Tuesday, January 31, 2012

When does an Unanswered Lie become the Truth?

Years ago, I attended a campaign and election course to develop an understanding of referenda for the association where I worked.

One lesson I have not forgotten:
• An unanswered lie becomes truth in 24 hours.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Does J.C. Penney’s New Pricing Strategy Impact Dues & Conference Fees?

J.C. Penney just announced a new pricing strategy that USA Today headlined “It’ll be all sales all the time at J.C. Penney.”

Here's a funny TV commercial announcing the changes.

Buried in the story was something different ... a strategy that may work for associations:

Sunday, January 29, 2012

What do Apple’s 1st Quarter #s mean to you and your association or nonprofit?

Last week, Apple reported on its first quarter sales and earnings.

Forget the profits ... look at the sales numbers!

In the 1st quarter (remember, this is just three - 3 - months), Apple sold 73.04 million units ... that is 25.4 million per MONTH!

Here’s what fascinates me and should catch your attention too:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Can “oldies but goodies” work for associations and nonprofits?

Perhaps I need to get a life!

• Last night, I found myself watching the reruns of the 2003 US Open on the Golf Channel.
• Today while driving around town, I found myself listening to the 1996 NHL All-Star game on satellite radio.
• And, my wife and I often switch off “regular TV” and watch reruns of Frazier on TVLand.

What the heck?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Your Website as a Hub for Your Members: NAEDA Case Study

As you may know, I’ve been writing and posting a daily blog called SCDdaily … three posts have focused on the importance of websites:
Researching a project, I happened to visit the North American Equipment Dealers (NAEDA) website. Wow! Here’s an association that “gets” content management and the power of the website as a hub for association communications and association members.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Can Our Associations Change if Our Boards are Past the “Adventure Window?”

A tweeted link to a Forbes article [Why Do We Always Sell the Next Generation Short]?  led to more information and some thinking on how this topic impacts associations and nonprofit organizations.

The articles cited a neuroscientist studying “why humans (indeed, all mammals) have an innate tendency to lose their willingness to try new things after a certain point in their lives” called this our “adventure window.” 

Why is it, the neuroscientist wondered, that our willingness to try new things (our “adventure window”) fades rapidly after a certain point in life? Unfortunately, science can’t provide us with all the answers here, but his research and that of others suggests that there exists something deep within our psyche that relishes novelty and experimentation when we are young, but firmly rejects it as we grow older. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Generations by the Numbers: Why association Membership May Not Return to Pre-Recession Levels

I’m a volunteer on the board of a local professional association. Our membership has dropped four of the last five years. 

Our question: Is the drop related to the recession? Or, are there other factors?

I’m in the camp saying that the member decline started before the recession and won’t return to pre-recession levels unless we adjust our membership philosophy and strategies.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

What can Coke teach Associations & Nonprofits about Content Marketing?

Disclosure: Content management represents a core function of nearly all associations and nonprofits whether your content is shared in a magazine or newsletter, board minutes or a webinar, websites or conferences. My frustration is that most of us in the association community don’t fully see this role and fail to capitalize on emerging content marketing and management philosophies and strategies. So, I’ll be posting several content management/marketing blogs over the next several weeks.

Here are two content marketing articles of value to association and nonprofit executives and staffs. Both relate to the marketing changes at Coca Cola:

3 Content Marketing Ideas You Should Steal from Coca Cola From Copyblogger.com
Coca-Cola Bets the Farm on Content Marketing: Content 2020  From Content Marketing Institute
What are the three content marketing ideas?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hallmark. US Postal Service. Associations. Are we all in the same boat?

News item: Hallmark retail outlets closing 
News item: US Postal Service projected to loose $10 billion (video)

News item: 67.5% of professional associations reported memberships were down or even in 2011.

These stories all connect with associations and nonprofits.  Here's the background:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Golf and Associations: 3 trends impacting both

Headline  USA Today this week:

Interesting story ... makes me think about associations and nonprofits.

Here are some key golf stats:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Stay on top of 7 trends to keep your business/association afloat

This AP news story focuses on small businesses ... but could have easily have been written about trade associations, professional societies and/or nonprofit organizations.

The story about operating your business as if it were 1982 certainly applies to associations and nonprofit organizations.

Just look at the dramatic declines in “noonday service clubs” such as the Jaycees whose membership has declined from 200,000 to only 20,000)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ripped from the Headlines: “Overseer of estates cancels gala”

When I read the Fort Myers News-Press story about the cancellation of an annual fund-raising gala that nets $100,000 for the Edison Ford Winter Estates Foundation, I thought I had read something similar a while back.

Turns out it was a Gala Economics post from Seth Godin.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

You love your website: what about your members?

Our website is the most important communication channel say 68% of 1,288 non-profits and associations surveyed in 2011.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Is deflation impacting associations and nonprofits?

Over the last couple of years, I’ve noticed association members “pushing back” on the cost of membership, the cost of conferences and overall costs of belonging to the associations I’ve managed.

USA Today’s Money section (Monday) http://usat.ly/zagQJQ ran a lengthy piece on the negative impact of deflation ... makes me wonder if this is what is influencing our member attitudes?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Are your members or donors in the “survey fatigue” category?

As someone who loves surveying members, this AP story saying that consumers are tiring of surveys worried me.

Note that the folks at Pew research say response rates have fallen from 37% in 1997 to 11% in 2011.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Connecting the Unconnected: Church. WSJ. Blog. Phone Call.

I like connecting the unconnected! This week it was a message at church; a blurb in the Wall Street Journal; a phone call with an association colleague; a comment on a blog.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Two Key Questions for Associations & Nonprofits: Who do you serve? Who do you want to serve?

I’m volunteering with a small association that seems to be “dying.” Membership, meeting attendance and revenue all have declined in four of the last five years.

In some preliminary discussions, some have asked whether the historical name of the organization has become a barrier to getting new, younger professionals to join the organization.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

7 Posts Worth Reading: associations & nonprofits

Here are some posts of value to association and nonprofit professionals.  Happy reading.

Is your conference Twitter worthy or not?
Jeff Hurt, as usual, has written this thoughtful piece. It makes so much sense. And, it challenges those of us in the association management profession to think about our conferences ... are we continuing to do what we’ ve always done? Are our meetings getting stale? In the “old days,” we used to ask whether our conference would be “news worthy.” Well, the addition of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms have, as Jeff writes, changed the question to whether our conferences are Twitter worthy. Still a valid question for your consideration.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

QR CODES - Any Value for Associations & Nonprofits?

I’ve been fascinated with QR codes for about three years ... goes way back to learning about RFID codes from a consumer marketing specialist back in 2004.

Trouble is I’ve not been able to find a viable use of QR codes for the associations I’ve managed or for which I’ve volunteered.

Now comes this story from Advertising Age titled “Why Marketer Love for QR Codes is NOT shared by Consumers.”

Thursday, January 5, 2012

What does a great Association Website Look Like? Here are 6 key elements.

Over the holidays, I explored more than 25 association websites.

Looking at association sites other than your own is an interesting (and informative) process.

And, somewhat alarming!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Strive 4 Five = Bogus Customer (member) research

It happened again at lunch yesterday. The third time this month.

Our waitress brought the check and said “We have a ‘Strive for Five survey’ that I’d like you to complete. And, please, if you can’t give me a 5 on everything, don’t take the survey!”

Early in the month, a personal banker told us the same thing after we finished opening the account. “You’ll be called to take a survey about my performance, please be sure to give me all 5s, otherwise, I get in trouble with my boss.”

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My 7 favorite posts in 2011

Looking over the SCDdaily blog since October, seven of my “favorites” didn’t make the Top 7 (see yesterday's post) in terms of page views. Yet, I feel they offer value to you and other associations and nonprofits.

Here they are:

Monday, January 2, 2012

7 best read SCDdaily posts in 2011

Looking at the stats, seven posts stood out in 2011 as the best read. (As you check this “year in review,” please remember that SCDdaily didn’t start until late October.)

Here they are:

“Even if you’re on the right track ...

... you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

I’ve always thought this Will Rogers quote applies to associations and nonprofits. Often, our desire for consistency gets us into a rut without realizing it.

Think about it: