Angle Points: Moving Forward

A 252Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

I have received a lot of comments from across the country on my two-part article FEMA. They have all been positive and uplifting. As is evident, there are a lot of problems in our profession and as with all things in life, each and every one of us must make decisions. Some are harder than others. Regardless of the challenges, all need to be made.

Whether you are in the private sector or the public sector, we all have a duty to stand up and speak when you see something wrong. To do otherwise benefits no one and, at the end of the day, if anyone is harmed, at a minimum, it is you. I have learned a long time ago that there is only one way to do something and that is the right way. Should we not all stand up for the profession and speak up when we see something wrong? Silence is not an option nor is hiding in the shadows the correct thing to do.

The surveying profession is at a very critical juncture and although most prefer not to discuss it, we are in a crisis. We must do something to counter this problem and we must take this initiative ourselves. No one else is going to do it.

One of the most effective ways to promote the profession is by letting people know what you do. If your company is awarded a big project or an interesting project, someone should be sending out press releases to every major newspaper and television station and every local magazine to let them know about it. If you do, do not be surprised if you get rejected the first time. If you miss with your fist swing, you just step back in the box and you swing again. There are nine innings in a game and hundreds of games in the season and then again, an endless number of seasons. You have to get back in the batter’s box.

Another wonderful opportunity arises whenever your local association or state association elections are held. These are splendid opportunities to issue a press release explaining to the media what it is that surveyors do and the services you offer the public. Send them pictures of your officers and tell the public who they are and who they work for. Every day, each and every one of you is working on something that is of interest to the public and, to the profession. Why not share that with the world? Ask a local reporter if they want to tour your office and learn about GIS or how GPS works. Have they ever seen an original stone monument or some other extraordinary field evidence? Perhaps you can talk about monument preservation and the things people should look out for. The possibilities are endless and if they are to be effective, they need to be consistent. You will get another chance at bat.

Years ago I chaired National Surveyors Week at a large restaurant and function hall in San Diego. Curt Brown was the key speaker and we had media in attendance. Concurrently we had installed a multimedia exhibit at the county operations building and it was financed by private donations from local firms and members. We had feature coverage in all of the local papers and we had some television coverage. The dinner was attended by more than 200 people and it was a huge success.

These are a few of the things we need to do if our profession is going to survive. The world is moving beneath us and we must keep up.
Michael Pallamary, PS, is the author of several books and numerous articles. He is a frequent lecturer at conferences and seminars and he teaches real property to attorneys and other members of the legal profession. He has been in the surveying profession since 1971.

A 252Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE