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Join Your Local Professional Organizations!
Professional Organizations are all around you, and shop around, Join the ones that make sense (or cents)!
Better know as CAMA , this is Charlotte’s local chapter of theAmerican Marketing Association. I went to an Orientation meeting held atLGA advertising in Charlotte on Feb 3rd and led by the Christine Eubanks who is the VP of Membership of CAMA and she is also the VP of Management Supervision at LGA, and ran a well-organized professional presentation and had a truly warm personality. I was also greeted by Sheila Neisler (@catalystshelia – Twitter) the VP of Programing who is the owner of Catalyst Consulting who took the time to ask what I did, and explained how that integrates in various areas of the organization, which was very helpful.
The first thing that struck me was that they would have an Orientation for new members or those that had lapsed, to talk about their plans, introduce the officers and explain the many ways in which you can get involved. But, the get involved wasn’t so much doing the groups work, or fold ing paper…the usual thing you think of when you join a group. NO, It was about programs, forums and Sigs, which are small groups within the organization that meet to discuss real topics and share information. Things like Analytics, CRM, Branding, Facebook, Apple, Event Marketing…all relevant stuff.
I’ve been in Professional Groups and Associations, but honestly they did little more than have Happy Hours together, and monthly or bi monthly panel discussions, which were just social gatherings with something to look at.
This group is different! They had plans! They have an agenda! I found No Vendors there. Not one! Just real professionals looking to expand their network and learn something. The Officers were very knowledgeable about the group, it’s purpose and each wanted to expand on some aspect. In essence it’s a growing active organization that is so unlike the others I’ve been in I joined Immediately. So for the $260 for a Corporate membership yearly a I get access to tons of data on the AMA site and also get rosters of members, and chances to partner which is what everyone is doing these days.
Most of all, I felt immediately “accepted” when I walked in the room. Not like a “hi my name is…” accepted, but like I was with my own people. I could hear the background chatter (CRM, ROI, Client Retention, Budget Analysis, Social Media Trends) and it made me feel at home. Ok, not at home, because when I’m home and speak to my wife or kids about a new promotion I’ve worked on or created and What the benefit to the client is and why it’s better than their previous effort, I would just get that age-old look “Yes we have to look interested or he won’t make us a frozen Pizza” Look.
So at the CAMA I could spit out all the jargon and strategy and computer software talk I had, and they actually listened, answered back and I learned “NEW” things. And I was so impressed I volunteered to the Group Membership Sales Manager! I’ll be responsible for contacting Corporations that have group memberships and offering discounts for varying levels of members from their company, showing them the new online tools from the AMA that can help train & inform new employees and offer education on new technology & trends.
What a great opportunity. And I’ll be expanding my network as well. I began thinking that since I was spending so much energy developing my Social Media exposure on-line and realized that I should be doing that in Charlotte with real people. Social Networking means using All the tools, not just hiding behind a monitor and keyboard pretending to be brilliant. It really helps to get out there and actually “Meet” people and share ideas.
What the Take-away here? Well, Get involved! On many Levels! Give your Time & Service! Promote yourself “Live & Virtual”! Most of all there are lots of Organizations out there that are full of great caring people and shop around and don’t stop till you find one that meets or exceeds your expectations.
Learn more about the author, Curt Buthman.
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- american marketing association
- catalyst consulting
- christine eubanks
- corporate membership
- curt buthman
- great marketing organization
- sheila neisler
- social media