Professional Organizations Promote Idea
Sharing, Innovation and Ethics
by Chad Rueffert


In Colorado Springs and throughout Colorado, there are accomplished groups of marketing professionals who meet on a regular basis to network, share ideas and discuss the latest marketing innovations.  These groups are frequented by advertising, media and other industry professionals, but welcome business owners and marketing directors from small and large businesses alike.  While many larger companies regularly send their marketing personnel to these groups, the small business sector is underrepresented and yet has the potential to benefit in even greater ways from these associations.  If you’re new to the area, new to the marketing profession, or simply want to learn more and meet new people in the industry, here are several organizations worth considering.
 
Pikes Peak Advertising Federation (PPAF)
www.ppaf.org
Jamie Purewal, Executive Director 
(719) 487-8512


The PPAF is the local chapter of a nationwide organization dedicated to helping advertising professionals, students and the public better understand the role of advertising in our economic system and improve the quality of advertising through the exchange of ideas.  They hold monthly luncheons with guest speakers and also have several committees that organize events like the ADDY Awards.  Corporate membership is $250 each year and individual memberships are available for $85.  Guests are welcome at the monthly luncheons.
 
American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT)
www.awrt.org
Melissa Wilcoxson
(719) 473-8900


AWRT is a non-profit, professional organization of women and men who work in the electronic media and allied fields.  They hold a monthly meeting and coordinate annual events such as the Media Auction and the AME Awards.  Annual dues are $125.
 
Rocky Mountain Direct Marketing Association (RMDMA)
www.rmdma.org
Sandi Rhynard, Executive Director 
(303) 914-8407


The association sponsors various trade shows, including Direct Marketing Day, with hundreds of attendees, 30 trade show booths, a keynote luncheon speaker, and an afternoon of seminars. RMDMA continues to bring in top-notch speakers for monthly luncheon meetings. Past speakers have included Arthur Hughes, Martha Rogers, Ed Brunett, Gene Delpolito, Jack Schmid, John Daly and Claude Grizzard...all respected leaders in direct marketing.  There have been various awards for direct marketing excellence over the years, including "The Rockies". Currently, RMDMA honors one outstanding individual every year as "Direct Marketer of the Year." RMDMA sponsors the only certification program for direct marketing in the Western United States through Regis University. Individual membership to RMDMA is $150 and corporate membership is $650.

Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
www.prsacoloradosprings.org
Frederick Morgan, President
(719) 262-0419
 
This is the world’s largest organization for public relations professionals with nearly 20,000 members and 100 chapters.  More than 6000 students belong to the affiliated group, The Public Relations Student Society of America.Like other PRSA chapters, the local chapter exists to increase your employability, skills and contacts as well as your job satisfaction. The chapter encourages research, discussion and study of the problems and techniques associated with public relations practice while maintaining the highest standards of service and ethical conduct. By exchanging ideas and experiences, members enhance and improve their professional knowledge and standing.  Dues for the local chapter are only $35.  Please visit www.prsa.org for more information on membership.  You do not need to be a member to attend the monthly programs.
 
Council of Professionals in Media (CPM)
Sherry Punches
(719) 634-1771


CPM is an informal association of marketing professionals involved in media planning and buying.  They meet monthly to share ideas and experience and often feature a guest speaker.  There are no dues to be a member other than the costs of the luncheons.
 
International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)
Tyra Sandoval, Member Recruitment
(719) 389-8820
www.iabc.com


IABC is a professional organization of more than 13,000 communications professionals in more than 40 countries, and it's the only international organization for communicators. Members work in all areas of business communication: marketing, advertising, corporate communications, public relations, writing, editing, audio-visual production, video production, design and photography. Experience ranges from the student level to senior management.  The goal of the organization is to share experience with each other, strengthen communications skills, and promote communications excellence and professional ethics. National dues are $175 plus a $40 application fee.  Call for information about local dues.