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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - July 25, 2011 - Vol. 44 - No. 28 (download PDF version)

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The unit of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that handles environmental health and toxic substances has released an RFP to potentially hire multiple firms to handle rapid response communications as needed.

CDC's Atlanta h.q.

The RFP issued July 1 and open through Aug. 2 outlines a contract with a $10M ceiling. The pact will be on an IDIQ, or as needed basis, and could go to a single agency or multiple firms.

The National Center for Environmental Health, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry put out a feeler in April to gauge agency interest, noting then that an RFP could be forthcoming.

The proposal request with the center's office of communication calls for support as its scientists and investigators probe hazardous waste sites around the

U.S. "Issues at such sites often arise suddenly in response to emerging science, news events or new information presented," says the RFP.

Experience in environmental health communication and risk communication are required. Download the RFP at


Newly minted Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has named his top public affairs lieutenants, including a top PA aide during his tenure as CIA director and a PA advisor to Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

George Little, director of PA for Panetta at the CIA since October, moved to the Pentagon on July 19 as deputy assistant secretary of defense and press secretary.

Little takes over for Geoff Morell, a former ABC News correspondent who stepped down last month with the exit of Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Panetta has also tapped Mullen PA aide Capt. John Kirby as deputy assistant secretary of defense, spokesman and director of media operations.

A Navy PA officer, he has been on Mullen's communications team for 10 years and will take up the new post in August.

Doug Wilson, assistant secretary of defense, remains the Pentagon’s top PA official, to whom the new recruits will report. Wilson, in a statement, called Little and Kirby “two of the most respected and trusted communicators in Washington.”


Omnicom on July 19 reported a 13.1 percent rise in second-quarter net income to $275M on a 14.7 jump in revenues to $3.5B. Its Fleishman-Hillard, Porter Novelli and Ketchum-led PR operation grew 7.1 percent to $311.7M in Q2, outpaced by the $1.6B advertising unit, which was up 18.5 percent, and the $1.2B CRM operation, up 15.1 percent.

The PR division registered a 1.3 percent increase in organic growth for the latest quarter.

OMC CEO John Wren spent $277M for acquisitions during the first-half, $44M of that amount were “earn-outs.” Synergy, a London-based scientific communications shop, was the biggest pick-up for the quarter. It is now part of DDB Health.

For the first-half, OMC earned $477M (+17.3 percent) and recorded revenues of $6.6B (+11.4 percent).


WPP is merging New York’s Robinson Lerer & Montgomery and London’s Finsbury Group to create RLM Finsbury, a move that creates a trans-Atlantic financial and corporate PR combination from two firms that have worked closely together over the years.

Walter Montgomery becomes CEO of RLM Finsbury, while Richard Rudd, co-founder of Finsbury, takes the chairman role.

Montgomery says the merger provides a “worldwide platform.”

The new entity launches with 180 staffers in New York, London, Brussels, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. A Hong Kong office is slated to open during Q3.


The Virginia-based, global trade group for amusement park operators is on the hunt for a PR firm with an RFP open through Aug. 3.


The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions has 4,000 individual members from entities like zoos, theme and amusement parks, museums and aquariums.

The Alexandria-based group, led by new CEO Chip Cleary, wants media relations support with experience in crisis communications and the travel/tourism PR sector as it engages consumers through the media and reacts to situations. Colleen Mangone, manager of media relations, is taking pitches with in-person meetings slated for mid-August in Virginia.

Download the RFP at

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