• TIME: 9:00 AM to 4:OOPM
TOM R. and Bill L.
PUBLIC INFORMATION and COOPERATION with the Professional community (PI/CPC)
CONTACT: kathy atlas 301-475-2381 or gloria daniels 301-737-1138
Presented by the pi/cpc committee
What Does P.I./C.P.C. Mean, anyway?
• P.I. stands for Public Information and
• C.P.C. stands for Cooperation with the
Professional Community
In 1956, the Public Information Committee of the General
Service Board was formed to better inform the public about
Alcoholics Anonymous. In 1971, the Cooperation with the
Professional Committee was formed to better distribute A.A.
information to those in contact with alcoholics through their
professions. In some locales, P.I. and C.P.C. committees are
separate, here they function as one committee covering two
• Thus, P.I./C.P.C.
What is A.A. Public Information?
“Public Information (P.I.) in Alcoholics
Anonymous means carrying the message
of recovery to the still-suffering
alcoholic [inside and outside the rooms] by
the general public about the A.A.
(P.5; Public Information Workbook, 1994)
The first Public Information committee in A.A.
was formed by the General Services 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 Services 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 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.”
(P.6; Public Information Workbook, 1994)
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.”
(P.6; Public Information Workbook,
Origin And Purpose Of C.P.C.
“Our Twelfth Step – carrying the message–is
the basic service that the A.A. Fellowship
gives; this is our principle aim and the main
reason for our existence. Therefore, A.A. is
more than a set of principles; it is a society
for alcoholics in action, We must carry the
message, else we ourselves can wither and
those who haven’t been given the truth
may die.”
(The A.A. Service Manual, “A.A.’s Legacy of Service” p.S1)
What Are Our Public Information Goals?
To encourage, inform and stimulate active participation in outreach work
at some level by the A.A. fellowship of District 36.
To assure that all three branches of the St. Mary’s County Library has a
routinely stocked literature rack and at least one copy of the Big Book,
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, and Living Sober in both English
and Spanish. Hopefully, in the next year we will also have the same in our
local High School and College libraries.
Place a literature rack in the Hospital and police station keeping it stacked
with appropriate literature and meeting schedules.
Put meeting schedules behind the front desks at every hotel, motel, and
Participate in District and Area A.A. Seminars and conventions.
Cooperate with the C&T, Grapevine, and Archives Committees
Present at the local St. Mary’s County Fair in September and the St.
Mary’s County Oyster Festival in October with a well-stocked information
Send P.I. letters to every High School, College and Civic Organization,
offering A.A. literature and/or a presentation on A.A. –what we do and
what we do not do.
What Are Our C.P.C.
Prepare Literature packets for the various Target Populations
for distribution and presentations.
Send letters to Professionals who may have contact with stillsuffering alcoholics; which includes Doctors, Nurses,
Therapist, Counselors, Lawyers, DWI Monitors, Probation
Officers, Juveniles Services, Social Services, Teachers,
Employers, and Clergy offering A.A. literature and/or a
presentation on A.A. – what we do and what we do not do.
Provide appropriate A.A. literature and meeting schedules to
Doctor, Lawyer and Therapy offices/clinics.
Establish an “Outreach One-to-One Sponsoring” program where
a Professional or Student is given an opportunity to
experience first-hand an open A.A. meeting and real chance to
get to know an individual A.A. member.
“The A.A. program works when an active alcoholic
wants help, and A.A. is on hand to give that help.
However, somewhere in the background, there has
usually been the help of a doctor, alcoholism agency
or facility, relative, employer, teacher, someone who
knew about A.A. and where to find it.
Final PI/CPC Goal As Directed By
The G.S.O.
“Fight apathy within the
fellowship, find a co-chair and
interested people in order to
achieve [the stated goals], and
most importantly, keep your
sanity and Stay away from the
first drink”.
(P. 8, Public Information Workbook)
Three Levels of Doing Public Information Outreach in Our
Public Information Outreach is Twelfth Step work in Action. It starts with
the Individual AA and the Group. It progresses to the District, the
Intergroup, and the Area on up to General Services.
Who Are Our Target Outreach Populations?
The fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous of District 36.
Newcomers and inquirers of A.A.
Local treatment and corrections facilities.
The General Public or anyone in need of A.A. literature
and/or an A.A. contact.
Professionals in contact and treatment of the still-suffering
The clergy and their congregations.
Employers and employees dealing with effects of
alcoholism in the workplace.
Teenagers and young adults in our local High Schools and
Civic Organizations
Carrying the Message; To:
Families and Friends
Medical and
Still-Suffering Alcoholic
Correctional Facilities
Who Can Be a “Bridging the Gap”
Outreach Volunteer?
• A.A.’s with an interest and willingness to take
Twelfth Step work to another level of Service.
• A.A.’s in Recovery with a minimum of one
year continuous sobriety, who have/is
working the 12 Steps of A.A.
• A.A.’s with less than one year of sobriety who
are studying and working the steps of A.A.
and are co-sponsored by another A.A. with
the afore-mentioned requirements.
the Message; How:
Professionals and
Sponsoring the
Forums and
Conference Approved
“When Someone Reaches Out for the Hand of A.A.
Let Me Be There. For That I Am Responsible.”
What Can I Do As An
– Share with your family and close friends about A.A. Encourage them to
seek more information.
– Greet the Newcomer and give them a Newcomer packet. Tell then
about A.A. and to keep coming back.
– Celebrate A.A. “Anniversaries” to show the Program works.
– Become a Sponsor and part of a recovery network – Talk to an AA’s/
Sponsee’s family, if appropriate.
– As a Sponsor, introduce your Sponsee to the 12 recommended Basic
Information Pamphlets and help guide and prepare him/her for Service
work at the Group, Intergroup and District levels.
– Share information about A.A. with outside contacts – Doctors,
Therapists, Lawyers, etc.
– Attend , and hopefully participate in, District committees and local
workshops, seminars and A.A. sponsored social functions.
– Become a GSR or Intergroup Representative for your Home Group.
– Become a Bridging the Gap Outreach Volunteer for the PI/CPC and/or
the C&T committees.
– Work and live the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions and practice
these principles in all your affairs.
Service Sponsorship
“…A.A. service is anything whatever that
helps us to reach a fellow sufferer-ranging
all the way from the Twelfth Step itself to a
ten cent phone call and a cup of coffee,
and to A.A.’s General Service Office for
national and international action. The sum
total of all these services is our Third
Legacy of Service.-The A.A. Service
manual/Twelve Concepts for World
Service, p. S1.” (p.28, “Questions and Answers on
Choose or Become a
Service Sponsor
“Sponsorship in A.A. is basically the
same, whether helping another
individual’s recovery or service to a
group. It can be defined as one
alcoholic who has made some progress
in recovery and/or performance in
service, sharing this experience with
another alcoholic who is just starting
the journey. Both types of service
spring from the spiritual aspects of the
program.” (p.28)
Responsibilities of a Service Sponsor:
Help individuals understand the distinction between serving the needs of the
fellowship and meeting the personal needs of another group member.
It is the Service Sponsors responsibility to
present the various aspects of service:
• Setting up a meeting.
• Make the Coffee.
• Be the Greeter.
• Become the Chair, Secretary, or Treasurer of
a Group.
Working on Committees.
Be come a G.S.R./G.R. for the District or
Participating in Conferences.
Become a Committee Chair/Co-Chair.
Become the D.C.M.
Dr. Bob’s Viewpoint
“I spend a great deal of time
passing on what I learned to others
who want and need it badly. I do it
for four reasons:
Sense of duty.
It is a pleasure.
Because in doing so I am paying
my debt to the man who took time
to pass it on to me.
Because every time I do it I take out
a little more insurance for myself
against a slip.” (p.29)
What Can “WE” Do As A Group?
– Be well-informed about the Steps, Traditions and Concepts of
A.A. and practice these principles.
– Welcome Newcomers and provide them with Conference
Approved Literature.
– Pass around a Where and When for A.A. phone #’s for the
– Have an active Sponsors List available for any AA who may
need it.
– Encourage the Newcomer to “Keep Coming Back”.
– Encourage the fellowship to participate in the District and
Intergroup outreach projects.
– Have an active GSR and Intergroup Representative who gives
monthly reports to the fellowship.
– Have an active Secretary who informs the Home Group of
upcoming anniversaries, events, and Committee, District,
Intergroup and Area meetings
What Can “WE” Do As A District?
Be fully acquainted with Conference Approved
Literature, Guidelines and the A.A. Service Manual.
Assure the proper use of the Traditions and
Concepts within the District.
Develop and Support Outreach Committees such as
PI/CPC, C&T, Grapevine and Archives.
Develop open communications with the Intergroup
(SMIA) organization.
Participate in Area Conferences.
Provide Information to GSR’s to disseminate to their
Home Groups.
Become an Outreach Sponsor to
Professionals and Professional
Many professionals and professional students
who treat/service alcoholics have never been
to an open A.A. meeting. “The goal is to
eradicate stereotypes about A.A. by giving the
professional/professional student first-hand
experience of A.A. meetings and the chance to
get to know an individual A.A. member.”
(p.19, Cooperation With the Professional Community Workbook; 1995)
G.S.O. Guidelines for Volunteer Outreach A.A.
Sponsors from the C.P.C. Workbook, page 20-21
• A Volunteer Outreach A.A. Sponsor should have a minimum of
one to two years of sobriety, knowledge of the Traditions and
service structure, and some service experience (group,
intergroup or general service).
• Volunteers should contact the prospective professional/student
promptly and let the PI/CPC Committee know of any difficulties.
• Schedule the meeting at the professional’s/student’s
• Attend only open A.A. meetings, preferably those the volunteer
sponsor is familiar with and where he or she is known.. Avoid
hospital, rehab, or institution meetings.
• In order to help the attendee experience a typical meeting,
introduce them as a professional/professional student to the
entire group after the meeting rather than before.
• One-to-one contact is important. Do not travel to the meeting
with other A.A. friends.
• Let the attendee ask the questions; don’t tell them everything.
• When sharing a personal opinion, make it clear that you do not
speak for A.A. as a whole.
• Offer the attendee a Conference Approved Literature packet.
What is Our PI/CPC Currently Doing?
1. Our P.I. Committee is currently trying to arrange for local TV coverage.
2. We need to look into Radio coverage.
3. Our P.I. Committee has donated books, in English and Spanish, to all three branches of
the St. Mary’s County Library and maintains literature racks at each branch.
4. Maintenance and location of other literature racks need to be reviewed and re-organized.
5. St Mary’s County Meeting lists are provided to every hotel, motel and Bed & Breakfast.
6. Our P.I. Committee is participating for the second year with an Information Booth at the
St. Mary’s County Fair and the St. Mary’s County Oyster Festival.
7. Our P.I. Committee in cooperation with the C&T Committee is facilitating and
communicating with the staff at the Compass House.
8. In cooperation with the C&T Committee, our P.I. Committee is trying to organize and
schedule women to take meetings into the jail on a regular basis.
19. The use of an A.A. meeting sign is not generally used here in St, Mary’s. It is worth
10. Future plans include putting A.A. books in all the High Schools and in the two local
11. Public Information Outreach letters are planned to be distributed for late winter to all
the High Schools and the two Colleges. Other target groups will be done periodically.
1. Our Southern Maryland Intergroup (SMIA) is responsible for publishing their #
and the “800” information # in the local phone directories. It currently appears in
the Verizon phone book, the Southern Maryland phone book and in the St. Mary’s
County Community Phone Book.
Why Conference Approved Literature
and Other Service Material?
• Conference approved literature
consists of books, booklets,
pamphlets, guidelines, audio and
audio-visual material that has
been specifically approved and
published by the General Service
Office(G.S.O.) of Alcoholics
Anonymous in order to assure that
everyone receives the same,
accurate A.A. information. The
literature is a compilation of
A.A.’s experience, strength, and
hope for the last 66 years.
Working Within The Traditions
“The Twelve Traditions are Our
Traditions and the responsibility for
preserving them is Ours…We
cannot expect others to
understand and observe the
Traditions if we are poorly
informed ourselves…An
understanding of all the Traditions
and a firm grasp of the anonymity
Traditions are especially vital.” (p.9)
More About the Traditions
“Thoughtful reading of A.A. literature
(Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions and
the pamphlets “A.A. Tradition – How It
Developed” and “The Twelve Traditions
Illustrated”) is essential for anyone who
works with non-A.A.’s.
Of course, all the Traditions are
important in this Twelfth Step work; and
Traditions Six, Eight, Eleven and Twelve
are directly related to it.” (p.9)
“The pamphlet “Understanding
Anonymity” and the Anonymity
Wallet Card are useful in making the
A.A. anonymity principle clear to the
public. (Remember , it is not a break
of Tradition Eleven when you
privately identify yourself as an A.A.
member to non-A.A.’s encountered in
the course of P.I. (C.P.C.) work.)”
Anonymity in Public Information
No Frontal Pictures OR
Full Name Disclosure
The Importance of Anonymity
An understanding of AA’s 12th
Tradition of anonymity as it applies to
individuals and to public information is
essential and is considered to be the
cornerstone and greatest single
protection assuring the continued
existence and growth of our fellowship.
Our co-founder, Bill W., wrote
extensively about anonymity more than
forty plus years ago. These inspired
words still stand true to form today as
they did when first written. The
following 12 quotes expresses the core
of this principle.
Anonymity – the Need
1. “In my belief, the entire future of our fellowship
hangs upon this vital principle. If we continue
to be filled with the spirit and practice of
anonymity, no shoal or reef can wreck us. If we
forget this principle, the lid to Pandora’s Box
will be off and the spirits of Money, Power, and
Prestige will be loosed among us. Obsessed
by these evil genii, we might well founder and
break up. I devoutly believe this will never
happen. No A.A. principle merits more study
and application than this one. I am positive that
A.A.’s anonymity is the key to long-time
(A.A. Comes of Age, pp. 131-32)
Bill’s Last Message
“Anonymity has two attributes essential to our
individual and collective survival; the spiritual
and the practical. On the spiritual level,
anonymity demands the greatest discipline of
which we are capable; on the practical level
anonymity has brought protection for the
newcomer, respect and support of the world
outside, and security from those of us who
would use A.A. for sick and selfish purposes.”
(Bill’s Last Message)
Anonymity as a spiritual message
“We are sure that humility, expressed by anonymity, is
the greatest safeguard that Alcoholics Anonymous can
ever have,”
“…anonymity is real humility at work. It is an allpervading spiritual quality which today keynotes A.A.
life everywhere. Moved by the spirit of anonymity, we try
to give up our natural desires for personal distinction as
A.A. members both among fellow alcoholics and before the
general public. As we lay aside these very human
aspirations, we believe that each of us takes part in the
weaving of a protective mantle which covers our whole
Society and under which we may grow and work in
(Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 187)
Sacrifice and Survival
4. “The spiritual substance of
anonymity is sacrifice. Because
A.A.’s Twelve Traditions repeatedly
ask us to give up personal desires
for the common good, we realize
that the sacrificial spirit, well
symbolized by anonymity, is the
foundation of all these Traditions.
It is A.A.’s proven willingness to
make these sacrifices that gives
people high confidence in our
Anonymity as a Personal Choice
“…While it is quite evident that the most of us believe in
anonymity, our practice of the principle does vary a great
“Of course, it should be the privilege, even the right, of each
individual or group to handle anonymity as they wish.
But to do that intelligently we shall need to be convinced
that the principle is a good one for practically all of us;
indeed we must realize that the future safety and
effectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous may depend upon
its preservation.”
(The Language of the Heart, p. 15)
“It should be the privilege of each individual A.A. to cloak
himself with as much personal anonymity as he desires.
His fellow A.A.’s should respect his wishes and help guard
whatever status he wants to assume.”
Anonymity at the Group Level
6. “In practice then, the principle of anonymity
seems to come down to this: with one very
important exception, the question of how far
each individual or group shall go in dropping
anonymity is left strictly to the individual or group
concerned. The exception is: that all groups or
individuals, when writing or speaking for
publication as members of Alcoholics
Anonymous, feel bound never to disclose their
true names. It is at this point of publication that
we should draw the line on anonymity. We ought
not disclose ourselves to the general public
through the media of the press, in pictures or on
the radio.”
(“A.A. Tradition – How It Developed,” p. 41)
Anonymity at the Public Level
“Great modesty and humility are needed by every A.A. member for
his own permanent recovery. If these virtues are such vital needs to
the individual, so must they be to A.A. as a whole. This principle of
anonymity before the general public can, if we take it seriously
enough, guarantee the Alcoholics Anonymous movement these sterling
attributes forever. Our public relations policy should mainly rest upon
the principle of attraction and seldom, if ever, upon promotion.”
“The old files at A.A. headquarters reveal many scores
of…experiences with broken anonymity. Most of them point up the
same lessons.
“They tell us that we alcoholics are the biggest rationalizes in the
world; that fortified with the excuse we are doing great things for
A.A. we can, through broken anonymity, resume our old and
disastrous pursuit of personal power and prestige, public honors, and
money-the same implacable urges that when frustrated once caused
us to drink; the same forces that are today ripping the globe apart at
the seams. Moreover, they make clear that enough spectacular
anonymity breakers could someday carry our whole society down into
the ruinous dead end with them.”
(Best of the Grapevine, Vol. 1, p. 278)
Media Attitudes Toward Anonymity
“…almost every newspaper reporter who covers us
complains, at first, of the difficulty of writing his story
without names. But he quickly forgets his difficulty
when he realizes that here is a group of people who
care nothing for personal gain.”
(The Language of the Heart. Pp. 17-18)
“For many years, news channels all over the world
have showered A.A. with enthusiastic publicity, a
never-ending stream of it, far out of proportion to the
news value involved. Editors tell us why this is. They
give us extra space and time because their confidence
in A.A. is complete. The very foundation of that high
confidence is, they say, our continual insistence of
personal anonymity at the press level.”
(Best of the Grapevine, Vol. 1, p. 280)
Anonymity Breaks
9. “Of course, no A.A. need be anonymous to family, friends, or
neighbors…But before the general public-press, radio, films, television, and
the like-the revelation of full names and pictures is the point of peril. This is
the main escape hatch for the fearful destructive force that still latent in us
all. Here the lid can and must stay down.”
(Best of the Grapevine, Vol. 1, pp. 279-80)
“…we are certain if such [worldly] forces ever rule our Fellowship, we will
perish too, just as other societies have perished throughout human history.
Let us not suppose for a moment that we recovered alcoholics are so much
better or stronger than other folks; or that because in twenty years nothing
has ever happened to A.A., nothing can.”
(ibid, pp. 278-79)
“Our really great hope lies in the fact that our total experience, as alcoholics
and as A.A. members, has at least taught us the immense power of these
forces of self-destruction. These hard-won lessons have made us entirely
willing to undertake every personal sacrifice necessary for the preservation
of our treasured Fellowship.”
(ibid, p. 280)
Bill’s Experience
10. “…I was once a breaker of
anonymity myself…I learned that
the temporary or seeming good
can often be the deadly enemy of
the permanent best. When it
comes to survival for A.A.,
nothing short of our best will be
good enough.”
(ibid, p. 280)
Rationalization of Anonymity Breaks
11. “…they [anonymity breakers] express the belief
that our anonymity Tradition is wrong-at least for
them…They forget that, during their drinking days,
prestige and achievement of worldly ambition were
their principle aims. They do not realize that, by
breaking anonymity, they are unconsciously
pursuing those old and perilous illusions once
more. They forget that the keeping of one’s
anonymity often means a sacrifice of one’s desire
for power, prestige, and money. They do not see
that if these strivings became general in A.A., the
course of our whole history would be changed;
that we would be sowing the seeds of our own
destruction as a society.”
(From a letter by Bill W., 1958, As Bill Sees It, p. 41)
Consequences of Anonymity Breaks
12. “Any who would drop their
must reflect that
they may set a precedent which
could eventually destroy a
valuable principle. We must
never let any immediate
advantage shake us in our
determination to keep intact such
a really vital tradition.”
(“A.A. Tradition – How It Developed,”
p. 41)
Reflections on Anonymity from the
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
from Page 30 of the Public
Information Workbook
“Our public relations policy is based on
attraction rather than promotion.”
“To us the Tradition of anonymity is far
more than a sound public relations policy.
It is more a denial of self-seeking.”
“We need always maintain personal
anonymity at the level of press, radio,
and films.”
“Anonymity to this extent is actually the
practice of genuine humility.”
“The spiritual substance of anonymity is
“Moved by the spirit of anonymity, we try
to give up our natural desires for personal
distinction both among fellow alcoholics and
before the general public.”
“We are sure that humility, expressed by
anonymity, is the greatest safeguard that
Alcoholics Anonymous can ever have.”
“Even within the Fellowship every
member’s name and story needs to be
confidential if the member so wishes.”
“As a Fellowship, we wish to publicize
our principles and our work but not
individual members.”
“This Tradition of anonymity is a
constant and practical reminder that
personal ambition has no place in
Our Special Thanks to Bill and Bob!
Remember, we are never alone!
The End
• “Thank you” to
everyone who has
helped prepare and
put on this
• “Thank You” to all
of you for
attending and