

Warschawski, Baltimore/TATE Global, to create a new logo, website and marketing brochure to launch the risk mitigation services company.

Largemouth Communications, Research Triangle Park, N.C./BioMarck Pharmaceuticals, for PR support as the company announces the results of a recently completed phase 2 clinical trial for BIO-11006 Inhalation Solution, a treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Articulon, Raleigh, N.C./2011 St. Patty’s Run Green 8K, for a third consecutive year.


Ron Sachs Communications, Tallahassee/Bing Energy, fuel cell nanotechnology, and nopetro, natural gas fueling stations, for PR. RSC has also worked with the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling over the past year to arrange and staff a series of site visits and stakeholder meetings throughout the five-state, Gulf coast region affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.


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.

Northlich, Cincinnati/Buffalo Wings & Rings, as AOR for PR for the 27-year-old franchise, which operates in 14 states.

— Greg Hazley

Internet Edition, March 16, 2011, Page 6


NASA’s Washington, D.C., headquarters is on the hunt for a news monitoring service covering the gamut of media.

The space agency's Maryland procurement operation has issued an RFQ for a vendor to provide comprehensive daily reviews of news from a wide range of sources, including TV, newspaper, legal journals and specialty press, with relevance to the various operations of NASA.

Summaries and analysis are to be delivered by 7:30 a.m. each weekday.

NASA is handling the RFQ online. Details are at Deadline is March 24.


Video PR company Mark Haefeli Productions produced Def Leppard's Feb. 25 announcement of a summer tour with Heart to kick off June 7.

Haefeli produced and directed the package, which included a satellite media touri with interviews with band members and concert footage to support the band's new album, "Mirrorball," a combination of live and studio material.

View a clip at


Wire services PR Newswire, Business Wire and Market Wire said they are disseminating press releases about Japan earthquake and tsunami relief for no charge this month.

PRN’s distribution of news in English only includes dissemination to China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, Singapore and South Korea. Organizations communicating disaster preparedness information to residents of Hawaii and California are also included.

“The video of the disaster in Japan is heart-wrenching, and the people of Japan are in our thoughts today,” PRN said in a statement March 11.

PRN said the deal is in effect until futher notice.

Marketwire extended its offer until midnight, March 31, and includes complimentary distribution of all “appropriate” news distributed in English through Marketwire to Japan, a select Asia circuit and North America, which includes Australia, mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, The Philippines, Vietnam, the United States and Canada.

Marketwire’s CSRwire is waiving 50 percent of its fees until April 1 for organizations communicating news and disaster preparedness information through its “standard” service.

Business Wire said “qualifying” press releases will be distributed at no charge to Business Wire’s Japan circuit through March 17. The offer pertains to support services, information, operations and events directly related to aiding in the earthquake rescue and recovery efforts, the company said.



Kiersten Zweibaum, who led marketing and comms. at non-profit AJC, to Ketchum's Emanate unit, New York, as a managing director. She previously headed Ogilvy’s and GCI's global corporate practices. She joined GCI from Ketchum, where she was for 16 years.

Elizabeth Berry, assistant controller at WPP Group, to Rubenstein PR, New York, as the firm's controller reporting to president Richard Rubenstein.

April-Chrystal Holmes, freelancer, and Leann Moczydlowski, who managed PR programs for the Lyme Disease Assn., to R&J PR, Bridgewater, N.J., as A/Cs.

Arik Abel, content strategy consultant, Emerging Media Research Council, to French/West/Vaughan, Raleigh, N.C., as director of digital services. Allison Showalter, A/S, MSLGroup, joins as an A/S handling Wrangler Mass and Riders by Lee accounts. She was previously with Linden, Alschuler & Kaplan, and Weber Shandwick. Kamila Kaminska, previously with Maher Comms., Tractenberg & Co. and Publicis Consultants, joins the firm in New York as a senior A/E.

Mike Murphy, veteran political consultant and communications advisor and recently founding principal of DC Navigators, to Revolution Agency, Washington, D.C., as a partner. He worked campaigns for Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney and Arnold Schwarzenegger and counseled corporate and private sector clients like Home Depot, PhRMA and the New York Jets.

Jean Hill, VP, director of client services, Karwoski & Courage PR, to Maccabee Group PR, Minneapolis, as an A/S. She guided campaigns for 3M Healthcare, Pillsbury Company, and Caribou Coffee, among others, during 15 years at K&C. Abra Williams, PR intern at Barcelona Deluxe magazine in Spain, joined Maccabee as an AA/E.

Michelle Press, senior VP, GolinHarris, to Ogilvy PR Worldwide, Chicago, as a senior VP in its corporate practice handling B2B and corporate technology brands. Drew Ferguson, VP at Ketchum, joins as a senior VP for C-level communications and reputation risk initiatives within the corporate unit. He was previously at Sard Verbinnen & Co.

Ashleigh Chatel, student and Wayne State Univ. PRSSA president, to Lambert, Edwards & Associates, Grand Rapids, Mich., as an associate in the firm's healthcare unit.

Richard Uku, group head, brand and comm., Ecobank Transnational, to the African Development Bank, Tunis, Tunisia, as head of external relations and communication. He headed comms. for the Africa Finance Corp. and was a VP at Burson-Marsteller.

— Greg Hazley


Internet Edition, March 16, 2011, Page 7

O’Dwyer’s Ranking of High-Tech PR Firms

(Click Here for High-Tech Ranking)

Ranking of Healthcare PR Firms

(Click Here For Healthcare Ranking)


Internet Edition, March 16, 2011, Page 8




There's very good news in PR these days – at least in the independent counseling end of the industry.

While only 15 of the 50 largest PR firms reporting their 2009 figures to the O’Dwyer Co. had gains, with only five up in double figures, the picture was dramatically reversed for 2010.

Forty-one of the top 50 reporting firms were up in 2010 and 25 of them had double digit gains.

This is good news for PR and especially the independent counselors. They are performing much better than the economy as a whole.

We’re calling on the PR Society of America, its related although “independent” Foundation, the Council of PR Firms, the Institute of PR, and the Arthur W. Page Society to publicize this good news on their websites.

They should put aside their competitive instincts and live up to the promise they made to get tax-free status-that they would support their entire industries and not just their members.

They are not supposed to compete with what any private business could do. To do so would be unfair. They’re supposed to be “mother hens” to their industries.

All five have soaring codes and statements of principles that support research in PR and say they work tirelessly for the good of the industry.

Here's a chance for them to put their money where their mouth is. All five send us a constant stream of their news such as surveys, elections, seminars, conferences, speeches, etc., and we use quite a bit of it.

Social Media/Web Boost Revenues

PR is showing itself uniquely qualified to handle the blizzard of information and comment that is the web and social media.

O’Dwyer’s is the only publisher requiring tax and other documents to support PR firm fees and employee totals.

The 154 firms in the 2010 ranking include many that are members of the five groups named above and would benefit from publicity on the websites of the groups they support.

For instance, 47 of the 81 independent firms that are members of CPRF and 11 of the 14 independent firms represented on the board are in the O'Dwyer rankings: APCO; Waggener Edstrom; Coyne PR; RF Binder; Capstrat; Makovsky + Co; Airfoil; CJP Comms.; rbb PR; Powell Group, and Linhart PR.

Not in the rankings but represented on the board, are Weber Shandwick, Fleishman-Hillard, and Porter Novelli. Sarbanes-Oxley considerations block them from being in the rankings.

Three independent firms represented on the board opted not to take part in the rankings-360 PR, Mitchell Comms. Group, and Xenophon.

Andy Polansky of Weber Shandwick is chair of the Council.

Rankings Bring Business

Firms are in the O’Dwyer rankings because the rankings bring them business.

Prospective clients can trust the numbers. Besides the overall rankings, this website provides rankings in twelve categories such as healthcare, tech, financial PR, etc.

Google searches under these headings bring up the O'Dwyer rankings at or near the top. No other publisher is doing rankings by such categories.

If the Council wants to help not only its members but non-members it will put the O’Dwyer rankings on its website and do an accompanying story.

The PR Society, dedicated as it is to “advancing the profession and the professional,” should feature this major good news about PR on Tactics online and in printed Tactics.

Many of the PR firms in the rankings have staff who are members of the Society.

No. 1 Edelman, which soared $80 million to $521M, has 40 members. Padilla Speer Beardsley has 24; Waggener Edstrom, 13; WCG (formerly WeissComm), 12; Ruder Finn, 10, and Text 100, eight, among the larger firms.

Foundation Supports Research

The Foundation of the Society, a 501c/3 “charity” that supports “research projects that impact the practice of PR and build greater awareness…about the role of PR,” should give the rankings prominence on its website and e-mail the entry to all its supporters. The Foundation describes itself as an “independent” organization although many of its 19 directors are leaders in PRSA.

President is Debbie Mason, former Society board member. Ex-officio member is Rosanna Fiske, 2011 Society chair.

The Arthur W. Page Society, also a 501c/3, headed by Julia Hood, former editor-in-chief of PR Week/U.S., should put the rankings on its website and e-mail them to its nearly 400 members.

One Page goal is to “encourage research that contributes to the profession's store of knowledge” while another is to “provide multiple opportunities” for members “to receive timely knowledge” about PR.

This is an opportunity to increase knowledge of PR.

William Margaritis of FedEx is chair of Page.

Institute Has Special Duty

A special duty to disseminate the O’Dwyer rankings and accompanying story, in which 13 executives of major firms give the reasons for the gains, rests with the Institute for PR.

Its website says it "focuses on research that matters" and the O’Dwyer ranking would certainly qualify as that.

IPR asserts it brings “educators and professionals together” and also “develops students.”

"A unique strength of the Institute is its dedication to actively sharing all of its knowledge," says one sentence.

Since IPR is so dedicated to research and sharing it, we hope it will share the results of what is the biggest annual research project in PR-the canvassing of PR firms throughout the U.S. by the O'Dwyer Co., obtaining proofs of the size of PR firms so that prospective users can have reliable facts and figures about firms they may hire.

“Over the years,” says the IPR website, “the Institute and its trustees have played a central role in elevating the entire field of PR and continue to sharpen the ways IPR fuels this rapidly evolving field.”

Co-chairs of IPR are Michael Fernandez of Cargill and Matthew Gonring of his own firm (formerly at Pactiv).

PR Has Specialized

PR, like law, sports and many areas, has developed a number of well-defined, specialized practice areas.

Financial PR is much different from travel PR and tech PR is far different from entertainment/celebrity PR.

The websites of the five groups don't recognize this new reality in PR but here's a chance for them to do that.

Eighty-five entered the tech/industrial category, up from 71 in 2009. Food/beverage rankings grew to 69 from 58.

All 12 categories except beauty/fashion, which dipped to 24 from 27, showed gains. Category rankings totaled 594 for 2010, a gain of 98.

— Jack O'Dwyer


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