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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - May 2, 2011 - Vol. 44 - No. 17 (download PDF version)

Page 7 Pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8


The transit agency for the Seattle area has reached out to agencies via RFP as its department of communications and external affairs seeks to develop lessons plans and school curricula materials for students K-12 on transportation topics.


Sound Transit, which this week tapped incumbent Cocker Fennessy for a separate strategic communications pact after a March RFP, foresees transit topics incorporated into sciences, social studies, math and English studies that would foster “use and support of transit services.”

The plans have been criticized in Seattle media and blogs, but ST officials told bidders in a pre-proposal conference that the attention has not represented a “reasonable concern” to halt the RFP process.

Mike Ennis, director of the Washington Policy Center’s Center for Transportation, told Seattle’s King5 News: “They are not supposed to be going into the class room and targeting kids with their agenda.”

“Desired outcomes include contributing to students’ academic learning while demystifying transit during students’ early years and overcoming barriers to transit ridership, including expanded awareness of transit ability to increase riders’ personal independence by reducing reliance on automobiles while attaining environmental sustainability,” reads the RFP.

Proposals are due May 10. Download the RFP (PDF) at

Sound Transit said April 26 that Cocker Fennessy won its review for a six-figure contract to guide strategic communications for the transportation system.


APCO Worldwide has been called on to support Exelon's $7.9B acquisition of renewable power company Constellation Energy announced today to create one of the largest electricity generators in the U.S. with about 6.6M customers.

Wind & Nuclear power

Exelon is the top nuclear power generator in the U.S.

The deal, approved by both boards, is a stock-forstock transaction to create a combined company based in

Chicago under the Exelon name. The Constellation brand will stay on its retail and wholesale electricity business and add Exelon's power marketing unit under that banner.

Elizabeth Wolf, corporate media relations manager for APCO in Washington, D.C., told O’Dwyer’s the firm has been retained by both parties to assist in communications efforts surrounding the transaction.

The combined entity would reach 38 of the 50 states and two Canadian provinces.

The companies have produced a website for the deal – – which is expect ed to close next year, pending shareholder and regulatory approval.


MDC Partners reports a 60 percent rise in first-quarter revenues to $218M and a cut in red ink from $10.2M to $8.7M.

Miles Nadal

Organic revenues jumped 26.5 percent operating profit hit $2.2M compared to a $749K loss in the last year’s period.

CEO Miles Nadal says the performance is a “terrific way to begin the year.” He believes MDC’s “transformational” work for clients and “unique understanding of how consumers consume influence in a digital economy” drove Q1 results. He is keen on “creating platforms that have longevity, rather than short-term campaigns, leading to long lasting relations with clients driven by increasing return on marketing investment and resulting in a strong pace of news business,” according to his statement.

MDC predicts Q1 momentum will power it to a $1B run rate during the next nine months. The firm narrowed its net loss from $10.1M to $8.7M.

MDC’s PR units include Allison &Partners, Kwittken & Co. and Sloane & Co.


Florida's tourism marketing organization is reviewing its Canadian PR account with RFP through May 16.

Visit Florida wants pitches from agencies that can guide strategic PR and communications to lure Canadian leisure travelers, build awareness of the organization, and boost tourism stats like length of stay and repeat visitations. Media relations (tours, inquiries, pitching) is the key component of a planned contract.

The RMR Group of Toronto currently handles the account. M. Silver & Associates is its U.S. PR firm.

VF is also reviewing its Latin American advertising and PR account.

Download the RFP at


Brunswick and Sard Verbinnen & Company are squared off in the PR battle over Valeant Pharmaceuticals’ $5.7 billion hostile bid for Cephalon.

Frazer, Pa.-based Cephalon, which is working with Brunswick, said April 21 that it is urging shareholders to reject Valeant’s effort to replace its board and noted the company's current board is reviewing the takeover proposal, as well as “alternatives and options.”

“Valeant has no duty to act in the best interests of Cephalon's shareholders, but rather for Valeant shareholders and their interests – such as buying Cephalon at the lowest possible price,” read the statement from Cephalon.

Valeant, based in Mississauga, Ontario, shot back later that same day saying that Cephalon has not engaged the company.

Sard Verbinnen managing director Renee Soto and principal Cassandra Bujarski are handling media for Cephalon.

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