Edition, May 7, 2003, Page 1
TORONTO WANTS FIRM TO LURE
Toronto is ramping up
efforts to bring tourists back to the city, including a
search for a major PR firm, as the World Health Organization
lifted an advisory against travel to the Ontario capital
city of 2.5 million on April 30.
"We remain open for
business," Mayor Mel Lastman said in a statement, although
he estimated it could take a year for tourism to recover
from the city's outbreak of SARS.
A $25 million fund from
federal and provincial coffers has been set up to promote
tourism and the city is looking for a PR firm to oversee
the efforts, according to city hall sources of the Toronto
Star. Companies have also stepped up their marketing
to promote travel to Toronto.
International Assn. of
Business Communicators said last week it would go ahead
with plans for its annual conference in Toronto in June
but reports say concerts and other events continue to be
cancelled, even after the WHO advisory was lifted.
COHN, OVERSTREET EXIT GCI
Cohn & Wolfe founder Bob Cohn and former C&W vice
chairman Jim Overstreet have left GCI/Atlanta to form their
own firm, Cohn, Overstreet & Parrish with Amy Parrish,
a GCI Group veteran.
Cohn and Overstreet joined GCI Group following the February
2002 acquisition of 360 Thinc by Grey Global Group. Cohn
had joined 360 in 2000. Grey and 360 had won a joint pitch
for the $150 million BellSouth ad/PR account in December
360 had counted Coca-Cola, Chick-fil-A and Southern Co.
as clients. They were merged into GCI.
Cohn told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution he would
not again consider selling a firm to one of the large ad/PR
Ken Willis, who heads the Atlanta office, noted that Cohn
and Overstreet had done "part-time consulting"
to GCI over the past six months.
Bill Marks has rejoined GCI as executive VP after a stint
as VP-PR at Coca-Cola Co.
Burson-Marsteller, BlinnPR and Hill
& Knowlton are among firms that have responded
to the RFP issued by the Library of Congress for communications
strategy, media relations and special events. Ruth Nelson
(202/707-8610) is contracting officer. May 12 is the deadline.
PN DROPS OUT, FOUR PITCH
Porter Novelli has dropped out of the pitch for the $3
million PR account at the anti-smoking group, American Legacy
Foundation. Fleishman-Hillard, MWW Group, Magnet Comms.
and MWW parent Golin/Harris International still vie for
Rob Gould, PN GM in Washington, D.C., told this NL his
firm had worked for ALF since its inception in 1999.
The new firm will "provide implementation and tactical
support, but little strategic counsel." ALF's in-house
team will now develop overall strategy, said PN. Julia Cartwright
is ALF's VP-comms.
The PR review comes at a crucial time for the group. ALF
received a $300 million final payment from the tobacco companies
on April 14 to fund its "truth" anti-smoking initiative.
Those payments account for 80 percent of the Foundation's
Cheryl Healton, president of ALF, has warned that the group
may be forced to severely cut the public education campaign
because of the funding drop-off. Under the Master Settlement
Agreement negotiated with the states, tobacco companies
have spent $1.4B+ since 1999 for anti-smoking campaigns.
CORDIANT MAY SELL
Cordiant Communications, which owns FD Morgen-Walke, has
held merger discussions with other companies as one of a
"number of options" that are being considered.
Publicis is viewed as the best fit for Cordiant. FD M-W
had 260 staff at its peak and now has less than 100.
BYRUM WON'T BLOCK JUNE ASSEMBLY
Reed Byrum, president of PRSA, said that while he does
not favor making the June 20-21 "leadership rally"
in New York also serve as an Assembly, he and the board
will not campaign against it.
Decoupling of national offices and Assembly seats from
accreditation was unanimously urged by the strategic planning
committee of the 1999 board but the board rejected the decision
and campaigned against it. The committee urged discussion
at the 1999 Assembly but the board blocked it.
Byrum said that if the needed 75 signatures of delegates
come into h.q. by the May 20 deadline (30 days before the
meeting) he will order an Assembly.
The leaders' meeting is costing PRSA about
(continued on page 7)
Edition, May 7, 2003, Page 2
CPRF DUES, MEMBERSHIP DECLINE
The Council of PR Firms
reported a 19% decline in dues to $988,193 for the year
ended Dec. 31, 2002, from $1,219,806 in the previous year.
The number of members
declined to 107 from 121 a year earlier. The peak in membership
was reached in 2000 when there were 126.
Net assets declined 35%
to $292,561 from $452,218.
All but the biggest members,
who pay a maximum of $50,000 each in dues, were allowed
to subtract 20% from their dues payments because of the
decline in the economy.
Regular dues are .065
percent of U.S. revenues or just over one-half of one percent.
A firm billing $2 million would pay $1,300 yearly.
CPRF's revenues declined
30.6% to $1,106,426 from $1,466,201.
The group noted that 2001
revenues were increased by the one-time addition of $221,591
from the November 2001 "Global Summit" meeting
of the International Communications Consultancy Organization
in San Francisco.
CPRF said that the revenues
were passed through CPRF's books as a convenience to ICCO,
which is a worldwide association of PR firms. Attending
the meeting were 140 principals of PR firms from 22 countries.
Attendances was less than
half of what was expected due to the meeting's proximity
David Drobis, chairman/senior partner of Ketchum, was chairman
of ICCO at the time. He is the founding chair of CPRF and
is the current chair of the Arthur Page Society.
Cash declined to $292,224
from $630,431 partly because of the one-time addition of
ICCO cash in 2001, CPRF said.
Expenses for the year
of $1,176,083 exceeded income of $1,016,426 by $159,657.
A non-GAAP summary of
the financials is on the group's website (www.prfirms.org).
A complete financial report is to be put on the site shortly
that will also be accessible to all visitors.
FRANKLIN, SPLETT TO HONEYWELL
Julie Franklin, manager
of internal communications at Andersen Corp., has taken
a director of marketing communications post at Honeywell
Automation and Control Solutions, based in St. Louis Park,
Lawrence Splett, a VP
at Padilla Speer Beardsley and corporate communications
supervisor at Graco Inc., moves into a top spot as director
of marketing communications at the ACS unit. Both were placed
by New York-based Heyman Assocs. and report to Dan Harrison,
VP of comms. for the Honeywell unit.
ACS is a manufacturing
unit of Honeywell that produces products like thermostats
and switches for industrial, commercial and retail equipment.
The parent company had revenues of $22 billion last year.
PUBLICISTS ARE 'BAD GUYS'
Al Pacino plays a publicist in "People I Know"
who has spent a lifetime "cleaning up messes made by
other, more important people," says reviewer Adam Sternberg
of the New York Times.
Colin Farrell, meanwhile, stars in "Phone Booth"
as a Broadway press agent who lies and cheats practically
everyone around him, including his wife.
The latter show has grossed $40 million as of April 27
and had been among the top ten earners for the month.
"People I Know" was just released last month.
Sternberg found that, in contrast to Farrell, who is a fast-thinking
wheeler-dealer, Pacino plays a character who is a "professional
bootlicker, a sad and regretful man whose potential has
been frittered away..."
Sternberg wonders why publicists have become such targets
"Sweet Smell of Success," a 1957 movie that recently
was revived as a Broadway play, portrayed both journalists
and press agents as cynical manipulators of images.
The publicity industry could use "a good publicist,"
says Sternberg, noting that Lizzie Grubman recently gave
the industry a black eye when she plowed her SUV into a
crowd one night in the Hamptons.
New York Post reviewer Lou Lumenick said, "Pacino
has rarely been better than as the self-destructive hero,
who is described by his doctor as 'like something out of
Yellowstone that could blow any moment.'" The character
has both drink and drug problems.
Pacino gets "a steady supply of witty repartee, most
of which he delivers gleefully," said Lumenick.
He adds that "People" was completed in 2001 but
was withheld presumably because it bashes a client who sounds
like former mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
It also had a sequence about the World Trade Center towers
that has been deleted.
RF NAMED AS VICTIM OF SCAM
Ruder Finn was named as one of the swindled buyers in a
nationwide telemarketing scheme that allegedly bilked more
than $23 million from private and non-profit health clinics,
a university and businesses.
U.S. Attorneys Patrick Meehan of the Eastern District of
Pennylvania and Christopher Christie of New Jersey, announced
on April 30 the filing of an indictment that also included
money laundering and related fraud. A total of 31 people
from around the U.S. have been charged as the result of
an investigation authorities called "Operation Duct
Those charged allegedly used money orders, gift certificates
and offers to stay in top-rated hotels as bribes to employees
if they purchased from them "massive quantities"
of maintenance and lighting supplies at "grossly inflated
prices," authorities said.
Federal authorities said the telemarketers sold everything
from $29.99 light bulbs to $200 cases of toilet paper and
trash can liners for about a dollar each.
Edition, May 7, 2003, Page 3
COVER IRAQ'S REBUILDING
A new publication
covering reconstruction business opportunities in Iraq
will be published twice a month by Dow Jones Newsletters
and WorldTrade Executive Inc.
This is the third new publication started by DJN and WTE.
The other two-Latin America Energy Report and Dow
Jones China Energy Report-cover those fast-growing energy
Iraq Reconstruction Report will provide information
for companies seeking to become actively involved in the
restoration efforts in Iraq, including the construction
of roads, bridges, airports, hospitals, power plants and
irrigation systems, as well as chemical decontamination
and weapons destruction.
"The role of private-sector companies will be critical
to the reconstruction effort," said Lyn Perl-muth,
director of Dow Jones Newsletters.
By some estimates, the cost could reach $100 billion. "The
reconstruction has been compared to the post-World War II
Marshall Plan in Europe," said Gary Brown, president
of WTE, a publisher of international business, finance and
tax information services.
Kathy Rosenblum is editor of the IRR. She is based in WTE's
Concord, Mass., office: 978/287-0301.
NEW EDITORS NAMED AT TEEN
has been named articles director of Teen People and
Zena Burns was
appointed music editor.
These are the first hires for new managing editor Amy Barnett,
who recently joined TP from Honey where she was editor-in-chief.
Burt-Murray also joins from Honey, where she was executive
editor. She had been TP's beauty director for a short time
in 2000, before joining Barnett's launch team at Honey.
Burt-Murray moves into the new position of features director
where she will head up the magazine's coverage of news and
feature stories. She will report to Tina Johnson, who is
Burns, a regular contributor to the magazine's entertainment
section as a staff writer and entertainment director for
moves over to become music editor on May 12.
Ariel Foxman, previously
senior editor at Time Inc.'s In Style, was
named editor of Conde Nast's still-untitled male version
of shopping magazine Lucky.
The Kansas City
Sunday edition has two new sections-"House &
Home," edited by Cindy Hoedel, and "Simply Food,"
a recipe section-plus a new column by fashion editor Jackie
White that covers trends in fashion, beauty and home.
associate editor is looking for a local chef to comment
for an article on newlyweds and cooking that will run in
the "Elegant Wedding" issue. Contact Jill Waldbieser
at jill@philly mag.com.
The Associated Press'
San Jose, Calif.-based correspondent Rachel Konrad
is back covering the Silicon Valley beat after a four-month
sabbatical. She covers everything newsworthy in the Silicon
Valley, with roughly 50-60% of her stories revolving around
technology, business, workplace or economic news. The other
40-50% are non-business spot news stories. She prefers e-mail
pitches. [email protected].
first New York State edition has been published.
Enreique Lopez, who is editor-in-chief, said he started
the publication to "inform, entertain, educate, and
hopefully inspire Latinos to get involved in life."
Lopez can be reached at [email protected].
Women's Enews, a New
York-based feminist news service, has begun an Arabic
site aimed at Arab and Muslim women in the Middle East and
the U.S. Mona Eltahawy is managing editor of the Arabic
site. She is based at 146 W. 29th; 212/244-1720.
GLOBAL FINANCIAL NEWS
AFX News and Xinhua Financial Network, three real
time business news providers from North America, Europe
and Asia, have created the "World Business News Alliance,"
a news service for the financial community.
The service, which will debut on the financial terminals
of Thomson Financial and Moneyline Telerate, will be one
of the largest international news gathering networks with
about 5,000 journalists producing 10,000 news items each
day to its customers.
Each partner of the alliance will create regional content
and local insights.
a personal finance magazine, has suspended publication.
The April-May issue and a summer issue have been cancelled.
is scaling back its use of reprinted material from
other sources in favor of original writing, expanding its
cultural coverage and dropping "Reader" from the
Industry Newsletter (MIN)
has moved its
editorial office to 110 William st., 11th flr., New
York, NY 10038. For now, the phone and fax numbers will
remain the same-212/983-5170 and 983-5144, respectively.
The Hearst Building
at 959 8th ave. was shut down on May 2 for renovations
which should take three years. Hearst Magazines president
Cathie Black has relocated to 1345 Sixth Avenue of the Americas.
Good Housekeeping, which was in the Hearst Bldg.,
moved into Hearst-owned 250 W. 57th street.
news continued on next page)
Edition, May 7, 2003, Page 4
WEB EDITORS WELCOME PR PITCHES
These are excerpts
from a transcript of remarks made by four website
editors who spoke at a recent meeting of the Publicity Club
of New York on the subject of "Why the Web Matters":
-Elizabeth Shepard, editor-in-chief
"Epicurious is the longest running and the largest
food site on the Internet. We receive more than 20 million
page views a month; we publish all of the recipes from Gourmet,
Bon Appetit and Parade magazine in addition
to our own original content.
"We have restaurant reviews, cookbook reviews, and
profiles of chefs.
"Concierge is our travel site and the online home
of Conde Nast Traveler. We also have original content
We publish the 'Insider Guides' where we send writers out
into some of the top-rated destinations to give people an
insider's guide to what goes on in that area.
"We actually do a lot of work with PR people, more
so in Epicurious than in Concierge because we have a more
robust original content in Epicurious.
"People contact me about new restaurant openings or
special tasting menus; new wines that are launching in the
U.S. or special distribution of wines in certain areas.
"I do a lot of work directly with our ad clients,
too, so there's always that kind of overlap between editorial
and the PR and the advertisers.
"Most people contact me by e-mail or regular mail.
Since I'm not the person who does a lot of traveling for
Concierge, I have to give trips or opportunities away to
members of my staff."
-Dean Wright, editor-in-chief,
"My site reaches more people on a daily basis than
the largest newspaper in the U.S. Four million people look
at MSNBC each day.
"No one would seriously suggest that the daily newspaper
is irrelevant. But the web is something that can't be ignored.
The message I have for PR pros is, if you want to reach
out to a highly desirable demographic-people at work-then
you must include the web in your plans.
"At my site, content comes from a variety of places.
A lot of it comes from our partners at NBC, Newsweek,
The Washington Post, but we also do a great deal
of original content that many of your clients would be interested
"The journalists who work for us, particularly in
'Tech,' where we have a very robust channel, and also in
'Health,' 'Entertainment,' 'Business,' and 'Science,' are
areas where your clients would find a true welcome."
-Jon Friedman, media editor,
"I cover all the media subjects that MarketWatch pursues
put out by colleagues in L.A., Chicago, San Francisco, and
"We have offices all over the world, in fact, we try
to cover everything both in the media, which I specialize
in, and everything else from government to personal finance
"Webcasts are about five minutes long and people come
into the office in New York, where we do videotaped interviews
with newsmakers, authors, CEOs, fund managers, and people
who have opinions others want to know about.
"My favorite method of contact is through e-mail,
not phone calls because they do mount up. I'm at [email protected].
"The key thing we try to find in our work is, of course,
breaking news. In terms of features, we try to pursue investor-oriented
subjects when possible. Stories that might influence a company's
stock price or give our readers and viewers some idea of
what's going on in their companies.
"Anytime you have story ideas, we want to hear them."
-Heather Perram, executive
director, creative programming, AOL:
"One of the ways to reach us is through me and to
let me know the kinds of things that you are seeing. You're
on the street and that's of great interest to me. I'm thinking
a lot about next fall.
"How do you reach us? Well, we are aggregators of
content, so if you have relationships with Time Inc. magazines,
or magazines like Travel & Leisure, with whom
we do the American Cities survey, and also Food &
Wine, you're reaching AOL.
"So be sure when you talk to those editors to let
them know that it's something you would really like to see
pursued, and it's a double whammy for you. Think about video
because people are excited about seeing it."
Tweens, as children
between the ages of 8 and 14 are known to marketers,
have emerged as an influential demographic.
According to the U.S. Tween Market, a new research
report published by Packaged Facts, the spending power of
this group totals about $39 billion, but the influence these
young people have as arbiters of "cool" give them
a greater value in the marketplace.
Households with tweens have more positive atitudes about
shopping in new places, and take more time to browse while
they are shopping. Households with tweens are also more
likely to own computers and subscribe to online services,
making them the perfect target audience for online ads and
promotions, said the report.
Consumers spent $68.7
billion on spirits, wine and beer products in restaurants
and bars in 2002, according to the just-released Cheers
On-Premise Handbook 2003 published by Adams Beverage
Premium and super premium spirits, wines and beers were
largely responsible for the 7.7% gain in on-premise sales
Edition, May 7, 2003, Page 7
BYRUM WON'T BLOCK ASSEMBLY
(continued from page 1)
including $58K to 116 chapter presidents-elect.
said that making the June 20-21 meeting also serve as an
Assembly would result in cancelling leadership training
since both can't be done.
group of members, using the rallying cry, "Bring democracy
to PRSA," wants to make the meeting also serve as an
Assembly that can pass decoupling across the board. About
80% of PRSA's members are non-APR. For the past 30 years
they have been barred from voting in the Assembly or holding
is providing $500 to each chapter to send either the president-elect
or president to the meeting at the Marriott Financial Center
Hotel. Only those two offices are eligible for the $500
International Assn. of Business Communicators has a similar
"Leadership Institute." The more than 100 participants
pay $100 each to IABC to defray expenses and have all their
other expenses paid by themselves or their chapters. The
most recent Institute was in Las Vegas in February.
invited to the PRSA leaders' meeting at their own expense
are the ten district chairs-elect and the 17 section chairs-elect.
quorum for an Assembly is one-third of the delegates. Current
delegate total is about 295 including 240 representing chapters
and the rest representing leadership including the 17-member
board, 17 section heads and 10 district heads.
was argued for about 40 minutes at the 2002 Assembly but
was then tabled. PRSA's monthly Tactics did not cover
said that an article by him and articles and letters by
others about decoupling will start appearing in Tactics.
Catherine Bolton, PRSA COO, said a debate will also take
place on the PRSA website, which she feels is better suited
H.Q. on the Block
has advertised its 14,000 sq. ft. at 33 Irving pl. as available
for sublease and has hired a broker to look for a new site
in the tri-state area. Staff has become dissatisfied with
the $28 per sq. ft. space. The lease still has 4.5 years
left on it.
year's at-large student membership initiative, which drew
heated opposition from many including 21 ex-presidents of
PRSA who signed a petition, will not be brought up this
year because the Assembly already has enough to consider,
Byrum said. Opponents
to at-large student membership say there are not enough
PR jobs for the 7,000 members of PRSSA.
of decoupling said the issue has already been argued for
years and only a brief period would be needed to pass decoupling.
They say favoring democracy is not a complicated issue.
about the American Society of Assn. Executives cutting staff
from 155 to 105 and putting staff in teams rather than specialties,
Bolton said the PRSA staff of 48 already works in teams
and is working 8-10 hours a day. She noted the 105 people
needed for ASAE's $22M in revenues compares favorably to
PRSA's 48 staffers with $10M in revenues. Byrum is considering
appointing one or more outsiders to PRSA's board. ASAE recently
appointed two outsiders to its board.
PR IS WORST PERFORMER
was the worst performer at Omnicom during the first quarter,
down 1.1% to $225 million while traditional ads grew 10.5%,
direct marketing grew 20.8% and specialty services grew
is not known how much of the $225M in PR revenues is from
acquisitions. One analyst has asked OMC to stop all acquisitions
for a year so he can get "a clean read" of its
numbers. The Wall Street Journal has also said that
assessing OMC's financial reports is difficult because of
the many acquisitions.
units owned by OMC are Fleishman-Hillard; Ketchum; Porter
Novelli; Brodeur Worldwide; FitzGerald Communications, Cone,
DDB PR and Gavin Anderson & Co.
net was about equal at $128M for Q1 and per share net was
69 cents vs. 68 cents.
has been spending upwards of $800M yearly on acquisitions
but only spent $20.9M in Q1 on this.
than half of OMC's 11.8% revenue gain to $1.93 billion (6.2%)
came from favorable foreign exchange because more valuable
euros and British pounds were translated into U.S. currency.
debt is about $2.2 billion not including $500M+ in earnouts
owed and liability for buying out the rest of partially
owned firms. Credit rating services also count this as debt.
TAPS BKSH FOR TORT REFORM
U.S. Chamber of Commerce is using Burson-Marsteller's BKSH
& Assocs. lobbying unit to press its Congressional fight
for tort reform. Charlie Black and Mark Disler, a former
chief counsel for the Senate Committee on the Judiciary,
are handling the Institute for Legal Reform account.
Wootton, president of the Institute, believes the Republican-controlled
Congress offers the "best opportunity in a generation
to reform an important aspect of our democracy that's gone
awry-class action suits."
TN ROLLS DICE
Cherokee Nation has named Atlanta's Titan Network as agency
of record for its Oklahoma gaming operations.
A key priority, according to TN's Jackie Rosen, is to promote
the $44 million expansion of its Catoosa property. That
project includes adding 60,000 sq. ft. to the 40,000-ft.
facility, plus building a championship golf course and hotel.
Rosen said The Titan Network picked up the business based
on a referral from client, Thrifty Car Sales.
will provide a mix of PR and advertising services. It also
will do research to identify the typical Cherokee casino
customer, and track behavior patterns.
would not give the size of the budget, but said it is a
"significant piece of business."
Edition, May 7, 2003, Page 8
chief auditor of the new Public Company Accounting Oversight
Board, has rapped CPA firms that are "saying
the right thing in their ads, but I haven't seen the follow-through
in [that] they're actually doing it."
Quote is in Advertising Age 4/28. He could be referring
to PricewaterhouseCoopers, which has a nine-part ad campaign
touting the highest of principles, including "principles-based
PWC is being sued for $2.5 billion on charges it created
phony "special purpose entities" for client Amerco
Carmichael is also
angry that some CPA firms are fighting "new
industry regulation" while at the same time running
the idealistic ads. Ads are not supposed to "fool people,"
he told Ad Age.
We hope Carmichael
will take the Big Broom to accounting, getting rid
of rigid forms of reporting results that don't serve the
needs of laypeople who want to understand them. Balance
sheets, laden with boxcar figures, hide a lot. A direct
cash flows statement, long urged by the Financial Accounting
Standards Board, would be better than the traditional cash
flows statement. Every financial report should have phone
numbers and e-mails of people prepared to answer questions
about them (just like press releases have contacts).
If the Catholic Church
can switch to English from Latin after hundreds of years,
the high priests of numbers can come down from their altars,
face the public and stop talking to each other in mumbo-jumbo
almost nobody else can understand. The SEC has had a futile
"plain English" movement for 30 years.
The day of the computer
having arrived, financial reports should stop saying "incorporated
herein by reference" (i.e., go get it yourself)
and instead do a hot-link to the document. This phrase appears
about 100 times in Interpublic's current proxy statement.
Federal income tax
forms have gotten so complicated that few people
with any sort of income can fill them out on their own.
Since PR groups are
looking for issues to get involved in, advocating
for a user-friendly accounting system could be one of them.
Omnicom's annual stockholders'
meeting will be in Los Angeles on May 20 this year
at TBWA\Chiat\Day. We won't be able to attend it. The meeting,
usually held in New York, was our one chance in the year
to put questions to CEO John Wren and CFO Randall Weisenberger.
Taking pictures was forbidden. IPG will hold its meeting
in New York as usual on the same day.
PR is the worst performing
category by far at OMC, IPG and WPP, and this has
held true for a couple of years. PR people are starting
to think the purchase of almost all of the big PR firms
by the conglomerates has been a disaster for both the buyers
The character played
by Al Pacino in "People I Know" has been
described as a "publicist" and not entitled to
be called a PR professional.
However, we have seen the movie and would call the Pacino
character, based loosely on New York's Bobby Zarem, a consummate
PR pro. Like such larger-than-life PR figures as Bob Gray
of Washington, D.C., and Benjamin Sonnenberg of New York,
the Pacino character knows just about every important person
in town and can bring them together for one reason or another.
He's out every night socializing and politicking, not drawing
up strategic plans or studying for a PR test.
Pacino closely tracked Zarem, 66 and still active, for
several months in preparing for the role.
Zarem is listed in the credits as a consultant and has
pitched the film on "Entertainment Tonight."
The Pacino character has alcohol and drug problems but
a Zarem assistant told us Zarem is a diabetic and has never
drunk nor ever had a drug problem.
This dark and depressing Miramax movie, oddly playing in
only two theaters in New York, has numerous scenes and characters
that PR pros will recognize as having much truth in them
(especially the role of the PR assistant).
There is a long speech (among many) by Pacino on the value
The $100K PRSA "leadership
rally" June 20-21 in New York, if made to do
double-duty as a spring Assembly, could bring democracy
to PRSA by allowing any member, whether APR or not, to run
for office and an Assembly seat this year. The APRs have
ruled for 30 years and are fighting both the spring Assembly
and any move to decouple national offices.
The non-APR "freedom fighters" want nominations
this July to be open to any member, campaigns to be conducted
on issues and not on how many PRSA committees the candidate
has served, and chapters to have the right to send anyone
they want to represent them at the Assembly (including the
58 of 116 chapters whose presidents are non-APR).
The Assembly itself is a near-fiction since no one knows
who will be on it until August (although delegates are supposed
to be elected by Dec. 1 of the previous year).
Chapter leaders point out that no one can predict his
or her status 11 months in advance including whether they
will still have jobs in PR or even be members of PRSA. As
pointed out by Sobel & Co., PRSA's new auditor, the
membership of PRSA is "transient" (30% or about
5,500 members fail to renew each year).
Members thus have no elected representatives that they
can write to for most of the year. Eighty percent of members
not only can't vote in the Assembly or hold office, they
don't even know who their elected representatives are.