Leadership

Social Media Roundup: How the GSA Plans to Renew Trust

By / Sep 16, 2013 General Services Administration administrator Dan Tangherlini. (photo by the U.S. Department of Treasury/Flickr)

The Washington Post asks GSA administrator Dan Tangherlini how the agency plans to rebound from a conference scandal. Also: tips to bump up attendee numbers without having to discount.

What to do with an $823,000 budget? Plan one awesome federal meeting—and then face the fallout.

But if you’re like General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Dan Tangherlini, there’s another step: Help the agency bounce back.

The details, and more, in today’s Social Media Roundup:

A Penny for the Trust Bank

Bouncing back from a scandal: A 2010 Las Vegas conference put the spotlight on conference spending by federal agencies generally (and the GSA in particular), and led to big restrictions on conference and travel budgets. An Office of the Inspector General report, which documented the $823,000 in spending on the Las Vegas event, claimed that the “GSA has a special responsibility to set an example.” And that’s what Dan Tangherlini has been helping the agency do. It’s a case of show and tell: Building trust necessitates demonstrating trust, the administrator told The Washington Post’s Tom Fox. Under his leadership, the GSA has gathered for town hall meetings and review discussions. (They’ve also come up with efforts to streamline conference spending.) Tangherlini welcomes employee opinion, citing the organization’s “Great Ideas Hunt,” a 2012 program that allowed GSA employees to step up with new ideas. “It’s been a fantastic dialogue,” he says—so good, in fact, that they did it again this year. But the biggest obstacle lies in doing more with less—a challenge that federal agencies tangle with each day. It’s a “resource challenge,” Tangherlini says. Sound familiar? (ht @usgsa)

Don’t Discount the Alternatives

Outreach, outreach, outreach: The last-minute discount looks attractive, but it can be interpreted as code for “read behind the lines, we’re low on attendee numbers.” Instead of falling into that trap, attract attendees by targeting a wider audience of people who don’t want to miss out, American Veterinary Medical Association web manager Kim Kishbaugh writes in 9 Ways to Boost Lagging Event Registration. Yes, the classic case of FOMO (fear of missing out) also applies to boosting event numbers. Among Kishbaugh’s ideas:

  • Blast posts that read: “Hotel rooms are filling up fast” or “Register before concert tickets are gone.”
  • Draw interest by tying social media posts to location-specific content. Update your blog for greater depth on a topic.
  • Send a batch of catered content to specific demographics—like your baby boomers, your millennials—broken down by interest, experience, and age.
  • Partner with a local association and get your speakers involved in the promotion strategy.

You’ll turn “tickets are selling fast” to “tickets sold.” See you there! (ht @kkish)

What links are you sharing these days? Let us know in the comments.

Emma Beck

Emma Beck is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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