|September 21, 2012|
|PR Society Chapter Refuses to Back Press Freedom|
|By Jack O'Dwyer|
|Open e-mail to Suzanne Holroyd, Ph.D., APR+M, director of communications, Secretary of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Dept.|
The refusal of the National Capital board to stand up for press freedom, communicated in your e-mail to me this morning, and its advice for me to "contact national" about national's boycott against me are unacceptable and nonsensical. You know national has not talked to me for many years and has a formal, written command to members to boycott me and the O'Dwyer Co.
I'm very disappointed that you, as a member of the military, and the chapter based in our nation's capital, the heart and soul of our democracy, are turning down their duty to support freedom of the press.
Gerry Corbett told the Aug. 29 Assembly delegate conference that delegates should not talk to me because it would only "add fodder to his commentary." That is not only interference with press coverage but restraint of trade. There is copious evidence of national's refusal to deal with me in any way--by phone, e-mail or in-person meeting. They have run, run, run for many years and not just from me but members.
In 2010, four Fellows sent national leaders a list of 15 questions and the Fellows were also snubbed. There is no evidence Corbett visited any chapter memberships this year. Last year, Rosanna Fiske visited two of the 110 chapters, based on available evidence.
No one, by the way, is more interested in facts and intelligence than the military. Its specialty is knowing things, not ignoring things. As a member of the military, you have a special duty here.
Since you now know about PRS national's written boycott against the O'Dwyer Co., you must withdraw your advice for me to contact national. The Society publicized 23 pages of bogus charges against me on its website and many other places but did not have the nerve to present them to my face. The alleged offenses in it are all false. When I started to rebut the charges on the Society website, the dialogue was shut down after four days, something unheard of on the internet and in blogs.
The National Press Club read those 23 pages, talked to Society staff, and rejected them, urging PRS to let me cover the national conference which it refused. PRS is now ignoring not only the Press Club, but NY State Senator Liz Krueger, PR Watch, PRnewser and nearly a dozen independent blogs and PR people. No one except PRS insiders supports this un-American interference with press coverage.
The military, of which you are a part, is supposed to defend our freedoms, including freedom of the press. You are running the other way.
It is ludicrous to tell me to go to national. Please withdraw it and live up to what America and its military stand for. The story of PRS/national is a simple one. In 1993 I caught it red-handed selling tens of thousands of copies of authors' articles without their permission. Instead of making peace with the authors, 12 of whom formed a committee and hired a law firm, PRS went to war with them under the advice of law firm Moses & Singer.
PRS has sunk further and further into a moral abyss ever since then while trumpeting its love of "ethics" (September is "Ethics Month" at the Society). PRS has spent $511,577 on law firms, mostly with Venable of D.C., since 2004. It won't tell us the 2011 legal bill. It has spent nothing on outside PR counsel, which is what it needs.
The NCC web listing of officers and board, by the way, is hugely deficient and dysfunctional. No e-mails are given for the eight officers (only phone numbers) and no titles are given for anyone.
In stark contrast is the New York chapter listing where name, company, title, e-mail and phones are given for the 41 board members and committee heads.
Although only 20% of your members are APR, 11 of your 19 directors are APR and two of the APRs are "appointed." Why didn't you appoint non-APRs? Only four of your directors should be APR since that is 20% of your membership. Even worse is that 12 of your 14 Assembly delegates are APR when only three should be. The list of delegates, through an "oversight," was not even on your website for nearly three months until I called your attention to this.
NCC is wracked with almost as many anti-democratic and anti-communications practices as national. This is a sad day for the PR Society and America.
Holroyd's email to O'Dwyer:
From: Suzanne Holroyd
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2012 6:30 AM
Subject: From NCC
At the NCC Board meeting tonight, we discussed the issues you raised about National blocking you from attending the annual conference. After much discussion, the consensus was that this is really an issue between National and you. As such, I encourage you to contact National directly.
We hope that you continue your discussions with National to resolve any differences.
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