Next at IABC Fort Worth ...
No meeting this month, but stay tuned — website, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn — for details on the Aug. 26 program with author-writing teacher Carmen Goldthwaite on ways to make your writing sing.


No meeting this month. As chapter president Richie Escovedo puts it, everyone’s gone fishin’.


Next at Fort Worth SPJ ...
Merriment shall abound at the summer mixer with Hispanic Communicators DFW, Saturday, July 12, at Dave and Karen Lieber’s home in Keller. See multicolored announcement above. RSVP. 



Keynote speakers David Quammen with National Geographic and Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Lawrence Wright and Sheri Fink will highlight the annual Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, July 18-20 in Grapevine. Info at themayborn.com. ...

Dallas author Chris Keniston will discuss how the writer's world has changed with the advent of independent publishing at the next Writers’ Guild of Texas meeting, 7 p.m. Monday, July 21, at the Richardson Public Library. From her own experience, she will share options, sources and strategies for braving this new publishing world.

PRSA local update: Worthy Award winners, 2014. And a sterling list it is.

PRSA local update II: PRSA members make the news. PR News recently spotlighted Fort Worthers Gigi Westerman, APR, Fellow PRSA, and Sandra Brodnicki, APR, for the Money School program they created for Catholic Charities Fort Worth. The program took Best of Show in the inaugural year of the Worthy Awards (2012) and earned a PR News Nonprofit Award in 2013.  |   Greater Fort Worth PRSA president Richie Escovedo wrote a  Fort Worth Business Press guest column on the importance of having a strategic communication process when school districts (think Fort Worth ISD) undergo leadership changes.  |  Chapter president-elect and VP membership Michelle Clark, APR, attended the 2014 PRSA Leadership Rally, June 13-14 in New York City. The rally is an orientation and networking event designed to help prepare PRSA leaders for 2014 and beyond.  |  Nancy Farrar of Farrar Public Relations is the new food columnist at Fort Worth, Texas Magazine. As Chef Impersonator, she creates the recipes and makes the dishes. Her culinary alter ego debuted in the June issue.

PRSA local update III: Greater Fort Worth PRSA will offer a free boot camp for members interested in earning the Universal Accreditation Board’s designation — accredited in public relations, or APR. Fees associated with taking the exam are explained online. Four structured study sessions begin in September or October; accredited chapter members will guide discussions about the exam’s tactical and strategic content, plus offer preparation for the readiness review and online exam. Readiness reviews will be completed after the final study session. The process concludes with the required online exam at a local Prometrics testing facility. More from accreditation co-chairs Linda Jacobson, APR, at lindald.jacobson@gmail.com or Carolyn Bobo, APR, Fellow PRSA, cgbobo6311@att.net. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the designation, which is managed by eight professional communications organizations, including PRSA.


An irreverent look at the people and events that keep us up at night

Motion Denied
A Judge’s Nomination to the Supreme Court
Created a Media Firestorm — and a New Word  

Being a Supreme Court justice means having the opportunity to profoundly impact the culture. But rarely does a judge change the culture by being nominated but never serving. That’s what happened July 1, 1987, when President Reagan announced that he had nominated Robert Bork for the nation’s highest court, thus setting in motion a series of events that reshaped public relations.

Chosen to replace the retiring Lewis Powell, Bork was controversial even before the nomination. A strong advocate of judicial restraint, he questioned the court’s contention that the Constitution implicitly recognizes a right to privacy. He wrote a book arguing that antitrust laws might not benefit consumers. And several years previous, while acting attorney general, he carried out Richard Nixon’s order to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox. The job fell to Bork after both the attorney general and his deputy resigned rather than obey the president.  

So Bork’s nomination set the PR wheels in overdrive. Women’s groups, civil rights groups and the ACLU all weighed in, but the most influential critic was Sen. Ted Kennedy. Speaking from the Senate floor, Kennedy said Bork’s presence on the bench would result in evolution being restricted from schools, midnight police raids on homeowners and segregated lunch counters. He concluded, “No justice would be better than this injustice.”

Soon TV commercials critical of Bork popped up, narrated by the respected actor Gregory Peck. The Washington City Paper published a list of videos Bork had rented that included “Ruthless People,” “The Man Who Knew Too Much” and other shocking titles. In a bit of judicial irony, this later resulted in a law known as the Video Privacy Protection Act.

Reagan had known that Bork’s nomination would meet with resistance, but this being 1987, the administration was not prepared for the intensity of the attacks. It would be more than two months before a formal response emerged — in today’s PR world, an unimaginable lag.

continued on p. 2

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