There are many organizations working behind the scenes to support the direct marketing industry. To give readers even more insight into their important efforts, we will spotlight a few of them here at SpeakingDIRECT. Today we’ve invited Maynard Benjamin of the Envelope Manufacturers Association to explain how his organization helps support and strengthen an industry that matters to so many of us.
Don’t let our name fool you. The focus of the Envelope Manufacturers Association (EMA) is much broader than the ingenious package that holds the contents of your direct mail offer inside. Our primary mission is to promote the value of mail, and of course the envelope, for the benefit of our members and their customers (which includes mailers, market intermediaries and consumers). We actively work with mailers on developing products, conducting technical research and advocating for their needs on Capitol Hill and with Parliament.
Direct mail is one of our most important market segments and much of our research and advocacy is focused on this industry. From our point of view, the three most pressing issues that need to be addressed are:
- The financial health and stability of the United States Postal Service and Canada Post. We’re working closely with postal executives on key issues impacting their financial strength and serving as an advocate for mail as a communications technology on Capitol Hill and with Parliament. To do that we join alliances, retain experts and actively meet with legislators to explain our issues to them and ask for their support. We’re also founding members of the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee and are members of the Postmaster General’s Association Advisory Council. There we provide input to the deliberations of the Postal Regulatory Commission and regularly work with the Office of Inspector General of the United States Postal Service on research projects.
- The future well-being of paper-based communication and federal policies that impact paper consumption and demand. We are one of the founding members of Consumers for Paper Options, which works to create a level playing field for paper and electronic communication to thrive in supporting one another. The EMA and our Foundation also support Two Sides North America, which seeks to correct misleading environmental claims concerning paper and mail. Through that effort we have managed to get more than 50 banks and insurance companies to change their misleading claims.
- Promoting the mail value chain globally through our Foundation, which manages educational and research projects. We produce the Mailing Industry Jobs Study every two years, which has become the primary indicator of the health and vitality of the mailing industry. We focus our research on paper-based communication trends and develop research-based messages on the power of mail worldwide.
Along with advocating for these issues, we also provide important educational and outreach opportunities. The EMA hosts two or three major meetings each year that are focused on the members of EMA, the Global Envelope Alliance (GEA) and contributors to our Foundation. The spring and fall meetings are focused on current events and technology. Every other year, we produce a Global Envelope Conference, focusing on the global trends impacting our membership, which spans 38 nations. We also participate in a number of specialty conferences that focus on public policy issues and technical issues, while producing distance learning programs like webinars and interactive discussions among our 105 plants across the North American market.
The EMA is a resource and advocate for the direct mailing industry. We are constantly keeping aware of key issues and adapting our focus to meet the needs of the customers of our industry. We’re working side-by-side with our members to ensure a strong and thriving mailing industry so that marketers can continue to embrace the value of direct mail for years to come.
If you would like to learn more about the EMA’s commitment to advocacy and how we support the direct mail industry, please contact me.
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