MISSOULA, Mont. – A newly established membership subcategory in the Outdoor Writers Association of America seeks to address the interests of media relations and communications professionals and fosters professional advancement and networking opportunities for its members.
The OWAA Media Relations Section is open to OWAA members who work in the fields of communications, public relations and media relations for either nonprofit or for-profit entities. Section members can take advantage of opportunities to network with their peers, share skills, collaborate on common professional objectives and advance within their chosen field.
“Best practices, craft improvement, professional enrichment – these form the bedrock of membership in the OWAA, regardless of an individual’s field of outdoor communications,” said Katie McKalip, director of media relations for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, OWAA board member and head of the new section. “Establishing a venue for networking and skills enhancement for OWAA members whose area of focus lies in media relations – in either the for-profit or nonprofit arenas – serves the interests of a growing segment of our community and further expands the benefits of membership in OWAA, the nation’s oldest and largest association of outdoor communicators.”
OWAA’s board of directors launched the “sections” concept in 1992. Sections are comprised of members with similar interests and focuses, enabling these constituencies to come together for professional enrichment. Current OWAA sections include newspaper, photography, magazine and radio and TV/video. The OWAA board may establish a section after receiving a petition from members of like professional interests.
“Outdoor writing is a diverse field, and it can be tough to grasp just how many people are treading similar terrain professionally,” said Paul Queneau, Bugle Magazine conservation editor at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, another member of the OWAA board. “OWAA sections provide a terrific way to become acquainted with people I’d never have come to know otherwise, even in this world of Internet social networking.”