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UK and mainland Europe search engine marketers unite.

by Mike Grehan.

The search marketing association UK (SMA-UK) certainly hit the ground running when they announced their arrival on the scene just last Friday. A mere 72 hours later they have announced their support for the launch of the search marketing association Europe (SMA-EU).

Headed up by Copenhagen based search engine marketing expert Mikkel deMib Svendsen to start with, the EU tag was seen as the most general way to cover the whole of Europe initially. So it doesn't exclude non EU members. In fact, quite the opposite, every European country is encouraged to get behind the initiative.

Commenting on the immediate alliance, Mikkel said: "One of the major draws of teaming up with SMA-UK is that they already have the fundamentals of the type of constitution that gives a say in the development and direction of the organisation by the members. Plus, there's a focus on good business ethics. Just making sure that the members are giving a good deal and service to clients and not damaging the industry reputation."

SMA-EU has five working group members (a mixture from Denmark, Norway and Sweden) and is looking for five more volunteers. They can then emulate SMA-UK by holding an anonymous election to appoint an acting chairman and deputy, before taking it to the next level of paid membership.

Working closely with SMA-UK working group member Simon Collingridge, the SMA-EU web site is already live and ready to take enquiries from interested parties. And what's more, the site will be operating in five different languages by the end of this week, with more to come!

"The interest and support from all over Europe has been far larger than we expected, with SEM's from several countries asking how they could get involved. We look forward to assisting them in jointly promoting and educating people on search marketing in Europe" said Barry Lloyd, acting chairman SMA-UK.

The timing is perfect for the launch, as members of both groups will be attending the Search Engine Strategies conference in Stockholm, Sweden over the next few days. This provides an ideal opportunity for potential UK and continental European members to meet and discuss both initiatives.

Of course, on a personal level, I'm absolutely delighted to see the hugely positive reaction to the UK launch and expect the same with the announcement of the European launch today.

This really is a chance for the UK and the rest of Europe to have a real say in the future of the search marketing industry. Unlike SEMPO (a type of trade association in America) both SMA-UK and EU are 100% "by the members, for the members." So you really do get to have a say on how the association runs and who runs it.

Andy Atkins-Kruger, SMA-UK acting deputy chairman, who's company already does much work in Europe, has been completely enthused: "It seems the one-member-one-vote idea has really captured the imagination of search marketing professionals, not just in the UK but also in the rest of Europe. We've had discussions with interested people from the north to the south of Europe. What we all have in common is support for the spirit and the objectives set by the SMA-UK. However, it is important to stress that this is not a sub-committee of the SMA-UK, it is a group of like-minded Europeans coming together to create, once again, their own new association for professionals, by professionals."

And not only that, working group members of SMA-UK and EU are completely visible and accountable. Catch them personally for a chat at SES Stockholm if you're attending. Or failing that, you'll find many members around the industry forums.

So now is your chance to have your say. If you're interested in becoming a member and having an opportunity to nominate yourself for election to the board of either SMA-UK or SMA-EU, simply go to the respective web sites now and sign up for more information.

www.sma-uk.org - www.sma-eu.org

That's it from me for now, I'll be back soon with Christine and a regular feature packed edition!

[Declaration: Mike Grehan is a founding member of the SMA-UK working group and active supporter of the SMA-EU working group. However, he will not be nominating himself for election and has no intention of taking up a formal position with either organisation.]

(C) Mike Grehan & Net Writer Publishing 2004

Editor: Mike Grehan. Search engine marketing consultant, speaker and author. http://www.search-engine-book.co.uk

Associate Editor: Christine Churchill. KeyRelevance.com

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ready basis. (C)2004 Net Writer Publishing.

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