GSA scandal

Social Media Roundup: Learning From a GSA Leader’s Downfall

A revealing look at one woman caught in a national scandal that directly affected the events industry. Plus: the power of segmenting your communications.

The lingering effects of the General Services Administration (GSA) conference-spending scandal aren’t limited to the association space. To put it simply, lives were turned upside-down.

Find out about the personal impacts that reach to the very top of the agency in today’s Social Media Roundup:

The GSA Scandal, Though One Leader’s Eyes

The 2012 GSA scandal, in which outrage boiled over about excessive spending during a 2010 Las Vegas conference, remains a sticking point for the agency, associations, and the administrator whose career was brought to an end.

I said, ‘So should I also put my resignation on the table?’

In The Washington Post, Lillian Cunningham offers up a revealing profile of former GSA head Martha Johnson, putting a human face on the fallout from the organization’s lavish expenditures.

“I said, ‘So should I also put my resignation on the table?'” Johnson recounts to Cunningham.

“There was a pause,” Cunningham writes. “No one told her to resign. No one told her the damage this mess was going to do to [President] Obama’s campaign. But she felt these things. She felt them in that pause. So Johnson did something she wasn’t at all prepared for when she entered that room—she volunteered to resign.”

The aftershocks from the scandal continue to affect the event industry, with new restrictions on government expenditures putting a damper on event attendance and organizations’ bottom lines. All the while, Johnson, still unemployed, tries to move on. (ht @dabeard)

A Communique for Every Audience

Your association’s communications strategy should be like a centipede. No, it doesn’t have to be lengthy and creepy, but it should contain a number of segments.

Steven Shattuck over at HubSpot has an interesting breakdown of how nonprofits are taking advantage of segmenting their communications. Shattuck delves into the results of a survey from fundraising software firm Bloomerang, which found that 64 percent of nonprofits have adopted segmented strategies. That leaves plenty of organizations still not optimizing their audience appeals.

A plurality of those not segmenting their outreach say their hesitation stems from uncertainty about how to do it. But the data on the most commonly used segments gives organizations a good peek at where they may want to start. The list includes

  • donation amount
  • duration of support
  • communication preference
  • action history

So if you are pondering segmenting your conversation with your audiences, consider this data and previous success stories we’ve covered in Associations Now. (ht @tmartinsmith)

Martha Johnson being sworn in as the head of the GSA in 2010. (Chris Dorobek/GSA photo)

Morgan Little

By Morgan Little

Morgan Little is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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