The Seminar

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The Seminar has been described by O'Dwyers PR Daily as an "annual gathering of heads of blue chip corporate PR depts. and about a dozen CEOs of major PR firms." In promotional material it describes itself as the "premiere organization of senior business executives recognized for leadership in communications and PR," and that members "interact as an informal network for the exchange of high value information." [1]

O'Dwyer's reported that the Seminar's annual four day meetings are held at "many of the finest resorts in the U.S. (the Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara, Calif., was the scene of the 2007 meeting), are highly secretive. Members are warned that if they report any of the doings to the press they will be banned for life. Paid speakers, including academics and editors and columnists from major media such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Fortune, Forbes and Business Week, also swear not to write about Seminar. Corporate communications executives usually have control of the corporate ad budget. With attendance of more than 300 (including spouses) upwards of $750,000 and more is spent on the meeting each year including registration costing several thousand dollars."[2]

Editors and Columnists Attend --- But Don't Report

In a November 2007 commentary column, O'Dwyer's made the telling point that "powerful editors and columnists speak at Seminar but they never mention the group in their media ... Why do the NYT, Washington Post and WSJ skip coverage of Seminar? Are they afraid of losing corporate ads?" It listed those who have attended events as including:[1]

Other media movers and shakers listed as attending the 2006 annual seminar event, held at the Ritz-Carlton at Half Moon Bay in California in late May,[3]

Name Change

In November 2007 O'Dwyer's reported that the group had decided to change its name from PR Seminar to simply "The Seminar" and drop any reference to PR altogether. [2]

New Members Admitted in 2007

The total membership of the group is capped at 200 O'Dwyer's also reported that in 2007 33 new members were admitted to the group. These were:[2]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Groups That Use 'PR' Must Practice It", Commentary, O'Dwyer's PR Daily, November 26, 2007. (Sub req'd)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "PR Seminar Abandons 'PR'", O'Dwyers's PR Daily, November 20, 2007.(Sub req'd)
  3. "Program Agenda", 55th Annual Public relations Seminar, May24th-27th, 2006.

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