|May 24, 2010|
|PRSA Chapters Nix Democracy|
|By Greg Hazley|
|By Jack O'Dwyer|
The 110 chapters of the PR Society have formed a solid wall against the drive by the "Committee for a Democratic PRSA" to end the 35-year monopoly APRs have on national leadership.
None of the chapters, including National Capital and New York, has any mention on its website about the Committee headed by Richard Edelman, Art Stevens and Dave Rickey.
The NCC board met last night and chapter president Jeff Ghannam (pictured) said there are no immediate plans to let the 1,350 members in the NCC area vote on the issue.
Only about 20% are APR while 13 of the 14 Assembly delegates are APR.
Ghannam said the Assembly delegation will take up the issue at its next meeting.
There are no plans for a poll of members of the New York chapter headed by Irene Maslowski. Only 51 or 6.6% of the 767 chapter members are APR.
After two weeks, only 109 people have signed the online petition created by the Committee. Goal is 5,000 signatures.
Chapter leaders this website talked to said they are going along with the normal process for a bylaw change as recommended by national chair Gary McCormick—gathering signatures on a petition and presenting the change to the next Assembly, which will be Oct. 16 in Washington, D.C.
McCormick said that should the necessary signatures be obtained and presented to h.q., the Society will “develop an outreach program to raise awareness of the changes being sought similar to the one that we conducted for last year’s proposed changes to the bylaws.”
The bylaws committee, headed by Dave Rickey, at no point ever addressed an in-person audience of Society members.
Teleconferences were held for those who signed up for them. Recordings were made of the teleconferences but not provided to members at-large.
Reject 'Leadership Rally' as Assembly
Chapter leaders have also rejected making the “Leadership Rally” June 4-5 of chapter presidents-elect do double duty as an Assembly that could strike down the ban on non-APRs and provide free elections for the first time since the mid-1970s.
Cost of the “Rally” is about $100,000 and includes cash stipends of $500 for each of the presidents-elect.
Accreditation is by far the costliest program in the history of the Society. It has virtually no impact except within the Society.
APR is the tool by which non-New Yorkers control the Society. They are loath to give it up.
A 1999 survey of PR executive recruiters by the College of Fellows found an almost complete absence of interest in APR by employers.
The loss on APR from 1986-2002 was $2,926,080.
Worst loss was in 2000 when it cost a net of $441,467 to accredit 246 members or $1,794 for each new APR.
Only 900 new Society APRs have been created in the first six years of the new multiple-choice test. The process costs $385.
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