Wednesday, May 18, 2005

New Services
London, UK: Mr Computerman has launched what it claims is the first onsite IT support service specially geared to meeting the needs of public relations agencies and freelancers who work at home..

New Accounts
New York:
Novastar Resources Ltd and The Shelron Group, Inc to Rubenstein Public Relations

Toronto: Carpathian Gold Inc to Paradox Public Relations.

Vancouver: San Telmo Energy Ltd to Sea Level Communications.

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Friday, May 13, 2005

VNU corporate, IR departments switch to NY
AFX is reporting that VNU NV, the global information and media company said it is shifting its corporate communications and investor relations departments to New York ahead of seeking a possible stock listing there.

The move follows VNU already shifting several corporate functions to New York from its head office in Haarlem, Netherlands over the past year. The shift reflects 'the increasing importance of its US operations, the increasing size of its US shareholder base and a possible US listing of VNU shares', the company said in a statement.

Rob de Meel, senior vice president for corporate communications and investor relations, will step down in September. A replacement will be named later in the year, VNU said.

A new US-based spokesman, Will Thoretz, has also been named from June 1 to take over all external communications.

5W Public Relations, the fast growing PR agency in the US has added Atlantic Records recording artist - Hip-Hop Twista to its growing roster of celebrity clientele in the Entertainment division. Regarded as one of the most important figures in rap history, Twista first captured the world’s attention over a decade ago when he was named “the world’s fastest rapper” by the Guinness Book of World Records.

Michael Ventriello has been appointed public relations manager at Lanmark Group, a full-service advertising, marketing, and communications agency that specializes in the healthcare industry. It is based in Eatontown, New Jersey.

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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Veteran communications executive and brand builder Laurie Goldberg will join the CNN News Group executive team, effective June 6, to oversee all public relations activity supporting CNN news networks and businesses including CNN/U.S., CNN Headline News,, CNN en Español, CNN Airport Channel, CNNRadio and CNN Newsource

A conference is to be held June 7-10 in Nairobi to plan the future growth and development of Africa’s public relations industry. According to the organizers, Federation of African Public Relations, the industry has a responsibility to project the country to the rest of the world as suitable for investment, a unique tourist destination and a wonderful place to live in, given its enviable natural resources.

Relegence Corporation has chosen Write Image, Inc. as its public relations agency of record in North America. The company has content and distribution partnerships with Dow Jones & Company Inc., CNBC, Radianz, PR Newswire, AFX News, Global Securities Information, Inc. and Agence France-Presse to deliver specialised data to the financial services community.

Roepke Public Relations has been honoured with the Outstanding Volunteer award by the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance for outstanding media relations to educate the public about ovarian cancer since 2002.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Eisbrenner Public Relations of Troy, Michigan and Hong-Kong based Upstream Asia have formed a strategic partnership to provide corporate and marketing communications support to automotive- and technology- related corporations aiming to expand their reach between North America and Asia

The agreement follows the recent co-operation between the two firms to help North American- based clients maximize their participation in Auto Shanghai 2005.

OutlookSoft Corporation, a leading provider of Microsoft-based business performance management (BPM) software, has appointed Prompt Communications as its UK-based public relations consultancy.

Mylan Laboratories Inc. has named Patrick A. Fitzgerald Vice President, Public Relations replacing Fi Heather Bresch, who was promoted to the new position of Vice President of Strategic Corporate Development in the office of the CEO. He was previously Director of Public Relations for General Nutrition Centers.

Diary Dates
The world’s leading international gathering for the broadcast news industry -- The News Xchange -- will take place 10-11 November at the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky in Amsterdam. The largest international event of its kind and underwritten by Eurovision, the not-for-profit News Xchange 2005 will probe the most relevant issues of the day facing the broadcast news industry.The 2004 conference attracted 450 delegates from 148 organisations in 47 countries Additionally, 42 speakers were brought in via satellite from all corners of the world.

The Fort Worth chapter of the Public Relations Society of America will host an educational and professional business development seminar on June 8. The presenters include Roslyn Dawson Thompson, principal and chief creative officer of Dawson Duncan, a marketing communications firm based in Dallas.
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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Changing Landscape
Tomorrow (12 May) the IABC is holding a teleseminar (8-9am Pacific Daylight Time only) to discuss how the PR landscape is being changed by weblogs, citizen journalism and a new technology called really simple syndication (RSS).

The presenter is Steve Rubel, Vice President, Client Services at CooperKatz & Company, a PR firm in New York City. He is also the author of the Micro Persuasion weblog, which tracks how blogs and participatory journalism are changing the public relations practice.
'New Frontiers' Research
Edelman PR is conducting research for their second annual "New Frontiers in Communications" learn more about the variety of information channels that companies use to communicate with their employees and, to a certain extent, with external audiences. Edelman have asked some 300 communication professionals worldwide to take the survey, a significant increase on the numbers and geographies from last year (which was US and Canada only).
Drugs industry image campaign
The pharmaceutical industry is launching a campaign in an attempt to overcome its negative image. Several setbacks in drug safety this year have weakened consumer confidence in the drug industry, but now Billy Tauzin, the new head of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), is promising “some pretty big changes” in the way it goes about its business.

He promised to change the tone of the industry’s controversial direct-to-consumer advertisements and to highlight the need to address the nation’s uninsured problem. He also indicated that PhRMA will work more cooperatively with the media, saying that the group would shake its reputation for “no-comments.”

Tauzin said PhRMA is committed to the truth — “the good, the bad and the ugly.”

The industry needs to anticipate potential problems and be more open about early signs of trouble, but there are limits to how much can be understood about any drug before it reaches the market, Tauzin said.“Every medicine has side effects.

Americans have to come to understand that, and they don’t,” Tauzin said. “We all have a job to do as patients … to learn about and to understand the drugs we take.”
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Monday, May 09, 2005

Day 7 Gossip

'New Frontiers' Survey
Edelman PR is conducting research for their second annual "New Frontiers in Communications" learn more about the variety of information channels that companies use to communicate with their employees and, to a certain extent, with external audiences. Edelman have asked some 300 communication professionals worldwide to take the survey, a significant increase on the numbers and geographies from last year (which was US and Canada only).

Changing Landscape
Meanwhile this Wednesday (12 May) the IABC is holding a teleseminar (8-9am Pacific Daylight Time only) to discuss how the PR landscape is being changed by weblogs, citizen journalism and a new technology called really simple syndication (RSS).
The presenter is Steve Rubel, Vice President, Client Services at CooperKatz & Company, a PR firm in New York City. He is also the author of the Micro Persuasion weblog, which tracks how blogs and participatory journalism are changing the public relations practice.
'Paid journalism' outlawed
Companies and internal PR departments of major corporations in Ukraine have signed a code of ethics that outlaws the practice of paid journalism and replaces it with the international standard of ‘Advertorial’ so that the public can tell the difference between the honest opinion of a professional journalist and advertising material disguised to look like journalism.

The code incorporates 50 points of ethical practice including aspects of professional practice, commission payments, the treatment of clients & staff and discrimination issues.
  • Standard Chartered Bank has dropped one of its two agencies – Bell Pottinger – leaving Finsbury as its sole corporate and financial adviser.
  • An ‘irreverent’ public relations campaign to launch a malt whisky called Monkey Shoulder’ produced by William Grant & Sons, producers of the Glenfiddich brand, for younger drinkers aged 30-40 is being planned by Frank PR, the UK agency.
  • Hill & Knowlton tasked to persuade Westminster politicians and London’s business, media and arts communities to support Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture status in 2008.
  • CFA Society of Columbus Retains Image Management Associates as Public Relations Agency of Record
  • Teliris Ltd. Selects CooperKatz & Company as Marketing/PR Agency-of-Record
  • Kupper Parker Communications Announces Marketing Campaign for AutoMeds
  • Nationwide Securities Arbitration Services and Great Financial Mortgage selects Prime L.A. for Public Relations
  • Integrated Warehousing Solutions appoints Corporate Ink for Integrated
    PR and Marketing
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Saturday, May 07, 2005

Day 6 Gossip

National, Canada’s largest public relations firm has appointed John Crean managing partner of its Toronto office with the promotion of Edward Gould to senior vice president. Crean was previously managing director of sister firm Cohne & Wolfe, Canada. Geetha Warrier has joined

The Body Shop in Singapore n the newly created role of regional public relations manager. Warrier worked at The Financial Times Business for six years before joining Raffles Hotel Group as marketing communications manager. She also worked at Intercontinental Hotels Group and was most recently director of marketing communications at The Fullerton Hotel in Singapore.

Suzie Warner, Burston-Marsteller director of brands and integrated marketing in London to become global director of marketing at MPG, the Havas-owned media agency.

Lenovo has appointed Text 100 to handle public relations for its regional product business, expected to be worth over US$500,000 over the next seven months. The mandate -- which covers Asean, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and Australasia -- ensures that Text 100 remains the lead agency for IBM's product PR, after the Chinese giant bought out IBM's PC division in late 2004.

GCI has replaced Ogilvy PR Worldwide to handle the entire EMEA account for Dell, the world’s largest personal computer manufacturer. The switch is designed to create a single point of PR contact across the region.

Unilever has appointed Cake, the London PR agency to handle consumer and online publicity for its Pot Noodle food brand.

VisitLondon, the capital’s promotional organization has named Freud Communications as its first retained agency with a mandate to boost visitor numbers. They beat Euro RSCG, Biss Lancaster and Consolidated Communications.

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Friday, May 06, 2005

Day 5 Gossip

Britain woke up today to singer Kylie Minogue voted into No 10 Downing Street as Britain's second female prime minister after Margaret Thatcher - she polled 1,930 votes on a spoof website, on a Conservative ticket promising to bring glamour back into politics. She beat celebrity chef Jamie Oliver (Labour) into 2nd place with 1,465 votes with footballer Wayne Rooney (Liberal Democrats) third with 1,340 votes. The site was created by London public relations agency Incredibull Ideas

A storm is brewing over the appointment in Muskogee, Oklahoma of Cynthia L Heupel on a salary of $83,000 making her the highest paid public relations professional working for a public school district in the state. An online poll in The Phoenix, the newspaper who broke the story concluded that 50% of the readers considered the salary unreasonable and 48% considered it reasonable.

SaVi Media Group, Inc has appointed Terri Jenkins-Brady, a consultant with over 25 years of experience in journalism and public relations, to its corporate communications department to create increasing awareness of its achievements in automotive technology.

Trade Fair Support, the global B2B event solution provider, has retained WebitPR, ( the leading online news distribution and monitoring company, to provide online media relations support to UK companies exhibiting at technology industry events throughout the world.

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Thursday, May 05, 2005

Day 4 Gossip

Josephine Lee, who has held sales and marketing positions with some of the world’s most prestigious financial firms such as Merrill Lynch and JP Morgan & Co has been appointed Director of Public Relations at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong.

Boston Acoustics has appointed Nicoll Public Relations as agency of record for the car audio division. The agency specializes in consumer electronics.

The podcasting community has formed its first trade association, The International Nanocasting Alliance to accelerate the growth of commercial internet radio and podcasting by promoting self-regulation. Founders include media, marketing, academic and legal professionals, media entrepreneurs and advisors from the United States, the UK and Australia.
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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Day 3 Gossip

Where Education PR Funds Went
The largest share, $5.45 million, of the US Education Department’s spend of more than $9.4 million on hiring PR firms over the last few years, went to the Hager Sharp firm for coordination of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, according to documents just released to The Associated Press.

The documents, released in response to a Freedom of Information request, come as the agency is under scrutiny for how it promotes its agenda.

The total spending includes a $1.3 million contract with the Ketchum public relations firm – $240,000 of which went to conservative commentator Armstrong Williams for ads and other promotions of President Bush's education law. The hiring of a media figure has proven embarrassing for the administration and prompted investigations into charges of propaganda.

New Accounts
Johannesburg-based PR company 24-7 Solutions have been re-appointed by Biz Events (Pty) Ltd for the third consecutive year, as the official media and Public Relations agency to manage publicity of the 2005 National Show, to be held at the Coca Cola Dome, Northgate from August 26-28.

High tech specialists, Dittoe Public Relations (, has been retained build awareness in the US of Cordiant Technologies, a global offshore software outsourcing company from India, which has recently opened a subsidiary, Cordiant Technologies Americas, Inc, in Princeton, NJ.

Harold Burson On Current Trends
Harold Burson, the confidante of corporate CEOs globally for more than 50 years and a titan of the industry acclaimed by PR Week as "the most influential PR figure" of the 20th century, is to address the Fairfield County Public Relations Association on Wednesday, in Norwalk, CT on May 18.

Burson is to assess the trends influencing the current PR marketplace and look back at the spirit and evolution of Burson-Marsteller where he is still active today as founder chairman.

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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Day 2 Gossip

A PR Promise
At a Business Wire breakfast in San Francisco yesterday about 40 PR people were listening to the AP's Silicon Valley Reporter, Rachel Konrad, talk about what she covers and how she responds to PR people when one young woman, from a well-known PR agency, participated in the following exchange:

PR Person: We promise our clients an MBO, three interview pitches and a story. Is three pitches enough?

AP reporter: What exactly do you mean by "MBO?"

PR Person: I don't actually know. It's just what we tell clients.

New Accounts
Vocus, Inc., the global leader in on- demand software for public relations and government relations, ( has announced that JetBlue Airways has chosen Vocus public relations software to help automate their PR and media management operations.
MFIC Corporation has engaged LaVoie Strategic Communications Group, Inc. ( for investor outreach, financial communications and strategic investor relations counsel
Euro RSCG Biss Lancaster has won a six months contract to promote children’s clothes retailer Adams Kids as it modernises its chain of stores in the UK.

In & Out
GCI London chief executive, Sue Ryan, who has resigned after ten years, will not be replaced. Her responsibilities are to be assumed by GCI UK and European chairman Adrian Wheeler.

Chris Fox, corporate relations director, Tate & Lyle, for the last six years, has been appointed director of group communications at Smiths Group, the aerospace and engineering company, which last December bought US medical devices company Medex for £486 million.

Rob Shimmin, managing director Ogilvy PR Worldwide, EMEA, is to leave shortly to concentrate on his own media training and communications consultancy in Kent, England.
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Monday, May 02, 2005

Where PR gossip starts

I have started this blog to create a single global place for the staple diet of PR gossip - the comings and goings of people and accounts, agency start-ups, new initiatives, expansions, award wins, people.
Press releases from agencies, companies, charities, trade associations, public sector organisation - big or small and no matter where they are located - should be sent to me at for publication.

Day 1 Gossip

School's Image Maker
Muskogee Public Schools' new public relations director Cythnia L Heupel, is the highest paid PR professional working for a state school district in Oklahoma, US but admits she has no professional experience or special training in the field. Her annual salary is $83.000.
New moderator
Mark Woodrow, Executive Director of Galaxy Marcoms, is taking over from Melanie Mayne-Wilson as moderator of the Australian PR Network. He is a strategist, writer and consultant who specializes in marketing communications.
New accounts
Tobin & Associates, ( celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2005, has added two consulting clients during the first quarter of the year - BeWellMobile, software developers for the wireless mobile telephone industry; and Command Audio, a company that owns and licenses a portfolio of U.S. and foreign patents critical to the transmission, navigation and presentation of stored media for a variety of electronic devices.
Randall Public Relations ( has added Great Harvest Bread Company, Mackay Restaurants and the Sammamish Center for Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery to its client roster.
A celebrity PM
One website adding fun to Britain's General Election is where three celebrities - a TV cook, singer and a footballer - are running to become Prime Minister. It was created by Incredibull Ideas, the London PR agency (