Dear Fellow Members,

The new AAPA committee held its first meeting November 28 and rapidly got down to work drawing up an exciting and challenging programme for the coming year. The well-attended meeting compiled an eclectic list of events covering potential guests from political, economic, industry, banking, culture, defence and media backgrounds inFranceand beyond. We hope that we can cater to the broadest tastes and interests of our members.

We were all very enthusiastic about taking on the challenge of getting high-profile figures to AAPA events in what promises to be a very active year, with busy schedules on many other fronts, not least in theU.S.and the European Union.

More on guests and events a bit later!

Meanwhile, I would again like to express the view of this and past committees that all members are welcome to suggest events or guests at any time and suggestions should be sent via any committee member or directly to me for discussion by members. This will help to enrich our progamme over the next year.

We also reviewed our website which has become an important tool in letting people know who we are and what we do. We are getting good verbal feedback and are always interested in members’ views. Efforts are underway to make the website more “interactive” and also enhance its visibility. We can now all keep up with developments, events, membership and other issues on

Suggestions have also been made to set up an AAPA Facebook page for members’ “news” and to have this linked to our website. This is being investigated for technical and other feasibility and I will keep you informed on developments. In any event, we fully intend to develop/revitalise a forum for information on and contact with members.

Our membership and the need to maintain our strength in numbers was also broached. We now stand at 93 members, with a small drop in 2011 due to the usual movements in our business. The committee agreed that it is important to renew contact with some former members still inParisbut who have “disappeared off our radar” and this will be undertaken as we move forward.

We are our own best ambassadors and should tell potential members about the Association and its attractiveness as we move to line up exclusive events in 2012. Interested journalists can find all they need on the website – both information and application forms and where to send them for review and committee approval.

As you all know, we are also 100 per cent self-financing and depend entirely on member dues to keep us “alive and independent.” With this in mind, we are launching our regular call for dues, which will remain at 95 Euros for 2012, unchanged for several years now. The deadline for payment has been set for 31 December 2011.

I thank you all for your ongoing support and encouragement as we head into what promises to be an exciting year and  we, on the committee, are very aware of what your commitment to the AAPA entails. I look forward to serving you over the next twelve months and I am fortunate to have a solid and experienced committee to rely on during this period.

It remains for me to thank outgoing president Ginny Power for helping make the transition “at the helm” so seamless and for participating “ex-officio” at our first committee meeting. We are happy to learn that she will continue to be active on the committee throughout the year.

Best regards,

— John Keating

December 2011