Advocacy is a major mission for many associations and a major benefit for members, but too often it gets lost in the content discussion. It’s a challenge to communicate what goes on behind the scenes on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures around the country. It’s also crucial to make your content about members or readers—and what advocacy means and does for them—and not just us, us, us.
Few associations know this better than the Outdoor Industry Association. OIA has been advocating for proper use of public lands for years, but that advocacy became very public in the past year. During a heated debate over public land policy, OIA and partners decided to move the Outdoor Retailer show from its longtime home in Salt Lake City to Denver. The association itself relocated, too, which is no small feat.
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Jennifer Pringle, VP of marketing and communications, and Jessica Wahl, government affairs manager, share the inside story of what led to OIA's major moves and increased push for public land advocacy. More importantly, they share lessons on how content and communication have kept their most valuable partners—from big-name retailers to well-known outdoor athletes—on board along the way.