As many know IPA is a very select group of journalists, photographers and videographers. Our mission is to help our members to Learn By Doing the work. We help our members by offering them the tools they need, the support they need and three websites where they can publish their works.
Quite often we will receive requests from individuals in countries that we do not support. Because we are an English publication our articles must be written in English to get the readership and the attention it deserves.
I have decided to publish an email response from a potential member in India to better explain our policies.
Here is his email to me and my reply below it. I have not made any changes to his email, but you can better understand my reply from reading his email first. I hope those that ask us if they can join IPA will read this and understand why we cannot accept members from many countries in the world, we are simply not large enough to do so.
In this case, I will first become your “Platinum member” and then I can make hundreds of members for IPA as I am executive member of Many Trade associations, NGO’s committees, Political and non political parties, having millions of members pan India and they can easily afford your fee.?What do I get in return?, what privileges I get? and what IPA post I will hold in India??As for payments, Can we have an option of bank transfer as many members can transfer through their Mobiles to you.
I appreciate your comments and your willingness to help IPA grow. There are a few issues. The first is the value of membership at IPA for you and others in India.
We are an English speaking and written online publication and maintain four websites. Three of them are there to help our members exhibit their written and photographic works, in English. So the first problem is the ability to write articles in English. This is generally a problem with members in other countries where English is not their first language. We continue to help even those in the United States when we see their spelling or grammar is not the best, but we are a small organization whose only support comes from our volunteer members.
So Language and the ability to publish in English can often become a problem for our members in other countries.
Another issue… we have a program that encourages our members to do the work.
So it is not that we don’t want members from India or many other countries, we simply don’t have the resources to help them publish the articles on our websites that meet our standards. In addition, security is a big concern these days and we don’t want our Press ID in the hands of those that are seeking media access and might be terrorists or radicals using it to harm or kill individuals as we are seeing each day in the news.
Now what would the benefits be for a member in a country that doesn’t have many IPA members? Well anyone that grants media access does it because they want publicity for their shows, products or services. We can offer many of those companies just that.
With our 4 websites, 4 groups on Facebook with thousands of group members and other social networking sites, we can get readers to see the articles on our sites. We have a number of corporate sponsors here in the United States where most of our members come from that support IPA with not only their money but with products and services. I recently was sponsored to do a complete review with video on the Royal Caribbean International’s ship the Independence of the Seas.
You can see that article and video at: http://ipaimpress.com/ultimate-cruisers-guide-royal-caribbeans-independence-of-the-seas/
This video has received about 250,000 views and Royal Caribbean is quite happy with the way this project turned out and will continue to support IPA in the future.
We have high standards as you will see if you go through our IMPress site and then our new site:
This site will welcome current and our new IPA members and give them an opportunity to also publish on a wonderful new site. The idea is to give our members the knowledge so they can improve their written and photographic skills, to showcase their works on our sites and to help them with the tools they need to gain the access to important events that they will then write about.
I am not familiar with India but would love to visit as a photographer and journalist. I can only imagine the beautiful photos and videos I could take and then write about my experiences in your country. So of course the benefits for you might be the ability to share your photos and articles with the world. Gaining access to attractions, exhibits, events and then reporting about them is another benefit of membership. As you complete each of your own assignments, you can decide which ones you want of course, you can begin to build a professional portfolio.
The benefits of membership are many if you can meet the challenge. Our new financial incentive program rewards those members that actually do the work. We are now looking for members to join IPA who want to use our Press identification to not only receive all the free perks and benefits that companies usually offer members of the media but who will be willing and look forward to seeing their works published in our sites. Upgrades at hotels or resorts, free products or services and admission to museums and other places are the norm for our members, but those members that do receive these benefits are the same ones that publish their work on our websites.
So the benefits of membership really is a very personal thing. If you do the work, publish on our site good articles, photos or videos you can now direct people to an international publication or websites and show them exactly what you will do for them. After all that is the only thing they are looking for, good publicity and usually links to their websites and someone to get the story out about their event, product or service.
So, I hope you can understand that IPA is a group of writers, photographers and videographers looking to better their skills, to learn how to cover events like any other professional media outlet would and to get the exposure and credibility their work and our organization can offer them. There is no magic here and a press card may get you into many places and get you hotel room upgrades and other perks including access to places and events, but if you do the work, you will gain so much more.
IPA also understands the problems with Pay Pal and certain countries rules and regulations and have found that Western Union online is a good place to make those payments to us. Very often a bank transfer carries a very high fee on our side or security risks, so not being able to make a Pay Pal or Western Union payment is another reason we would decline a membership.
I hope you can fully understand that as a small organization of professionals, it is hard for us to be in every country in the world and work with members in those countries where English is not their first or even second language.
International Press Association