Leadership

Monday Buzz: The Lesson You Shouldn't Take From the Election Day Buildup

By / Nov 3, 2014 (David McNew/Getty Images)

Don’t let the contagious negativity from this year’s political cycle infect your association. Plus: tips for Thanksgiving events.

By now you’re probably sick of the barrage of negative campaign ads that have taken over the airwaves this fall, especially if your state is home to a competitive race. But don’t let politicians’ persistent hostility influence your strategy for dealing with your business rivals, Grow My Revenue CEO Ian Altman recommends.

“Politicians know they are battling over the ‘undecided’ votes of less than 20 percent,” Altman writes in an op-ed for Forbes. “It’s just the way it works in a two-party system. They recognize that their camp won’t be turned away by negative ads. … A negative ad hopes to convince the ones in the middle that the other candidate is more ‘evil’ than the person running the ad.”

And there’s plenty of research that shows how effective these ads are in swaying at least some of the electorate. So why not apply those same tactics against a rival association?

“You might think that speaking ill of your competitor in business would win you some ‘votes’ with your potential customer. Not so fast,” Altman warns. He then lays out three reasons why you shouldn’t use the smear-campaign strategy in your professional life.

The person whose business you’re seeking could already have a relationship with your competitor, and insulting the latter could insult the former, too.

Your potential client already gets an earful about vendors from more than enough complainers within the business, so why tie yourself to all of that negativity?

You risk appearing fearful or jealous and portraying your organization in the same light.

For more on how to avoid going negative, and how you can more productively address the competition with third parties and possible partners, check out Altman’s full op-ed here.

Tweet of the Day

As the gender pay gap lingers—even in high-ranking nonprofit positions—the World Economic Forum has released new data on the issue worldwide.

Other Good Reads

“People are very bad at telling you what they do or why they do it,” content management consultant Gerry McGovern writes in a post on CMSWire about the divide between customers’ level of satisfaction and their behavior.

Thanksgiving will be upon us sooner than you’re ready, and any association planning holiday-themed events should turn to this list of decor, food, and activities from BizBash editor Alesandra Dubin.

AOL has announced it will launch a new system for marketers called One that it expects will present a formidable challenge to Facebook’s towering advertising service. Find out why AOL thinks its service can leap ahead of the competition in this story from AdWeek reporter Garett Sloane.

Morgan Little

Morgan Little is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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