On associations and newspapers
There have been a few posts
around the community lately about two-dimensional thinking and comparing newspapers to associations. And Ive gotta say, its not such a stretch.
If youve been following Splash
for a while, you might recall I studied journalism
in college and I spent many, many
hours in the newsroom at our student paper. Newspapers are near and dear to my heart, and I still love settling into Sunday brunch with the newspaper and a huge cup of coffee.
What does this have to do with associations, you might ask. See, newspapers and associations have a lot in common. Both are struggling with how the Internet affects their business model, among other things.
To be honest, reading the newspaper and clipping coupons leaves me with a feeling of nostalgia. Its so much easier to find coupons for specific products I want using the Internet, and Im definitely guilty of eating breakfast and sipping my morning coffee with my trusty MacBook in front of me.
I still love newspapers, though, and here's a big reason why: Studies have shown that the most original reporting comes from traditional media sources
It makes sense. How often do you see the same old content repurposed on blogs? Maybe it's true that anyone can be a reporter, but professional journalists are able to provide news analyses, which are sort of a cross-breed of news stories and editorials. Theyre intended to help readers fully understand the implications of a certain story and are written from different, less-explored angles.Finally! Some association stuff
Do you want your members to feel nostalgic
when they participate in your organization? (I hope not.) Should your meetings feel antiquated and leave your members searching for another way to get the information? (No.)
Its true that talk alone wont save associations, just like it couldnt save newspapers. The newspapers that have a specific focus, such as smaller local papers, are the survivors so far. Its the larger, less specialized publications that are in danger. Sound familiar?
A step in the right direction could involve changing your communication strategy, experimenting with micro-pricing and other business models or targeting more niche groups. So what are you going to do
to make sure your (old) members dont talk fondly about the days when associations used to exist?(Image via Flickr.)