Posts Tagged by Boston PR

International PR expert Dick Pirozzolo on deepening US-Vietnam ties

Harris Communications Group Dick Pirozzolo, 3rd from left on panel at CEO Summit in Vietnam, July 2015

Harris Communications Group Dick Pirozzolo, 2nd from right on panel at CEO Summit in Vietnam, July 2015

Harris Communications Group member  and PR expert Dick Pirozzolo,  recently served on a panel in Ho Chi Minh City at the Vietnam CEO Summit 2015 where more than 100 Vietnam’s top executives and business owners came to learn about American marketing principles and how to penetrate markets in the US. Speakers and panelists included Harvard professors, journalists and marketing experts. Prof. John Quelch of Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration led the all-day discussion, reviewing Harvard case studies covering The New York Times transition to the digital age and Amazon’s phenomenal success as an online marketer. The event was organized by Boston Global Forum, a Boston think tank, founded by former Governor Michael Dukakis and Tuan Anh Nguyen, and Richard Moore Associates, a Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City marketing firm. Pirozzolo told the group, “North Americans positively embrace Vietnam and Vietnam’s culture is more fully integrated into our society than that of any other Asian nation.” During the panel discussion, he urged the executives to rely on cultural events—including both Vietnamese and Western classical music performances—and celebrity to promote Vietnam. He noted that President Clinton’s recent visit to Hanoi was big news in the US and had enormous impact by placing Vietnam in the front of Americans’ minds. The bond between Americans and Vietnamese has grown tighter since the US opened up trade with Vietnam two decades ago.”

In a later interview Pirozzolo said, “You know Vietnam is integrated into our popular culture when you see Modern Family character Cam Tucker pulling off  a comical bit on how American’s can’t pronounce Pho, the traditional Vietnamese breakfast soup. Cam tries a couple of pronunciations on an Asian doctor who finally quips, ‘I wouldn’t know, I’m Japanese.’  Modern Family is the most popular show on American television, drawing an audience of 10 million—that means the writers expect a huge cross section of Americans to have enough awareness of Vietnam to get the joke. And, when you can comfortably bring in humor, that’s a big deal in terms of the relationship.”

Two young executives at the Vietnam CEO 2015 Summit. One big change. Ho Chi Minh City has become more fashionable over the past 20 years. Navy blue and charcoal Western suits are commonplace among men and, except for special occasions and among hotel, airline, and conference greeters, the demure Ao Dai is seldom seen in the city.

Two young executives at the Vietnam CEO 2015 Summit. One big change. Ho Chi Minh City has become more fashionable over the past 20 years. Navy blue and charcoal Western suits are commonplace among men and, except for special occasions and among hotel, airline, and conference greeters, the demure Ao Dai is seldom seen in the city.

Since Pirozzolo began promoting U.S. recognition of Vietnam, its most-favored-nation status, and US-Vietnam trade in the mid-1990s, this nation of 90 million has become an important business and trading partner, travel destination and major ally in maintaining the peace Southeast Asia. The July conference coincided with the 20th anniversary of US recognition of Vietnam and the granting of Most Favored Nation status. About 400,000 Americans and 100,000 Canadians are expected to visit Vietnam in 2015 according to Vietnamese government statistics. Vietnam is very welcoming, “I never felt any residual animosity during my involvement with Vietnam over the years. Notably over 60 percent of the populations was born after the American War ended in April of 1975—40 years ago. A prominent Vietnamese leader who was a child at the time said of those years, we just wanted the war to end.

Two young executives at the Vietnam CEO 2015 Summit. One big change. Ho Chi Minh City has become more fashionable over the past 20 years. Navy blue and charcoal Western suits are commonplace among men and, except for special occasions and among hotel, airline, and conference greeters, the demure Ao Dai is seldom seen in the city. “To put that 40-year time span into sharper focus, 1985 marked the 40th anniversary of the end of World War II and Americans were driving BMWs and Toyotas with nary a thought and the Japanese were listening to Phil Collins.” Panelists are from left  Moderator Nguyen Duc Son, brand manager, Richard Moore Associates, Michael Morris, journalists and author, Prof. Thomas Patterson, Harvard University, Tuan Anh Nguyen, chairman and co-founder of Boston Global Forum, Nguyen Van Tuong, president Tram Huong Khanh Hoa, a major agar wood supplier, Dick Pirozzolo, Pirozzolo Company Public Relations and editorial board of Boston Global Forum and Llewelyn King, host, White House Chronicles airing on PBS.   For additional details and photos of Vietnam during the 90s visit:

Dick Pirozzolo is an international PR expert based in the Boston area.  


Virtual Knowledge Assistant Work Exchanged for Donations to Philippine storm victims

Very pleased to spread the word that Leo von Wendorff, a colleague of ours at the Cambridge Innovation Center whose business is largely based in the Philippines.will, for one month,  donate all proceeds from his virtual knowledge worker business to victims of Super-Typhoon Haiya.



Leo Von Wendorff CEO, VKW Leo Von Wendorff, CEO, VKW


Leo writes:

Dear Friends of VKW-

Cities and Towns were destroyed.

Lives were lost.

Thousands may still be missing.

Together with you

We want to help

Recreate Communities

Let’s rebuild their Lives!


For one month, we are offering our Virtual Private Assistant services in exchange for your donation. 100% of the proceeds will go to the victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan via Philippine Red Cross. Let us take on your time-consuming and mundane tasks, knowing that your donation will help rebuild the lives of those affected by this terrible tragedy.


Please submit your project, work order or task request to or (617) 299-1176 by December 7, 2013.


Typical tasks that we can handle for you:

  • Data Entry, such as data entry of all your business cards

  • Appointment settings for your business or personal event

  • Execute your social media and telemarketing campaign

  • Lead mining

  • Internet research


All task and pledges are subject to our review and depending on resources available.

-Your VKW Team
–Anita Harris Leo Von Wendorff CEO, VKW
Anita M. Harris is managing director of the Harris Communications Group, an award-winning public relations and marketing firm based at the Cambridge Innovation Center, in Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA.  HarrisCom specializes in media relations and content services for clients in health, science, technology, energy and education, worldwide. 


Tree-based biofuel company EuphorbUS to open operating site in Hawaii

Boston, October 16—-Oil seed tree-based biofuel company EuphorbUS today announced that it is expanding its global operations to the United States.  The company, which has operated for seven years in East Africa,  completed a strategic alliance with the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center in Kauai, Hawaii to begin the transfer of agro forestry protocols to the  Hawaiian Islands.

EuphorbUS, incorporated in the US in 2008, completed research and development and has been producing price competitive Pure Plant Oil Biofuel for the residential markets in three East African countries.  The company manufactures a renewable, low cost, plant-based fuel oil in Kenya for the East African market.  The fuel, which is used to replace petroleum diesel for trucks, farm equipment and industrial and small residential gen sets is produced from oil extracted from widely available nuts of the Croton tree. The tree and others of its species are indigenous to 5 regions of the world—including Africa, Australasia, Indonesia, South America, and Hawaii.

The fuel is cost competitive with petroleum diesel, burns cleaner than petroleum based fuel, can be used with little to no modification for most engines, has been used for centuries in rural regions of the world, and is derived from trees which are not cut to harvest the oil seeds according to Christine Adamow, the EuphorbUS founder and CEO.  The extraction and production technology is exceptional in that no chemical inputs are required and the processing facility is self-powered with biomass and fuel produced by the company, making the factory fully rationalized for cost and carbon savings.

“The world is facing rapidly rising costs and depletion of standard fossil fuels, increasing pollution, and a growing need for affordable, clean, safe, and scalable energy to supply the world’s burgeoning economies,” Adamow said. “We are excited to bring our experience in emerging markets and our technology back home, where we can leverage the past 6 year of boots on the ground in East Africa to the US.”

The company is positioning itself for a favorable off take by the US Navy which has a mandate to run the US Global fleet on Biofuel by 2020.    Short term, EuphorbUS will prepare the tree protocols for the US market while  seeking contractor/parners  to produce  biofuel for the Global Green Fleet. “From our years of experience we know that the local market is our sweet spot and Hawaii is ready for us. We expect to create a new market for over 120, 000 barrels of Biofuel annually, with employment for over 1000 farmers and up to 75 professional jobs on the Islands,” Adamow said.

EuphorbUS made its announcement as part of an investor presentation at the Global Clean Tech Meet up in Boston, Massachusetts.

EuphorbUS is a Delaware company that  grows oil seed trees and produces pure plant oil biofuel.


HarrisCom’s Anita Harris Joins Boston Globe, ABC News on Health Communications Panel

On April 5, I joined Stephen Smith of the Boston Globe and Lara Salahi of  ABC News on an Emerson College panel discussion about careers in health communications. Here’s my report:

Smith,  now the Globe’s city editor,   traced  his career as a health reporter from his early days  at the Miami Herald through his many years at the Globe--describing a drive to tell the stories of individuals  in order to bring their plight to public attention.

He pointed out that while in Massachusetts, most people have access to health care,  in other parts of the US, this is not the case.  He also described his coverage of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, focusing on the story of Reginette Cineliene  a 14-year old  girl who lost her father, a sister, her home and a leg, spent a year living in a tent encampment, was often hungry, yet still managed to study with the goal of one day becoming a doctor.

Smith said he found Reginette  inspirational–and that he was pleased that his reporting had led readers to  provide Reginette’s remaining family with money to rent a home and pay for an artificial limb.

Salahi, an ABC News  health producer, emphasized  the importance of  telling the stories of “real” people-as opposed to focusing on reports by experts. She used three brief slide/video shows to illustrate the hope and difficulties autism brings to families. One featured a young man who had wanted to be a doctor but, instead, went into radiation diagnostics; a second a  husband and wife who are raising three autistic daughters;  and the third  parents of an autistic son who died young of a seizure disorder.

I described my career as somewhat unusual–in large part due to the ups and downs of the overall economy. I became a journalist by starting  a newspaper with college friends; worked in print, radio and television in New York City,  taught college, and went into public affairs when my college downsized.  I emphasized that with economic and technologic changes, versatility is key; it’s important to have  skills in all media, enjoy change, and if you’re going to do work independently you’d better like to market yourself!

I also pointed out that  when I started out, print and broadcast journalism operated in separate silos and major  news organizations had tremendous power to control and shape  information reaching the public.  Today, increasingly, we are experiencing a convergence of media, in which news organizations are employing multiple media to reach their readers–and no longer monopolize the flow of information.  The results are both positive and negative.

Convergence of media
For example, the  Globe,  previously print only, now has online version that includes video reports.  Reporters for public radio are asked to blog and carry cameras; many reporters and editors are using social media–all of which have the potential to inform the public  in a variety of ways.  However, with staff cutbacks, many journalists are working harder now than in the past;   I’m concerned that  covering stories in multiple  media could diminish the number and depth of stories on which they report.

Dissipation of control
I think  it’s great that  anyone with access to a computer can provide information to the world.  But without vetting by bona fide, trained journalists,   this democratization makes it difficult to know where information is coming from, how good it is, and, to play on words, where the truth lies– presenting special difficulties for health communicators.

—-Anita M. Harris
Anita Harris, a former journalist and journalism professor, is president of the Harris Communications Group,  a PR and content strategy firm in Cambridge, MA.