Out of Home Media South Africa (OHMSA), the officially recognised trade association for the out-of-home media industry in SA, has announced its decision to open associate membership to industry stakeholders - advertising agencies, poster-buying specialists, marketers, suppliers and industry bodies. It describes this as crucial and long overdue decision.
"If we are to truly represent the out of home industry and have deeper insight into sector challenges, we have to create free-flowing dialogue. We also want to acknowledge the broader industry for its role in the out of home sector's economic success. It makes sense for us to share issues on a common platform and open our membership up accordingly" said Melissa Moore, OHMSA executive director.
Associate members may sit in on general meetings, but have no voting rights. "This is our first step towards integrating interested non-media owners into the association, with their role, function and rights reviewed, as time and experience proves necessary."
OHMSA would actively participate in all industry issues and advance common industry objectives. "We believe that broadening our membership base will facilitate better and constructive discussions between industry stakeholders and our members."
Benefits of associate membership are numerous: easy access to out of home media resources; the ability to contribute towards the development of industry guidelines and a code of conduct; networking; greater representation of interests, among others.
The association has also decided to amend its media owner membership voting rights to allow greater representation of its category C members on the executive committee. "We want to dispel the perception that it acts only in the interests of the bigger players. We strive to acknowledge the smaller players and elevate their voices," she said.
Furthermore, the association will be actively engaging the concerns of the entire out of home industry, instead of focusing on billboards, which has been its tradition.
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