PPAI’s current government relations program has been well publicized and has gained momentum each month since early 2009. We’ve sent dozens of Action Alerts to our members, we have a robust website at www.ppailaw.org featuring the most critical legislative and regulatory issues facing our industry, and we held our first Legislative Education and Action Day in Washington, D.C., last March. We continue to monitor federal and state legislative actions to make sure our members are alerted if we see harmful legislation being introduced.
Concurrent with our own efforts that focus on issues we believe are important to our small-business members, PPAI is also a partner with another segment of our industry to focus specifically on legislation that affects incentive, recognition and rewards professionals.
PPAI is a member of the Incentive Federation with its own Incentive Legislation Campaign (ILC), which we support and participate in. The Federation is comprised of other associations such as the Incentive Marketing Association, the Society of International Travel Executives Education Foundation, the Incentive Research Foundation and Recognition Professionals International along with several of the top-branded merchandise companies, incentive houses, incentive resellers and incentive rep firms. If you produce products for or provide programs to clients that focus on wellness, safety, motivation, workplace productivity, employee engagement and recognition, it’s important that you know what the Incentive Federation is doing on your behalf.
The ILC’s primary goal is to educate members of the Congress, their staffs and key departments of the federal government about the incentive marketplace. When the ILC began last year, there was very little awareness of the marketplace or why and how incentives, awards and recognition work. In October 2009, the ILC held an Incentive Symposium in the Hearing Room of the Dirksen Senate Office Building to introduce ourselves to Congress. The Symposium brought together about 20 leaders of the incentive marketplace from incentive houses, incentive users, manufacturers, employers, employees and others to inform members and their staff about the power and benefits of incentives, rewards, recognition and promotional products.
The ILC continued to meet with staffers and key members of Congress in 2010 to build on its momentum from the 2009 symposium, and a second legislative day was held on August 4, 2010, which was both well attended and well received. The ILC uses a packet of information that includes a description of the ILC, a list of our key issues and a summary of the available research programs that the Federation and our marketplace have pursued showing the power and value of incentives, as well as other materials that show the incentive marketplace in a positive light. The ILC plans another day of meetings on November 10, 2010, just a week after Election Day, to address issues important to the viability of the incentive marketplace.
Throughout the campaigns, participants have informed the members of Congress and their staffs about the critical role of incentives and motivation for the competitiveness of American business. They have also highlighted the size and breadth of the incentive marketplace and its significance to the overall economy as well as the issues of importance to the incentive marketplace and its many constituent businesses. As it matures, the ILC’s legislative effort is expected to involve meetings with the staffs of the Departments of Treasury and Labor as well.
PPAI is an active player in the ILC program and our members are invited to be a part of the efforts made on behalf of the broad promotional merchandise and travel incentive industry. While there’s overlap between PPAI’s government relations program and the Federation’s programs related to some of the issues, different companies approach the legislative challenges from different perspectives. It never hurts to have more friends in the broad promotional marketing industry who understand and advocate for positive change and work to minimize harmful and restrictive regulations. We can never have enough influence in Congress or at the state level as we have learned during the past two years.
Keep November 10 in mind if you believe you have a stake in the issues that affect your business and your success in continuing the types of programs that both PPAI and the ILC focus on. We’ll announce the plans and make sure you know how to support the effort by meeting your members of Congress in D.C.