Sunday, February 1, 2015

Is Your Association Stuck in Groundhog Day?


Today is Groundhog Day. You know, if the groundhog sees its shadow, we’re supposed to have six more weeks of winter weather.

But, for this blog, I’m thinking of the 1993 movie Groundhog Day  ... the one where Phil Connors (played by Bill Murray) ends up in a time loop, living the same day over and over again.

Groundhog Day doesn’t just affect associations, corporations face the same issues. Here are some quotes from The Next McDonald’s Turnover, Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., column in last weekend’s Wall Street Journal:

  • If there’s a lesson for McDonald’s latest troubles, which got CEO Don Thompson fired this week, it’s that every organization keeps doing what works until it no longer works. McDonald’s problems are eminently fixable.
  • The easiest part is to stop doing what no longer works. 
Today’s question is whether your association is trapped doing the same things day after day but not really making any progress.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Deflate-gate, Audi rules and Association Standards


Approaching Super Bowl Sunday, the media has been focused on “deflate-gate” ... the unfolding story about how 11 of 12 New England Patriot footballs had air pressure below the league rules.

The Patriots quickly held news conferences from their head coach and then from their future Hall of Fame quarterback.  Both claimed no knowledge of the deflated balls or how it might have happened. [Note: NFL rules provide for each team to provide 12-24 balls (each with the team logo) for the game. When on offense, the game is played with that team’s ball.]

Patriot defenders argue that the deflated balls did not impact the outcome of the game in which the Patriots routed the Indianapolis Colts 45-7.

One commentator responded saying, “I cheated at ping pong with my 5-year old, but it’s okay because I would have beaten her anyway.”




Tuesday, January 27, 2015

SkyMall, Jaycees, March of Dimes and Future of Associations



In an article headlined What Skymall Teaches about Captive Audiences, AssociationsNow wrote about the implications the death of SkyMall has on association publications.
  • Does the news about SkyMall hurt the case for publishing an association magazine? It’s not clear, but it’s nonetheless worth considering Association Media and Publishing’s recent reader survey that delved into how challenging it is to make the case for maintaining an association magazine. While 44 percent of respondents said it’s not hard at all, more concerning might be the 25 percent of respondents who constantly have to defend their publications’ value to their bosses. 

Meanwhile, Gannett reported that online advertisers are looking for deeper readership data than clicks. This too will impact association media. See Selling advertisers on reader attention, not clicks http://archive.theleafchronicle.com/usatoday/article/22074703
  • First came clickbait. Now comes engagement.
  • Disillusioned with page views as a reliable metric of their ads' effectiveness, advertisers are increasingly demanding to know whether readers stick around long enough to actually see their online ads. Publishers - as if the need to pursue clicks and Facebook "virality" wasn't stressful enough - implore their troops to post stories that might actually be read, preferably all the way to the end.

What about the Entire Organization?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

5 Passion Busters within Associations


Passion drives success.

Passion grows associations.

Passion permeates throughout the organization especially one that is “clicking on all cylinders.” This showed in Ohio State’s drive for the national championship in college football and was evident in Saturday’s celebration which drew more than 50,000 people to Ohio Stadium on a cold Saturday morning.

[And, passion drives publishing and advice! Amazon lists 198,435 books/products with the word PASSION in the title!]

Unfortunately, passion is not automatic. 

And, unfortunately, organizations can lose passion.

Here are five “passion busters” ...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Avoid Long State of the Association Speeches

NATIONAL JOURNAL Graphic
As a long-time association speech writer, I often watch major speeches not for what is said but the delivery styles and other components of the speech.

This is one reason I continue to be shocked when U.S. Presidents give State of the Union speeches lasting an hour or longer. The graphic above shows the average length of presidential speeches.

Most of the few Americans watching a State of the Union address tire long before the speech finishes. 

We get tired ...