Guest post by Seth Barnett, PPAI Government Relations Manager
Last week in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, PPAI launched what will be the first of many Local Legislative Education and Action Day events. PPAI’s government relations team worked alongside members from the Commonwealth to reach out to state legislators and share the story of the promotional products industry.
Alongside the Three Rivers Advertising Specialty Association and the Philadelphia Area Promotional Products Association, PPAI staff and industry leaders spent a full day conducting 15 meetings with state representatives and senators. L.E.A.D. Local takes its cue from PPAI’s Legislative Education and Action Day held in Washington, D.C. each year; this single day spent in Harrisburg was dedicated to educating state officials about the scope of this industry within the state and in their own districts.
The elected officials with whom we met all expressed gratitude for being able to meet with industry members. As is typical among legislators who have never met promotional products professionals, most of the officials our group met in Harrisburg did not realize that this was an industry, let alone one that is responsible for generating $1.7 billion in their own back yard. Many legislators showed their eagerness to learn more about our industry and scheduled future factory visits and tours of regional trade shows scheduled within their districts.
The connections our members made in Harrisburg are integral to our industry’s legislative success in Pennsylvania. This event opened the door for the group to learn about a bill being drafted by a senator that would eliminate all forms of gifts given to state officials EXCEPT promotional products. The senator, Lisa Baker, said our presence in Harrisburg solidified her decision to exclude promotional products from the language.
It is PPAI’s goal to continue working with regional associations to conduct L.E.A.D. Local events nationwide over the next five years. It will then be up to the regional associations to continue taking members to their state houses each year. Maintaining relationships with state leaders is a key to success at this level. PPAI will continue to support this program in the coming years, but it is ultimately up to industry leaders to keep the conversation moving within the respective state.
It is important for our industry to stay involved with government leaders. PPAI has the resources to help you stay connected to your state officials. Follow the link below to look up your state officials contact information.
You can also send a letter to your state officials that introduces them to the industry presence in their district. Click here to send information about our industry.
For any questions about PPAI’s government relations work, contact Seth Barnett at sethb@PPAI.org