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Animation, riveting images and a contemporary color palate get you noticed. But a content strategy is the secret to giving your audience a more meaningful relationship with your website, your brand and your organization. A website redesign is a significant investment in resources. The temptation to take shortcuts is understandable. But even Ferrari-sleek graphics, won’t make posts that have been gathering digital dust go viral. Your web provider will thank you for taking the time up front to create a thoughtful content strategy. Starting the project with clearly defined parameters around voice, messaging and audiences ensures that the old adage form follows ...
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We’ve all experienced the meeting from hell. The chair lost control. People were frantic to have their say, and nobody got heard. The same kind of communications nightmare happens when you don’t impose order on your content. A thoughtful content strategy ensures that the message you deliver will be one that makes people listen. It’s a Metallica concert out there. In any association, multiple interests clash and compete for attention. Membership needs renewals, meetings wants to fill seats and the foundation is prospecting for contributions. There are journals, blogs, podcasts, forums and the ceaseless chatter of social media. Not to mention all the other ...
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Somewhere back in the Dark Ages of IT- say two years ago, because that’s how fast the electronic world moves now ­- we thought about technology as a tool to do business. There has been a profound shift in that concept. Technology has made the leap out of the toolbox. It is become integral to almost every customer experience. And, any successful plan to grow membership or develop new business must be centered around how people interact with your brand.   Every week, I receive calls from association executives who are concerned about: Engaging a new generation – at first, these conversations focused on millennials, now the questions are ...
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The opportunity to participate in my clients’ stories is one of the reasons I love being a consultant. To write our book, Association 4.0—Positioning for Success in an Era of Disruption , we interviewed leaders who strive to stay a step ahead of the future. CHEST is one association that doesn’t shy away from bold moves, and .orgSource has been lucky enough to help them navigate several major transitions. For those who are considering strategic or technology leaps, CHEST’s experience, which is also described in our book, is sure to inspire. From One Patient to 19,000 Members After Murray Kornfeld recovered from tuberculosis, he had a dream that one ...
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When you sign a consulting contract on the dotted line, the stakes are high. You’ve called in the experts to guide a project that will have a significant impact on your association’s future. It’s almost always a highly visible, big-ticket item. People across the organization are invested in a positive outcome. None more so than the leaders who evaluate your own performance—the board of directors. Failure is typically not a viable option. Yes, you are taking a risk. But don’t let fear stop you from getting the support you need. A smooth consulting relationship can make you a hero. These are some advantages you stand to gain when you hire an outside expert: ...
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Watching the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team beat England, it occurred to me that the game was a perfect example of strategy in action. A great team was testing their skills and tactics on the pitch, fully prepared to meet unexpected challenges. Granted, business will never have the flash of World Cup soccer. But strategic planning shouldn’t be cringeworthy. Shaping the future is exciting. Why are people tempted to flirt with a sick day when the meeting rolls around? According to Gartner, a global research and advisory company, 56 percent of corporate executives and their teams believe that strategic planning is a waste of time. An Ernst and Young study reports ...
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The Digital Transformation Series, Part Two Reading your monthly membership report is like getting a bad diagnosis—over and over again.  The meeting registration is no bowl of cherries either. But there is a bright spot. The board has agreed that it’s time for action. That tired, old AMS that’s been limping through its paces is going to be replaced with some sleek new systems. A digital transformation is on the horizon. What can you do to prepare for a transition that will get those dismal numbers moving back in the right direction?   Digital transformation is a business term that has become ubiquitous, and consequently more complicated to define. ...
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Patrick Murray, Senior Government Affairs Director for Cooperative Network, writes about the advocacy work he does for their members. Did you know trade associations have advocated on behalf of their members for thousands of years? Dating back to the Roman Empire, these entities were more commonly known as guilds. The purpose of these guilds was for individuals such as masons, goldsmiths and tanners to come together for a common goal. Their goal included the protection and defense of their interests, as well as providing mutual aid to each other. Over the years, various guilds were able to wield influence through advocacy efforts with state officials. While ...
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You installed a new LMS, CMS and AMS; redesigned the website; migrated to the cloud; and purchased the latest computers, printers and tablets for your staff. Was it a digital transformation? Sorry, you’re only about halfway there—maybe not even. You’ve got the technology covered. It’s the transformation process that’s trickier to understand. Googling digital transformation might only add to your confusion. The definitions are both vague and sweeping. Most include a disclaimer that the process will unfold differently from one organization to another. Here’s a sample of the language from Wikipedia: Digital Transformation (DX) is the novel use of digital ...
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Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter Field Representative David Leiting Jr. writes about EAA's initiative to restructure their membership benefits and dues. New flying club initiative The focus of EAA’s new flying club initiative is to assist EAA chapter members in developing separate nonprofit flying clubs at their home airports. EAA has a number of programs in place that provide pathways to flight, including Young Eagles, Flying Start and Eagle Flights. The goal of these new flying clubs is to provide a landing spot for the flight experience participants (pardon the pun), where they can learn to fly in a supportive, communal atmosphere. ...
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Strategy  Meltdown —The screen play INT. The corner office of the Association for Ad Hoc Planning – Afternoon The executive director and membership team are seated at a conference table. They are hunched over laptops. The executive director is frowning. The membership manager looks like a deer in the headlights. Executive Director These numbers are (pause) a surprise. Are you sure the report’s correct? Membership Manager Well, we haven’t been able to pinpoint the exact number of members due to glitches in the AMS that we’ve been working to fix for a while. But yes, I think the five-year downturn is accurate. Even if the numbers are off by ...
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This article is reprinted from  VantagePoint magazine , the quarterly publication of WSAE. Most professionals have attended educational and professional development events in their careers. And the goal for these events is that attendees leave with a take-away to bring back and implement at the office. Often, the change is within the attendee’s control to make, but many other times, the boss is mandating or expecting certain behaviors and the attendee is afraid to ask for a change in procedure, if they even have any idea how to present the proposal. As a young professional, I often come back from conferences and events with new ideas or suggestions on ...
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This article is based on key take-aways from the WSAE Association Health Plans webinar on October 2, 2018, and is reprinted from  VantagePoint magazine , the quarterly publication of WSAE. If you are interested in accessing the webinar recording, please visit www.wsae.org>Events>Webinar Series, and click “Self-Paced Online Seminars” near the bottom of the frame. Association Health Plans (AHPs), under the Department of Labor's rule, are group health plans that employer groups and associations offer to provide health coverage for employees. In short, AHPs are groups of self-employed individuals that “band together by geography or industry to ...
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Is snagging an article in the Wall Street Journal a superpower? Do you need a genetic mutation to catch a reporter’s eye? If the media keeps turning up its nose at your association’s newsworthy accomplishments, it might seem that way.  Getting your organization in print (in a good way) doesn’t require magic. During her recent .orgCommunity webinar, Actionable Steps Garner Media Attention , Adele Cehrs , media magnet and CEO and Founder of When and How Agency (formerly Epic PR Group), gave practical advice and tips that you can use to develop a robust presence in the press.   Adele is a regular contributor to both the Wall Street Journal and Inc ...
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A book review of  Pivot Point: Reshaping Your Business When It Matters Most by Sheri Jacobs, FASAE, CAE This year, one of the highly anticipated book releases announced at the ASAE 2018 Annual Meeting was Pivot Point: Reshaping Your Business When It Matters Most by Sheri Jacobs, FASAE, CAE. As the Meeting Technology Manager for AMPED Association Management, I was curious to read what recommendations Jacobs had with regards to competing markets and investing in association technology to keep pace with industry trends. As the president and CEO of Avenue M Group, Jacobs brings her experience from helping over 100 associations assess their challenges within ...
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Closed office doors, break room gossip and a CEO who gives Tony Soprano a run for the money—culture gone wrong is easy to spot. Where work moves forward and employees treat each other civilly, culture may be the caboose on a long train of priorities. Hiding somewhere in the cloud’s dark recesses is a values statement, but no one has actually read it. Culture may be invisible, but it should never be illusive. That’s why I was excited to have Nancy MacRae , CEO of the Emergency Nurses Association , as a speaker at the Innovation Summit, .orgCommunity’s recent signature event. Nancy has made the deliberate choice to put culture front and center at ENA. This ...
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Technology creates paradoxes that are as upside down as Alice’s adventures in Wonderland. Aimee Pagano’s recent 30 on Thursday webinar , Survival Kit for Building Your Buyer’s Journey , brought this message home. Machines are giving us the ability to understand and communicate with members more personally than ever before. If you seek to deeply engage constituents (And, who doesn’t?), marketing automation software offers tools to lift those relationships to a new level. Aimee, who is senior digital marketing advisor at HighRoad Solution, gave an insightful overview on building successful member journeys. Automation is the genie that creates this trajectory, ...
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I’ve been thinking, writing and talking a lot about Association 4.0. That’s how I describe best practices in a game-changing time for the association community and across the business world. Technology is driving the most visible disruption. So, it’s easy to forget that the new online community or e-learning platform you just launched is not going to make or break your success. But the members who use those systems will. Dr. Karen Bartuch’s recent presentation at .orgCommunity’s Solutions Day event, Making the Unreasonable Happen: The Art of Customer Service in a 24-Hour World, was a great reminder of the need to put our members first. No matter how we ...
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What would you expect a conference called Solutions Day to deliver? Answers to tough questions, strategies to tackle challenges and new perspectives. Our speakers made good on that promise. In the next few posts, I’m highlighting some of my personal aha moments from the November 15 event. If you’ve been considering how to make the most of new data that’s available from your association management system, Thad Lurie, number cruncher extraordinaire and vice president business intelligence at Experient, had some great recommendations. Thad’s presentation was a fascinating discussion on the practical and psychological impact of big data. Data is the Foundation ...
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Presenters who illuminated the future. Industry partners who are inventing tomorrow. And, the best and brightest colleagues in the association community—that was Solutions Day. .orgCommunity’s year is book-ended by two signature events. The wrap party for Solutions Day is over. But before we roll up our sleeves for the Innovation Summit (February 28, 2019), we’re taking a moment to recap the exhilaration of a great learning experience. When I needed help with the Solutions Day launch video, I turned to the techie I can always count on to get me up-to-speed in a hurry—my twelve-year-old. Watching my kids dive fearlessly into the deep end of technology ...
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