Money & Business

Lunchtime Links: How to Maintain Strong Vendor Relationships

By / Dec 6, 2013 (Photodisc/Thinkstock)

Some keys to working more effectively with vendors. Plus: six tips to snap the perfect photograph for your website or blog.

Even the best-run associations sometimes need a little outside help to accomplish their mission. How to build strong vendor relationships, and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links.

Communication is key: And no, we’re not talking about how to connect with staff or better engage with members. We all know how important those relationships are. But there’s another piece to this puzzle that’s often overlooked: vendors. In an article that first appeared on ASAE’s website, association executive turned consultant Becky S. Corbett offers 10 tips for cultivating strong relationships with vendors. Among her recommendations: Identify your needs early and ask for help, trust the relationship, prepare, be “direct, open, and honest,” “give more weight to opportunities than obstacles,” and always hold the vendor accountable. You can check out her full list on the McKinley Advisors website, or, if you’re an ASAE member, go here. What strategies do you have for working with important vendors?

CIO wish list: The New Year is almost upon us—and you know what that means: It’s time for resolutions. Maybe you’re going to lose a couple of pounds or resolve to spend more time with the family in 2014. But what about resolutions in your professional life? If you’re a CIO or technology executive, you’ve probably got a long list of items you’d like to accomplish in your organization in the coming year. Writing for Forbes, Drew Leonard of Savvis, a CenturyLink company, lists four items that should be on every CIO’s list of resolutions. His suggestions, compiled from a recent Vanson Bourne IT trends report, include addressing long-standing staffing and skills shortages within the organization, facing down evolving security threats, ramping up technology that enables your business to scale, and consolidating data center space. What’s on your CIO resolution list for 2014?

Strike a pose: Thanks to the proliferation of smartphones, these days it seems everybody is an amateur photographer. But wouldn’t it be nice if those shots you snapped at that conference you just attended were a little less abstract and out of focus? Imagine if you could post them with pride on your association website or send them to your members as a gift. Writing for Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog, Jeff Jones of the Community Service Society of New York suggests several tips for novice photogs looking to snap the perfect shot. His number one tip: get closer. “This can feel uncomfortable, nearly invading someone’s personal space by pushing a camera up close, but you need to,” Jones writes. “Moving nearer to your subject can help your audience create a stronger, more personal connection.” Other tips: Use natural light wherever possible, turn off the flash, get action shots—or, if none exist, create your own—and invest in decent equipment, if you can. And remember, above all, that “good photography takes practice.”

What are you reading about today? Tell us in the comments.

Corey Murray

Corey Murray is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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