POMA is a One-Shot Bulls-Eye
Andrew Chamberlain, a bright young author and ballistition (www.cartridgecomparisonguide.com), encountered difficulty connecting with the shooting industry as a communicator. He was discouraged and floundering without direction. Learn how POMA and its members have affected his career. His story is one of the reasons POMA was founded.
My experience as a first-year member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) has been spectacular. As a member, I have received personal communication, advice, mentoring and direction that were nothing short of a lifeboat for a beginner who was in over his head.
I first heard of POMA at the SHOT show in Las Vegas early this year. I had just finished my first book and was anxious to gather some feedback and direction from industry professionals. I struggled finding anyone who would offer any advice or suggestions as to how I could get my book in front of the right people. With no results on the second day, I was feeling overwhelmed and way under gunned. I bumped into a gentleman from a waterfowl conservation group who told me, “The best advice I can give is to join up with POMA. There is nothing else I can tell you that will help more than that”.
The SHOT show ended and I went home. I felt overwhelmed and exhausted with nothing to show but a mountain of business cards sort through, hoping to somehow find a good contact. Over the next ten days, I called and e-mailed dozens of consultants, publishers, PR and communications companies. All of these were willing to help me, but only for exhaustive fees and paperwork.
I contacted a final group of six organizations, asking them what I could count on for the thousands of dollars their services or memberships required. All responded with similar answers that did little more than remind me that they were big beautiful companies and I was an undiscovered nobody.
Several weeks later, I stumbled over a business card with the letters P.O.M.A. written on the back, and I remembered the gentleman who handed it to me saying, “The best advice I can give you is to join up with POMA”.
I found POMA’s website and sent an e-mail asking what services they offered and what I could count on for the few hundred dollars I would spend on a membership. I received a quick and simple response stating that they would help put me in contact with corporate partners that have established businesses in the industry and help me find networking opportunities.
I continued to ask questions, and each time I received a response that was direct, helpful and personal. I registered as a voting member of POMA. I was then able to start networking possible avenues to sell or market my book, as well as find other opportunities to write and showcase my abilities as a ballistician and outdoorsman.
Over the next few months, I made several contacts, but still struggled to establish any firm commitments. One of which was with LTC Lew Deal and Chris Chaffin with the PVA Outdoor Heritage Fund. While being discouraged and somewhat disheartened from all the effort and such menial return, Chris told me to make sure I attend POMA’s annual conference, stating, “It will be a very important event to attend”.
Remembering a similar statement from the SHOT show, I booked the date.
I have just returned from the POMA Annual Conference where I met and had one-on-one conversations with industry leaders like: Jim Moore and Tammy Sap with Remington Outdoors; Pete Brownell, president of Brownells; representatives of Winchester and Browning; Todd, Chris and Jessica with Remington; Bill Miller with North American Media; Jim Zumbo; Danielle Sturgis with the NRA Blog; John Robbins with NRA Hunting communications; Chris Chaffin with PVA and Travis Noteboom with Crimson Trace both of whom support programs that provide injured servicemen and women with opportunities to get outdoors and hunt.
I also met Gil and Kristi from Aimpoint, Jeff Suiter from BowTech, and great folks with with Trijicon, EOTech, Bond Arms and many other POMA Corporate Partners and professional outdoor content providers and entrepreneurs like me. What a great group of people.
The bulk of the conference provided training sessions that were tailored to help each of us learn how to improve our business approach, identify new potential and understand the market. POMA brought a wide variety and very comprehensive group of talented professionals to deliver these training sessions.
In each session, it seemed the whole group was just as anxious to give advice, share suggestions and answer questions, as much as they were to receive it for themselves. The sense of belonging and the unanimous desire to help everyone be successful was almost overwhelming.
I am new to the industry, and I know there is a lot of water left to tread before I find my own sweet little island. However, because of POMA and the commitment and conviction of its founding members, I now have more confidence and better tools than I could have imagined receiving from any other source. For any new or struggling outdoor writer, photographer or outdoor content provider, “The best advice I can give is to join up with POMA. There is nothing else I can tell you that will help you more than that”.
Author of Cartridge Comparison Guide
Western Hunter Shooting Editor