Thursday Buzz: Weak Member Engagement? Look At Your Staff.

You can't rely on your volunteers all the time to get your members motivated—your staffers have to do the job too, even if they're not membership pros. Also: Microsoft introduces a new—and very snazzy—member to the Office family.

Associations value their volunteers, but there’s a limit to how much they can help on top of their own full-time gigs.

That is why, according to Metal Treating Institute CEO Tom Morrison, the onus is on an association’s staff to drive membership growth. And that’s not limited to the membership staff.

“The problem with staff is usually membership interaction on programs and services … falls to one person who is in charge of membership with smaller associations, and a small department in larger associations,” he writes on his blog.

As a result, associations struggle to maximize their potential for member engagement. “Membership engagement should be the responsibility of every employee, whether you have two staff members or 200 staff members,” Morrison says.

Read his post for more ideas on boosting member engagement.

Office Gets Bigger

Microsoft’s Office family just got a bit bigger, and the new addition could be pretty amazing for sharing content online.

The new Office tool, Sway, announced Wednesday, comes across as a combination of PowerPoint and, well, Medium. The app allows users to create visual stories on the fly, with a bit of modern flair that’s sometimes lacking in the other apps in the Office suite.

“Sway’s built-in design engine takes the hassle out of formatting your various pieces of content by integrating them into a cohesive layout,” according to a post on the Sway website. “From there, you can easily adjust the design to create a look and feel that reflects your unique style.”

As it turns out, one of the big talkers about the demo video, above, is that Microsoft is showing off the new app on Apple products—a bit of a shocker. But nonetheless, enjoy the new functionality—and sign up for an invite if you’d like.

Other good reads

“[I]t’s a mistake to look at diversity solely as an ethical imperative.” BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith breaks down the company’s diversity numbers and approach.

There’s a line between effective marketing and creepiness. CMS Wire contributor John Timmerman explains the difference.

You look like you could use a break, especially since you’ve gotten to the end of this piece. SCD Group’s Steve Drake suggests you should be taking one every 52 minutes.

(Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

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

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