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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Jul. 9, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 27 (download PDF version)

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The Bravo Group of Harrisburg has won a six-figure pact to guide PR and community outreach to voters after the state passed a controversial photo ID law ahead of the November presidential election.

The Keystone State, a key battleground for the presidency with its 20 electoral votes, released an RFP with a short turnaround in June for an agency to support a media campaign (under review in a separate RFP) with PR. The state in March narrowly passed a law requiring voters to present photo identification at polling booths starting in November. Those who don’t produce ID can fill out provisional ballots and have six days to prove their identities to a county election board.

The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the state over the law and heads to trial July 25 as it seeks an injunction for plaintiffs who say they won’t be able to vote in November.

The law, which divided the state legislature on party lines and was signed by Republican Gov. Tom Corbett on March 14, calls for a public education campaign about the new onus on voters. A separate RFP for advertising is under review.

Bravo’s pact with the Dept. of State, Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation, is worth just under $250K. The firm is led by Chris Bravacos, a former aide to ex-Gov. Tom Ridge and former executive director of the Republican State Committee of Pa., and also has offices in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

Ten states have some form of photo ID law for voters, according to the National Conference for State Legislatures.


Porter Novelli president and CFO Anthony Viceroy is the latest top executive to head for the exit at the Omnicom unit.

CEO Gary Stockman is leaving this month after four years, following the departures of chief marketing officer Michael Goldberg and president Julie Winskie.

Viceroy took the CFO title in 2009 after serving as senior VP of PN’s parent, Omnicom’s Diversified Agency Services group. He earlier worked in the pharmaceutical sector.

While the ouster of top execs has sparked speculation about Porter Novelli’s future, DAS chief Dale Adams said in announcing Stockman’s exit last month that PN’s “history and future make it a valued member” of Omnicom.

OMC has installed Michael Ramah, a 25-year PN veteran, as acting CEO. He is one of eight senior partners at the firm.


The 2012 O’Dwyer’s Directory of Public Relations Firms, PR’s No. 1 source of information for clients looking for PR counsel and PR pros shopping for jobs, has been published.

The 42nd annual edition lists 1,600 PR firms and sorts them by size, geographical location and 12 types of PR specialties. Clients shopping on the web for healthcare, tech, financial, food/beverage and other PR specialists are invariably directed to the O’Dwyer PR rankings that are based on data in the Directory.

O'Dwyer's Directory of PR FirmsMore than 500 of the firms are in the freearea of the O’Dwyer online database. Copies of the 340page print edition are $95 from the O’Dwyer Co.

“The Directory is an excellent textbook for PR students as well as those thinking of a PR career,” said publisher Jack O’Dwyer.

More than 500 PR firms provide extensive descriptions of their increasingly varied services, he noted. “Such descriptions are far preferable to the outmoded definitions and descriptions of PR that are in most textbooks,” he said.


Grayling CEO Michael Murphy told O’Dwyer’s that he’s stepping down because he wants to “have a ‘plural career’ and develop a portfolio of interests” that will include the Huntsworth unit.

He will remain CEO until a successor is in place sometime in 2013 and then continue as Grayling’s part-time, non executive chairman. The majority of that time will be devoted to Grayling, he noted. Murphy said he discussed his plan with Huntsworth “for some time.”

Peter Chadlington, Huntsworth CEO, praised Murphy as a “central architect of the successful strategy to merge many of our businesses to form a single brand and attract larger multi-office clients.”

Murphy anticipates a seamless management transition and “no change at all as I continue in my current role.”

He’s eager to develop interests that play to his years of international experience. Murphy has headed Shandwick’s Asian and European operations.


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