Our campaign to break the PR Society’s boycott against the O’Dwyer Co. has won the support of New York State Senator Liz Krueger, the National Press Club, and PR Watch.
However, strangely on the sidelines in this battle is a group of journalists that I have belonged to for 50 years -- the New York Financial Writers Assn.
The silence of our fellow reporters no doubt has emboldened PRS to the point where it not only refuses to answer any of our questions (or the same questions put to them by four PRS Fellows), but where it had guards stationed in front of last year’s Assembly, the exhibit hall, and all conference sessions to block our entrance.
Requests for help against the boycott have been sent to 2012 NYFWA president Richard Wilner of the New York Post as well as board members Pierre Paulden of Bloomberg, Conway Gittens of Reuters and Robert Kozma of Dow Jones Newswire. As in the past when we have asked for support, no response has been received.
Other PR trade reporters were allowed to all the plenary sessions and the opening night reception of the 2011 PRS conference.
Blocking me while admitting them was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which says equal benefits must be provided at a public accommodation to everyone regardless of whether they have disabilities or not. It is illegal to give admittance to some reporters and not to others.
This writer’s complaint to the U.S. Justice Dept. because of our treatment at the 2011 conference is still being considered.
Boycott Delivered in Person
Confident of the silence of NYFWA as well as the Society of Professional Journalists, PRS COO Bill Murray and 2010 chair Gary McCormick came to my office on March 19, 2010 and told me for about an hour that I was too reprehensible a figure to deal with.
When I demanded to have the charges against me spelled out, Murray and 2011 chair Rosanna Fiske published 23 pages of them. They did not dare present them to my face. When I started to rebut them one by one on that website, the discussion was shut down after four days.
A campaign of defamation was launched by VP-PR Arthur Yann and PRS members on the Society’s own website, e-mails to Ragan, Advertising Age, PR Watch, Lucy Siegal’s blog, thegoodthebadthespin blog and others that called me “a pig,” “unhinged,” “a scoundrel,” “flat-out liar,” and one who “acts on warped, false and misleading information.”
Krueger Dumps Package of PRS Garbage
Senator Krueger took about one day to decide that the PRS boycott was improper and sent a letter May 9 to Murray saying it was “deeply concerning given your status as a tax-exempt industry trade association.”
Staffers in Krueger’s office said PRS’s response was to send a package of “materials” about me by bicycle messenger.