Tuesday, April 22, 2014

7 Secrets from a Hugely Successful Marching Band

The other day, Jonathan Waters, director of the highly rated Ohio State University Marching Band, shared ideas about the traditions and innovations of the band.

During the fall of 2013, the Ohio State Marching Band hit the big time: 20 million people have seen us on YouTube; six billion media exposures worldwide. We have been covered by over 1,000 media outlets internationally and a few are popping on the screen including a Today Show feature and a portion of an Apple tv commercial.

You may have seen the band’s mind-blowing performances on YouTube, the Today Show appearance or USA Today.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Will MOOC’s Impact Association Educational Offerings?

As I read a news story about 300,000 people enrolling in an environmental course, I wonder how exposure to massive open online courses will impact educational offerings of associations and professional societies.

Here’s the news item:
Ohio State Offers Public Online Environmental Science Course

  • Nearly 300,000 students -- from the U.S., China, Canada and other countries, enough to fill Ohio Stadium three times over -- have accessed a massive open online course, or MOOC, on environmental science offered by Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. 
  • “I wanted to be able to teach environmental science to a worldwide audience,” said the course’s creator and teacher, Brian Lower, assistant professor in the college’s School of Environment and Natural Resources. “I don’t believe education should be exclusive to those individuals who can afford it, and iTunes U offers a great way to provide free world-class educational content to anyone, anywhere, anytime.”
As younger professionals experience this type of online learning, won’t they assume that their associations and professional societies will offer classes and courses with similar technology?

And what will this mean to associations generating non-dues revenue from such educational classes?

Should you be pursuing your own version of MOOC courses? Will this allow your association to provide a value service and thus create more potential members?

What are you doing or considering as the MOOC movement expands?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

New & Improved Valid Strategy for Associations & Nonprofits

I grew up somewhat cynical of advertising claims for “new and improved” products. They seemed phony ... somewhat like the “wait, there’s more” claims on cable tv ads.
I thought about this as my wife and I were shopping for accessories for our new home the other day. This included one store that we have visited several times and from which we have purchased several items.

After leaving this time, my wife remarked, “I was disappointed. It didn’t seem as though they had any new items. Everything seems to be in the same place.”

This led to a discussion about “new and improved.”

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

When it comes to change, is your association board pro-active?

Is this one of your board members?
Following Sunday’s Master’s Tournament, USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan wrote a stinging column about the lack of action to stem the bleeding in the game of golf:
  • The game of golf is in serious trouble, but it has little to do with the aging of Tiger Woods.
  • Every year, as many as 1 million participants decide to stop playing golf. Their reasons? It's too expensive. It takes too long. It's too hard. It's too elitist.
  • The recession of 2008 hit the game particularly hard, with stuffy country clubs doing the unthinkable: reducing fees and practically begging people to join. But golf's leaders otherwise have been stunningly slow to react, and they have their reasons. What they must do to make their game more appealing to prospective new players will alter – and perhaps destroy – what they love most about the game.
  • Golf will never be as accessible and inexpensive as sports such as tennis, basketball and soccer. But it can do much more than it has so far to welcome new players, if only its leaders decide to truly grow the game rather than keep it the way it always has been.
Over the last 35 years, I’ve witnessed many associations paralyzed by the fear of change. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Old Fashioned Tool May Boost Association Communications.

Drinks on the Driveway
Our neighborhood has a “drinks in the driveway” gathering every other Friday afternoon. It’s a great way for neighbors to stay in touch.

The social committee promotes the event (including time and the driveway hosts) via email, notice on the website and sign at the street entrances.

For the last two events, the social committee chair has been away. As a result, the signs have not been posted at the neighborhood entrance.

Interestingly, participation in the events dropped dramatically.