APS executive director envisions modernization

American Philatelic Society (APS) executive director Scott English recently outlined his “modernization” plan to boost the society’s digital presence while attracting new members to the 132-year-old philatelic organization.

English explained his plans to the APS board of directors this February, during Ameristamp Expo in Birmingham, Ala., according to a story published by Linn’s Stamp News this April. Referencing an ongoing decline in APS membership as well as an increase in the average age of current members, English said the society needs to reach new audiences to reverse the trend.

“What I’m talking about doing is adding an entirely different element to our society that focuses on a different group of people so that they want to access and enjoy the hobby for a long time to come, too,” English was reported by Linn’s as telling the APS board.

His plans include online promotion and marketing; updating the websites of the APS as well as the American Philatelic Research Library; creating a new content management system; expanding education opportunities; upgrading the APS’ online marketplace, StampStore; and more. In order to follow through with his plan, English said the APS needs to adapt to new technologies.

“The average American now spends 23.9 hours online a week,” English told the board earlier this year, according to the Linn’s report.

THREE-YEAR PILOT PROGRAM

Last year, English raised $150,000 USD to make his goal a reality. This February, he explained an investment of $45,000 USD throughout the next three years will serve as a pilot program.

“That tells us whether something is working or not,” he told the board, according to Linn’s, adding the program’s success will be measured by whether it’s highly utilized, provides value for membership and can generate revenue for the society.

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