PAA: time for a new name? and some ways to get involved.
Dear PAA members,
Time for a new name? Recent London PAA meetings have included discussion about the name of Psychologists Against Austerity and whether it might be useful to re-brand in the near future.
Some PAA members have suggested that the recent change in the political climate has included a shift away from explicit references to 'austerity' and 'cuts' (although we know that these are very much continuing in practical terms). As such, we wondered whether, in order for the group to remain relevant to current policies and continue the group's aim to get psychological knowledge 'out there', that it might be time for a name-change. There are obviously concerns about how well-known PAA has become over the past couple of years, and the importance of the clarity of message which the name PAA has. However, others have also highlighted that a name change and subsequent re-branding can be an opportunity for a re-launch and additional promotion of the problems with austerity policies (even if they are not named as such).
On Friday, PAA members from different regions will be gathering after the Psychology and the Benefits system Conference in Manchester. This will be an opportunity for regional PAA members to discuss this (as conversations about this have recently taken place in the London group). If you have an opinion on this, it would be helpful if you could feed this into your local regional group (if you have one nearby) and they can feed into the discussion on Friday 7th October.
If it is agreed that a name change is a good idea, then there have been some names suggested such as: - Psychology Action Alliance - Psychology Action Network - Psychologists and a fairer society - Psychologists for equality - Psychologists for social justice - Psychology and society - Psychologists and social change - Psychology for social change
If you have an idea of a new name, or would like to contribute towards this discussion, or be part of taking this forward (a new name will need a new logo, so it would be helpful to have people interested in that!) then please email the PAA email address with the subject 'PAA rename/rebrand' and we will try to take it from there.
Roles and tasks Another recent topic of conversation in London PAA has been the clarification of roles and tasks in the group. In particular we noticed that a handful of people were doing multiple things, which meant that when they went on holiday/were very busy at work/were handing in their thesis, things didn't get done... This made us realise that many of the same tasks and roles for the national PAA 'brand' (such as replying to emails sent to the main PAA account, managing the national PAA social media accounts and replying comments on the main parts of the website) have not been formally allocated. We thought that by trying to allocate these out, we'd have a better idea of exactly what is needed to keep PAA going, and it would make it more transparent/easier to join for new members too.
As such, we have broken down some of the roles into specific tasks and would like to invite PAA members from across the regions to contact us if they are interested in helping manage certain parts.
The roles we have noticed (but we are open to more ideas) are: Comms: Emailing national PAA mailing list/contacting regional groups with upcoming news and meetings Writing minutes and uploading onto freedcamp when there is a national PAA meeting
Social Media: Overseeing PAA Facebook, twitter accounts (and thinking about new ways to engage with social media) Keeping general PAA website up-to- date (inc keeping an up to date timetable of the regional meetings)
Partnerships: Liaising with national groups who have an interest in making contact/joining on campaigning
Projects: Keeping an eye on upcoming events (eg. marches) and helping manage/organise PAA tasks related to them
Each of these tasks could be taken on by two or three people; which might make it easier to manage and less of a responsibility on one person. Also you might think that there is a better way to organise the tasks which need doing on a regular basis for PAA, please feedback any ideas. Some people already volunteer to do some of the jobs, but would appreciate some help– so if you would be able to give a little bit of time to a specific task or role, it would be great if you could reply to the PAA email address with 'National PAA roles' in the subject and we will try and match the list of tasks/roles to people.
Thank you for still being here at the end of this very long message! We are excited about the future of PAA and building a movement together.