Universal Accreditation Board Chair Anne Dubois, breaking UAB policy that forbids it from interfering in the governance of member organizations, has come out strongly for defeating the bid to put non-APRs on the board of PR Society of America.
Dubois, who is with Dubois Betourne & Assocs., Palm Coast, Fla., was silent up to now on the issue that has generated a record number of postings for a PRSA e-group.
“Wow,” said her Sept. 2 entry. “So much passionate energy and time committed to this discussion.” Like a number of other APRs taking part in the discussion, she is fed up with attempts to remove the APR rule for board/officer positions and says, “Let’s move on.”
She would rather see the Assembly Oct. 16 “address issues that affect the PR industry today rather than a governance issue that has already been decided several times earlier.”
Delegate Kathy Lewton responded to Dubois as well as others who have made the same comment that “decoupling” APR from board service has only been brought up once since was first proposed in 1999. The occasion was last year when a full bylaws re-write was also under discussion.
Dubois did not answer e-mails from this website on her apparent breaking of UAB policy.
An intermediary said that Dubois was speaking, not as UAB chair, but as a delegate from the North Florida chapter.
This website e-mailed her and the intermediary that there is only one Anne Dubois and she can’t take off her UAB chair title as though it were a coat.
Her e-mail to the e-group did not say she was only speaking as a delegate and not as a representative of the UAB.
APR Called 'Mark of Distinction'
Dubois called APR “a mark of distinction” and asked, “Why wouldn’t we insist that our board members carry that distinction? No argument presented herein answers that question satisfactorily. If a professional is truly dedicated to PR—just follow the rules, take the test, and help lead the Society. It’s really that simple. Let’s move on.”
Steve Cody of Peppercom, New York, last year called the APR designation “useless, useless” and said it had no relation to the realities of the PR industry. http://www.repmanblog.com/repman/2009/07/useless-useless.html
The Society lost $2.9 million on APR from 1986-2002 (link, sub req'd).
APR Debate Called 'Ludicrous'
Bryce Campbell, who like Dubois is a member of the North Florida chapter of the Society, told the Aug. 18 teleconference that it was “ludicrous” to bring up the APR issue again when it was defeated just last year (by a vote of 142-111).
He said he was “very upset” at the revival of the APR issue and was also “concerned” that only a few people were on the teleconference.
He said non-APRs have not shown sufficient “commitment” to the Society.
APR’s strongest supporters, aside from the Society itself, are in Florida.
Members of the Florida PR Assn. as June 30, 2010, had gained 75 APRs in the past six years, second only to the 904 gained by PRS members.
The Southern PR Federation had gained 45 APRs during that period. In fourth place was the National School PR Assn. with 43 APRs and in fifth place was the Maine PR Council with 12 APRs.
PRS, FPRA, SPRF and NSPRA accounted for 1,067 of the 1,087 APRs won or 98%. Five other PR groups divided the other 20 APRs.
McCormick: Assembly Could Cut Debate
Chair McCormick said the Assembly could vote to cut off the APR debate.
The agenda calls for the issue to be discussed in the morning when a number of leader speeches and presentations are scheduled. Four hours have been set aside in the afternoon for discussion of the current nature of PR and what the future holds for PR.
Lubetkin Wants Issue Buried
Steven Lubetkin, 2004-05 national director, in an e-mail posting, told another delegate that he was “right to be tired of this issue.”
Wrote Lubetkin: “I’d very much like to see the amendment’s proponents consider doing something more productive to advance the profession than bringing this up year after year when it is obvious that our membership values the credential enough to keep the requirement in place, and has repeatedly rejected all the arguments about ‘democracy’ or ‘barriers’ that have been made over and over again.”
He said “It is time we stopped wasting valuable time on this narrow issue of governance and focus on what matters, getting respect for the professional development opportunities our Society offers, and getting respect for the professionalism our membership wants to demonstrate—and expects its leaders to support.”
Lukaszewski Calls it “Old, Old Ground”
James Lukaszewski, who puts on crises seminars for the Society, said PR is “maybe the only profession that is still debating its commitment to individual competency…and just who is outside the Society’s door, waiting to ride in and save us with wisdom based on no APR?
“This is a phony argument waged by Jack O’Dwyer, the leader of the people of yesterday, and his old, old pals. We all know how much Jack has helped the Society. He’s at it again.”
Lukaszewski would like “an argument that focuses on the future, rather than a group of mostly anonymous individuals, whining because they lost a couple of votes or motions or whatever with the Assembly. And having lost, have now chosen this negative, destructive, accusatory route to regain entry.”
Delegate Thomas Duke of Duke PR, Copley, Ohio, e-mailed: “Let’s stop jawboning about this and discuss some more substantial issues about the future of our profession and not internal leadership. Isn’t that what the Assembly determined in 2009, or was I attending another Assembly?
Prof. Margalit Toledano, of the University of Waikato, New Zealand, said the APR issue “has been discussed in length and resolved in last year’s Assembly. All arguments have been presented again and again. Personally, I would be disappointed if this year’s Assembly would devote its limited time to this topic again. Can we please move on?”