Edition, Oct. 27, 2004, Page 1
NIDES TO SUCCEED
Tom Nides, chief
global administrative officer of Credit Suisse First Boston,
is replacing Chris Komisarjevsky, 59, as CEO of Burson-Marsteller
by the end of the year. He joins the WPP Group unit Nov.
8, and will work closely with Komisarjevsky during the transition.
CSFB, the 43-year-old Nides managed more than 2,000 staffers,
and was responsible for corporate communications, marketing,
government relations, human resources and advertising.
resume includes senior VP at Fannie Mae; principal at Morgan
Stanley, chief of staff to the U.S. Trade Rep Mickey Kantor,
and executive assistant to the Speaker of the House Tom
sent a note to B-M staffers, saying the time was ripe for
a change at the top, and that he had been discussing succession
with Ann Fudge, CEO of B-M's parent Young & Rubicam
B-M chief said he hasn't spent much time with Nides, but
is sure that he will bring a "new approach and new
ideas" to the firm.
assumed the top spot in 98, after heading B-M/USA.
FOREST SERVICE LOOKS
TO PR FOR VISION.'
The U.S. Forest Service is turning to PR to develop a new
vision and strategic plan on the cusp of its centennial
agency, part of the Dept. of Agriculture, has issued an
RFQ aimed at PR firms for its Eastern Region, a 20-state
area stretching from Maine to Missouri that encompasses
14 national forests.
"We last did this 15 years ago and see it as time to
update our plan," said Bruce Blackburn, contracting
officer for the Forest Service in Milwaukee who is handling
the solicitation. Proposals are due Nov. 19.
told O'Dwyer's the agency is not currently working with
any firms and expects to award a contract by mid-December.
Eastern Region, which the FS says is the most geographically,
ecologically, and socially diverse area in the U.S., wants
PR help to develop a new "vision" to guide its
efforts over the next hundred years, according to the RFQ.
agency says a firm would be required to scan its current
operating environment and conduct future research, complete
a communications strategy and suggested tools for the final
plan, with the possible option of executing the communication
KRATZ AT MAGNET.
David Kratz, 46, has stepped down as CEO of Euro RSCG Magnet,
and plans to pursue other business opportunities.
is succeeded by 34-year-old Aaron Kwittken, president since
the merger of Euro RSCG Middleberg and Magnet Communications
sold his Kratz & Jensen firm to Havas in 2000, and agreed
to stay on through the earnout period, which is winding
Heekin, CEO of Euro RSCG Worldwide, credited Kratz with
overseeing the integration of the firm's PR operations and
a "seamless management transition." He praised
Kwittken's "creativity, vision and dynamism" as
the ingredients needed to take Euro RSCG Magnet to the "next
level of success for its blue-chip clients."
roster includes IBM, Symbol Technology, McDonald's , U.S.
Treasury Dept., Johnson & Johnson, International Paper,
is a veteran of GCI Group, where he ran its corporate and
also worked on IBM's "e-branding" campaign as
senior VP in FleishmanHillard's information technology
director of communications for First Lady Laura Bush for
three years, is slated to join Spanish-language TV
powerhouse Univision as VP of corporate communications on
Rodriguez, who will report to CEO Jerrold Perenchio, was
Bush's spokesperson from January 2001 until 2003, when she
returned to Los Angeles to be external affairs director
at The Broad Foundations. She was previously press secretary
for Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan.
APR RULE DROPPED
FOR PRSA ASSEMBLY.
The PRSA Assembly, after an hour and ten minutes of debate,
on Oct. 23 removed from the bylaws the rule that says all
its members have to be accredited.
The vote came at 12:45 at the New York Hilton, where the
Society held its annual conference.
Taken with electronic keypads set to capture the names
of the delegates using them, the vote was 181 for "decoupling"
and 83 opposed, a margin of six votes. A two-thirds majority
(at least double the negative votes) was needed for passage.
(Continued on page seven)
Edition, Oct. 27, 2004, Page 2
FLU VACCINE LOBBYIST.
Aventis Pasteur, which is currently the nation's sole flu
vaccine supplier, has hired Twenty-First Century Group,
which is headed by the former powerful Texas Republican
Congressman Jack Fields, to handle "vaccine-related
The unit of France's Sanofi-Aventis has been front page
news in the wake of the shutdown of Chiron Corp.'s flu production
lines by U.K. regulatory authorities. Chiron and AP had
provided half of this nation's flu medicine.
AP, which produces its vaccines at its Swiftwater, Pa.,
facility, and the Centers for Disease Control announced
an influenza vaccine allocation plan on Oct. 12. That is
designed to get flu vaccines to high-risk groups, such as
the elderly, young, sick and healthcare workers. AP president
Damian Braga said the allocation program represents a huge
The flu vaccine story has struck a political chord among
Democrats who have bashed the Bush Administration and Food
and Drug Administration for lax regulation. It also was
a topic in the final Presidential debate.
Fields served 16 years in Congress, and chaired the Commerce
Committee's subcommittee on telecommunications and finance.
He has represented Schering-Plough, Verizon, Quest Communications
and Taxpayers Against Fraud.
AP is looking to beef up its PR staff. The company wants
to hire a director of communications to help on issues management,
crisis PR and vaccine advocacy, and a PR manager with three
to five years of experience.
IRAQ 'HURTING' U.S.
War in Iraq is "hurting" U.S. businesses ability
to compete overseas, according to a survey of 200 top Bay
State execs by Boston PR firm Morrissey & Co.
Massachusetts is considered an economic bellwether for
sectors like technology and biotech and is home for blue-chip
companies like Raytheon, Fidelity Investments and Staples.
Peter Morrissey, president of M&C, said Iraq troubles
business people, but for different reasons than it worries
most citizens. "Clearly, business leaders here are
not yet persuaded that the war will make the world safer
for American values and the spread of commerce," he
said in announcing the findings of his firm's annual Corporate
Only nine percent of those surveyed said the war was "helping"
economically, with 30 percent not sure of its impact. Sixty-two
percent said Iraq is hurting America's ability to compete
in the global economy.
C&W PITCHES HEALTH
Clark & Weinstock is handling PR for the National Health
Museum, a $200M facility slated for Washington, D.C., to
educate people about the past/current/future of healthcare
and encourage them to take better care of themselves.
The Museum has financial backing from the American Medical
Assn., Novartis, Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline, Robert Wood
Johnson Foundation, BlueCross BlueShield Assn. and Eastman
Kodak. The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services also
has kicked in a $1 million grant for the NHM, which hopes
to attract more than two million visitors a year. Dr. Louis
Sullivan, former H&HS Secretary, is chairman of NHM.
The C&W team includes Vic Fazio (former California
Democratic Congressman), Ed Kutler (aide to ex-Speaker of
the House Newt Gingrich), Niles Godes (one-time chief of
staff to North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan) and Dirksen Lehman
(special assistant for legislative affairs to President
George W. Bush).
MEMORIAL FUND SET UP
FOR GUS WEILL.
Edelman CEO Richard Edelman and Burson-Marsteller CEO Chris
Komisarjevsky have organized a college fund for the son
of Gus Weill Jr. Weill committed suicide in New York three
He was 42, and had suffered from depression.
Weill had worked for Edelman during the '80s and '90s,
handling Mexico and Israel. He moved to Burson-Marsteller
to head its New York corporate practice before returning
to head Edelman's PR21 unit in `01. Weill then went to Louisiana
to follow in the lobbying footsteps of his father, who is
considered the father of political PR in the Pelican State.
Robert Ambrose has information about the "Friends
of Gus Weill" fund. He can be reached at [email protected]
Edelman also is compiling a memoir of favorite memories
of Weill that will be presented to his son, Gus III, on
his bar mitzvah seven years from now.
PR MORE IMPORTANT
THAN ADS TRUMP.
"PR is much more important than advertising,"
Donald Trump told more than 3,000 members of PRSA and its
affiliated student society Oct. 24 at the New York Hilton,
scene of PRSA's conference.
Trump, the country's best-known builder and who has his
name on numerous activities, said a full page ad in a newspaper
will probably be passed over by most readers but a story
mentioning him in the same paper will get careful attention.
He said he is the subject of so many stories in the press
both good and bad that it all evens out.
He has an open policy with the press but doesn't talk to
reporters who print false stories about him.
"The press can kill you," he warned.
"Love what you do," was one of the pieces of
advice he gave the audience, which included more than 1,000
members of the student society.
"Get even" with those who wrong you, he also
said. "Work hard and you ll find you ll get luckier,"
was another piece of advice.
He urged attendees to be "a little paranoid"
and not trust anyone. A known admirer of women, he called
one female student to the stage and gave her a hug and a
kiss on the cheek.
Edition, Oct. 27, 2004, Page 3
ARE MORE 'WESTERNIZED.'
The large number of foreign publications which established
Chinese editions during 2003 and early 2004 has created
a more "western" approach to PR and media outreach
in China, according to Johan Bjorksten, managing partner
of EastWei, which is based in Beijing.
"Most striking is a totally new level of print quality
and layout, where the standard of major Chinese magazines
today is in line with magazines in Europe and the U.S.,"
Bjorksten wrote in the September issue of Traction, published
by MDB Communications in Washington, D.C., for its clients.
"For PR professionals, these developments mean that
the way of doing PR in China continues to become more similar
to the West, with requirements for unique material, being
first to know and exclusive stories. For the same reasons,
media crises in China are also becoming more frequent,"
said Bjorksten, who offered these five tips for doing media
relations in China:
1. "Select your target. There are over 5,000 print
media in China. Select target media and journalists carefully.
2. "Pitch articles to journalists individually. Chinese
journalists are not used to working with wire services to
the same extent as in the West. Phone contact is okay, but
fact-to-face meetings are better.
3. "Find the local angle. Chinese media are mainly
interested in news relevant to China. However, the `local
angle also means being sensitive to the needs and habits
of different cities and areas within China. What is hot
in Beijing might already be yesterday's news in Guangzhou.
4. "Serve the story on a silver plate. Competition
puts large demands on each reporter `filling his specific
column or topic. The more help you can give, the better
coverage you get.
5. "Be a source of news. PR consultants who can provide
new and exciting stories beyond their own client range are
appreciated. You scratch their back, and they will scratch
yours when you need it."
Bjorksten, a former manager of corporate communications
for Electrolux, moved to China in 1986 when the first foreign
related PR agency was established.
"Today, the PR industry in China employs more than
10,000 professionals with a majority located in Beijing
and Shanghai," according to Bjorksten, who has worked
for several years as a radio and TV host with his own weekly
Chinese program on Beijing TV and Beijing Music Radio.
"Good Morning America
Weekend Edition" is airing a six-week series
about the baby bedding and accessories industry.
The idea for the series was pitched by Allison Dawn PR
in Beverly Hills, Calif., which put together a four-part
segment for Nava's Designs with the goal of reinforcing
its client's position in the baby bedding market as a trendsetter.
Child Magazine is also running a similar story.
All In, a magazine for
poker players, has become one of the fastest growing magazines
in the U.S.
Estimates suggest that over 50 million people either watch
or play poker in the U.S., said Bhu Srinivasan, publisher
of the New York-based publication, who can be reached at
Cook's Country has begun
publication as a bimonthly magazine about "country
folks and country food," said Christopher Kimball,
who also founded and is editor of Cook's Illustrated.
CC should reach 250,000 paid readers by the end of 2005,
Like its sister publication, CC will carry no ads, and
product placement pitches will be rejected.
The Brookline Village, Mass.-based magazine is also planning
to start both a TV series and a cookbook publishing program
Jack Bishop is CC's executive editor.
Deborah Broide is handling inquiries about CC at 973/744-2030.
Violet is a new family-oriented
magazine that will be sold in Borders, Barnes & Noble
and Tower stores in the U.S.
Keki Mingus, who is founder, editor and publisher of the
new quarterly, said Violet will offer a mix of fashion,
music, film, travel and lifestyle stories that will appeal
to mothers, fathers and families of all kinds, including
gay and multi-racial.
The first issue has feature stories on Filipino mail- order
brides, Prader-Willi Syndrome, and profiles of atypical
parents like championship surfer Shane Beschen.
Jolyn Matsumuro of The Brookes Co. handles publicity for
Violet at 323/913-7000 ext. 202.
48, currently VP/news for WFAA-TV,
Belo Corp.'s affiliate in Dallas/Ft. Worth, was named VP
of the group's Washington, D.C.-based Capital Bureau, which
houses Belo's TV and newspaper bureaus and a TV studio.
and Regis Coccia
were promoted to editorial director and editor, respectively,
at Crain Communications Business
associate managing editor of projects and investigations
at The Chicago Tribune, was named managing editor
of The Baltimore Sun.
His wife, Leah Eskin, is a food columnist for The Chicago
Zeiss, 90, a former PR pro, editor, columnist and freelance
writer, who wrote a monthly column about senior citizens
for The Asbury Park (N.J.) Press before retiring
in 1994, died Oct. 17.
(Media news continued
on next page)
Edition, Oct. 27, 2004, Page 4
WHAT READERS WANT.
Thomas Huang, who is editor of Texas Living, a Sunday
magazine supplement in The Dallas Morning News, believes
newspaper editors can get more women and minority readers
by copying Oprah Winfrey's magazine, O.
While newspapers need to break news, "we have to do
more than that," said Huang in a story posted last
week on Poynter Online. "Our front pages and our features
sections need to appeal to the aspirations of our readerspeople
of all incomes and cultural backgrounds who want to live
better lives. That means offering them relevant, helpful
stories and local resources on the topics they care about:
health, food, home, family, fashion and travel," he
O's staff knows how to approach these lifestyle topics
in a way that is inclusive of all women, he said. "If
we journalists ignore that diversity, we ll risk making
our lifestyles coverage inauthentic and monochromatic. We
ll risk turning away more readers," he said.
He pointed out that O's readers "gobble up" advice
from Dr. Phil, Suze Orman and the Satellite Sisters. "Your
readers want advice on relationships, finance and other
topics, but they also want to know what other readers are
going through," he told editors.
to Diverse Audience
"Newspaper editors need to take a second look at the
advice columns they runand whether they appeal to
a diverse readership," he said.
O is also full of "success stories" about ordinary
people who have overcome challenges in their lives, said
Huang. Readers want to know who these people are, and how
they succeeded, he said.
Like O, editors should also "commit space, staff and
resources" to departments on health, books, relationships,
food, style, fashion and beauty, and hire a diverse group
of journalists to cover them, he said.
He said the stories in O are "clear, simple and relevant
to readers daily lives."
"We as journalists need to know who our readers are,
and what they re interested in, and what matters to them,"
FOR HIP HOP MAGAZINE.
Eugenia Wright, president of ISA PR in Burbank, Calif.,
was named a contributor to Crunk Magazine, a new
hip hop magazine.
Desmick Perkins, founder/president of the Atlanta-based
magazine, said Wright, known as the "Kleopatra Girl
of PR," has been "instrumental in propelling our
magazine forward by giving us lead stories on many of her
past and present high profile clients, such as Chris Stokes,
Marques Houston, Smooth, B2K, Irene Mama Stokes, and voice
over actor J.D. Hall to name a few."
"It seemed like I was giving her a shout out in every
issue," said Perkins.
Wright, an actress, recently performed in two film documentaries,
"The Penitentiary" and "America The Beautiful,"
a film about America's obsession with beauty. She shares
the screen with Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears
and teen model Gerren Taylor.
Wright can be reached at 818/552-9459 or kleo [email protected].
Ben Silverman, who writes "PR Fuel," a weblog,
said magazines and newspapers such as Better Homes &
Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle,
Essence, and People are "working furiously
now" to compile their holiday gift guides.
"To ensure optimal lead times, send out your holiday
gift press releases in the next couple of weeks," said
Citizen Culture Magazine,
which published its first issue in September, wants to be
a career launch pad for the best of today's undiscovered
literary and artistic talents, according to Jonathon Feit,
who is founder and editor-in-chief.
Mike Paul, who handles PR for CCM, said Feit started the
magazine as a response to his own frustrations with the
difficulty of pitching articles as a relative unknown to
the magazines currently on the market.
Feit dedicated the magazine to "bringing interesting
and varied content to both men and women, aged 20-40, across
Articles of all types and styles are welcome, including
investigative pieces, reviews of film, food, books, and
theater, social commentary and ideological debate, personality
profiles, original cartoons, poetry, fiction, and photos.
"We subscribe to no agenda and profess no bias; but
believe that controversy breeds interested readership,"
according to the magazine's mission statement.
The magazine relies on freelancers for material.
CCM, which has an initial circulation of approximately 8,000,
is published monthly and sells for $3 on newsstands.
The magazine's offices are located at 99 Hillside ave.,
#13i, New York, NY. Feit can be reached at [email protected]
A media kit and editorial calendar are available at the
magazine's website (www.citizenculture.com).
OverTime Magazine, a quarterly
sports magazine which premiered in June, is distributed
to a controlled circulation of 25,000 pro athletes, team
owners and sports industry insiders.
OT, which features in-depth interviews and columns related
to the professional sports industry, also covers the most
relevant and controversial topics that affect professional
Ryan McNeil is editor-in-chief of the Atlanta-based magazine,
which is published by RMS Media Group, Boston. Stacy Small
is editorial director. 866/536-4600.
Edition, Oct. 27, 2004, Page 7
(cont'd from pg 1)
Directors of chapters,
districts or sections can now be Assembly delegates even
if they are not APR.
Wetzel of PRSA/Boston proposed at the start of the Assembly
that names of delegates and their votes be captured on the
keypads and he was informed that this was being done.
has been no such programming of the devices in the past,
or if there was such programming, delegates and members
were not informed of it.
similar decoupling motion failed last year by 163 to 90,
also a margin of six votes.
repeated pro and con arguments that have been heard for
yearsthat decoupling is needed in order for the Assembly
to be adequately attended, or that decoupling is bad because
PRSA would be retreating from a hallowed program that is
identified with PR professionalism.
Led Decoupling Battle
Lynch, immediate past president of PRSA/Cleveland, introduced
the bylaw change by taking the rostrum.
said that unfilled Assembly seats had totaled 277 in the
past five years largely because APRs could not be found
who could attend.
empty seats marred the 2004 Assembly, he noted. Unfilled
seats totaled 40 last year, 49 in 2002, 70 in 2001 and 67
An average of 20% of seats were unfilled at the past five
Assemblies, he said.
chapter conducted a poll in which 21 chapter presidents
were asked why they didn't send the proper amount of delegates.
Sixteen cited lack of APRs to attend as the reason. Also
cited were lack of available time and the cost of attending
Wanted Unlimited Debate
Epley, 1991 PRSA president representing the College of Fellows,
said, "This Society is not about numbers...it's about
leadership by example."
He noted he has been a PRSA member for 36 years and has
long required that all staffers be APR.
Epley moved that the debate "on this critical issue"
continue without time limit until everyone had been heard
on the subject.
motion was defeated 203-59.
said that many more chapters than Cleveland were
in favor of decoupling including those in Connecticut, Florida,
New Jersey, Georgia, Alabama, and Houston. Sections and
districts were also
in favor of decoupling he said.
said the impetus for decoupling came at the presidents-elect
leaders rally last June when it was discovered that less
than 50 of the more than 100 presidents-elect present were
by the Philadelphia and Puget Sound chapters to amend the
bylaw proposed by the Cleveland and other chapters failed
by a wide margin.
proposed that at least half of an Assembly delegation be
APR while Puget Sound would allow a non-APR delegate only
every third year.
opposing decoupling said it would "diminish the power
of PR," would hurt the "future" of the profession
and would "dilute" the Assembly.
Chambers, delegate for West Michigan, attending his first
Assembly, moved that a task force be created that would
help chapters with few APRs.
Dr. Mark Schilansky said this was not a proper motion at
this stage. Chambers withdrew it and apologized to the Assembly.
Pollino, of PRSA/Boston, told of the difficulty the chapter
has in fielding a full delegation.
are 410 members in the chapter, he noted, but only 51 APRs
that include 11 who are retired and another 8-10 who are
inactive, leaving only about 30 members who are qualified
to be delegates.
said that someone who is APR is not necessarily a leader.
"We have failed this Society ... we are not working
for a better future if this passes," said one delegate.
both the national board and the Assembly had been unanimously
recommended in 1999 by the strategic planning committee
headed by the late Stephen Pisinski, 2000 president.
board that year, headed by Sam Waltz, rejected the proposal
of the committee and reasserted its belief in the value
worked for years just to get the proposal
on the agenda of the Assembly.
2002 Assembly tabled the motion after heated arguments
that caused the Assembly to become disorderly. Joann Killeen,
2002 president, said she felt like a "teacher"
in trying to restore order.
according to one delegate, broke out in the Assembly last
year after delegates on the losing side, in violation of
Robert's Rules, moved that the decoupling proposal be
voted on again in the same day.
the winners in a contested motion have the right to re-introduce
it, according to Robert's Rules. Society leaders failed
to inform parliamentarian Clara Page-Cabey that the motion
to reconsider was made by someone on the losing side.
Hill & Knowlton is working to allay any voters concerns
in Florida's fourth largest county amid reports that votes
were not counted by new electronic balloting machines in
an August primary.
H&K holds a $160K
contract to handle PR and voter education efforts for the
board of elections in Hillsborough County, which includes
populous Tampa and is home to over a million people.
The firm, which is headquartered
in Tampa in the Sunshine State, has been working for the
last few years to showcase new electronic voting machines
and encourage voters to turn out and cast ballots.
The county's Republican
supervisor of elections, Buddy Johnson, has been accused
by his Democratic challenger of mishandling revelations
that 245 votes were "lost" in a close primary
race which was decided by 130 votes.
Internet Edition, Oct.
27, 2004 Page 8
of APR from PRSA Assembly membership is a victory
for those who want to restore democracy, sensibility and
high ethics to PRSA.
PRSA's history for the past 30 years can be summed up as:
smaller chapters come in, big money goes out.
Smaller chapters, led by 1980 president Patrick Jackson,
took over in the 1970s, allowing the number of chapters
(some with as few as ten members) to balloon from 59 in
1970 to 116 by the 1980s. Each teeny chapter got one Assembly
This shifted control from New York and other big cities
to the smaller chapters across the U.S.
The result was that blue chip corporate PR people went to
the Arthur Page Society, founded in 1983, and execs of the
big PR firms founded the Council of PR Firms in 1999.
With them went the Big Money.
Page, oddly chartered as a C/3 corporation (charity) gets
about $200,000 in tax-deductible funds each year from about
15 big companies such as Nike, American Express, Johnson
& Johnson and Burson-Marsteller. Even more money goes
Each one of the ten biggest PR firms contributes $50,000
a year to the CPRF and smaller firms pay tens of thousands
of dollars (.065% of U.S. net fees). CPRF revenues are about
PRSA might have had funds of such magnitude if smaller
chapters had not gotten so hung up on d ominating the Society,
sticking it to PRSA/New York, and trying to cram APR down
Support of PRSA by the big PR firms has continued to plummet.
The 12 biggest, with 17,406 employees in 2001, had 617 PRSA
members that year. The 2004 PRSA Bluebook showed 316 members,
a decline of nearly 50%.
PRSA has now revamped
its Foundation and has also taken on C/3 status itself
in a move to go after "big money."
But it's not going to happen unless further steps are taken
to show companies and PR firms that the smaller chapters
are no longer calling the shots.
PRSA lost its previous C/3 "institute" in 1990
when it demanded the entire institute board be APR. Instead,
the Institute for PR became independent of PRSA.
The new PRSA Foundation, started in 1990, has gone exactly
nowhere. It can't even afford a staff of its own which is
why PRSA is now also a C/3.
A bad signal went out to the PR corporate and counseling
worlds this spring when the PRSA board allowed the staff
motivated and engineered relocation of h.q. downtown, far
from the PR, media, advertising and ad/PR service industries.
Another bad signal was removing from the 17-member board
the only two New Yorkers on itPhil Ryan and Art Stevens.
PRSA in 1992 asked PRSA/NY to leave h.q. after 40 years
of being based there. The Society said it needed the space
but promptly rented out a large area to a tenant (N.Y. Transit
PRSA/NY, which once had 1,200 members, sank to about 600
because of the open hostility of h.q. to it. Chapter directors
gag each month when they make out a check for nearly $10,000
to an association management firm when some of the 50 PRSA
h.q. staffers could easily help manage the chapter.
The worst rap we have
on the APRs, supposedly the cream of PR, is their
The three legs of the Jacksonian philosophy, carried out
to this day, were 1. shift power to the smaller chapters;
2. remove PR pros from h.q., replacing them with association
people, and 3. tightly control all press relations.
Jackson made no secret of his animus towards the press.
"We usually duck `em, find ways to go direct and screw
`em," he told a PRSA ethics panel in New York in 1994.
One of the panelists was Morley Safer of CBS-TV's "60
Rigid press policies were put in place. Whereas previous
PR directors of PRSA were available for lunch every few
weeks, PR director Donna Peltier was not allowed to lunch
with the press unless COO Betsy Kovacs was present.
This NL had three lunches with Peltier in her nine years
at PRSA, all of them with Kovacs present.
The worst ethical lapse came in the early 1990's when dozens
of authors found that PRSA was copying and selling their
articles and even entire chapters of books without their
Volume of information packets sold was about 3,600 a year
or about 10,000 over a period of three years. An average
of five O'Dwyer articles was in each packet, meaning 50,000
copies of O'Dwyer articles had been sold. PRSA claimed it
had a right to do this. It apologized to the authors for
not asking their permission but refused to pay them.
Under the APRs, the ethics infrastructure and enforcement
have practically disappeared. The previous ethics board
and ethics code were erased and the new board can only recommend
actions to the national board. Last year the national board
turned down a request by the ethics board for an investigation
of the 2003 nominating committee.
Decoupling the Assembly is a start but PRSA, to show it
is out from under the thumb of the APRs, must decouple the
national board. Among other reforms needed are removing
the rule that delegates can only serve for three years,
which guarantees a naive, easily manipulated Assembly.