Presidents Message – March 2013

President’s Message

I write this as I return from facilitating a meeting between the members of District 4 during the SAGE Show at the Ft. Worth Convention Center. My sincere thanks go to the participants from HPPA, PPAM, PPAS and RMRPPA for your candor and willingness to discuss the significant challenges facing your (and every) regionals. I’m hoping to facilitate similar sessions with the other districts during the course of the year, and the information received will play an integral role in our rework of the RAC strategic plan as 2013 draws to a close.PPWW_EventBannerBw

We’re also wrapping up the inaugural Promotional Products Work! Week. It has been interesting to watch the regional communities as they sought their paths to impactful participation in this event. We’ll highlight what we saw as best practices along the normal social media channels in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

As PPW!W draws to a close, we now turn our attention to the next important event that demands our attention and participation, L.E.A.D.

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During the District 4 session, I posed the following question to the participants:

Imagine a scenario where Congress is considering a bill that would be a “poison pill” to particular facets of our industry. Legislation, if passed, which would impose a tax on any item in excess of $10, used as advertising.  The effect of this bill would represent sea-change to our industry and could severely damage our ability to sell product.

Would we, as regional associations, be able to mobilize in time to prevent passage of such legislation?  Could we rely upon our industry’s legacy of cooperation and contact between us and those members of government to understand the impact of that type of tax on our businesses and our families?

In much the same way as pursuing a new client, the process to earn a politician’s favor doesn’t occur overnight. It requires concerted and concentrated effort over time to be successful.  While we may not be under immediate threat today, it’s important to create relationships NOW to ensure our ability to convey any message necessary to our elected officials should such a situation like the one I described above occur.

So, I ask, how can you and YOUR regional L.E.A.D. every day? See the April L.E.A.D. event not merely as an annual event, but as the culmination of an entire year’s worth of activity that begins and is sustained at the regional level. Activity of this type speaks to the core values of what your regional association should be doing for its members.

As frequently occurs when the leaders of regionals get together, the conversation turned to brainstorming ways to reach non-members.  It’s clear that non-member engagement is a vexing, top-of-mind topic for our member regionals. Consider getting our non-member partners to participate with us as we strive to promote and protect the industry that we call home by virtue of such activities as PPW!W and L.E.A.D.  How can you use these important initiatives that impact members and non-members alike to build relationships that will increase your membership ranks?  We’ll consider this topic in great detail for the remainder of the year and will seek discussion and best practices in these arenas.

As always, I look forward to the conversations these topics might create. Feel free to contact me or any other member of your RAC Board to share your critique or provide feedback.

Sincerely,

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Roger Burnett

President

2013 RAC Board of Directors

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