Plan for the News Cycle: The Benefits of Resource Pages

It’s not always possible to react quickly to a big news story, but planning ahead through the use of resource pages or well-timed marketing campaigns can keep your message out front right at the moment it’s needed.

When a news story breaks that’s relevant to your industry, are you in a position to respond?

Sometimes a press release might do the trick, but a thoughtful amount of planning—through the creation of resource pages—can help make it easier for your organization to speak up when interest in your association’s focus area rises.

A good recent example of this comes from the American Brain Tumor Association, which issued a statement after the passing of longtime U.S. senator and two-time presidential candidate John McCain. In the press release, ABTA focused on glioblastoma, the deadly form of brain cancer responsible for his death. And within it, the association linked to a resource page on treatment for glioblastoma. While the page was created long before McCain’s death, the information it included was particularly useful in the context of the prominent news story.

This translates a number of other ways. Some other examples of this approach in action:

Tweeting a resource page. Less than a day after a shooting at a Florida restaurant that was hosting a videogame tournament, the American Psychological Association shared a resource page on Twitter about how to manage distress in the aftermath of a shooting. The page offers an in-depth discussion of the issue, generalized not to focus on a single tragedy, and written in an objective way. “Recovering from such a tragic event may seem difficult to imagine,” the tip sheet states. “Persevere and trust in your ability to get through the challenging days ahead.”

Launching a campaign near a news event. Groups large and small can take advantage of the general awareness of natural disaster preparedness to help highlight what can be done to protect against larger disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes. Last year, the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes created a program targeted at state and federal leaders called DisasterSmart – Leadership for a Resilient Future. While the program is ongoing, the organization launched it last year after a particularly busy period involving natural disasters, which meant the issue was front of mind for many.

Get seasonal. There are always events that happen every year, be they weather events like hurricane season or a major snowstorm, or holidays like Halloween or Christmas. (Which is why you always hear about the American Pyrotechnics Association around the Fourth of July.) By building resources around the calendar, you can plan ahead and create timely, useful content.

The news cycle is ever-changing, and you may not be able to predict the future. But having resource pages ready to go—or timing your messaging around recent events—is often a winning strategy to boost awareness for your message or cause.

The American Brain Tumor Association, when honoring late Senator John McCain, highlighted their resources on glioblastoma. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

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

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