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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Dec. 10, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 49 (download PDF version)

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NEWS OF SERVICES _______________


Pinnacle Worldwide, once one of the largest networks of PR firms with more than 40 members worldwide, is down to its last few members and some longtime members doubt it will survive.

The website of the network, based at Northstar Counselors in Minneapolis, is not operative.

Gary Conkling, president of CMF Strategic Communications, Portland, the current president, said there have been mass defections in Europe and the U.S. in recent years.

Some New York firms that were members said they had pulled out and question whether the network has a future.

However, Joe McCarthy, the only remaining founding partner of the group in 1976, said new plans are being drawn up, including a quest for outside financing.

Members previously paid an initiation fee of $5,000 and then annual dues based on size. New members would be “associates” rather than corporate partners, said McCarthy.

Two of the original partners are working on a new Pinnacle and recently joining were firms in Boston, Cleveland and two from Latin America, he said.

A query has been sent to Johanna Mouton, who succeeded Lynn McCarthy as executive director several years ago, asking for the network’s EIN (Employer Identification Number) so that the group’s tax returns could be examined.

Pinnacle was formed partly in response to competition from the major firms including those owned by the ad/PR conglomerates that were able to cite owned offices throughout the world.

The independent firms that formed Pinnacle were able to promote cooperation with more than 40 partner firms including more than 20 in Europe, the Middle East, South America and Pacific Rim.

Pinnacle members included Lobsenz-Stevens, New York; Duffey Communications, Atlanta; Selz, Seabolt & Assocs., Chicago; E. Bruce Harrison Co., Washington, D.C.; Watt, Roop & Co., Cleveland; Countrywide Communications, U.K., to name a few.

Other networks of PR firms include Worldcom; IPREX; PR Global Network, and PR Organisation International.


Texas Christian University has partnered with the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers to offer a Certified Public Communicator program in summer 2013. TCU's Schieffer School of Journalism in its College of Communication and Extended Education will handle the program, developed by professors Jacqueline Lambiase and Laura Bright.

Shannon Gowan, president of TAMIO and director of communications for the city of Temple, Tex., said the one-of-a-kind program will be an asset to communicators, videographers, webmasters and public information officers.

The program includes 95 hours of leadership training and coursework designed for communicating with citizens and stakeholders.

PEOPLE __________________

Joined/On The Move


Jolie Hunt, who joined AOL in July as chief marketing and communications officer, is leaving her post as CEO Tim Armstrong works to decentralize communications. The former senior VP-global head of brand & PR at Thomson Reuters was in charge of AOL’s internal/external communications, social media, events and corporate social responsibility programs. Hunt’s departure comes just ahead of AOL’s $10M branding campaign. She’s in charge of that push to herald a revitalized AOL, which earned $20M during the September-ended quarter vs. a $2.6M year ago loss. Prior to TR, Hunt was global director of corporate and business affairs at IBM, and PR director for the Financial Times. She has not been reached. The Wall Street Journal noted that Hunt is the fourth marketing/communications executive to leave AOL this year.

Christopher Penn, director of inbound marketing for email marketing company WhatCounts, to SHIFT Communications, Boston, as VP of marketing technologies. Penn co-founded the PodCamp New Media Community Conference with Chris Brogan.

Vaughn Jennings, a veteran Capitol Hill aide, to Airlines for America, Washington, D.C., as managing director for government and regulatory communications. He was press secretary, new media director, and legislative assistant for Rep. John Sullivan (R-Okla.) and a legislative assistant to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. A4A's has added Lanie Lamb as communications coordinator, and Christian Lee and Tressa Mattingly as social media managers. Lee was director of new media for Judicial Watch and the Meg Whitman for Governor Campaign and Mattingly was senior comms. specialist, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

Rob Jesmer, who led the National Republican Senatorial Committee through the 2010 and 2012 election cycles, has moved to Republican PR and public affairs shop FP1 Strategies as a partner. A former Hill aide, Jesmer managed Sen. John Cornyn’s 2008 re-election.

Mark Burr, former Chief Innovation Officer of GSW, to Cohn & Wolfe, Los Angeles, in the new post of executive VP, West Coast digital leader. The firm tapped BBC director of strategy, digital, global brands and marketing technology Gabrielle Lovering to head of digital and social media in the U.K. Global digital president Chad Latz oversees both execs.

Jo Mira Clodman, partner, Clodman Hect Communications, to Alamos Gold, Toronto, as VP of investor relations. She was previously VP, corporate comms., Cineplex Odeon Corp. and director of financial comms. for Northern Telecom Limited.


Barbara Benham to director of corporate communications and government relations, Huntington Bank, Columbus, Ohio, after serving as interim director for the past year. She joined in 1998.

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