NEW YORK: Although only five months old, the Association of PR Firms (APRF) is changing its name and entry requirements once again.
The newly-christened Council for Public Relations Firms (CPRF) wanted to convey its goal of setting standards for the PR industry, rather than just promoting the business, president Jack Bergen announced at a meeting last week. 'The name 'council' has more lofty connotations,' he told PRWeek.
The CPRF was originally called the AAPRF (American Assoication of PR Firms).
Membership of the CPRF has grown to 68 firms, and new eligibility standards will remove the previous $1 million-in-billings cutoff.
The Council will also direct a multi-faceted campaign to preach the gospel of PR to high-level corporate executives as well as students and professors in top business and liberal arts schools.
During the course of the year, the Council will spend part of its $700,000 operating budget to run interactive programs for executives in various industries and will also sponsor the Fortune.com Web site when Fortune runs its annual Most Admired Companies list.
In conjunction with NY-based accounting firm Gould & Co., the Council will also conduct its own ranking of the top 300 PR agencies. Unlike existing rankings, the CPRF list will include revenue from the Net, research and ads.
'This is no criticism of O'Dwyer's, but if our premise is that PR is becoming more sophisticated, we ought to be able to give credit for firms moving into these other areas,' Bergen said.