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The Vintage Motor Car Club of America

We love to drive our vintage cars!

An update from the Publications VP, Ray Maxfield

- posted June 15, 2024

Photo of Ray Maxfield, Publications VP

It seems like just a few days ago we were enjoying a cruise ship adventure cleverly disguised as a Membership meeting. Those same few days have been filled with the steep learning curve of duties and responsibilities of the VMCCA Publications Vice President. There have been times when I discovered I did not know certain tasks needed to be done. Then there were times when I discovered that others did not know that it is the Publications VP’s responsibility to do certain tasks. With three new officers serving this year, we are all working through some level of learning our responsibilities. Inter-officer communication may not be the only key to building toward success across the organization, but it seems like it is high on the list. All of us have our own goals and visions for completing our tasks and making improvements that benefit our members. My understanding as to how we can accomplish our goals and visions is explained in an analogy you have likely heard. “If you have a product or can see a product as you look around you, that product traveled along the line somewhere on a truck.”

What is known about the VMCCA results from some sort of media or communication. We recognize communication in all forms from printed to in-person. In my opinion, the most meaningful promotional media we have is one-on-one personal promotion. For the most part, our other communications media are intended to promote and support the VMCCA to our members and potential members. The Bulb Horn is a powerful marketing tool providing great articles and photographs of our members on tours. Because of the expense to print The Bulb Horn magazine, we can’t print a few extra copies for every member to hand out to potential members. We have brochures that are currently being updated. These brochures will be available to regions and chapters to distribute. Many regions and chapters have created their own marketing materials ranging from multi-page packets to fliers to business card sized contact information. In a broad sense, these are publications or printed materials. What about our other forms of communications?

As I have transitioned into this position over the past two months, I find myself thinking that the position could be titled Communications VP. Our VMCCA website was created and developed to provide a long list of items including our history, an up-to-date membership roster, tour information, and registration forms, and on and on. We are adding member access to the Board of Governors meeting minutes so members can read them online plus the benefit of saving several printed pages in The Bulb Horn for tour articles. Our Website Content Contractor Brenna Olwine strives to keep the website attractive, interesting, up-to-date, and focusing on attracting new members.

Constant Contact is our mass media mailing service. We pay a fee for their service, and that is how The Touring Chronicle is distributed. It is also used for special timely communications. As the primary author of communications through Constant Contact, I believe that the service is underutilized. I am not looking for more work. I am looking for more frequent communication with our members. Messages can be created and sent to our members within a few hours if necessary.

Social media, like our Facebook page, provides almost instant posting from tours in progress. Understood, many of us don’t “do Facebook.” I don’t, but I click the Facebook link on our website or in The Touring Chronicle sometimes to see what is there. As I transition further into this position, it is my vision to improve how we use our communication tools to keep our members informed and engaged while attracting new members.

Ray Maxfield
Vice President of Publications