Associations and lobbyists get support from new campaign

WASHINGTON: The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) & The Center for Association Leadership launched a campaign April 26 to discourage negative views about associations and lobbyists.

WASHINGTON: The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) & The Center for Association Leadership launched a campaign April 26 to discourage negative views about associations and lobbyists.

The “Power of A” campaign, which targets policymakers in Washington, plans to highlight the role that associations play in providing education, professional development, standards setting, and collaboration and partnerships, said John Graham, CEO of the membership organization.

“People expect that associations are activists and lobbyists, which they are,” he said. “But associations do so much more than advocating or lobbying and we want to get the word out that they do so much more.”

Washington-based ASAE & The Center represent US associations and trade organizations, which have been under recent scrutiny by Congress and the Obama administration.

Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, which was named AOR for the nonprofit in March, is providing support for the integrated campaign, said Graham. It's the first time that ASAE & The Center has hired a PR firm.

The firm developed a Web site, which includes a blog for association leaders and directors to write on topics such as how they and their organizations contribute to the economy, said Danielle Mackey, SVP for Ogilvy.

Other social media elements include the use of Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and Facebook as ways to increase discussions about associations. Media relations is targeting the association community's trade publications and the Washington and political trades publications.

The PR team will put together a report card at the end of May to measure the campaign. Ogilvy plans to look at the number of online conversations about associations and if there is a shift in tone, noted Mackey.

“We want to demonstrate to policymakers that associations truly deserve their place in national discussions,” she said.

The integrated account has a high, six-figure budget, according to Graham.

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