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Internet Edition, March 30, 2011, Page 1

Full table of PR firms
ranked by 2010
revenue in beauty & fashion, entertainment, and prof. services
categories on pg. 4...


Maryland is on the hunt for travel and consumer lifestyle PR pitches with an RFP process open through mid April as it seeks to bolster its internal team.

The state’s Department of Business and Economic Development plans to award a PR contract stretching up to five years. According to the RFP, the DBED’s Office of Tourism Development is pleased with the quality of PR work generated by internal staff, but would like to increase the level of activity by utilizing “external resources and personnel.”

The state also wants to capitalize on PR opportunities as it sees itself at the “crux” of three upcoming national commemorations – the bicentennial of the War of 1812, the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, and the centennial of Harriet Tubman’s death in 2013.

Proposals are due April 13 with a contract expected to start in mid-July.
The RFP process is being handled through the state’s electronic procurement system, eMaryland Marketplace. Registration is required. Link is at

The RFP is opened to so-called small businesses, defined in the state as service firms under 100 staffers and $10M in billings.


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the powerful, PR-savvy business lobbying group, has made a key digital communications hire and is reviewing proposals from PR agencies ahead of its 100th anniversary in 2012.

Nick Schaper, who directed digital media for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), is leaving the Hill post for the slot of executive director, digital strategic communications, for the Chamber.

He was previously director of Congressional Affairs for Adfero Group in D.C., which has worked with the Chamber, and started out on the Hill as an aide to Rep. Ric Keller (R-Fla.).

The Washington, D.C.-based Chamber also confirmed that it is considering proposals from a February RFP to PR agencies.

Former Google communications executive Tita Freeman is VP of communications and strategy for the Chamber.


Britain’s Huntsworth has acquired high-tech Atomic PR, the fastest growing independent firm on O'Dwyer's Top 50 list, for $13.3M.

The price tag could hit up to $50M based on profit performance of the San Francisco-based firm through 2015.

Atomic CEO Andy Getsey says the deal with Huntsworth provides his firm the “scale and geographic reach” to provide the best service to clients.

The firm handles clients such as LinkedIn, Verizon, Intuit, Pioneer Electronics and NETGEAR. It becomes part of Grayling under the management of Getsey and James Hannon, chief digital officer and Atomic co-founder.

Atomic has offices in New York, Los Angeles and London. It registered a 46 percent surge in 2010 fees to $11.1M.

Huntsworth also March 23 reported 2010 revenues rose 11 percent to $282M while operating profit hit the $40M mark compared to a $13M year earlier deficit.

“Profit before highlighted items” rose 14.8 percent to $48.2M.

CEO Peter Chadlington said with the completion of Huntsworth’s reorganization the firm is winning “more large mandates” than was formerly possible.

British Airways is putting the finishing touches on a three-year contract beginning April 1 with Huntsworth's Grayling unit. That job covers PR in 38 countries.

In December, Grayling notched a contract with electronic toll collector Kapsch Telematic Services, which has an eight-year pact with the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways. Grayling is Huntsworth’s largest operation with revenues of $135M. It is followed by Huntsworth Health ($83M), Citigate ($42M) and Red ($21M).


Principals of Brodeur Partners, the Boston-based tech firm acquired by Omnicom in 1993, said March 22 they have bought back a majority stake from the advertising/PR conglomerate.

OMC will retain a stake.

“The return to entrepreneurial roots with Omnicom's support and equity is the best of both worlds for us,” said CEO Andy Coville, who led the buyback with chairman John Brodeur.


Internet Edition, March 30, 2011, Page 2


The fledgling U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, formed late last year by large food suppliers to burnish the image of U.S. agriculture, has brought in Ketchum, social media unit Zocalo Group, and Omnicom sister firm maslansky luntz + partners after a national search.

The alliance includes members like the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau.

Ketchum was tapped to develop a strategic communications plan for the group of agricultural organizations formed in December. Forrest Roberts, CEO of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, chaired the new group's communications advisory committee and said the decision to hire Ketchum came after a nationwide review of agencies with agricultural experience.

Roberts said Ketchum will work with the group to create an integrated campaign “to address the critical communications issues surrounding U.S. agricultural production practices and its role in providing a safe and plentiful global good supply.”


A group of incumbents, including Ogilvy PR Worldwide and JWT, have won a five-year, $75M contract to guide PR and marketing communications for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Flood Insurance Program.

A joint venture led by Oakton, Va.-based Leapfrog Solutions pitched as Team Flood Control and included digital shop Blue Water Media (Greenbelt, Md.), Spurrier Media Group (Richmond, Va.), JWT (Atlanta), Ogilvy (D.C.) and Bender Consulting Services (Scottsdale, Ariz.). The firms will respond to stakeholders' needs and help the program achieve a goal of five percent net annual growth in the number of Americans insured with NFIP policies against flood losses.

FEMA issued an RFP last March to guide communications for the 43-year-old program, which provides flood insurance to property owners, towns and regions with flood plain management plans.

JWT and Ogilvy won the last review in 2003.


Entergy, the No. 2 nuclear power generator in the U.S., said Spectra Energy's Toni Beck will fill its vacated VP/corporate communications slot, starting April 18.
Arthur Wiese retired in November from the post.

Beck takes the reins as group VP handling internal and external communications for the New Orleans-based company. Rod West, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, said she’ll set a “vision and strategy for our communications organization.”

Entergy, which has annual revenues topping $11 billion, owns the Indian Point nuclear plant 35 miles north of New York, which has come under renewed scrutiny amid the Japanese nuclear disaster.

She was group VP/external affairs for Spectra, playing role in the company's spin-off from Duke Energy in 2007.


Qorvis has picked a $92K per-month litigation communications contract from Stanley Rowe, special counsel to Cairo-based EZZ Industries, Matt Lauer, partner of the firm told O’Dwyer’s.

The D.C.-based firm is to assist Rowe “regarding judicial matters and promoting a transparent judicial system in Egypt.”

That effort comes in the aftermath of the arrest of Ahmed Ezz, owner of the steel and ceramics combine, following the forced resignation of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak. The business tycoon is a dear friend of Hosni's son, Gamal.

The Washington Times has been the No. 1 U.S. advocate of Ezz. It reported March 15 that his detention is “raising new fears that those who prospered under the regime of Hosni Mubarak will face revolutionary justice despite the West’s hope that Egypt will emerge as a democracy.”

At Qorvis, Lauer is partner-in-charge of international and sovereign strategies and public diplomacy. He was the State Dept.’s executive director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.

Qorvis represents Middle East hotspots such as Saudi Arabia (since 9/11), embattled governments of Bahrain and Yemen (via Britain's Bell Pottinger) and the Kurdistan section of Iraq.


Michael Moore, who ran Houston Mayor Bill White's unsuccessful bid to unseat Texas Governor Rick Perry, is now general manager of Hill & Knowlton's Houston office.

He served as White’s chief of staff from 2003-09, and ran his campaign for Houston’s top political job.

Moore was involved in Bill Clinton's presidential campaign in 1992 and earned an appointment to the Dept. of Energy.

H&K touts Moore’s crisis management skills. He was White's chief spokesman in the aftermath of Hurricanes Kartina, Rita and Ike.

Moore reports to Dan Bartlett, U.S. president/CEO and former political operative in the Lone Star State.


Lanny Davis, who was President Clinton’s legal counselor, severed ties March 11 with Equatorial Guinea and its dictator Tedoro Obiang Nguema.

Lanny Davis & Assocs. received a payment of $513K for EG work during its latest six-month reporting period. The EG government called out troops to head off March 23 protests that were slated for its capital city of Malabo and Bata.

The protesters were calling for the “reintroduction of basic liberties” and “improved social conditions,” according to a report in the online Afrol News.

That news service describes Obiang as running “one of Africa’s worst dictatorships.”

Davis, on December 30, resigned another “hot” account, dropping Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo.


Internet Edition, March 30, 2011, Page 3


Miller-McCune, the science-based magazine that tackles social and economic issues, is looking for a PR firm to bolster brand awareness and circulation.
The publication is looking for a firm versed in media, corporate social responsibility, global citizenship and philanthropy experience.

MM is published bimonthly and continuously online ( by the non-profit Miller-McCune Center for Research, Media and Public Policy in Santa Barbara, Calif. It wants to be better known by policy analysts, business and trade media pros and influentials in both public and private sectors.

The PR budget will range from $60K-$72K a year and is structured to the discretion of MM’s board of directors.

RFPs are due to Geane deLima by April 11. May 16 is PR kickoff day.


Joe Waz, senior VP of external affairs and public policy counsel for Comcast who played a key role in shepherding its acquisition of NBC Universal to regulatory approval, will retire at the end of April after 17 years.

Sena Fitzmaurice, senior VP of government communications for the company, told O’Dwyer’s that some executives will take responsibility for parts of Waz’ job and there will be a search for a new head of policy.

Waz spent 11 years at D.C. public affairs shop The Wexler Group before joining the Philadelphia-based cable giant in 1994. He started out with Ralph Nader’s Telecommunications Research and Action Center in 1979.

“No one has been more tireless in representing the company on public policy issues,” Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement.

Waz is slated to step down on April 30 and will start a consulting practice with Comcast as a charter client. He has also taken a post as senior fellow at the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado/Boulder.

Comcast closed the NBC deal in late January.


R.R. Donnelley & Sons has acquired Journalism Online, the venture established by Steve Brill, founder of American Lawyer/Court TV, and Gordon Crovitz, former publisher of the Wall Street Journal, to help publishers make money from their websites.

CEO Tom Quinlan expects Journalism Online’s Press+ tech platform will help customers of the printing giant to “develop multi-channel advertising and editorial strategies” in efforts to monetize their content.

According to JO, Press+ gives readers different ways to tap premium content including metered and mobile tablet access. Publishers can charge via daily/weekly passes, online bundles or monthly/annual subs. Donnelly recorded $10B in 2010 revenues.


A large majority of adults say they would not use social media or instant messaging-type services for medical communication with their doctors, according to a poll by Raleigh-based Capstrat and Public Policy Polling.

Eighty-four percent – or five of six respondents – said they would avoid such digital communications. Only one-fifth (21%) of the coveted millennial bracket of young adults aged 18-29 said they would take advantage of an online health option.

The survey did show an opening for doctors to tap such technology for administrative and non-medical communications with patients, however.

Eighty-nine percent said they would take advantage of email if their doctors offered it – 52% would confer with a doctor via email – and the same percentage said they would welcome online appointment scheduling. More than three-quarters (78%) said they’d pay their doctors’ bills online.

“It appears consumers are willing to move administrative experiences such as bill payment and records access online, but when it comes to conferring with their healthcare providers, people still prefer more traditional communications,” said Capstrat president Karen Albritton.

Only 11% said they would use social media like Twitter or Facebook to communicate with their doctor with a slighter larger number – 20% – saying they’d chat or use an instant-messaging service.

The survey also took a pulse on how patients view healthcare reform. Asked what they “fear” will be affected the most by reform, the largest percentages included 23% who said doctor and provider choice and 26% who cited “something else/not sure.”


Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs is considering a communications role with Facebook, according to a report.

Gibbs, a close advisor to President Barack Obama, stepped down from the high-profile spokesman post in late January and was expected to play a key role in Obama’s 2012 re-election bid.

The New York Times reported March 28 that Facebook has informally pitched a corporate communications role under global comms. chief and Google alum Elliot Schrage that could be worth millions of dollars to Gibbs, especially as the social networking giant plans a 2012 IPO.

The Times report noted the PR challenges that face the Palo Alto-based company amid heightened awareness from an Oscar-winning movie about it and greater scrutiny in Washington over security and privacy issues.

Gibbs was Obama’s communications director in the Senate and served as press secretary for John Kerry’s 2004 presidential run.

He also worked communications at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and his name has surfaced to head the Democratic National Committee.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, March 30, 2011, Page 4

Ranking of Entertainment PR Firms

(Click Here for Ranking)

Ranking of Beauty/Fashion PR Firms

(Click Here for Ranking)

Ranking of Professional Services PR Firms

(Click Here for Ranking)

Internet Edition, March 30, 2011, Page 5


Canada’s Bay of Fundy, which is competing in a global contest to become one of the “7 Wonders of Nature,” is asking for proposals from PR agencies through its tourism committee through April 4 to boost its profile ahead of the November vote.

The Bay of Fundy will square off against natural locales like the Grand Canyon, Ireland’s Cliffs of Moher, the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador, and Tanzania’s Mount Kilamanjaro, among 23 other global sites in the competition, called New7 Wonders, started by Swiss filmmaker Bernard Weber and backed by the Swiss government.

Bay of Fundy Tourism has issued an RFP for an experienced PR firm “to provide extensive national media coverage and exposure” for the bay and its campaign to become one of the seven locales selected by global online voting. It wants a steady supply of news releases and ongoing media relations to keep the campaign front-and-center. The effort will support its social media agency, A Couple of Chicks.

Budget is capped at $100K through November.

The competition follows a 2007 effort by Weber that drew 100M votes to update the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, but that contest was criticized in some circles and lost United Nations backing for its methodology. Online voting runs through November 11 and the winner is expected to need around 20M votes.

Download the RFP at


Gary Dunlap, a 30-year PR counselor recently an executive VP at Edelman in Chicago, died March 17 after battling cancer for more than two years. He was 57.

Dunlap, an 11-year veteran of Edelman, was an adept crisis counselor, handling high-profile recalls for clients like Pilgrim’s Pride and Winn-Dixie. Executive VP Harlan Loeb said Dunlap was someone you wanted on your team in a recall scenario.

Former colleague Michael Millar said Dunlap was a dedicated PR writing mentor. “His dry, but infectious sense of humor was never lost on colleagues, as he helped mentor them and shape their careers,” Millar said. “One colleague remembers how Gary reviewed a long and winded quote in a press release and injected ‘And then the man ran out of breath and died because his quote was so long.’”

Dunlap previously won a firm-wide writing contest at Edelman, using the $1,000 award to write and produce a play, “Sisters,” performed by and for Edelman staffers in the Windy City. He is also remembered as an avid movie and war buff, and Beatles fan.

Previous PR postings included Cook Marketing, Dragonette and Tassanni Communications.

The Rhode Island native is survived by his wife, Amy, and their two children, Cassandra and Jonathan. He also had two daughters from a previous marriage, Jenny and Stacey, as well as six grandchildren.

A memorial service was held Monday in Chicago followed by a private cremation.


New York Area

Hunter PR, New York/Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition, for PR for the 62-year-old competition involving more than $11 million in scholarships for secondary schools that offer courses in auto technology.

Shift Communications, New York/AOL, as AOR for PR. “We are truly excited to be part of the team that will ultimately cause a lot of folks to refresh their opinion of this Internet giant,” said Shift principal Todd Defren on his blog.

Momentum Communications, New York/DC Brands International, beverage marketer under HARD Nutrition Functional Water Systems brand, for PR, including mainstream and social media landscapes.

Hayden Sheinwald Communications Global, New York/China New Media Corp., outdoor advertising in China, for investor relations, corporate and financial communications.


Ketchum, Chicago/Kimberly-Clark’s North American Family Care brands, following a competitive pitch. K-C has been a client since 2001. Brands include Cottonelle bath tissue, Kleenex facial tissue, Scott bath tissue and paper towels, and Viva paper towels.

Airfoil PR, Southfield, Mich./iRBA Inc., data center intelligence software, for PR and marketing comms.

Freestyle PR, Des Moines/Farrell's eXtreme Bodyshaping; IdentityIQ; Iowa State University Research Park, and Torsion Mobile, for marketing communications programs.


Richter7, Salt Lake City/Utah Valley Marathon, for national PR for the three-year-old, June 11 event. Six thousand participants are slated.


Schwartz Communications, San Francisco/Abound Solar, solar module manufacturer, as AOR for strategic communications. The firm's cleantech and green PR practice group manages the work.

Vantage Communications, San Francisco/Gotootie, mobile "hyperlocal" social network, as AOR for PR.

Porter PR, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Pet Hotels of America, pet-friendly travel planning website, for PR and "branding."

Digney & Co., Los Angeles/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, for PR for the 25th anniversary Blu-ray launch of "Stand By Me."

Binger Communications, San Diego/Turner Construction Company and Affirmed Housing Group. The firm has renewed its relationship with The Corky McMillin Companies and Liberty Station.


Optimum PR, Toronto/Dermaglow, skin care products, as AOR for PR and brand promotions.


De Facto Communications, London/Sepmag, magnetophoresis systems manufacturer, for communications, including SEO and a news and features-focused media campaign in the US, Europe, and Asia. De Facto is part of Chime Communications.

— Greg Hazley

Internet Edition, March 30, 2011, Page 6


PR software company Cision has signed Seattle Children’s Hospital as a client for its CisionPoint software.

The hospital’s PR staff uses the software to monitor online, print and broadcast media coverage, plan campaigns, and analyze and report on media coverage.

Jennifer Seymour, director of PR and social media, said: “It has given us the tools we need to fine-tune our media relations strategies.”


The International PR Association's presidential badge of office will change hands for 2011 at the IPRA Gulf Chapter Regional Conference in Abu Dhabi on April 13, a recognition of PR's growth "beyond its Anglo-American origins," the group said.

2011 president Richard Linning, an Australian who lives in the U.K., said the move celebrates the success of the IPRA Gulf Chapter in bringing together pros from countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and United Arab Emirates.

Elizabeth Goenawan Ananto, IPRA's 2010 president, hails from Indonesia.

"The communication projects conceived and executed by practitioners in the Middle East - as well as in Africa, Asia, South America and former Soviet countries - are the equal if not superior to what is being done elsewhere.


Fluency Media, Ann Arbor, Mich., said its client Travel Michigan passed the 200,000 Facebook fan mark this month, the only state tourism page to pass that mark and one of three to have more than 100,000 fans.

Fluency said it launched Travel Michigan's social media platforms in 2009 across Twitter, Facebook and the Pure Michigan Blog.

"Travel Michigan is a really strong example of how an organization can create a strong and engaged community utilizing social media," says Tim Schaden, Fluency's CEO.

Upcoming: Hispanicize 2011, April 6-8, the 2nd Annual Hispanic PR & Social Media Conference, Renaissance Hotel, Hollywood; professional development and networking opportunities for brand marketers, bloggers, non profits and marketing agencies focused on Hispanic PR and social media. Keynote speaker is Rosanna Fiske, Chair & CEO of PRSA, the first Latina to lead the world's largest public relations organization. Info:

Social Media Platforms and Video, a two-part tech lunch program hosted by the Cleveland Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators; Thu., April 14, The City Club, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Michael Pranikoff, global director of emerging media, PR Newswire, and Daniel Keckan, VP, sales & marketing, Cinecraft, will lead the sessions. Info:



Chris Atkins, VP of communications for Standard & Poor’s, will leave the ratings agency for a slot at PricewaterhouseCoopers in May.

Atkins will take the post of director of U.S. PR and communications for PWC on May 2, reporting to vice chairman Donald Almeida.

Atkins exits S&P after five years. The ratings agency in 2009 hired former New York Times Co. VP/corporate comms. Catherine Mathis for its senior VP/comms. slot.

Atkins was a managing director at Ogilvy PR Worldwide, partner at Ketchum, and COO of Burson-Marsteller’s New York operation.

He was also a VP at Hill & Knowlton during the 1980s.


Tony Cervone, who left auto PR for the top communications slot at United Airlines in 2009, has rolled back into the sector as executive VP, group communications, for Volkswagen Group of America.

Cervone left GM in 2009 to become senior VP/chief communications officer at UAL Corp., the United parent, in Chicago as it pursued a merger with Continental Airlines.

He stepped down after that deal was closed in late 2010 and the combined company named Nene Foxhall to lead communications.

Cervone will relocate to Herndon, Va., for the Volkswagen post, reporting directly to president and CEO Jonathan Browning. His new position covers corporate media relations, all PR campaigns, community partnerships and philanthropy.

Cervone spent 24 years at Chrysler and GM, where he led global media, employee and labor communications.


Marcus Peterzell, managing director, Fathom Communications, to sister Omnicom agency Ketchum, New York, as executive VP of entertainment for its sports & entertainment division. He was previously co-president of AWE. At Ketchum, he reports to partner Ann Wool.

Amber Bradford, senior A/E, gky, to the The Maryland Hospital Association, Elkridge, Md., as director of communications.

Tom Surber, media information manager, USA Track & Field, to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as PR manager handling media relations and promotions for the track and its key events, the Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400 and Red Bull Indianapolis GP.

Caryn Marooney, co-founder of OutCast Agency, to Facebook, Palo Alto, Calif., as director of technology communications, which includes the social network's platform, infrastructure, and technical recruiting communications to audiences like tech "influencers," developers, engineers and bloggers. She led the Facebook account at OutCast, which is part of NextFifteen Communciations Group.

— Greg Hazley


Internet Edition, March 30, 2011, Page 7


Chet Burger, the “counselor’s counselor” who more than anybody else built recognition of PR as a management function, died March 22 at his home in New York. He was 90.

Beginning a communications career as a page boy at CBS, Burger became the country’s first TV reporter for that fledgling network and president of the Radio-Newsreel-Television Working Press Assn. of New York.

Exiting as national manager of CBS Television News, Burger entered the PR business at Ruder Finn. After leaving the presidency of Communications Counselors, Burger launched Chester Burger and Co.

In a nearly 25-year span at CB&C, Burger counseled American Bankers Assn., 3M, Sears, Occidental Petroleum and ATT. The Telephone Pioneers of America honored Burger for his work, making him an honorary member, one of only two persons given that title who were not part of the Bell system.

In 1988, Burger became counsel to James E. Arnold Consultants, the successor firm to CB&C. In 1990, he became the “founding” chair of PRSA's College of Fellows.

Burger was the sole recipient of the Institute for Public Relation's Hamilton Medal for lifetime service.

Veteran PR counselor Jim Arnold remembers Burger as a pioneer in TV, technology and an innovator in the profession of PR.

“Chet may have been an expert PR practitioner, but he would want to be remembered for his contributions to PR as a management function, the management of the PR function within organizations and the management of PR agencies,” said Richard Newman of the Newman Group.


Kathy Fieweger, who was senior VP at Edelman, has joined the Chicago office of MWW Group as executive VP/corporate reputation.

At Edelman, Fieweger focused on crisis and issues management.

Earlier, she served in the special situations squad at Financial Dynamics tackling restructurings, transactions and crises.

The former Reuters aviation reporter worked at United Airlines on brand preservation and operational performance matters during its Chapter XI proceedings.

MWW, which bought itself from Interpublic in January, ranks as the No. 7 independent firm with $34.8M in 2010 fee income.


The PRSA Foundation honored IBM's Jon Iwata with its Paladin Award March 24 at a sold-out gala at the "W" New York Union Square hotel.

The senior VP for marketing & communications told the audience they are operating in a "new profession," one that has moved from mass communications to engagement with individuals.

Enabled by “big data,” PR is now a “business-to-person” proposition. To illustrate the world of massive data, Iwata spoke of IBM computer and Jeopardy champ, “Watson.”

Big Blue programmed Watson with the ability to access the information of 200 books in less than three seconds in order to reach the required confidence level to come up with the right answer to a Jeopardy question.

As “keepers of the corporate character,” it’s up to PR people to make sense of the massive amount of data available so they can ask the right questions, said Iwata.

PR’s overall goal is to “foster shared belief” based on facts, trust and personal experience to “spur people to action.”

Kathy Lewton, immediate past president of the Foundation, introduced Iwata. She substituted for Marcia Silverman, Ogilvy PR Worldwide chief and last year’s Paladin winner, who was ill and under doctor’s orders not to fly from Washington to attend the event.

Burger Honored

The unveiling of the Chester Burger Scholarship for PR graduate students, honoring the corporate PR pioneer who died March 22, was a surprise of the evening.

Jim Arnold, honorary Foundation trustee and long-time colleague of Burger; Julia Hood, Arthur Page Society head; and Bob Grupp, Institute of PR leader, announced their organizations backing of the Burger scholarship. Arnold spoke of personal memories of Burger, talking about his work for Firestone Tire & Rubber and Texas Instruments.

John Nevin, then-Firestone CEO, summoned them to the tire maker’s Akron headquarters because he was upset that his PR team couldn't write.

Burger, whom Arnold said would always look for a positive angle, asked Nevin if the PR staff was good at anything.

After reflection, Nevin said there's a guy who always made sure he had a glass of water on the podium whenever he spoke. “That’s a start,” Burger said.

After Burger trashed the annual report of Texas Instruments at a PR meeting in Houston, the company's CEO Mark Shepherd called the two to headquarters.

During that session, Arnold quoted management guru Peter Drucker. Burger later advised Arnold to forget quoting others and to speak in your own voice. To Arnold, that was a life-long lesson. He told how Burger was always on the cutting-edge, whether it was taking the first transcontinental air flight or buying a computer.

During one of their very last meetings, Burger was reading the New York Times on an iPad, noted Arnold.


Internet Edition, March 30, 2011, Page 8




Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, is a new book that says the cost of college has skyrocketed while the actual learning taking place has plummeted.

“Students are hitting the books less and partying more,” is the way Bob Herbert of the New York Times summed up this book in a column March 6.

Authors are Profs. Richard Arum of New York University and Josipa Roksa of the University of Virginia.

Lack of enough writing assignments and failure to take courses that develop powers of critical thinking characterize the college experience today, they say.

I looked at some of the 50 courses in “Communication Sciences” at the University of Connecticut, where I graduated in 1956, and found two have “PR” in their titles. Quite a few sound pretty soft to me.

Course 4035 is “Advanced Study of Media Effects: Sex, Drugs and Rock N Roll.” Topics include sexual content on TV, pornography, alcohol on TV, video games, and media impact on body image.

Asst. Prof. Alice Veksler focuses on “various aspects of romantic relationships” and is analyzing “unrequited attraction, the effects of breakups on stress hormones in the body, the role of romantic attraction in a classroom setting, relational maintenance, and how expressive writing can be used to reduce stress in college students.”

The department is headed by Carl Coelho, Ph.D., whose interests are aphasia rehabilitation, traumatic brain injury, language functions of the prefrontal cortex, and discourse analysis.

Other faculty and their interests are here:

PR and communications have been merged with public speaking, TV production, and nonverbal communications courses, a common money-saving practice in colleges these days.

This is the list of undergraduate courses offered by the department:

Tuition, room & board cost $24K for an in-state resident and $38K for out-of-state (vs. about $1,000 when I went to UCONN).

UCONN Wants Our $$; Period

UCONN would like the O’Dwyer Co. to make a hefty contribution to it and I’m considering it.

Several years ago I had a lengthy visit from two men whose job is to look up grads from long ago and suggest that dear old UCONN could benefit from a donation and perhaps a good slice of their estates.

I took them to lunch where they pulled out a laptop and played a video about the school.

Until a 250-word article on me appeared in the Daily Campus March 21, through the intercession of a grad, the O’Dwyer Co. and I were effectively banned at the school. The last time it bought anything was in 2001 (an O’Dwyer’s Directory of PR Firms).

Previously, all attempts to reach the PR or journalism depts., or the school library or even attempts to advertise in the Daily Campus went nowhere. I had asked the gift-seekers to have someone in PR or journalism contact me but never heard from them again.

The school paper should have done an article on the O’Dwyer Co. many years ago, telling the students and professors about the vast amount of news, databases and features available in the five O’Dwyer products that are highly relevant to PR, communication, English and other majors.

The students are being short-changed by politics.

Why the Cold Shoulder?

I’m now also trying to get Journalism dept. head Maureen Croteau interested in why there has been a decades-long blockade against a lifelong journalist who may be UCONN’s best known journalist graduate.

Nearly 200 colleges subscribe to O’Dwyer materials and I speak to college classes regularly either in person or via a teleconference.

The O’Dwyer Co. and its products are well known to Karen Grava, the former manager of media communications who was with UCONN 30 years until 2009 when she took retirement.

She is now at Item, a creative firm in Wallingford, but continues at UCONN as an adjunct in Communication Sciences. Grava served on the nominating committee of PR Society of America in 2004.

Sex Scandal Erupted in 2006

A sex scandal that took place on campus in 2005 resulted in a new law being created to handle a sexual practice called “bukkake.”

The practice, which originated in Japan, involves men ejaculating on a woman.

One of the three UCONN students charged with this was Zak Allan Brohinsky, 20 at the time and a student at UCONN. He is the son of Scott Brohinsky, longtime director of University relations and the boss of Grava.

A 1973 graduate of UCONN’s law school, he retired in 2009 under an early retirement plan as did Grava.

Reporting of Incident Delayed

The sexual assault took place on Sept. 25, 2005 but did not hit print until Feb. 3, 2006 when the Hartford Courant got a tip.

Campus police, informed of incident by the victim on Sept. 27, decided no sexual assault took place because none of the males had actually touched the sleeping victim. They pursued disorderly conduct charges, said the Daily Campus Feb. 6, 2006.

A controversial policy instituted in 2009 took the police blotter section off the website of the school paper after one week. Previously, stories were archived indefinitely.

Assistant State Attorney Elizabeth Learning led a drive to amend state law to include contact with bodily fluids.

Zak Allan Brohinsky pleaded guilty in July 2006 to first-degree reckless endangerment and was sentenced to 75 days in prison.

UCONN Merged Marketing & PR

The school in 1998 embarked on a “sea change” in its communications—combining PR with marketing, said Scott Brohinsky.

Input was obtained from M Booth & Assocs., New York, as well as trustees, deans, and regional campuses, he said.

UCONN set out to become a sports powerhouse. Its men’s basketball team is a “Final Four” contender in the 2011 NCAA tournament and its women’s team is a finalist for the NCAA championship March 29.

The combination of marketing and PR can result in a surplus of hype and a deficit of facts.

One example is what happened at Virginia Tech in 2007 where “development” and “university relations” had been combined.

Two student murders were discovered in a dorm at 7:15 a.m. on April 16. Instead of alerting the campus that a murderer was on the loose, eight VT officials met at about 8:30 a.m. and sat on the news while police sought a possible suspect.

Marketing triumphed over information and resulted in 30 more deaths.

— Jack O'Dwyer


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