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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - June 13, 2011 - Vol. 44 - No. 23 (download PDF version)

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Coyne PR has picked up the Hong Kong Tourism Board in a competitive pitch to position "Asia's world city."

Hong Kong
Photo: HKTB

John Gogarty, executive VP of Coyne’s travel and hospitality group, says the PR firm sees an opportunity to “take Hong Kong beyond the travel pages” into the diverse consumer lifestyle media.

The Parsippany, N.J.based firm is to maintain a news bureau and organize FAM trips. It plans to leverage its clout with celebrities for endorsements of the Chinese city that “offers an adventure around every corner.” Crisis management also is on the menu.

Coyne ranks No. 14 on O’Dwyer’s 2010 roster of independent firms. It had income of $16M, up 32%.


The California Department of Transportation, known as CalTrans, has re-started an RFP process for its $2.1M public engagement account.

A February RFP was scrapped and a new request was issued this week with a deadline of June 21.

The account covers building relationships with community groups and other outreach to communicate with the public regarding transit issues in the state.

The RFP notes the “suspicion of government, the emotions of stakeholders, and the politics of power plays” is making the outreach task difficult.

Berkeley, Calif.-based Moore, Iacofano, Goltsman is the incumbent. RFP at


Publicis Groupe shareholders June 7 approved raising the age limit for members of its management board to 75 from 70, a move that enables its 69-year-old CEO, Maurice Levy, to continue service beyond the Dec. 31 expiration of his current term.

Publicis noted that Levy will continue to lead it through the transformation of the communications market through the digital age and expansion into emerging markets. He will also have more time to plan for an orderly succession at the French ad/PR conglom.

Levy said Publicis is enjoying strong growth this year and its “robust financial situation enables us to look to the future with serenity.”

In 2007, Publicis raised the mandatory retirement age to 70 from 65 to accommodate Levy.


Edelman has hired Curtis Kundred as president of its U.S. western region, succeeding Gail Becker, who held that post since 2003. Becker was named western chair and also will focus on development of Edelman's Latin America and Canada regions.


Kundred served as regional president at Fleishman-Hillard's eastern/western operations and Canadian chief. He joins Edelman July 1 and will be based in San Francisco.

Edelman's western region generates 22 percent of domestic revenue from key clients such as Microsoft, HP, AMD, Volkswagen, Adobe and Charles Schwab & Co. It has offices in S.F., Silicon Valley, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle.


John Clinton, who served as Grey Worldwide Canada chief for nearly a decade, assumes the helm of Edelman Canada on August 17. He takes over for Heather Conway.

Based in Toronto, Clinton will be responsible for clients such as Labatt, RIM, Starbucks, Kraft, Unilever, and Pfizer, 160 staffers and offices in Montreal and Vancouver.

Clinton departed Grey in 2008 and joins Edelman from Transcontinental Media, where he was senior VP/digital solutions and new media. Before Grey, he chaired J. Walter Thompson's Canadian operations and ran the global ad business for Kellogg's in New York.

In citing the convergence of PR, digital and advertising, Richard Edelman expects Clinton's background to “help expand our remit among marketing and communications officers.”


Fordham University has kicked off an open PR agency search through mid-July.

The 169-year-old Jesuit school based in New York issued an RFP for an agency of record for a one-year contract asking for a media relations plan to assist its news and media relations with publicizing the university, faculty and achievements.

Source Communications of New York is the incumbent and has been invited to pitch.

Fordham is in the midst of a capital campaign to raise $500M by its 175th anniversary in 2016.

RFP at

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