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Public Information Committee
What is Public Information work and Why Should A.A.s Do It?
Public Information (P.I.) in Alcoholics Anonymous means carrying the message of recovery to the still-suffering alcoholic by informing the general public about the A.A. program. We carry the message by getting in touch with the media, schools, industry, and other organizations which can report on the nature and purpose of A.A. and what it can do for alcoholics. The first Public Information committee in A.A. was formed by the General Service Board in 1956. At that time, the following statement of “A.A.’s movement wide public information policy” was written and approved by the General Service Conference:
In all public relations, A.A.’s sole objective is to help the still suffering alcoholic. Always mindful of the importance of personal anonymity we believe this can be done by making known to him, and to those who may be interested in his problems, our own experience as individuals and as a Fellowship in learning to live without alcohol. We believe that our experience should be made available freely to all who express sincere interest. We believe further that all efforts in this field should always reflect our gratitude for the gift of sobriety and our awareness that many outside A.A. are equally concerned with the serious problem of alcoholism.
As our co-founder Bill W. wrote: Public Information takes many forms – the simple sign outside a meeting place that says “A.A. meeting tonight;” listing in local phone directories; distribution of A.A. literature; and radio and television shows using sophisticated media techniques. Whatever the form, it comes down to “one drunk carrying the message to another drunk,” whether through personal contact or through the use of third parties and the media.
For those A.A. members who decide to speak about A.A. at a non-A.A. meeting….you assume a serious responsibility. Even though you are careful to explain that you are not speaking for A.A. as a whole, many members of the audience will base their good or bad opinion of the Fellowship on what is said and how it is said. The reaction of nonalcoholic listeners and their consequent referring or failure to refer alcoholics to A.A. may someday mean the difference between life and death to still-suffering alcoholics.