Lunchtime Links: Parsing the EU’s Nobel Peace Prize Win

The European Union's Nobel Peace Prize win caught a lot of people off guard. But is there a lesson on leadership in this story?

Sometimes, opportunity comes out of nowhere, in a way that you’d never expect.

The European Union had one of those moments today, when something unexpected happened: In the middle of a challenging period for the governing body, it won the Nobel Peace Prize. Thoughts on this and more in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Good news in the middle of bad news: The European Union’s Nobel Peace Prize win came at a fairly strange time for the collective body — mired in debt crises and austerity protests, much of the reaction online has been surprise. (Some have speculated that the timing of the award was largely symbolic, to encourage the organization to see how far it’s come historically.) So, here’s our question: If your association, mired in controversy and organizational struggle, suddenly has good news appear out of nowhere, how do you pivot? Is it an opportunity to break through the struggle and get things done? Or is it a consolation prize?

Push your email strategy: Writing for SocialFish, nonprofit social media expert John Haydon offers some advice for improving your email marketing. A key one involves the initial interaction: “When someone joins your general email list to receive updates / news about your organization,” he writes, “they’re highly receptive to hearing from you. They might not be as open in a few hours, so follow up immediately when you’re fresh on their mind.” How do you respond when people sign up?

Keep the story simple: Nonprofit blogger Katya Andresen has a lesson for you on telling your organization’s story — don’t tell it all at once. “While that may seem like a good idea — the more information you put out the more convincing it is, right? — it actually creates information overload,” she explains. “Instead, find one small anecdote or facet of your work and show how it relates to everything else. Create a snapshot that people will remember.”

Room for a second act? Former Vice President Al Gore wasn’t able to beat George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential race, but he’s doing just fine, thank you very much. Gore’s investment work, largely in green technology, has made him 50 times richer than he was while in office — with his wealth jumping from $2 million to $100 million in just 12 years. While his film An Inconvenient Truth played a role, it likely wasn’t a direct one. Now, your members may never have run for president, but is there room for your association to help them build a career that’s a complete 180 — and full of different kinds of success?

Have you had a second act in your career? Let us know how it came about in the comments.

(photo by MPD01605/Flickr)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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