PR WORLD CONGRESS 2000 NEWS: Annual conference draws record crowd from a variety of nations

CHICAGO: More than 3,400 people attended the Public Relations World Congress 2000, held here October 22-24, making it the largest PR conference in history.

CHICAGO: More than 3,400 people attended the Public Relations World Congress 2000, held here October 22-24, making it the largest PR conference in history.

CHICAGO: More than 3,400 people attended the Public Relations World Congress 2000, held here October 22-24, making it the largest PR conference in history.

'The records continue to be broken,' said Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) chairman and CEO Stephen Pisinski, who added that the number of attendees also included 1,400 students representing more than 200 colleges and universities.

In addition, more than 60 countries were represented at the event - including Russia, China, Bulgaria and Turkey - 'proving that what was perceived as an American profession less than 50 years ago is now a global one,' said Carolyn Fazio, president of conference co-sponsor International Public Relations Association (IPRA).

Moreover, after losing nearly dollars 400,000 last year, the PRSA will end the year with a dollars 3,000 surplus, thanks partly to the conference's record attendance.

To boost funds further, dues will be hiked from dollars 200 to dollars 215. The financial results were announced by Joann Killeen, who started the conference as the PRSA's treasurer and ended it as the industry body's new chair-elect (see separate story, below left).

Among the many housekeeping announcements that were made at the conference, it was announced that the term for national board members had been increased from two to three years.

Additionally, three new charters were approved by the assembly: Gulf Coast, Oregon Capital and Northeast Wisconsin. This brings the total number of PRSA chapters to 116. The organization now has a total membership of 19,600.

The PRSA also announced at the meeting the winners of its annual awards.

Thomas Harris took home the organization's highest honor, the 2000 Gold Anvil Award, which is presented to the PR practitioner 'whose accomplishments have made a major contribution to the profession.' Harris is managing partner of Thomas L. Harris, based in Highland Park, IL. He was a founding partner of Golin/Harris.

Rick Kaufman, who led the Columbine Crisis Communication Response Team, took home the PRSA Public Relations Professional of the Year Award.

Gavin Anderson, chairman and CEO of New York-based Gavin Anderson, earned the PRSA Atlas Award for lifetime achievement in international public relations. Anderson's company has more than 300 clients and 240 employees across the globe.



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