|November 2, 2009|
|Opinion: Cherenson's Reign at PR Society is Disastrous|
|By Jack O'Dwyer|
|(Open letter to Chair Mike Cherenson and PR Society board)|
The 2009 reign of PR Society chair Mike Cherenson must go down as the worst of any elected leader in the Society's history unless some quick actions are taken.
We have e-mailed Cherenson that there is still time to save himself from this ignominious fate.
The main rap is that he has led the Society on a legal wild goose chase called the "bylaws revision" that has not only eaten up "thousands of hours" of members' time (by his own admission) but has resulted in legal bills that are probably $100K+.
Meanwhile, virtually nothing has been spent on PR for PR for the entire year.
This is like a hospital being obsessed with grounds keeping while patients are dying.
We have collected numerous statements of Cherenson that he has not lived up to, such as the claim that all members are invited to the Assembly and organizations should "apologize and take ownership of their mistakes."
But his latest statement, that audiocasting the Assembly is "near impossible, technologically challenging," tops any previous performance.
It's not true and must be retracted. This is a double code violation because members must not only be truthful but must "promptly" correct any inaccuracy they are responsible for.
Cherenson cannot urge the entire communications world to join the Society and obey its code if he is not doing so himself.
Time for Ninth Inning Rally
Mike and the board, you can save yourselves and PRS (which has just reported a 45% decline in Q3 revenues) by taking the following steps.
1. Do not allow any use of proxies at the Assembly.
2. Accept the Assembly as the "ultimate authority" in PRS since you have become such a doormat to the staff, abandoning the best interests of members. Staff costs are on the moon.
3. Demand employment of at least 10 experienced PR pros at h.q., the only way youíll ever get a PR for PR program. Serving as the elected head of PRS is a full time job (as described by Rickey) because there are virtually no PR pros at h.q.óa hospital without doctors.
4. At least audiotape the Assembly since the cost is only 50 cents per person tuned in or $2 to $4 for videocast. If 1,000 members tuned in Nov. 7 for video, the max cost would only be $4,000. There would be no cost for archiving that would be available to all members the next week.
5. Take away the presidentís title from Bill Murray. Heís too reclusive and has shown no interest in nor talent for press relations, making him like a doctor who canít stand the sight of blood. Information available to members has plummeted during his years including late financial reports (six months report not posted until this week and still no IRS Form 990).
6. Mimic the ABA, AMA, AICPA and APA (psychologists) and let someone from the Assembly conduct the meeting. You and the other board members are elected by the Assembly and report to the Assembly and not the other way around. Humility is what is needed.
Revenues Have Plummeted
Revenues are plummeting at an increasing rate (down 11.3% in Q1; down 16.9% in the first half, and down 45.1% in Q3, which is still not posted in the press room of the PRS website).
Payroll costs for the nine months were $4,037,299 or 61% of revenues.
PRS should have moved much of its offices to the Midwest or elsewhere in 1986 when the Assembly voted to do so. It could have kept a midtown office/library like many other groups have done including the AICPA.
The board has forgotten its main duty to members: obtain the maximum amount of service for the least amount of money.
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