The power of face-to-face time. Plus: Creating more engaging—and more profitable—association newsletters.
Social media presents new and seemingly infinite ways to connect with members and colleagues online; it also, unfortunately, provides the perfect excuse to avoid bona fide human contact. How meeting people face-to-face can improve your social media campaigns, and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links.
Live contact: In the the always-on world of mobile technology, it’s not uncommon for people to have tens, maybe even hundreds, of friends and colleagues who they’ve never actually met in person. Associations are just as guilty of this as anyone. Someone signs up for the benefits of membership, and you immediately begin to reach out to them via social media. There’s nothing wrong with that, writes new media expert Jeff Korhan for Association Media & Publishing. But, if you really want to see results, it’s important to get out of the office and connect with your social connections in person. “We need to make it a habit to periodically attend live events such as expos, conferences, and community benefits,” writes Korhan. “In addition to building more meaningful relationships, we often gain an abundance of material for invigorating our content and/or our marketing. Plus, your social networks want to hear about your life just as much as your business.” How does your organization strike a balance between online outreach and live events?
A better newsletter: Despite the rise of email and mobile marketing, print newsletters remain among associations’ favorite means to share news and information with membership. But newsletters take time and money to produce, and they aren’t always as effective as some association leaders might like. In an interview on Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog, communications expert Pam Grow talks with Michelle Brinson of the the nonprofit Nashville Rescue Mission about the organization’s newsletter, which reportedly brings in a whopping $2 million in revenue a year, more than 20 percent of the the organization’s total annual cash haul. So, what’s the secret to its success? Brinson says the newsletter works because it keeps the focus where it should be: on donors. Each newsletter has a theme, such as Thanksgiving or Christmas, and includes several feature stories meant to evoke emotion and commitment from the organization’s most active and committed supporters. Brinson takes the information in the print newsletter and distills it down in a shorter online news blast for users who prefer to get the information in electronic form. She says the organization ramps up production and distribution during the holidays when more people are in the giving spirit. Want to learn more? You can read the full interview here.
Events 2014: Chances are you’ve got at least one big association event coming up this year. Whether it takes place next month or six months from now, there’s always time to make it better. Writing for Event Manager Blog, editor Julius Solaris offers up the 10 Event Trends to watch in 2014. Among them, faster check-ins for attendees, including tablet-based check-in services; social-based seating that gives attendees a chance to sit closer to their online friends; more concise event websites, where everything fits on a single page; easier hotel and travel booking; an emphasis on using technology to solve problems; an increasing demand for multimedia, including video and photo-sharing tools; and real-time analytics that help determine the course of an event as opposed to standard predetermined concepts.
What event trends are your looking forward to in 2014? Tell us in the comments.