I assembled a crackerjack panel of association executives to participate in my recent session at ASAE’s MM&C (Marketing Membership Communication) Conference, “The Evolving Role of Communications in Associations.” The group had some fascinating insights, which I have captured, below:
Bill Cramer, Communications Director, International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association
Bill works for a small staff association and relies on partnering with external consultants to realize his trade association’s strategic public relations objectives.
One of those objectives includes a public awareness campaign (Moving America Forward) to raise the voice of the industry.
Addy Kujawa, the Executive Director of the American Association of Orthopaedic Executives
Addy is a real association executive success story: she is one of the few association EDs I have met who has a background in public relations. As a matter of fact, her ability to communicate was a key selling point during an extremely competitive interview process. Her advice to those seeking the corner office? “Do your research. Over prepare. Tune into your emotional intelligence.”
Amy Goldenberg, PhD, Managing Editor, Anthropology News, American Anthropological Association
Amy, like many associaiton executives, is accustomed to “doing it all.” However, she explained that it is essential to let go and delegate. It is critical to both those below you (whom you educate) and to yourself. You cannot get ahead if you are busy micro-mananging!
Gwen Fortune-Blakely, Director, Enterprise-wide Marketing, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Gwen’s background is in consumer brands: Franklin Mint, Marriott, Mattel, etc. Gwen says that at the end of the day, the products and services may differ, but whether it is Barbie Dolls or memberships, the skill set required to market them effectively do not change.
Another aspect that all of the panelists had in common was a daily struggle to prioritize: all of them wished there were, simply, more hours in the day!
For more on the MMC conference, read the synopsis.