NEW YORK: Unlike the American Advertising Agencies Association, the
PRSA is pressing ahead with its annual conference, hoping the decision
to go to Atlanta as planned will be "a powerful symbol the PR industry
is back to business."
The 4As conference has been canceled, and the American Magazine
Publishers Association scaled back its conference, moving it from
Phoenix to New York. Despite admitting that pressing ahead with the
event initially appeared to be a "financial risk," the PRSA decided not
to alter its plans.
"The PR industry has to take a leadership position," said Kathy Lewton,
PRSA chairwoman and CEO.
"It also allows us to do our bit for the economy, supporting not only
Atlanta, but also the airlines and hotels."
Although a few registrants pulled out of the conference after September
11, Lewton reported a high number of registrations in the past week.
With 1,200 delegates already signed up, the PRSA was confident it would
be a "huge success," financially and otherwise.
MIT economist Lester Thurow will headline the event, talking on the
power of PR in a changing marketplace. His fellow speakers include
diplomat and political leader Andrew Young and humanitarian Coretta
A new session has been devised called "Beyond September 11: the role of
PR in building a more tolerant world." It will feature panelists from
the Association of Arab Writers, and the Kuwait Information Office.
Also included in the program are: PR people from Columbine High School
and Oklahoma City, who will talk about healing a community; and an
updated tourism session featuring the Washington, DC Convention and
Tourism Corporation, discussing how to lure people back to the city.