Wednesday, March 30, 2011

30 Years of Helping Associations and Societies


Since it’s our 30th anniversary year, we’re occasionally using this blog to turn the spotlight on ourselves. Today, let me focus it on one of our strongest practice areas – our work with trade associations, professional societies and non-profit coalitions.

Over the years we’ve worked for more than 125 “501(c)” organizations, as we call them, based on their tax code designation – from many of the most influential in the country, like the Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to important niche associations like the Envelope Manufacturers Association Foundation and the Healthcare Distribution Management Association, to a wide range of professional and technical societies, such as the American Physical Society, the International Association of Forensic Nurses and the Reserve Officers Association.

Just this year alone our 501(c) clients cover the waterfront – from the Solar Electric Power Association to the Construction Specifications Institute, from the Direct Selling Association to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, from the Snack Food Association to the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. They represent important industries and professions, and we are proud to be associated with them.

Our services for them also cover a wide range: marketing and positioning, strategic communications planning, media outreach, speeches and editorial products, graphics and design, social media, crisis management and helping reach decision-makers on key public policy issues. We work hard to understand the communications and marketing challenges facing associations, and to have the capabilities that will help them succeed.

One of our proudest measurements of success with associations is the long-term relationship we have maintained with many of them, despite management changes, industry upheavals and ever-evolving communications technologies. As examples, we have worked for the IEEE Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology Society for a decade, for the National Fenestration Rating Council for 15 years, and for the Edison Electric Institute – off and on, with projects almost every year – since 1981, our very first year in business.

The 501(c) world is a huge one. It includes over ninety thousand 501(c)(6) trade associations and well over a million 501(c)(3) societies. The Washington metropolitan area is the home of most national trade associations, but tens of thousands of other associations and societies operate across the country. We have been fortunate to with leading 501(c) organizations not just in the DC area, but also in over a dozen other states, from Connecticut to California (including Texas, I'm proud to point out). We’ve also been active with the American Society of Association Executives – serving on committees and speaking at conferences – to help us stay on top of the issues facing associations and savvy about their best practices. With 30 years under our belt, we like to think we're succeeding.

- Potomac Communications Group

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