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The Association Adviser Podcast

Author: Association Adviser

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Delivering best practices, news and leadership strategies for association professionals.

Episodes are published monthly.

Interested in being a guest? Don't want to be a guest, but want to hear about a certain topic? Email us at associationadviser@nayloronline.com!

The Association Adviser Podcast is sponsored by Naylor Association Solutions. Learn about our resources for improved member engagement and non-dues revenue at www.naylor.com.
36 Episodes
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We're almost one year into the COVID-19 pandemic in North America, and virtual events - or at least hybrid events with both in-person and virtual components - are here to stay. One aspect of virtual event production that's essential to do well is meaningful sponsorships that encourage exhibitors to continue their financial support of the association. But how do you connect your sponsors with attendees when they're separated by two screens and a WiFi range? What benefits do you offer when you can't guarantee a certain amount of foot traffic past their booth?  Tobias Schremmer, director of sponsorships for Digital Summit, shares how he and his team have created virtual sponsorship packages that contain the "steak" - the attendee interactions and information that sponsors and exhibitors want - plus some "sizzle," or extras you should throw in to make sponsorship with your particular association worth continuing during this period of remote gatherings. In this episode, hear what they've learned about offering a meaningful virtual sponsor program that still leaves exhibitors satisfied with their ROI. Thanks to our sponsor, Naylor Association Solutions!
It's planning season for most associations - the time of year when we take a long-term view of how far we've come and where we'd like our work to take us in the new year. For many association marketing teams, it's time to draw up a communications and marketing plan. Rachel Clemens, chief marketing officer, and Nicole Araujo, client engagement director, both of Mighty Citizen, join us for a discussion about creating a comprehensive communications plan that covers all your bases AND wins over your leadership team.   Rachel and Nicole have come up with a five-part communications plan template that will help you write out everything you need to consider for a stellar communications program next year.  We also discuss how to gain acceptance of the plan among your organization's leadership, including how to get approval for ideas you've never tried before.  We wrap up with thoughts about how often you and your team should check in with your plan to ensure you're still on track, and what to do when things go off the rails as they did spectacularly in 2020.  This episode will help to anyone listening who is new to strategic communication planning or is looking for a refresher about best practices for creating a comprehensive marketing plan.  Find Mighty Citizen's five-part communications plan template here.  Thanks to our podcast sponsor, Naylor Association Solutions!
Our guest this episode is Jeff De Cagna, FRSA, FASAE, a leader and contrarian thinker in the association community. He talks with us today about the need for associations to reinvent themselves in the leadership and stewardship roles they were meant to fulfill. 2020 has been a year of uncertainty, protests, political upheaval and refocusing of all kinds of priorities. It's past time associations take a hard look at what their priorities are, and adjust accordingly.  Jeff explains that many associations have spent the last 20 years falling into what he calls "the relevance fallacy," or the idea that being relevant to as many stakeholders as possible is the ultimate goal. But relevance has caused association leaders to become more self-serving, and less focused on who they really need to be serving: their members, supporters, and their professional and geographical communities at large.  He goes further to say that going forward, associations must show a willingness to be uncomfortable as we transition to a way of doing business that's more sustainable and profitable. Reinventing associations in this image of stewardship will involve hard choices and the courage to take some self-sacrificing actions, but associations' very existence is at stake. If you've been thinking your association needs to regroup as we head into a new year, this episode is for you.  Read Part I and Part II of Jeff's article series, The Reinvention Mandate.  Thank you to our sponsor, Naylor Association Solutions. Naylor is devoted to building stronger associations. Learn how at www.naylor.com.   Want to be a guest on The Association Adviser Podcast? Have an idea for an episode topic? Email Kelly Clark, kclark@naylor.com.
Before 2020, Zoom meetings were somewhat of a novelty. But since March of this year, almost everyone has become familiar with — and become fatigued from — virtual meetings. Now, associations are having to step up their online meeting game to keep members engaged and excited about their involvement from home. And that's when Lindsay Gross and Kate Pojeta step in. Lindsay is the director of facilitation services and Kate is director of meetings and technology for Event Garde, a trendsetting professional development consulting firm that helps associations and nonprofits pushes the boundaries of what’s normal and expected to facilitate lifelong learning. On this episode, they share with us how Event Garde is helping associations support their boards and members through strategic, engaging online meetings. We talk through specific strategies their team uses for preparing for a remote meeting, and how running a remote meeting differs from in-person. Lindsay and Kate take a holistic approach to online meeting facilitation that emphasizes taking care of participants as much as it emphasizes acheiving the meeting's goals. It's a great lens through which to view virtual event planning and management, especially in a year that has been so heavy. In addition, they address managing everyone's expectations for what constitutes a successful virtual meeting, and how to make the most of engaging with others online. Kate and Lindsay teach us how to tap into unexplored possibilities to make your next virtual strategy session, board meeting, or full-blown annual conference a success. Event Garde has teamed up with Ricochet Advice to publish The Complete Guide to Virtual Event Creation, a tool to help with the conceptual preparation and detailed planning that virtual events require. Producing a virtual event is difficult, and those with years of experience can anticipate and resolve all the challenges associations face. But if you're new to virtual events, this virtual event guide, with its 147-point checklist and structures, should help you avoid the more common mistakes and put on an engaging event from which your attendees will benefit. Download The Complete Guide to Virtual Event Creation for free today. We cannot recommend this virtual event guide from our trusted content partners, Event Garde and Ricochet, enough! Want to guest star on The Association Adviser Podcast? Want to submit an idea for an episode? Email Kelly Clark, kclark@naylor.com. Submissions are always welcome!
How many times have you daydreamed about ditching your current job and doing something totally different? Nicolle Merrill wants you to know: A career change, whether voluntary or involuntary, is nothing to be afraid or ashamed of. She's a writer, speaker, and experienced career coach who is passionate about teaching professionals of all ages and experiences how to go after your dream job. Her book, Punch Doubt in the Face: How to Upskill, Change Careers, and Beat the Robots, translates the hype about robots taking all the jobs into a guide that helps professionals understand how to keep their skill set relevant and their mind engaged in their work. We talk with Nicolle about common themes she hears from workers of all ages. Things like, "I don't know what I want to do for the rest of my life," or "I want to change careers - but I don't want to go back to school." She walks us through her approach to overcoming these mental obstacles, and how to map your interests to your career path. After listening, you'll be motivated to take the necessary steps toward achieving your dream job while taking advantage of every career opportunity out there. Read more about Nicolle and her career changing work at her website, nicollemerrill.com. Her book, Punch Doubt in the Face: How to Upskill, Change Careers and Beat the Robots, is available on Amazon and on her website.  Listen to her podcast at  www.50conversations.com. Advertise on this podcast, or any of Association Adviser‘s platforms, and reach thousands of association professionals eager to learn more about the businesses that can help them operate more effectively. Check out our media kit here. Suggest a guest or topic for The Association Adviser Podcast by emailing Kelly Clark at kclark@naylor.com. Thanks to our podcast sponsor, Naylor Association Solutions.
We're discussing the results of the 2020 Association Communications Benchmarking Report. This report, published by Association Adviser and Naylor Association Solutions, details the challenges and successes association communicators face when producing their member communications. Over the course of nine years, more than 3,000 respondents have taken the survey, representing more than 100 industries. They've given us invaluable insight into how association staffs manage their member communications, how often they publish, in what channels, and to which member groups. This year, Association Adviser also added a number of questions specific to the COVID-19 pandemic and how it’s affected associations since the spring. And we've brought Sarah Sain, director of content at Naylor, to explore in more depth what the benchmarking report says about the state of association communications in 2020. Sarah Sain, CAE is responsible for the overall strategy, leadership and management of Naylor’s content department. In her nine years with Naylor, Sarah has provided editorial consultation and content strategy for more than 30 associations across an array of industries. Today, she works closely with a select group of Naylor’s association partners to plan, coordinate and produce their print and digital communications. Sarah also serves as writer and managing editor of Association Adviser. Sarah delves into the major challenges association communicators report facing in 2020, and six recommendations for meeting those challenges. While the report team does an excellent job every year of offering advice for association communicators, this year's recommendations are going to be so important as associations strive to prove their membership value and retain members through excellent communications. Advertise on this podcast, or any of Association Adviser's platforms, and reach thousands of association professionals eager to learn more about the businesses that can help them operate more effectively. Check out our media kit here. Suggest a guest or topic for The Association Adviser Podcast by emailing Kelly Clark at kclark@naylor.com. Thanks to our podcast sponsor, Naylor Association Solutions.
"We will all be remembered by how we react to this situation" says our guest, Thomas Foreman, executive director of the Building Supply Industries Association of British Columbia and the Northwest Industries Association. The Northwest Industries Association formed in April 2019 to focus on building the strength of small- and medium-sized businesses in three  areas: advocacy, education and training, and revenue-generating partnerships. We spoke with Thomas about how NWIA members have banded together to help local businesses, keep each other informed, and most importantly, continue helping unemployed job seekers find meaningful work. Advertise on this podcast, or any of Association Adviser's platforms, and reach thousands of association professionals eager to learn more about the businesses that can help them operate more effectively. Check out our media kit here.  Suggest a guest or topic for The Association Adviser Podcast! Email us at associationadviser@nayloronline.com. Thanks to our podcast sponsor, Naylor Association Solutions. Learn about Naylor's resources for improving your member engagement and non-dues revenue at www.naylor.com.
In the commodity business, people tend to think "If I supply it, someone will buy it." But the world is changing, and interacting with all parties involved in a supply chain can supply valuable knowledge for industry professionals working to create and sustain a profitable business model. That's why the Fisheries Council of Canada, led by president Paul Lansbergen, CAE, created the Future Leaders Canada program. Future Leaders Canada exposes participants to different parts of the fisheries supply chain that they would otherwise never see, and expands their personal network of industry individuals and companies. We spoke with Paul and Future Leaders Canada graduate Denise Avery-Reinhoudt about the goals of the program, how they planned and implemented the inaugural program in 2019, and their plans for enriching the program further this year. The program is a testament to the power of associations to bring members from diverse roles within an industry together to deepen their knowledge about the way their industry works while helping members network on a more personal level. Paul and Denise's conversation will encourage any association staff trying to better their member engagement and education offerings.  Advertise on this podcast, or any of Association Adviser's platforms, and reach thousands of association professionals eager to learn more about the businesses that can help them operate more effectively. Check out our media kit here.  Suggest a guest or topic for The Association Adviser Podcast! Email us at associationadviser@nayloronline.com. Thanks to our podcast sponsor, Naylor Association Solutions. Learn about Naylor's resources for improving your member engagement and non-dues revenue at www.naylor.com.
Our guest this episode is Evan Reid, Data Analytics Manager for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Evan has been working with ASHA for almost two years to improve ASHA's use of its membership and operational data so that staff can deliver data and answer people's questions as quickly as possible through tools they can use on their own. His team's goal is to create a "curated data exploration experience" where ASHA team members can dig into the data they need in a customized dashboard. Evan details how they're deciding what data to include, what kind of capabilities their new platform must have, and how he's getting everyone at ASHA excited about data analysis. Some of the tactics he tells us about might be tactics you'd want to adopt at your association: Short in-office workshops, data "science fairs," and stickers labeled "data nerd" or "data geek." Evan explains that there IS a difference between the two, and such tokens have been a strong motivational tool for encouraging data literacy at ASHA. Listen in for more tips about how to draw tech-adopters AND tech-avoiders into a productive conversation about making better use of your organization's data. Advertise on this podcast, or any of Association Adviser's platforms, and reach thousands of association professionals eager to learn more about the businesses that can help them operate more effectively. Check out our media kit here. Suggest a guest or topic for The Association Adviser Podcast! Email us at associationadviser@nayloronline.com. Thanks to our podcast sponsor, Naylor Association Solutions. Learn about Naylor's resources for improving your member engagement and non-dues revenue at www.naylor.com.
When your association thinks of member engagement, do you think of metrics like website logins or event attendance? Or do you think of member engagement as a broader effort to create a better membership experience? That's how Amanda Kaiser of Smooth the Path wants more associations to approach their member engagement and retention plans. Through her work as a member engagement specialist, Amanda advocates for associations to connect with members in broad, intentional ways that end up improving your retention rates. We talked with Amanda about how to make members feel valued by going back to the basics of what makes people feel like they belong to a group. We also discuss Kaiser's annual New Member Engagement Study that provides valuable data about what works in a typical new member onboarding program, and which outdated practices associations can abandon.
Why are podcasts so popular, and how can your association begin one? Podcasts operate similar to books, says Brian Fanzo, podcaster expert at iSocial Fanz and our guest on this episode. As you listen to a podcast you can create personal visualizations for yourself, which help you feel more connected to the host, brand or organization behind the podcast. Podcasting might seem like too much of a time commitment to association professionals, or like something you've missed getting a jump on, but there's still lots of opportunity to make your mark with a podcast, whether it's for member resource sharing, highlighting member work, advocacy, or industry education. In this mini conversation, Brian advises associations interested in podcasting to learn how to use a few basic, free tools, then just "press the damn button" - meaning, just go for it! Advertise on this podcast, or any of Association Adviser's platforms, and reach thousands of association professionals eager to learn more about the businesses that can help them operate more effectively. Check out our media kit here. Suggest a guest or topic for The Association Adviser Podcast! Email us at associationadviser@nayloronline.com. Thanks to our podcast sponsor, Naylor Association Solutions. Learn about Naylor's resources for improving your member engagement and non-dues revenue at www.naylor.com.
How well can people with vision impairment navigate your website? Would someone who is color blind be able to grasp everything you convey in your latest brochure? Accessibility isn't something that's widely talked about in the tech or association communities, but it's on the mind of Carmen Collins, senior social media and brand talent manager for Cisco. Inspired by her experiences working with a broken elbow and then a visually-impaired intern, Carmen has been improving the accessibility of Cisco's online properties to create a better user experience for everyone, not just people who are already fully-abled. Adding things like captions for video or using cap case ("Cap Case") for hashtags can make your online content stand out, and your brand appear more caring and purposeful than your competition. Our conversation at last fall's Digital Summit Tampa covered a range of accessibility topics from creating mobile-first content, to managing multiple platforms, to being judicious about your use of emojis. Listen to learn how you can easily and gradually make your online content reach more people by making it more accessible. Advertise on this podcast, or any of Association Adviser's platforms, and reach thousands of association professionals eager to learn more about the businesses that can help them operate more effectively. Check out our media kit here. Suggest a guest or topic for The Association Adviser Podcast! Email us at associationadviser@nayloronline.com. Thanks to our podcast sponsor, Naylor Association Solutions. Learn about Naylor's resources for improving your member engagement and non-dues revenue at www.naylor.com.
If you were hired to revamp an association's 5-year plan, where would you start? If you're Garth Jordan, you'd start with the people in the association - and not just the staff or board of directors, but a representative sample of members at all levels of involvement.  Garth is the senior vice president and chief strategy officer for the Healthcare Financial Management Association, talks with us this episode about planning your association's strategy using human-centered design, and learning to really connect with members by shadowing them to understand their concerns and hopes for the direction of your association. He also emphasizes that associations must plan not only for the now, but for the near and far future.  Strategic plans can look forward, but unless they account for the now, near and far, your plans might not have the resources or manpower allocated properly to execute it.  Advertise on this podcast, or any of Association Adviser's platforms, and reach thousands of association professionals eager to learn more about the businesses that can help them operate more effectively. Check out our media kit here. Suggest a guest or topic for The Association Adviser Podcast! Email us at associationadviser@nayloronline.com. Thanks to our podcast sponsor, Naylor Association Solutions. Learn about Naylor's resources for improving your member engagement and non-dues revenue at www.naylor.com.
Have you heard of a member data platform? It's a software hub that offers an association a 360-degree view of a member or customer by breaking down silos between individual data platforms, such as an email marketing program or an eCommerce account. A member data platform can help your association find out how engaged members are by showing a map of all the different ways they interact with your resources. At this month's ASAE TEC Show, we spoke with Jeff Horne and Juan Silva of Wicket, creators of the world's first member data platform. Jeff and Juan led us through how an MDP works, and how it can increase operational efficiencies for your association. We learned how an MDP can help you trust your data more, and most importantly, use your data more often to make business decisions that will further your mission and grow your influence. Advertise on this podcast, or any of Association Adviser's platforms, and reach thousands of association professionals eager to learn more about the businesses that can help them operate more effectively. Check out our media kit here. Suggest a guest or topic for The Association Adviser Podcast! Email us at associationadviser@nayloronline.com. Thanks to our podcast sponsor, Naylor Association Solutions. Learn about Naylor's resources for improving your member engagement and non-dues revenue at www.naylor.com.
We're honored to host Rachel Clemens, chief marketing officer for Mighty Citizen, a firm that transforms mission-driven organizations through branding, marketing, and digital communications.  Rachel talks with us about why associations should survey their members regularly, how to build trust in your survey process, and what specific components make up a truthful, informative survey. We also cover ways to customize your surveys for different member groups or for different surveying purposes, and we had a great discussion about incentivizing survey takers. Did you know that incentives that are too small or large can work against your surveying efforts? Us neither! Listen on for Rachel's explanation why.  Learn more about Mighty Citizen. Check out Mighty Citizen's helpful guide to creating member surveys that work! Advertise on this podcast, or any of Association Adviser's platforms, and reach thousands of association professionals eager to learn more about the businesses that can help them operate more effectively. Check out our media kit here. Suggest a guest or topic for The Association Adviser Podcast! Email us at associationadviser@nayloronline.com. Thanks to our podcast sponsor, Naylor Association Solutions. Learn about Naylor's resources for improving your member engagement and non-dues revenue at www.naylor.com.
Association Adviser welcomes Tamsen Webster of The Red Thread® to this episode! Tamsen helps organizations to help people find, build, and tell stories of their ideas. She combined 20 years in brand and message strategy with four years as a TEDx Executive Producer to create The Red Thread™, a simple way to change how people see and what they do as a result. The Red Thread™ is the connection between a question and the answer. It's how you get others to care about your association's story. This could mean how you get members to join, and how you want them to engage with your association once they've joined. Weaving your Red Thread is about doing the work to know where your members are, to build THEIR case for joining and staying involved, and for creating a sense of pride in being a member of your association and industry. Tamsen taught us that people want to believe they're smart, capable, and good. You'll want to listen to how she explains "letting others have your way" when it comes to disagreements and opposing viewpoints. Learn more about The Red Thread at https://tamsenwebster.com/.  Find her free Red Thread assessment for your association here: https://tamsenwebster.com/how-big-is-your-big-idea/ Interested in advertising on this podcast or within another Association Adviser publication? Browse our media kit. Thanks to our podcast sponsor, Naylor Association Solutions. Learn about Naylor's resources for improving your member engagement and non-dues revenue at www.naylor.com.
We talk with Jen Capstraw, strategist and email geek, about today’s email capabilities and how anyone can be a proficient email marketer if they take advantage of the tools available to them. Links: Women of Email: Find them on Facebook and at the Women of Email website. Email Geeks Slack Chat Email and Cross-Channel Testing: You're Doin' It Wrong (webinar referenced during the episode) Learn more about Iterable. Advertise with Association Adviser! Thanks to our podcast sponsor, Naylor Association Solutions. Learn about Naylor's resources for improving your member engagement and non-dues revenue at www.naylor.com.
Join Sarah Sain, Naylor's director of content, member communications, as she explains the results from the 2019 Association Communications Benchmarking Report. this is the 8th year of the survey and resulting report, and we're starting to see a shift in association communication priorities.  Sarah discusses which communication challenges are vexing associations the most, which publication types are holding strong, and why having clean member data is the responsibility of everyone on an association staff.   Want to download the report for yourself? Find it at resource.naylor.com/benchmarking.  Want to take the survey? It's open year-round! Association professionals who complete at least 50% of the survey unlock access to a custom communications report card. See where your association's strengths lie compared to industry best practices, and know which areas of your communication practices could use some improvement. Compare your performance to similar-sized associations, and if you've taken this survey over multiple years, compare your progress! Find the survey and your custom report card at communicationsbenchmark.naylor.com.  Thanks to our podcast sponsor, Naylor Association Solutions. Learn about Naylor's resources for improving your member engagement and non-dues revenue at www.naylor.com.
We spoke with Kevin Daley, director of government affairs for Naylor Association Solutions, and Dr. Madelaine Feldman, president of the Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations. CSRO advocates for access to the highest quality medical care for rheumatic disease patients with autoimmune inflammatory and degenerative diseases. They provide a network for state societies to exchange information regarding issues surrounding high quality care to Rheumatic disease patients, and collaborate with patient organizations, national and international societies and others whenever possible and appropriate in order to achieve better policies and care for rheumatic patients and their families. Dr. Feldman is passionate about her work both as a doctor and as an advocate for patient access to the right medicines, streamlined healthcare processes, and fair policies for all patients. We loved talking with her about her experiences educating patients about their rights, speaking on Capitol Hill, and facing opposition. If your association is wondering how to get into advocacy activities to enact change in your industry, this is definitely an episode you will want to hear. Kevin Daley is the Director of Government Affairs at Naylor, where he tracks and analyzes state and federal legislation and regulation of impact to clients.  His insight into the legislative process and how associations can become involved, is valuable for anyone wanting to learn more about association advocacy. Thanks to our podcast sponsor, Naylor Association Solutions. Learn about Naylor's resources for improving your member engagement and non-dues revenue at www.naylor.com.
We recently caught up with Courtney Ross and Tirza Austin of the American Society of Civil Engineers to talk about the variety of career resources ASCE offers through its online career center, called Career Connections. Started in 2003, Career Connections has grown strategically and organically into a multi-faceted resource that includes a job board, education hub, salary surveys, and information about career paths in engineering. But their career center is more than an information hub. Through initiatives like their Mentor Match mentoring program and a comprehensive directory to local ASCE branches and sections, the pair is working hard to encourage members to network offline and get involved in association-sponsored activities that can truly change their career paths.  Tirza and Courtney share how they're overcoming the perception that Mentor Match is an engineering version of Match.com, and how they're letting each bit of feedback about ASCE's career resources guide their decisions about what to do next. If you're involved in your association's professional development or career resource programming, this episode is full of information and mini case-studies you'll definitely want to hear. Want to share your message with the Association Adviser community? Advertise on this podcast!  Association professionals will hear about your business and your solutions as they listen for in-depth features about what’s happening now - and next – in the association community. Your business belongs in this community, too. Go to Bit.ly/AdviserMediaKit for more info.  Thanks to our podcast sponsor, Naylor Association Solutions. Learn about Naylor's resources for improving your member engagement and non-dues revenue at www.naylor.com.
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