Money & Business

Lunchtime Links: The Business of Politics

By / Jan 28, 2013 (iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

How to smartly combine politics and messaging in your association’s business. Plus: Is that frequent flyer card really worth it?

With the election behind us, politics are no longer front and center for many people, but associations are always working to push their message out there. So how do you approach a political message or agenda with the proper candor? Is there ever a right way to handle politics as part of your core business?

That and more in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Party politics:  No one likes being told what to do. This is especially true when it comes to the business of politics. Forbes contributor Amy Showalter attempts to explain what may seem impossible: how to smartly integrate politics and messaging into business. Showalter encourages healthy discussion, rather than preaching, and says it’s smart to use information as education so your audience (members, employees, customers) can make an informed decisions about how different political outcomes might affect your industry or profession. How has your association handled political communications, even when it’s not an election year?

Lobbying for first-timers: Is your smaller-scale association considering hiring lobbyists to work with you on a policy issue? The New York Times offers a primer on what small businesses can expect when hiring lobbying firms, and it may be worth a read before you make any critical decisions. The article lays out typical costs for a lobbyist (around $5,000 a month) and realistic timelines for action to take place. And it’s definitely important to do your homework here. “You want more than a meeting,” consultant Suri Kasirer told the newspaper. “You want the correction. You want the contract. You need the next step.”

Flying high: Most people—and organizations—are happy to find ways to cut a few dollars here and there. But according to MarketWatch, it’s buyer beware when it comes to using frequent flyer cards. Unless you’re a frequent spender with excellent credit with the ability to rack up—and pay off—upwards of $2,500 in three months, the interest charges might be too much to bear. “The rewards typically aren’t worth it for those who carry a balance, since the interest charges they’ll incur—ranging from roughly 10 percent to 24 percent—will likely wipe out what they earn in points or miles,” according to the article. Special incentives (think priority boarding, free checked bags) can also encourage excess spending for all the “freebies.”

What are you reading over lunch? Let us know in the comments.

Chloe Thompson

Chloe Thompson is a contributing writer to Associations Now. More »

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