ABM, the association of business information and media companies, has formed a strategic alliance with the Professional Publishers Association (PPA), an ABM counterpart in the UK, which also serves consumer media.

The partnership is intended to help both memberships access each other’s markets, while the associations work together to promote and legally defend their joint industries in key areas of government affairs.

The alliance is part of phase two, says ABM president and CEO Clark Pettit, of a new strategy launched about a year and a half ago that expands ABM’s coverage beyond media to the entire b-to-b information and content space. Since then, the shift has brought roughly 60 new members to ABM from the data, marketing services, events, information, technology and software industries.

Phase one, according to Pettit, who joined ABM two years ago, was rebuilding the core team. The second phase is a “fairly significant expansion of the scope, resources and funding of the association’s government affairs division,” an expansion that also includes hiring full time staff in Washington, DC.

Pettit says the deal with PPA is the first of other international alliances ABM is working to establish in Europe and Asia. ABM has been in talks, he says, with organizations in Brussels and Asia to create, along with PPA, an international coalition, a “first line of defense” and a “loud and common voice across the whole b-to-b space.” 

Particular areas of concern are restrictions on data collection, licensing and database use, and the easing of copyright laws.

As a result of the deal, ABM and PPA will share metrics and research, co-market each other’s events and offer access to each other’s resources and events at a discount.

“We’ll be helping each other’s memberships become more knowledgeable in each other’s markets, so that when our members want to get into the UK, Europe and eventually Asia, we will have the network in place,” says Pettit.

Pettit says these international alliances are aimed at serving all of ABM’s membership, from multi-billion dollar companies with substantial revenue from outside the U.S., to middle-sized companies seeking international expansion, as well as smaller businesses that may not have considered an international strategy because of either a real or perceived barrier to entry.

“Having spent a large amount of my life overseas, I’m aware of the pitfalls but also how easily it can be done,” says Pettit. “So as we make international expansion more addressable, we’ll find that even some of the smaller company members will start to take advantage of this—especially in digital, where content can sometimes be almost instantly monetized and made relevant.”