An Executive Director's point of view

 

August 13, 2014: A good spin

Category: Marketing
Posted by: David M Patt
Sears, where I rarely shop, sent me a birthday greeting by mistake.

Here's the follow-up message I received not long after the errant note:

"It's not your birthday."

"Birthdays can be fun, and we can't wait to celebrate yours. In our excitement, we accidentally sent out your birthday greeting too soon. Please disregard our little slip up, and don't forget to act surprised when your real birthday is here!"


If you ever need to correct an association communication error (which, I imagine, won't happen often), something like this might do the trick.

Suspicious afterthought: Was the message really sent in error?

July 25, 2014: Canada law applies to USA

Category: Marketing
Posted by: David M Patt
The new Canadian anti-spam law will affect the activity of many American not-for-profits.

It sets specific requirements for contacting Canadians about meetings, products, and membership. It even applies to communication that is solely informative and not revenue-generating.

Check out this explanation of the law and be sure your organization will be able to comply.

July 01, 2014: Be a bad email marketer

Category: Marketing
Posted by: David M Patt

June 10, 2014: I threw it away

Category: Marketing
Posted by: David M Patt
I received a glossy magazine in today's mail that displayed the name of a city on the front cover.

I threw it away.

It was probably a sales pitch for that city, telling me all the wonderful things it could offer for my meeting. But it did not address my needs.

If the cover had said, "Reduced room rates" or "Fantastic Food" or "State-of-the-art AV" or "Innovative meeting room arrangements" I would have kept it because it would have told me something that might have benefited my association.

Telling me the name of the city was useless information.

February 26, 2014: Do more marketing

Category: Marketing
Posted by: David M Patt
Some organizations don't do any marketing. They may even brag about that, as if it were a sign of excellence.

But if you don't tell anybody about your organization, nobody will know anything about it. They won't join, or donate, or volunteer.

Marketing should be an ongoing activity -all of the time. Not just before events or before fund-raising or membership recruitment campaigns.

And it should take place in as many venues as possible - not just the "one" that may be considered better than the others.

If you don't continually market your organization, there may soon be no organization at all and nothing to tell anybody about.

February 24, 2014: Are super bowl ads effective?

Category: Marketing
Posted by: David M Patt
Sometimes.

When planning your association's marketing activities, don't just run to where you think everybody will be. Identify your audiences, determine the venue(s) in which you are likely to be able to interact with them, and cost out the venture.

Make your decision based on the cost and effectiveness of the effort and don't succumb to emotion and excitement.
Category: Marketing
Posted by: David M Patt
Just ask a door-to-door salesman.

February 05, 2014: One-hit wonders

Category: Marketing
Posted by: David M Patt
Many not-for-profits cling to the myth that one hit - whether direct mail, e-blast, tweet, display ad, or something else - is all that is necessary to promote an event or program.

They are wrong.

Association activities should be promoted as often as possible in as many venues as is practical.

Members and customers have a lot going on in their lives and it usually takes more than one attempt to grab their attention and make a sale.

January 23, 2014: Keep your acronym to yourself

Category: Marketing
Posted by: David M Patt
Association professionals often identify themselves on social media using acronyms rather than the names of their organizations.

That may be appropriate within an industry or profession (but not always) but it is not appropriate when communicating with others.

It does nothing to increase name recognition. In fact, it does the opposite, identifying you as a representative of an obscure, unknown, and perhaps unworthy organization.

Your acronym is not a brand, no matter how much you think it is. And that's especially true for associations that do not have widespread public exposure.

So, tell people the name of your organization when you identify yourself. Otherwise, you might as well not even bother saying who you are.

January 09, 2014: Effectiveness of print media

Category: Marketing
Posted by: David M Patt
Here's how print technology continues to evolve and remains a valuable piece of marketing strategy.
 
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