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Communication and advertising body expands its membership base

The Association for Communication and Advertising will fast-track previously disadvantaged groups to take leadership roles in the profession

25 April 2022 - 11:59
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With a more representative and expanded constituency, the ACA will be better placed to reinforce the essential nature of self-regulation.
With a more representative and expanded constituency, the ACA will be better placed to reinforce the essential nature of self-regulation.
Image: Supplied/ACA

In November 2020, the Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA), the official representative body for the communications and advertising profession in SA, launched a fresh brand identity in preparation for a new era in the broader communications sector.

The brand’s new identity was the springboard to introducing a diverse, inclusive and accessible membership to the association. 

Critical to the operations and effectiveness of any association is the inclusiveness of the membership and constituency it represents. When the ACA launched its new brand identity, it was overhauling the organisation, its purpose, offering, activities, visibility and now, crucially, its membership.

“The communications and advertising profession is undergoing transformation in SA. The physical makeup of ACA members and non-members has changed, defining and redefining the profession and activities. As the profession evolves, so has the ACA,” says CEO Mathe Okaba. 

The ACA believes in the power of creative leadership to drive sustainable change. The organisation promises to protect its members, promote collective benefits and set policy. It also champions self-regulation and promotes commercial creativity — underpinned by transformation that empowers the industry to ensure a sustainable profession. 

The organisation is intent on providing valuable services and information to improve the service of its members and fast-tracking diverse and previously disadvantaged population groups to take leadership roles in the profession.

For the past year, the new membership offering has been the main focus for the membership committee as it was tasked with relaxing barriers to entry, enabling a broader constituency to benefit from the value on offer to agencies and the profession. 

“It has become necessary to expand the member base and engage a wider and more inclusive range of agencies, individuals and corporates. It is the ACA’s intention to accommodate and represent a substantially larger collective within the marketing and communication industry,” says Thabang Skwambane, chair of the membership committee and CEO of Nahana Communications.

Okaba says a new tiered membership structure has been developed, providing an enhanced and more appealing offering to the advertising community. The previous structure excluded smaller agencies, collectives, partnerships, individuals and students, as well as companies which failed to meet the qualifying criteria.

The decision taken to make the ACA more accessible is rooted in its positioning statement, ‘One Profession. One Voice’

The new structure sees the inclusion of an individual membership offering alongside the existing corporate membership, which has been overhauled. Members will enjoy a varying range of benefits aligned to their membership, while fees have been recalibrated to better reflect the new offering. Details about the membership criteria and benefits are available on the ACA’s website, or by contacting the ACA directly. 

The membership benefits include the recognition of being a “member in good standing” by the ACA; legal advisory services; exclusive industry rates for insurance; workshops and training webinars; facilitation of tenders and pitches; and industry monitoring and conflict resolution services. 

While the new membership offering could be described as a radical departure from the past, it remains additive to the essence of the association. This is defined by the founding principles which include the protection and promotion of the profession, while driving policy in the sector. 

With a more representative and expanded constituency, the ACA will be better placed to:  

  • Engage industry stakeholders; 
  • Further highlight and educate the profession and the government with respect to the commercial importance of the industry; 
  • Emphasise the value of ACA membership; 
  • Reinforce the essential nature of self-regulation; and
  • Be better positioned to enforce normative behaviour in the profession, among agencies and their clients.

The decision taken to make the ACA more accessible is rooted in its positioning statement, “One Profession. One Voice”.  The decision catalyses a stronger and more effective association to the benefit of all involved, building on the unity, diversity and brilliance of a profession which adds immense value to brands and the lives of consumers daily.

This article was paid for by the Association for Communication and Advertising. 

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