Have questions about OWAA? Check out the FAQs below. 

Who should join OWAA?

If you’re an outdoor communicator or work with outdoor communicators, you belong in OWAA!

OWAA has a diverse membership of more than 600 world-class outdoor communicators from a broad spectrum of outdoor beats. From shooting to camping, backpacking to kayaking, wildlife watching to mountain climbing, there’s a place for you in OWAA. Our organization welcomes ALL individuals, groups, agencies and businesses that communicate the outdoor experience.

Our Individual Members include:

  • Outdoor writers, editors and publishers
  • Radio and television broadcasters
  • Film and video producers
  • Photographers and artists
  • Lecturers and educators
  • Podcasters
  • Bloggers, influencers and new media communicators
  • Communications and PR professionals

Our Supporting Groups include: 

  • Product manufacturers and retailers
  • Public relations and marketing agencies
  • CVBs and destination marketing organizations
  • Conservation groups and agencies
  • Outdoor publications and media outlets
  • Outdoor interest groups and associations
  • State and Federal agencies

Why should I join OWAA?

At OWAA, we’re passionate about helping our members gain a competitive edge through personal and professional development opportunities and meaningful connections with other leaders in the industry. OWAA provides its members with:

  • Networking opportunities with other outdoor communicators all over the country
  • Professional development opportunities and educational resources for every career level
  • Opportunities to expand outdoor coverage in the nation’s media outlets
  • Mentorship and support for the next generation of outdoor communicators and leaders

Additionally, OWAA creates opportunities to get your work, product, or service in front of the right people by fostering meaningful connections between individual outdoor communicators and outdoor groups, agencies and businesses.

Learn more by:

We accept membership applications on a rolling basis and process them as we receive them. Once we receive your application, we’ll send you a confirmation, additional information about your membership benefits and instructions on how to gain access to your benefits and other key resources.

FAQ: Am I eligible to join OWAA?

You qualify as an Active Member of OWAA if you meet one of the following:

  1. You have sold and published—in any media—five stories, articles, photographs, videos or illustrations on outdoor-related topics in the past year.
  2. You have published a book or worked on an income-producing film or any form of audio on outdoor-related topics in the past five years.
  3. You are a full-time outdoor communicator in any media. 
  4. You are a citizen journalist who writes for a blog or other digital media that is updated with original content at least twice a month and receives 500 AUVs (Average Unique Views) per month over a 12-month period, or generates income.

If you do not qualify for Active Member status, you qualify as an Associate Member if you are paid for some work described above. If you do not join as an Active or Associate Member and are enrolled in a course of study at the secondary or higher education level, you qualify as a Student Member.

Applicants for Active or Associate Member status must be sponsored by an OWAA Active Member.  Both the applicant and the sponsor must verify that the applicant qualifies for the membership sought.  Don’t have a sponsor? Don’t worry. Let OWAA know, and we’ll find one for you!  An application for Student Member status must be signed by a teacher or educational advisor of the applicant.

FAQ: My membership has lapsed. How do I get reinstated?

Haven’t been able to renew your membership for the past few years? We get it. Life gets pretty busy—but we’d love to have you back!

OWAA allows Individual Members and Supporting Groups who did not renew their membership within the past five years to easily reinstate their membership status, instead of reapplying as a new member or supporter. We don’t charge a reinstatement fee, and our memberships are now on a rolling basis, meaning that you can renew at any time and then get 365 days of membership benefits from the day your renewal is approved.

Get started—reinstate your membership now!

Individual Members and Supporting Groups who have not been members for more than five years will need to reapply by filling out a new application. We’re certainly excited to have you back!

FAQ: What’s the difference between Individual Members and Supporting Groups?

Individual members are individual media professionals. This membership is designed to improve the personal and professional skills of these members—writers, editors, publishers, photographers, filmmakers, etc. who are sharing their passion for the outdoor experience with the public.

Supporting groups are generally corporations, such as gear companies and PR firms, government agencies like tourism boards and fish and game departments, industry service providers or our national and global nonprofit partners. 

Individual Memberships are not used for promotional purposes. The promotion of products or services would be done only as a Supporting Group.

FAQ: Can a PR company join?

Certainly! They can join in one of two ways.

If the company’s intent is to promote their services and get new clients from OWAA’s membership, then the company would join as a Supporting Group under their own brand. All OWAA benefits and opportunities would apply ONLY to the PR company itself – and not its clients.

If the company’s intent is to promote a client, then they would join as a Supporting Group under the client’s brand. All OWAA benefits and opportunities would apply ONLY to that single client – and not to the PR company or any of its other clients. In this scenario, a representative from the PR company can absolutely be the contact for the client for all things OWAA.

PR companies can manage multiple clients as OWAA Supporting Groups (and be a Supporting Group itself) if it purchases separate Supporting Group affiliations, one per corporate entity.

FAQ: How do I find a sponsor?

A member connects with a speaker at OWAA's conference.
A member connects with a speaker at OWAA’s conference. Photo by Sandy Macys.

Don’t have a sponsor for your new membership yet? No worries. We’ve got you covered. 

If you need a sponsor, there is a box to check on the on the application form. The OWAA team will take care of the rest! Please note that sponsors must be current OWAA members, except for student applicants.

Student applicants should have their applications sponsored by a faculty member at the institution they attend.

Application sponsors are asked to verify that you meet the requirements for your membership level. Also, having a current OWAA active member sponsor provides you with a contact within the organization for membership questions and advice.

FAQ: Can I join anytime?

Yes! Our memberships are now on a rolling basis, so you’ll get 365 days of membership benefits to access from the day that your membership is approved. 

Additional questions?

If you have additional questions about membership or the application process, please don’t hesitate to contact the OWAA team or call 406-728-7434.

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