Government Relations, Register for Leadership, Membership, and more.
Government Relations, Register for Leadership, Membership, and more.
SEPTEMBER 2020  E-NEWSLETTER
Register for Leadership Conference

Upcoming Events

  • September 24: Council of Governors Leadership Webinar series:
    AAF's Mosaic Center - 2:30pm CDT / 3:30pm EDT
  • September 30 - October 2: Leadership Conference
  • October 21: 3rd COP Conference Call (COTY)
  • October 22: Council of Governors Leadership Webinar series.
  • November 18: AAF Advertising Hall of Achievement
  • November 18: 4th COP Conference Call (COTY)
Register for Leadership Webinar

Shout out to Jonathan Palmisano for this great advice during AAF’s National Government Affairs Committee meeting:

“For those curious about how to know what is upcoming [in legislation], but not stir the pot, we had an event last year and got advice on this from a lobbyist who had recently defended a local company. His advice was two-fold:
  1. Watch your state/local legislative schedules online for anything that is on the agenda/calendar you feel you need to react to.

  2. As a proactive move, you can set yourself up as a go-to contact by doing simple drop-ins to introduce yourself to legislators, give them your contact information, and let them know you’re happy to talk if they ever need anything or have any questions about the local ad industry. This may not work everywhere, but he said in a lot of instances legislators have a LOT of info to digest, so knowing that they have a contact on file can help bring you into the convo.”

Government Relations Chairs:

COVID-19 has created a major hit on our economy, and lawmakers will be looking for ways to raise more money. One of those ways could be an ad tax. In 2018, Leigh Farrior, among others, participated in the National Day on the Hill. She created two presentations, one for District 7 and one for Alabama, that present the economic impact of advertising in our states, and speaks on the privacy laws at that time. A new study has not been done yet, so these are still valid sources of information for economic impact. The privacy laws are still in the works. We have also included the individual studies from each state in PDFs. If you would like the Keynote or Powerpoint file, email leigh@stampideas.com.
View/Download PDFs
Atlanta Ad Club
Cultivating Relationships
How to drive membership for corporate members, individuals as well as students and newcomers to the industry.
  • We have had a tough time driving renewals than past years - American Advertising Awards submissions did not drive renewals as it has in the past. But now that COVID has hit, it’s really about cultivating relationships - we understand that many members don’t have the funds to renew their memberships. But that’s why we want to cultivate the relationships, so once our members have the funds to renew, they are more likely to do that since we’ve provided them value when we weren’t monetarily benefiting.
  • We can work with our education committee to develop student membership highlights and attend meetings (in-person when everything is normal - webinars during COVID).
The power of member to member communication to strengthen connections made through AAC. Encourage members to keep coming back (to events, to our social channels, etc.) and empower members to feel a real belonging to a community.
  • Focus on membership highlights in a blog form or social channels. What are our members doing? Who are the key people that work there? What were their best campaigns/projects the past year?
Member communication to Club: Collect feedback and use this feedback to develop helpful resources and plan events based on what our members find valuable.
  • Communicates via email and social channels.
  • Schedule Zoom meetings with VIP members.
  • Surveys for how we can help our members.
Contact Jenna
Baton Rouge
Providing Value
The 2020-21 year presents many unique challenges, as we all know. Therefore, AAF-Baton Rouge has shifted focus from growing the club's membership to maintaining our current numbers as best we can while providing as much value to our members as possible. We understand that the pandemic and lockdowns put an immense strain on resources for most of our members, so we wanted to make it easier for them to continue membership and also try and help them through this tough time. We took a few different measures to accomplish this:

  • We instated a $50 credit for memberships this year. We did not reduce the cost of membership, but we took $10,000 from the surplus of the 2019-20 budget that was due to our inability to hold in-person events for much of the Spring and applied it to this year's budget for Membership. While we have had several of our members inform us that they are unable to renew their memberships due to budget cuts, we have had several new members join already.

  • We are instituting a new onboarding process for new members. Our Membership Committee will keep in close contact with all new members, personally inviting them to our membership meetings and events so that they feel a part of the group. They will also encourage them to join committees and get involved. We are also planning on holding a New Member social, virtually, and inviting all new members from this year and last year, so that they can ask more questions in a more intimate setting. This will also help us plan better moving forward so that we can make sure these questions are clarified earlier in the membership process.

  • To bring some of our long-standing members who may have been very active in the past, but have stepped away back into the fold, we called each of them personally to gauge their interest in attending in-person meetings. They were flattered that they were called and the response to that was very favorable.

  • We also started a Past-Presidents Council to bring more experienced mentors on as advisors to each of our board members. This not only will give our board members some insight, but it also promotes involvement from past presidents who have been less active since their time on the board and re-engages them.

  • Finally, we decided to go ahead with in-person luncheons and events. We are following strict social distancing and PPE guidelines set forth by our state and we are also streaming the events on Facebook Live for those who are at risk for COVID or not yet comfortable attending in-person events. Our first in-person luncheon was Friday, September 11th. 
    Contact Barb
    Memphis
    Diversity & Inclusion
    We are all facing a challenging year to maintain and grow memberships, while also keeping everyone engaged without being in person. Due to COVID-19, our market saw one-member agency close and others having to pull back on how many members they can afford to have right now. As traditional agencies pare down to weather the storm, we see the opportunity to grow the number of members in the corporate, non-profit, vendor, and in-house agencies sectors by redefining our value proposition: AAF Memphis aims to connect, uplift, and amplify the voices of all members of our local advertising community. In addition, we are working on aligning new membership benefit structures around some or all of these nuanced groups.
    As Memphis is still unable to host live events, we continued with a virtual July luncheon. Typically, we don’t hold a July luncheon so that we can host our board kick-off. However, we felt the discussion on diversity + inclusion during this time was something that would be important to our members and quickly pivoted to embrace the opportunity. We had three talented panelists along with an experienced moderator prepared to speak about their views, their personal history, and what they hope could come from these conversations. We continued the conversation with a follow-up email to attendees to provide even more resources for them to review and pass onto their colleagues and management. This has also been placed on our website and Social.
    All in all, we’ve had emails/messages come in after the luncheon thanking the panelists, moderator, and AAF Memphis for making it happen. We’ve even had an email reaching out about a potential corporate membership. Our community/club had such a positive response to this luncheon, and this is something we are all so passionate about, that we want to continue to develop other ways that we can keep the conversation going on Diversity and Inclusion for the remainder of the year.  

    We are also working on a mentorship initiative with a local university that will focus on professional goals and development. We’ll match students with an industry professional (either from our board or a local agency) specialized in the field the student is currently studying. Although we are still developing our rollout strategy, the goal is to kick off the program later this fall.
    Contact Grace
    Mississippi Gulf Coast
    Program
    Currently, the MS Gulf Coast is having Yeosh Bendayan come to speak with us on October 6th for our monthly program. We are incredibly excited--he will be speaking at our bi-monthly lunch.

    That's the largest program we currently have in works, and we're happily underway making plans for the American Advertising Federation Awards and our next lunch program.
    Contact Maura
    Mobile Bay
    Commemorative Gift
    We welcomed members back with AAF Mobile Bay commemorative insulated cups! In August we hosted an after-hours Virtual Trivia Happy Hour and tested participants skills on their knowledge of brands and logos. On September 24th, we look forward to having another virtual event that we are co-hosting with PRCA Mobile with speaker Alex Ebanks, the Manager of Brand & Business Communications in the North America Public Affairs Department at The Coca-Cola Company. 
    Southern View Media, an AAF Mobile Bay member, offered their social media services to our public service partner, the Mobile Area Council, BSA. Southern View created five weeks’ worth of content along with a posting schedule to help promote their upcoming fundraising event, The Run of the Century.  
    Contact Elise
    North Alabama
    Adapting
    Oh the grand plans we had for expanding membership in the year 2020 BC (Before Covid). We had selected a new membership management software, www.joinit.org, that would allow us to better organize and communicate with our members. The system also interfaced with our accounting software, featured auto-renewals, and was affordable. But without a steady stream of income from monthly luncheons, we have put this on hold. We are hosting a virtual speaker series in place of luncheons. Soon we will move forward with a series of personal videos from members describing why AAF membership is important to them. We have added several new board members. Our main attention will be on creating a fun, successful American Advertising Awards in a socially distanced world. The awards prove to be a good way to engage members.
    Contact Mark
    Tuscaloosa
    Reduced Fee
    Membership Renewals & Acquisition
    As the time for renewals rolled around, we had a significant number of members who were employer-sponsored who were concerned about budget cuts that would affect membership numbers. We decided to use the money that D7 “paid forward” at the end of last year and offer a one-time reduced membership fee so that departments could sponsor the same amount of employees, or at least if someone paid on their own it was more reasonable.

    Member Engagement
    While so far our general membership meetings have remained on Zoom, we are hoping to have an outdoor, socially-distanced meeting this fall so that we can see each other in person. Two projects have also been in the works that are committee-based and engaged a number of people from board members to general members and some potential members. One is our public service “Masks for Tuscaloosa” campaign which has relied on club talents and connections and reached beyond membership to local photographers, social media planners, and account executives. Our club also decided to move forward with our annual fundraiser, the Joel A. Mask Golf Tournament, where the committee is hands-on in approaching how to make the experience safe and fun for all while being profitable for our club. 

    Contact Julie
    Join Communo
    Connect. Collaborate. Thrive. Are you a freelancer looking for a new opportunity? Are you an agency looking to add to your team? With new AAF Partner, Communo, you have the opportunity to do the kind of work you most desire, collaborate with industry experts, grow your team and your business. 

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