OWAA Strategic Plan

The Outdoor Writers Association of America believes in improving the professional skills of our members, setting the highest ethical and communications standards, encouraging public enjoyment and conservation of natural resources and being mentors for the next generation of professional outdoor communicators.

We do that by networking with fellow professional communicators, publishing Outdoors Unlimited magazine, offering job and editorial listings and hosting our annual conference. We offer craft improvement advice, industry news, information on technology trends, available job openings, conservation news and business advice.

OWAA is comprised of more than 600 individual outdoor communicators from the broad, modern spectrum of outdoor beats, from shooting to camping, fishing to kayaking, wildlife watching to backpacking. From these diverse backgrounds and disciplines, members gather beneath the OWAA banner to hone skills, share philosophies, develop profitable business strategies and network with peers, conservation policymakers and industry trendsetters.

In order to successfully serve our members and supporters we will focus on these goals.

Stop membership decline and begin increasing membership, focusing on Active and Associate membership categories. Increase Supporting Group membership. (Membership Recruitment Committee, Marketing Committee, Supporting Member Liaison)

Suggested Strategies:

1. Institute a membership drive utilizing tactics developed by the Membership Recruitment Committee.

2. Evaluate effectiveness of each tactic.

3. Utilize effective membership recruitment tactics, marketing strategies and online engagement to build an active engaged membership.

4. Develop list of priority professional audiences to direct marketing/recruitment outreach.

Retain membership at 85% renewal. (Member Services Committee)

Suggested Strategies:

1. Implement tactics established by the new Member Services committee and evaluate success.

2. All committees aimed at providing member services develop work plans to improve member services (Craft Improvement, Excellence in Craft, Conference, etc.).

3. Recognizing conferences as a key part of the member experience, set and meet conference attendance goals.

Establish an OWAA brand with a clearly defined marketing campaign. (Marketing Committee)

Suggested Strategies:

1. Clarify brand and develop a measurable marketing strategy.

2. Develop marketing messages and priority audiences.

3. Marketing committee implements activities that increase the visibility of OWAA. Potential tactics include “Off the Record” events, student chapters, writing workshops and getting OWAA earned media in outdoor publications.

4. Double online participation in social media.

5. Explore possibility of a website upgrade, when budget permits.

Measures

Measure success of tactics in reaching the above goals and report regularly on progress towards goals. (Staff, Board, Committee Chairs)

1. Report on success in relation to goals, not in achieving tasks.

2. Revise tactics if progress towards goals is not being met.

3. Include progress towards strategic plan goals in reports to membership.

Declaration of Principles

We who inform, through the various media at our disposal, on the out-of-doors and its enjoyment, are known as the Outdoor Writers Association of America.

Through this Association, we strive to improve ourselves in the art and media of our craft and to increase our knowledge and understanding of the many facets of our subject.

We pledge our support to the conservation of natural resources and to the best precepts for the recreational use of these resources.

Above all, we pledge ourselves to maintain the highest ethical standards in the exercise of our craft.

OWAA Creed

I believe in the profession of outdoor reporting as a public trust to report that which is true. Accuracy, fairness and clarity in words and photographs are a fundamental part of my profession.

I will present to my audience only that which I can present ethically. My financial return will not influence my judgment, nor will I evade my personal responsibility to search for facts. I believe in honest representation and conscientious performance, and I will not stoop to plagiarism.

I believe the trust that is imposed on me is subject to justification in my own heart and mind, and that the true test of my work is the measure of its public service.

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