September 11 victims are united by Push to get their voices heard

WASHINGTON: As part of an increasingly sophisticated communications

strategy, Stephen Push, treasurer of Families of September 11, has

worked with PR Newswire to establish a blast e-mail system that is

already paying media relations dividends.



Last Monday, Push used the network to broadcast a query looking for

families that stood to receive nothing under the interim guidelines set

up to govern the payouts distributed by Congress' September 11 Victims

Fund. He then fed the most compelling anecdote to a reporter from The

Wall Street Journal, who featured it in an article as a counterbalance

to the allegations of greediness that advocates have stirred up with

their complaints about the compensation program.



Families of September 11 is one of at least seven like-minded

organizations created last fall. Push, a PR veteran with more than two

decades of experience in the healthcare and biotech industries, believes

his growing e-mail network, provided pro bono by PR Newswire, will play

a key role in the organization's increasing efforts to better coordinate

its messages.



"It's still informal, but the leadership of the various groups has been

in touch," he reported. "We would like to organize a formal council in

the next few weeks."



After noting that the e-mail system has enjoyed a surge in membership

each time he has completed one of his many television interviews, Push

added that he has also petitioned the Pentagon and the New York Attorney

General's office for access to their rosters of victims' families, but

to no avail. "I guess they don't want us to be organized," he said.



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