By Jack O'Dwyer

Senior event manager Jayne Bennett of the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes hotel told this writer via e-mail today that PR Society of America has denied our request for press credentials made earlier this week.

Nothing was received by this writer from the Society, which has a policy of not answering any of our questions.

Bennett, in the e-mail below, says the hotel does “not control who attends our clients’ events.”

Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes
Marriott PR director Jeff Flaherty had previously e-mailed this writer that his department would not get involved in who attends or is credentialed to the Society’s conference that runs from Oct. 15-18.

We told Flaherty that a “PR issue” is involved because the executive VP of global communications of Marriott is longtime journalist Kathleen Matthews and she is the wife of Chris Matthews of “Hardball.”

We doubt either would approve of a reporter being denied access to a conference with no reason given while other trade reporters were given access. Tonya Garcia of PR Newser and Scott Van Camp of PR News were admitted free last year while an attempt was made to charge O’Dwyer reporters $1,275 each for conference passes.

The Dept. of Justice has acknowledged receipt of a complaint filed against the PR Society by this writer charging failure to supply hearing assistance when requested and retaliation when hearing assistance was sought.

Below is e-mail from Bennett:

Good Morning Jack,

Thank you for your note. I have been informed that your request for credentials to cover the PRSA 2011 International Conference has been denied by PRSA. Any further requests for access to the conference and their meeting space will need to be addressed with PRSA management, as we do not control who attends our clients’ events.

I have also been informed by PRSA that it has the necessary hearing assistance devices that are required to be ADA compliant. These devices will be available to those who are in attendance and request such assistance. Again, any issues or concerns regarding access to such devices will need to be addressed with PRSA, as it is the host of the event in question.

Should you have any further questions or concerns regarding JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes, please feel free to contact me directly. Otherwise, all questions regarding the PRSA 2011 International Conference should be addressed to PRSA management.



Jayne Bennett, CMP
Senior Event Manager
JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes