Leadership

Friday Buzz: The Challenges Associations Face Today

By / Feb 10, 2017

The world is changing, and because of that, associations are facing several obstacles that they’ll need to overcome. Also: How to create content optimized for short attention spans.

Change is hard. But we all know associations have to adapt to industry and societal forces to stay relevant and valuable to members.

While organizations may be straining against change for hundreds of reasons, Velvet Chainsaw Consulting’s Midcourse Corrections Blog points out six common 21st-century challenges that many associations are struggling to meet.

The unrelenting digital transformation of the modern world is the biggest pressure point that many associations face.

“Our association’s success or failure hinges on digital tools and ultimately becoming digitally mature organizations,” writes blogger Jeff Hurt.

While the digital revolution has us more connected than ever, there is a downside to that information overload. “Connectivity—the measure at which people are connected to each other, networks, and the internet, and the ease or speed at which they converse—is replacing knowing,” Hurt contends.

He goes on to say, “In a world where information is commoditized and is boundless, associations can’t compete with just dispensing information. What’s scarce is feedback, understanding, and application.”

Associations must keep up with what people want to learn, because there’s a lot of competition out there. “Associations have to compete with other possibilities that are frankly more compelling, creative, and social than marching through a passive, one-way webinar, outdated newsfeed, lecture, or recording,” he says.

Check out Hurt’s post for more.

Attention-Grabbing Content

These days, attention spans last for mere seconds on average, and your group may not even get access to those precious seconds unless your content can rise above the messy fray. What is your association doing to create content that your audience will want to read?

HubSpot provides several ways to make sure you’re creating engaging content that will provide value to your members.

Ask yourself if you actually need to write that blog post. Writer Sophia Bernazzani says associations should validate content topics first by doing “industry and persona research and selecting keywords to target.” She says to audit your competition to learn what types of content have performed best across your industry.

Bernazzani also recommends meeting your readers halfway. They may give you only a few seconds of their time, so give them content that they can digest quickly. Use bullet points, headers, and bold fonts to make blog posts easy to read. Clearly indicate your takeaway section so readers can find it quickly when skimming.

Read more here.

Virtual reality is now a reality: Event Manager Blog lists five VR trends coming to events and meetings near you.

Organization design: Harvard Business Review says most leaders don’t do enough of the “complex work of configuring their organization to execute strategy.”

Make your team happy: Does your small team need a little extra motivation? Inc. provides six low-cost ways to create a positive workplace.

Raegan Johnson

Raegan Johnson is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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