Tuesday Buzz: The Chapter Challenge

The ins and outs of launching a successful network of local chapters. Also: Evergreen content matters—but so do topical stories.

Thinking about launching some local chapters for your association?

If so, Plexus Consulting Group President Steven M. Worth has some bad news for you. Local chapters can be useful, but they can also be a total pain to manage—especially if they become dormant or high maintenance.

“Chapters are an incredibly good tool for mobilizing the grassroots, and finding and keeping new members; but they are far from being maintenance-free,” Worth writes. “Those organizations that have the best chapter networks have understood that they are dependent on fallible, time-strapped volunteers who mean well but who often lack the experience, knowledge, and resources to … lead their chapters the way they might like. So headquarters has a big role to play if these well-meaning volunteers are not to end up embarrassed, harassed, and bitter at their experience.”

That’s why Worth’s tips on launching a successful local chapter are worth looking into. It’s harder than it sounds.

Evaluating the Evergreen

It makes sense that the next link is an evergreen.

That’s because Carole Oldroyd of Recruitment ADvisor is bringing up a long-standing debate in content marketing: Does it make more sense to focus on evergreen content or timely stuff?

The answer? You want to do both, because it’s not a competition.

“It’s not really a contest between evergreen and topical content,” she writes. “There is no good or better—just different. Audience development means you want readers to flock in because you’ve got the latest story about the newest widget. But you also want them to think, ‘Hey, I’ll bet I can find the answer at X Magazine.’

“You want to be X Magazine.”

Does your association run X Magazine? (ht @RecruitmentAd)

Other Links of Note

How not to use PowerPoint: The Marshall Project, a nonprofit news startup, highlights how inflammatory PowerPoint slides are leading to convictions that are being overturned.

Finding the people relevant to your audience on social media can be challenging, but social media adviser Kerri Karvetski has a few tips for getting started at Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog.

Trying to increase the “stickiness” of your membership? Marketing General’s Tony Rossell leads the way.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

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

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