This website is awarding an Oscar to PR Society of America chair Rosanna Fiske for her excellent acting on yesterday’s teleconference in which she feigned anger at the mere mention of the O’Dwyer name.

When Laura Neff-Henderson asked about the “O’Dwyer allegations about executive pay” [they’re not allegations, they’re facts] Fiske could manage only a few words before talking about a salary survey the Society made “five or six years ago.”

First she denied seeing the O’Dwyer reports about the pay, although they have been sent to her, VP-PR Arthur Yann, the board and numerous chapter presidents. she then said, “If it’s like the information sent in the past several years…” (dropping the subject before voicing any objections to what we have reported).

Fiske, as she well knows, heads an organization that committed massive theft of the writings of dozens of authors without their permission from 1980-94, making hundreds of thousands of dollars and refusing even to talk to the ripped-off authors when they sought payment (link, PDF).

Some 3,800 PRS members yearly were able to read the O’Dwyer articles (by far the most copied) without paying the $200-$250 for subscriptions to the O’Dwyer newsletter and magazine. Same for the other publications, including textbooks, many of them with substantial cover prices.

Thieves, in other words, feign anger at the victims of their thievery. This is a new low (or a new high) in spinning. PRS has a corporate responsibility for the thievery no matter who is in office at any particular time. Organizations don’t escape their responsibilities just because a new board has arrived.

Similar anger is expressed by Yann at the O’Dwyer name. He also is deserving of an Oscar.

These are very smart people and know exactly what’s going on. They’re not fooling anyone including themselves.

2012 Board Should Have Made Murray Decision

COO Bill Murray has received a new three-year contract to the end of 2014 but the board should not have done that.

The 2011 board should have left this decision to the 2012 board whose members will be known Sept. 15, the last day that write-in candidates can appear.

The 2011 board should not saddle the 2012 board with a decision so important.

A three-year contract (plus another year of severance if tradition holds) has obligated PRS to about $1.6 million to Murray, who is rarely seen in

Also involved are Murray’s two chief aides—CFO Phil Bonaventura ($221K in 2009) and Yann ($137K in 2009).

The Society has a “Business Case for PR” but no one to preach it.

It’s about time that Murray, who has a noticeable speech defect, should provide an explanation of it. He has never appeared on any TV or radio program and this may be the reason. Doctors have diagnosed his condition as “spasmodic dysphonia,” in which results in a choking quality to his speaking as muscles involuntarily contract.

COO Bill Murray
Murray, who has never faced a press conference, certainly owes one to the PR industry. If there is any one technique that defines ethical and responsible PR to the public, it is the free-wheeling press conference, such as the ones that our presidents are subjected to.

Murray Focuses on Ethics, Diversity

Murray told the teleconference yesterday that ethics and diversity are two of the main values that the Society provides to members.

These are two of the weakest arrows in the Society’s quiver.

Fiske made the same points in an interview last December.

Murray, describing national as the “glue” that holds members together on a national scale, mentioned the Society’s Code of Ethics as the “best example of a particular service” provided by PRS, “an embodiment of values, our aspirations as professionals, a living thing, a resource guide that we provide” plus “other documents that are used to interpret the Code.”

The problem is that Murray himself is in violation of the Code as defined by the Society which recently condemned a PR firm that threatened to blackball a news medium for being too negative.

Murray spent an hour in our office March 19, 2010 say the Society had “chosen” not to deal with us. No documentation was provided for such a serious action.

PRS is also in violation of its Code by refusing to investigate the Assembly delegate who has threatened us both in person and via a letter with being “beaten to a pulp.”

Its audit from PKF raises many questions that leaders and staff refuse to answer.

It’s unethical for the Society to refuse to answer so many questions including what is the 2010-11 contract of Murray, why does it take so long each year for PRS to file its IRS Form 990 and why can’t members have a PDF of their members’ directory?

As for “diversity,” the 2012 board will most probably be the fifth one in a row without an African-American on it. Only two African-Americans have served on the board in 64 years.

Gold Anvil winner Ofield Dukes was rejected for the 2010 board and Regina Lewis for the 2011 board.