Posted by an Honored Guest Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Independent Ref Gives the Blow-by-Blow
About a month ago, Jack O’Dwyer’s released a 13-point manifesto calling for the reform of PRSA. For the record, we really like Jack... a lot. But there’s a place where harping -- however constructive -- becomes harangue. I am afraid PRSA may just have him in that corner. And that’s too bad. Good and important criticisms and counsel can easily be discounted and missed.
Anyway, Joe Cortez was otherwise engaged so we asked good sport William Sledzik, APR, Fellow PRSA and Associate Professor/Public Relations at Kent State to step in and ref the fight. Bill does a fantastic job.
Without further ado...
O’Dwyer’s Manifesto: Point/Counterpoint
By Bill Sledzik, APR, Fellow PRSA
Associate Professor, Kent State University
Today I don my referee’s jersey to make the calls in a 13-round slugfest between two PR heavyweights. One is the free-swinging O’Dwyer, the other his longtime nemesis, the ever cagey and calculating Public Relations Society of America.
Jack won’t like my using PRSA’s full name. He calls the society PRS, and that’s no typo. “We don’t find that the values represented by the word ‘America’ are reflected in the actions of the Society,” he said in a July editorial. “These are the values of democracy and open and free debate and discussion.”
A longtime critic of PRSA, Jack sees the society as cloaked in secrecy and rife with corruption. He takes jabs at the society almost daily at odwyerspr.com, but PRSA brass no longer punch back. They don’t talk to Jack, nor do they talk about him. Jack would like to see his proposals on the agenda of PRSA’s national Assembly on Oct. 19, but since that won’t happen, I’ve decided to stage a mock title fight right here.
I can hear the music from “Rocky,” can’t you? This match is 13 rounds, one for each point of the O’Dwyer proposal. I’ll score the rounds as the fight progresses, and mix in commentary along the way.
Disclosure: I am not an O’Dwyer’s subscriber, but Jack did give me access to his site to research this post. I am a 25-year member of PRSA and a member of the College of Fellows since 1996. To save space, I’ve edited the text of points 9, 12 and 13.
If the Assembly actually represented the membership, O’Dwyer said, it would do the following:
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