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
"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.