7/29/16 – The Public Information & Awareness (PIA) Committee concluded an incredible year of accomplishments on behalf of CSEA Members and the Enrolled Agent profession. The PIA Committee is charged with promoting the EA brand and educating the public about Enrolled Agents. One of the Committee’s first major achievements in 2015-2016 was to redesign and launch a new EA brochure! It is fresh, it is modern, and it does an outstanding job of defining what an EA is and addressing our target market. Click here to order your brochures now!
Tax Help Day has now completed its third year. The PIA Committee energetically promoted Tax Help Day 2016, which took place on February 6. We were able to effectively utilize CSEA outreach efforts on Jim Stern Legislative Day, held on January 11, 2016 to inform our state representatives about Tax Help Day. Their response was enthusiastic, and they worked with CSEA to provide additional venues for Tax Help Day 2016.
One of the most exciting marketing and promotional opportunities presented itself with Super Bowl 50 being held in Santa Clara, California on February 7! This was an outstanding opportunity to exponentially increase our exposure to the general public, and we were able to take advantage of this in more than one way. The PIA Committee elected to do a fly-over in the Bay Area, and also to place our advertisement on buses in the busy Santa Clara area during the 2016 filing season. The PIA Committee and CSEA staff worked tirelessly to ensure that our message was clear, concise and effective.
The Committee continued its efforts to promote Enrolled Agents to the taxpaying public during filing season by implementing Google AdWords and Facebook advertising campaigns from mid-January through the end of March. There were also press releases sent in February and March that provided useful information to taxpayers while promoting the Enrolled Agent credential. The Committee continues to utilize the valuable information provided by the marketing agency Avenue M Group, plucking out valuable suggestions that serve to fine tune and expand our marketing efforts.
Noticing that our partnership with the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program had diminished in recent years, we made great efforts to reestablish that relationship. As a direct result, we received the green light to provide our newly designed EA Brochures at all VITA sites, with an emphasis on those locations where there is a high incidence of taxpayers who don’t meet the strict VITA requirements. Each Chapter has been encouraged to order and distribute these brochures with their contact information prominently displayed. The IRS has also opened the door for CSEA EAs to volunteer to become screeners, which requires a modest time commitment and is an excellent opportunity to be on the front line as the first point of contact with the taxpayer at VITA sites.
These are truly exciting times for CSEA and the Enrolled Agent profession, as we continue to permeate the market with our message. You can help strengthen our collective voice and increase the recognition of the EA profession by making a contribution to the EA Promo Fund, which is funded by voluntary contributions. This fund is utilized to support public awareness activities or events conducted by CSEA or its Chapters that heighten the awareness of the EA designation and Members of CSEA among the general public. Click here to make a contribution today.
This article was submitted by Benita Myers, EA on behalf of the CSEA Public Information & Awareness Committee.