Edition, April 6, 2011, Page 1
issue: PR firm rankings in travel,
home furnishings, environment/PA,
ad agency-owned firms, and Atlanta on pg. 4 ...
REVIEWS TOURISM PR
$5.6M tourism communications account has been split into
three parts - creative/media, PR and Internet to
review via RFP through early May.
Louisiana Office of Tourism said it divided the work to
get greater access to the most creative, innovative
and entrepreneurial proposers, according to the RFP.
is a $9.3 billion industry in the Pelican State and has
been a fragile endeavor since last year's BP oil spill in
single agency or collaborations can pitch for the account,
which will run from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012 with
two option years. Deveney Communications has worked with
the tourism entity to shape its PR response to the Gulf
oil spill last year.
to the states global travel pitch, which currently
uses the tagline Pick your passion, are top
rankings for food, festivals and adventure tourism, as well
as its authentic culture. The PR portion of
the pact includes typical travel/tourism duties like familiarization
tours, crisis communications, fulfilling media requests
and speech/talking point development, among other tasks.
Firms must have experience in multicultural PR.
media falls under the Internet marketing division of the
CA REVIEWS TRAFFIC SAFETY
The California Office
of Traffic Safety has kicked off an open review of its PR,
advertising and marketing accounts with an RFP process through
Ogilvy PR Worldwide is
the incumbent for the six-figure account.
The account, which relies
heavily on earned media, supports the office's public affairs
division, which oversees a bevy of campaigns like those
promoting seatbelt use, bike safety or discouraging drunk
driving with the overall goal of lowering the mileage death
rate (1.05 per 100M miles driven in 2008) and injuries in
the driving-centric state.
Chris Cochran, assistant
director, marketing and public affairs for the OTS, is overseeing
the RFP process.
A one-year contract is
capped at $1.7M with two year-long renewal options at the
Proposals are due April
BP DROPS EDELMANS BAHRAIN
Bell Pottinger, which
oversees PR for strike-torn Bahrain, dropped an Edelman
media relations campaign on March 18 before the two sides
could formalize a written agreement.
The goal was to position
Bahrain as a "good investment destination for foreign
direct investment" and to "promote the country
as western-friendly in its business practices," according
to the No. 1 independent firm's Justice Dept. filing.
Edelman did receive $78K
for its work before termination by Bell Pottinger. It had
anticipated a rest of year invoice of $249K.
for the Economic Development of Bahrain were to include
two media fam trips, two Edelman written and placed articles
in "tier 1" media and six articles slated for
the trade press.
Edelman was to conduct
eight "road shows" or "specific media tours"
and support three special events.
The firm did not plan
to participate in any political activities for the Government
WEBER SHANDWICK GUIDES MUNICH
Weber Shandwick is supporting
Munichs bid for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, which
organizers guarantee will offer the best Olympic
experience for broadcasters and journalists.
The Interpublic unit has
managed Olympic bids by Sochi, (the Russian city that will
host the 2014 Games), Beijing (2008) and Turin (2006).
Weber Shandwick notched
the Games due to its past Olympian experience, global network
and strong presence in Munich, according to a statement
from Bernhard Schwank, managing director of the bid.
Katarina Witt, chair of
the bid committee, has stressed the medias pivotal
role in success of the Games. She promised a world
class press center because without the media, the
world would never hear the great and inspiring stories of
athletic triumph that unfold at the Games.
The 2018 winter host will
be announced July 6.
Edition, April 6, 2011, Page 2
HITS BELARUS WORK CRITICS
CEO Michael Murphy believes protestors who on March 28 picketed
the London office of Huntsworths global PR operation
for its alleged work for the Government of Belarus are off
has been called Europes last dictatorship
and its strong man president Alexander Lukashenko is in
the midst of a pro-democracy crackdown.
told ODwyers that Grayling neither represents
the Government of Lukashenko nor any state-controlled entity.
He said Grayling, the only major PR firm with an office
in Belarus capital city of Minsk, represents foreign
companies that want to do business in the nation that borders
Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.
addressing protestors claim that Grayling indirectly
supports the Government since the bulk of its companies
are state-controlled, Murphy said Grayling follows
the lead of its clients and remains fully cognizant of guidance
from the United Kingdom and EU diplomatic positions on Belarus.
noted that the British Government wants to support trade
with Belarus as part of its effort to effect positive change
in the former Soviet State.
protest outside Graylings headquarters featured the
starpower of Kevin Spacey, Jude Law and Tom Stoppard.
said the only countrywide project that Grayling has conducted
in Belarus so far was a public education campaign to raise
awareness of hepatitis C, an effort not connected with the
TO EXIT MICROSOFT
Mathews, the former Microsoft PR chief who rose to worldwide
marketing head of the software giant, is leaving the company
this summer after a 22-year stint.
told AdAge Digital its time to take a break
and that its going to be awesome to actually
get off the grid. As senior VP-central marketing group,
Mathews was in charge of branding, advertising, PR, research,
events, packaging, relationship marketing and internal communications
a three-year stint at General Motors, Mathews began her
career at Microsoft in 1989 as a consultant in the U.K.
She joined Microsoft in 1993 to lead its corporate PR function.
Mathews had various posts, including VP-corporate communications
and VP of its central marketing organization before rising
to the top spot.
its website, the company credits Mathews for pioneering
new ground to transform Microsoft into a leading interactive
marketing organization through digital means...
will work with Microsoft COO Kevin Turner and CEO Steve
Ballmer to find her successor.
TAPS FI&B FOR ISRAELI ENERGY UNIT
Energy has tapped Washingtons top Republican lobbying
firm to represent the interest of its massive operation
off the shores of Israel.
focus of Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalocks is natural
gas finds for the Houston-based giant that has operated
in Israeli waters since 1998.
Isakowitz is former press secretary for Congressman Paul
Gillmor and as director of federal governmental relations
at the National Federation of Independent Business was credited
by the National Journal for derailing President Clintons
is joined on the Noble business by Kirk Blalock, special
assistant to George Bush II and deputy to Haley Barbour
when he chaired the National Republican Committee, and Kirsten
Chadwick, Bush White House II legislative affairs special
Zomer, director of corporate affairs at Nobles Israeli
unit, told the March 22 Jerusalem Post that Noble
is the only international company working in Israel
in the field of exploration and supply of gas and oil to
energy companies. Its natural gas supplies about 20
percent of Israels electrical power needs.
has just kicked off its first marketing campaign with the
tag line, Bringing good energy to Israel.
RAIL REVIEWS PR/AD PACT
Railway Express, the 19-year-old commuter rail project connecting
Virginias suburbs to Washington, D.C., is on the hunt
for advertising and PR proposals with a goal of further
establishing and maintaining a positive, identifiable image
of the commuter rail service operated by VRE, according
to an RFP released March 23. Proposals are due April 25.
railway carries about 18,500 passengers daily, operating
29 trains from 18 stations. In addition to burnishing its
image, VRE wants to increase ridership and promote safety
goals, among other targets.
Williams Whittle Associates is the six-year incumbent winding
down the final year of its pact worth $400K through June
the RFP at odwyerpr.com/rfps.
TO POWER EDISON COMMS.
Clayton, the former Los Angeles Times exec who has
led the charity of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team
for the past three years, moved to California power company
Edison International in a top corporate communications slot
on April 4.
of the baseball franchise is currently in the air amid a
messy divorce battle between Frank and Jamie McCourt.
the parent to utility Southern California Edison, said Clayton
will take a senior VP role heading internal and external
comms., corporate and brand positioning, community relations
was a section editor and led the Times editorial page
during 30 years at the paper.
Edition, April 6, 2011, Page 3
IN LINE TO SUCCEED BENNACK
Corp. has named Steve Swartz, COO of the media combine,
putting him in line to succeed long-time chief Frank Bennack,
moves up from president of Hearst Newspapers, a post he
assumed two years ago.
believes Swartzs experience with newspapers, magazines
and digital media will enable him to play a key role in
developing Hearsts future growth strategy as it focuses
on new revenue streams and expanding current brands
across multiple platforms.
to joining Hearst in 2001, the 49-year-old Swartz was founding
editor and president/CEO of SmartMoney, the Hearst/Dow
began his career in 1984 as a reporter for the Wall Street
Journal, rising to editor on its page one staff.
Aldam, 47, succeeds Swartz as newspaper chief.
was executive VP of the group that includes 15 dailies and
38 weekly properties.
EXPECTED TO RETURN TO TV
Moyers, who retired from TV last year, is expected to return
to the air backed by a $2M grant from the Carnegie Corp.
working title of the half-hour Public Broadcasting Service
program is "Something Different with Bill Moyers,"
according to a report in the New York Times. The
show will provide a forum for the public affairs issues
of the day.
says he is discussing financing with other potential backers
and that no set air date has been determined.
Carnegie board has not yet okayed the 29-month grant.
77, hosted Bill Moyers Journal until last April.
former aide to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson is a lightning
rod for criticism from conservatives, noted the Times.
of a potential Moyers comeback comes as Republicans move
to eliminate funding for public radio/TV.
OLD BOSS RETURNS
Dorsey, who stepped down from the helm of Twitter in 2008,
has returned as executive chairman and chief of product
development, as the microblogging site takes a sharper aim
has 23M users in the U.S. in February compared to Facebooks
150M, according to ComScore.
company named Dick Costolo CEO in October to take over for
co-founder Evan Williams who had replaced Dorsey.
is to remain as a key adviser to Costolo.
received a $200M round of funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield
& Byers in December. It claims valuation of more than
DARCY TO FACEBOOK
D'Arcy, president of Time Warners global media group,
is joining Facebook in May to help the social network bolster
its appeal to national advertisers.
told the Wall Street Journal that his job is to shift
marketing's orientation from intrusion to engagement,
making advertising that is interactive or even desired.
The 39-year-old D'Arcy will be based in New York and report
to Mike Hoefflinger, director of global customer marketing.
COO Sheryl Sandberg believes the new hire understands
that marketing can be more engaging and effective when it
is social by design.
is a seven-year veteran of Time Warner.
TARABAY TO NJG
Tarabay, a six-year veteran of National Public Radio, has
joined the National Journal Group as managing editor for
worked for the Associated Press in Australia, southeast
Asia and middle east before shifting to NPR.
who is fluent in Arabic and French, completed a two-year
project reporting on Americas Muslims.
Fournier, editor-in-chief of NJG, called Tarabay a smart,
incisive journalist whose energy and on-the-ground experience
will add an even sharper focus to our strong national security
companys flagship National Journal shifted
Lori Santos, who was acting managing editor for national
security, to the ME breaking news slot.
is a Reuters alum.
NEWS CORP. ADDS STRATEGY
TO PR POST
has expanded the duties of its senior VP for corporate communications
and public affairs, Julie Henderson, to include corporate
Henderson, who joined
the media giant in 2006 and leads its West Coast communications,
will work with the companys business unit heads to
expand the marketing influence and get great
value out of its brands, which include Fox News, Dow
Jones, and 20th Century Fox, to name a few.
Each of our
businesses is a leader in its own right, yet can be so much
stronger if we can build on each units complementary
strengths, Chase Carey, president and COO, said in
Henderson will report
to Carey for her strategy work while continuing to work
communications under senior VP Teri Everett, the company
News Corp. on March
30 named James Murdoch deputy COO and chairman/CEO, international,
a new post.
The son of founder
Rupert Murdoch will maintain responsibility for Europe and
Asia, which he has led since 2007, but relocate to its New
York headquarters to work closely with his father and report
news continued on next page)
Edition, April 6, 2011, Page 4
of Travel PR Firms
Here for Ranking)
of Home Furnishings PR Firms
Here for Ranking)
of Environmental/PA PR Firms
Here for Ranking)
of PR Firms Owned by Ad Agencies
Here for Ranking)
of Atlanta PR Firms
Here for Ranking)
Edition, April 6,
2011, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
RE-ENLISTS WEBER SHANDWICK
U.S. Army has enlisted McCann WorldGroup for another tour
of duty effective April 7, according to Dan Elkins, deputy
for PA at the Armys mission and installation contracting
Team McCann, which has Weber Shandwick handling PR, developed
the Army Strong campaign. It has worked the
account since 2005.
renewed contract is for one-year with annual option periods
during the next four years. It is worth from $185M to $200M
annually for advertising, Hispanic outreach, digital, media
buying, PR, and recruitment duties. IPG has 300 staffers
on the Army acct.
REGION REVIEWS CLEAN AIR PR
regional planning organization for local governments in
and around Washington, D.C., is reviewing its $130K PR account
supporting Clean Air Partners, a non-profit aimed at curbing
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments issued an
RFP March 18 for an expert marketing and communications
firm in the metro D.C.-Baltimore region to handle
a media campaign, social media, web support, outreach and
a Seattle-based agency with a D.C. office, has previously
handled the work.
base one-year contract is planned. The $130K budget does
not include costs for placing any advertising.
are due April 18.
the RFP at odwyerpr.com/rfps.
BRIEFS: The Simon Group,
Sellersville, Pa., marked its 25th anniversary in March.
"We've brought together many talented Groupies (agency
employees), clients, media reps and editors over the years
to produce some of the most effective marcom programs around,"
said Marty Simon, founder and CEO. Simon said a lot has
changed since he opened the doors in 1986 but noted many
clients are in their second decade on the roster and said
he looks forward to seeing what the future holds. ...Traction
Monica, Calif., has moved to a new location and reduced
its carbon footprint to zero via lower power monitors, high
efficiency lighting, power consumption monitoring, less
staff commuting, and the buying of carbon offset units.
Contact: 2716 Ocean Park Blvd, Suite #3010, in Santa Monica,
Nancy J. Friedman
PR, New York/Ambassador
East Hotel and Pump Room restaurant, recently purchased
by hotelier Ian Schrager as his first Chicago project. Both
are set for refurbishing and possible renaming, and will
reopen this fall, the firm said. Friedman was in-house PR
counsel for Schrager and the late Steve Rubell in the mid
Agency, New York/Jamaica
Inn; Hotel Saint-Barth Isle de France; The Surrey hotel,
New York, and MSC Yacht Club, Mediterranean cruises.
New York/Accor Global Sales North America, hotel operator,
for U.S. PR. Accor North America operates more than 1,100
properties including Motel 6, Studio 6, and Ibis; Sofitel
Luxury Hotels; and Novotel locations.
& Campion, New
York/PBS, to promote Prof. Henry Louis Gates' next special,
"Black In Latin America.." DR&C will handle
all broadcast, print, digital and social media surrounding
the May 2011 broadcast.
New York/DUKES LONDON, hotel; Manfredi Fine Hotel Collection,
including Hotel Palazzo Manfredi and Hotel Punta Tragara
in Italy; Lungarno Hotels, seven hotels in Florence and
Rome; Chebeague Island Inn (Casco Bay, Me.), and Hotel Madeline
Telluride and Inn at Lost Creek, both in Telluride, Colo.
6, New York/Vistage
International, for-profit chief executive organization with
more than 14,000 members in 15 countries, for PR, social
media, and strategic comms.
Astoria, N.Y./LE Portfolio for iPad, portfolio presentation
tool, for PR.
The Titan Agency,
Atlanta/Bosch Thermotechnology Corp. North America, for
advertising, PR, social media and branding in the U.S.
Co., San Francisco/ZuniDigital,
wireless network and smart power solutions, for U.S. PR
and marketing comms.
& PR, Irvine,
Calif./Togo's Eateries, sandwich eatery with 242 locations
across the Western U.S., as AOR for PR.
Los Angeles/Daily Grill restaurants, national eatery brand,
& Knowlton, Seoul,
S.K./LG Display Co., as global AOR for PR following a competitive
review. The firm already handles its U.S. business.
Ogilvy PR Worldwide,
Shanghai/Sesame Workshop, nonprofit behind Sesame
Street, as PR counsel on a retainer basis for China.
Edition, April 6, 2011, Page 6
FINES 2 STATIONS OVER VNR DISCLOSURE
Federal Communications Commission has fined two TV stations
in Minnesota and New Jersey for airing video news releases
without properly identifying the sponsor.
action stems from nearly five-year-old complaints filed
by the non-profit groups Free Press and frequent PR critic
the Center for Media and Democracy in 2006.
Press has posted the enforcement decisions on its website, freepress.net.
segment promoted Zicam cold remedy marketed by Matrixx Initiatives
and was aired on KMSP-TV, a Minneapolis Fox affiliate, in
October 2006. The VNR was produced by D S Simon Productions.
station argued that its airing was within FCC guidance on
VNRs and that the segment was indentified as sponsored by
a local hospital and carried a disclaimer that the hospital
did not produce the spot. It also said it received no consideration,
so further identification was not required.
second piece was a VNR from General Motors and aired as
part of a news report in June 2006 on WMGM-TV in Wildwood,
N.J. The VNR was supplied by Foxs video service, Fox
FCC said Fox objected to its inquiries as an encroachment
on the stations editorial discretion. The station
said no sponsorship identification was required as no consideration
was promised or given. It also noted the FCC has recognized
that broadcasters are not required to make sponsor announcements
when news releases are used with editorial comment.
FCC said the airing showed 12 shots of GM cars and no other
enforcement bureau chief Michele Ellison handed down the
FCC in a March 24 enforcement action assessed $4,000 fines
against the two stations.
the news business wants to know why theyre losing
readers and viewers, they should look at decisions like
this, Free Press managing director Craig Aaron said
in a statement.
became a flashpoint in 2004 after the New York Times brought the use of the PR materials to the publics
attention and sparked a debate that became a political football.
BRIEFS: Social media monitoring and consulting firm Visible
Technologies has secured $6M in financing to be put toward sales and
international growth. Existing investors, Investor Growth
Capital, Centurion Holdings, Ignition Partners, In-Q-Tel
and WPP participated. The latest round marks a total of
$45M to date. ....Tobin
Maryland, recently produced a series of audio/video Podcasts
for the American College of Gastroenterology, part of an
effort to promote the importance of screening for colorectal
cancer and featuring Dr. Mark Pochapin, director of the
Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health. Content
is at www.radiomediatour.net/sampleaudioandvideopodcasts.html.
Roe, strategic director of business development,
marketing and PR, Hellmuth Obata + Kassabaum, to Allison
& Partners, San Diego, as general manager of the office.
Firstenberg Prestia, who oversaw Harrison & Shriftman's
lifestyle and travel team, to Nancy J. Friedman Public Relations,
New York, as a VP. She previously spent five years at Middleton
Antolino, senior VP, DMC Worldwide, to intellectual
property holding corporation Hoyos Group, New York, as CMO.
Abrams to Breaking News PR, Beverly Hills, Calif.,
to head its New York operation as VP of media relations.
She was executive director of New Line Home Entertainments
communications division and worked in media relations at
Edelman, overseeing Warner Home Video. She started out at
MS&LGroup. Former New Line PR exec Josh Sabarra opened
Breaking News PR in February.
Samuel, manager of media relations, Grapevine Convention
and Visitors Bureau, to Tucker & Associates, Dallas,
as an A/S to lead two new accounts -- Visit Loudoun (The
Loudoun Convention & Visitors Association) and Hylaco
LLC's eraclea skin care line, which the agency helped launch
on March 23 in New York. She'll also oversee Ski Utah and
the convention and visitors bureaus for Plano, Texas; Beaumont,
Texas; and Abilene, Texas.
Wentworth, independent consultant, is rejoining Sparkpr,
San Francisco, as a managing director. She was previously
with Bite Communications and Sofinnova Ventures. Kevin
Cheng, senior associate, Eastwick Communications,
joins as an A/M. He was previously with Shift Comms. In
New York, Spark added Weber Shandwick VP Jay
Kolbe as senior director and SanDisk PR coordinator Emile Johnson as an associate. L.A. PR consultant Karen
Blondell, who focuses on video games and mobile apps,
joins Sparkpr/L.A. as a managing director. She was previously
Vigrass to president and Emily
Venugopal to VP, The Brandman Agency, New York. Melanie
Brandman continues as founder and CEO.Vigrass joined in
2001 after working in-house for Calvin Klein and on the
agency side at La Force & Stevens. Venugopal directs
account teams for The Chatwal New York; Hotel La Mamounia,
Marrakech; The Waikiki EDITION, and Virtuoso.
Hendon to GM, Fleishman-Hillard, Kansas City, Mo.
She had been deputy GM and takes over for Betsey Solberg,
who remains with the firm as an executive consultant.
Edition, April 6, 2011, Page 7
RACEHORSE GROUP GETS PR HELP
Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, which funds care for
about 1,200 ex-racehorses, has retained Los Angeles PR firm
Capitol Media Partners as it continues to grapple with reverberations
from a damaging New York Times report earlier last
front-page story by the Times Joe Drape on March 18
reported scores of horses under contract for care through
TRF have wound up starved and neglected, some fatally,
while noting the groups finances are in the red.
article has sparked a state attorney general's investigation
in New York, but the foundation has essentially fired a
veterinarian who documented the animals alleged neglect
after she supplied the data to the Times before the foundation
could review it.
the vets firing March 20, the foundation lost a major
benefactor, Paul Mellon, who had endowed $5M for the organization
and financed the veterinarian's investigation.
partner Richard Grenell, who was PR chief to the U.S. representative
to the U.N. during the recent Bush administration and former
corporate communications head for DaVita Inc., confirmed
to O'Dwyer's that his agency has been hired by the foundation.
statement from the PR firm March 29 blasted the Times report.
There have been some recent public criticisms of TRF
and its oversight of our 1,100 horses from a reporter that
took unsubstantiated claims and printed them without checking
his facts, said the statement, attributed to chairman
is led by Grenell and his former DaVita colleague, Brad
Chase, a veteran of Hill & Knowlton and Fleishman-Hillard.
foundation is based in racing mecca Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
SLOTS COLLEGE PR
officials in Montana, armed with a four-year grant from
the Lumina Foundation, are on the hunt for communications
proposals for a 16-month campaign to support a state program
to increase enrollment at two-year colleges.
Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education published
an RFP March 25 for PR support of COLLEGE!Now, the state
university systems push toward enrollment, degree
completion and increased transfer rates at its community
a statewide initiative involving multiple governance and
stakeholder groups, strategic communications and engagement
are essential to our project's success, reads the
Lumina Foundation is a $1.4 billion private entity focused
on increasing the number of Americans who graduate college
to 60 percent by 2025. It awarded Montana a four-year, $1.7M
are due April 25. Download the RFP at odwyerpr.com/rfps.
MONEY GURU JOINS MWW
Sutton, who served as a top national fundraiser for Hillary
Clinton's Presidential run, has joined MWW Group as VP in
its corporate affairs practice. She reports to CEO Michael
the Clinton run, Sutton was finance director for New York
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and fundraising consultant to Sen.
Richard Blumenthal, who knocked off wrestling mogul Linda
McMahon in Connecticut.
praised Sutton for leading fundraising and public
policy initiatives for some of the nation's and world's
most influential politicians. That insiders
knowledge of government coupled with her network of local,
state, federal and global levels will be a great asset to
our clients and our firm.
Sutton was deputy director of outreach for the Third Way,
a non-profit think tank active with economic, national security,
clean energy and cultural issues, and a staffer at Quinn
Gillespie & Assocs.
ranks No. 7 on O'Dwyer's roster of independent firms with
2010 fees of $34.8M.
WORKS HARRY & DAVID RE-ORG
Verbinnen & Co. is handling the Chapter 11 filing of
Harry & David Holdings, the specialty food and gourmet
gift basket retailer.
Medford, Ore.-based company fell victim to a sluggish economy
and heavy debt connected with the $250M private equity takeover
of the 77-year-old firm by Wasserstein & Co. It posed
a $4.3M loss on $302M first-half sales.
Chapter 11 filing enables H&DH to restructure its balance
sheet and eliminate the bulk of corporate debt.
CEO Kay Hong promises no interruption of customer service.
Consumers will be able to purchase products via online,
catalog and at the 70 retail outlets nationwide. The company
also will honor its Fruit-of-the-Month gift
cards and other promotional programs.
managing director Stephanie Pillersdorf and principal Cassandra
Bujarski handle media.
PROMOTES ARAB PEACE GROUP
is handling media relations for a Kuwait-based peace group
under a subcontract with Gray Loeffler, which is headed
by former Congressmen Bill Gray (D-Pa.) and Tom Loeffler
Sheikh Fahad Salem Al Ali Al Sabah and the Fahad Al Salem
Center for Dialogue Among Civilizations and Defense of Liberty,
F-H pitches national, business and foreign policy reporters
in N.Y. and D.C.
PR firm is to focus on the Center's mission of combating
extremism by building cultural bridges via citizen journalism
and placing constructive messaging in various media outlets.
Fahad Al SalemCenter is bankrolled by Kuwaits ruling
Omnicom unit has a one-month contract worth $20K that ran
through April 5.
Edition, April 6, 2011,
As a 1956 graduate of
the University of Connecticut, I'm thrilled that both the
men's and women's basketball teams made it to the finals
of the NCAA tournament.
I'm depressed, however,
about the soaring cost of attending this land-grant institution,
which was a stepping stone for many a poor student decades
Four-year cost when I went there was about $4,000.
It's now at least $100,000
($24K yearly just for tuition/room/board).
The "U.S. Inflation
Calculator," based on the Consumer Price Index, says
the inflation rate since 1956 is 713% and that an item that
cost $1,000 in 1956 should cost $8,136 now (eight times
the cost instead of 24 times).
College costs have far
exceeded the inflation rate.
According to many critics,
just one of which is the new book, Academically Adrift:
Limited Learning on College Campuses, students are
paying more and learning less.
Like many fellow students
in the 1950s, I was the first generation in a family able
to attend college.
I worked a year in a Bridgeport
factory to save the needed money since no help could come
from my family. Neither parent finished grade school. Odd
jobs during college and factory jobs in the three summers
paid close to 100% of the cost.
I'm disgusted to read
about the high pay of UCONN officials.
Police chief Robert Hudd
made $246,961 last year which is more than any big city
police chief makes including New York's Raymond Kelly whose
pay is $189,700. He heads the biggest police dept. in the
U.S.-37,838 cops. Hudd supervises 76 cops.
No. 2 UCONN cop Ronald
Blicher got $193,616.
All 12 state employees
that were paid more than $500K last year were either UCONN
coaches or doctors, according to the Yankee Institute. There
are 286 top-level administrators at UCONN.
The trustees will look
into the high pay but admit that only the UCONN president
can set pay scales. The board sounds like the usual know-nothing,
Quiet on Sex Case
UCONN police, confronted
in 2005 with the explosive issue of the son of the head
of PR being involved on Sept. 25, 2005 in a sexual practice
called bukakke, put a lid on it.
The dept. decided that
no sex crime was involved since the victim was not actually
touched by three UCONN men. A new state law made this practice
a sex crime.
No report surfaced until
about four months later when the Hartford Courant got a tip and published a story Feb. 3, 2006.
Worst example is the silence
of police and others that was a factor in 30 deaths at Virginia
Tech in 2007.
VP police chief Wendell
Filcher as well as legal counsel and various administrators
met shortly after two murders were discovered at 7:15 on
April 16, 2007. They sat on the news for at least two hours
while looking for a suspect.
Top Two UCONN
PR Staffers Retired
Scott Brohinsky, a lawyer
who headed UCONN's PR for decades and who is the father
of Zak Brohinsky, former UCONN student who served 75 days
in jail on charges related to the Sept. 25, 2005 incident,
retired early in 2009. Retiring at the same time was his
No. 2 person, Karen Grava.
Brohinsky, 59 at the time,
who made $200,000, is eligible for an annual pension of
about $120,000, according to the Courant.
Grava, paid $133,000,
was eligible for a pension of "more than $80,000,"
it said. She is now teaching in UCONN's Communication Sciences
dept. as an adjunct.
We can't prove it but
we suspect the simultaneous retirement of what the Courant
called UCONN's "top PR voices" was related to
the sex scandal.
New PR Head
Replacing Brohinsky is
Jim Walter, associate VP for communications heading marketing
comes first is a tip-off. He will no doubt personify the
schools go-go mentality.
The promise of PR is "relations"
and not browbeating audiences with "messages."
Walter once worked at
Johnson & Johnson, one of the tightest-lipped companies
in the U.S. I wonder if there was a search for this important
position. New blood is what is needed.
Besides the skyrocketing
cost of an education at UCONN, Walter must deal with other
PR issues including the three-game suspension next year
of coach Jim Calhoun on charges of improper recruiting tactics.
The New York Times,
raining on the schools parade April 2, told of the
schools dealings with prized-recruit Nate Miles that
practically wrecked his life.
The recruiting scandal
let to an assortment of punishments for the school,
said the NYT.
I'm not impressed with
Walters background and especially after PR being headed
for nearly three decades by a lawyer.
Legal keeps PR on a tight
leash. Legal training and communications mix like oil and
water. Faced with a reporter's questions, lawyers take their
own Miranda rights-claiming their right not
to say anything that may be used against them. Silence ensues.
Walter has spent the past
13 years at UCONN's Health Center in Farmington, 30 miles
from the main campus, as head of communications and
marketing. The June 8, 2009 release announcing his
new job leaves out the location of the Health Center. He
will now be based at the main campus in Storrs
but will divide his time between Storrs and
Farmington. He continues as an instructor at the Health
Walter has a B.S. in communication
management from Ithaca College and also worked for Osteotech
and MED Communication.