Monday, January 28, 2013

8 must read articles for Association Executives

4 Things Membership Organizations Can Learn From Innovative Companies By Lori Halley via Wild Apricot

After reading about FastCompany’s Top 50 innovators, Lori captured 4 things that membership organizations could learn from the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies:
Walk the talk (#1 Apple) 
Play the long game (#4 Amazon)
Relentlessly reinvent (#12 Southern New Hampshire University) 
Make yourself useful(#30 LinkedIn)

Time For Your Conference Sponsorship To Grow Up  By Jeff Hurt via Velvet Chainsaw’s Midcourse Corrections

Has your conference sponsorship grown up? Or are you still offering first generation sponsorship that flashes logos on any and all available space at your conference venue? If you are, you have bought into the concept that displaying logos to masses of cynical consumers equals marketing return. Guess what, it doesn’t!

How Nonprofits Can Sidestep Content Marketing Pitfalls  
By Clare Mcdermott via Content Marketing Institute

This is a really great article for associations and nonprofits. For the last five years, Director of Editorial & Creative Services Michael Buller has helped shape content marketing strategy at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He’s found great ways to tiptoe around that nonprofit four-letter word (marketing), shaping a content-focused strategy for his organization. He recently told us how he overcomes the challenges of his industry.

Whitepaper from From PCMA

PCMA used research and historical data from the Harvard Medical School and Carnegie Mellon University. “Deciphering what really matters to attendees and improving their performance at meetings may be even more difficult than planners think, particularly if they are making assumptions instead of using information generated from in-depth scientific studies,” they explain. Here are five examples:
11. Too Much Choice? 
13. Make Them Smile 
14. It Smells Right
30. Middle Aged? Exercise Will Make You Smarter at Meetings
36. Boring Conferences Feel Longer 

How California’s Online Education Pilot Will End College As We Know It 
By Gregory Ferenstein via AOL Tech

Today, the largest university system in the world, the California State University system, announced a pilot for $150 lower-division online courses at one of its campuses — a move that spells the end of higher education as we know it. Lower-division courses are the financial backbone of many part-time faculty and departments (especially the humanities). As someone who has taught large courses at University of California, I can assure readers that my job could have easily been automated. Most of college–the expansive campuses and large lecture halls–will crumble into ghost towns as budget-strapped schools herd students online. 

Content Is King, If You Use it Effectively 
By Katie Bascuas via Associations Now
It’s one thing to create content, but it’s another to use it strategically to drive your mission and business goals. A new study illustrates a few ways associations can get more out of their content-marketing strategies. This story has useful information and valuable links.

Speaking your Members’ and Customers’ Language: Six Gaps that might be Dooming Associations to Irrelevance 
By Mattie Grant via Social Fish
Two articles about e-bay’s recent growth surge, by Marcus Wohlson in Wired magazine, confirmed for me our research insights: organizations that succeeded and grew in this fluid environment had a number of shared characteristics that were deeply embedded in the way they thought, framed challenges, perceived value, approached challenges, engaged people and defined priorities. The “guide” for knowledge age product and business development age below is extracted from these articles as well as our research. In reviewing it, it suddenly struck me. This guide also reads like a list of the major gaps and misalignments in most associations; what it is they do not do and should do in their pursuit of retention, growth, profitability and relevance and the reasons for attrition or stagnation and eroding value.

Don’t let your social media go to sleep 
By KiKi L'Italien via Amplified Growth

You never want your social media to sleep. Sure, there may be periods of quiet. But if you have a brand and it is not posting regularly on Twitter, Facebook, G+, and YouTube, you should consider waking your online presence up and giving your brand a jolt of energy. Insomnia of the social media ilk looks something like this:
Twitter: Daily posts >1
Facebook: Daily updates =1
G+: Daily posts =1
YouTube: Weekly activity =1

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