Steve Cody, managing partner of Peppercom, New York, whose revenues soared 41% to $11.8 million last year (biggest gain in the top ten in New York), threw cold water on a suggestion by PR pro Lloyd Trufelman that PR pros should contribute to a fund for kin of murdered journalists.
About 1,000 journalists and their aides have died while carrying out their duties in the past ten years. About seven in ten were hunted down and murdered.
Lloyd Trufelman of Trylon SMR last month wrote on this website that PR pros and PR groups should contribute to the Committee to Protect Journalists, New York, which helps families of murdered, injured and imprisoned journalists.
He noted that no PR organizations are listed as contributors on the CPJ website.
Cody, taking up the subject in his RepManblog.com March 7, headlined: “Would journalists do the same for us?”
Journalists “Bash” PR Pros
Said Cody, whose firm counts the Columbia Journalism Review among its clients:
“With all due apologies to the family and friends of slain journalists, give me a break.
“Does Trufelman not read the various and sundry bashings of the PR industry by the media? Does he not see the journalism-PR relationship as a mutually beneficial one?
“Would journalists ever contribute money to a ‘Committee to Protect PR People’ who might also work in high-risk zones? (I’m joking btw).
“Last, but not least, is Trufelman’s plea not akin to slapping a PBA sticker on one’s car windshield to avoid paying speeding tickets?”
Josephson Sides with Journalists
A posting on the blog by Ed Josephson asked: “Does this mean that Peppercom, the PR agency that represents the Columbia School of Journalism, is against making a small financial contribution to CPJ and advises other PR professionals to adopt a similar policy?”
Cody responded: “my blog posed the question: if the roles were reversed, would journalists make a similar contribution to our industry? Would you disagree that the answer would be a resounding ‘no?’”
He also noted that Peppercom does not contribute to the CPJ and “what other agencies do is their business.”
'Great and Worthy Cause'
Cody was not available for an interview with this website but said in an e-mail that “Every PR firm should feel free to contribute to the fund for families of slain journalists. It’s a great and worthy cause.”
He said the blog he wrote imagined how journalists would behave if the roles were reversed.
Said Cody: “I wonder if journalists would ever contribute to a fund for families of slain PR pros (some of whom must surely work in war-torn regions of the world). While it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, the point is valid: few journalists are overtly supportive of PR (or will acknowledge the role we play in providing them with leads, angles, etc.). Sadly, many seem to take great delight in bashing our profession.”