LISA KOVITZ, President, Women Executives in PR
NOW needs to do substantive tangible things to raise awareness about the
issues important to its members. An awards banquet, seminars, lectures
and breakfasts are all concrete and could give the group a focus. The
group was formed during the 1960s when not as many women were in the
workplace so NOW must also reexamine its mission statement and see what
issues are still relevant to women in the 21st century. Creating
programs that its members find accessible, stating clearly what it is
attempting to do so that the public will have a better understanding of
the group's purpose and working to fulfill its mission statements can
all help NOW stay relevant and remain focused on its goal.
CATHY RENNA, News media director, GLAAD
I don't think NOW is going to have a difficult time staying in the
national spotlight. On every issue, whether it's the battle over
reproductive rights, Supreme Court nominees, stem cell research or
healthcare for families, it opposes President Bush. The group has
actually become more invigorated than when Bill Clinton was in office.
That's because whenever a group like NOW feels threatened or passionate
about a subject it becomes energized. To ride the wave of momentum, NOW
could build a more visible grassroots campaign and work on getting its
progressive base mobilized. Members of the group should campaign, write
letters and voice their opinions on all the issues they care about.
JOYCE YAEGER, Senior vice president, M Booth Associates.
The new president of NOW, Kim Gandy, should take a page from those
leaders who came to symbolize everything their organization stood for.
Leaders like Faye Wattleton, former president of Planned Parenthood,
Vartan Gregorian of Brown University and the New York Public Library,
and Lee Iacocca of Chrysler were all willing and prepared to step
forward, speak out and take a strong, visible stand on issues that
mattered and were central to their organizational mission. When you
heard and saw them, you immediately knew what they were representing.
Kim Gandy should use them as role models.
JAMIE MOELLER, Managing Director, global public affairs practice, Ogilvy
NOW was a trailblazer in the fight for women's rights - playing a lead
role in establishing the "women's movement." But the landscape has
changed as women have made great strides over the past 30 years. New
leadership and a new political scene give NOW an opportunity to gain
prominence in the media. To take advantage of this moment it needs to
reinforce its role as the champion of policies important to women and
families. Issues such as equal pay, the "glass ceiling," childcare,
family leave, long-term care and gun violence are critical to women and
their families. Focusing on these topics and offering pragmatic
solutions will help put NOW back in the spotlight. It will also help
position NOW as a leader among the progressive movement concerned about
the direction of the Bush Administration.