You had the bright idea to start a blog for your association. Your leadership bought into the benefits of a blog: providing original and curated content to your members and other audiences, earning the well-deserved reputation as your profession’s thought leader and moving up in Google rankings.
It was all going so well — until your reserve of posts ran out.
Last week, I shared a solution that won’t completely solve your content problem, but will help: regular features or, as magazines call them, departments.
If you build a few regular features into your post rotation, you won’t have to come up with as many original posts. And, I promise, you’ll soon start seeing items that fit the theme of your regular features. You know when you buy a new car and then start seeing that model everywhere, it’s the same phenomenon.
In my last post, I wrote about:
- Weekly Best Reads
- Dear Snarky
- Photo Friday
- Ask the Expert
David Meerman Scott wrote the book on newsjacking, seriously, he did. Here’s how he describes newsjacking: “the process by which you inject your ideas or angles into breaking news, in real-time, in order to generate media coverage for yourself or your business.”
When news breaks, how quickly can your association come up with an idea for a newsjacking blog post and get it published? How many hours would it take to get approval? Granted, some issues will require a more thoughtful response than others, but if you want to be relevant in the social world, you can’t take a week to respond to breaking news.
I don’t have an association example for this one, but do have a few individual examples. When J.C. Penney changed its pricing strategy, Steve Drake took Penney’s approach and applied it to association pricing. Although Steve didn’t get media coverage for his story (not his intent, I’m sure), it made for interesting, clever and timely reading.
When Komen had its PR fiasco, Kivi Leroux Miller wrote about their lack of communications strategy and consequent “accidental rebranding.” You can read about the media coverage Kivi’s post received in Beth Kanter’s post on the Komen debacle.
6. Futurist Friday
Futurist Friday is an idea I stole from the American Association of Museums’ Center for the Future of Museums blog. Every day is a Futurist day on that blog so it’s not a feature they normally run, but what a great idea for associations.
Follow CFM’s example by featuring posts, articles or videos from elsewhere. Trendwatching, Springwise, Wired and Fast Company are good sources. Speculate about how a particular trend might affect your industry, members or consumers.
7. Chapter Spotlight
If your association has state or regional chapters or affiliated associations, give them the spotlight every now and then. They’ll love the recognition, and, if relationships are strained, it could help a bit. Plus, good ideas deserved to be shared – your other chapters will appreciate it too.
The Bar Services division at the American Bar Association frequently shares the successful programs of local bar associations in their feature, Bar Crawl.
8. Advocate of the Month
If you’re trying to encourage members to get involved with political action and fundraising, consider highlighting an Advocate of the Month. Go beyond the usual suspects in leadership to recognize the Average Joe or Jane who makes calls or visits to their political representatives at the local, state or national level, or helps in other ways. Give members a model to emulate by focusing on easy ways to get involved.
The National Association of Community Health Centers used to have an Advocate of the Month feature. I wonder if they ran out of advocates! If a monthly feature will tap your reserves too quickly, run it every other month.
Stay tuned for more ideas in a future blog post.
Deirdre Reid, CAE is a freelance writer who is on the hunt for good association blogs. Proud of yours? Give me a holler.