>The RWA publisher recognition policy is under scrutiny again. I understand the need for a policy, but I’m confused about why they shut down the application process for the time being. If I understand it correctly, the application process is closed until after the July Board Meeting in Dallas. Apparently this is the first time the application process has been shut down, and already I can see the dragon of suspicion rearing its head among the flames of rumors beginning to crackle through cyberspace.
So why is it when RWA has a study done or they’re considering making a policy change, they give off the appearance of playing their cards so close to the chest? I’ve been trying to figure out this strategy for several years now. It seems self-defeating because even though this behavior is innocent in almost every instance, it perpetuates the notion that they’re somehow hiding something. In my mind that’s not a sound strategy when you have a membership that can be quite vocal. It simply serves as food for the grist mill in terms of rumors, innuendo and anger among different factions of the organization.
Having worked in the PR field, I know from training and experience that the best strategy is a Proactive one. Reactive is always much harder. It’s like being a salmon swimming upstream knowing you’re going to die. *sigh* I also confess that I don’t like not knowing the results of a study until the day it’s up for discussion at the Board meeting. I like to have as much time as possible to reflect on information before I’m asked to speak my mind. (Primarily because if I don’t I make an ass of myself.) I’ve been to hundreds of business meetings where I’ve been provided info ahead of time when my input is desired. The only time I don’t get info for a meeting is when there’s a change coming where my input wasn’t requested.
If the Board’s intent is to simply study the results and not make any policy changes until they have member input, then say so up front. If they intend to review the study and then actually set policy at the July meeting, it seems rather foolhardy not to put the study out for members to review so that their voice can be heard related to any policy change. If the Board’s worried that putting the study out for member perusal will incite heated discussion rife with rumors, then it’s important to note that not putting it out there will only incite more rumors and volatile rants in cyberspace. Better an open discussion about the study itself than discussions that accuse the Board of hiding something because they’ve not released the study. Either way it will be a heated debate, but putting everything out in the open could easily take some of the heat off the Board.