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Did you read that?



Did You Read That?

By: Ed Davis, 2012 PRSA Houston President


As some of you may be aware, PR industry journalist, Jack O’Dwyer, continues to raise concerns he has with the way our National organization is run. His long-running questioning of PRSA National executives has been well documented on his website and blog:, and on other industry websites.


The issue surfaced again last week when he posted an entry on his blog about how New York City hasn’t hosted the PRSA International Conference in 28 years—contending that since the NY chapter has the largest membership (a reported 685 members) it should host the annual get together on a fairly frequent basis. This sparked a reply by the PRSA National President Gerry Corbett, all of which you can read here.


What does this have to do with PRSA Houston? Jack reached out to us after Paula Ruth posted a comment detailing our desire to secure the International Conference as well. This prompted Jack to post another entry that (at best) failed to provide the full context and content of Paula’s post. Paula's comment is among others here.


This prompted Jack to reach out to me for comment—noting that in the 80’s the Houston chapter withheld its dues in protest of lack of info from National. This shouldn’t be a surprise to many Texans as we are inherently a bit rebellious and we got all of that sorted out. But, more than that, he asked me to comment on a list of longstanding questions he has repeatedly asked various members of the National Assembly, PRSA Board and PRSA National Executives. The questions range from why hasn’t PRSA National shared their IRS Form 990 to how come there isn’t one list of chapter presidents readily accessible to membership?


I contend many of his questions do not directly impact local chapters, or members, and what we (as members) care about more are the benefits derived from the local chapter and how those are enhanced through our national affiliation. If you would like to read the entire email exchange between Jack and I, click here.


But we want to know what you think. So, click on the various links, read the content and post a comment.


Just as an FYI: As Paula pointed out in her comment, Houston has been interested in hosting the International Conference ourselves, but according to PRSA National, it isn’t quite as simple as what the size of your membership is. In fact, in several discussions with PRSA National I had last year, we were given a list of criteria that would need to be met for us to be considered. Included on that list was a conference/hotel facility that can accommodate at least 1500 people, cost of the hotel, included amenities such as WiFi and assistance in securing major sponsorship support. There are more of course, and we could tick off all of the criteria but one: a hotel that can accommodate 1500 room nights for two nights.

Author: Ed Davis