US agencies prepare to bring new PR body to life

Public relations agencies in the US have moved a step closer towards forming the country’s first consultancy association.

Public relations agencies in the US have moved a step closer

towards forming the country’s first consultancy association.



At a conference held in Florida earlier this month by the Public

Relations Society of America Counsellors Academy - which represents

individual professionals working in agencies rather than in-house - a

draft mission statement was drawn up by a core group of campaigners and

plans were laid for an official launch at the beginning of 1998.



Provisionally called the American Association of Public Relations Firms

(AAPRF), the new organisation is being partly modelled on the UK’s PRCA

and will represent large and medium sized companies. It will not seek to

replace the PRSA or the Counsellors Academy.



Those leading the effort, including Ketchum chairman David Drobis, GCI

managing director Valerie di Maria and Morgan and Myers executive

vice-president Gary Myers have called on potential members to raise

around dollars 200,000 (pounds 125,000) to hire consultants to help draw

up a business plan and to create marketing material.



So far major players, such as Porter Novelli and Manning Selvage and

Lee, plus smaller agencies such as Evans Group and The Softness Group

have shown commitment to the association.



The nascent AAPRF is likely to take responsibility for establishing

industry standards and lobbying on behalf of PR companies rather than

education and training for individual members. The latter two functions

have traditionally been exercised by the PRSA.



Once launched, the AAPRF will join ICO, the international PR

association.



Based at the PRCA’s headquarters in London, ICO already represents 17

national European PR associations and has actively encouraged the

formation of a US trade body.



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