Edition, November 20, 2002, Page 1
PALM BEACH ISSUES 'CULTURE'
Palm Beach County is looking
to hire a New York-based PR firm to position it as "Florida's
Cultural Capital." Most of the outreach program will
be done in the Washington, D.C., New York and Boston corridor,
according to Gary Schweikhart, who is overseeing the agency
The RFP is from The Palm
Beach County Cultural Council, a non-profit group established
in 1978. Its mission is to build "community and tourism
The County's voters approved
a $50 million "Arts and Parks" bond referendum
in the Nov. 5 election. That funding will add to its cultural
attractions, a roster that includes the Raymond F. Kravis
Center for the Performing Arts, Robert and Mary Montgomery
Armory Art Center and the public art collection at the Palm
Beach International Airport.
Schweikhart wants responses
by Dec. 6, and completed proposals a week later. He is at
MONFRIED TO METLIFE
David Monfried, VP of corporate communications for The
St. Paul Cos., has moved to competitor MetLife as a senior
VP, corporate communications, a new post at the company,
which backs $2.1 trillion in life insurance.
Monfried is responsible for advertising, creative services,
internal communications and PR. He reports to chief administrative
officer Lisa Weber.
At St. Paul since 1998, Monfried held a similar post at
Dun & Bradstreet Corp. in the mid-'90s and was involved
in the restructuring of the company into three separate
Earlier, he was manager of corporate communications for
Pacific Gas and Electric Co.
Cohn & Wolfe
has closed its Springbok Technologies unit in Richardson,
Tex., due to the collapse of the high-tech market. C&W
acquired Springbok in May 2001. The company once ranked
as the biggest independent firm in Texas with fees of more
than $10M. C&W CEO Donna Imperato suggests that clients
wanting high-tech exposure in the Lone Star State tap into
sister company Burson-Marsteller's Dallas office.
The Dallas Business Journal has reported that Springbok
and Young & Rubicam have used the Dallas County courts
to pursue eight companies over allegedly unpaid bills.
F-H MONITORS U.S./CHINA TIES
Fleishman-Hillard has a $16,666-a month government relations
pact with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. The contract
says the Omnicom unit will "protect, promote, assist
and develop Hong Kong's economic and trade interests in
the U.S., and seek to prevent or minimize any negative impact"
that may be taken by this country against the People's Republic
of China city.
Donald Johnson, vice chairman of FH/GPC, handles the HKTDC
account. In a letter to Robin Chiu, the Council's Americas
director, Johnson gave assurances that he is "aware
of no clients of FH/GPC which involve representation issues
that may potentially conflict with the interests of Hong
FH/GPC was formed via the merger of GPC International and
Duffy Wall & Assocs. lobbying units.
wants to hire a VP-corporate communications to serve at
the trash hauler and landfill disposal site manager's Houston
headquarters. The successful candidate will oversee a staff
of five, and report to Barry Caldwell, senior VP, government
affairs and communication. WM is looking for a pro with
10-15 years of experience.
Nels Olson, managing director at Korn/Ferry International,
is conducting the search. 202/955-0930.
APRs BLOCK DECOUPLING MOVE
PRSA's firm believers in accreditation, ignoring a recommendation
by the national board, the five biggest chapters of PRSA,
the 15 section heads and the vast majority of PRSA members
(80% of whom are non-APR), on Nov. 16 blocked a proposal
to allow non-APR members to serve in the Assembly.
The vote to refer the by-law change to a task force was
125 to 90. The APR rule has been in effect since 1973.
Although 24 chapters were not represented in the Assembly
this year in San Francisco because they could find no APRs
to represent them, delegates argued that the case had not
been proven that the absence of these delegates was due
to a scarcity of APRs among the membership.
Some delegates complained that the issue had not been explained
enough to the membership.
The two PRSA publications, Tactics and Strategist,
never mentioned the controversial proposal although it was
announced by the board in July.
(continued on page 2)
Edition, November 20, 2002, Page 2
(continued from page 1)
APR supporters also pointed
out that a new APR test is being created that is all multiple
choice, making it easier to give and correct.
Not needed anymore, they
noted, is a professional test grading service that had been
costing the Society upwards of $100,000 a year.
The test will also be
offered throughout the year at testing centers across the
U.S. instead of at a few locations twice a year, it was
The vote appeared to be a case of smaller chapters vs. larger
chapters, the former outnumbering the latter by a large
Fifty-six of the 117 PRSA
chapters have 100 or fewer members and 26 of these have
fewer than 50. But each chapter gets at least one vote in
the Assembly, which sets PRSA's bylaws.
The five biggest chapters
(National Capital, New York, Georgia, Chicago and Los Angeles)
have 3,696 members but only 35 votes in the Assembly. All
five said they were in favor of decoupling.
Board support for decoupling
was lukewarm. The proposal came from the 15 sections which
complained that few of their leaders were APR. Specialists
in fields such as healthcare, financial and high-tech do
not need the APR credential in order to succeed, they said.
Joann Killeen, PRSA president,
said a "majority" of the board was in favor of
decoupling in the Assembly, indicating the vote was less
Neither she nor any board
members gave any extended rationale in support of decoupling
nor was there any evidence that any of the board members
actively campaigned for it.
The Colorado chapter,
sixth biggest with 508 members, was one of the leaders against
"How can we expect people to respect APR if we don't?"
asked Mary Adam, Colorado delegate and a faculty member
at Colorado State University.
She said the decoupling
move had not been discussed enough and that decoupling "sends
the wrong message about APR."
Rebecca Brandt of Portland,
Ore., said it was "not proved" that the problem
of unrepresented chapters was due to a shortage of APRs.
Judy Turk, of Virginia Commonwealth University, noting the
proposed changes in the test, said APR can be made more
attractive to PR pros and can become the hallmark of PR
The problem of too few
APRs can be solved by next year, she said.
PR educators were mostly
against decoupling, fearing a diminution in the one credential
that the PR field has, sources said. The Fellows Academy
of PRSA was also against the decoupling move. Many former
presidents of PRSA were against any retreat from accreditation.
PR GROUPS SUPPORT NIKE
PRSA, Arthur Page Society, Public Affairs Council, Council
of PR Firms, and Institute for PR filed an amicus brief
in the U.S. Supreme Court last week on behalf of Nike Corp.
They are among the more than 40 media outlets, corporations
and associations joining Nike in urging the high court to
review an unprecedented California state court ruling, which
effectively eliminates First Amendment protection for companies
that speak out on public issues. The filings in Nike v.
Kasky stem from a 4-3 ruling of the Calif. Supreme Court
In that decision, the California court held that because
a company's public statements about its operations might
persuade consumers to buy its products, those statements
must be treated as run-of-the-mill commercial speech, thereby
warranting limited constitutional protection.
Bruce Keller, of Debevoise & Plimpton, which is representing
the PR groups, warned the Kasky decision"inevitably
will stymie PR professionals' ability to assist corporations
maintain an open dialogue with the public and engage in
the 'uninhibited, robust and wide-open' public debate that
was previously thought to be protected by the First Amendment."
That because, in Keller's view, a "prudent CEO would
no longer be willing to risk speaking about any issue of
public importance that also touches upon the 'business operations'
or profitability of the company the information flow to
the public would be severely circumscribed."
ZILKA, KEEGAN JOIN EDELMAN
Jeff Zilka, 47, who once ran Hill and Knowlton's financial
communications practice, is now in charge of Edelman PR
Worldwide's financial group in Chicago. He joins from The
Weiser Group, which has decided to close its Chicago office
to focus on Washington, D.C., and New York.
Edelman also added Bill Keegan who was at NiSource, an
energy services company, to serve as its SVP crisis/issues
management. Last month, Nick Kalm, who had headed Edelman's
corporate reputation group, left to start Reputation Partners
Zilka and Keegan report to Mark Shadle, who is managing
director of Edelman's 60-member Chicago corporate group.
It counts Boeing, Kraft Foods, Expedia and Household International,
which is being acquired by U.K.-based HSBC Holdings, as
B-M HANDLES DIABETES PUSH
Aventis, which makes insulin, is funding a national educational
campaign from the American Assn. of Diabetic Educators,
which launched Nov. 14,-World Diabetes Day- to encourage
Americans to get checked for diabetes. An estimated 16 million
people are diabetic. The disease is the No. 6 killer in
the U.S., and a major cause of blindness. Burson-Marsteller
created the "Aim. Believe. Achieve." drive to
encourage people to take a test that measures the level
Edition, November 20, 2002, Page 3
HER RELEASES IN GARBAGE
features editor of The New York Post, told a packed
room of publicists at a Publicity Club of New York meeting
on Nov. 13 to stop sending her press releases.
she has neither the time nor the staff to read the "avalanche
of releases" that she gets every day. "I keep
books, food samples and invitations to parties," said
Penn. "The rest gets tossed in the garbage," she
told a group of 150, who had just finished eating a sliced
roast turkey lunch.
by saying she had probably hung up on most of them. She
apologized, and explained she has little time to talk because
she has no staff help.
said another reason she has stopped reading releases is
too many of them are about topics and things that the section
does not cover.
sending her releases, she suggested they give their story
ideas to other staffers, and let them submit their finished
articles to her. "If that doesn't work, consider buying
an ad. The number for the ad department is 930-8000,"
Penn told a stunned audience.
question and answer period, Penn admitted she did check
some of the releases to see where they are coming from.
She also pointed out she has her own cadre of freelancers,
who she would not name. She says she also knows when a freelancer's
article has been assigned by a publicist.
of O'Dwyer's website (www.odwyerpr.com)
have responded to Penn's remarks.
said Penn is "practicing armchair journalism at its
PR pro said it would help if "more PR types understood
what is news and what is snooze."
assistant managing editor of Maclean's magazine,
in Toronto, said he never picks up the phone unless he knows
the name or number on the call display. He also has a separate
e-mail address for news releases.
discovered, once I became business editor of this national
newsmagazine, that for every non-event taking place anywhere
in Canada, I would receive an e-mail, a fax, possibly a
package, and then one or even two phone calls to `follow
up' on the e-mail, the fax, the package," said Woodward.
from California said: "I applaud you for being brave
enough to write this article. It is her responsibility,
not choice, to read press releases to find newsworthy topics
for her readers."
said Penn is the "kind of journalist who only furthers
the contempt that so many inside and outside the PR field
have for the media."
features editor of Newsday, told the PCNY meeting
she reads every release that she gets by mail or fax, and
e-mail, as long as it does not have attachments. She also
does not look at releases and information sent to her on
She said it is practically impossible to pitch her by phone
because she rarely answers her phone.
Schuler advised the publicists to read the paper's features
section to find out what is covered, and then target a reporter
out a directory of editors and reporters who work for the
paper, which is headquartered in Kew Gardens.
wanted to know why she listed her phone number if she does
not answer her phone. Schuler said some callers might get
lucky because she will occasionally answer her phone.
managing editor/features, New York Daily News, told
the audience reporters want to get information on most topics
with the exception of hard news and sports.
who also does not like to get pitch calls, said publicists
should instead call the reporters, especially the ones who
write about topics that are related to their client's products.
If in doubt
as to whom to call, Freiman told them to call 212/210-1591,
which is the main number of the features department, and
ask the person who answers to direct them to the right reporter.
PRODUCER CANS SMTs WITH PLUGS
A news producer with WFMZ-TV, in Allentown, Pa., recently
warned satellite media tour bookers that she will no longer
air an SMT interview if it uses a blatant sales plug.
"I just wanted to alert you of a problem we seem to
be having recently," said Liz Keptner in her Oct. 25
e-mail, "...and I'm not naming any names, but the majority
of satellite interviews seem to be major product pitches
and not much else!"
Keptner said she is being "blamed" by her station's
management for booking interviews that contain overt sales
pitches and said she felt she was receiving "false
pitches" from some bookers.
"I understand you're all doing your jobs," she
said, "I just want you to know that we're not going
to be using anymore sats that are product pitches. If we
end up doing an interview, and it's a total product pitch,
we won't be using your company anymore."
Kevin Foley, president of KEF Media Assocs., a PR video
company based in Atlanta, said Keptner's "concerns
are valid because we frequently have clients come to us
and tell us they want the SMT interview to be `about' their
product or service, and that's not how it works in TV news."
Foley said successful SMTs provide news and information
that TV newscasters conducting interviews can confidently
present to their viewers as factual and useful.
"When you satisfy that first criteria, then you can
work your client's message into the SMT and everybody wins,"
(Media news continued
on next page)
Edition, November 20, 2002, Page 4
NEW MAG COVERS
FOOD, WINE AND TRAVEL
issue of Intermezzo, a bimonthly magazine, will go
on newsstands this month, according to the publisher, T.F.
Assocs., in Boston.
Roseann Tully, publisher and editorial director, said the
magazine is in response to readers' requests for an interesting,
quality magazine that offers an escape from the stress of
what makes Intermezzo different is its broad, yet
detailed coverage of fine food and wine, home decor/renovation
will focus on new ways to travel and experience food and
the magazine, which will have an initial circulation of
275,000, will be distributed in 23 countries by Curtis Circulation.
The magazine's editor and contributors have written for
Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Cooks Illustrated,
Chocolatier, Walking, Cigar Aficionado,
Antiques and others.
audience is the average 40-year-old reader, who is too busy
to read six or seven magazines every month.
PRINT MEDIA IS TOP CHOICE
FOR PR PROS
Print publications prevail heavily as the news medium considered
to be most knowledgeable, as compared to web-based or electronic
media, according to a study of 83 financial PR managers
from countries around the world.
The study was made for the Global Financial Communications
Network, a network of 13 PR firms.
While the findings show the respondents rely primarily
on their own domestic news outlets for financial and company
news, either The Wall Street Journal or The Financial
Times was ranked in the top 10 for media considered
"most important" in almost all countries surveyed.
The findings also show business and financial newspapers,
both foreign and domestic, are viewed overall as the most
knowledgeable media, with trade publications seen as most
knowledgeable in the U.K., Switzerland and France.
In the U.S., The Wall Street Journal was by far
considered the most important and knowledgeable outlet for
news by survey respondents.
The top five was rounded out by The Financial Times,
The New York Times , and wire services Bloomberg
and Dow Jones.
In Great Britain, The Financial Times ranked first
as the most important media outlet, followed by the WSJ,
Reuters, The Times, and The Daily Telegraph.
Italy was the only European country that did not recognize
any international news outlet in the top five. Domestic
publications Il Sole 24 Ore, Corriere Economia,
Affari & Finanza, and Milano Finanza ranked
among the most important publications.
Copies of the survey are available from Karen Seaman at
Trimedia PR, 212/888-6115, ext. 236.
HEALTH REPORTER LIKES SAVVY
Ron Winslow, whose new weekly healthcare column made its
debut Nov. 11 in The Wall Street Journal's "Personal
Health" section, likes to work with savvy PR pros.
Winslow, who has been a healthcare reporter for the Journal
since 1989, told 147 members of the Healthcare PR and Marketing
Society of Greater New York on Nov. 11 that he has no time
for publicists who cannot answer his questions.
Since he has no shortage of story ideas, it behooves publicists
to be knowledgeable enough to answer his questions without
having to run to the client, said Winslow, who covers cardiology
and other health and medical issues.
Winslow wants to get information pertaining to medicine,
health economics, managed care, new medical research and
He is especially interested in developing close working
relationships with healthcare publicists. He said this can
be done by giving him exclusives.
While it is difficult to pitch him by phone or in person,
Winslow said he does respond to some of the more interesting
e-mails. His address is [email protected].
Other speakers on the "Meet the Media" panel
were Dr. Mike Rosen, WCBS-TV's chief medical reporter; Mary
Sisson, healthcare reporter for Crain's New York Business,
and Deborah Goldschmidt, CNN medical news reporter, based
in New York.
Rosen said it is "difficult for publicists to get in
my stock of 150 stories," but they should not give
up trying. Rosen said his story pitches are frequently spiked
by his producer because of some news story in The New
"Try to think like a reporter," he advised his
audience, which consisted of PR pros from local hospitals
and New York-based PR firms.
Rosen wants to get only breaking news tips. He said most
of the VNRs that he gets are "ungodly terrible."
"I am looking for stories with a cutting news edge,"
Goldschmidt said just about every pitch and press release
is turned over to her department to review for possible
She has to sell the story to her boss, who then must persuade
the executive producer to use it. As a result, many of her
stories get rejected.
Sisson, who prefers to get e-mail pitches, said Crain's
covers mostly stories with a New York angle.
a new men's lifestyle magazine, has named Laurie
Schechter, former Style editor of Vogue, to oversee
all fashion pages as fashion director.
Schechter created the first fashion section for Rolling
Stone, where she pioneered the marriage of fashion and
Editorial offices are located at 801 Second ave., New York,
NY 10017. 646/658-7587.
Edition, November 20, 2002, Page 7
Cunningham, who founded her high-tech PR firm in 1987 in
California and saw it grow to a 250-employee firm at the
height of the dot-com boom, is stepping out of the day-to-day
management of Citigate Cunningham to head a six-person creative
and management boutique.
She has become
president of sister firm Citigate Cunningham CXO, Palo Alto,
which will serve corporate officers and their teams, handling
mostly projects such as crisis management, corporate positioning,
executive positioning and executive platform creation.
people who are joining her include VPs Hamish Forsythe and
Jeremy Hartman; managing directors Kathleen Bowden, Pam
Erickson, and Aaron Feigin, and Steven Brewster, executive
platform strategist. They will not have titles.
who sold her firm to Incepta in 2000, said the team will
help companies to launch "new categories of products-the
really crucial, pivotal product launches."
project was the introduction of a new airplane by Eclipse
The new firm
will be "content-oriented and project-oriented,"
she said. It could even work with a client that already
has a PR firm, she noted.
Heads Citigate Cunningham
Cunningham continues as a separate firm with about 70 employees.
Cunningham as president is Paul Bergevin, 20-year high-tech
marketing veteran who joined CC more than a year ago as
managing director, global business development. He joined
the agency world after eight years at IBM where as PR director
he helped launch the ThinkPad and Aptiva brands.
who had been president and COO of Citigate Cunningham, recently
left to start his own firm which will handle professional
firm is noted for its short list of blue chip firms such
as Motorola, Sun Microsystems, Cisco Systems, Quantum and
a publicly held communications conglomerate based in London,
purchased Dewe Rogerson in 1999 and Sard Verbinnen and Cunningham
stock, listed on the London Stock Exchange, reached a high
of two pounds in early 2000 but is now about 14 British
BUSH GEARS UP PR PUSH FOR
The White House is shifting James Wilkinson, who helped
run the U.S./U.K. coalition communications office in the
aftermath of the invasion of Afghanistan, to the Pentagon's
U.S. Central Command to serve as spokesperson for Gen. Tommy
Wilkinson has just returned from a trip to Morocco, where
he practiced his Arabic language skills on the streets.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld used Wilkinson as his
spokesperson during the presidential transition period.
The 32-year-old communicator is said to be a pro at long-range
messaging and overall communications strategy.
CentCom's Franks may wind up as the U.S. military governor
of Iraq following the invasion. The U.S. is shifting 600
members of CentCom from its Tampa headquarters to Qatar
to coordinate the Iraqi invasion.
OGILVY FIGHTS 'GOLD-PLATED'
The Forest Products Industry National Labor Management
Committee, a group that says it wants to "balance economic
and environmental concerns" when it comes to managing
America's timber, paid Ogilvy PR Worldwide $100,000 during
the first-half of this year to make its case in Washington,
The WPP Group unit lobbied on behalf of the "Sound
Science for Endangered Species Act," "National
Forest Roadless Area Conservation Act," and the EPA's
New Source Review program, which is a particular concern
of the industry/labor organization.
The NSR, which was among 1977 amendments to the "Clean
Air Act," requires pollution permits before the construction
or expansion of large manufacturing facilities to prevent
big increases in air emissions.
The Committee rails against the NSR as "the single
most complicated regulatory program" under the CAA.
It "forces gold-plated environmental controls onto
the 22,000 large facilities that employ millions of unionized
working men and women," says the Committee on its website.
The Committee members include the American Forest &
Paper Assn., and forest industry groups in California, Wisconsin,
Minnesota, Louisiana and the Rockies. It also counts the
Int'l Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, United
Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, United Mine Workers,
and Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers
LAYDEN LEAVES PN FOR EDELMAN
Bill Layden, who headed Porter Novelli's food and nutrition
practice in Washington, D.C., has moved to Edelman's Chicago-based
food unit as an executive VP and director, a new post.
Layden is charged with further developing Edelman's business
in the food/beverage sector.
At PN, Layden handled work for the American Cancer Society,
Procter & Gamble and the Distilled Spirits Council of
the U.S. He earlier was director of the U.S. Department
of Agriculture's first nutrition promotion program.
Edelman's food/beverage practice has handled Kraft, KRF,
Butterball and crisis work for Odwalla.
Stepping up its annual Thanksgiving protests, People for
the Ethical Treatment of Animals has enlisted musician Moby
to counter Butterball's "Turkey Talk" 1-800 line
by promoting its own number on vegetarianism. PETA tags
Butterball as a "turkey-corpse" seller.
Callers to PETA's 1-800 number hear Moby slam Butterball's
cooking help line, encouraging them to phone the produce
company and "let [Butterball] know that there is no
proper way to kill and cook these beautiful birds."
Edition, November 20, 2002, Page 8
defeat of the modest attempt at decoupling APR from PRSA
leadership keeps control of PRSA in the hands of
the smaller chapters spread across the U.S. and will probably
further alienate members in the big cities.
The small chapters outnumber
and can outvote the big city chapters that wanted decoupling
(D.C., N.Y., Phila., Boston, Chicago, L.A., S.F., San Diego,
St. Louis) every day of the week.
APR die-hards in Minnesota,
Colorado, Indiana and Florida combined with the small chapters
and educators to block the reform.
A new APR exam is in the wings that is all multiple-choice
and can be corrected electronically, saving upwards of $100K
annually on a grading service. At a time when good writing
is in such short supply in PR, the APR test will give up
the lengthy essays that were required in favor of X's in
boxes. Nov. 16 was not a good day for PRSA or the profession.
York Post features editor Faye Penn told the Publicity
Club of New York that she throws all press releases
"in the garbage".
Our view: nobody throws
away a good piece of writing. It's dramatic, fact-filled,
relevant to the reader, gives numerous facets of a topic,
tells the reader something he or she didn't know, and in
a PR release, gives phones, e-mails, etc., of informed and
helpful people who are there when called. Penn and all editors
would read and use such releases.
Drobis told the Institute for PR (11/13 NL) that
PR's relationship with the media is "fractured."
He asked: "Why do we devalue this relationship so much...?"
A reader felt Drobis was the "voice of Big PR,"
which got us to thinking.
Big PR is highly client-oriented,
numbers driven (both in profits and goals defined in terms
of numbers), integrated marketing-oriented, and has grown
increasingly impersonal and mechanical.
It is heavily staffed
by recent college grads who never worked in the media and
didn't develop writing skills. Most never even picked up
the habit of reading a daily newspaper. We admit this habit
has gotten to be expensive. The New York Times is
$390 a year and other big city dailies are comparable. Such
PR staffers have almost nothing in common with reporters,
not even an interest in news.
out of Press Relations
On top of this, the heads
of the big PR firms have decided they no longer have to
personally deal with the press, setting a poor example for
The PR A/Es have little
or no expense accounts and spend most of their time schmoozing
clients and telemarketing to reporters whom they never meet.
Agencies used to have breakfasts, brown-bag lunches and
other techniques for putting staff in touch with reporters.
These are now a rarity. Pinch-penny PR firm managements,
catering to profit conscious ad agency owners, seem bent
on making PR as "transactional" (impersonal) as
possible, such as the banks are doing via automatic teller
What is "Little PR?"
The opposite of the above.
The new unit started
by six senior people at Citigate Cunningham is the
latest evidence of the upheaval in high-tech PR.
We're hopeful the main
CC staff of about 70 people (down from 250) as well as the
new unit (and all PR firms) will be more press oriented.
Hal Plotkin, San Francisco Chronicle high-tech columnist,
wrote in March 1999 at the height of the dot-com madness
that PR pros no longer considered themselves "helpers"
of reporters. He found "it takes weeks to get a response
to the most simple requests." Plotkin singled out the
Cunningham firm, saying high-tech reporters called it `The
client-oriented voice of "Big PR" is evident in
the decision by PRSA, Page Society, Council of PR Firms,
PA Council and Institute for PR to file an amicus
brief on behalf of Nike in the Nike vs. Kasky lawsuit. The
Calif. Supreme Court said letters-to-the-editor, op-eds
and statements to reporters are "commercial speech"
and can be subject to lawsuits if not truthful. It ruled
that if Nike is going to claim it is "socially responsible,"
thereby hoping to win customers, it must be able to back
up such claims.
Galloway, treasurer of PRSA, and John Colletti, CFO, say
the word "insolvent" should not be used
in connection with PRSA (11/13 NL). Insolvency means "unable
to meet debts or discharge liabilities," they said.
Well, in 2000 PRSA was unable to supply its chief product,
the annual membership directory that runs to about 800 pages.
The deficit in 1999-2000 was $1.1 million. PRSA says it
has no deferred dues account at all (although it once had
$900Kin DD) because dues are "non-refundable."
IABC, which has DD of $1.2M on dues of $2.5M. IABC admits
it has a deficit-$1.28M as of 9/30/01. Its $1M loss on a
business website will forever mar its record. PRSA is almost
alone among professional groups in having no DD account.
The Amer. Soc. of Assn.
Execs. has $6M in deferred revenues, mostly dues; Amer.
Medical Assn. has a $24M DD on dues of $54M; AICPAs has
$40M in DD, and Amer. BarAssn. has $57M in DD. PRSA cites
GAAP (generallyaccepted accounting principles) but better
than that overgrown loophole-ridden mish-mash is "principles-based
accounting," favored in Europe.
The standard is the "spirit"
of the rules, not the literal rules themselves. It's a "user-friendly"