Wednesday, November 30, 2011

5 Association/Nonprofit PR Tips: Are you a Codfish or a Hen?

“A codfish lays 10,000 eggs a day ... silently. A hen lays one egg a day and cackles. Nobody eats codfish eggs. Everyone eats hen’s eggs.”– George Bernard Shaw

As a public relations professional, I’ve always liked this quote as it speaks to the value great public relations provides your association or nonprofit organization.

Here are five key elements of a successful public relations program for associations:
[Yes, PR is much broader than publicity or getting yourself in the news.]

What Does Cyber Monday Mean for Associations & Nonprofits?

Here are the stats for Cyber Monday (11/28/11):
  • 38% of all Thanksgiving weekend purchases were made online
  • 43% more online retail traffic than in 2010
  • 33% increase in online sales (over 2010)
  • 7.4% increase in sales via mobile devices

“We spent the last year really focusing (to make sure) our mobile experience was full and complete,” Sears CMO told USA Today. They focused on speed, features and functionality.

So what Steve ... we have members and donors, not consumers.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Why a Mediocre Website Is So Dangerous for Associations & NonProfits

A Twitter buddy (@RobbTrost) shared this column ( from today’s New York Times. While the column focuses on a forprofit company, the concepts apply to associations and other nonprofit organizations.

In doing communications audits and other consulting for associations and nonprofits over the last two years, I’ve seen some really bad association websites!

Most are simple “electronic brochures.” Few post anything new between conferences, if then.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Problem with Committees: Added Thoughts

Jamie Notter recently wrote a post ( he titled “The Problem with Committees.”

After the first paragraph, I thought I’d prepare a response pointing out the “mistakes” in Jamie’s thinking and rationale.

But, then I came to these paragraphs:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

6 Reasons Why Your Organization Needs a Social Media Hub

My Twitter friend Colleen Dilenschneider gave me permission to share her post with you. Funny coincidence: her uncle and I shared the same PR prof at Ohio State.

A hub is an important part of an online communication strategy. The hub serves as a landing page for engaging content (stories, videos, anecdotes, etc). The hub functions much like a blog. It is critical for community building and,

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Saying Happy Thanksgiving!

As you share Thanksgiving Day with family and friends, SCDdaily invites you to share your gratitude with others in your social media community.

If you are tweeting, we invite you to use the following:
#FoodThanks ... your opportunity to “thank a farmer” for the food you are enjoying.
#EpicThanks ... you can launch your own gratitude bomb at

Meanwhile, enjoy, be safe and share your thanks.

And, I want to personally thank you for reading SCDdaily!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What is the Role of Your Speakers in Content Marketing?

The ASAE The Center for Association Leadership group on LinkedIn ( has been engaged in a lively discussion about how the association can get speakers to submit their Power Point presentations before their presentations.

  1. I’m an association professional who gets paid to speak NOT a professional speaker who gives presentations to associations. 
  2. I look at this topic not as conference speakers but as the association’s overall content management strategy which some call knowledge or resource centers.
  3. I’m a fan of all forms of presentation aids. While I talk about Power Points here, I’m referring to handouts, outlines and other tools that share the message.

Monday, November 21, 2011

What’s Your Crisis Communications Plan?

What do the recent high-profile events surrounding Penn State, Syracuse and Herman Cain have to do with you and your association or nonprofit organization?


Friday, November 18, 2011

9 Leadership (Associations/Nonprofits) Lessons from Steve Jobs

Since the death of Steve Jobs, all kinds of books, videos and news articles have chronicled the life and beliefs of Steve Jobs. Many have focused on his quote that putting a sales person at the top can ruin a company because they focus on the bottom line rather than innovation.

Jamie Notter did a great job and tied his comments on CEO into his latest efforts regarding humanizing our organizations ( Larry Dignan focused on the sales quote in his post for Zdnet. ( This week, I went back and viewed the 2007 joint video interviews Kenzoki ( conducted of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Wow. Some really great stuff for you and others leading associations and nonprofit organizations!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Go Mobile Association. Go Mobile!

There are 1.2 billion computers in the world. But, there are 3.5 billion mobile phones. In the last three months of 2010, Apple sold 10 times more mobile units as it did Mac computers.

You and the rest of us need to quickly get mobile if we want to stay relevant to our members, donors and prospects! If you are not there, be there early in 2012!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How Will the Recession’s Influence on Gen Y Attitudes Impact Your Organization?

Thanks to the Missouri Society of CPAs, each morning I receive the Business Intelligence Brief which is a “digest and commentary” of economic news prepared and distributed by the folks at Armada Corporate Intelligence ( Good stuff.

A week or so ago, I was reading a post called More Evidence that Frugality May be Here to Stay.  While the authors focused on the impact of frugality on retail and consumer sales, I wondered about the impact on associations and other nonprofit organizations.

Two questions and the analysis from this column grabbed my attention:

Monday, November 14, 2011

5 Tips to Increase Your Headline Click-Through Rates

Click-throughs are a key tool to measure the impact of your content delivery.  

When I attended the 2011 Content Marketing World Conference ( – an awesome event – the folks at Outbrain (; @Outbrain) shared a simple postcard with some powerful information.

I thought these five (5) tips to improve headline click-through rates would be helpful to you and other nonprofit organizations.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Will Competition Push Associations & Nonprofits to Reinvent Themselves?

"When you're finished changing, you're finished."  Benjamin Franklin.

I’ve been tracking association trends for some time and have discovered a growing number of organizations that are filling needs and niches existing associations apparently have missed.  

Some of the new discoveries gave me a flashback to 2008.  Reading Clay Shirky’s ( powerful book Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing without Organizations changed my perspectives about associations and other nonprofit organizations.

I remember telling colleagues that the book’s contents represented either a huge opportunity or a burgeoning threat to the nonprofit community.

At a session on the future of associations this summer, a well regarded association consultant challenged several association professionals who  suggested associations faced increasing competition from nontraditional organizations.  He said such organizations couldn’t sustain the structure needed to continue.

Friday, November 11, 2011

7 Ways Content Marketing Can Boost Your Image

Earlier this week, I “observed” as a client communications committee and its marketing agency shared the 2012 marketing campaign with its board and industry leaders. [Unfortunately, I need to keep the client and the specifics of their marketing plan confidential.]

About half way through the presentation, I realized that they were delivering some key information that might help you and other association and professional societies whether you are communicating with members or marketing your industry or profession.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ring-Ring. Ring-Ring. Social Media is the new Ma Bell

One comment from one of the mommy bloggers on a panel yesterday jolted me to attention!  

Asked how she researched products, she responded “after looking at their website, I tweet them if I have questions. Twitter is a better way to get the company than trying to reach them via their toll free numbers ... I hate going to the 800 number and getting lost in all the auto sections.  Twitter usually gets a faster answer and if they don’t answer my tweet, I don’t bother with that company.”

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Membership Marketing: Are You Fishing in the Right Pond?

As some of you know, I enjoy fishing.  Especially our family’s annual fishing adventure to Canada.  We’ve been doing it for more than 45 years.  Dad and my brother Dave started the tradition which now includes Dave, his twin sons Randy and Todd, my son Mike and our family friend Brian. (That’s me on the left and the “younger generation” on the right!)

Linking fishing and membership marketing may seem like a stretch but let me explain!

Here’s a potential dialog between two association professionals discussion member development:

Let’s go fishing!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sharing Association Content Only Once is Wasteful!

Since reading Jay Conrad Levinson’s Guerrilla Marketing ( years ago, I’ve often referred to the “Rule of 9.”  Its core: we need to read/see/hear a message nine (9) times before we “receive” it.  But, because of clutter, we miss two out of three messages.  So, to “get hit” nine times, the message needs to be sent 27 times.

I thought of this recently when I heard Guy Kawasaki ( mention that he tweets key messages eight (8) times a day.  Why?  Because – given the continuous and constant stream of Tweeted content – “Twitter is like a river” and people only see your Tweet if they are looking. So Tweet key content multiple times during the day.  (By the way, do NOT do this with Facebook or LinkedIn.)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

5 tips associations can learn from a pool guy

As I settled into one of the breakout sessions at the recent Content Marketing World conference (, I realized one of the speakers owned a swimming pool company.

My first thought was “What is a pool guy going to teach me about content marketing?”

Wow!  Was I wrong!!

Marcus Sheridan (aka the pool guy) blew me away.  Energetic.  Enthusiastic. Practical.  One of the best speakers I’ve heard in a long time ... and, he only had 15 minutes to talk with us!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Inspiration in the nonprofit workforce

Are you inspired about your work? Do you feel engaged with the mission of your organization? Do you feel recognized and/or rewarded for the work you do for your organization?

In the last two days, two chance meetings and two articles made me think about “inspiration in the work place” and our personal role in our own happiness. Think about how these four items relate to you and your organization.
  1. The Chronicle of Philanthropy ( reported on research data from 3,500 nonprofit workers in New York and Washington that showed many were not happy in their jobs.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

9 Key Points about Non-Profits and Social Media

My friend John Haydon ( recently shared the new idealware report called "The Nonprofit Social Media Discussion Guide." I thought it might be useful to you and others working in associations and other nonprofit organizations.

This 78-page FREE document ( has some great info and tools for associations and other nonprofit organizations. It includes 12 worksheets for you to use. By the way, thanks to our friends Maddie & Lindy at Socialfish ( and Brett at The Center for Association Growth ( for helping sponsor this workbook.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Social Media Empowering Consumers (and members)

Ripped from Today's headlines: "Bank of America fee retraction shows effect of consumer rage"

Did the impact of social media on Bank of America pull back on debit card fee surprise you?

Probably shouldn't have. It is not the first time.