SSA Affiliation is a Win-Win

Goal of Affiliation

Simply put, our Affiliation program is something we think is good for the industry, for our Association and for the various state associations. Some association demands are inherently local and require a grassroots approach. For the national SSA to be involved, we need affiliation. Others goals are national in scope, such as the issue of the military plans to build on-base storage in direct competition with our members, who naturally have invested heavily nearby. With approximately 5,000 facilities nationwide and more than 33,000 separate owners, the industry is already extremely fragmented. Only together can we adequately influence our business arena.

Affiliated states and their members, receive:

  • CTSSA members receive annual subscription to the SSA Globe, an association-focused magazine.
  • CTSSA (the association) recevies one free, full-page advertisement in the SSA Globe.
  • CTSSA (the association) participation in Affiliated Associations Council Meetings.
  • CTSSA members receive access to ODE*SSA – previously only for regular members.
  • CTSSA receives legislative support and consulting.

SSA Globe Magazine

The SSA has invested heavily into the development of the SSA Globe magazine. Previously, much like you, we depended on another magazine to be sent to our members – the Mini Storage Messenger. The Association was spending a lot of money to send it to our members, yet we were getting very little coverage about the SSA, its events, its membership or its publications. We needed a primary communications tool and growing the SSA Globe magazine was the natural alternative.

The SSA Globe is not trying to emulate or does not strive to be either of the for-profit publications. We do not accept vendor-written articles. All of our writers are professional writers/journalists throughout the country. This makes it less complicated as a membership organization. The SSA Globe is a non-profit publication that 1- Is the primary communications tool for regular and affiliate members; 2 – Supports the goals of the Association – education, research & data, legal matters and Affiliated association news.

Advertising for the SSA Globe does not make it a for-profit entity. Advertising is barely 35 percent of the magazine, compared to 50 percent or more in the for-profit entities. Our rates are much less also, because we consider it a benefit to our vendor members who have already made a commitment to the SSA. Circulation for the Globe will be more than 13,000 monthly during 2007.

State affiliates also provide monthly write-ups in the SSA Globe Magazine to keep their members up to date on the latest information locally. The SSA also provides states with a free full-page ad, worth $1,800, which can be used in halves or quarters for multiple issues. Additionally, the Connecticut Association will receive free postage for its newsletter (polybagged with the SSA Globe up to 4 times each year). This supports events such as state conferences. Consider that our members, who are not your members, will see and learn more about your activities via the SSA Globe.

These advertising and exposure benefits alone are worth significantly more than the full price of affiliation for Connecticut.

AAC Meetings

The dialogue between the states and the national association has been tremendous since the inception of the Affiliation Program. State and national SSA leaders shared ideas, compare notes, discussed legislation and generally learned from each other’s best practices in January, March and September. Guest speakers, paid for by the SSA, discuss topics of particular interest to smaller associations. Our speaker in Las Vegas this past September was an expert at building memberships statewide.

The SSA National Facilities Database & ODE*SSA

We have invested in a national facilities database, the only true running catalog of every self storage facility in the country. Names and addresses of every self storage facility, in every county, in every state in the country are included – Connecticut is on the map with more than 300 facilities statewide 3.98 square feet per person and nearly 10 square feet of storage per household.

This tool alone can help affiliated associations with membership campaigns and legislative efforts. The database can be sorted by Congressional and state legislative districts as well.

Members of state affiliates have access to ODE*SSA, the online demand estimating tool that incorporates information from the database. It enables entrepreneurs/members to get a detailed statistical report of existing self storage, compared to actual population demographics within a 3 to 10 mile radius of any zip code in the country. This is not a free service, but is an invaluable tool to educated storage operators. Again, we do not make a profit from this service. Fees remitted simply help pay for the infrastructure and updating of the tool. Nobody is required to use it, but it is an option.

Legislative Support/Consulting

Between SSA General Counsel Carlos Kaslow, SSA President & CEO Mike Scanlon and Tim Dietz, the SSA’s registered lobbyist, the SSA staff has more than 70 years of lobbying experience. Although most lobbying of state legislatures is handled by the state associations, we can assist with our database to create grassroots supports, by providing connections with other affiliated states that have been through similar situations and through our communications tools. The SSA also provides financial aid to support lobbying efforts as needed via its Legislative Issues Fund.

For example, last spring, when we heard that Department of Defense was planning to build self storage at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina, in direct competition to many members located right off the base, the SSA managed a mass-mailing to encourage storage operators to contact their Congressmen. The SSA’s coordinated efforts with the North Carolina SSA demonstrated what can be accomplished together.

The SSA also subscribes to Netscan –Legal Alert, which provides daily updates on threatening legislation throughout the country. If something pops up on our radar screen for Connecticut, we can alert your executive director, leadership and membership.

Executive Directors

The SSA does not consider affiliation by state SSAs to be a replacement for staff, such as executive directors. Most affiliated states have executive directors to manage administration and so forth. Affiliation is basically a sharing of certain SSA benefits and a coordinated nationwide council of state SSAs, wherein staff typically offers back-office support, administration and local lobbying. We believe an in-state lobbyist or professional staff member is an ideal complement to the benefits provided by the SSA.

Summary

SSA affiliation is a program developed to encourage cooperation amongst state SSAs and our organization. Our perspective is not one of competition with the various states, but of working together to benefit each other’s members and the industry. Advertising, legislation, ODE*SSA, our database and AAC meetings all add up to a successful program, which is why we have 22 organizations already affiliated and a few more on the way.