No surprise, the feud dating back to 1994 between the Public Relations Society of America [PRSA] and media specialist for the communications industry Jack O'Dwyer is still getting headlines. In PR NEWSER, Tonya Garcia reports that O'Dwyer took the journey from his base in Manhattan-Connecticut to the PRSA Conference in Florida. There, O'Dwyer was barred entrance.
On O'Dwyer's side is the National Press Club, an influential bunch which sponsors its own impressive lunches featuring provocative personalities such as T. Boone Pickens and Ted Turner. Notes Garcia:
" ... the National Press Club has issued a statement saying it was 'disappointed' to learn that O'Dwyer had been banned. With knowledge of the longstanding 'disagreements,' the organization tried to negotiate with the PRSA, but the PRSA wouldn't budge on its position to keep O'Dwyer out."
In addition to the National Press Club, O'Dwyer has a network of supporters spanning generations from Silent to Y. In the public relations industry he has been generous in his coverage of both agencies and solo flyers. Nail a new account? Let O'Dwyer know that and he will give it play. Lost your job and hanging out a shingle? He invests the effort to framing that in a way which does attract business.
In terms of public relations, the PRSA probably made a wrong call in barring this pilgrim to Florida. After all, in this era of social media in which practitioners can be their own effective lobbyists the rationale for trade associations is shaky. Yes, the Power of One.