|September 14, 2010|
|Lewton Must Rescue PRSA from Itself — Again|
|By Jack O'Dwyer|
|Kathy Lewton rode to the rescue of PR Society of America in 1999 when the nominating committee suddenly decided against treasurer Lee Duffey moving up to president-elect. She must do so again this year.|
Lewton, who became 2001 president, together with 2002 president Joann Killeen, cleaned up not only the books but the Society itself, ending draconian anti-press policies.
The Society reported a $678,893 loss for 2001 (link, sub req'd) as Lewton ended the policy of deferring expenses and made the Society pay taxes on business income. Another $550,000 loss was reported the next year.
Lewton, by her 16 eloquent e-mail posts recently on the hot issue of non-APRs being on the board, has shown herself to be the true leader of the Society.
Totally absent from this all-important discussion are candidate for chair-elect Gerry Corbett and chair-elect Rosanna Fiske.
Lewton’s thousands of words on the issue demolish arguments of the APR die-hards that this issue has been decided time and again.
It has only been brought up once in the 11 years since it was first proposed in 1999.
She has also pointed out that APR was created in 1964 when no other PR credentials were available.
Today’s PR pros have studied PR in college, obtaining PR and related degrees, and there are a number of post-graduate PR courses where more degrees can be obtained.
Such degrees come from legitimate institutions, she has noted and are what PR pros now seek—not APR.
The PR Society tried to give “credentials” to its own members, which is impossible. The definition of a “credential” is that it comes from a third party.
Not Much Time is Needed
We realize Lewton is a principal in a PR firm but we don’t think much time will be needed at the Society. What is needed is guts—again rein in the staff which has overstepped its role.
Gerry Corbett has told us he is too busy getting his children into new schools to be bothered with answering our questions (or those of four Fellows), and Fiske won’t even tell us the name of her famous photographer father.
The Society needs someone articulate and forceful like Lewton. It also needs someone close to New York to keep an eye on things. Her firm is based in Stamford, Conn.
Corbett is on the West Coast and Fiske is in Miami — far from the scene of the action. We think the staff likes it that way.
A “Draft Lewton” movement is what is needed. Many candidates are “drafted” after first disavowing any interest in office.
Remember that William Tecumseh Sherman said, “I will not seek the nomination and if elected will not serve.”
Deadline for obtaining ten signatures of delegates needed to nominate Lewton is 5 p.m. this Thursday.
We hope Lewton’s friends and fans will respond by e-mailing her and calling her.
She has shown she has sufficient time for the Society via her voluminous postings in the Society governance e-group.
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