Thursday, September 24, 2009
I've been working with the organization for three months, but have not met the majority of the board yet. Not only will this meeting give me that opportunity, but it will also be their first chance to "test" my leadership skills. Yep, nerves are definitely surfacing.
I suppose I'm nervous because of my past experience with board meetings. I guess you could say I was trained in "board meeting boot camp." The organization I previously worked for closely evaluated their staff's work during board meetings. They watched you dot your "I's" and cross your "T's" and if one slipped by you, they were quick to point it out.
It was tough getting through those board meetings, but I can guarantee I learned how to think on my feet and prepare for anything and everything. I'm grateful for the training I received during "boot camp," and am certain it will help me be successful with DCHA.
I'm also nervous because I have yet to meet the full board. One of my DrakeCo colleagues, Becky Hadley, wrote a blog earlier this month about working for individuals she's never met (http://blog.drakeco.com/2009/09/working-together-apart.html).
The thoughts in her blog are probably shared with a majority of those working in association management. We often have to build relationships with people via phone or e-mail, and we rely on our relationship skills to build them successfully.
That's one more thing that I learned in "boot camp" - how to build a solid, professional relationship. I learned to base those relationships on honesty, creativity and integrity - core characteristics that I carry with me every day. So as exhausting and frustrating as "boot camp" may have been, I learned a great deal. Along with my leadership skills, the relationships I've built with the DCHA board will be tested in person at this first board meeting. And thanks to my "boot camp" training, I'm looking for it to be a success.
Monday, September 21, 2009
For me fall is a busy time of year. During the college football season, if my team has a home game, chances are I’ll be there cheering them on (after driving 300 miles to get there). When I thought of all the things on my “To Do” list for football weekends, it reminded me quite a bit of my “To Do” list at Drake & Company to schedule ad reservations for 2010. Surprisingly, the tasks are very similar.
For Tailgate Weekends
- Do the prep work – arrange for a house sitter to come. Write out care instructions for the pets.
- Check out weather forecast to determine what I need to pack – you can never have enough clothing with the team logo on it, in school colors, of course.
- Contact tailgating friends to see who’s bringing what to the gathering – salads, casseroles, appetizers, brownies (my specialty!), etc.
- Enjoy catching up with tailgating friends, people you have been sitting next to at the games for years and making new friends!
For 2010 Ad Space Reservations
- Do the prep work – update rate cards and ad contracts. Develop or rewrite brochures/PDFs for tips, webinars and sponsor packages.
- Check with current advertisers to determine if their current ad schedule is serving their needs. Help them determine how their 2010 ad “forecast” can be packaged into your ad offerings.
- Once advertisers/sponsors are on board for 2010, contact them to be sure that you have everything you need for a winning ad season – new ad materials, updated logos in the company’s colors, new URL links, etc.
- And last but not least, enjoy reconnecting with longtime company contacts ad agency reps and making new relationships with new companies/contacts!
So get started on your “To Do” list for your 2010 ad placements. With effort and lots of enthusiasm, your client (team) can be an ad revenue (game) winner!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
- Start today. Even if you're just getting started with Facebook or Twitter, now's the time to start tracking. Getting a baseline helps you set goals for the future and measure whether you've been able to accomplish these goals.
- Determine the key stats or metrics for your social media strategy. If you only have a presence on one social media site, this should be pretty simple. But in the case of many of our clients, we're measuring across multiple sites - Twitter, Facebook, blogs, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. In my opinion, the more stats the better - as these can help give you a clear overall picture of your social media efforts.
- Create a spreadsheet for these metrics. It may sound simplistic, but for one of our clients, we created a basic Excel spreadsheet with each metric as a column header. For example, on Twitter, we look at not only the number of followers but also the average number of Tweets per month. On our blogs, we look at subscribers and the number of blog posts and comments per month. This helps us, as staff, stay on top of our goals in terms of posting and content as well as measure whether these efforts are reaching others outside our organization. I prefer to keep all of our sites on one spreadsheet so that you can easily compare and contrast the effectiveness of different social media sites. For example, if we've had a huge increase in our Twitter followers but our Facebook page is stagnant, it might be a sign that we need to devote a bit more time in this area.
- Set goals and track your results frequently. Stats are only helpful if you take the time to record and review them. We update our stats monthly - but you'll need to figure out what works for your organization.
As I said, this is just one way to go about it -- and who knows how we might tweak this strategy in the future. Have an idea that's working for your association? Let us know!