An Executive Director's point of view
October 14, 2014: How not-for-profits communicate
August 13, 2014: A good spin
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
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
June 10, 2014: I threw it away
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
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?
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.
February 19, 2014: Do old tactics work in the new world?
February 05, 2014: One-hit wonders
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
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.