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Hi David, Actually, there's quite a bit "out there" on the happenings of PRSA. When you have a moment, please stop by our online newsroom (, where we've aggregated much of it. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Mr. Reich, If O'Dwyers is your primary and most-trusted source of information about PRSA, it's not surprising that you hold a jaundiced view of the organization. It is surprising, though, that in your experience you found the organization "useless," which is a particularly strong word no doubt chosen carefully. Of course, I would caveat that by saying association membership is not for everyone, and members typically get out of the experience as much as they're willing to put into it. All of that aside, I'd like to correct a few misconceptions that you seem to hold: -- PRSA does have, as you seem to be aware, a set of resources for public relations professionals to use to help foster more accurate and better informed perceptions about the role and value of public relations. It's called "The Business Case for Public Relations." More info here ( -- PRSA also has, as you don't seem to be aware, a program to encourage business schools to incorporate public relations instruction into their MBA programs. We refer to it internally as the "MBA Initiative"; Dartmouth and Northwestern are among the schools participating. More info here (, as well as here (, here (, here ( and here ( -- PRSA is not known anywhere outside the pages of O'Dwyers as PRS. Never has been. -- PRSA is not "dominated by folks from the giant agencies." Just 18 percent of PRSA members work for agencies with more than one employee. -- PRSA has the same connection to New York that it always has had. Guess the lesson here, as on O'Dwyers, is that you just can't believe everything you read.
Jane, thank you for being gracious with your time in posting my other comment and responding to my inquiries. As I mentioned, PRSA is trying very hard to move past this. I'm embarrassed to say that I'd not found your blog prior to Mr. O'Dwyer's including it his pitches to editors, as an example of the "broad condemnation" that PRSA’s decision not to grant him press credentials is receiving. This leads me to two points. First, we knew there would be some criticism of our course of action, but once people see our response ( and understand our reasons, they are generally supportive. Second, and perhaps more importantly, I would ask, is it the role of a so-called "objective" journalist to actively advocate and campaign against an organization he/she covers? The Society of Professional Journalist's Code of Ethics ( is very clear in this regard; among its tenets is this: "Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting." Since Mr. O'Dwyer cannot ethically be both advocate and journalist, which is he? Arthur Yann is PRSA's vice president of public relations.
Hi Jane, this is great advice to public relations firms and solo practitioners who want to leverage a current news story (if it actually qualifies as that) to gain exposure for themselves. However, in this case, the side taken is relevant. The PRSA organizational response ( details the abusive, unprofessional and unethical behavior of Mr. O'Dwyer toward PRSA. Relevant, too, is the fact that the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) has invited Mr. O'Dwyer to resign his membership in that organization. So, if you'd like your clients to call into question your own firm's ethics, you're certainly welcome to side with Mr. O'Dwyer. I don't think that's the sage advice you're accustomed to giving, however. Arthur Yann is PRSA's VP of Public Relations
So I'm reading this and I'm thinking, OK, it's for charity and could be a great way for KK to confront the negative health aspects of its products by promoting exercise and responsible consumption. And then I got to this: "a race that requires competitors to eat a half dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts halfway through." Talk about a missed opportunity. I'll second the nomination for the Repman Marketing Hall of Shame.
I agree with James, and would add that flawed measurement approaches that focus on outputs (# of placements, for ex.) vs. outcomes (how those placements drove strategic business results) are also a contributing factor. Ardath, if you'd like to refer offenders to some good sources of current information on working with bloggers, PRSA just released its social media policy and three social media tookits, which can help professionals build a social media policy and foundation and stay on top of best practices. They're available free at Cheers! Arthur Yann is vice president of public relations at PRSA.
Toggle Commented Feb 11, 2011 on Stop the PR Madness at Marketing Interactions
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