Public Information Committee
The purpose of the public information committee is to carry the AA message to the alcoholic who still suffers. Utilizing literature and service material available on the A.A. World Services Website and working together, the members of the committee convey information to the general public, schools, students and media professionals. Questions pertaining to anonymity of AA members at the public level, what AA does and does not do, and how we can be found are our prime focus. The public information chair also works closely with the website committee overseeing our Area 79 Website and maintains the content of the “About AA” pages. It is also important to be in contact and available to DCM’s and District PI Committee Chairs for matters concerning PI at a district level.
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.
The Public Information Committee Chair is an appointed position on the General Service Committee. For more information about the duties and responsibilities of the Chairperson, please see the Job Description below.
To register your District Public Information Committee Chair, email the Registrar.
The Public Information Committee (formed in 1956) very often overlaps with the Cooperation with the Professional Community Committee (CPC) and vice versa. We work very closely in Area 79, but are separate Committees. Many Districts join the two and find this works very well for them. These two Committees used to be one at the General Service Office and were separated as a result of an advisory action at the 1971 General Service Conference. For more information email the CPC Chair.
For those wishing to submit their resumes for either an elected or appointed position on the Area 79 General Service Committee, please download the suggested service resume form Service Resume. The link will reroute you to our elections section of our website. The use of the resume form is not mandatory for either elected positions or appointed positions. However, its use does assist both the candidate and the Fellowship in several ways. These include the provision of consistent information in an organized way and assisting candidates in adhering to time limits for presentation of resumes.
To let your name stand for an appointed position please see: Elections Page
Public Information Activity Subsidy
The membership voted in favour of providing a one-year Public Information Activity Subsidy for 2022. The motion read: “That Area 79 BC/Yukon create a subsidy for Districts and/or Intergroups, for 2022 only, for Public Information activities.”
“Any District or Intergroup can apply for up to $5,000 and the total amount of subsidies issued would not exceed $30,000.” The purpose of the subsidy it to make funds available to Districts and Intergroups to support them in their Public Information efforts and activities. The guidelines regarding the subsidy as well as the application form and reporting form are provided at the links below.
The following links are to pages on A.A.’s World Services Website (www.aa.org) from which the indicated resources may be accessed:
- Public Information Workbook (booklet)
- Public Information Guidelines (pdf, 4 pages)
- Speaking at Non-AA Meetings (pamphlet)
- What AA Does and Does Not Do [in: Information on Alcoholics Anonymous]
- Understanding Anonymity (pamphlet)
- Anonymity Letter to the Media
- Videos and Audio PSA’s (flash)
- About AA – A Newsletter for Professionals [Current & past issues available]
- AA Membership Survey (pamphlet)
- Internet Guidelines (pdf, 6 pages)
- Anonymity Online (SM F-197) (pdf, 2 pages)
- Anonymity is Fragile Poster (English) (pdf, 1 page)
- Anonymity is Fragile Poster (French) (pdf, 1 page)
- Anonymity is Fragile Poster (Spanish) (pdf, 1 page)
- Task List (from BC/Yukon Area 79) (pdf , 2 pages)
Public Information Committee Chair: Job Description
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. Public information, unlike many other service positions, does not usually carry the message directly to the alcoholic who still suffers. The function of public information is to inform the community through the media, schools, industry and other organizations which can report on the nature of Alcoholics Anonymous and what it can do for alcoholics. P.I. not only informs of the existence of A.A., it also informs on what A.A. does and, equally importantly, what A.A. does not do. By this means, the friends, families and employers of alcoholics become aware of what A.A. is and is not, and can pass this information along to the still-suffering alcoholic.
Public information has been, and still is, a vital link in carrying the message of Alcoholics Anonymous, as well as a rewarding service position in- the general service structure of Alcoholics Anonymous.
- To support our Area 79 P.I. Committees and Districts with their Public Information efforts
- to assist Districts in setting up P.I. Committees through workshops, attending District Committee meetings or providing information to individual P.I. committee members in various Districts.
- Offering to host virtual meetings between Quarterlies and Assemblies, to encourage the exchange of District P.I. Committee shared experience.
- Channel information from GSO to Districts.
- Work with CPC chair to edit and publish the Inter-Com newsletter. This is distributed to all DCM’s, District P.I. Chairs and District CPC Chairs via email.
- Answer any contacts and requests for information as they apply to Public Information, or steer inquirer to the appropriate resources. For instance:
- Carry out public information presentations and be available to answer media requests.
- Forward all General Service Office news releases to local media for immediate release, always providing a copy of the “Letter to the Media”
- Provide public service announcements upon request
- Working with the Literature Chair, monitor inventory of PSA cards and order as necessary.
Duties Common to all GSC Members
- Attend and participate in all regularly scheduled General Service Committee (GSC) meetings (held in Vancouver on the first Wednesday of each month). Meetings could also be held virtually when necessary.
- Reply to email, telephone and written questions. Willingness to learn and develop computer/technical skills as necessary.
- Attend and participate in all quarterlies and assemblies in-person or virtually as required.
- At each quarterly, assembly and GSC meeting, provide reports on activities since the previous event.
- Chair appropriate committee at quarterlies and assemblies. Assist with venue set up and tear down.
- Maintain contact with district and local committee chairs.
- Maintain contact with district committee members (DCMs) assigned to GSC member’s committee.
- Submit regular monthly expense reports to the treasurer.
- Participate in preparation for the General Service Conference by reviewing and summarizing the assigned agenda background material, providing information to DCMs, chairing the committee meeting at the Pre-conference Assembly, and providing the committee’s recommendations to the assembly and delegate.
- Facilitate workshops.
- Participate on Ad Hoc committees as required.
- Be available for travel assignments, including taking Area 79 archives and/or Grapevine kits to A.A. events.
- Review www.bcyukonaa.org content as it relates to the member’s position, providing updates and new materials to the website chair as needed.
- Prepare and assist for transition of your position at end of your rotation. Ensure flash drive is updated regularly and provided to Secretary annually.
- Maintaining blue boards/display boards and literature supplies for travel events.
- The time commitment required is substantial and will vary from position to position, and also with the particular skills possessed by the member. Generally, some time will be spent every day to check and respond to emails and phone messages. Some jobs have workloads that are heavier at certain times than at others.
- It is encouraged that you speak with members of the GSC (current or past) to ask more specific questions if you wish to put your name forward for a position.
- General Service Committee membership may sound demanding, but, as we so often find in A.A., the rewards are far greater than time and effort put in.