The Committee on Public Awareness provides strategic information and advice to the SAA Council to enhance SAA’s capacity to promote the value of archives and archivists to institutions, communities, and society. The Committee recommends to the SAA Council the public awareness priorities on which SAA should focus its attention and resources, within the context of the Society’s mission and strategic plan. In addition, the Committee works with staff and outside counsel to develop programs that promote the value and role(s) of archivists and archives nationwide.
The Committee on Public Awareness (COPA) is distinguished from the Committee on Public Policy (COPP) by virtue of the audiences with which each group generally interacts and whose opinions it seeks to influence. COPP generally is concerned with influencing legislative and regulatory (i.e., public policy) decisions of government at all levels; COPA generally is concerned with influencing opinions about the value of archivists and archives among the general public and stakeholder groups other than legislators and regulators (e.g., archives users, institutional resource allocators, etc.). The two committees may collaborate on identification of key audiences, messages, and mediums to ensure a coordinated approach to SAA’s priorities and communications.