An Executive Director's point of view


November 14, 2017: Holiday-themed email campaigns

Category: Marketing
Posted by: David M Patt

November 07, 2017: Stealing lists

Category: Business practices
Posted by: David M Patt
Political campaigns and advocacy organizations routinely try to acquire useful lists without permission. And they usually succeed.

Some small groups distribute their lists to members to enable them to communicate with each other. Recipients may then share them with outsiders.

Many groups publish hefty membership directories, on paper or online. Most prohibit unauthorized use of the list, with an eye toward preventing their members from being contacted by vendors or consultants. But they don't always think of political uses.

It is difficult to determine with certainty that a list has been misused. Members may also exist on other lists - professional, recreational, political - so they don't really know why they have been contacted. And not everybody on the list will have received the suspect communication.

Security "leaks" are usually not found in the office, where they can easily be discovered. Rank and file members, not staff, Officers, or Board members, are the likely culprits, and their identities are much easier to conceal.

So, make your list more difficult to pilfer. Update it frequently, so a stolen version will quickly become obsolete. Don't post a database online. But you can still include a lot of information, as it is less likely to be copied if all the data needs to be entered manually.

And stress to members the ethic of keeping the list in-house. You'll be surprised by how many people will honor that directive - even some who might have wanted to pass it on to compatriots outside the association.
Category: Stuff, other
Posted by: David M Patt

October 24, 2017: NO!

Category: Stuff, other
Posted by: David M Patt

October 17, 2017: Employment traps

Category: Employment
Posted by: David M Patt
Here's a great list of employment issues.

October 10, 2017: Tattoos

Category: Culture
Posted by: David M Patt
A lively discussion about tattoos in the workplace is happening on ASAE Collaborate right now.

Some participants have invoked association dress codes that either prohibit tattoos or limit their visibility to what are considered "appropriate." A few worry about how tattooed staff will affect the image of the organization.

Others, whether or not displaying such markings, feel acquisition of a tattoo is a matter of personal choice. Once exec commented, "Sheesh. It's 2017, people."

Tattoos are no longer tiny imprints hidden on someone's inner thigh. Many people sport large, multi-colored artwork in very visible places. And body piercings, which are sometimes borne by the same people who opt for tattoos, are hugely popular and show themselves on many exposed body parts.

The tattoo discussion reminds me of the issue decades ago when employers looked askance at younger people's hair styles and clothes. They insisted everybody adhere to an image that had been created years before (by their parents' generation).

People who don't approve tattoos or don't like them - chill out. Don't demand that everybody look the way you want them to look. The world has changed and a lot of people show off tattoos all the time. It's no big deal.

So, hire the best staff you can find. And don't be so concerned about how they decorate themselves.

Category: Meetings
Posted by: David M Patt
Many attendees of our educational conferences, annual meetings, trade shows, and other events are merely there to network.

They aren't interested in learning, buying, or engaging in association activities.

They just want to interact with colleagues and see what's going on in the industry or profession.

So, let's accommodate them.

We can address their needs in our marketing materials, provide places for them to mingle with others, let them into the expo, and add a question about networking on event evaluation forms.

If our associations become known as "go-to" places for everybody, more people will register for events, more people will join, and more people will renew.

It's just a smart thing to do.

September 26, 2017: A message from the grave

Category: Stuff, other
Posted by: David M Patt
My mother left a message after her death. It was read aloud at her funeral and copies were placed on each seat.

Her words seem very fitting right now.
Category: Employment
Posted by: David M Patt
It's this.

September 12, 2017: Don't judge a book by its cover

Category: Stuff, other
Posted by: David M Patt
You will have made a mistake.
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