Editor’s Note: We don’t normally post breaking news, but this is an exception. Over the last few years we here at GreenBook have become very friendly with CASRO and have been actively working to develop opportunities for partnership with the MRA (as we have with virtually all the global associations). During that time we’ve had many conversation with the leadership of both organizations and have often thought a merger between CASRO and MRA would make a lot of sense. So, we’re thrilled to hear this news today, and want to be the first to offer our unbridled support of this decision.
We believe strongly that the trade organizations serving the market research industry are a vital resource that can play an important role in the evolution of our industry, and any effort to increase their impact and influence is a good thing. The combination of CASRO and MRA into one unified entity can only help achieve that vision.
Here is the statement:
Thursday, October 22, 2015 – Discussions are under way between CASRO and MRA about joining forces to become one, new association serving the U.S. research industry and profession. A key catalyst for this initiative is the common recognition of our overlapping advocacy goals and benefits:
- Legal: government advocacy in legislative, regulatory and judicial forums
- Image: protection and improvement of the industry’s image in the eyes of the media and public
- Value: marketing the business case for the industry’s products and services to buyers and users
- Quality: setting and enforcing professional standards, best practices and providing performance certifications, such as ISO and PRC
- Growth: helping member businesses grow and helping individuals grow as successful research professionals
Although no decisions have been made as to how the new merged association would function, the goal is to maintain all current benefits through a newly branded association that would be well positioned to do more for its combined membership than either association is able to do on its own. In concept, the benefits of joining forces are to:
- Speak with one message in a stronger, louder voice before the public, media and government officials
- Harmonize industry standards, ethics, and guidelines from one consensus source
- Produce the most compelling educational and networking MR conferences
- Take advantage of a natural and timely opportunity to transform the combined association in a way that is both future-focused and evergreen
- Reduce unnecessary competition in an already very competitive environment
In summary, by combining both financial and volunteer resources, the new association will be able to better represent the interests of a changing, expanding research industry compared to continuing to operate as separate, smaller and, in some instances, redundant and competing organizations.
Throughout these discussions, the industry and profession have been top of mind. The discussions are not about what’s best for CASRO or for MRA as standalone organizations – they exist only to serve the industry and its stakeholders. The discussions are about doing what’s best for our members, our industry and all the people who make their living in it – both at a national level and among MRA’s regional Chapters.
Member Involvement and Next Steps
From here, the boards and staffs will continue their discussions and work through a business plan that addresses governance, structure, management, staffing, budgeting and other issues. Both MRA and CASRO member structures, dues, benefits and agendas will remain intact in 2016.
If approved by both boards, this change would have to be approved by the membership of both organizations. Prior to those decisions, the boards of both organizations are eager for members to comment on the concept by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Comments received at both addresses will be distributed to their respective boards, which are eager to consider member thoughts, concerns and suggestions. Members of both associations also will be surveyed in the near future.