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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Apr. 16, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 16 (download PDF version)

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The NO/AIDS Task Force, a New Orleans advocacy and healthcare services group, is on the hunt for a PR firm as it plans to expand to a full-service healthcare center and secure funding under the new federal healthcare law.


The task force, which has operated for 29 years, released an RFP April 13 calling for a new communications and marketing plan to “grow our identity” and “become immediately recognized as a provider of quality healthcare to every member of the family and the community.”

The group fears speculation that after passage of the Obama administration’s healthcare reform law funding for groups like the task force as currently constituted will dry up.

But the new law has money set aside for federally qualified health centers, community health clinics that serve all patients rather than a specialties like HIV/AIDS, as well as so-called “wrap-around services” like food programs, housing services and disease prevention efforts.

Proposals are due May 18. Communications director T.J. Rogers (tjr [at] noaidstf [dot] org) is handling the search. A one to two-year contract is planned.

View the RFP:


Coyne PR has picked up PR and social media programming duties for Stanley Steemer, the 65-year-old home and office cleaning service, in a pitch that included incumbent ad agency Young & Laramore and MSLGroup.

Brian King, VP-marketing as SS, defines Coyne’s mission as establishing the company as the “industry leader through education, alignment and inspiration.”

The Jersey-based PR firm has home cleaning savvy gained from work for Brillo, Seventh Generation and Activelon Solution.

Stanley Steemer has more than 300 locations and covers 95 percent of American homes and offices.


Rob Cronin, who led corporate communications at Surescripts, the country’s biggest health information network, is now practice leader of WCG’s healthcare technology and transformation unit.

Jim Weiss, CEO of WCG’s parent W2O, calls Cronin a healthcare tech communicator without peer. Cronin has engaged “CIOs as well as M.D.’s, gadget gurus, journal editors, experts across industries, health IT evangelists/critics, nurses that tweet and patients that blog,” said Weiss in a statement.

Cronin has PR firm experience from posts at Weber Shandwick, TSI Communications and Outcast. He has counseled AT&T, IBM and EMC.

WCG ranked as O’Dwyer’s sixth biggest independent PR firm in 2011. It chalked up $47.6M in net fees, up 29 percent from 2010.


The Maldives, the group of South Asian atolls in the midst of political upheaval drawing international attention, on April 9 kicked off a weeklong search for a global PR agency to counter negative press coverage.

Mohamed Nasheed, a political activist previously jailed in the country, won election in 2008 as a reformer but resigned in February after large street protests. Its foreign minister raised eyebrows April 6 when she said the country will not hold elections “in the foreseeable future” because the government was too weak for such a process. Vice President Mohammad Hassan took power on Nasheed’s resignation in the country, which uses an Islamic religious legal system and forbids open practice of any other religion.

The Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation released an RFP April 9 with an April 14 deadline for an agency to work on an initial three-month assignment to “instill confidence” in the country's key tourism industry, “gain understanding and public acknowledgement of the Maldives from the international community,” and in general improve its image.

The scope of work calls for strategic comms. counsel to the government, message and storybook development, media outreach, and “shareholder mapping” and engagement.

The country’s archipelago is spread over 35,000 square miles but it is the smallest Asian country by area and population. View the RFP:


Samantha Lucas, who chaired the U.S. brand marketing practice and led the international brand and corporate reputation unit at Burson-Marsteller, has moved to Brunswick Group as a partner in New York.

Lucas led Burson’s Merrill Lynch account for several years and handled other clients like Ford and Sony Mobile over 12 years at B-M, which is part of WPP. Previous stints included TSI Communications and Brodeur Worldwide (London).

Brunswick, which has more than 90 partners and 600 staffers, is independent.

Brunswick has also added former StrategyOne president Robert Moran as a partner in D.C. to develop the firm’s insights practice.

Moran was tapped to lead Edelman’s polling and research unit last March.


New Mexico has tabbed Dallas-based Tucker & Associates to guide tourism PR for the state, following a review kicked off in January.

The state was dangling a $75K pact through June 30, the end of its fiscal year, with an extension for up to three years to be determined at that time.

Tucker is led by former Patrice Tanaka & Co. VP Lori Tucker, who is also a former PR director for Hyatt Hotels.

New Mexico brought in former PepsiCo marketing exec Monique Jacobson last year to overhaul its tourism marketing.

Development Counsellors International and Ballantines PR have worked the business in recent years.

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