Monday, March 31, 2014

Baseball Season brings Comparisons with Associations & Nonprofits

Major league baseball is starting. And, with it the advent of expanded video reviews.

Years ago, I heard a cute story about three baseball umpires discussing their profession:
Ump #1 There are balls and strikes and I call them as I see them.
Ump #2 There are balls and strikes and I call them as they are.
Ump #3 There are pitches and they aren’t either until I call them!

Here are 4 things associations and nonprofits share with baseball.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

4 Reasons Associations & Nonprofits Should Monitor Freelance Numbers

The stats in a FastCompany’s Leadership Now story headlined Why Everybody's Going Freelance caught my attention and should concern association executives and other association professionals.

The core numbers from the article:
  • 17 million Americans self-identified as independent workers – as in freelancers, temps, self-employed consultants. 
  • This May 2013 number is up 10% from 2011.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports that the total number of independent workers is predicted to grow to 24 million in the next five years.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

$10,000 Association Video Project?

The other day, a colleague told me that his board wanted to have an updated video produced that could be used in trade shows and other venues.

He said he received a proposal to do it for $10,000!

My response was swift: "You’ve got to be kidding me!"

Expensive, professionally produced videos don’t have the ROI they once did (assuming they ever had an ROI in the first place).

Impromptu YouTube videos are cheaper and more believable.
Portable  video cameras (such as GoPro models) have made it possible to create and edit more authentic videos that most associations can afford.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

To association executives saying “If it ain’t broke” ...

... I say “break it!”

When working as an association executive at a major national association, I had a board member who loved to respond to new ideas with:

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Well, I have one response (which I borrowed) for this board member (who became our president) and others like him:

“If it ain’t broke, BREAK IT and then fix it.”

Let’s go back to the late 1990s.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Social media can correct association rumors ... if ...

In today’s hyper connected world, rumors become truth within 24 minutes!

Rumors – whether shared via traditional media or social media – can harm associations ... Quickly.

Successful association executives ensure their organizations are listening and monitoring all forms of media.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Successful Associations Fish Where the Fish Are!

I enjoy catch & release fishing.

Over the years, I’ve learned that successful fishing means:

  • recognizing that not all fish are alike
  • determine what you are fishing for and go to where they are
  • fish at the time of day those fish are feeding
  • use the bait designed just for those fish
Last week I was speaking about How Specialty Contractors can Use the Web and Social Media with members of the Maple Flooring Contractors Association.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

CEO of Small Association Responds to Staffing Small Nonprofits

Guest post by Bill Knopf

Steve, re your March 16 post headlined Staffing for Small Associations and Nonprofits.

Welcome to my world!

This ad is typical of micro associations with a dysfunctional board, limited volunteer resources or expertise to draw on, and little to no money. Hundreds of thousands of them exist.

This particular group is not recruiting nationally, but decided to put an ad in the local paper, hoping to find a needle in a haystack. As if anyone reads the local paper anymore. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Staffing for Small Associations & Nonprofits

The above ad for an Executive Director for a Small Nonprofit organization appeared in the local newspaper:

Notice the desired skills:

  • Experience managing people
  • Very strong financial skills
  • Excellent public speaker
  • Exceptional writing skills
  • Familiar with Quickbooks & Publisher
  • Experience in event planning
  • Fundraising experience is a definite plus
  • A hands-on position that includes administrative tasks

Thursday, March 13, 2014

What are we going to do about large association boards?

At one of the networking events at the ASAE Great Ideas conference, I met a colleague from a large national association.

He mentioned they continued having governance issues.
  • I said, “Do you still have 126 board members?”
  • “No,” he said, “we now have 274 board members!”
  • “Are you kidding?” I said.

That is not a board, it is a representative body similar to a “house of delegates.”

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Got Ice? Association Uses Google+ Video Chat to Address Fast Moving Issue

Screen grab from MiGSCA ice videocast
Long-term freezing snow and ice damages golf course greens and turf.

It is a serious issue for members of the Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association (MiGSCA).

I learned this from Adam Garr of the Plum Hollow Country Club in Michigan through his tweets and You Tube posts.

I met Adam when he attended my generational differences and social marketing sessions at the 2013 Syngenta Business Institute.

I’ve been following the social media (heavy on YouTube) work including an announcement that he would be on an MiGSCA panel about the issue of ice on greens.

To address this issue in a timely manager, MiGCSA organized and held a Google+ Video Chat  featuring a turf expert from Michigan State University and five golf course superintendents with the issue. They invited viewers to tweet questions.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sour Milk: Do you operate 24/7 or are you dark 76% of the week?

In today’s hyper-media, 24/7 environment, consumers and members expect response or results when the issue surfaces. Many customers/members expect – almost demand – immediate response regardless of when the problem comes to mind.

(Note: 24 hours x 7 days = 168 hours in a week. A typical 40 hour work week means you are closed to business 128 hours or 76.2% of a week.)

Thus, customers/members email, call and/or use Twitter, FaceBook, Yelp or LinkedIn to share their frustrations and concerns.

Some associations/companies are listening and monitoring. Others remain in the dark, clueless about what members and customers are saying. If you are an association executive or association communications professional, this is a strategic issue for your association.

Social Engagement Example

The other Sunday, my wife said “the milk is sour, again. And we’re four days from the ‘expiration date.’”

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Marketing 3.0: How Associations are Creating a Faster Path to Innovation & Results

At this week’s ASAE Great Ideas Conference, I’m facilitating a panel discussion on the topic of Marketing 3.0: Creating a Faster Path to Innovation and Results.

The four panelists are involved in managing more than 124 associations.

They are focusing on ...

  • 5 problems 
  • 5 solutions
  • 4 categories
The categories are
  1. Content marketing/creation
  2. Storytelling
  3. Digital presence
  4. Agile marketing/management

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Causes Help Reduce Association Hiring Challenges from Retiring Boomers

One Boomer turns 65 every 8 seconds. That means 3.9 million Boomers will turn 65 in 2014. And in the next 5 years, the number of Boomers turning 65 totals 19,656,000! 

Now, we know that not everyone will retire when they turn 65. But, many of the 19.6 million Boomers will retire in the next five or six years. 

And, that creates a hiring challenge for associations and nonprofit organizations. 


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Newsjacking Offers Opportunities for Associations

David Meerman Scott “invented” the term newsjacking which he defines as “the art and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story and generating tons of media coverage and social media engagement.”

The weekend Wall Street Journal highlights a different example of newsjacking of the Oscar’s. Only, in this case, organizations such as the AARP have created awards before or after the Oscars in order to grab attention.

Perhaps it should be called event-jacking?