Edward Albanesi, associate PR director, Florida Farm Bureau, Gainesville, has called for postponing any PRSA Assembly action on the APR rule until next year so that two qualifications instead of one can be specified for board service.

Monty Hagler, of the Committee for a Democratic PRSA, said this “compromise” has been raised “primarily by folks who adamantly oppose separating APR from governance.”

Boston delegate Mark McClennan of Schwartz Communications said Robert’s Rules forbid any substantive change in the APR bylaw proposal (which would let in PR pros as long as they could show 20 years in ever higher posts).

They would not have to be APR nor hold any Society volunteer posts.

This is the worst nightmare of the APR faction—letting an “outsider” into the national leadership.

Parliamentarian Colette Trohan issued a two-page advisory that agreed with McClennan, saying the bylaw must be passed as written or tabled until next year.

Robert’s Has Been Savaged

The sudden citing of a very obtuse point in Robert’s as justification for ditching APR reform this year is hypocritical and inconsistent.

The Assembly last year allowed proxy votes in the Assembly and used 56 proxies to do this, a double desecration of Robert’s.

Robert’s is so opposed to proxy voting (as allowed by some states) that it has a section that says any group that adopts Robert’s has ipso facto satisfied any state demand for a bylaw barring proxy votes. The PR Society Assembly ignores this section.

However, when 51% of delegates voted in 2008 to continue the Assembly past 5 p.m., since there had been no “town hall” as promised throughout the day, chair Jeff Julin said Robert’s demands a two-thirds vote for extending a meeting and closed it down.

Albanesi, who has been a critic of dropping APR as a requirement for board service, said he suggested the compromise “because I think non-APRs can be effective leaders, but there is extra value in having leaders who have demonstrated their knowledge of the profession by attaining accreditation.”

N. Florida a Hotbed of APR

Two other fellow North Florida chapter members are also stout opponents to any change in the APR requirement—Anne Dubois who is chair of the UAB and a chapter delegate, and chapter president Bryan Campbell, who expressed anger in a Society e-group that dropping the APR rule was even being discussed.

dog food
Delegate Steve Lubetkin said APR is a case of "eat(ing) our own dog food."
North Florida is the former chapter of 2004 chair Del Galloway.

The proposed new bylaw demands that board candidates have one of three qualifications: APR, leadership service, or 20 years in PR posts with increasing responsibilities.

The compromise would require two of the above.

PR Society Board Violates UAB

If the Universal Accreditation Board were to enforce its Guidelines, the 17 directors on the PR Society board would lose their APRs and have to resign from the board since only APRs may serve.

The Guidelines say that APR may not be used for competitive purposes.

They say: “Members who are Accredited cannot imply the lack of Accreditation in any way affects a competing professional’s competence,” adding that “An individual can have Accreditation revoked for improper use of Accreditation per these usage guidelines.”

Michael McDougall, VP-CC of Bausch & Lomb and an Assembly delegate, has rejected an assertion by Dubois that the Guidelines only refer to “competing for work or hire.”

He asked in the Society e-group yesterday “is running for a Society national board seat equivalent in many ways to seeking employment against a pool of other candidates? Except for the lack of compensation, there would appear to be a direct parallel.”

Dubois has been asked in an e-mail to enforce the UAB Guidelines but has not responded.

Below are the Guidelines from the UAB website:

Guidelines for Using your APR (red emphasis added)

Members who successfully Advance Readiness Review and pass the computer-based Examination may use APR or Accredited in Public Relations with their names. Accredited/Accreditation is always capitalized.

Accreditation can only be used as identification for an individual. Organizations cannot be Accredited or referred to as Accredited in any publication.

Organizations who list in the phone directory's yellow pages may list the names of individuals on their staff who are Accredited. The individual staff member's name may appear with the Accreditation designation. However, the organization cannot list itself as Accredited.

Members who are Accredited may indicate their Accredited status on business cards, letterhead, news releases, biographical sketches and other printed materials. APR logos for print can be downloaded here.

Members who are Accredited may use designation of their Accredited status on resumes, in job interviews and in client presentations. However, Members who are Accredited cannot imply the lack of Accreditation in any way affects a competing professional's competence.

If a Member who is Accredited voluntarily resigns membership, he/she cannot use the Accreditation identification. If a member who has voluntarily resigned membership chooses to reinstate his/her membership in any Participating Organization, Accreditation status is automatically reinstated.

If a Member who is Accredited has his/her membership suspended, Accredited status is also suspended. If a member who is Accredited is censured, Accreditation is revoked during the period of censure.

An individual can have Accreditation revoked for improper use of Accreditation per these usage guidelines.