PRSA’s new practice of conducting “teleconferences” in “listen-only mode” stands the definition of “conference” on its head.
It mirrors what is the general current practice in PR.

Almost all organizations insist on e-mail-only contact with reporters in which the “dialogue” can be recorded and subjected to vetting by legal and other departments.

orlando
Dodo bird
Free-wheeling conversations with reporters whether at lunch or on the telephone have largely gone the way of the Dodo bird.

The Society’s adoption of “listen-only” mode puts it in sync with general corporate PR practice.

Reporters going to organizational websites mostly find the only way to pose a question is in a box addressed to the PR staff in general.

In those instances where names of PR staff are given, assistants answer the phone and subject the reporter to grilling.

The response from a PR pro, if any, will almost certainly come in the form of an e-mail. The name of the head of the department is usually nowhere among the “press contacts.”

Ten Questions Fiske et al Don’t Want to Hear


A delegate who asked Fiske about the “O’Dwyer allegations about executive pay” on a teleconference precipitated the new PRS policy. PRS leaders can no longer trust questions that might be asked by their most loyal members.

Here are ten questions leaders/staff will not permit to be asked:

1. What are the pay/benefits of COO Bill Murray in 2010-11 and in his new 2012-14 contract?

2. Why is it taking so long to publish IRS Form 990 for 2010 that has pay/benefits and other information not in the audit? (Originally due May 15 and withheld from the last two Assemblies).

3. Why isn’t Murray, the president and chief spokesperson for the Society, constantly making speeches promoting the Society’s “Business Case for PR?”

4. Leaders talk about a “pay freeze” but pay/fringes rose in 2010 and in Q1 of 2011 (up 3% in 2010 to $5.5M and up 8% in Q1 to $1.3M or 57% of revenues).

5. How can you justify having only one national conference in New York in 23 years when New York has the biggest potential audience and travel, room & board for up to 35 staffers is not needed? How can you go to Philadelphia twice in this period (2007 and 2013)?

6. Why can’t we know who is on the staff of about 55? All but seven names have been removed.

7. Why can’t members who want it have a PDF of the full membership list since no printing or postage would be needed and it would be fully up-to-date? Members have enough of things to look up on the web without having to do that for fellow members.

8. How can nearly 300 people have a teleconference which you say may replace the in-person Assembly?

9. Why don’t you use the secure Cornell e-mail voting system to poll the members? You blast e-mail them twice a day but have never mentioned the dues increase. You champion “democracy” but neither national nor any chapter will conduct such a vote (www.cs.cornell.edu/andru/civs.html).

10. Why don’t you emulate the major professional groups such as ABA, AMA, and AICPA whose “assemblies” meet twice a year, run their own meetings, and tell their boards what to do; whose balance sheets have large amounts of deferred dues, and who wouldn’t dream of blocking or interfering with press coverage?

Talkative Fiske Condemns “Persecution of Journalists”


Fiske has gotten more ink for herself and PRS than then last five chairs combined.

fiske
Fiske
More than 100 media pickups of Fiske’s remarks are on the PRS website, including statements on alleged ethical misbehavior of PR people, letters-to-the-editor of publications, interviews with selected media, and awards won (Hispanic PR Assn. names her “PR Professional of the Year”).

She has only appeared before two chapters in person based on the public record (Miami and Atlanta).

Fiske condemned on Feb. 4 “the persecution of journalists and their basic freedoms of the press in response to the unprecedented physical attacks on journalists and the detention of reporters by the Egyptian government…”

She has forgotten that this writer is under verbal and written threat of being beaten “to a pulp” by an Assembly delegate. PRS refuses to investigate this although at least one national director knows who the assailant is.

Below is the letter we received after a large, blonde male rushed up to us and screamed obscenities a couple of inches from our face while we were standing in front of the Washington Hilton on Oct. 16 last year. [Our offense? We air-kissed new director Marisa Vallbona when she passed in front of us in the hotel lobby. She had been a “friend,” trading 47 e-mails with us in the months before the conference.]

YOU DUMBASS. THE GUY YELLED AT YOU, NOT ‘US’ AS IN A MORE THAN ONE PERSON. YOU’RE PATHETIC AND YOU’RE LUCKY YOU’RE NOT BEING SUED FOR ASSAULT, DUE TO YOUR GROSS CONTACT WITH HER.

IF YOU HAD PUT YOUR HANDS ON MY WIFE, OR EVEN DARED TO KISS HER…I’D BEAT YOU TO A PULP. COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS THIS DELEGATE LET YOU OFF WITH A FEW CHOICE WORDS.

LOL, ATTACKED BY FLASHMOB? THOSE [pens] WERE GIVEN TO YOU AND THEY [DELEGATES] DID NOT FLEE. THEY WALKED AWAY.

LASTLY, YOUR PHOTO IS A JOKE. GROW UP YOU PANSY ALCOHOLIC!!


The “Flash Mob” refers to the 20 delegates who interrupted our interview with Art Stevens at the Assembly to give us hotel pens signifying that we were psychotic like John Nash as portrayed by Russell Crowe in “A Beautiful Mind.”

PRS refuses to investigate that incident, either. The “mob” urged everyone at the conference to harass us by giving us their hotel pens.

PRS Supporters Spew Venom


Fiske, since she sees “freedom of the press as a vital component to building and sustaining democratic societies” and says that reporters should not be “intimidated,” ought to look at some of the names this writer is being called (in writing) by PRS leaders, members and staff.

E-mails to Advertising Age, Ragan’s PR Daily and blog sites, commenting on the false charges that we had “hacked” into PRS teleconferences, called us “unethical,” “a pig,” “have a lifelong compulsion to tear down the Society,” “is positively unhinged where the Society is concerned,” “publishes outright lies,” “publisher of false and defamatory statements,” “a scoundrel,” “exhibits reprehensible behavior,” “reports twisted version of the news without truth entering the equation,” “makes up things he reports,” a “noisemaker and not a journalist,” and “constantly acts upon warped, false and misleading information.”

This is what they write. One can imagine what they say.

PRS Sold O’Dwyer Articles


Such critics seem to forget that PRS made hundreds of thousands of dollars selling authoritative O’Dwyer articles and those of other authors without permission (PDF).

The backbone of the “info pack” service was O’Dwyer articles which made up to a third of some of the packets. Fifty-two O’Dwyer articles totaling 100 pages were found in 11 packets that were purchased from PRS. Second most copied was PR Quarterly (19 articles totaling 50 pages). Packet volume was 3,800 yearly generating about $60K in profits. The O’Dwyer expose of this massive theft of intellectual property stopped it cold.

None of those making the comments above will meet us in person or even talk to us on the telephone. Fiske and other leaders now won’t even take live questions from the most trusted insiders.

Stockholm Accords Advocate Dialogue


The “Stockholm Accords,” created in June 2010 (PDF) by members of the World PR Forum and the Global Alliance in Stockholm, created an extensive rationale for the practice of PR. One of its main points is that “stakeholder groups” should engage in “direct dialogue and conversation on specific issues in order to find mutually beneficial outcomes.”

Dialogue is defined by dictionaries as a “conversation between two or more persons” and conversation is defined as “an informal talking together.”

PRS member Prof. Tim Penning wrote in Tactics in the September (link, sub req'd), 2008 “Ethics” issue that PR “enables voices to speak in open democratic dialogue.”

He praised Prof. Jim Grunig’s belief that the “two-way symmetrical model” of communications is the best.

Also quoted by Penning was philosopher John Milton saying that “truth and falsehood should grapple” and that democracies are characterized by “open deliberation.”

Penning, quoting Milton, also deplored “censorship” which is exactly what is going on when PRS blocks any “live” questioning of leaders on its “teleconferences.”

List of Chapter Presidents Provided


The list of 105 chapter presidents, removed from the Society website two years ago, has been re-assembled here for use by the presidents who need to organize and members who may want to express their views to the presidents, who make up more than a third of the Assembly.

Brigitte W. Johnson, APR
President, National Capital
American Forest Foundation
(202) 463-5163
[email protected]

Brandon D. Wilson
President, Alabama
Wilbron Institute
(205) 547-6005
[email protected]

Emily Allison Ford, President, Alaska
(907) 360-2131
[email protected]

Alan Lee Bunnell
President, Phoenix
Pinnacle West Capital Corporation
(602) 250-3376
alan.bunnel[email protected]

Janelle R. Howard, APR
President, Southern Arizona
Strongpoint, LLC
(520) 795-1566
[email protected]

Stacey M. Jones, APR
President. Arkansas
Ariel Strategic Communications
(501) 472-8549
[email protected]

Christi Davis Gallagher, APR
President, Northwest Arkansas
Sam's Club
(479) 372-0635
[email protected]

Nicole Marie Dailey
President, California Inland Empire
San Bernardino County Employees' Retirement Association (SBCERA)
(909) 885-7980 x329
[email protected]


Brian Patrick O'Connor
President, Los Angeles
CUNARD LINE
(661) 753-1060
[email protected]

Jon Myers
President, California Capital
California Victim Compensation and Gov. Claims Board
916/747-8898
[email protected]

Elizabeth Hudson, APR
President, Central California
559/779-1569
[email protected]

Brad A. Lotterman, APR
President, Orange County
UnitedHealth Group
(714) 445-0453
[email protected]

April M. Bolduc
President, San Diego/Imperial Counties
Sempra Energy
[email protected]

(Ms.) Sande Smith,
President, San Francisco Bay Area
Women's Foundation of California
(415) 321-2045
[email protected]

David J. Vossbrink, APR
President, Silicon Valley
Mineta San Jose International Airport
(408) 392-3608
[email protected]

Meredith D. Bagnulo, APR
President, Colorado
Bagnulo Communications
(303) 513-7494
[email protected]

Joe Swaty, APR
President, Pikes Peak
The Vueture (sic)
(719) 598-1606
[email protected]

Endia DeCordova-Murphy
President, Conn. Valley
Manchester Community College
(860) 512-2914
[email protected]

Barbara Arusiewicz Roderick
President, Southern Conn.
[email protected]

Kenneth M. Koprowski
President, Westchester/Fairfield
Koprowski Communications
(203) 325-8033
[email protected]

Daniel Tipton
President, Delaware
Tipton Communications
302/454-7901
[email protected]

Kathleen Saenz
President, Gulf Coast, Fla.
INgage Networks
(239) 591-6813
[email protected]

Susan Gilden
President, Gulf Stream
RBB Public Relations
305-448-7450
[email protected]

Annabel Beyra, APR
President, Miami
Fusion Communications Inc.
(786) 301-9323
[email protected]

Sarah M. Brown, APR
President, North Florida
Capital One
(804) 241-7348
[email protected]

Peter R. Scott, APR
President, Orlando Regional
IZEA
(407) 963-1649
[email protected]

Kristin B. Calder
President, Palm Beach
Bethesda Hospital Foundation
(561) 737-7733 X84429
[email protected]

Melissa MacFarlane, APR
President, Tampa Bay
Bayview Public Relations
(727) 895-5030
[email protected]


Karla G. Harvill, APR
President, Georgia
WellStar Health System
(770) 793-7033
[email protected]

Moani Wright-Van Alst
President, Hawaii
Hawaii Medical Service Association
(808) 952-7566
[email protected]

David N. Compton, APR
President, Idaho
Compton Communications
(208) 939-3457
[email protected]

Amy Dianne Littleton
President, Chicago
KemperLesnik
(312) 755-3572
[email protected]

Suburban Chicago
Debra L. Bethard-Caplick, MBA, APR
President
Quicksilver Edge Communications
(773) 445-4353
[email protected]

Quad Cities, Ill.
President: John Riches, Alcoa
[email protected]
Ph. (563) 459-2248
President-elect:
Vacant

Central Illinois
Brian C. Sowa
President
Eastern Illinois University
(217) 581-6943
[email protected]

Hoosier Indianapolis
Rebecca M. Polston, APR
President
Synergy Marketing Group, Inc.
(317) 205-9690
[email protected]

Cedar Valley (nothing)
Central Iowa

Jeanine K. Mixdorf, APR
President
Principal Financial Group
(515) 235-5376
[email protected]

Kansas
Carolyn S. Russell, APR
President
Russell Public Relations
(316) 932-9000
[email protected]

Bluegrass
Melissa B. Zoeller
President
Z Public Relations
[email protected]

Thoroughbred
Ryan Worthen
President
Kentucky Employers' Mutual Insurance
(859) 425-7800
[email protected]

Baton Rouge
Sadie Dawn Wilks, APR
President
Louisiana State Medical Society
(225) 763-2309
[email protected]

New Orleans
Cheryn Robles, APR
President
Outreach Process Partners
(504) 220-0096
[email protected]

Central Chesapeake
Renee L. Tilton, APR
President
Crosby Marketing Communications, Inc.
(410) 626-0805
[email protected]

Maryland
Lisa K. Miles, APR
President
Miles Public Relations
(410) 598-2248
[email protected]

Boston
Darlene Hollywood, President
Darlene Hollywood Public Relations
(781) 837-2572
[email protected]

Yankee Chapter
Tara Payne, President
The NHHEAF Network Organizations
800/525-2577; 603/227-5318
[email protected]

Central Mich.
Joanne E. Eason, MA, APR
President
(517) 347-5622
[email protected]

Detroit
Susan N. Ferraro, APR, President
(586) 243-9746
[email protected]

Katie Marie Woodruff, APR, president
West Michigan
Katie Woodruff Communications
(616) 915-8505
[email protected]

Jerry J. Boehm, president
White Pine, Mich.
Saginaw Valley State University
(989) 964-4055
[email protected]

Brooke Worden, APR
President, Minnesota
Weber Shandwick
(952) 346-6126
[email protected]

Kerry Cordray, president
Mid-Missouri
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
(573) 526-4220
[email protected]

Donovan C. Hendricks, APR
President, Southwest Missouri
Missouri State University
(417) 836-6397
[email protected]

Jeanne D. Howard
President, St. Louis
Commerce Bank
(314) 746-3672
[email protected]

Jon Jay Ratliff, APR
President, Greater Kansas City, Mo
Trozzolo Communications Group
816/842-8111
[email protected]

Carol A. Kruger
President, Montana
Wendt
(406) 454-8500
[email protected]

Kathleen M. Al-Marhoon, APR
President, Nebraska
Nebraska Children's Home Society Foundation
(402) 898-7785
[email protected]

Sarah A. Thornton
President, Las Vegas
Sarah Thornton Public Relations
(702) 239-0785
[email protected]

Annie E. McFarland
President, president, Sierra Nevada
International Game Technology
(775) 448-3561
[email protected]

Richard R. Lukis
President, New Jersey
Coyne Public Relations
(973) 588-2000
[email protected]

John C. Senall
President, Buffalo/Niagara
Roswell Park Cancer Institute Corp.
(716) 845-1038
[email protected]

Penelope Vavura
President, Capital Region, NY
Pierce Communications
(518) 427-1186
[email protected]

Elizabeth T. Poda
President, Central New York
Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC
(315) 218-8526
[email protected]

Gina Santodonato
President, Finger Lakes, NY
Food Bank of the Southern Tier
(607) 796-6061 x4033
[email protected]

Heather K. Kowalczyk
President, Rochester
Martino Flynn
(585) 641-4511
[email protected]

Janet C. Hart, CFEE, APR
President, Charlotte, NC
Better Business Bureau of Southern Piedmont
(704) 927-8617
[email protected]

Sarah E. Lamm
President, North Carolina
(919) 451-1832
[email protected]

Stephanie N. Skordas, APR
President, North Carolina
Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC
[email protected]

Gretchen E. Fri, APR
President, Akron area
InfoCision Management Corporation
(330) 670-5079
[email protected]

Todd R. Bailey
President, Central Ohio
Huntington Bancshares Inc.
(614) 480-4757
[email protected]

Sarah M. Pasquinucci, APR
President, Cincinnati
Procter & Gamble
(513) 983-2324
[email protected]

Elizabeth Anne Long, APR
President, Dayton Area
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
(937) 255-0982
[email protected]

Katie Marie Eidam
President, Greater Cleveland
Airfoil Public Relations
(248) 304-1424
[email protected]

Sarah J. Bednarski, APR
President, N.W. Ohio
Mercy
(419) 251-8929
[email protected]

Erin Elizabeth Page, APR
President, Oklahoma City
Oklahoma Heritage Association
405.523.3208
[email protected]

Amber Remke, APR
President, Tulsa
HireRight
(918) 664-9991 x2668
[email protected]

Niel Laudati, president, Greater Oregon
City of Springfield, Oregon
225 Fifth St
Springfield, OR 97477
Phone: (541) 726-3780
Fax: (541) 726-2363
e-mail: [email protected]

Julie Howard
President, Oregon Capital
Salem Health
(503) 561-5664
[email protected]

David H. Thompson, APR
President, Portland Metro
Oregon Dep't of Transportation
(503) 731-8263
[email protected]

Central PA
Debra S. Tingley, APR
President, Central Pa.
County Commissioners Assn of PA
(717) 526-1010
[email protected]

Josh Tysiachney
President, Northwestern PA
Allegheny College
(814) 332-6755
[email protected]

Molly A. Wilson
President, Philadelphia
Tonic Life Communications
(215) 928-2357
[email protected]

April Clark
President, Pittsburgh
Polyconcept North America
(888) 476-5962 x2260
[email protected]

Penny Delaney Cothran, APR
President, South Carolina
South Carolina Bankers Association
(803) 779-0850
[email protected]cbankers.org

Kristiina T. Braden
President, Lookout, Tenn.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
(423) 326-4557
[email protected]

Vickye T. Hester, APR
President, Memphis
Methodist Healthcare
(901) 516-0619
[email protected]

Heather Mary MacDonald
President, Nashville
Dye, Van Mol & Lawrence
(615) 244-1818
[email protected]

Christopher S. Davis, APR
President, Volunteer, Tenn.
Tennessee Solar Institute
(865) 296-2154
[email protected]

Tri-Cities: Eastern Tenn./Western Va.
Kristin Leigh Sturgill, Tri-Cities, E. Tenn., W. Va.
Eastman Chemical Company
(423) 229-2526
[email protected]

Laura Anne Kunz
President, Austin
Hahn, Texas
(512) 344-2038
[email protected]

Jamie L. Brooks, APR
President, Central Texas
DreamMaker Bath and Kitchen
(254) 523-9605
[email protected]

Rachel Lillian Hedstrom, APR
President, Dallas
Rachel Hedstrom Inc.
(972) 365 7741
[email protected]

Carol H. Murray, APR
President, Fort Worth
Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
(817) 255-9408
[email protected]

Michelle McCormick
President, Houston
Bracewell & Giuliani LLP
713.221.1165
[email protected]

Rebecca Minjarez Villarreal
President, San Antonio
Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD
(210) 945-6232
[email protected]

Scott P. Trotter, AScott P. Trotter, APR
President, Salt Lake City, Utah
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
(801) 240-6375
[email protected]

Michael D. Smart
President, Utah Valley
Brigham Young University
(801) 422-4511
[email protected]

Laura Neff-Henderson, APR
President, Blue Ridge, Va.
Tipping Point Communications
(540) 808-7598
[email protected]

Sidney Bridge, APR
President, Hampton Roads, Va.
Harbor Group International, LLC
(757) 961-2090
[email protected]

Tina Denise Lambert, CAE
President, Richmond
Virginia Society of CPAs
(804) 422-6704
[email protected]

Michael A. Brown, Sr.
President, Virginia Peninsula
Booz Allen Hamilton
(757) 876-6589
[email protected]

Alison Marie Mallahan
President, Greater Spokane
Itron
(509) 891-3892
[email protected]

Kathryn M. Reith, APR
President, Puget Sound
Lake Washington School District
(425) 936-1342
[email protected]

Lisa Wharton Turner
President, West Va.
Saint Joseph's Hospital
(304) 473-2138
[email protected]

Daniel Hnatt Chin
President, Madison, Wis.
HospiceCare Inc.
(608) 276-4660
[email protected]

Krissy M. Lillie
President, N.E. Wisconsin
Aurora Health Care
(920) 288-3629
[email protected]

Laura C. Monagle, APR
President, Wisconsin
Staples Marketing
(262) 650-9900
[email protected]


(Photo: Wikimedia)