Sector and AuSAE News

  • 04 Nov 2020 1:56 PM | Deleted user

    Wondering how to show new members the most value during digital onboarding sessions? Here are six tips to make them aware of all the benefits that can help them maximize their membership and—ultimately—prompt them to renew.

    A thread in ASAE’s Collaborate community [member login required] asked for advice on conducting successful digital new-member onboarding sessions and how to facilitate the conversation to give members the most value. Lia Zegeye, senior director of membership at the American Bus Association, offered some excellent suggestions on what has worked well at ABA since the pandemic began. I followed up with her to learn more.

    ABA is a trade association representing many parts of the travel industry—including bus operators, tour operators, lodging, attractions, and more—and its members have been hit hard by the pandemic. Like many other associations, ABA has been working tirelessly on the advocacy front to support the industry, and the membership team is leveraging that work to recruit new members. Once they are on board, Zegeye shows them all the benefits of membership they might not know about, customized by member segments.

    Showing members value at the outset is paramount, Zegeye said. Her mantra: “Keep it clean, concise, and easy to digest.” Here’s how she and her team do it.

    Make it personal. Zegeye conducts the onboarding webinars herself. “It’s a great way for me to connect with our members,” she said. The webinars immediately put a face with a name, and members are more likely to reach out to her directly with questions about the webinar. The digital onboarding has also been a good way to keep members updated on new programs in real time. Zegeye easily updates her PowerPoint slide deck and is good to go. “Mailing out packets has become a thing of the past,” she said.

    Show, don’t tell. The onboarding session includes a short promotional video from ABA’s tradeshow, providing a personal testimonial about the value of the event from a member’s perspective. It shows why the member is there and how they benefited from attending. Zegeye said she often gets thank you notes from webinar attendees who say, “Wow, I had no idea you guys did all of these things!”

    Guided website tour. During the webinars, Zegeye walks new members through key parts of ABA’s website, like where to access a government affairs report or how to edit their company’s description in the membership directory to market themselves more effectively. With the travel industry lagging, it’s a good time for members to update their information so they can hit the ground running when the industry kicks back into gear, she said.

    Engage with social media. Zegeye shows new members all of ABA’s social media platforms during the webinar and asks them to follow ABA from the start. Members tend to gravitate toward Facebook to discuss their challenges, which gives the membership team a good way to tap into what members are experiencing and engage with them in a meaningful way, she said.

    Share incentive programs. ABA has a member-get-a-member incentive program. Any member who brings in a new member gets a $50 gift card and is entered into a raffle with a chance to win $1,000 at the end of the year. Letting members know about incentives from the beginning means it’s on their radar from the start. “Your members are your best ambassadors” for recruiting new prospects, Zegeye said.

    Highlight social responsibility. Remember to include information on social responsibility programs, such as local community service projects at events. Through its ABA Cares program, ABA conducts fundraising events for a selected charity in the city that hosts its annual tradeshow. Talking about these programs during an onboarding webinar shows new members “you are more than just an industry,” she said.

    “We all have a wealth of information to share with new members at an early stage,” Zegeye said. “It’s all about how they can maximize their investment.”

    This article was sourced directly from Associations Now here, and is written by Lisa Boylan.

  • 04 Nov 2020 1:30 PM | Deleted user

    It’s telling that when a pandemic hit, many associations moved immediately to get their members what they needed as fast as possible. This shift to quickly delivering value will be key to maintaining membership through the crisis and in the long run.

    When COVID-19 hit, one of the first things the Council for Exceptional Children did to support its members was to give away as many pertinent resources as it could—recorded webinars, journal articles, and more—and then use the value of those resources to seize a membership opportunity.

    CEC created a free membership promotion that would give new members access through the end of the year, and about 26,000 special educators took advantage of it. So far, CEC has retained nearly 20 percent of the members who came on during the free trial, says Executive Director Chad Rummel, CAE.

    Once they saw a spike in interest that nearly doubled their membership, they began to wonder why those people weren’t already members. “As we began talking to and surveying them, I was extremely excited to see how they identified an untapped need for professional development that I know we can provide,” Rummel says.

    COVID-19 has already had an enormous impact on membership, and how the future plays out is going to be different for each organization, says Sheri Jacobs, FASAE, CAE, president and CEO of Avenue M Group. But, she says, “I believe there are pandemic habits that are here to stay.”

    Jacobs compares the decisions many members will have to make about how they spend their organizational budgets to managing a household budget. They will assess what they really need and what they can do without. Many association members will likely need a different set of skills than they needed before the pandemic, because the way many professionals do their jobs has changed dramatically.

    “There’s going to be a significant increase in certain kinds of retraining, or new skills, or access to processes or standards that members are going to find very valuable and are going to need,” Jacobs says. “That’s a positive that presents a huge role for associations.”

    The challenge is in how to package and deliver the new offerings, especially when association budgets are slashed. Jacobs says it goes beyond planning virtual events and asking: How do we get quick, easy, and reliable answers and new ways to work out to our members?

    What Do Members Need Right Now?

    One of CEC’s solutions was a new online training program called QuickTakes—short, on-demand mini-tutorials that focus on specific topics—to quickly address pressing issues for members, such as online privacy for students. Rather than planning a 75- to 90-minute webinar, the QuickTakes sessions run eight to 20 minutes and provide fast and highly relevant answers for members with more agility than a webinar.

    At the end of the free membership offer, CEC surveyed the 26,000 participants to ask why they took advantage of it and what they found most beneficial. Over 85 percent said it was the online training. Rummel says the team took that feedback and did a deep dive into their membership package offerings, which they determined were structured more around discounted add-ons than professional development opportunities. So they changed their membership packages.

    Now CEC has three tiers of membership built around valuable content. The first tier offers access to members-only content and the in-house QuickTake video series. Middle-tier members get access to all recorded webinars in the library. And the top tier allows unlimited access to all CEC’s live webinars. In addition, they used this jumpstart to launch a learning management system and their first five-part synchronous course, a timely resource designed for new teachers in the post-COVID classroom.

    Rummel says members’ professional development needs should be addressed not just at the programmatic level, but also in membership offerings. “These can’t be seen as just add-ons when they are so fundamental to why members come to our associations,” he says.


    Staff and volunteer leaders at the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry spent the last year anticipating an economic downturn, although not to the degree of the current crisis, says Chris Williams, CAE, AWCI’s director of membership. AWCI repositioned its messaging when the pandemic struck to emphasize that it was there for members through good times and bad. The staff was confident in the association’s value to members after a 2019 focus group where members said their dues payment gave them a significant return on their low initial investment.

    Based on the organization’s position as the networking hub for the industry, a message of “Together We Are AWCI,” and the proven value of their dues payment, Williams says, “I believe we’ll be able to meet our recruiting goals even in the face of economic hardship.”

    AWCI will keep its dues as-is through the 2020-21 membership year, but it plans to help some of its chapters spread out their membership dues throughout the course of the year. Chapters collect dues from members and pay a portion of each member’s dues, in one lump sum, to the national office by July 1 of each year. AWCI is working with individual chapters to spread that lump-sum payment out over the course of the membership year.

    This will likely be a popular trend, according to Jacobs, who says there is so much more opportunity to take risks that were unthinkable in the recent past.

    There is no playbook, she says. Associations will have to plan for a likely dip in revenue while also offering members more flexible payment options and installment plans. “It’s what they’re comfortable with. It’s what they know,” Jacobs says.

    AWCI is launching a new membership management system in March 2021, which will provide an entirely new and interactive experience for its members. AWCI will tout increased access to member benefits and virtual networking and promotion opportunities created by enhanced member profiles, directories, and more in the new system.

    This is an opportunity to reinforce the actual value of not only AWCI membership, but association membership in general, Williams says.

    “Membership isn’t an expense—it’s an investment in not only sustaining your business and your employees through this unique time in history, but positioning yourself to grow now—and as we emerge from the storm,” he says.


    Nothing has turned out as planned since the advent of COVID-19—and that includes membership numbers. The American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics actually saw an increase in membership, with 100 new members joining since the same time last year, says Kathy Giovetsis, CAE, ASHI’s executive director. She attributes the growth to members’ need for ongoing education and continuing education credits.

    Rather than immediately changing ASHI’s dues structure because of the pandemic, Giovetsis’ team continues to analyze and reevaluate the membership categories and benefits linked to each tier. For example, the technologist membership category was originally offered for the first three years of a technologist’s career, but it was extended to five years to better align with the career trajectory of technologists. Recently, the ASHI board decided to lift the five-year restriction altogether and allow technologist members to retain that level of membership indefinitely.

    The unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 crisis has upended many sacred cows and forced everyone to crush the phrase “think outside the box”—maybe forever—with actions that go way beyond the brainstorming sessions and flip-chart purgatories of the past. Virtual events and webinars quickly became the coin of the realm, but Jacobs cautions that “it’s a dangerous thing to rely on what’s happening today,” because change is happening so fast.

    Jacobs credits the speed at which things are moving for waking up associations and getting them to “try new things and let the market tell them what works.” She adds, “We made decisions on what worked in the past based on the opinion of the highest-paid person in the room.”

    She sees a lot of “very smart” association professionals who have been waiting for permission to explore new ideas and innovative programs. Her optimism about the future is rooted in the knowledge that change is going to happen rapidly, and for the good.

    “I am optimistic because I’ve never seen such a great need for associations to exist,” Jacobs says. “But I’m also realistic in knowing that it’s going to take many iterations. We are not going to figure it out right out of the gate. And we’re going to have to be strong as we figure it out.”

    This article was sourced directly from Associations Now here, and is written by Lisa Boylan.

  • 29 Oct 2020 8:33 AM | Deleted user

    Whilst technology plays an important role when it comes to enabling communication, in-person networking is still the foundation of knowledge sharing, collaboration and innovation.

    Virtual conferences, online seminars and daily Zoom calls with our colleagues have been fundamental in staying connected in the current environment. But while we’ve seen exponential growth in digital tools and platforms to make this possible, face-to-face meetings remain catalytic to the kinds of conversations and collisions that spark future innovation.

    Sydney’s business events bidding specialists BESydney have kicked off an integrated marketing campaign to boost confidence, focusing people’s attention away from Zoom and onto back booking meetings again.

    Launching the It’s got to be Sydney campaign NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres said that now is the time for organisations to begin planning their meetings and events for next year, as the government continues to ease restrictions across a range of venue categories.

    “It’s now crucial for the business community to be able to get back on its feet, to collaborate, share ideas and do business in person once again and we’re working hard to provide as many opportunities as possible to achieve just that. Zoom meetings only get you so far.

    BESydney CEO Lyn Lewis-Smith said: “In our work securing Sydney hosting rights for global conferences and incentives over the past 50 years, BESydney has been at the forefront of promoting, protecting and growing our city’s reputation as Australia’s premier destination for business visitors.

    It’s got to be Sydney is about hope,” Ms. Lewis-Smith added.

    “This campaign is filled with optimism for a new COVID Safe future, where our expert Australian business events sector is once-again delivering safe ways for business gatherings to get people making real connections off-Zoom and face to face.

    The Why Sydney? proposition is delivered in a punchy promo video jam-packed with reasons. Whatever you love – great places to eat and drink, the arts, festivals, noisy debate – Sydney’s happy collision of ideas and people often provides a twist on what’s trending elsewhere.

    For access to Sydney’s expert business events suppliers, tips and inspiration, visit

  • 23 Oct 2020 4:37 AM | Brett Jeffery (Administrator)

    The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Foundation regularly reports on association sources and ratios. According to a November 2016 report, revenues from membership dues were down to 45% of total revenue for trade associations and a meager 30% for professional associations.

    Advances in technology have opened new doors of opportunity to drive non-dues revenue. Let’s take some lessons from the business world and leverage them into association revenue ideas outside the traditional membership fee.


    For those who may not be aware, podcasts have enjoyed an enormous surge in popularity. At least 112 million Americans have listened to podcasts, a figure up 11 percent from 2017, with 67 million listening to podcasts every month.

    Podcasts supply an affordable way to drive content and engage members, as well as generate non-dues revenue. Talk about your association and its particular industry and benefits. Interview key association members on topics relevant to your membership. After you have a following, you may even consider charging to have some members or partners interviewed on the podcast.

    As your podcast grows in popularity, especially a wide local audience, you could look into sponsorships from other related businesses. Sell banner ads or even mentions in the podcast itself.

    Podcasts also supply an opportunity to collect new membership leads. End each broadcast with a way listeners can find out more about your association and its benefits.


    Depending on your association’s purpose or related industry, you can produce how-to or promotional videos and post them to your association’s own YouTube channel. Once a channel reaches 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months and 1,000 subscribers, it is eligible for the YouTube monetization program.

    YouTube also allows you to produce a live feed with up to 6 cameras that you control, for little to no cost. Imagine a world where you can do live telecasts at your events or interviews. And yes, even your podcasts can live on your YouTube channel.

    This combines publicity for your association with non-dues revenue. Win-win for everyone, especially your association members. And why not be the first association in your area with your own YouTube channel?


    Why not utilize the base of people that you are already engaged with to create non-dues revenue by expanding your offerings with a la carte purchase opportunities? Possible perks that could be available for an ongoing or one-time additional fee include:

    • Educational events that offer industry certification or earned credit
    • Listings in or access to an exclusive job board
    • Consultation with an expert who holds a broad appeal
    • Access to association resources (such as a state-of-the-art lab or online catalogs)
    • Paper copy of online resources (nominal fee)
    • Paid access to one-time or multiple direct mailing list
    • First look at market research
    • Opportunity to send out surveys or marketing materials to members
    • Access to pertinent industry data
    • Listing in an associate member directory

    This is another great opportunity to look at what you’re offering those associate members. Some services might work well as a free membership perk while others could be offered for an additional fee.

    Your association type and purpose will dictate which of these association revenue ideas will work for you. Whatever you decide to do, it may require a deeper dive into your association culture and structure.

    This blog was originally published by CIMATRI. CIMATRI delivers cost-effective, efficient solutions that optimize your association’s technology for complete digital transformation, and you can learn more about their offerings on their website.


    Content Intern at | | Website

    Ashley joined the content team in March of 2020. Having previously interned with Innovative Advertising, a division of People Who Think, LLC, Ashley discovered her love for mass communication through hands on experience. Ashley is passionate about making a safer, and healthier environment through education, and does what she can to make the world a better place.

  • 15 Oct 2020 8:24 AM | Deleted user

    Influencers can drive a lot of attention and engagement toward your cause. But for the partnership to work, it takes the right influencer and an association that knows how to negotiate and collaborate effectively.

    When thinking through your cause-marketing strategy, working with an influencer might not spring to mind. But influencers are powerful persuaders who have built trust with their audiences. On top of that, influencers tend to prioritize authenticity—a useful trait for cause marketing—says Kristy Sammis, executive director of the Influencer Marketing Association.

    “A lot of influencers won’t take work if it doesn’t make sense for who they are,” she says. Consider these tips to find the right influencers for your cause-marketing efforts and how to collaborate with them effectively.


    Before venturing out into the world of influencers, take a look in-house—the right influencer could be a member of your organization. “I guarantee that any association has members who are natural advocates, because they’re already members and they have a good following across social media,” Sammis says.

    If a member has a strong online presence, ask if they would be willing to advocate for your association and its cause. To promote participation, you could offer member incentives such as discounts and special benefits, similar to a member referral program.


    If you look outside your association, you’ll want to find an influencer who naturally aligns with your cause, not just someone with a large following. Instead of mass-emailing stock messages to a bunch of popular influencers—which Sammis calls the “spray and pray” method—identify ones who fit your niche and reach out to them.

    A simple online search is a good place to start. To narrow your search, check Twitter and Instagram to see who’s been using hashtags that relate to your cause or organization.

    Take advantage of tools that go deeper: The free site Upfluence offers an influencer search tool, and provides a platform where you can build relationships with influencers. Platforms like these offer data on an influencer’s performance, so you’ll get a sense for how effective his or her messaging is. As you search, keep in mind that featuring diverse and underrepresented voices will benefit your organization, as inclusive marketing is on the rise.

    Once you’ve identified candidates, do your research: Look at their entire social media presence to make sure they are truly compatible with your association’s message.

    “Even if you’re expecting them to post on Instagram, see what they’re saying on Twitter,” Sammis says. “It’s about looking at the whole picture.”


    In cause marketing, you’re asking an influencer to advocate for a cause, not a product, which is why the message needs to be genuine. Sammis says influencers who post only sponsored content might not be your best bet because the message won’t seem as authentic.

    Look for someone who populates his or her feed with a balance of sponsored and nonsponsored content—a sign that the influencer knows how to work with a brand while maintaining a distinct, authentic voice.

    To see a successful example of this, look to the the Arbor Day Foundation, a nonprofit that partnered with popular YouTube content creators Jimmy Donaldson (better known as MrBeast) and Mark Rober on the viral #TeamTrees campaign, a fundraiser with the goal of planting 20 million trees. Donaldson’s and Rober’s positions as authentic, influential voices attracted major publicity and led to $20 million in donations in just a few months.


    When approaching influencers, it’s useful to have a specific plan of action to present to them—where they’ll post, how often, the type of content, and so forth. But Sammis says that associations will not get the best out of influencers if they treat them as if they’re freelance copywriters or photographers instead of collaborators.

    “Influencers love to be consulted, to be collaborative, and to be given the freedom to be creative,” she says. Give influencers a chance to push back on your original idea and offer their own, as they’ll be most effective when using their own words in a genuine way.

    That said, cause marketing could have you talking about serious or sensitive topics, so it’s reasonable for associations to provide guidelines on tone, topics to avoid, and what language is appropriate.


    It’ll help to have a sense of what to offer influencers based on their reach and what you’re asking of them. Sammis says while cost fluctuates from one influencer to another, an expected charge from a micro-influencer (someone with 10,000 to 50,000 followers) for a single Instagram post would be $300 to $500. Sammis says payment is usually preferred, but benefits such as a membership in your organization are appropriate as well.

    Some organizations may bristle at paying an influencer on ethical grounds, but Sammis argues that it’s not payment for a glowing recommendation.

    “You’re not paying the influencer for their favored opinion—you’re paying the influencer for their time, for their creativity, for the effort that they’re putting into this,” she says.

    This article was sourced directly from Associations Now here, and is written by Michael Hickey.

  • 15 Oct 2020 8:21 AM | Deleted user

    In the first of our three-part series about data today, we invite people who typically make gut decisions to consider the value of data-based decision-making. How do you win over the skeptics? Read on for a few ideas.

    COVID-19 has made the case for the value of data-based decision making to many association pros who might have previously missed it. After all, given the precarious situations the pandemic has created, who wants to be caught guessing?

    “If you can understand the data behind a business and how it ties to the operations, you could really understand how to control the outcomes you’re going to get,” says Association Analytics CEO Julie Sciullo.

    Still, not everyone may be on board. So, how do you effectively connect with the stragglers? Sciullo offers a few ideas for selling analytics within an organization:

    Narrow your initial focus. For many associations, trying to sell an analytics-based approach to a skeptical board or executive team means building a track record of success beforehand. “I would say start smaller, and start with whatever your main revenue driver is—so if you’re a trade group, with your event; if you’re a membership group, start with your membership,” Sciullo says. During this time, it’s best not to complicate things with data that goes too in-depth, she adds: “Start simple and then show the value.”

    Present the data in a dashboard format. In the past, some people might have rolled their eyes at data in part because of the way it was presented—Sciullo notes that data can be twisted to support an argument. But presenting data in an objective dashboard format, she says, can offer a stronger baseline for understanding the state of your organization and its members—something many leaders struggle to capture. “It’s really hard to get a 360 view of your customers—I mean members and nonmembers,” she says. “Typically, you want to know just as much of your nonmembers as you do your members.” An objective data visualization can supply that comprehensive view because of the breadth of information at hand. When presented this way, its value is more likely to click with leaders. “There’s just like this lightbulb that goes off,” Sciullo says.

    Set the example at a higher level. What if the data skeptics aren’t in your boardroom but on your staff? Executives need to set the tone. Sciullo cited an example of a client who now asks employees to study the data at meetings before pitching ideas, to ensure the ideas are relevant to the data. “They don’t go in and start an agenda until data is brought to the table,” Sciullo says. “And so if you don’t have data to support whatever you’re bringing to the table, it’s not going to be entertained.” This approach, she says, will encourage data skeptics at lower levels to take the research seriously “because you know your boss looks.”

    Once everyone is on board with data analytics, she says, it can open up opportunities, something she has seen in many organizations that have invested in data analytics in the wake of COVID-19. Among other things, she says it discourages a siloed approach and allows decisions to be made from a position of offense rather than reflexively—which matters now more than ever.

    “When it comes down to you and your organization and your members and, you know, your future as an association, you have to use your data,” she says.

    This article was sourced directly from Associations Now here, and is written by Ernie Smith.

  • 15 Oct 2020 8:11 AM | Deleted user

    Delivering useful, actionable information to members throughout their first year will have them ready to renew.

    So you’ve got a bevy of new members in your organization. Great news—but keeping new members engaged until renewal isn’t easy. Associations must captivate new members throughout their first year to build their member base long-term.

    “It’s about nurturing them in that first year because that is critical to them coming back,” says Rachael McGuffin, membership and community manager at the International Society of Automation (ISA). “You lose most of your members in that first year.”

    A drip campaign is an effective way to engage members, as it delivers personalized, relevant information. Some organizations run drip campaigns that last just a few months, but research shows that new members respond best to a campaign that lasts their full first year and is delivered through email, as association leaders rated email as their most effective engagement tactic for new members. Use these tips as you create your own yearlong email drip campaign.


    The goal of a first-year campaign should be to provide members with essential information that will help them make the most of their membership. At ISA, members receive four emails, one per quarter:

    • The first is about getting started, showing new members how to set up their member profile.
    • The second is about making connections, offering information about divisions within the organization that members can join.
    • The third is about staying informed, explaining how to get the latest industry news and content that will help them professionally.
    • The fourth is about getting involved, detailing how members can volunteer at ISA.

    “These emails actually had a higher open rate than any of our other emails at ISA,” McGuffin says, noting that this campaign’s key performance indicators (KPIs) exceeded industry benchmarks.


    Every email in ISA’s drip campaign directs members to a landing page with more information. Research shows that calls to action can have a dramatic effect on engagement—in some cases, a 371 percent increase in clicks.

    “You definitely want your call to action right upfront,” McGuffin says. “It’s about giving them something to do.”


    ISA’s new-member campaign is only one part of its communications strategy. Consider how frequently you contact members overall to determine an appropriate number of drip campaign emails. McGuffin has found that spreading out a small batch of emails across a full year has kept new members engaged without overwhelming them.

    “Talking to members too much might scare them at first,” she says. “They’re also going to be getting emails about our products and services, so we have to be careful not to bombard them.”

    The optimal email cadence will depend on your members, but organizations such as MarketingSherpa have found that most people would like to hear at least monthly from organizations they’ve done business with. According to SendGrid’s 2018 global email benchmark report, the nonprofit industry’s median monthly send rate is two emails a month.


    Email marketing automation platforms are powerful tools for drip marketing campaigns. You can set up a campaign that is triggered by a specific action—such as a member joining your organization—and from there, the series of emails is sent automatically. Each recipient is on his or her own timeline, so the message is always relevant.


    You can divide your group of new members into smaller groups based on location, age, areas of interest, and other factors. Many email marketing platforms let you segment your audience, so you can tweak your messages to cater to each group.

    “It adds a whole new level of complexity, and if you are able to do that, I say go for that,” McGuffin says.

    The result? Higher open rates and click-through rates, according to Klaviyo’s Email Segmentation Benchmark Report.


    Email marketing platforms track metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and bounce rates. Compare these KPIs against nonprofit industry benchmarks to get a sense of how your campaign is doing. This will help you hone your campaign so you can better engage future members. And if you’ve done new-member drip campaigns before, you can see if there have been year-over-year improvements in engagement and renewals.

    This article was sourced directly from Associations Now here, and is written by Michael Hickey.

  • 15 Oct 2020 5:01 AM | Brett Jeffery (Administrator)

    Change is an unavoidable part of life. 

    Some changes are positive, like a brilliant executive taking the helm or a sudden flood of funding transforming your association’s capabilities. Others can be difficult, like an economic downturn that prompts layoffs. And other changes are more mundane but no less monumental, such as the emergence of technology or shifts in language. 

    To survive and thrive, associations need to have change management strategies they can count on. 

    Having a change management plan that supports employees will help your organization evolve.

    Have a clear objective 

    By its very nature, change is disruptive. Before asking your entire organization to change its daily operations, it’s crucial to identify and articulate a clear objective. 

    Employees and members need to understand why the proposed change matters, what it will accomplish and how it will strengthen the organization in the long run. When organizations skip this step, widespread dissatisfaction can swiftly spread. 

    If you can demonstrate how a proposed change aligns with your association’s core purpose, you might be surprised by how quickly people adapt.

    Get the right people involved 

    Change isn’t just about telling others to do things differently — it also means listening to people with direct involvement in processes and trusting their expertise.

    When guiding an organization through a period of change, it’s important to make sure the right people are involved. 

    This doesn’t exclusively mean C-suite leaders.

    While some changes will be internal, others might even benefit from other sources of input. If your association is considering two equally promising courses of action, you could poll members or even the public to decide. The nature of the change at hand will help you determine who is best positioned to weigh in.

    As a general rule, the right people will bring lived experience, knowledge and insight to the table, helping your association to successfully move forward.

    Have an inclusive mindset

    Thoughtful, effective change management takes everyone into account. Every association is made up of people with diverse experiences, roles and identities. 

    These individuals may require slightly different support through times of change — and have unique strengths to offer.

    When assembling working groups or soliciting feedback, it’s crucial to include as many perspectives as possible. Not only is this a morally sound practice, but as the old saying goes, many hands make light work. 

    An inclusive approach to change management can help your association spot potential issues ahead of time, and come up with practical solutions. 

    Communicate like crazy

    Successful leaders never miss an opportunity to communicate with their teams. 

    When your association is experiencing significant change, a single email, meeting, or memo won’t suffice. Instead, leaders should spend time developing a plan for when and how to communicate—and reiterate—key messages.

    Though you might worry about nagging, repeating important information is rooted in empathy. During periods of intense change, your employees may need multiple reminders before they settle into a groove. 

    Reinforcing new information will help everyone cope with any bumps along the way, and help managers avoid making any one employee feel singled out. If you feel like a broken record, you’re doing something right. 

    With excellent communication and thoughtful inclusion, change management doesn’t have to be intimidating. With enough practice, your association will become nimble enough to weather changes big and small.

  • 15 Oct 2020 4:47 AM | Brett Jeffery (Administrator)

    Most publications attract a handful of true fans — readers who devour every post, share content on social media and open every newsletter. 

    But in the long run, understanding who doesn’t regularly read your content — and why — is far more valuable. If you can identify the disconnect between your content and your audience’s needs, you can begin to close the gap and increase engagement. 

    Still, it’s not always clear how to start. Here are four steps you can take to begin engaging disinterested readers. 

    Understand your audience

    You understand your fans, but what about the rest of your audience? Developing a complete picture of your audience will help you develop content that addresses their needs and provides genuinely helpful information.

    The reality is your total audience will include multiple segments. These subgroups might be defined by:

    • Niche or specialty within your industry
    • Level of professional experience and seniority
    • Geographic region
    • Demographic factors, such as race and gender

    There are many ways to identify these segments, but two tactics stand out.

    First, take a look at any data and analytics you can access. Data will reveal basic demographic and behavioral information, such as where your audience lives and how they find your content.

    To clarify further nuances, you can go one step further by surveying your audience. Be sure to leave a few open ended questions so you can gather feedback about what kind of content they’re most interested in reading.

    Personalize your content 

    Because no two readers are exactly the same, adding personal touches can help cater to a variety of perspectives. It can also pull readers deeper into your content by helping them discover more articles they might enjoy.

    If your organization has the technological capability, you can implement website features that automatically recommend articles based on what a reader has previously read. This can create a variety of personalized journeys through your archive. 

    If your website capabilities are limited, you can still segment your newsletter audience with relatively little effort. Rather than sending out one newsletter that contains a mix of content that not all subscribers will be interested in, you can create several newsletters that focus narrowly on specific topics. 

    Nurture reading habits

    When it comes to content, less isn’t always more. Publishing too infrequently can cause your content to fade from readers’ minds. If other outlets are filling the void, your content might be lost in the shuffle. 

    To stand out in readers’ minds, it’s important to publish frequently and consistently. If publishing daily is out of reach — as it is for most organizations — a weekly cadence may be more reasonable. 

    While your current staff may be unable to meet this pace, there are plenty of creative opportunities to increase the amount of content you publish. 

    Launching a program for your readers to contribute content can increase the frequency of publication. If you’re unable to hire more full time staff, consider hiring freelancers to work on assignments as needed.

    Step 4: Plan for the Future

    Adjusting your content strategy using these tips may drive some initial results — but your content journey shouldn’t stop there. As your content gains traction, it’s important to step back, refine your plan, and repeat the cycle. 

    Analyzing your results will help you set attainable, metrics-driven goals. As you identify content that performs well, you’ll be able to replicate the factors that make it successful and cater further to your audience.


    9 October 2020

  • 14 Oct 2020 10:37 AM | Kerrie Green

    Welcome back to our AuSAE Member Chat Series – Half an Hour of Power. This week we are delighted to have sat down with AuSAE member, Matthew Fisher, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Chiropractors Association (ACA).

    In a short 30 minute interview we discussed four key questions with Matthew to reflect on the last six months and look forward to the future post this crisis.

    What do the next 6 months look like for your association and your members 

    In the next few months the associations’ focus will be on reflection and making decisions on what we want to continue, stop and start doing more of. Over this period the ACA has sent over 100 separate pieces of communication for members from both a business and health practitioner perspective. We will continue to monitor the current situation for members and provide support as we move into a stable COVID operating environment.

    After a successful membership renewal period, achieving a 95% retention rate, our focus will turn to non-member recruitment. The work we have provided over this crisis has impacted and helped not just our members but the profession as a whole.

    Most importantly, as an Association CEO I will be encouraging the team to take a break, rejuvenate and prepare themselves as we move towards the end of the year. The toll this year has taken on everyone is something we all need to consider. The focus shouldn’t be just on our teams but ourselves as leaders of Associations and drivers of key business objectives. We can’t fill from an empty cup. 

    Areas of concern

    The biggest challenge for the organisation moving forward is aligning our strategic direction, public perception and ensuring the broader profession understand why we do what we do. Over the last few years we have worked hard in media and public relations to increase awareness and understanding of the profession and the role the ACA plays.

    Areas of opportunity

    As an association moving forward we want to ensure we capture and harness the great work we have achieved in the past six months. The impact we have achieved in advocating for the sector during COVID-19 is significant and affects the entire profession.

    Looking forward into next year, we have an opportunity to focus on building the reputation and standing of the profession, building on positive public perception and increasing our penetration into the profession. 

    Celebrated moments in the last six months

    We moved out of our offices on March 24 and are still working from home. Over this period, the performance and culture of the organisation has improved. The team are working well together and this challenging time has aligned the team towards a common goal. We are seeing more communication, collaboration and understanding of one another.

    The team have transitioned well and as a leader it does make you think about your options for office space and working arrangements. Do we really need an office, do we want to wear office attire again, do we want to travel as much as we were, do we want to commute back and forth? This year has shown that we can perform and operate successfully in a new working environment and this needs to be considered as we move back into business as “normal”.

The Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE)

Australian Office:
Address: Unit 6, 26 Navigator Place, Hendra QLD 4011 Australia
Free Call: +61 1300 764 576
Phone: +61 7 3268 7955

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Address: 159 Otonga Rd, Rotorua 3015 New Zealand
Phone: +64 27 249 8677

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