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Internet Edition, August 30, 2000, Page 1


Fleishman-Hillard succeeded Burson-Marsteller as Bridgestone/Firestone's agency of record in July, before the tire recall crisis broke out.

Ford, whose Ford Explorer is a big user of the faulty tires, is a major client of B-M.

Dave Senay, general manager of F-H, St. Louis, >said B/F and Ford are working hard to get the defective tires off the road. F-H was named for a wide variety of tasks including the tire recall crisis, said Senay.

A survey by Automotive News found that the handling of the recall is damaging the reputations of both B/F and Ford. Nearly half of those polled described Ford's level of honesty as fair or poor.

Although Ford got better grades than B/F for honesty, helpfulness and speed of response to the crisis, the images of both companies have been tarnished, said the publication.
Half of those polled said they would be "less likely" to buy a vehicle that has B/F tires and 25% of those intending to buy a sports utility vehicle said they would shun the Ford Explorer.

Ford Takes Hit

"Ford is taking almost as big a hit as B/F," said Rik Kinney, senior VP of Dohring Co., research firm.

Anne Doyle, Ford spokesperson, said the Dohring survey was based on immediate impressions.

Ford's own research, she said, based on focus group interviews on the effectiveness of the company's tire recall ad campaign, showed one-third of the participants were impressed with Ford's response and 25% said they are more likely to consider a Ford for their next automotive purchase based on how Ford handled the recall. Ford appears to be distancing itself from B/F, portraying itself as an open, customer-responsive company.

Interpublic, in a "shelf" filing, asked the SEC for permission to raise up to $500 million via debt securities that could be sold from time to time. The funds would be used for debt repayment, stock repurchases, possible acquisitions, and general purposes. IPG on June 27 also opened a $750 million line of credit via lending institutions. It has already used $409M. IPG's stock at $38 is off 34% this year... Excite@Home, San Francisco, named Text 100 for a projected $500K in fees. Others pitching included Ruder Finn and Porter Novelli. Edelman PR Worldwide responded to the RFP but withdrew because of conflicts.


Insiders at Omnicom have sold $47.9 million of OMC's stock since last September while buying $4.7M. Insiders at Interpublic since Dec. 31 have sold $44.8M of IPG stock and bought $15.5M.

OMC's stock is trading around $81 or $26 below its high in a rising stock market while IPG is around $38, having lost a third of its value since late 1999.

Current messages on the Yahoo! bulletin boards for each stock ask questions such as, "Any news on OMC?" and "Can anybody offer an intelligent explanation of why this (IPG) continues to drop at such a serious rate?" There have been no responses from corporate officers. Neither OMC nor IPG has an on-staff PR or IR person.

OMC's Reinhard Sold $21.7M

Keith Reinhard, chairman of the DDB Worldwide unit of OMC and an OMC director, has sold $21.7M of OMC stock since last Sept. 8. He sold 84,000 shares April 28 for $7.6M and on Oct. 29, 1999, exercised 100,000 options at $12.11 a share and sold them at $82.78 for net proceeds of $7,067,000.

Allen Rosenshine, chairman and CEO of the BBDO Worldwide unit, has sold $15.9M of stock. Included were options exercised at $8.77 a share for 60,000 shares and sold in 30,000 lots at $88.75 (June 2) and $92.50 (March 21) and options exercised for 50,000 shares at $5.88 sold in lots of 25,000 shares at $87.81 (Oct. 29) and $92.50 (Nov.22).

Chairman Bruce Crawford sold 24,000 shares worth $2.269M in late March.

Dennis Hewitt, treasurer, sold stock worth $851,899. On March 31 he acquired 6,315 shares from OMC at 50 cents a share for a paper gain of $588,084 at the price that day of $93.62.

IPG Insider Sells 200,000 Shares

Biggest single IPG transaction was the sale of 200,000 shares by "shareholder" John M. Connors Jr. Feb. 16 for $9.2M. "Shareholder" Richard J. Gillespie sold 100,000 shares June 20 for $4.75M.

Phil Geier, who will retire as CEO of IPG at the end of the year, registered last week to sell 190,000 shares worth $7.3M at the current price of $38. Geier on Feb. 24 surrendered 51,531 exercised shares worth $2,127,200 on that day and acquired 100,000 shares the same day by exercising options at $7.44 a share.The paper gain on those shares was $3,468,501 at the Feb. 24 stock price of $42.13.

Internet Edition, August 30, 2000, Page 2


Peter Seligman, 30, a partner at Dan Klores Assocs., New York, was killed Aug. 18 in a subway accident.

Seligman, who represented several sports and entertainment celebrities, including Mike Tyson and Jay Leno, was on a crowded subway platform at 8:30 a.m. with his fiancée, Sara Sinek, who is a manager of PR at Scholastic, a children's publisher, on their way to the City Clerk's office to get their marriage license. A few moments before the train pulled into the Brooklyn Bridge station, Sinek told police that Seligman, who felt ill, had stepped out to the small platform between the subway cars to get some air.

Seligman apparently fainted, and as Sinek grabbed for him, he tumbled down between two subway cars to the tracks. He fell onto the electrified third rail and was electrocuted.

The New York Post assigned six reporters to gather information about his death, and the paper gave a full page of coverage in its Saturday edition. The paper described Seligman as a "PR whiz."

Seligman had joined DKA eight years ago, shortly after graduating from the Univ. of Wisconsin. In 1997, Klores made Seligman a partner.


Lawrence Tavcar, 64, a longtime senior corporate communications executive, died Aug. 24 at Greenwich Hospital in Stamford, Conn., following a lengthy prostate cancer illness.

Tavcar, who retired two years ago, was a native of Cleveland and a graduate of the Ohio University school of journalism.
During his PR career, he held positions with the New York Stock Exchange, CIT Financial Corp. and Paramount Communications. He also had been a senior VP of the Carl Byoir agency.

Tavcar, who was senior director, corporate communications at Paramount (formerly Gulf +Western), spent six years at the company. He played an instrumental communications role during the company's restructuring. Paramount was acquired by Viacom in 1994.

From 1978 to 1984, Tavcar was manager of the account groups at Byoir that handled such clients as ADP, American Can, Borg Warner, Firestone, Honeywell and Steelcase. He also headed Byoir's business-to-business group for two years after serving as its executive VP.

Tavcar was a member of the boards of the Westchester/Fairfield chapters of PRSA and NIRI, and a past president of PRSA/New York and NIRI/New York.

He is survived by his wife, Denise; two sons, Bret, of Stamford, and Erik of Arlington, Va.; four sisters, and a brother, all of Cleveland.

A ceremony celebrating Tavcar's life will be scheduled shortly. In lieu of flowers, the family has suggested that a gift in Tavcar's memory be sent to CAP CURE For Prostate Cancer, 1250 Fourth st., #360, Santa Monica, CA 90401.


Omnicom Group's Internet investment unit, Communicate, has taken part ownership of Healthology, an online provider of original, physician-generated medical and health information via streaming media.

The company, whose ad/PR agencies handle pharmaceutical companies, also has part ownership of four other healthcare-related Internet companies. They are Caresoft, which runs the, a consumer website; and, which hosts medical lectures online for physicians, and eResearchTechnology, a clinical-trial site where drug companies can track tests of new medications.

Thomas Harrison, Omnicom's chairman/CEO of Diversified Agency Services, said the investment is a "key step in our unique E-health strategy. By adding Healthology to our E-health portfolio, we continue to demonstrate our belief that the highest quality of original content offers significant marketing opportunities for our clients."

The five healthcare sites will be used by Omnicom to pave the way for its pharmaceutical clients which are eager to reach doctors and consumers on the web without alienating them, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Journal said Omnicom is also planning to develop a database of the visitors to help the drug companies better target consumers and physicians.


The PRSA Foundation is selling miniature paper cows for $500 each for a "Cows on PR-ade" fund-raising event to be held at the PR World Congress, which is scheduled for Oct. 22-24 in Chicago.

PR firms, corporations and individuals have been invited to purchase and decorate the 18-inch cows for <%0>display at the meeting. Celebrity judges will pick the best decorated cows to auction off.

The event is the kick-off to a major fundraising PR campaign for the Foundation, which hopes to raise more than $2.5 million over the next three years, according to Ron Culp, senior VP of PR and government affairs at Sears, Roebuck, who is president-elect of the PRSA Foundation.

David Grossman & Assocs. is handling orders for the cows at 847/332-2273.

National Public Radio has apologized for airing an interview with CBS Corp.'s senior VP of communications about the "Survivor" finale that aired on the CBS-TV network.

NPR's "Morning Edition" did an on-air interview with Fortune columnist and author Stanley Bing, after seeing his book, What Would Machiavelli Do, which deals with office politics.

What NPR's producer did not know is Bing's name at CBS is Gil Schwartz. In the radio interview, Schwartz said the CBS show "has most, definitely proven that it is, in fact, the mean that inherit the earth." Schwartz later acknowledged he should have made his role at CBS known to the NPR reporter.

Internet Edition, August 30, 2000, Page 3


BSMG Worldwide landed a front-page color publicity photo of the four finalists in the "Survivor" TV show in the Aug. 23 edition of The New York Daily News.

The same photo also ran in The New York Post, as a four-column photo in black-and-white on page 3.

The News gave BSMG credit for the photo, which was shot by the PR firm's sister ad agency, Bozell, for the "milk mustache" ad. The News cropped out the "Got Milk?" ad slogan, but the Post's editor left it in.

Bozell did not know who the final survivor would be and had to wait to release the "winner's" ad for publication immediately after the show on Aug. 23. The four cast members were photographed, together and separately, on a beach in Malibu on Aug. 18. A full page ad of the winning survivor appeared in the media Aug. 24.

Among the PR tactics used by General Motors to launch the new Pontiac Aztek SUV was to get a product placement on CBS TV's "Survivor" as part of a special program called "Aztek Adventurers," which was managed by Manning, Selvage & Lee.

The winning survivor, Richard Hatch, who runs his own corporate training firm in Newport, R.I., was awarded an Aztec as a prize. Several other advertisers on Survivor, including Bud Light, Ericsson cell phone, and Dr. Scholl's footpads, had their products used in the episodes.

"Moments" Campaign

Bozell has assigned three staffers to spot newsmakers who can be booked for the specially made "milk mustache" ad that has been dubbed its "moments" campaign.

The first "moments" ad featured President Clinton and Sen. Bob Dole. The ad ran on the eve of the 1996 presidential election, and it led to 189 print news stories and 36 TV reports, accounting for 107 million viewer-readers, according to BSMG.

Last January's Super Bowl "milk mustache" ads consisted of opposing quarterbacks during the big game, and was followed by the winning quarterback's ad. BSMG calculates this commercial was seen by 29 million viewers or readers, based on circulation and ratings information.


Brian Moss, who is Sunday editor of The New York Daily News, was named editor of The Daily News Express, a new free distribution evening paper that will focus on business and late-breaking general news.

Bronx bureau chief Bob Kappstatter was named deputy editor of the paper, which will have a staff of 12 reporters when it starts Sept. 12.

The 40-page paper-20 pages editorial and 20 pages of ads-will be given out free by street hawkers at 75 transportation points in New York and downtown Brooklyn Mondays through Fridays.

The Express, which will have an initial press run of 75,000, will be designed as a quick read.

Modern Times, a Stockholm-based publisher, started its first U.S. daily, called the Metro, in Philadelphia last January.

Currently, about 100,000 copies of the paper are distributed free at Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority stations, and aboard trains, buses and trolleys.

The tabloid-size paper, which features brief local, national and international news plus reports on business, sports, TV and features, is designed to be read in less than 25 minutes.

Modern Times said it would start Metro papers in other U.S. cities with mass transit systems (NL, 2/23/00).

PEOPLE ___________________________

Dan Rottenberg, 58, was named editor of Family Business, a national quarterly magazine published in Philadelphia. He replaces Howard Muson, who is retiring after nine years. Barbara Spector was named managing editor.

Stephen Weeks was promoted to editor of VegasGolfer, a bimonthly magazine covering all aspects of golf in Las Vegas. The magazine, published by Greenspun Media Group, is based in Henderson, Nev.

Fred Fishkin, who is known for his daily "Boot Camp" reports on technology for WCBS-AM, is joining Bloomberg Radio's reformatted nationally syndicated morning show, now called "Bloomberg on the Money."

Fishkin's 90-second report, to be called "Bloomberg Boot Camp," replaces "TechLine" in the morning lineup. A longer version will be broadcast on "Bloomberg on the Weekend," the new weekend magazine program.

Sarah Mahoney, previously editor of Fitness magazine and former executive editor of Parents, was named editor of Ladies' Home Journal. She took over July 31.

Robert Clow, formerly a senior writer at Institutional Investor, has joined The New York Post to cover mergers and acquisitions and the stock market.

Nicole Beland has replaced Daryl Chen as features editor at Mademoiselle.

Billy Sims, previously managing editor, was promoted to executive editor of Cooking Light, replacing Nathalie Dearing, who retired.

Bruce Kelley, who had been executive editor of Health Magazine, has joined San Francisco magazine as editor-in-chief, replacing Dale Eastman.

Eric Moskowitz, a senior writer for Money magazine, has joined Red Herring to cover technology stocks and investing.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, August 30, 2000, Page 4


Larry Dobrow, Matthew Boyle and Thom Weidlich, the three top editors of PR Week/U.S. under editor-in-chief Adam Leyland, are leaving the publication.

News editor Dobrow, a lawyer, said he is leaving to "explore other opportunities" and the practice of law may be one of them.

Boyle, analysis editor and with the paper since its start in November 1998, is joining Fortune magazine in September as a reporter.

He was previously with Simba Information, Stamford, Conn., as a writer. The company, which was previously owned by Cowles Media and is now part of Primedia, covers computers and other fields.

Weidlich, features editor, joined PRW a year ago from Direct magazine. He said he will freelance.

PLACEMENT TIPS _______________________

Variety will test market a new monthly magazine, called eV, that will cover show business, technology and finance.

The first issue will be polybagged with the Sept. 21 editions of Daily and Weekly Variety subscriptions.

Michael Speier, who is editor of eV, is based in Variety's Los Angeles office at 323/965-5366.

Chatt-Time, a magazine for African-American girls between the ages of seven through 13, made its debut with an April-May issue.

Vivian Birts, who is owner/publisher of the Atlanta-based magazine, said Chatt-Time is the first print medium to target that age group. She plans to publish six issues a year, and to place it in libraries and black-owned bookstores throughout the nation.

The magazine will have back-to-the-basics information on etiquette, health and beauty, positive role models, crafts and recipes, according to Deborah Heard, editor. PO Box 10797, 30310. 404/766-7491.

Motor News Media, a newspaper-only content provider, has entered into a partnership with Racing Information Systems, an exclusive online service to provide weekly coverage of auto races.

Besides coverage of all NASCAR touring series, RIS will provide coverage of Formula One, Indy, Le Mans, rally, drag racing, motorcycle and Sprint car on a weekly basis under the Race Final banner. The features will be delivered via MNM's subscription-only website.

RIS, based in Redondo Beach, Calif., has been providing auto and motorcycle racing content on CompuServe exclusively since 1979 and on the web since 1996. Michael Hollander is editor of RIS.

MNM, based in Urbandale, Ia., currently has more than 80 newspaper subscribers in 27 states and Canada with a combined circulation of nearly 3.5 million readers. Kenneth Chester Jr. is president.

The Wall Street Journal Sunday, a four-page section which is distributed weekly by 19 metropolitan newspapers, has a new "website of the week" feature taken from Barron's<D> magazine.

The Journal claimed in an Aug. 21 house ad that ads in the section are read by six million+ people.

David Crook is editor and Larry Rout is senior editor of WSJS. 212/416-2000; sunday@wsj-com.

The New York Times will launch a twice-weekly "Style & Entertaining" section on Nov. 5.

The section is under the direction of Amy Spind-ler, who is editor of the "Style" section, and will be edited by William Norwich.

The section will combine fashion, home and food in one package.

Norwich, who is also entertaining editor of The New York Times Sunday Magazine, will no longer write for House & Garden, where he also drew caricatures for the "Polite Society" back page.

The Talk America Radio Networks, Canton, Mass., each week broadcasts seven talk shows focusing on the world of personal computers, E-commerce and the Internet.

The programs are: (all times are Eastern)

-"Computers Daze" with Guy Kemp (Mon.-Fri., 10 p.m.-midnight);
-"Megs & Modems" with John Rody (Saturday, 2-3 p.m.);
-"PC Talk" with Lloyd Kruckeberg and John Dowling (Saturday, 9-11 a.m. and Sunday, 3-5 p.m.);
-"Net Profits" with Jim Wischner (Sat., 6-8 pm);
-"Log on USA" with Jaclyn Easton (Sunday., 7-8 a.m.), and
-"Online Shopping Report" (Sunday, 6-7 p.m.).

Tom Star, president of Talk America, said more and more stations are carrying these programs, and listeners are tuning in to hear experts discuss the newest products, and to ask questions.

TA has nearly 450 radio station affiliates in all 50 states and Canada, and it also produces the WorldWeb News Network. All shows are broadcast simultaneously on the Internet at 781/828-4546; fax: 3822.

Talk America also produces "Duke & The Doctor," a weekly program co-hosted by Dr. Jan McBarron, and her husband, natural foods expert Joseph "Duke" Liberatore, who promote vitamins and herbs for disease treatment and prevention.
The show airs every weekday from 10-11 a.m. on some 150 radio stations.

"Bloomberg Politically Speaking" debuted July 22 and is broadcast in the New York tri-state area on 1130 AM on Saturdays at 3, 7, & 11 a.m. and 3, 7, & 11 p.m., and on the web at

The show features interviews, discussions, and a wrap-up of the political week and examines the impact of political events on the stock markets.

The hosts are Paul Alexander, a political columnist for Bloomberg News, and John Batchelor, a political novelist and a Republican historian.

Internet Edition, August 30, 2000, Page 7


Businesses that treat their communications strategies as an exercise in "spin" risk substantial damage to their reputations and their relationships with customers and investors, says David Hakensen, who is SVP at Padilla Speer Beardsley in Minneapolis.

"By handling communications as a `win-lose' adversarial process, or by distorting facts with unrealistic or absurd interpretations, companies erode their credibility," Hakensen wrote in an article that ran Aug. 14 in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Hakensen said spin is no longer a Washington, D.C., phenomenon.

"From debates over local policy to corporate crisis management, the characteristics of spin are spilling over into all forms of public discourse," said Hakensen.

For example, Hakensen said "tobacco executives still try to argue with a straight face that they don't believe smoking causes cancer; Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, tried to make sifting through Microsoft's garbage seem like a patriotic duty, and as far as we know, O.J. is still trying to track down the real killer."

The downside is that one believes them, he said.

"Every company is entitled to aggressive advocacy," said Hakensen. "But building a positive public image means thinking beyond the company's perspective and understanding how its programs and policies will be perceived externally. Communication is not just about talking, but about listening, too. Spin usually is a one-way street."

Hakensen said the alternative to spin is "PR."

"Experienced PR practitioners, whether they are from inside a company or from outside agencies, know that a superior corporate communications program is based on certain principles: honesty, accuracy, candor, creativity and humor."

Hakensen said when Schwan's faced negative publicity surrounding contaminated products, the company told the truth and took steps to make the problems right.

"Contrast that experience with Coca-Cola's recent debacle in Europe, when the company's failure to acknowledge contamination problems left it with a PR black eye," said Hakensen, who noted the company's mishandling of the European crisis was cited as a contributing factor in the resignation of Douglas Ivestor as Coke's chairman.

"The lesson is that people are very forgiving of mistakes but extremely harsh in judging dishonesty or deception," said Hakensen. "That's why spin is so inappropriate as a corporate communications tool."


David Gergen, editor-at-large for U.S. News & World Report and a regular analyst on "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer," laments the ascendance of spin and media manipulation in his new book, "Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton" (382 pages, Simon & Schuster, $26).

Gergen, who helped institute "spin patrol" during the Reagan Adminsitration, using leaks, damage control and sound bites to package and promote that administration's policies, said "One of my deepest regrets in public life is a feeling that I have contributed to this deterioration.

"Spin has spun out of control and we need to put it back in its box," said Gergen, who also helped the Clinton White House rebuild its public image.


Some of Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman's most reliable contributors have worked in the pharmaceutical and insurance industries.

Lieberman, who according to Connecticut law is allowed to campaign to keep his Senate seat, while also running as the Vice Presidential nominee, has raised $91,150 from the pharmaceutical industry.

His wife, Hadassah, was once director of policy planning and communications for Pfizer, and also worked on health-related issues for APCO Worldwide in Washington, D.C. She was working out of her home as a women's health consultant before her husband was named to the Democratic ticket.

The Center for Responsive Politics said Lieberman has collected more money from the insurance industry-$197,419-than any other senator.

Chis Lehane, who is Vice President Al Gore's press secretary, played down the importance of those contributions and Lieberman's efforts on behalf of both industries.
Meanwhile, Gore criticized Gov. George Bush as a man who has embraced the interests of corporations.

In a speech delivered August 19, Gore placed Bush on the side of pharmaceutical companies that he said gouge the elderly with high drug prices, and insurance company "bean counters" who overrule doctors."They're for the powerful, we're for the people," said Gore.


Merger Communications, a Houston-based IR firm representing small-cap dot-com clients, has paid the Securities and Exchange Commission $50,000 to settle a lawsuit charging the firm with promoting 10 small publicly traded technology companies without making disclosure of its investment in the companies.

David Drake and Jukka Tolonen, the two owners of Merger, also agreed to pay civil penalties of $10,000 each. The two were accused of promoting several small firms without disclosing that Merger owned stock in them and was being paid in stock by its clients. Under terms of the settlement, Merger neither admitted nor denied the accusations.

The SEC had accused Merger of sending press releases over the Internet in which it cast its clients in an extremely favorable light without revealing that Merger "analysts" would benefit financially from a steep increase in the stock prices of its clients. The amount of shares Merger received in compensation was linked to the share price increase created by Merger's promotional efforts.

Internet Edition, August 30, 2000, Page 8

Dow Chemical has fired 40 employees in Texas for sending e-mails that had sexual or other offensive terms in them. The company also dropped 50 people at its Midland, Mich., h.q. earlier this year after a similar investigation. Xerox, Stamford, Conn., fired 40 employees last year for looking at porno on the web. Companies now have software that monitors employee e-mails. Meanwhile, salty language is common on bulletin boards for public stocks. Name-calling and four-letter words abound. Movies are laced with what used to be called "foul" language. Popular music uses such language and TV sitcoms are loaded with sex. Maybe the corporate bluenoses are out of touch with the popular culture... journalists are discussing PR people, announcing job changes, talking about issues, etc., on It was founded by journalist Jim Romensko. PR people come in for some blows. One posting was: "Flacks are like spouses; half the time, they just want to be heard"... lets players turn press releases into paper airplanes that are then aimed at "pushy PR flacks and overzealous young A/Es huffing breathlessly over" The game, which uses names of real PR firms such as B-M, H&K, Ketchum, Brodeur, Edelman, etc., was invented by e-tractions and its Boston PR firm, Stirling & Hager, to show the client's game products. West Coast writer Zhenya Gene Senyak feels the game "demeans both media and PR people"... The Collapse and Revival of American Community, by Robert Putnam, argues that Americans are participating less in their organizations. Putnam made the same point in 1995 with Bowling Alone<D> but came under heavy attack by association interests which claimed the number of groups zoomed from 10,299 in 1968 to 22,901 in 1997. But Putnam says that many of these groups are lobbying and direct-mail operations with no membership duties except writing a check. "Most Americans," he says, "no longer spend much time in community organizations-we have stopped doing committee work, stopped serving as officers and stopped going to meetings"... the real story of the Aug. 2 talk of 2001 PRSA chair Kathy Lewton to the Westchester/Fairfield chapter is who didn't attend. Only 12 of the 90+ chapter members came to hear their new national leader. The other 35 people present were non-members. The chapter publicizes meetings to about 300 including members of five to seven similar groups like IABC, NIRI, Fairfield County PR Assn., etc. Twenty-four were sole practitioners or employees of small PR firms. At least a dozen were from local non-profits and associations including three from the local YMCA. Oxford Health Plans ($4 billion+) and Terex ($2.7B heavy equipment company) were the biggest companies represented. Otherwise there was an almost complete absence of client companies, small or large. Corporate PR pros have mostly departed PRSA for NIRI, PR Seminar, Arthur Page, the Wisemen, etc. The chance that some of the 35 non-members who went to the lunch (paying $30 instead of $25) will join PRSA are slim to none. They're already in groups that are often much cheaper than PRSA's $215 dues (2001) and $75 initiation fee. They can attend PRSA's functions for $5 extra... only three accredited PRSA members signed the petition to have APR removed as a prerequisite for holding office, COO Ray Gaulke told one of the signers. One of these withdrew the signature, he also reported. This has discouraged those who want an end to mandatory APR for office-holding. They feel the rule has not only made PRSA an undemocratic organization but has made it into a welfare state for the tiny group of APR die-hards. But the "decouplers" shouldn't be discouraged. The petition to decouple was only floated a week before the Aug. 21 deadline.

A year-long PR campaign in support of decoupling is needed. The facts that will come out are that the current subsidy to make a new APR is $2,004 and the loss on the program over ten years is $2,005,760. Each member is paying $23.75 of his or her dues this year to the APR welfare recipients who have a tight grip on the governance of PRSA. As for "Universal APR," not one of the 80 international PR groups has joined this PRSA-led initiative. The attempt to sell the APR exam at $385 to non-members has flopped. Only 16 of the more than 7,000 members in eight other U.S. groups that are part of UAPR took the spring exam. Major culprits in this madness are the handful of naive, mostly youthful PR people who take the exam, believing they are going to get some kind of edge over fellow PR pros. With PRSA having 116 chapters, this is usually one or two per chapter with many chapters fielding no candidates. Non-APR chapter leaders should urge a boycott of the exam. If no one showed up, that would send an unmistakable message to national PRSA leaders. We think something like this is already happening.

UPCOMING: The Association for Women in Communications - Annual Professional Conference. Sept. 13-16th at the Austin, Tex., Marriott at the Capitol, 701 East 11th st. Reservation is required, 410/544-7442. A schedule of events and registration form is available at $495 members. Contact: AWC HQ, 1244 Richie Highway, #6 Arnold, MD 21012-1887 or [email protected].


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