Lunchtime Links: Embrace Your Celebrity Members

How you can take a few cues from the AARP's warm welcome to Air Jordan. Also: Why you shouldn't keep a wall between you and your members.

It was a slam dunk all around.

First, the storied career. Then the championships. Then AARP’s warm embrace.

Michael Jordan’s welcome, and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links:


All rise for His Airness: He may be a couple of decades off from the heights of his success, but Michael Jordan—he of the shoes, the NBA titles, and the late-’90s Looney Tunes flick—is ready for a new stage in his life. And AARP is ready to welcome him there. On Sunday, the longtime Chicago Bull, Dream Teamer, and current Charlotte Bobcats owner turned 50. Right on cue, the association had a membership card waiting for him. In fact, they tweeted it repeatedly, threw it on Instagram, and even put Jordan on the cover of the latest issue of its magazine. It covered numerous bases, drawing positive attention to the organization and drumming up tons of press in the process. Could a well-planned nod to a celebrity member of your organization help you earn the kind of press you’re looking for?

What’s really holding you back? Is it within your bounds to chat up your members for advice? You may not think so, but the National Fluid Power Association’s Eric Lanke argues otherwise. In his latest blog post, he cites a number of reasons why association execs may choose to keep an artificial wall between themselves and members. One of those reasons? Fear that they might be seen as not knowing what they should. Lanke’s retort to that? “But pretending you know things you don’t, or avoiding situations that may call on you to confess your ignorance is no way to either serve your members or maintain your association’s reputation for quality.”

Pitch it the right way: Your nonprofit’s upper brass may not totally “get” social media, but don’t let that stop you, argues Colleen Dilenschneider, MPA. Because while they may not understand the means, they get the goals. “While perhaps occasionally lacking specific expertise, these same nonprofit executives increasingly understand the basics—social media is important for reaching new audiences, retaining supporters, and achieving long term financial solvency,” she argues. “Now is an opportune time to capitalize on the salience of social media and better articulate its many values to the executive leaders and board members who approve our marketing plans and budgets.” Dilenschneider’s well-named blog, Know Your Own Bone, offers more insights on the matter.

What are you keeping an eye on today? Tell us about it in the comments.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

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

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