Idea No. 25 for keeping AAJA extraordinary:
We need to agree that every AAJA member is responsible for recruiting new members and tracking down (no stalking) former members. Did you know that under former President Mae Cheng, AAJA membership peaked at 2,320 for UNITY 2004? Well, here’s the bad news: many of those people aren’t members anymore. The most effective way to bring back former members also happens to be the best way to recruit new members: By reminding them of what AAJA stands for, why you joined and what you get out of it. Think about that the next time you’re seated next to a stranger on a long flight. :-)
Why do this? If we could somehow recapture a large percentage of our former members as well as enlist the younger journalists just joining the industry, we could have an organization of 2,500, maybe 3,000 journalists. How cool is that?
What does AAJA get out of it? AAJA still derives a large percentage of its operating budget from annual memberships, especially the bigger-ticket levels like the $100 Gold and $750 Platinum memberships.
Signing up new members also helps out the chapters, because your local chapter gets a slice of your membership dues. As your president, I can’t re-enroll all of those people by myself. And neither can Antonio Salas, our Membership and Chapter Development Manager. But together, we can all commit to reaching out and bringing new members into the AAJA family.