Sunday, March 29, 2015

Engagement vs Junk Mail: Strategies for Association Marketing

I’m not sure why but the volume of junk email marketing arriving last week reached a tipping point.

Here’s a sample of what arrived in my email box one day last week:
  • Connecting up ... “Can we set up a call? What time works best next week?”
  • Followup ... “It’s Josh. I just wanted to followup and see if you received my earlier email?”
  • Top Issues in all 50 States ... “We recently asked reporters in all 50 states and Washington, DC.”
  • Dear owner of ... “We make digital floor plans using below software based on your Handsketch/PDF/JPEG files. We offer a wide range of drafting services and we have fulltime staffs working Inhouse at our office located in India.”
All had a couple of things in common:
  • All were unsolicited contact from companies I’ve never done business with.
  • All senders were obviously ignorant about my company and what I do.
  • All “signed” their emails with a “personal signature” as though we were friends.
As I was thinking about this, I saw the following request on an ASAE Collaborate section ...

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Rambling Thoughts About Association Management

I gave three presentations last week at a Green Industry Conference near Milwaukee. It involved a lot of airline and rental car travel which offered time to ponder.

First, I LOVE giving presentations on generational tendencies and social media! I love engaging with the audiences and watching them have “light bulb” moments about the topics.

I posted all  three presentations -- all topics valid for most association members -- on Slide Share.  Here are the links:
Second, some attendees (think your members) have great content for social media and don’t realize it. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Can Your Association Act Fast Enough?

In their new book, When Millennials Take Over,  Jamie Notter and Maddie Grant outline four key capacities that organizations must develop to fully embrace the impending revolution in business:
  • Digital
  • Clear
  • Fluid
  • Fast
I must admit that I struggled with their selection of the phrase “Fast.”

This is partly because I relate to John Wooden’s Be Quick But Don’t Hurry philosophy shared by Andrew Hill in his 2001 book on the great basketball coach. Hurry leads to mistakes; quick leads to wins.

But, in reading the chapter on “fast,” I thought of the cumbersome decision-making processes of most association boards. 

 When serving as an executive of a very large international association (with boards of 48 and 54), we “joked” that we needed three board meetings when working on decisions for a major new program. As a result, change came slowly.

In today’s fast-paced environment, associations and nonprofits cannot afford to move slowly.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Power to the People within Associations

Power to the People was a rebellious slogan for Boomers in the 1960s and 1970s.

For Millennials, Power to the People represents actions available through the social internet.

Boomers – who have “ruled” American industry, associations and nonprofits for two decades or more – are discovering implications of their slogan turned to action.

I thought of this as I read a preview copy of the new book When Millennials Take Over – written by Jamie Notter and Maddie Grant – that will be released March 12.

This thoughtful, well-researched book provides valuable information for association leaders and professional staff. And, it provides more indepth generational information than what most of us have been reading and hearing.

Two elements illustrate my point:

Monday, March 2, 2015

Association Board Members Struggle with Duty of Loyalty

I’ve frequently worked with/for associations with boards appointed by a constituent organization (chapter, state association, etc.)

When it comes to their fiduciary duties, constituent-appointed board members struggle with the Duty of Loyalty.

Most come with the understanding that they are supposed to “represent” the chapter or association that appointed them to the national board.

I blogged on this topic last September.