Thursday, March 8, 2012

I was going to use an image of shooting yourself in the foot

But I decided not to.

You have to wonder sometimes what people are thinking. The most recent case of WWTT comes to us from the DC Ad Club which "is excited to announce the launch of our Career Catalyst Program - the official mentoring program of the DC Ad Club."

Well, having come to this business after stops elsewhere, I sure coulda used mentor, so I'm gonna do it. Karen wants to too, since she participated in a mentoring program with the local AMA and thought it was a good thing to do.

But here's the thing:

I'm a member of the Ad Club and she's not. (After all, how many memberships does a small agency like ours need?) And one of the requirements is that in order to be a mentor -- that is, in order to volunteer your time over a four-month period - you have to be a member of the ad club.

Of course, they are happy to have those who are not currently members take part. The email seeking volunteers cheerily says: "Have a friend who’s not a DC Ad Club Member, but know they’d love to participate? Send them to to join!"

Now, I have no issue at all with limiting the opportunity to have a mentor to Ad Club members. None. But if someone who is not a member is willing to volunteer his or her time, do you really want to make it a requirement that they join the damn club?

I'm sorry, that's just dumb. You can't volunteer unless you pay to join the club? Seriously?

The goals of the program - as stated in the e-mail - are to help members grow, give them real-world experience, expand networks and such. I didn't see anything about increasing the club's membership.

What the hell's wrong with doing something like this for the Good of the Community?

The issue I have had with the DC Ad Club for years (and I have been a member for nearly 25 years) is that it seems not to be focused on raising the level of advertising and building a stronger community so much as bringing in revenue.

Like I said, the "mentees" who will benefit most from the program the club is organizing absolutely should have to be members. But to require someone to be a member to volunteer their time and expertise?

That's just - as my friend Spoon from college used to say - "makes a whole bunch of no sense at all."

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