In 2006, the World Service Conference approved the adoption of the “Public Relations Handbook” authored by the World Board of Narcotics Anonymous. This service handbook replaces “A Guide to Public Information”, last revised in 1993.
This service handbook release marks the beginning of a new direction in our Fellowship’s relationship with society. The evolution of our fellowship as a viable answer to the addict that stills suffers is dependent on our relations with government agencies, non-government organizations and the public at large.
You may say to yourself, “isn’t that what we do now?”. This “new” direction is about focusing on our relationships rather than just simply conveying information. This is an evolution, or perhaps we can say a revolution, in how we view those who can further our primary purpose.
In addition to the service implications of public relations, the PR Handbook dwells more than ever before into the responsibility of all members of NA, as individuals, groups and service committees, to maintain good relationships with the public. From the NA member at a meeting to the NA members at a convention, all share in supporting a positive image of NA as a whole.
From the Public Relations Statement at the beginning of the PR Handbook:
The Narcotics Anonymous message is “that an addict, any addict, can stop using drugs, lose the desire to use and find a new way to live.” Our relations with the public enable us to share this message broadly so that those who might benefit from our program of recovery can find us. We perform public relations service to increase the awareness and credibility of the NA program. We share our message openly with the public at large, with prospective members, and with professionals. Maintaining an open, attractive attitude in these efforts helps us to create and improve relationships with those outside the fellowship. Establishing and maintaining a commitment to these relationships, can help us to further our primary purpose.
The spiritual principles of our steps, traditions, and concepts guide us in pursuing our public relations aims and our efforts to enhance NA’s public image and reputation. These principles apply to our community and service efforts as well as to the personal behavior and attitude of individual NA members.