Launching: Membership 101 Series
FEBRUARY 24, 2017
I’ve had several clients hire me recently to do webinars/presentations on basic concepts in membership. It occurred to me that other people might want this information, too.
Associations and Trump’s Travel Ban
JANUARY 30, 2017
Airports and cities large and small erupted into chaos this weekend as Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning Muslims from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya and Yemen from entering the US took effect.
Retention is a Relationship
JANUARY 6, 2015
And you can’t claim to have a relationship with people you don’t know.
Catch Spark at #ASAE16
JULY 25, 2016
I’ll be presenting two sessions at the upcoming ASAE Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City in a few weeks: Unsession: The Association Role in the New Education Paradigm, Sunday, August 14. Deep Dive: The Lean Startup Changes Everything, Tuesday, August 16.
A Lean Startup Conversation
NOVEMBER 3, 2015
Guillermo Ortiz de Zarate and I recently had the chance to sit down with Rick Rutherford of Yourmembership.com to talk in a little more detail about some of the ideas raised in our new whitepaper, Innovate the Lean Way.
The Mission Driven Volunteer Rides Again!
NOVEMBER 18, 2014
Earlier this month, Mission Driven Volunteer co-author Peggy Hoffman and I had the opportunity to present about our research on this topic for Wild Apricot. As is often the case with webinars, we weren’t able to get to all the questions during the Q&A. So we’re answering them now.
Four Keys to Writing Good Marketing Copy
DECEMBER 9, 2014
How do you write good marketing copy? In a nutshell: Think about your audience. Who are they? What do you know about them? Use that information to craft a personalized message. Talk like a real person, and write like you speak. Shorter and simpler is better than longer and more complex.
Five Tips for Overcoming Your Fear of Sales
NOVEMBER 12, 2014
One of the toughest things in marketing is crossing over into sales. While our end goal is to get people to buy what we’re selling, no one wants to be this guy –> So how do you get one (sales) without the other (obnoxious dude everyone avoids at parties)?
The Perfect Storm
AUGUST 22, 2016
I’d like to share some sobering statistics about higher education and employment: In the United States, students graduate from college with an average debt load of nearly $29,000. Total student debt in the U.S. is $1.23 trillion and rising. 47% of college-educated workers under 25 work in jobs. that do not require a college degree. Worldwide, 73.3 million people under the age of 25 are unemployed, representing 36.7% of total global unemployment.
What’s Your Marketing Resolution for 2016?
DECEMBER 16, 2015
I’m totally stealing this idea from smartie Beth Brodovsky , who emailed me this same question recently for her Driving Participation podcast series. My resolution for association marketers would be for us to stop talking about segmentation and personalization and start doing it.
Moving from Inside-Out to Outside-In
AUGUST 4, 2015
Anna Caraveli ( The Demand Networks ) and I recently had the chance to sit down with Justin Burniske ( fusionSpan ) to talk about some of the issues raised in our recent whitepaper, Leading Engagement from the Outside In , for the Small Staff – Big Impact blog.
Five Ways NOT to Brainstorm
SEPTEMBER 5, 2014
Brainstorming has come under fire recently as being a crummy way of coming up with new ideas. Perhaps it’s because people are doing one or more of the following? Inviting as many people as possible – the more, the merrier! (Of
You Engage By Being Engaging
JULY 20, 2015
Anna Caraveli ( The Demand Networks ) and I recently had the chance to sit down with Justin Burniske ( fusionSPAN ) to talk about some of the issues raised in our recent whitepaper, Leading Engagement from the Outside In , for the Small Staff – Big Impact blog.
Bridging the Education to Employment Gap: Where Can I Learn More?
AUGUST 26, 2016
Now that you’ve had a chance to learn a little bit about the disruption affecting education, the changes in the employment market (both in the US and world-wide), the “wicked” problem that perfect storm has created, and how Shelly Alcorn and I think associations are uniquely positioned to respond, what if you’d like to learn more? We’ve got you covered. Download The Association Role in the New Education Paradigm white paper. Remember: it’s free!
The Whats, Whys, and Hows of Brand Identity Guides
SEPTEMBER 22, 2014
A number of clients have been working on various branding related issues lately, so I’m so pleased to be able to share this guest post from my colleague Sharon Bending at Rx Creative Lab on the keys to putting together effective brand identity guidelines: A set of brand identity guidelines (also referred to as brand standards) is a part of every rebrand.
Recruit the Whole Person
JANUARY 21, 2015
Last week, I was teaching the volunteer management course for ASAE’s Association Management Week with the smart and talented Andrea Rutledge (Executive Director of the National Architectural Accrediting Board), and she and I got chatting about membership recruitment. Andrea’s been a volunteer with ASAE’s research committee, which supports the work of the ASAE Foundation, and we specifically got talking about the Future of Membership project.
The Lean Startup Changes Everthing
OCTOBER 26, 2015
I’m excited to share the launch of the seventh whitepaper in the ongoing Spark whitepaper series, Innovate the Lean Way: Applying Lean Startup Methodology in the Association Environment. The whitepaper addresses a simple (but not necessarily easy) concept. To quote my co-author, Guillermo Ortiz de Zarate , Director of Information Services for the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards : “There’s no bigger waste than investing resources working on the wrong thing.”
Coming Soon from Spark
MARCH 4, 2015
All kinds of exciting goodies on the horizon, which is part of the reason the blog’s been fairly quiet of late. Whitepapers. Winter is for writing, and that’s what I’ve been up to! I’m excited to share that I’ll be coming out with two new whitepapers this spring/summer.
Collaborate LARP at #ASAE15
JULY 28, 2015
Many association executives are familiar with ASAE’s online member community, Collaborate. In just under two weeks, at the 2015 ASAE Annual Meeting in Detroit, I’ll be facilitating a session called “ Request and Re-gift.” ” It’s based on 2014 annual meeting opening keynoter Adam Grant’s concept of giving and receiving via reciprocity circles.
More Tips to Improve Your Open Rate
NOVEMBER 5, 2014
Tips to help your blast emails shine, Part 2: Personalize it – It’s 2014. We all have the ability to send emails to “Dear Elizabeth” rather than “Dear Colleague” so be sure to call people by name.
Rethinking What It Means to Be a Member
JUNE 26, 2014
A few months ago, I had a chance to sit down (virtually) with Beth Brodovsky and talk about what’s changing in membership relationships. The podcast is out !
Recapping the Outside-In Engagement #Assnchat
JULY 14, 2015
Anna Caraveli ( The Demand Networks ) and I had the opportunity to guest moderate #assnchat on Tuesday, July 14, with discussion focused around the issues we raise in our new whitepaper, Leading Engagement from the Outside-In (download your free copy at [link]. In case you missed it, here’s a recap of the high points of the conversation. Q1 How do you currently learn about your audiences? How do you share that knowledge internally?
ISO Your Board Transformation Story
FEBRUARY 8, 2017
Sherry Marts (of S*Marts Consulting ) and I are starting to work on a whitepaper looking at what’s going on in diversity and inclusion in the association space. This will be the ninth whitepaper in the ongoing Spark collaborative series. You may have already read some of the others, on topics like the association role in the new education paradigm , lean startup methodology , member engagement , mission-driven volunteering , and data-driven decision making.
Adopting the Mission Command Mindset
JULY 29, 2014
A few weeks ago, the Washington Post ran an article about some of the latest developments in military leadership , and, as part of it, they shared the idea of the Mission Command Mindset.
Matching Your Channel to Your Audience
SEPTEMBER 16, 2014
One of the most important principles in creating successful multi-channel communications is to match your channel to your audience and your purpose. Are you sharing information about something that’s open to the public?
Turning Ideas into Reality
MAY 16, 2014
Also known as “the hard part.” ” I’ve been working with an association lately where the focus of the engagement is on transforming the organization. I’m specifically working with them on a membership transformation, but a piece of that is looking at transforming programs, products, and services. So we’ve been talking a lot about innovation. Now, this is not their first time at the rodeo on the subject of innovation.
Five Tips to Increase Your Email Open Rate
OCTOBER 22, 2014
Want to increase your bulk email open rate? Of course you do! The subject is the most important part of the email. Spend time writing a meaningful one that will ensure your recipient will open and read more.
What Is Your “Customer Journey”?
APRIL 5, 2016
Reading a recent article in the Harvard Business Review on the topic of “ customer journeys ” got me thinking about their role in the association space. What is a “customer journey”? The example HBR used was of a solar company.
Supercharge Member Loyalty & Power Community Engagement
APRIL 21, 2015
“Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer.”. During our April 16 Higher Logic Learning Series webinar on volunteerism in honor of National Volunteer Week (#NVW2015), Peggy Hoffman and I were unable to get to all the questions in our allotted hour. So we’re hitting the rest now: How do you find out what rewards the volunteers like/want? EWE: Ask them! And it’s OK to be forward about it: “What would be a meaningful way for us to show our appreciation for your contributions?”
Is Growth Necessarily Good?
APRIL 1, 2014
At CalSAE’s ELEVATE Conference last week, I attended a session on association trend spotting led by Shelly and Mark Alcorn. My team was assigned the mindfulness trend.
Let Your Member Data Show You the Way
MAY 5, 2014
Last week, Associations Now did a story on my awesome client NICSA and the new membership model project we worked on together last summer. They’ve graciously given me permission to reprint it below: By Joe Rominiecki / Apr 30, 2014 .
Do You Know How to Be A Member?
OCTOBER 29, 2013
You just got a new member! Hopefully, she’ll acclimate and find her place and stay with you forever. Wait: “hopefully”? We can do better than that. Here’s the question you need to ask yourself: does your new member know how to be a member of your organization?
What I’m Reading
JULY 2, 2014
Do you know the content marketing 4-1-1 ? MGI’s 2014 Membership Marketing Benchmark report is out. One, you should download it ASAP. Two, Associations Now has been doing a series of posts on the results, and I love the point of this one: “ you have to eat your vegetables.” ” Yep. Advice from Aaron Wolowiec about getting your comms and events teams to work together to create a better event. Kim Howard also has some advice on this topic on her NEW BLOG.
How Do I Know What to Charge?
OCTOBER 28, 2014
One of the hardest things to do in creating a product or service is to set the price – too high, no one will buy because it’s too expensive; too low, no one will buy because they think what you’re offering isn’t valuable. So how do you determine your pricing strategy?
Three Keys to Inspire New Ideas from Staff
JULY 15, 2014
What does it take for associations to succeed at innovation? I’ve been doing some research on innovation initiatives in associations for a client and had written a bit about it for the Spark blog a few weeks ago. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Mark Athitakis from ASAE about what I’d learned in a little more length, and he wrote the following piece for Associations Now. They’ve graciously given me permission to share it.
I’ve Looked at RFPs from Both Sides Now
SEPTEMBER 24, 2015
Reposting this (slightly edited) Thanks for Playing classic, because this topic has come up recently on ASAE’s Collaborate online community. In 18+ years in association management, I’ve been on both sides of the Request For Proposal process more times than I can count. My very first Big Task at my very first association Real Job way back in 1997 was to complete an association management software system selection.
Come Chat about Member Engagement
JULY 7, 2015
Are associations taking a backwards approach to member engagement? Associations have always been “about” engagement of course, and in the past several years, we’ve had a renewed focus on engaging our audiences. The thing is, most of us aren’t really doing it well. Could that be because we’ve been thinking about engagement all wrong, focusing on what we want members to do and how we define value?
Seven Keys to Marketing Success
OCTOBER 1, 2014
Recently, on ASAE’s Collaborate Community, someone asked for examples of other associations’ marketing plans.
ISO Your Membership and Marketing Materials
MAY 27, 2014
I’m presenting a session at ASAE’s upcoming Marketing, Membership, and Communications Conference, to help you create rockin’ marketing materials. I totally stole the idea from Lowell Apelbaum , who facilitated a similar session at last year’s summer CESSE conference that everybody really enjoyed and had fun with.
Five Tips to Write Better
SEPTEMBER 3, 2013
I write a lot. Obviously, reading this, you know about the Spark blog (which started in 2008, long before Spark was even a twinkle in my eye, as the independent association blog Thanks for Playing ). I also write whitepapers. And for other association industry publications. And I write a food blog.