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november/december 2008

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The Only Constant

I have spent most of my adult life in the advertising business. Having worked in radio, TV, magazines, and at advertising agencies, I am used to change. In the last 35 years, we have seen cassette tapes, VHS, Beta, CDs, DVDs, cable TV, HD TV, HD radio, dial-up and broadband Internet, email, and satellite radio and TV. The old adage, “The only thing constant is change,” applies to my profession.

With the support of the officers and the Board of Directors, we have implemented many changes in the Public Affairs operations.

The most obvious change was in The VVA Veteran. We moved from dirty newsprint to a full-color magazine. But we also made big changes behind the scenes, changing our internal operations and sales partners. The good news is that we have tripled our advertising revenue, but that is balanced with increased expenses. The other major change was the website. was a static site that had long outlived its value. We have turned it into an e-commerce revenue-generating site with dynamic interaction. And we have just begun.

We launched a web-based marketing campaign that generated more than 10 million impressions. We are planning to launch another web marketing campaign to focus on our Service Officers. We bought over 200,000 email addresses and launched a sales campaign for The Wall book. We plan to buy more and continue the campaign. We are looking at adding and selling video space on our website.

Perhaps the most exciting project to me is finally turning The Veteran into a web-based magazine. With the support of the IT Department, we have created several viewers that are just incredible. They can contain imbedded videos, live links, auto flip pages, and much more. They can do just about everything except read the articles for you. Before you think that we are going to stop printing The Veteran, let me say that is not our intent. The web-based Veteran allows us to create a whole new readership base and, we hope, another source of revenue.

Over the past few years that I’ve had the privilege to be the PA Chair we have seen many changes in our organization. As an advertising professional, all I can say is thanks, because without the change we would not be as strong as we are today. And I firmly believe we would not have the high-quality people working for us without the changes.



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