View Full Version : Merits for providing education to an associated industry?

05-03-2011, 10:03 PM
Can you get merits for writing an article for another industry's trade magazine or speaking at their conventions?

For instance, I've spoken at the Association of Bridal Consultants 2009 national convention, the 2011 Wisconsin ABC conference, and wrote a published feature article in the May/June 2011 Wedding Planner Magazine. These are activities for which merits would be received if it was for PPA. But in this case, the education went to an associated industry trade organization.

05-03-2011, 11:43 PM
Howard pap only gives merits to people who speak at an affiliate event, or for an affiliate association. They cannot issue merits for associations other than themselves or their affilates.

05-04-2011, 04:19 PM
That's too bad. Even though speaking to an outside group might not be educating photographers, it is still providing a service to the professional photographic community.
The same goes for writing and publishing articles in other magazines.

05-04-2011, 04:49 PM
This would be a great addition in the ppa, providing credit for giving back to the industry
Outside of ppa events.

05-05-2011, 02:06 AM
Howard & Sue, If that came up in council I would vote against the idea - at least until I heard in in depth discussion of how it would be policed. The degree system has already been extremely diluted with all the merits for webinars, Super Mondays, continuing education etc etc. So now we are going to let somebody stand up for 15 minutes at their local Kiwanis club and talk about how to clean your camera and get a PPA merit for it? I realize the programs Howard presented were way more effort and in depth then that, but once you open the door, who is gonna say what outside groups are merit worthy and what is not? There are plenty of opportunities to earn merits presenting programs for PPA affiliates. We don't need to make it easier. Charity begins at home.


05-05-2011, 02:23 AM

First and foremost, please understand I didn't suggest merits for a Kiwanis club. I'm talking about related industry's trade associations. For instance, a wedding photographer can speak at an Association of Bridal Consultants conference or retreat. Now that you mention it, I do understand the slippery slope you're on. But OTOH, I actually receive ABC education credits for documented attendance at PPA meetings and conventions. The key is being documented and verifiable. Perhaps if the speaker were required to provide a copy of the program, their presentation and a contact, PPA could be assured the speaker actually spoke as they claimed.

Writing and publishing an article in an industry's trade magazine would be much easier to manage. Just provide a copy of the magazine/article to PPA.

I beginning to believe we reward those who speak and teach other photographers. That's great but that just creates speakers within our industry. It does nothing to educate those in other industries which are associated with photographers. We complain the general public does not appreciate good photography yet we do very little to provide positive public relations. As a trade association, we should be doing more to provide a more positive image of our industry. Part of the way we do that is by working with other trade groups such as ABC.

05-05-2011, 04:32 PM
Agree, it would be harder to police.

I think Howard's concept of trade publications is an interesting one (tear sheets are easy to send in) and limiting potential outside merits to college photography programs and other professional photography associations? Possibly help international members have some options to gather some merits by acknowledging their active role in giving back where they live.

Any time we can have a professionally recognized Photographer be in front of a forum I think is great. Helps create more awareness for general public purchasing photography and people seeking to enter the profession.

05-05-2011, 04:55 PM
I agree with Keith, although merits for speaking at WPPI would be compelling, it would be hard to delineate the difference between wedding consultants and Kiwanis. It should be our general duty to educate the public because the reward is the "green merit". I lecture to outside the profession to strengthen my business not to offer trade secrets that I can do within our association.

I beginning to believe we reward those who speak and teach other photographers. That's great but that just creates speakers within our industry. I strongly disagree. When I teach to our profession, I teach what I learn from outside of the industry. Many of our outstanding speakers share what they've learned from outside the profession as well. For example, the concept of experiential marketing did not come from within our association.

05-05-2011, 06:02 PM

I have to disagree with you. It is easy to distinguish between social, charitable and professional groups. A quick look at the mission statement tells you a lot about the group. To say you can't tell the difference between Kiwanis and Bridal consultants is a slap in the face of those hard working bridal consultants. Just as we say professional photographers continue to learn their craft, have a high level of proficiency, can provide predictable results upon demand and get paid for what they do, the same can be said of other professions. When those criteria are met, the group is a professional trade organization. ABC members would meet the definition of being a professional but not a Kiwanis.

I could never understand why I couldn't get CEU's or merits for attending WPPI when one year a speaker would be at image and then next they were at WPPI. To make matter worse, they hadn't really changed their presentation. I know it is a slippery slope. Personally, it is frustrating to need one speaker merit and not be able to get credit for speaking to outside groups. But life is not black and white, it is shades of gray.

While I appreciate the support, I would not want to limit this to just other photography organizations. Perhaps rather than make a blanket statement as to which organizations where we'd allow merits to be earned, it could be on a case by case basis. The rules would be:

Industry which regularly interacts with photographers (ie. Wedding coordinators, magazine publishers)
Professional trade organization or association
National and/or State (where state chapters exist) level conventions
National and/or state (where state chapters exist) member publications
Members generally fulfill the 4 criteria for being a professional (high level of competence, predictable results, continuing education, get paid)

Using these criteria, we can effectively, differentiate between another professional group and a social/charitable one. A member can propose a group be added. It will be evaluated to determine if it meets the criteria. Once the group is on the list, speaking or writing for that association would earn merits.

05-05-2011, 07:07 PM
Well, I guess we can agree to disagree. I just don't see why it's important for PPA to educate other organizations for their improvement. What have they done to help improve our profession? Why should we be the educational source for bridal consultants? How would that be fair to our portrait and commercial members? How does educating other trade associations benefit the members of PPA?

PPA gets enough flak for educating photographers who are non-members as it is. We just can't be responsible for helping out other trade associations when we have 22,000 members to serve and educate. Educating other trade associations are far from our association's mission and vision.

05-05-2011, 09:49 PM
I got my PPA Craftsman degree for service to PPA and it's affilaites. I did not earn a Craftsman for service to the industry. That's not what the degree is for. I got the National Award for service to the industry and it wasn't necessary to have a single merit to recieve it. The Craftman degree is for service to PPA and it's affiliates. If you want that degree, you have to provide service to the association. If you want recognition for service to the industry then aspire to a National Award.


05-05-2011, 10:06 PM
I got my PPA Craftsman degree for service to PPA and it's affilaites.

The Craftman degree is for service to PPA and it's affiliates. If you want that degree, you have to provide service to the association. If you want recognition for service to the industry then aspire to a National Award.

I'd be inclined to agree.... when I got my craftsman (back in the late 1800s), it was 25 speaking merits.... locals and state/regional conventions. I don't believe it was designed to be a service to the world degree, it's a service to ppa degree. There appears to be so many ways to get merits at this time, I can't see diluting it any more than has already been done. :cool:

09-14-2011, 09:33 PM
The problem with that line of reasoning is that it can make for a really parochial view of the world. Or more accurately, a parochial view of the industry. It makes PPA look aloof and makes it look like PPA thinks it defines the professional photography industry. Long-term that can be a dangerous stance to take.

I'm a board member for our local PPA affiliate, one of the largest in the country, and this is a topic we discuss from time to time. I'm always on the side of cross-recognition and other cross-pollination, especially with equally worthy professional organizations like ASMP.

If someone puts some thought into it there are definitely standards and criteria that can be defined, that make sense and that stop appropriately short of giving credit for talking 15 minutes about cleaning your camera to the Kiwanis Club.

And on that topic, I've lost count of how many PPA speakers I've heard and read who still feel the need to tell PPA members "Get your flash off the camera!" and other equally basic camera facts. Telling people that is not far removed from telling people in a different forum how to clean their cameras. To some degree the only real difference is our view of the audience being told such basic things.