Monday, March 19, 2012

Content Provides Opportunities 4 Association Management Professionals to Build Organizational Value

In the last few weeks, I’ve been following a dialogue about content marketing, a topic hugely important to the future of associations and professional societies.

Since I believe creating, marketing and managing content is vital to the future of associations and nonprofits, I thought I would share the discussion and add my own twist as a way to benefit you and other association management professionals.

Here are some of the key posts on this subject:

I agree!
  • I don’t like semantic arguments about what different terms me. Seems a waste. Here I like the “just do it” philosophy.
  • I firmly believe content marketing is a rapidly growing strategy for association management professionals.
  • Joe Pulizzi has invited me to organize a Content Marketing Workshop for Associations and Nonprofits (see below).
Personally, I think the term “content management” may be more relevant for association management.
  1. Content (information, knowledge, education) has been the cornerstone of many associations and nonprofit organizations. We produce newsletters and journals. We offer education (through conferences, seminars, webinars and more). Many see their organizations as a repository of information and knowledge about its industry or profession.
  2. We are no longer “the only game in town.” Our members (and prospects) have multiple options for getting valued content and information.
  3. Our members are “content fried.” (As I noted in my “Content Fried” World, Associations that create, curate and market content can create tremendous value for their members/prospects. 
As I’ve experience association management over the last 33 years, I’ve see “departmental silos” block the overall content management strategies of many organizations. Associations produce volumes of valuable content. The problem is it is created in separate departments within the organization: education (or meetings), communications (or publications), member development, marketing, etc.

Associations can add value by following these four points:
  • Content strategy: Content Chemistry: the Periodic Table of Content.
  • Create content: Most associations have a strong history in creating content: in newsletters/magazines/journals; in conventions and educational programming; etc.
  • Curate content: Because of the volume of information (content), our members and prospects would greatly value organization(s) that capture, distill and distribute a “digest” of content important to them.
  • Manage content: Managing the content the organization creates, curates and markets has become a major staff function for associations. Some will let individual departments (meetings, membership, publications) manage individual segments of the association’s content. Those selecting this structure will need to create systems to coordinate content so they don’t increase the content fried feelings of its members. Other associations will begin to “centralize” the organization’s content management function as a means to harmonize and generate increased value. 
For a great strategy to enhance your association’s content, Andy Crestodina’s post Content Chemistry: the Periodic Table of Content.

And, for more indepth information/discussion on content marketing for associations and nonprofits, plan to participate in the Content Marketing World conference in Columbus (Ohio) September 4-6, 2012!

Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute has asked me to organize a Content Marketing Workshop for Associations and Nonprofits. It will be held the afternoon of September 4.

We’ll be sharing details soon.

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