Wikipedia's history of PR Society of America, currently running to 3,343 words after being cut from an original 4,697, has many flaws. But one highlight is a 24-page, 13,136-word chapter from “Public Relations: The Profession and the Practice,” published by McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
Authors are Dan Lattimore, Ph.D., vice provost and dean, University of Memphis; Otis Baskin; Pepperdine University; Suzette Heiman, University of Missouri, and Elizabeth Toth, University of Maryland.
The chapter, available for free as a sample of the book's fourth edition (http://tinyurl.com/b6gpdu7) has a favorite section of ours that says the duty of PR people is to answer press questions “promptly” and “most cheerfully.” That was a statement made by Ivy Lee around 1906:
“This is not a secret press bureau. All our work is done in the open. We aim to supply news. This is not an advertising agency; if you think any of our matter ought properly to go to your business office, do not use it. Our matter is accurate. Further details on any subject treated will be supplied promptly, and any editor will be assisted most cheerfully in verifying directly any statement of fact. . . .”
McGraw-Hill’s book competes with three other college PR texts that have been published for decades: The Practice of PR by Fraser Seitel; Public Relations: Strategies & Tactics by Dennis Wilcox, and Effective Public Relations by Cutlip, Center & Broom.
Committee Needed for History of PR Society
We want the authors to be on a committee that will create an accurate history of the PR Society to replace the spotty, error-laden and poorly documented history that is on WP.
Others members would be corporate and agency executives as well as representatives from PR groups such as the Arthur W. Page Society, Int'l Assn. of Business Communicators, Institute for PR, and Council of PR Firms. Graduate PR or journalism students could help.
WP, while making some of the corrections I have sent to it, including taking down the cartoon of me burning the Society at the stake, refuses to make others.
It has removed, after two weeks, the link to the New York Times article that started, “Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter, the bible of PR…” while keeping links to the full texts of NYT stories that reflect negatively on the O'Dwyer Co. such as the May 14, 1992 column by Stuart Elliott in which Society president Rosalee Roberts accused us of "distorting" anything the Society sent us and being “inaccurate” and making “negative conclusions.”
Worst of all is the use of an article by a Forbes freelancer to establish that there is some kind of long-running “feud” between this writer and the Society.
Headline on the article by PR counselor Aaron Perlut, a partner in Elasticity, St. Louis, is "The Case of Jack O'Dwyer vs. PRSA."