WebCPA received a complaint from the Association for Accounting Marketing in response to a recent Inside Views column:

Many of us at AAM were let down to read your article, “They Should have ‘AAM-ed’ a Bit Higher,” posted August 3, 2009 on WebCPA.com.

The most concerning part is we believe you did not have all of your facts straight. A conversation would have provided the needed clarity and continued to build upon a mutually beneficial relationship.

AAM made a good faith effort to communicate thoroughly and appropriately about the changes in our management company. This included two letters from Immediate Past President, Jamie Trayner, sent on May 21 and June 29 to all our contacts (media and otherwise), including an Accounting Today e-mail address. Obviously the messages were not routed to you. We would have gladly sent directly to you had we been informed that you were our contact.

I have attached copies of these letters for your information. You will note that both of these communications were personal messages and not in the form of news releases. This is because we did not feel that a change in our management company was newsworthy for your audience (i.e., the accounting industry in general). We simply wanted to notify reporters and others in case they needed to contact us and so they wouldn't be surprised when they attended our annual conference.

As you stated in your article, you are correct that it is important for AAM to build strong working relationships with industry media. We would think that such relationships can be reciprocal. Our membership consists of numerous people who can help you be successful in providing value to your readers. Unfortunately, many of us stand saddened and offended at your approach to this issue.

Perhaps it’s important to note that AAM is a volunteer organization. Our management company (or “headquarters”) does not direct the organization – we, the volunteers, do. The management company helps carry out the work of the board and our committees. This transition has been difficult, but necessary for our continued growth and success. We gave the related communications a good effort. If we made a mistake, then your article publically attacked some of our members who donate their time to our cause.

If a mutually beneficial relationship is of interest to you, as it is to AAM, then we ask that you look at your comments with fresh eyes, check the facts, and retract what is inaccurate or unfair.

Sincerely,

D. Scott Moore
President-Elect, Association for Accounting Marketing


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