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As AED’s production manager, I take pride in being part of the marketing and communications team that is responsible for distributing the Association’s message to its members. From emails to printed direct mail, the message must work uniformly and cohesively within the right channels for it to make an impact. Therefore, we plan each marketing campaign carefully, ensuring its message is delivered and received at a high level of quality and with low production costs in mind. 

Many of the tools and practices I use were learned from years of experience, but as time passes, rules and regulations change, and the only way to keep up and stay on top is to further your training and education. It’s easy to Google or YouTube a minor issue or question, but remember, that’s only a temporary solution. We need to continue to train and learn to adapt to the vast changes that confront us in life and in our careers.
 
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In early May, the United States Postal Service held their 50th National Postal Forum in San Antonio, Texas, and I had the pleasure of attending the five-day event. Not only did I attend seminars, workshops, general sessions and visit exhibitors on the trade show floor, but I also participated in an intensive three-day Certified Direct Mail Professional course. 

From the moment I arrived to pick up my badge at the registration desk, curiosity and creativity were flowing through my veins – because for the first time I was an actual attendee and not a staff member planning the event. As I waited for my badge, I was timing the registration process, I was making sure the signage was easy to understand, I was even comparing the overall branding and making sure it all connected seamlessly. Even though I was at the forum as an attendee, I couldn’t help comparing my experience as if I was an AED attendee at one of AED’s many events. I was quickly taking notes and pictures, so I could make improvements in our processes that would enhance our members’ experience. But don’t get me wrong, I also encountered issues that only reassured me that our events have many strong attributes and have been run at a high standard for many years.

As I continued my networking and participation in the seminars, I learned about the latest innovative tools, enhanced technologies and industry trends. With these mechanics, I plan to enhance the value of our mail, which I hope creates the opportunity for growth and profitability of the Association and strengthens our member experiences at AED’s yearly events. As I sat at the forum’s closing general session, one quote from Postmaster General Megan Brennan stood out to me: “The eagle always faces forward.” This stuck with me and not only reminded me of the USPS logo, but of the fact that, although we all face many challenges throughout our careers, as long as we continue training and learning, we will overcome the obstacles that come our way.

Next time you check your mailbox or pick up your current issue of CED Magazine, rest assured that AED not only walks the walk, but actually talks the talk by sending staff to other industries’ annual meetings, conferences and seminars to learn firsthand what an AED member would experience at an AED event. Don’t forget to register for the upcoming Leadership Conference or the new Executive Conclave. And you definitely do not want to miss AED’s 100-year celebration next February – it will be a once-in-a-century experience. 

You can register for these events and more at bit.ly/aedevents. I look forward to seeing you there. 

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