As the new head of the Media Management, Economics and Entrepreneurship division, I wanted to take a moment to share with you our executive committee’s goals and vision for the division for the 2017-18 year. 
On Friday morning, August 11th, newly elected division officers (see list of officers on blog and in previous post) gathered at Eataly’s coffee shop across the street from the conference hotel to perform a SWOT analysis identifying our division’s strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats.
Some of the areas we collectively identified:
Strengths
-We are in the middle of the pack in terms of size. Out of 18 divisions we are the 9th largest. Because of our size, being smaller than some massive divisions we can employ a “startup mentality” in terms of being flexible, can pivot quicker and make changes.
-No fee for grad students
-We cast a wide net in terms of interests across the division 
-Strong journals associated with our division 
-Friendly; work well together
Weaknesses:
-Declining participation in big national meetings (not just our division)
– Could communicate the VALUE of the division more effectively
– Push communication needed instead of just pull
– Industry-oriented research; some lacking theoretical grounding
Opportunities
-52% of AEJMC members do not belong to a single DIG (division or interest group)
Tremendous recruiting opportunity. Division should get out in front of these 52% and communicate the VALUE we offer.
-Continue to capitalize on entrepreneurship as a recent addition to our division name
-Expand a focus on “business of media” 
-Additional research specialties, such as special call on agency
Threats
-Fractured niches, perspectives
-Declining graduate student numbers, programs
-So many other conferences vying for our attention (WMEMC, ICA, EMMA, BEA, etc.)
-Obsolescence (need to promote “best practice” research to remain relevant and combat this threat)
-spread across disparate media industries/changing industries

Based on this analysis, we’ve outlined the following goals for the year ahead, with some tangible action items.

1) Increase visibility of the division across AEJMC.

  1.  Promotional division stickers at D.C. conference
  2.  Participate in/lead AEJMC initiatives (e.g. be competitive in new “professional research relevance” awards)
  3.  Encourage and foster MMEE member participation in AEJMC leadership positions outside the division (e.g. follow the leads of Amy Jo Coffey, George Sylvie, others serving on Standing Committees.)

2) Make a concerted effort to focus on membership promotion, recruitment and RETENTION

  1. Proactive outreach to expiring members
  2. Business school outreach
  3. 52% without a DIG- opportunity for recruitment
  4. Continued international expansion, new membership initiatives (agency focus), and entrepreneurship focus

3) Renewed communication focus

  1.  Officer blog posts/greater population of division blog content
  2.  Greater external visibility 

Those are the three primary goals for the division for the year. Some of the organizational changes we made to the executive committee to help achieve these goals are we have two outstanding membership co-chairs this year since a lot of our efforts are aimed at membership (in the past we’ve had a single chair).  We also have two research co-chairs this year instead of a research chair that oversees the main paper competition and a separate MidWinter conference chair. The goal is to better integrate the MidWinter and main conference research efforts, and allow for the addition of a separate paper call from our annual main paper call.  As this is a trial run in this endeavor, the research chairs have been tasked with reporting back and making recommendations on this structure at the annual conference in Washington, D.C.

In recent years, we’ve added Facebook and Twitter pages and made the division blog our primary source of communication, with the Communications Chair tasked with the continual upkeep of these sites.  The job is bigger than one person, however. Officers will be populating the blog with content, and of course, we welcome contributions from our members. Look for additional improvements in the way we communicate from our Communications Chair.

If you have any questions, issues, concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. You can reach me by email at ggraybeal@gsu.edu or by phone at 404-413-7913.  I look forward to a productive year ahead and building on the work we have all accomplished together in the past.
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