Some Public Relations news tidbits from this week:
Ketchum Chairman, Ray Kotcher Inducted into International Communications Consultancy Organization Hall of Fame
The International Communications Consultancy Organization inducted Ray Kotcher, a senior partner and chairman of Ketchum into their Hall of Fame. According to the organization, Ray has made “exceptional progress in the internationalization of the public relations industry whilst demonstrating the cultural sensitivity and commercial acumen to create an agency that shares global reach with local relevance.”
In response to receiving this award, Kotcher said “[b]eing named to ICCO’s Hall of Fame is deeply meaningful to me. I have been so lucky – I’ve worked for more than 30 years in a business that I love, doing work that I love, meeting extraordinary people and travelling the world. And if I’ve learned one thing, it’s that our guiding principle must be practicing to the highest professional standards. We’re business that’s built on trust, and that’s the key to sustaining success for our industry, not only for today but in the years to come.”
He is also a former trustee of the Institute of Public Relations, and was the chair of the PR Council twice. Now he is on both the executive committee and Arthur W. Page Society’s board of trustees. Kotcher earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the State University of New York at Geneseo, where he is now a trustee of the Geneseo Foundation board. He also holds a Master of Science degree in public relations, which he earned from Boston University’s College of Communication, where he gave the commencement address.
Puerto Rico Has One Million Dollars For PR.. but Not For Creditors
Recently the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority announced the beginnings of a review of a one million dollar contract for PR work in order to adjust such ventures to comply with commonwealth regulations and legal standards, according to Bloomberg. The Authority is currently asking creditors to consent to losses on bond payments.
Prepa, the island’s primary electric power provider, is to review the terms with Joele Frank Associates LLC in the next week. Creditors are in dialogue with the authority in order to remake $8.2 billion of debt, which may reduce its costs enough for much needed plant upgrades. If the talks carry through to their ends, roughly thirty-five percent of bondholders and creditors are expected to suffer losses of up to fifteen percent on their securities’ face value.
Brunswick, Journalists to Begin Training to Teach PR
Public Relations is to be added to the roster of coursework the National Council for the Training of Journalists uses. An ex-national newspaper reporter involved with PR voiced his opinion at the NCTJ Journalism Training Conference that journalists ought to learn PR skills before being released into the world. This new addition is not toted as required coursework.
A former writer for Express and Star named Adam Thompson said of journalists and PR professionals that “[w]e deal with each other every day – and we are a lot more similar than you think.”
But one lecturer from the University of Kent’s Centre for Journalism argued that the ethical standards held at the heart of NCTJ accredited courses conflicts with the skills required for public relations. Rob Bailey quipped “[i]t sounds like the National Council for the Training of churnalists to me.” A former editor at the Coventry Telegraph named Alun Thorne disagreed with Rob’s position, saying “I have never lied for a client. I have spun like hell, but I have never lied. The two jobs were not the same, but it made sense for a journalism training course to include the opportunity to understand the PR industry.”
J&PR’s Rhea Alton thinks the two vocations are not just compatible, but mutually compatible. She won’t hire anyone without journalistic training. To her, PR skills are not contrary to the ethical standards taught in journalism courses. Of the dilemma, Rhea says “honesty is the best policy.” Kim Fletcher, chairman of NCTJ and director of the PR company Brunswick revealed his realization upon leaving journalism for his career in PR. “I am surprised that the press don’t ask tougher questions. And I’m disappointed by that.”