Ahhhhhhhh... yes... the PR Dodge (dodge (dòj): 1. To avoid by moving or shifting quickly aside; 2. To evade by cunning, trickery, or deceit: kept dodging the reporter's questions).
Well, of course, to us here at Strumpette... that’s red meat!! We decided to ask French directly to clarify. After a little soft-shoe dancing on his part, it deteriorated into French threatening to sue us. Note: We’ve subsequently learned that Rick is an expert in crisis communications. I believe this is the recommended tactic to use when you're between a rock and a hard place holding bupkis.
Anyway, the following are excerpts of our conversation:
AMANDA: We'd like you to tell our readers what PR ethics would mean in a perfect world. If you were given the power to make systemic change, what would you do?
FRENCH: Anything I might write would imply these were changes BEPS or myself weren't able to push through PRSA, and therefore it could be taken that my resignation was some kind of protest, and that simply isn't the case. So given how it might be misinterpreted by some, I'd prefer to pass. After BEPS is able to make its recommendations to the PRSA National Assembly, I might be willing to comment further and provide additional insights.
[Note: rather than answer the question, French defers to PRSA politics, i.e. he might answer after BEPS makes its recommendations.]
AMANDA: But I think with the right intro, you could overcome the possible misperception directly. THE POINT: BEPS seems, and will always be, variously encumbered by political compromise. It would be nice to have someone such as you articulate the goal. Rick, what would it be like in a perfect world? That's all. I've got 33K readers who would like an honest perspective.
FRENCH: I've never said BEPS is politically compromised. What I said is I wish it had a broader mandate.
AMANDA: I never said you said that BEPS is politically compromised. I said it. That also happens to be the general consensus. You know that. As to your wish for a broader mandate... we share it. THAT'S what needs articulation. And YOU are uniquely qualified to do that. That's exactly what our 33K plus readers expect.
[No response from French here.]
AMANDA: The story we've decided to go with then is PR's inability to "shame." We think your reluctance here exemplifies that. Bottom line: PR has no legal way to limit or punish its own; also, regrettably there's a HUGE reluctance on the part of PR's ethical "leaders" to stand the fuck up and shame their colleagues that are out of bounds. The story will be about the sin of omission.
FRENCH: If you use my resignation to try and make your point in any way, or think you can bully me into writing something for you... then I will sue you to kingdom come. I told you I would be willing to write a piece for you after some time passed but that offer is off the table.
AMANDA: Again, as is, your response makes our point rather dramatically. Just so we are not blamed for not giving you a good faith opportunity, I'll leave the window open 'til Monday close of business.
Again, for the record, in subsequent emails, Rick went from threatening a lawsuit to accusing us of “blackmail and extortion.” “Serious charges,” he said. “Enjoy the Cook County showers,” he said.
Bottom line: Rick opened the door in O’Dwyers. Again, according to French, PRSA "has some issues, policies and stances it needs to address.” Rick said, “I personally wish the BEPS board had more authority to effect changes within the organization."
And look what he goes through here to avoid answering any specific issues. Any wonder why things are as fucked up as they are in the PR industry.
Benefits of Social Media 'Contagious' -- According study published last Thursday in New England Journal of Medicine and funded by the National Institute on Aging, personal attributes can be contagious in a social setting. Co-author James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego, said, "We were stunned to find that friends who are hundreds of miles away have just as much impact on a person as friends who are right next door."
PR to Standardize Award Judging -- After rampant accusations of conflict of interest and other shenanigans like PRS chapter presidents stacking the deck with the awards programs, one group has decided to stave off criticism and standardize the procedure. The Association of Organizational Communications (AOC) has just posted their judging criteria.
Broad Adoption of SM Now an International Phenomena -- Like no other time in history, thanks to Web 2.0 and Internet social media tools, free speech and democracy is spreading globally. As a result, the mantra of netcitizens now is, "no one can put this genie back in the bottle."
Open Nature of Social Media Lauded-- Also like never before, the open architecture that is Web 2.0 is attracting all peoples for every corner of life. Some social scientists now are claiming that this is exactly what America the "Melting Pot" was designed to be.
Scientists Claim Medical Explanation for Blogging A-Listers -- It was announced today that doctors from John Hopkins University have been able to identify the exact genes responsible for these types of people. Hikida Toyota, a leading researcher there said, "This is an important first step for further study of the combinations of factors that underlie these attributes."
On Thursday, March 8, 2007 at 7:41 AM, Ronn Torossian, President and CEO of 5WPR, emphatically promised that he was going to sue us. No real reason, he was just irritated by our teasing him about getting in bed with pornographer Joe Francis. Anyway, Ronn gave his obscenity-laced word that we'd see the complaint in 72 hours. It's now late by
Kathleen Durazo about A Measly $2.8 Million Goes Missing, Lawsuit Results Fri, Jul 31, 10:58:34 AM Ray Durazo (the founder) sold the company to Dan in 1999. He was not involved in any of this. He (and I) found out about the lawsuit in the LA Times. In addition to embezzling this m [...]