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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - August 15, 2011 - Vol. 44 - No. 31 (download PDF version)

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The federal agency in charge of legal U.S. immigration, which announced a push to lure immigrant entrepreneurs to the U.S. last week, kicked off today a search for a PR firm to expand its outreach efforts, including support of its e-Verify system.


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, part of the Dept. of Homeland Security, has opened an RFP process through mid-September for outreach to increase employer participation and educate workers and the public about the e-Verify program, which has faced some critcism, especially in the agriculture sector.

The outreach is also expected to cover the SAVE program, which verifies immigration status for those seeking benefits like social security.

UCIS’ Verification Division runs the e-Verify and SAVE programs and is conducting the PR search.

A one-year contract with two options is expected. The RFP can be downloaded from the government’s procurement portal at

UCIS on Aug. 3 announced a series of initiatives, including policy, operational and outreach efforts, to spur job creation by attracting foreign entrepreneurial talent, an effort strongly supported by Silicon Valley.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a sister agency that handles criminal illegal aliens, called off an RFP process early this year after determining that inhouse resources could handle its outreach plans.


Qorvis Communications, which has been repping Bahrain as sub-contractor to Bell Pottinger, has now registered its own $40K-a-month pact with the beleaguered Kingdom.

Working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Washington-based firm provides press and PR services in the U.S. for Bahrain.

In his engagement letter, Qorvis managing partner Michael Petruzzello says the shop is “very enthusiastic about this new assignment and confident of its ability to get the job done.”

Bahrain staged a bloody crackdown on dissenters earlier this year. That was done with assistance from troops from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, a Qorvis client.

Qorvis continues to work with Bell Pottinger to promote the stability of Yemen, another mideast hotspot. That effort is a $30K-a-month job.


Howard Paster, former chairman and CEO of Hill & Knowlton and a veteran advisor to President Bill and Hillary Clinton, died Aug. 10. He was 66.


Paster led H&K for eight years, from 1994-2002, joining the WPP unit after directing the Clinton White House Office of Legislative Affairs and advising the president.

He had recently led WPP’s PR division – including H&K, Burson-Marsteller, Ogilvy PR Worldwide, Cohn & Wolfe – as executive VP and counseled President Barack Obama on Congressional relations.

“He was that rare mix of administrative efficiency and strategic brilliance,” said H&K’s global chairman and CEO Jack Martin, who added that Paster played a big role in his decision to sell Public Strategies to H&K in 2010.

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement Thursday morning remembering Paster for a dedication to public service, as well as for passion and candor. “As my Assistant for Congressional Relations, Howard made a tremendous difference in ensuring that my administration was able to carry out some of our most crucial initiatives,” said Obama.

Paster was also chief operating officer for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign.

H&K vice chair Tom Hoog credited Paster with engineering the firm’s turnaround.

“With its morale shaken, the firm needed more than the routine corporate steps of cost-cutting and talent development,” he said. “[Howard] knew corporate culture was required, and … [he] knew that integrity had to be authentic and had to flow from the top down.”

Paster, who also helped Clinton pollster Mark Penn transition into the CEO role at Burson-Marsteller, was also elected president of the Little League Foundation in 2002. An annual award for urban volunteer initiatives for youth baseball is named after Paster and his wife, Gail.

Retailer L.L. Bean has ordered a centennial PR campaign from Weber Shandwick as the Maine-based outfitter plans for the milestone in 2012.

The Interpublic unit has worked on 100th-year efforts for Harley-Davidson and General Motors, as well as the 75th anniversary of Ocean Spray.

L.L. Bean does not have a PR agency of record. GSD&M of Austin, Tex., is handling advertising. Events, PR, retail activities and social media are planned.


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