|September 8, 2010|
|APR Study Guide Ignores Seitel (and Reality)|
|By Jack O'Dwyer|
|The newly revised APR Study Guide of the Universal Accreditation Board (PDF) all but ignores one of the leading textbooks — "The Practice of Public Relations" by Fraser Seitel.|
Although undoubtedly one of the three major college texts, along with Cutlip and Center’s "Effective Public Relations" and Dennis Wilcox’s "Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics," the Seitel book does not even make the “short list” of texts recommended for APR candidates.
"The Practice of PR" has sold more than 250,000 copies since it was introduced in 1980.
Seitel is the only textbook author whose latest views are available on the Internet via his twice monthly column on this website, which he has done for seven years. He also does impromptu columns whenever a major PR crisis appears.
It’s doubly-odd that the PRSA-dominated Universal Accreditation Board should slight Seitel since he was the founding editor of its Strategist monthly in 1995, a post he held for five years.
If there is any “public voice” of PR it’s Seitel since he has taken part in hundreds of TV and radio talk shows in recent years (averaging two a month).
The only explanation we have for this hole in the APR preparation materials is the PR Society’s animus toward the O’Dwyer Co. Politics has trumped educational values.
Seitel also teaches in the New York University Graduate program in PR and corporate communications headed by John Doorley.
Comment Sought from Dubois
Anne Dubois, chair of the UAB and also a delegate to the 2010 Society Assembly, who was on the 2007-2008 UAB Study Guide Task Force that revised the Guide, has been asked for comment but has not responded.
APR is the subject of a heated debate in a Society e-group since the Committee to Promote Democracy in PRSA has proposed that non-APRs be allowed on the board of the Society
Almost all of those participating in the debate are against any change, several falsely charging that it has been brought up “repeatedly.”
Dubois said in the e-group that APR issue was “decided several times earlier.”
The APR proposal has only reached the floor of the Assembly once in the 11 years since it was first proposed. That was last year when the topic was briefly discussed. Most of the 2009 Assembly’s time was spent on a bylaws revision.
Under both the PR Society Code and the UAB Code, Dubois is supposed to correct any error in a communication “immediately with all audiences.”
APR supporters hail it as a “mark of distinction” while critics say the study materials prove that the test only covers the rudiments of PR and APRs should have no special status.
23 Textbook Chapters Recommended
The Guide recommends the study of 11 chapters in the Effective PR textbook and ten in the Strategies and Tactics book.
There is no recommendation to study chapters in the Seitel book, which is named on “the Longer Bookshelf” in a section on “Information and Resources” in the Guide.
Also on the “short list” is Primer of PR by Don Stacks (2002) and Strategic Planning by R.D. Smith (2004 by Lawrence Erlbaum).
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