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Internet Edition, Nov. 26, 2003, Page 1

Ogilvy PR Worldwide has picked up the Hong Kong Disneyland account to help it "connect with consumers" and "build a strong brand," said Matthew Anderson, who heads the WPP Group's Asia/Pacific operations from Hong Kong. Ogilvy and sister ad shop Ogilvy & Mather, won the account in a pitch against Grey Global Group and Publicis Groupe s Fallon Worldwide and Leo Burnett units.

The $1.8 billion park, which will open by 2006, is a joint venture between Walt Disney Co. and the Government of Hong Kong. Disney is negotiating with Chinese government officials about opening another park in Shanghai in time for the 2010 WorldExpo planned for China s biggest city, which already boasts a Universal Studios theme park.

Anderson is assisted by Leslie Llewellyn on the Disney business. The firm also has offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Tucker Eskew, a top communications deputy to President Bush and director of the Office of Global Communications, has resigned, effective Dec. 7, to set up a Washington, D.C.-based consulting shop.

Eskew, who initially served as director of the White House Office of Media Affairs in 2000 and was a spokesman for the Bush-Cheney campaign, was the President s liaison to the British government for wartime communications following the Sept. 11 attacks. He later returned to D.C. to set up the OGC with Karen Hughes, under executive order from the President and with the mission to counter propaganda and push a pro-American message overseas.

Anita Larsen, who was VP-North American corporate communications for Vivendi Universal, has joined Merck & Co. as senior director of media relations. She reports to John Wainwright, VP-PA, at the pharmaceutical giant s Whitehouse Station, N.J., h.q.

Larsen had been VP-corporate communications at Seagram, which sold its entertainment assets to the French-based Vivendi. Prior to that, Larsen held various posts at Texaco including director of media and broadcast services, assistant to the VP-U.S. PA & government affairs, director of editorial services and director of communications services.
Heyman Assocs. (Lisa Ryan and Mariela Orochena) handled the search for Merck.

Party girl Paris Hilton has hired Dan Klores Communications, New York, in the wake of a sex-tape scandal and subsequent $10 million slander lawsuit against her family.

The firm was brought in as footage of Hilton and ex-boyfriend Rick Solomon in an explicit home movie became ubiquitous on the Internet, sparking Solomon to sue the hotel heiress, her $300 million family and their publicist, Siri Garber of Platform PR, for slander after he said they positioned Hilton as a victim in the film. Solomon especially singled out Garber s statements, which suggested Hilton was intoxicated and taken advantage of by Solomon.

Hilton's parents contacted DKC and Garber is no longer working for her.

The media firestorm comes as Hilton is set to co-star in a reality series on Fox called "The Simple Life," slated to premiere in two parts on Dec. 2-3.

All of Hilton's media appearances scheduled to promote the show have been cancelled. Hilton was to appear on Dave Letterman s "Late Show" on Nov. 26, a booking that was made weeks ago.

Letterman, during his Nov. 20 program, encouraged Hilton to reconsider. "You come on this show, by god, we ll make you a hero," he joked.

DKC was called in to help Lizzie Grubman deal with the fallout from her Hamptons SUV hit-and-run two years ago and last month stepped in for longtime client Sean "P. Diddy" Combs when allegations his clothing label used sweatshop labor surfaced.

Over-use of technology to avoid personal interaction, failure of CEOs to communicate enough, companies stonewalling the press when bad news breaks, and the need for PR pros to accept PR s "limited" ability to persuade were the major themes of Al Golin's address Nov. 20 to the Institute for PR.

"Today's PR professional should be humble enough to realize that the power to persuade is very limited," he told a record audience of 230 PR pros and guests in delivering the annual "Distinguished Lecture" of the Institute at the Union League Club in New York.

"Success in the 21st century comes from reading the public mind, not manipulating it," he said.
The more realistic goal today is for PR pros to position products or services so they are "in sync with what people are going to do anyway," he added.

Golin said people are more willing to use e-mail than to set up face-to-face meetings or talk on the phone.

"It s rare to witness the pitched, emotional battles that used to take place routinely not so many years ago," he continued.

"Back then, people used to argue, fight, and make up–at least they d usually make up–and the relationships grew stronger over time. Although people didn t always like their bosses or fellow employees, they generally trusted them because of the emotional openness that defined relationships."

`Trust or Consequences'

"Trust or Consequences" was the title of the Golin address, which he noted is also the title of the book he recently authored.

He called on CEOs to pay more attention to communications, saying "The great CEOs I've known over the years put a top priority on communications, and not that many boards give this trait as much weight as they should."

Referring to the scandals that have wracked the business world in the past few years, Golin said, "Business is no less ethical today than it was 20, 50, or 100 years ago." Business leaders have not suddenly become "amoral or immoral," he feels.

What's new, he said, is the greater role being played by "watchdogs" in government, media and consumer advocacy groups.

"We've gone from three TV networks to dozens of cable stations and millions of websites...companies can't get away with unethical or questionable actions..."

Welch Admitted Mistake

Golin said he admired Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, for admitting he was wrong in taking the retirement package GE gave him.

Welch, according to Golin, told Public TV news anchor Charlie Rose that, "I should have come out immediately with the press when all the media jumped on my so-called excesses in my GE retirement package."

Details of the package broke as a result of Welch s divorce. Welch told Rose that much bad press could have been avoided if he hadn t ducked the media for many weeks.

Said Golin: "In our businsss, all of us have been preaching this to clients and companies–and this 'CEO of the century had to learn his lesson the hard way."

Less than half of the American public (46%) thinks that CEOs are doing enough to restore trust in business, said Golin in referring to research done by his firm.

A finding last year by Golin/Harris was that 69% of Americans say they don t know whom to trust anymore. Mistrust of business has fallen by 40% over the past year, according to a "very recent survey."

This is in spite of the improved economy and stock market, Golin noted.

Internet Edition, Nov. 26, 2003, Page 2


Qorvis Communications paid Cambridge Assocs., a public policy firm in Charleston, W. Va., to obtain letters from "opinion makers" in support of Saudi Arabia, according to CA s just-filed Justice Department registration statement.

The goal, according to Qorvis field team members Steve Shur and Dharma Dill, was to "prop-up the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with select members of Congress, refute bad information being disseminated about the Saudis and set the record straight about U.S./Saudi relations."

The idea was to generate 10 letters to selected West Virginia representatives from "friends/acquaintances, local elected officials, party leaders, financial contributors, business leaders and community leaders."

Qorvis provided "message points," but recommended that "letters must be unique in language and on the individuals business or organizational stationery."

Bob Gould, chairman of CA, was to solicit letters for Sen. Robert Byrd to encourage him to urge Congress to support the Saudi peace plan in the Middle East.

CA received $8,200 for gathering the letters.
Shur and Dill are no longer with Qorvis.

Bruce Hicks, who served as VP-corporate communications at Texas Air Corp. during the 1980s, has merged his crisis management shop, Darcy Comms. in Houston, with The Alliant Group in Austin.

TAC was the vehicle used by the legendary Frank Lorenzo to capitalize on airline deregulation to acquire Continental Airlines, New York Air, Frontier Airlines and Eastern Air Lines. He ultimately was ruled unfit to run then-bankrupt Eastern, and the Dept. of Transportation vetoed his bid to launch another airline, Friendship Air.

Hicks founded Darcy in 1989. He has handled American Airlines, American Express Travel Related Services Co., Mexico City Tourism, Midway Airlines, and Olympic skating champion Tara Lipinski.

Hicks becomes senior director/general manager of TAG's Houston operations. The firm also has offices in Dallas, San Antonio, Kansas City and New York.


Daniel Edelman, founder and chairman of Edelman PR Worldwide, and Shashi Tharoor, Under- Secretary-General for communications of the United Nations, are among speakers at the Dec. 4-5 seminar of the International Section of PRSA at the U.N.

The seminar aims at being a step toward restarting constructive global dialogue, said Virgil Scudder, chair of the meeting and head of the media training firm in his name.

Speakers also include John McWethy, ABC News correspondent, and Walter Pincus of The Washington Post. Attendance is limited to 100 who must register with PRSA by Nov. 26.


Gavin Anderson & Co. can provide PR help to bankrupt energy company NorthWestern Corp. for up to $35K-a-month, a federal judge has ruled. The energy company made the U.S. Bankruptcy Court request to "maintain its public image as a viable business" as it reorganizes under chapter 11 and sells off lagging subsidiaries.

NorthWestern, the parent of NorthWestern Energy, a natural gas and electricity provider in the mid- and northwest, filed for bankruptcy protection in September facing $2 billion in debt.

GA, an Omnicom unit, was brought in earlier this year as the company tried to avoid a bankruptcy filing and worked last month as NorthWestern auctioned off its telecommunications unit, Expanets.


The Brunswick Group s New York office has been brought in to handle PR work for Mesa Air Group as the regional carrier launches a $512 million takeover bid for Atlantic Coast Airlines.

Brunswick associate Lauren Sambrotto told this NL the firm was brought in at the outset of Mesa s bid last month and is handling communications work surrounding the move. Partners Steve Lipin and Tim Payne head that effort.

Following Mesa s takeover bid, ACA unveiled a name change to Independence Air and plans to launch a low-cost carrier next year out of Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. Baltimore-based GKV Comms. is handling ads and PR for that move.

Mesa, which operates America West Express and has operating agreements with United Airlines, U.S Airways, and Frontier, wants to keep ACA's role in operating United Express, a pact which ACA would end if it goes ahead as its own carrier. United backs Mesa s takeover effort, although ACA s board has said it will fight the move.

Mesa has also brought in in-house PR support with the hire of Sharon Goddin as senior director of corp. comms., employee rels. and recruitment. She left US Airways this month, where she was director of in-flight services and HR for the MidAtlantic region. Benet Wilson left the top PR post at Mesa last year.


AARP s members message board burned with rage last week after the group and its executive director/CEO, Bill Novelli, announced support for the Republican s new Medicare bill.

Although supporters of the proposed bill say it is designed to help seniors pay for their prescription drugs, some AARP members believe it may be the first step in the privatization and dismantling of the senior health insurance program.

Novelli, co-founder of Porter-Novelli, has dismissed membership outrage at his alliance with the GOP.

"There's not going to be a revolt within AARP. There s going to be a problem if Congress fails to pass this legislation," Novelli said.

Internet Edition, Nov. 26, 2003, Page 3

Grace magazine, a fashion and lifestyle magazine for women who wear size 12 and up, is closing down after publishing seven issues.

Ceslie Armstrong, who has been editor of Grace since it was started in May 2002, said it was forced to shut down because its main investor, a Bahamas-based hedge fund, called Seibels Technology Fund, pulled out. STF had invested about $4 million in the venture.

The eighth issue, which had already been completed, will not be printed, said Armstrong, who was executive editor of Mode, another magazine aimed at large women that closed down in the fall of 2001.

Grace had reached a circulation of over 200,000 with its July/August issue.


The Washington Post has added a new arts and leisure section to its website,

The new section brings all of the site's national and local cultural reporting into one location.

In other changes, news and features are now easier to find, and links to the site s most popular transactional sections—jobs, cars and real estate—can now be found at the top of nearly every page.

Christopher Schroeder, CEO/publisher, said the new section and other changes are in response to feedback from audience research.


The Orlando Sentinel, a daily newspaper, is starting a new entertainment website, targeting 18 to 34-year-olds in Central Florida. will provide reports on local music, nightlife, movies, restaurants, pop culture, and a dating service. A dedicated staff will produce the site under the direction of Alicia Murray.

The Sentinel is owned by The Tribune Co.


Xtreme Video Magazine in San Francisco will ship its first issue to newsstands all around the country on Dec. 1.

CMP Media Digital Video Group, which publishes DV magazine, said the new quarterly magazine will be geared toward professionals and thrill seekers with an avid desire to shoot video and photos of their adventures.

It will cover everything from skateboarding, surfing and motorcross to mountain climbing and deep-sea exploration.

Featured stories and photo essays will take readers behind the scenes to reveal the secrets of capturing the action on video and in photos.

Each issue also will have information about new video- and photo-related action sports gear and reviews of recent DVD releases.
Dominick Milano, ed.-in-chief, is at 415/947-6270.


Patrick McMullan, whose party event photos appear regularly in New York Magazine, has a new book out, "so80s: A Photographic Diary of a Decade."

The collection of photos brings back "the exclusive world of glamour and glitz as it was experienced by the era s greatest fashion, music, and art icons that mixed uptown elitism with downtown eccentricity in New York s nightlife," says his publicist Ryan Urcia at Workhouse Publicity.

McMullan, who operates a photo studio, also is a contributing editor of Vanity Fair, British Elle, and Men's Health. He hosts a segment on the Women's Entertainment Network's show, "Full Frontal Fashion."


C. Paul Luongo, a Boston-based PR pro, warns travelers to be careful when booking trips with operators in this month's issue of TravelSmart, which is a monthly consumer newsletter and a client.

Luongo said thousands of travelers were left stranded this fall when Miami-based Far & Wide filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. F&W was the parent company of 16 tour operators, including two of the country s largest—Grand European Tours and Central Holidays.

"It is turning out to be the largest tour operator failure in recent U.S. history," reports Luongo, who pointed out that several other tour operators, including Globus and Cosmos, helped about 1,000 travelers by adding them to existing trips for free or discounting forthcoming trips.

"But not everyone was rescued," said Luongo, who completes his report by telling readers the key ways they can protect their travel purchase plus the pros/cons of travel insurance.

The 28-year-old newsletter is published by Dunnan Communications, in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. Nancy Dunnan is editor and publisher. 914/693-8300.

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp. is pursuing its share of the $54.1 billion gay and lesbian travel market with a three-year ad/PR campaign focusing on U.S. and Canadian markets.
Meryl Levitz, GPTMC president/CEO, said "we are proud to officially `come out as a gay-friendly destination."

The Altus Group, Philadelphia, has developed the ad message: "Get your history straight and your nightlife gay." GPTMC's in-house PR department, headed by Paula Butler, has created "gay-friendly" press materials, which will be posted online and sent to media in the U.S. and Canada.

The PR effort also includes an expansion of the gay photo library, press trips during the city's gay events and "Philadelphia Road Shows" in Canada to promote gay-friendly Philadelphia to Canadian media.


Daryl Toor, who has worked in PR for more than 20 years, and is founder of Atlanta-based Attention, offered these five publicity tips in his weekly column about marketing and communications:

1. Never pitch—"The biggest PR mistake, which people make when they write their press releases, is to write it like a sales letter. Instead of pitching 101 benefits of buying your latest product, tell the editors in plain English why their audience will be interested in your story."

2. Make it newsworthy—"Examine your story from all possible angles. Which angle would make a juicy story that appeals to your targeted audience?"

3. Short and sweet but complete—"Write your press release in less than 10 short paragraphs—preferably under one page. Be sure to include basic information such as the what and why, and provide full contact info such as phone and e-mail."

4. Mind your language—"Avoid technical jargon and flowery words. Poorly written press releases are rarely read."

5. Spice it up—"Spice up your press release with an exciting headline that grabs the editor s attention. Include interesting quotes from relevant people to liven up your press release."

Jeff Battcher, who was recently promoted to senior director of media relations at BellSouth in Atlanta, knows the home phone numbers of all the reporters who cover BellSouth at the top 10 or 15 media outlets in the country.

"You have to know how to get a hold of someone if you see something incorrect in a story on a Sunday afternoon," Battcher told Ben Silverman, who writes an online column called "PR Fuel" for, an online distributor of news releases, and also covers the telecommunications news beat for The New York Post.

Battcher said the most essential part of his job is making sure he has relationships with the media.

He said about 80% of his time is spent dealing with reporters from the national media.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, Nov. 26, 2003, Page 4

Michael Caruso, previously editor of the now defunct Maximum Golf, was named editor of Men's Journal, replacing Bob Wallace, who becomes editor of Wenner Books.

Glenn Kramon, 50, previously business editor of The New York Times, was named associate managing editor for career development. His replacement has not been named.

Stephen Proctor, 46, previously at The Baltimore Sun for 17 years, has joined The San Francisco Chronicle as deputy managing editor/news.

Don Hewitt, who created "60 Minutes," was appointed executive producer of CBS News. Jeff Fager was named executive producer of "60 Minutes," and Josh Howard succeeds Fager as executive producer of "60 Minutes II."

Rush Limbaugh has returned as host of "The Rush Limbaugh Show," after a five-week absence, during which he completed a residential treatment program for addiction to painkillers.

G. Brown, who resigned on Nov. 15 as a music writer for The Denver Post, has a new position as the morning drive air personality, from 6 to 9 a.m. on KCUV radio.

Michael Mitchell, executive editor of The World and I magazine, was named editor-in-chief of UPI's worldwide editorial operations. Martin Walker, who was UPI s chief international correspondent, was appointed editor of UPI s English-language operation.

Jon Titus, former editor of EDN and Test & Measurement World magazine, has joined ECNmagazine in Morris Plains, N.J., as senior technical editor.

C.Z. Guest, 83, who started writing gardening columns for The New York Post in 1978, died Nov. 8.

San Francisco-based NCM (New California Media) will publish a national ethnic media directory, which will provide access to about 2,000 ethnic media outlets in the U.S., covering print, radio, TV and online formats.

NCM, a group of 600 media organizations, was founded in 1996 by the non-profit Pacific News Service.

The directory, which will be sponsored by the Boeing Co. and funded by the Walter Katz Foundation, can be ordered at NCM: 415/503-4170.

Olympus camera will be the title sponsor of the biannual fashion week in New York's Bryant Park. Beginning with the Fall 2004 Collections, scheduled for Feb. 6-13, 20 New York shows will be known as Olympus Fashion Week.

The shows are handled by 7th on Sixth Inc., which is owned by IMG, a lifestyle and sports marketing and magazine firm.

Fern Mallis is executive director of 7th on Sixth.

Ford Motor Co. has ordered worldwide employees, except for PA staffers, to cancel company-paid magazine and newspaper subscriptions by Nov. 30 as a cost-cutting measure.

A Ford spokesman estimated the global PA department holds a couple of hundred subscriptions.

The American Assn. of Advertising Agencies, the Assn. of National Advertisers, and the Direct Marketing Assn. had an open letter published in Roll Call urging Congress to pass anti-spam legislation.

American Profile, which was started in 2000 by the Publishing Group of America, in Franklin, Tenn., is currently delivered to 5.7 million households by newspapers in small to mid-size markets.

The magazine, which ranked fifth on Advertising Age s top 10 magazine ad revenue growth list for 2003, was found to account for one in six shopping trips to Wal-Mart.

AP has five regional editions featuring good news about life in America s hometowns. Editorial content includes "Hometown Heroes," a regional calendar of events, recipes and national stories about elebrities with hometown ties, health trends, and entertainment and current issues., a religion website, which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Oct. 2002, won the Online News Assn.'s top journalism award in the category of independent websites with over 200,000 unique visitors.

Roughly one million "unique visitors" go to Beliefnet s site each month and 3.8 million people also subscribe to Beliefnet s free e-mail newsletter.
Beliefnet also publishes books and assists ABC News with its religion reporting.


Internet Edition, Nov. 26, 2003, Page 7

The PRSA Assembly in New Orleans Oct. 25 voted on keeping dues at $225 per member but delegates were not told of nor allowed to vote on dues hikes in 14 of the 18 sections. The increases of $15 each for 5,750 of the 6,580 section members would raise $86,250.

One motive for the jump, some members theorize, is to employ more staffers to fill the 22,000 sq. ft. h.q. PRSA hopes to occupy downtown.

Current offices are about 14,500 sq. ft. and a sizable chunk of this was rented out in 2002 for $81K.

The biggest section is the Health Academy with about 863 members. Its dues goes from $45 to $60.

The corporate section has 740; Counselors Academy, 540; PA, 690; travel/tourism, 536; association, 416; Educators Academy, 336, and technology, 435.

Dues are highest for the Counselors Academy. They remain unchanged at $180. Most of the other sections are getting their dues raised to $60.

PRSA national board members said they did not vote on the increases, which were presented as a fait accompli. Several section chairs also said their input was not sought. Members of the sections had no voice in the increases.

The Assembly was told that servicing the manysections will require the hiring of an additional staffer.


Alicia Nieva-Woodgate, San Francisco PR pro, told the Nov. 24 Time she has been "barely scraping by" as a freelancer for the past two years.

Formerly she was a "six-figure" executive at a PR firm she would not identify.

She told Time reporter Laura Locke, whom she had previously known, that "I live in constant fear." She said she often has to juggle as many as six freelance projects at a time besides taking "survival jobs" such as handing out Pepsi samples at a Wal-Mart.

Nieva-Woodgate, reached by this NL, said she has not been able to afford an HMO. One price quoted to her was $1,200 monthly.

She said there appear to be PR jobs at the low end of the scale (pros with 3-5 years of experience) and at the VP level. Firms will take someone with 20 years as opposed to someone with 10 years but will pay the salary of a 10-year veteran if they can get away with it, she said.

Her advice to jobseekers is to be a "good writer."
Time estimated that one in four workers is now doing contract work or taking part-time jobs even though many would prefer full-time jobs.

Many cannot afford health insurance, which has skyrocketed in cost in the past couple of years.

Working Today, a nonprofit freelance group in New York, offers health insurance to individuals at $287 monthly; $857 if married with a child, Time noted.

Lou Capozzi, chairman/CEO of Manning, Selvage & Lee, named chairman of the Council of PR Firms. He succeeds Rich Jernstedt of Golin/Harris.

Internet Edition, Nov. 26, 2003, Page 8



Women are still making 80 cents for every dollar paid to men, just like they did 20 years ago, says a study by the General Accounting Office.

The gap occurs even when other factors are considered such as race, industry, marital status or job tenure.

The GAO also noted women average 1,675 hours of work yearly vs. 2,147 for men. Whereas men were out of the labor force an average of one week, women were out three weeks.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who asked the GAO to do the study, said "Men get an annual bonus just for being men."

Since most PR college classes now consist of 20 or so women and perhaps one or two men, and 85% of new members of PRSA are women, this subject is an important one for the PR field.

A relevant article on the subject was the "Managing Your Careeer" column Nov. 4 by Wall Street Journal reporter Joann Lublin.

She quoted Carnegie Mellon economics professor Linda Babcock as saying that men are eight times

as likely as women to bargain over starting pay. This amounts to a half-million dollar penalty for women over a career lasting till age 60.

Lublin attended a workshop that helps women to hone their negotiating skills by acting out sessions with their bosses. Simmons School of Mgmt. professor Barbara Kolb, who conducted it, says women often don t do enough research into industry pay scales, duties of other workers, etc.
Armed with more facts, they d do better at getting raises or at least more perks such as the company paying for schooling for a child or themselves.

Fear of confrontation also hurts women, says Babcock. One woman student told Babcock: "I don t want to be confrontational." Another told her, "We re taught to go along to get along." Lublin wrote that women "don t want to appear pushy."

The PR field often involves "train wreck" confrontations of opinions in which one side is out to obliterate the other. Confrontations cannot be avoided if opinions are to be expressed on many subjects. We wondered a couple of years ago why neither Women Executives in PR nor its affiliated Foundation wouldn t put out a release calling on nursing homes to ensure residents had their own cell phones, secure mail boxes and working hearing aids since WEPR founder Denny Griswold had none of these in the last five years of her life. Was it a disinclination to have a confrontation with nursing homes?

The "stealth" hiking of dues of 5,750 members of 14 sections of PRSA (page 7) is yet more evidence of staff domination of the Society and the lack of adequate governance in the Society.

Desperately needed are at least two substantial non-member directors to halt this abuse of power by an inner clique. The three directors who showed any opposition to the ruling seven-member "Southern wing" on the board have now been bounced from it (Art Stevens, Phil Ryan and Jeff Seideman). No one is left that we can see who would protest the board s role as a rubber stamp.

The board, for instance, was never asked to approve the $86,250 hike in section dues. The sections were not asked nor was the planning committee headed by Galloway. The Assembly, which allegedly has the sole power to set dues, was not even told about it, much less given the opportunity to vote on it.

The hike is part of the agenda of certain leaders and the staff which earnestly covet a 22,000 sq. ft. office in downtown (far away from the New York PR/press community) loaded with plush furniture probably left by a failed dot-com. The 50 staffers couldn t even occupy the 14,500 sq. ft. at 33 Irving place since rent totaling $81,000 was received for part of it in 2002.

However, they have been warned it s now or never for a move (the window for getting 9/11 goodies closes Dec. 31, 2004). They must trash 33 Irving and get out of the lease somehow or remain there until 2009. Section members tell us staffers keep track of all calls and work done in order to build a case for more staffers on the sections. The rationale is that 22,000 sq. ft. are needed to handle the greatly expanded sections, which will be turned into revenue-producing "mini-PRSAs."

However, after Counselor Academy dues skyrocketed to $180 in the mid-1990s (triple most of the other sections), membership plunged from about 1,000 to 540. Attendance at the 2003 spring conference was a paltry 126 vs. 350+ in the mid-1990s.

PRSA also plans to have a big classroom at the new h.q. for seminars and meetings. But desk-to-desk commuting downtown will easily be 45 minutes each way. The "incredible" benefits being touted for moving downtown are just that–incredible. They are being exaggerated just like the flaws at 33 Irving.

The big benefit is said to be a $3,500 grant per employee or $175,000 for PRSA s 50 employees. However, these federal "attraction" grants only totaled $80 million and were available on a "first-come, first serve" basis. After more than two years of being available, there may be little or no funds left. The other benefits are inconsequential or involve the availability of loans for which PRSA should have no need.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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