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2009-10_Report-CFA Public Relations 

Submitted by Webmaster on   3/7/2011
Last Modified

CFA Public Relations Report

May 1, 2009-April 30, 2010
By Mort Gamble, Chair

Note: Due to my illness last year, preventing attendance at the Las Vegas National Convention, activities of the Committee have proceeded, but without minutes to report from the 2009 convention.

Activities of Mort Gamble, Chair of Public Relations

  1. Wrote a regular column, "The CFA Word," for The White Tops.
  2. Spoke to Charleston, WV, Vandalia Rotary Club on the history and traditions of the circus, in a meeting attended by Gayle Manchin, the First Lady of West Virginia, and other dignitaries.
  3. Gave a two-hour presentation on circus history and traditions to the Appalachian Mythbusters freshman January Term class at Bethany College.
  4. Contributed other pieces to The White Tops, including book review of Jamie MacVicar's Advance Man, announcements, and event write-ups.
  5. Met with Jamie to strategize on communications outreach for CFA.
  6. Published "Circus! Life Under the Big Top," in Goldenseal magazine, the journal of traditional West Virginia life, September 2009.
  7. Served as MC for Forepaugh-Lubin Tent No. 2, Altoona-State College, PA, Christmas banquet and Circus Week in Altoona banquet. Prepared plaque citation for Struppi Hanneford, honored by Tent during Circus Week in Altoona.
  8. Maintained CFA website, changing photos regularly and updating with news and events on a daily or weekly basis. Contributed photos, original news stories, and other items. Responded to inquiries fielded from CFA website, including requests for information, events and announcements posting, and reactions to opinions expressed. Responded to inquiries fielded from CFA website, including requests for information, events posting, and reactions to opinions expressed.
    Note: A report from Tom Sokolis on usage of the CFA website during the last year (May 2009-April 2010) is attached. Highlights include over 39,000 "unique" visitors; nearly 86,000 visits, and 3,084,890 hits.
  9. Presented a circus paper with M.E. Gamble at Popular Culture Association national conference, St. Louis, MO, on traditions and trends in the American circus.
  10. Did interviews with incoming CFA Presidents Pagel and House for The White Tops.
  11. Promoted annual CFA Photo Contest, announcing winners at October Emmett Kelly Banquet, Hagerstown, MD.
  12. Consulted regularly with Jim Cole (Circus 4 Youth), Gary Payne (Membership and Animal Welfare Committees), Edward Meals (Emmett Kelly Tent president), Andy Bakner (Emmett Kelly Tent secretary-treasurer), David P. Orr (Forepaugh-Lubin Tent), Dr. Don Curtis (past CFA president), Edward Limbach (past CFA Public Relations Chair), John and Mardi Wells, Maxine House, Pat Pagel, and others. Met with planning committee for Newburgh, NY, 2011 convention.
  13. Due to illness, I was unable to attend the Las Vegas convention; however, I kept informed of developments and continued to participate as much as possible, agreeing, for example, to head up the White Tops Policy Committee for President-elect Maxine House.
  14. Gave an on-air radio interview to a station in Bangor, Maine, WMEB 91.9, about the circus. Continued correspondence and communications as needed on behalf of the CFA, including commentary to journalists requesting that they not use the word "circus" to describe sensational, chaotic events in the media.
  15. Scheduled for discussion at Grand Rapids convention relevant issues pertaining to editorial policies for The White Tops.
  16. Visited various shows. Met personally with Kenneth Feld, Feld Entertainment; John Ringling North II, Kelly Miller Circus; Bob Childress, Lewis & Clark Circus.
  17. Provided CFA updates at regional meetings of Circus Model Builders.
  18. Did on-air July 4, 2010, CFA interview with WHIZ-TV, Zanesville, Ohio, on lot of Carson & Barnes.

Activities of Edward Limbach, Committee Member and Former CFA Public Relations Chair

Ed has spearheaded publicity for the 2010 CFA National Convention in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has placed convention articles in The White Tops in every issue since 2009's convention; prepared convention media kits which were scheduled for distribution at the end of August to all media outlets in the Grand Rapids area; promoted the convention by working with Cindy Pagel on the convention newsletters; and worked with Peter Wagner to create the first-ever bound convention program for 2010. In addition, Ed promoted the Portage County, Ohio, appearance in 2010 of the Carson & Barnes Circus, sponsored by Habitat for Humanity of Portage County, and remains active as an adviser to the Public Relations Committee of CFA. He is also a regular contributor to the annual Al Thomas Memorial/CFA Photo Contest.

Goals/Discussion Areas for 2010-2011:

General Goals:

Support the membership and member retention efforts of CFA.
Devise innovative strategies to communicate who the CFA is, what it does, and why it matters in support of the circus industry, its people and animals.

Specific Goals:

  1. Enhance CFA website.
  2. Develop national and regional promotions.
  3. Coordinate closer promotion with Circus4Youth.
  4. Produce one or more video productions.
  5. Support CFA goals of resource development, including recruitment of new members, fundraising, and leadership recruitment.

Special thanks to Edward Limbach, Jim Cole, Don Covington, Peter Wagner, Gary Payne, Pat Pagel, Maxine House, John and Mardi Wells, David P. Orr, Cheryl Deptula, Dr. Don Curtis, Lane Talburt, Rodney Huey, Pete Adams, Clark Beurlen, and webmasters Tom Sokolis and Joe DeMike.

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