The Association of Accounting Marketing is entering intoa new era.

With a goal to be its members' strategic resource for CPAfirm growth, the organization decided not to renew their contract with TheRobstan Group and instead signed onto a new agreement with another managemententity, Association Headquarters.

This move gave them a new area of the country to callhome (from Kansas City, Mo. to Mount Laurel, N.J.) and included a whole newstaff -axing the handful that hadtaken the association this far including Granville Loar, who had been dedicatedto the association full time.

You may ask, so what? They made a change. Big deal. Ithappens all the time.

They've updated their strategic plan and decided the newmanagement company would bring them closer to their new-found goals, which ofcourse, is to better serve their members - the marketing directors ataccounting firms.

The transition apparently has been going on for a while -since early spring - and the former staff associated with The Robstan Groupwere on hand, and, according to new AAM executive director Pete Pomilio, theywere acknowledged and honored at the AAM conference this year in Austin fortheir tenure. AAM members, apparently were sent a heads-up email in April thiswas all about to happen.

But what they failed to do is notify us, the press.

It's shocking to me, as someone who regularly works withmembers of AAM and who has been in steady communication with the associationthat we would get the news only via an offhanded comment by a former staffmember during a routine check-in.

Why the hush people? Is there a gag order on members?

Apparently, a press release was distributed in July. Ican tell you that we didn't receive it, nor were we notified this washappening. You would think an association that strives to build relationshipswith the press and create a model for members who are trying to do so as well,would have done a better job at getting the word out.

Of course, once contacted, board members of AAMgraciously explained what had happened and were even confused themselves as towhy we didn't know.

Look, I'm not trying to bash AAM. It's a good and growingorganization and I value the relationship I have with them and their individualmembers. But as an association that's all about building bridges with membersof the media and getting the word out about members and their firms, theydropped the ball on this one. Big time.

It's a good thing improving visibility and buildingstrategic alliances are on the top of their to-do list for this next phase. Itappears they've got some work ahead of them.

I just hope we're on their contact list.

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