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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - June 27, 2011 - Vol. 44 - No. 25 (download PDF version)

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The Florida Lottery is reviewing a three-year PR contract with a search for an agency with a Sunshine State presence and $2M in annual billings.

Florida Lottery

The 23-year-old Lottery issued an “invitation to negotiate” with PR firms on June 17 with a deadline for proposals of July 11.

Florida Governor Rick Scott in February named the lottery’s PR chief, Cynthia O’Connell, head of the nation’s No. 3 lottery. She is a Hill & Knowlton/Tampa vet.

While the PR contract budget has been $250K-a-year, the Lottery said the scope of work has increased and projected a tentative budget for planning purposes of $1M.

MRD Consulting replaced Weber Shandwick in 2002 and has handled the account since then.

The Lottery, which raises money for public education in Florida, plans to award a three-year contract for the development and maintenance of its public image and brand.

The Lottery said it desires a firm with a Tallahassee office, but will sublease space in its own headquarters to an agency if necessary. Download the review document at


Ron Culp, a partner at Ketchum and director of the firm's North American corporate practice, is stepping down to consult and pursue interests in teaching and career coaching.

Culp, an agency and corporate veteran for over 35 years, directed Ketchum’s Midwest operations for three years before adding oversight of its corporate practice in 2009.


London corporate practice head Rod Cartwright will take over global director duties for the corporate unit in the fall when his own successor is named.

Culp is well-known in PR for his “Culpwrit” blog for mentoring students and young PR professionals, as well as his role as adjunct professor at DePaul University and guest lecturer at other schools.

He moved to Ketchum from Sard Verbinnen & Company and earlier served as senior VP, PR and government affairs, for Sears, Roebuck and Co. Earlier stints included Sara Lee Corp., Pitney Bowes, and Eli Lilly.


Qorvis is working in Kuwait, whose Prime Minister Shaikh Nasser Al Mohammad Al Sabah is facing calls for political reform.

CEO Michael Petruzzello would not confirm information that Qorvis provided press training and social media skills to the PM and Defense Minister.

“We are bound by confidentiality agreements with all of our clients we work out of that office,” he told O’Dwyer’s via email. Petruzzello described the Kuwaiti operation as a “small office” that works for “a variety of clients.”

Qorvis has been in the midst of the Arab uprising. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia paid Qorvis $350K for the six-month period ended March 31. Media outreach, communications training and development of content for YouTube and Twitter were among duties.

Qorvis also collected $225K from hotspot Bahrain during the period, but severed ties with Yemen in November. The firm continues work for the Kurdistan region of Iraq.


Michigan is casting a net for agencies to handle PR, digital and marketing communications to support its economic development efforts with an RFP open through mid-July.


The state in January consolidated its marketing under the “Pure Michigan” slogan, backed by a multimillion-dollar marketing budget.

The Michigan Strategic Fund, the state’s marketing arm through the Michigan Economic Development Corp., issued an open RFP June 22 for an integrated PR and marketing program, including traditional PR and outreach, digital and direct marketing, social media, events, partnerships and possibly targeted advertising.

The RFP outlines several goals, but primary is the development and execution of a PR and social media campaign. Other PR objectives include an increase in media interview volume to at least 30 per month and a 10% boost in ad equivalency and impressions.

Edelman alum Elizabeth Parkinson took over as VP of marketing and communications for the MEDC in January.

Proposals are due July 14. Download the RFP at

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