Is Being Smarter Than Your Competitors Important?
Through the years, I have attended a variety of education classes that have had a positive impact on my business. I persevered and with my eye on a goal, I obtained my Master Advertising Specialist (MAS) designation.
This is an accomplishment that very few people in our industry have achieved. We all have the opportunity to enhance our careers through ongoing professional development. My personal feeling is that there is a tangible benefit to obtaining industry certification. It's helped me in many ways.
Recently, a few people reached out to me regarding a PPAI email about recertification. Recertification came as a surprise to me when I registered for the 2015 PPAI Expo. This information is listed on the PPAI website, but I missed it as it seems many others have.
Those who value continuing industry education and the certification designations they worked hard to achieve should be aware of what the PPAI Professional Development Certification Program is all about.
I reached out to PPAI about the need for recertification. PPAI provided some additional information on the certification program to help clarify this. Some of the feedback it has received has been about the confusion between a designation and a degree. There are differences between professional certification and a college degree, with recertification requirements for a professional designation being one of them. PPAI said:
“The college degree or post-graduate degree is conferred by a college, university or some other educational institution as official recognition for successful completion of a program or course of study. The focus of these degrees is more on knowledge and less on skills. These degrees are issued for a lifetime, but can become dated when you look at the changes in the profession over the years.
"The professional certification/designation is an accreditation that certifies that you have met a certain standard in educational requirements, continuing education, experience and testing. This requires ongoing certification to keep up with changes in industry knowledge and practices. The key focus of certification is to assess that you have reasonable knowledge and skills to undertake the function effectively. Therefore, recertification is a component in most professional certification programs.”
Through the years, there has been some debate on the value of certification. Whether your clients understand what it really means doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that you have made an investment in time and a few dollars to accomplish something your competitors probably haven’t. You will learn things and you will be able to better serve your clients with this knowledge.
While receiving my MAS designation, I sat through a few clunker classes. However, when I look at the overall impact education has had on my life and business, all the time was well-spent. In addition to what I’ve learned, I’ve met some great people in classes. The lifelong relationships that I’ve developed make my industry involvement exciting.
There will be great education opportunities at the January trade shows. Take advantage of these opportunities!
At the PPAI Expo, you can start off Education Day and Expo Week with SuccessFit4Life! Fun Run/Walk Monday morning at 7 a.m. This is one element of our SuccessFit! at the Expo benefitting the Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF). Participation is free. Come join us in front of the Mandalay Bay Conventions Center. For a $25 donation to PPEF by Dec. 18, you will receive some cool products from some great companies during the Expo.
We would like to thank these great companies who caught the vision of SuccessFit 4 Life! and are supporting this effort: SnugZ USA, Pro Towels, Ad-A-Day, ID Line, BIC Graphic, Ad Capitol, Southern Plus, Prime Line and HTT Headwear. My good friends at AIA Corporation are handling the key administrative details of this.
Jeff Solomon, MAS, is affiliated with a top 10 distributor company and also publishes FreePromoTips.com, a popular industry resource. The PPAI-award-winning FreePromoTips.com website and twice-a-month e-newsletters are packed with beneficial information. You can opt in to receive these informative twice-a-month e-newsletters here! Check out what’s new in the GP2: Good Products-Good Prices section of the site. Take advantage of free end-user-safe product videos you can share from the YourPromotionSolution.com website. You can stay connected to FreePromoTips on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or me personally on LinkedIn, my personal Twitter account, Google+, and my Instagram account. Follow my occasional live broadcasts on Periscope: @JeffSolomonMAS.