I grew up in a time when children should be seen and not heard. When a child questioned a parent’s directive, the stock answer from Mom or Dad was “Because I said so.” I raised my children in a time when it was believed that children’s voices should be heard and parents should reason with their children. Not long after my children reached the age where they could effectively communicate, I realized that reasoning with a three- or four-year-old was not so easy. When encountering resistance after a directive, I soon found myself responding to my children “Because it’s the right thing to do,” a kinder and gentler version of “Because I said so.”
When I first started out as a court reporter I immediately joined NCRA and MCRA, as I’m sure many of you did. Why? Probably because the owner of the agencies for whom we were working and other court reporters encouraged us to join, but more importantly it was because we knew it was the right thing to do! We never questioned it. We are professionals and as such choose to support our profession and uphold our very own trade association that our predecessors worked so hard to establish.
Folks, membership is down in your association, as it is in our national association and many state court reporting associations across the country. There are many factors that could explain this dip in membership: the economy, not enough new reporters coming into the field being a few possibilities. Could it also be a shift in thinking? We hear over and over, “What does the Association do for me?” A trade association is not about “What’s in it for me?” A trade association is a group of dedicated professionals who truly care about their career and want to support its future. You join because it’s the right thing to do for your profession!
I realize I’m preaching to the choir here. You are dedicated and long-standing members of our association. Many of you have donated a tremendous amount of your time in promoting the career of court reporting in more ways than I know. I’m wondering, though, can we together as members do something about the lack of enthusiasm to join the association?
Do you personally know a court reporter who is not a member of MCRA? If so, I urge you to reach out to that reporter and express encouragement to join. Let’s not leave anyone out. Let’s start our own “Leave no court reporter behind” campaign. Write an email to the non-members you know inviting them to our website, www.mcraonline.com, to join. Members of the board will be happy to reach out to anyone you recommend as a potential member if you are uncomfortable reaching out yourself. So please forward contact information for prospective members to email@example.com.
As an agency owner do you know if the reporters on your roster are members? Are you willing to reach out to your reporters and encourage them to join MCRA? Are you willing to go a step further and send an email blast to your reporters that MCRA members will be given job priority over non-members?
Fellow MCRA members: In order to create a stronger association, I would urge you to send an invitation to your non-member fellow reporters asking them to join MCRA with the attached “Top Ten Reasons to Join MCRA.” Why? Not because I said so but because it’s the right thing to do.