Thursday, May 31, 2012

6 Questions to determine what’s next for your association: "Keep asking why"

George Csolak, a sports reporter in St. Louis (before the newspaper closed) and pr professional, is one of the best people I know at getting “the story.”

Why? Because he keeps asking and probing until he gets the quote or the lead to a story. One of his favorite questions is “What else is going on?”

One of the principles of the American Academy on Communications in Healthcare (an organization promoting doctor-patient relations) relates around what is called the medical encounter (or interview). They encourage physicians to keeping asking why or what else is bothering you until they get the patient to share his/her concerns.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What Boomers Do Might Impact Your Association

Last week, I posted a blog called “Ready or Not, Here Comes Generation Y.”

I’ve given presentations and facilitated visioning for associations planning ahead and working on how to engage millenials in their organization.

As you know, I’m convinced the millenials – all 80 million of them – will greatly influence how associations organize and how they engage members.

Now, along comes Dr. Ken Dychtwald and his thoughts and research on how Boomers will chose to “retire” and how that will impact the U.S. and various organizations.  (Thanks to Harvey Mackay for his column in the St. Louis Business Journal sharing Dychtwald’s thinking.)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Go Mobile Associations, Get Mobile

Going forward, growing associations will have converted most of their content to mobile platforms.

Members and potential members are moving in that direction.

These sales figures are in millions of purchasers of smart phones and tablets:

Monday, May 28, 2012

Readings of the Week: 6 stories for Busy Association CEOs, EDs, Execs

Here are some articles you and others on your association management team should consider as “must reads” for association staff.

The difference between HELPING and SELLING is Just Two Letters
From Jay Baer. If you’ve ever had a salesperson try to “sell” you, you will value this article. And, it can serve as a guide for your staff ... to be sure that your association is helping more than selling!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!


Hope you have a fun, relaxing and safe Memorial Day Weekend!

SCDdaily will return after the holidays!

Steve

Thursday, May 24, 2012

5 Tips on Integrated Marketing: Marketing the Association in the Digital Era

Five AMC professionals shared 60 ideas/tips on marketing the association in the digital age at the recent ASAE Great Ideas Conference. The ideas were shared in 5 categories:
  • Integrated Marketing 
  • Twitter &/or IM 
  • Mobile &/or QR Codes 
  • Facebook &/or LinkedIn 
  • Blogs, Websites &/or Slide Share 
This is the final installment of the top 5 ideas in each of the 5 major categories. You can click here for the full PowerPoint. This week, we're focusing on Integrated Marketing.

Previously, I’ve shared
· 5 tips on Twitter and/or IM
· 5 tips on mobile technology
· 5 Tips on Facebook/LinkedIn
· 5 Tips on Blogs & Websites

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ready or not, here comes Gen Y: Is your association ready or will they pass you by?

Ready or not, here comes Gen Y: Is your association ready or will they pass you by?Generation Y. Millenials. Digital Natives. No matter what you call them they are going to radically change your association in the next few years.

I love working with and nurturing Millennials. Before selling my AMC last August, more than half of my 28 employees were 33 years or younger. And, I love presenting and facilitating discussions about Millennials and other generations in the work force.

Who Are They?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

12 Questions to Determine if Success Has Made Your Association Complacent?


I’ve written two posts about the struggles of Kodak and what it means to associations and nonprofit organizations.

In research for those posts, I uncovered writings of Professor John P. Kotter, the Chief Innovation Officer of Kotter International and the Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership, Emeritus at the Harvard Business School.

Kotter attributes much of Kodak’s problems to a culture of complacency that blocked innovation and quick responses to the changing markets.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Ripped from the Headlines: 5 Steps to Protect Associations from Embezzlers

When my golfing partner learned I formerly managed associations, he said his wife – a co-founder of a nonprofit for women – had just received an email saying that the organization’s financial manager had embezzled about $150,000 from the organization. Then, he said, “You just can’t trust anyone can you?”

It reminded me of two other embezzlement stories:

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Best of the Week: 3 key topics for Association CEOs, EDs, Execs

This week, I'm sharing seven (7) articles that fall within three (3) categories vital to the future of associations.  These are excellent articles for association CEOs, Executive Directors and other association staff.  Please share with you association staff and volunteer leaders as appropriate.

Issue 1: Strategic Planning and Change Management.
Two good articles in the last week around this core topic:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Does GM’s Facebook decision impact your association?


You may have read that GM (General Motors) has decided to stop buying ads on Facebook. (They have been spending about $40 million on Facebook ads in the last 18 months.)

Because Facebook’s IPO was pending when the GM decision went public, some commentators jumped to the conclusion that Facebook might be in trouble.  The commentators seemed to put the focus on the value of Facebook rather than the value of Facebook ads.

And, this emphasis may lead some association executives to ask “If Facebook doesn’t work for General Motors, why should our association get engaged with Facebook.”

Please read the story deeper.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Can Your Association Avoid a Kodak Moment?

Back on April 4, I posted a story titled Will Your Association Face a Kodak Moment?  My point was that the phrase “Kodak moment” has changed from a rare moment captured in a gorgeous photo to the near death of a large (seemingly stable) American corporation at least partly because technology and its customers (members) passed it by.

I reflected on what happened at Kodak and whether associations are facing similar challenges.

I concluded with these questions:

So, as you think about your association, can you see a tidal wave headed your way?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

5 Tips on Websites & Blogs: Marketing the Association in the Digital Era


Five AMC professionals shared 60 ideas/tips on marketing the association in the digital age at the recent ASAE Great Ideas Conference. The ideas were shared in 5 categories: 
  • Integrated Marketing 
  • Twitter &/or IM 
  • Mobile &/or QR Codes 
  • Facebook &/or LinkedIn 
  • Blogs, Websites &/or Slide Share
Over the next week or so, I’ll share the top 5 ideas in each of the 5 major categories. You can click here for the full PowerPoint.  This week, we're focusing on Websites & Blogs.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Is Networking Your #1 Association Member Benefit?

A few weeks ago, Race to Relevance co-author Harrison Coerver shared some interesting stats he pulled from ASAE’s Decision to Join research.

Here’s what Harrison shared:
• Board and committee members rate networking #1 (4.3 on a 5.0 scale);
• Members-at-large rate networking #3 (3.6 on a 5.0 scale).
• For board and committee members information and education were #2 and #3;
• Information and education were #1 and #2 for members-at-large.
So, what’s the disconnect in priorities and what does it mean to your association?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Readings of the Week: 7 Reads for Association Leaders

Here are some articles you and others on your association management team should consider as “must reads” for association staff.
The Future of Association Publishing
This short video from the Association Media & Publishing provides a look into the future of association publishing (magazines, newsletters, digital, etc.). Mobile will turn publishing upside down. The process will begin by publishing (online) first; curating your streams of content; then selecting what gets “printed.” As fast as digital tools are growing, time now for associations to plan and prepare for what it looks like in 2015. After watching the video, be sure to read Maddie Grant's post 
Flipping Your Publishing Model.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

6 Important Topics on Associations & Change

From Peter Drucker:
“Every organization must be prepared to abandon everything it does to survive in the future.”

Looking at the rapid changing environment in which associations operate, what are you doing to prepare your association, your board and your staff for the changes you need to make?

Think about the key changes featured in SCDdaily blogs in the last month:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

5 Questions to ask about FREE: A new association revenue model?

What consumers (who are also members of associations) are experiencing influences their expectations from their associations.

In the last four or five years, I’ve seen members and potential members “push back” on membership dues and conference registration fees.

And, since reading
FREE: the Future of a Radical New Price by Chris Anderson (@chr1sa),  I’ve had a better sense of the push back on dues/fees. Depite the information and push back from members/prospects, I've heard association CEOs and volunteer leaders say there is no way they could afford to offer free memberships. I’ve listened as most of those leaders – especially membership directors – balk at the idea of giving content and other “member benefits” free to non-members.

I’m still curious. If other organizations can make money offering content (and other benefits) free, why not associations?

What, exactly is Freemium?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Reinventing membership as a revenue tool for associations

David McKnight (@djmcknight), President at Digital Publishing Innovation, shared this Seth Godin blog  via LinkedIn:

 How much for a really small slice?

  • When the hardware store sells you a single screw for a dime, shouldn't they just give it to you? Especially if you're a good customer?
  • Shouldn't that singer (you bought all her albums) return the love? You're only asking for a few seconds, a hug, a handshake, an autograph.
  • It's easier than ever to break your offering into smaller bites, into pieces that are part of the whole but are tiny on their own.
  • Add up enough small slices and that's the whole cake. Asymmetry is the rule now, not the exception.
  • Small slices can't be free in the long run, not if that's the only kind of slice there is.
  • Either you need to figure out how to sell your small slices, or you need to invent some big slices that are obviously worth what you need to sell them for.
Seth makes great points.

Monday, May 7, 2012

5 Tips on Facebook/LinkedIn: Marketing the Association in the Digital Era

Five AMC professionals shared 60 ideas/tips on marketing the association in the digital age at the. recent ASAE Great Ideas Conference. The ideas were shared in 5 categories:
  • Integrated Marketing 
  • Twitter &/or IM 
  • Mobile &/or QR Codes 
  • Facebook &/or LinkedIn 
  • Blogs, Websites &/or Slide Share 
Over the next week or so, I’ll share the top 5 ideas in each of the 5 major categories and any of the ideas the audience surfaced.

Previously, I’ve shared

You can click here for the full PowerPoint.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

5 High Value Articles for Association Professionals: Best of the Week

Here are some articles you and others on your association management team should consider

51 Ways To Reward Employees Without Money
From Good News Everyday: Some great ideas in here for association CEOs. When money is tight, it’s not always practical, or possible, to give your employees a financial bonus at the end of the year. As such, many employers have had to get creative when it comes to non-monetary employee rewards. Fortunately, there are multiple different ways to show your employees how much you appreciate their hard work that don’t involve cash.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

5 Issues Impacting Future of Associations & Nonprofits

At lunch the other day, a vendor actively involved in associations and association meetings asked me, “What is the one big issue or trend that associations face today?”

I found myself not able to isolate just one. Here are the five I shared with him:
1) Nurturing a framework and culture for change.
2) Adding value beyond “networking.”
3) Managing association content.
4) Determining whether the current membership model works in the future.
5) Developing a freemium model that works.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Easy reading is damn hard writing: 3 questions for association communications

This quote is attributed to Nathaniel Hawthorne but I first heard it from Walt Seifert, my PR prof at Ohio State. (One of the many “Walt-isms” that I still remember and use.)

I thought about the quote when a state-wide association of association executives emailed to ask me to write a story for their newsletter on the topic of meeting planning.

I get to pick the topic.

Hum. What do I write about?

So, I emailed back asking before I select the topic and start writing, could you share with me a bit about your readers: size of associations, age, interests, etc.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What’s New & Improved at Your Association?

Photos courtesy of USA Today
I’m not really interested in a bacon-flavored milk shake, but this USA Today piece  on “weird new foods/flavors” did make me ask some questions about associations:
  • What is new and improved at our associations?
  • What new member benefit did your association add this year?
  • How did you modify and improve your annual conference this year?
  • What new tools/ideas have you added to your association’s content management efforts?
  • How did you improve your association’s website this year?
Our members are consumers too. What they experience as consumers, they expect as members. Never forget that!