A letter from the MRA-NY President: Lance Hoffman

First, let me say that is a privilege and an honor to be serving as President of the greatest MRA Chapter in the country – the Greater NY MRA!  And make no mistake – I couldn’t be more sincere or ACCURATE in those words – the GREATEST MRA CHAPTER!  We have the largest membership in the entire country, as well as one of the most diverse memberships, ranging from Political, CPG, Government, Advertising, Healthcare, Pharmaceutical, Entertainment, and more.  We are certainly a melting pot of specialties, personalities, and skill-sets – and it’s great to see them all come together at our various events and networking opportunities throughout the year.  But of course, being in such an industrial area of the country can come at a price when hard times befall us – such as we have all seen in the past six-nine months.

This is certainly the most difficult and uncertain economy I have faced in my working career, and in thinking about the Chapter as well as the industry as a whole, I think it’s important to remind ourselves to look to the future and what we want those future achievements to be.  I have found that doing this helps to reinforce the little steps we must all take, even during the toughest of times, in order to achieve those future goals.

To that end, you will see many changes in the Chapter over the next few months, which we as your board believe are both the natural progression of the chapter, as well as the immediate response to the current market climate.  This newsletter is the first of many steps, being our first GREEN newsletter.  That’s right – we’re going PAPERLESS.  We think it’s a great step towards lowering costs for the Chapter as well as being environmentally conscious as a group.  More steps along these lines will be the archiving of newsletters so you can always have them at your fingertips, and the potential online hosting of a searchable Roster.

Another change underway is the new look and feel to our website, which is probably already implemented as you read this.  As a chapter, we want to stay current, and as such are adding new sections to the website in order to better serve our members and to enable our members to be in touch with each other more easily.  The new sections and tasks already undertaken are as follows:

Greater NY MRA BLOG

We realize that we shouldn’t all have to wait until the next open-bar event to share ideas or compare notes in a free-flowing matter, discussing the relevant issues at hand.  For this reason, we will be implementing a Blog where each of the Board members will start discussions throughout the year.  We invite you to share your ideas as well, simply by contacting one of the board members with your Blog idea/article for us to post on your behalf.

Facebook and LinkedIn

In keeping with the Blog and amore current online pressence, we will be creating online groups in both Facebook and LinkedIn, so we can all show that the Greater NY MRA is a cohesive group of Marketing Research professionals.  Within these groups, the website Blog will be available for viewing, so we can all be connected through multiple channels, and show others the intellect and level of specialty and professionalism our cumulative membership brings to the table.

Resumes

Perhaps the most important and timely of the changes we are implementing. If you find yourself suddenly out of work or downsized, or know of someone in our industry who has been let go or downsized, please have them get in touch with one of the board members.  We will be posting available personnel from within the industry on the website, with hyperlinks to their LinkedIn profiles, or simply a number at which to contact a potential candidate.  While we cannot endorse a specific person, we as a board unanimously feel strongly that this is the least we can do for those in our industry who find themselves out of work or downsized due to these difficult times.  Please be sure to encourage all those who wish to take advantage of this to contact one of your board members today.

I feel that the above-mentioned efforts are a great start in moving the Chapter forward towards where we need to be in order to enhance our member’s professional’s lives, which I personally believe is the goal of the association.  Through networking opportunities and PRC education opportunities, we hope to continue that growth during the 2009-2010 year, but the Chapter is only as strong as the involvement of our members, so I URGE YOU to get active.  My personal experience has been that whether business has been great, mediocre, or downright rotten, it’s the personal contacts and connections you have that help sustain you in the long run.  It’s been true in my case, and hey, I am President!

Wishing you all a very busy “BUSY SEASON,” and look forward to seeing you all at the upcoming October event.

Best regards,

Lance Hoffman

VP, Business Development

Opinion Access Corp.