The strong anti-New York tide that has engulfed PR Society of America for decades has now brought the chickens home to roost.

Having turned its back on the richest source of new members, the Society is now facing a deficit situation and wants to stick another $30 on dues that are already too high.

The “Accrediteds,” (APRs) have been so intent on bearding the lion in his own den, that they are now being eaten by the lion.

The over-priced New York staff has done the bidding of the provincials and stomped on New York—booting PR pros from the staff starting in 1980; booting the New York chapter from h.q. in 1992 (while renting space to the Metropolitan Transit Authority), and fleeing all the way downtown in 2004, far from the midtown PR/press community.

The OOTers took the Silver Anvil dinner out of New York for several years in the 1970s where it lost money.

PRS would have plenty of money now if it held its annual conference in New York every year like many groups do.

But no, the APRs insist on it be trucked around the country where we estimate its annual losses at above $1 million no matter what the “audit”

PRS has scheduled one conference in New York in 23 years (2004). The previous New York conference was in 1990. None are currently planned for New York although Philadelphia, site of the 2007 conference, is getting another one in 2013.

Torpedoed Services Council

When the PR Services Council formed in the early 1990s and pushed for more annual conferences in New York and better siting of the exhibit hall, imperious PRS cancelled the exhibit hall for five years—cutting off its nose to spite its face. It was not brought back until 2000.

The APRs were triumphant at having defeated the services. PRS leaders were afraid that the services, now that they were talking to each other (PRS does not like that especially among its own members), would start their own annual convention in New York which they should have.

The non-PR PRS h.q. staff is doing the bidding of the APRs but for a staggering price.

“We’ll give the back of our hands to New York but it’s going to cost you,” is what h.q. staff says.

The bill has reached $5.5 million in staff costs for about 50 people (members only get to see seven names now). Do the math: on average at least $100,000 per employee. It’s close to that even removing the eight highest paid staffers. How many members make even close to that amount? Members are also in jobs a lot less secure than the PRS h.q. staffers. How many of them get three-year contracts?

Chapter Presidents Can Turn the Tide

Chapter presidents can turn the tide if they can get out from under the heel of h.q. staffers.

Below is a list of presidents of the 50 largest chapters. They should organize and wrest control of the Society from the board and staff.

The board/staff have abused their powers and forfeited their right to call the shots any more.

There are enough delegate votes in the chapters below to establish the Assembly on Oct. 15 as the “ultimate” authority in the Society, as it should be under Robert’s Rules.

The houses of delegates of the ABA, AMA and AICPA all run these organizations and run their own meetings. They don’t take any orders from the board and especially not from the staff.

There is no rule in these groups forbidding members from talking about the respective groups as there is at PRS. They have no strict rules against press coverage of their meetings.

Assembly delegates should reject chair Rosanna Fiske’s plan to bust up the Assembly into numerous “chat groups.” That defeats the purpose of the Assembly which only meets once a year while similar groups at the ABA, AMA and AICPA all meet twice a year.

Instead, the chapter presidents should get together and elect their own person to run this year’s Assembly. They should have their own parliamentarian and not someone picked by the board. Delegates who speak at the Assembly should mount the stage and address each other and not the board/staff.

The APR rule for officers/board or any posts in the Society should be abolished. Rule by the APRs has not only been costly ($2.9 million lost on APR from 1986-2002) but has left PRS in an ethical abyss. Rules of FASB, SOX and RR are trashed.

Technically, the presidents have until Aug. 15 (60 days before the Assembly) to propose radical changes. They should obey this unnecessary stricture to avoid a legal battle with PRS.

We hope the list below will enable them to contact each other and bring some sense to the Society.

PRS leaders/staff removed the single list of chapter presidents last year in yet another move to keep members divided and in the dark.

Top 50 Society Chapter Presidents

1. Brigitte Johnson, National Capital; [email protected]
2. Karla Harvill, Georgia; [email protected]
3. Sandra Fathi, New York; [email protected]
4. Amy Littleton, Chicago; [email protected]
5. Brian O’Connor, L.A. ; [email protected]; [email protected]
6. Meredith Bagnula, Colorado; [email protected]
7. Susan Ferraro, Detroit; [email protected]
8. Brooke Worden, Minnesota; [email protected]
9. Michelle McCormick, Houston; [email protected]
10. Kathryn Reith, Puget Sound; [email protected]
11. Molly Wilson, Philadelphia; [email protected]
12. Todd Bailey, Central Ohio; [email protected]
13. Darlene Hollywood, Boston; [email protected]
14. Rachel Hedstrom, Dallas; [email protected]
15. Rebecca Polston, Hoosier; [email protected]
16. Lisa Miles, Maryland; [email protected]
17. Laura Monagle, S.E. Wisconsin; [email protected]
18. Richard Lukas, New Jersey; [email protected]
19. Brad Lotterman, Orange County; [email protected]
20. Katie Marie Eidam, Cleveland; [email protected]
21. April Bolduc, San Diego; [email protected]
22. Alan Bunnell, Phoenix; [email protected]
23. Sarah Pasquinucci, Cincinnati; [email protected]
24. David Thompson, Portland Metro; david.h.thompson@
25. Sande Smith, San Francisco; [email protected]
26. Jeanne Howard, St. Louis; [email protected]
27. Penny Cothran, South Carolina; [email protected]
28. Carolyn Russell Kansas; [email protected]
29. [email protected]
30. Annabel Beyra, Miami; [email protected]
31; Jeanine Mixdorf, Central Iowa; [email protected]
32. Melissa Hurley,Tampa; [email protected];
33. Janet Hart, Charlotte; [email protected]
34. Melissa Zoeller, Bluegrass; [email protected]
35. Tina Denise Lambert, Virginia; [email protected]
36. Vickye Hester, Memphis; [email protected]
37. Kathleen Al-Marhoon, Nebraska; [email protected]
38. Peter Scott, Orlando; [email protected]
39. Sarah Lamm, North Carolina; [email protected]
40. Sidney Bridge, Hampton Roads, Va.; [email protected]
41. Carol Murray, Fort Worth; [email protected]
42. Susie Stone, Yankee chapter; [email protected]
43. Sarah Brown, North Florida; [email protected]
44. Laura Anne Kunz, Austin; [email protected]
45. Endia DeCordova-Murphy, Conn. Valley;edecordova-murhy@
46. John Senall, Buffalo/Niagara; [email protected]
47. Heather Kowalczyk, Rochester; [email protected]
48; Stacey Jones, Arkansas; [email protected]
49. David Vossbrink, Silicon Valley; [email protected]
50. Sarah Thornton, Las Vegas; [email protected]