Before the program, an rbb survey showed that 63 percent of the stories about the legal profession were neutral, 30 percent were negative, and only 7 percent portrayed a positive image. Because of the effort of Dignity in Law to get out the word about good things lawyers do, since July, 61 percent of the stories were neutral and 15 percent — or half the previous amount — were negative. Positive stories rose to 24 percent.“We’re getting more stories about good stuff on the pages,” Barney said.The campaign is trying to get four messages through to the public, and almost all of the stories contained the first point that the legal profession is widely misunderstood, Barney said. About 56 percent included that the lawyers make the law work for everyone, and about a fifth had the messages that The Florida Bar is the “gold standard” in protecting the public and that lawyers and judges do good acts every day.The message also got out through special programs at the University of Florida, University of Miami, Florida A&M University, and Bethune-Cookman College football games, talks by Bar President Tod Aronovitz at voluntary bars, media editorial boards, and other groups, messages and information on the Bar’s Web site, direct e-mail messages, and other methods, Barney said.The Bar established a media center on its Web site for reporters, and about 50 have signed up, she said, and another 100 reporters are intermittently using that resource. The program’s goal is to sign up more reporters, she said, and the Bar can both provide background information reporters need for stories and pass along tips for stories.In the coming months, Barney said several ways will be considered to expand the Dignity in Law campaign. Those include having a survey with the Florida Association of Non-profit Organizations to showcase voluntary services members of that group receive from lawyers, additional sporting events, sending monthly e-mails to legislators, working with other state bars for joint programing, initiating a “Shadow a Judge” program for reporters, and preparing a video or handout materials for jury rooms.“This is such an important program – you have to believe it,” Aronovitz said. “We have attempted to undertake something that we have never done before.. . . to speak out about the greatness of our profession.”Aronovitz also said he is getting near unanimous support from lawyers he’s talked with during his travels around the state. “From the e-mails and from the attorneys who walk up to me and talk to me, the lawyers of Florida are truly appreciative of what our Board of Governors is doing,” he said. “Lawyers across the state are getting the message.”Barney said the campaign set a goal of wanting to “reach 116 million media impressions. So far we are up to 79 million.” Dignity in Law campaign gets its message out February 1, 2003 Daniel Staesser Assistant Editor Regular News Dignity in Law campaign gets its message out Assistant EditorMedia coverage and the public perception of lawyers has changed for the better during the first sixth months of the Bar’s Dignity in Law campaign, according to Christine Barney, CEO of rbb, the Coral Gables public relations firm hired to manage the program.“This is not advertising; it is not a [public service announcement] campaign,” Barney said. “It’s not really a PR campaign.. . . it’s an educational campaign. This isn’t about ego. This isn’t about wanting to feel good about our profession.”Barney said the campaign is about steering people away from the perception that lawyers are either inaccessible, too expensive, or unnecessary.Barney said since the program’s inception the number of positive stories about lawyers has been increasing and the number of negative stories has dropped. She said rbb has been tracking print media stories about lawyers and the profession for the past six months, specifically the articles’ tone, and how that tone has changed since the program began.
However, the company is currently locked in heated negotiations with unions about the future structure of the scheme. Royal Mail estimates that it will have exhausted its surplus by next year. It plans to close the defined benefit scheme to future accrual from 31 March 2018, but its restructuring plans have been opposed by unions.Hogg was earlier this month elected as the new chair of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association’s defined benefit council.At National Grid, Hogg will work with CIO Rob Schreur, who has overseen the scheme since joining in 2015 from Philips Pensioenfonds in the Netherlands. The company sold its in-house pension scheme asset manager, Aerion, to Legal & General Investment Management in the same year.National Grid declined to comment. Royal Mail Pension Plan chief executive Chris Hogg is to leave the defined benefit scheme, IPE has learned.He is set to take over as chief executive of the £16.6bn (€18.2bn) National Grid UK Pension Scheme, according to sources familiar with the situation.Hogg joined the £9.8bn Royal Mail scheme in 2009 as head of funding, overseeing the transition from state ownership to privatisation. This involved the government taking on roughly £40bn of liabilities and £28bn of assets in 2012.Following the transfer, and with Hogg as CEO, the scheme retained responsibility for benefits accrued after 31 March 2012. It held £9.8bn in assets at the end of March this year, putting it in surplus – its funding ratio was the best in the FTSE 100 at the end of June, according to consultancy LCP.