The Texas PR Association is disbanding as of Dec. 31, it was announced by Larry Meltzer, president of the group who is also president of MM2 PR, Dallas.

TPRA graveMeltzer cited years of declining membership and lack of volunteers plus a "fragile financial situation."

A member noted it is "easier and less expensive to stay in touch via websites like LinkedIn and Facebook." TPRA had presence in those two media but "lacked significant engagement," he said. PR groups should "adapt to the needs and preferences of their members and not the other way around," the member added.

LinkedIn lists 56 groups under the heading of PR, marketing and communications. Social Media Marketing is one of the largest with 195,000 members and 20 special interest groups.

Gerald Haman's "Innovative Marketing & PR Group" claims 150,000+ members.

The most recent IRS Form 990 for the group (PDF/2009) showed revenues of $121,264 and expenses of $137,985. The deficit was $16,721 and net assets at the end of the year were $1,928. It had started out the year with assets of $14,793.

A member said the board "failed to establish an effective platform to communicate and engage members scattered across the expanse of Texas. Members would join yet never receive so much as a welcoming e-mail."

The member also decried the lack of a "happy hour" meeting for members in various Texas cities.

The PR Foundation of Texas, a subsidiary of TPRA, will continue to provide scholarships and funding toward educational programs.

Silver Spur Awards Program Up in Air

The Silver Spur/Best of Texas awards and training programs may continue under the supervision of the Foundation, he said although "no final decisions have been made."

A member said it is time to "revisit the possibility of one united organization for communications professionals an organization that embraces the philosophy of open, honest and transparent communications."

Many New York Groups Vanished

About half the 24 New York PR groups that were active in the 1970s and 80s have disappeared including Chemical Comms. Assn., Financial Relations Society, Hospital PR Society, Monday II (corporate) Group, New York Airline PR Assn., New York Business Communicators, Paper Industry PR Group, Pride & Alarm, PR Roundtable, Shop Talk, Wall St. Irregulars and Wednesday PR Group.

Women Executives in PR merged in 2006 (its 50th year) with Ad Women of New York.

Publicity Club of New York remains active under the leadership of Peter Himler. It has a regular schedule of events featuring reporters and editors.

Himler believes the main job of PR pros is interacting with "influencers" who work in "earned, paid, shared and owned media" although social media is also important. He said he has no trouble attracting "top tier board members." Himler has been president of PCNY for about ten years.

PR Society of America this year was unable to attract board candidates from three of its ten districts Southeast, Southwest and North Pacific although there were about 400 accredited members from each district who were eligible to run. The Society changed the seats into at-large.