Where’s the Communication?

Background info:  We had been trying to contact InfoComm’s PR department for well over a month (since she canceled a meeting with us). We respectfully reached out a number of times via both email and phone. My frustration finally got the better of me and I sent out an SOS to @InfoComm on twitter, not entirely expecting a response.  I received a response.  Not from InfoComm.  One of our super supportive and very active avtweeps sent me a message explaining that all is well over at InfoComm.  They are just overworked and understaffed.  Specifically, the PR department is actually just a PR person without help.  Being a partner in a small business and understanding that concept, I know the challenges that arise when there is no support, administrative or otherwise.  But is this a valid excuse for a Public Relations department within our own industry association?

In this economy, a lot of companies cut back.  Many are overwhelmed and understaffed.  However, in order for the business to survive, recover and even grow, communication between clients and suppliers must be priority.  This holds true for an industry association such as InfoComm.  During these times, I argue that it is crucial for our association to address members’ reasonable requests and needs.  Only in this way can our industry maintain stability, focus and continue to move into the future.  To be able to obtain and share information that is truly relevant to the growth and future of the industry is imperative.  Many times, the gate keeper to this information (or the approval to share this information) is the PR department.   A simple, “I will look into it” or “I am booked this week but will touch base next Wednesday” is all that is needed to make the member (in this case, me) feel heard and maybe even of some value.  It will also keep me from continually bugging you for a response.

This has absolutely nothing to do with our InfoComm’s PR person, personally.  She is lovely.  I truly like her. She can’t help it if the powers that be don’t provide her with help. I think that InfoComm needs to be aware that this poor woman needs assistance (maybe even assistants).  We, as an industry, are not getting what we need from our association because resources are not allocated to certain (incredibly important) departments.  HELP!!

In all fairness, InfoComm has done and continues to do a lot for us.  To run an association like this is an immense responsibility- and they are doing a fine job.  But it is a member’s job to bring up suggestions for improvement.

Does anyone else share my frustration?  Do you have suggestions for improvement too?