I am a PR Rep and PAO. (SEE: (blogs): highvizpr,abbebuckpr, abbebuckpublicaffairs); Twitter). YES, politics + info-tainment are ruling the day; W/ micro-blogging speeding the process of plow and share ten-fold, I share PR POV right here, welcoming all Q & A. To find out more about my line, "GOOGLE" (of course!)/ get in touch. (Still) TOPICAL QUOTE: "We are living in an age of Publicity" -Will Rogers (1924) ~~(Some things just never change!) # # #
Saturday, July 23, 2005
ole Bill Faulkner would be proud. Have another tumbler of whiskey, old man.
The characters take on a whole new dimension. They echo the current administration. Bush is now slow...in the head...and Saddam in Mississippi...
Only in America.
Friday, July 22, 2005
...and go to carbohydrate heaven - but it's all about the BRAND. It must be Krispy Kreme!
Oh, Krispy Kreme, I love you so.
Take the "challenge" and the box of the best donuts on the planet is on me!
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
By KIM CURTIS, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 22 minutes ago
SAN FRANCISCO - Forty pilots were arrested after an investigation found they were licensed to fly but were receiving Social Security disability payments for a variety of illnesses, federal officials said.
The pilots, who include commercial and transport pilots, claimed to be medically fit to fly airplanes. However, they may have been flying with debilitating illnesses that should have kept them grounded, ranging from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder to drug and alcohol addiction and heart conditions, said Marlon Cobar, a prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney's office in Fresno.
An 18-month review of 40,000 pilots in Northern California began in July 2003 as a
Homeland Security project to look into the fraudulent use of Social Security numbers.
When dozens of names turned up in both Social Security Administration and
Federal Aviation Administration rolls, "they realized there was probably criminal wrongdoing — either lying to the FAA or wrongfully receiving benefits," Cobar said.
The FAA immediately revoked 14 pilots' licenses and medical certificates, which are necessary to maintain a valid license, the U.S. attorney's office said. Others were referred for administrative revocation.
"We chose the most egregious," Cobar said Monday. "You can't really fly a plane if you're telling the Social Security Administration you have a disabling back condition or bipolar disorder."
Other pilots not yet charged were found to be lying about having illnesses in order to collect the Social Security payment, Cobar said.
FAA spokesman Donn Walker said it was unclear how many of the pilots flew for a living, but that at least a dozen of them held commercial or airline transport licenses.
Thirty pilots are charged with making false statements to a government agency, and 10 are charged with making and delivering a false official writing.
On the Net:
Just doing that PR thing
Rebecca Eckler, National Post, Toronto
She spends over 900 minutes a month on her cellphone, but Danielle Iversen still calls the cab dispatcher 'Sweetie'
During the hour I spend with Danielle Iversen, at her home office in Yorkville, on the first day of the Toronto International Film Festival, her cellphone rings 17 times, her land line rings nine times, and the doorbell rings five times. I see that she has 50 e-mails waiting on her computer. I'm standing in her kitchen, and before I know it, I have three new party invitations in my hand. Iversen has lovingly -- if you can say that -- become known as the Lizzie Grubman of Toronto, a well-known publicity woman who not only publicizes people or their products, but organizes parties and events as well. [Ah, Yes, we all know our Lizzie!--Grubman is the famous New York publicist to the stars who was embroiled in scandal when she allegedly backed her SUV over a lineup of people waiting outside a nightclub in the Hamptons, and went to jail. Now bigger than ever! The celebrity publicist!]
Danielle Iversen, 31, will be throwing parties for everyone from Harry Rosen to Ron Jeremy (in the movie Porn Star) during the film festival.
"I've heard that Lizzie comparison a lot, especially since she's become that 'famous Lizzie.' Of course, I don't drive over people. I drive like Lizzie, though, which is aggressively. But I don't hit people."
At 31, Iversen is the type of person you want to hate. And not only because she is beautiful, blond and green-eyed, with a body to die for. ("I golf, play tennis, swim, but no aerobics. My life is my aerobics," she says.) When I first called her, asking to do a profile, she asked me to hold on the phone, for what seemed like half an hour. On her end, she was carrying on a conversation with someone else -- while they were having lunch.
When we meet, she's answering phones, putting on mascara, making me coffee, booking new clients, aiding present clients and, at one point, doing it all while running around in her bra. When she answers the door to greet me, my hair is a mess, and I'm wearing wrinkled clothes. Iversen tells me I look "fantastic." I know I look like crap. Still, I can't help but be pleased, even though, I'm sure, in Iversen's world, everyone looks "fantastic." Without knowing it, I start to smile at her compliment.
Damn, I think, this girl is good.
Iversen is the founder and head of her own company, called That PR Thing. On any given week, I'll receive at least five e-mail invites to parties thrown by Iversen. I find out I'm one of 1,500 people on her e-mail list.
"When people asked me what I do, I would always say, 'Oh, I do that PR thing.' So I decided to name my company that." [hear, hear viva la HighViz-ability!]
People like Iversen fascinate me. They're the type of people who can do a million and a half things at the same time. During the film festival, Iversen does three and a half million things at the same time.
While the rest of us can live happily with the three basic necessities -- food, clothing and shelter -- Iversen's three basic necessities are her Palm Pilot, her cellphone and her business cards. In fact, on the back of her front door is a reminder: "Danielle, before you leave, make sure you have your Palm Pilot, your cellphone, your business cards."
Iversen makes me laugh, telling me the story of how she got her latest cellphone, the newest one on the market from Nokia. "I went through so many cellphones. But I needed one that could vibrate, has call display, call waiting, all with a headset. I needed it all." [same here]
She talks "way over" the 900 minutes given to her a month. She has 5,000 names in her Palm Pilot, also the latest on the market.
And ... yet ... she ... never ... seems ... to ... get ... frazzled. Ever.
Lying on her made bed, featuring nine -- count 'em, nine -- pillows, are clothes from Danier leather (including a $595 black leather jacket). "They hired me for the film festival to get the word out on their product. Aren't they beautiful? I'm going to wear Danier all through the festival."
The phone rings ...
"Oh, I'd love to do it," she says into the receiver. "I have really great ideas already for it. I can do a really great party for you.
Home and Garden TV wants her to host a party. Iversen makes arrangements to talk with them next week and moves on.
"You don't understand who's coming to this party. Everybody," she says, handing me an invite to a party next week for Ron Jeremy, the subject of the movie Porn Star. "In an hour, over 100 people RSVP'd to me." She's doing the Harry Rosen and the Global TV parties during the film festival as well.
The phone rings again.
"Lunch? I'd love to. Where do we meet?"
The doorbell rings.
"Oh my God," she laughs. "It's the guy from Bruno's. Every year he sends me a fruit salad and cheese on the first day of the film festival."
Why? I ask, ready to give the delivery boy my address. I mean, I like fruit salad and cheese.
"Oh, when I was doing my first film festival, I ran in there like a madwoman for some food," she says. "So now he knows what it's like for me and just sends food over. Isn't he fantastic?"
We're waiting for a cab to come over to deliver a shirt from her dry cleaners. "Thanks, sweetie," she says into the phone.
"Uh, did you just say 'sweetie' to the cab dispatcher?" I ask.
She did. The thing about Iversen is that, through all her Hollywood lingo, she honestly means well. "I love helping people. I'll do anything for anybody."
I want to play a game with her just to see how plugged in she is.
"Can you get Kate Hudson's PR woman?" I ask.
"Can you get Eugene Levy's publicist?"
"Can you get Brad Pitt's publicist on the phone?"
"When was the last time you stayed in for a night with Roger -- meaning Rogers Video?" I couldn't help but ask her.
"Probably about three months ago," she says. "I got home at 2 a.m. last night, which is early during the film festival. Usually I don't get home until 3 a.m. or 4 a.m."
As I'm leaving her home, I look into her red Jetta parked in her driveway.
"Do you know what colour that car is?" she calls out. "It's called Tornado Red. Like me."
[And to think I drive a green Jag X - LOL!]
Monday, July 18, 2005
Public Relations Campaign for Research Office at E.P.A. Includes Ghostwriting Articles
The New York Times
By FELICITY BARRINGER
Published: July 18, 2005
WASHINGTON, July 17 - The Office of Research and Development at the Environmental Protection Agency is seeking outside public relations consultants, to be paid up to $5 million over five years, to polish its Web site, organize focus groups on how to buff the office's image and ghostwrite articles "for publication in scholarly journals and magazines."
The strategy, laid out in a May 26 exploratory proposal notice and further defined in two recently awarded public relations contracts totaling $150,000, includes writing and placing "good stories" about the E.P.A.'s research office in consumer and trade publications.
The contracts were awarded just months after the Bush administration came under scrutiny for its public relations policies. In some cases payments were made to columnists, including Armstrong Williams, who promoted the federal education law known as No Child Left Behind and received an undisclosed $240,000. In January, President Bush publicly abandoned this practice.The governmentwide public relations strategies, however, continue to include the preparation of TV-ready news reports on government policies.
An E.P.A. spokeswoman said over the weekend that the effort to raise the profile of the agency's research had a worthwhile goal: calling attention to the work of 1,900 scientists and staff members. Noting that the office's annual budget is $600 million, the spokeswoman, Eryn Witcher, said, "We would like to use less than 1 percent of that to make information accessible to the public."Three similar contracts - one of which was abandoned, the agency said - and the broader $5 million proposal were provided to The New York Times by the environmental group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. Its director, Jeff Ruch, said he had received them from an agency employee who believed that research money was being inappropriately diverted to a public relations campaign."The idea that they would take limited science dollars and spend them on P.R. is not only ill advised, it's just plain stupid," Mr. Ruch said in an interview.Ms. Witcher responded: "It's not spending money on communications at the expense of research but rather in support of it. This allows the results of E.P.A. research to be shared with the general public."While the scope of the exploratory proposal is new, Ms. Witcher said, the two smaller contracts "are standard. It's standard to get more help with skills that folks don't have. It's very common throughout the entire federal government."One of the smaller contracts asks the contractor to "develop feature article research and strategy" and to "write the strategy to support a new unit that will be identifying feature story ideas, creating slant, identifying consumer magazines to target and polishing the final article."That contract, for feature articles, was awarded to JDG Communications of Falls Church, Va., for $65,692.62, Ms. Witcher said.
The second smaller contract was also awarded to JDG Communications, for $85,829.06. It calls on the contractor to develop two "perception specific indicators" that "must show whether public relations efforts to create awareness and improve the reputation of E.P.A.'s research and development, its labs and its top-quality scientists has favorably influenced public perception."The more extensive and expensive plan seeks help from public relations agencies to, among other things, "provide research, writing and editing of Office of Research and Development articles for publications in scholarly journals and magazines."
Donald Kennedy, the editor of Science magazine and a former head of the Food and Drug Administration, said in a telephone interview on Saturday that he found the idea of public relations firms ghostwriting for government scientists "appalling."
"If we knew that it had been written by someone who was not a scientist and submitted as though it were the work of a scientist, we wouldn't take it," Mr. Kennedy said. "But it's conceivable that we wouldn't know, if it was carefully constructed."He added that the practice of putting public relations polish on scientific work has already been practiced by industry. "We had seen it coming in the pharmaceutical industry and were sort of wary about it," he said. "The idea that a government agency would feel the necessity to do this is doubly troubling."Speaking of ghostwriting, Mr. Kennedy said: "If the ghostwriting is the kind of ghostwriting that most of the good mentors I knew did with Ph.D. students on first paper, it could be a good thing. But I sincerely doubt if any for-profit P.R. firm hired in the interest of improving a scientific publication is going to be the right person to do that."
The contract for assessing the office's image states that the public relations research data "will also be used to show E.P.A.'s relative position with its competitors." The contract's list of competitors included the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Institutes of Health, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, private industry and academia.Mr. Ruch, of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, suggested that the notion of a government science agency having competitors might reflect an increasing push across the government to solicit outside support, often from industry, for federal scientific research.
But Ms. Witcher of the environmental agency rejected that hypothesis, saying that the other federal agencies mentioned in that contract were not thought of as competitors. "They are looking at other federal agencies that also do science and research to see how they are communicating to the public," she said.As for the issue of ghostwriting for journals, she said:
"Nothing's been done. Nothing's been awarded. What they envisioned is looking at this very technical" material presented by scientists and making it accessible to laymen. The ghostwriters, should they ever be hired, she said, "can't make up the material. They are taking scientists' work and making it more understandable."
[--isn't this part of our job, as publicists, as writers(?)]