The Executive - November/December 2018 - 18

Don't Let These
Communication
Culprits Derail
Your Content

By Brianna Martin

ccording to Naylor's recently published Association Communications Benchmarking Study, an overwhelming
number (84 percent) of associations believe they are good at creating relevant content in their communications.
Yet at the same time, only one in five say they have a good understanding of their reader, member and advertiser
needs.
So, where is the disconnect?
My conclusions include a few different culprits. Is your association guilty of any of these? Read below
to find out what you and your association may be the victims of and some quick tips on resolving those
challenges.
Culprit No. 1: Assuming Too Much
About Your Members
We all know what assuming does ...
Perhaps your association, like many
organizations, is guilty of assuming
too much. If you've never asked your
members what they want to read, hear
or watch, how do you know you are
producing great content for them?
Forty-one percent of associations
who responded to the Benchmarking
Survey say it's a challenge to help
members find desired information
quickly. Another 45 percent report
that declining reader engagement
comes from too many competing
content options. When deciding
what to talk about in your member
communications, shouldn't you be 100
percent sure your content is relevant
and something your members want?
There's a big difference between
you and your staff believing the content
you produce is great versus what your
members actually think. It's time to
take a real assessment, and think about
starting to connect with your members
to truly understanding their information
needs, wants and preferences.
One way to identify specific
disconnects is through a comprehensive
gap analysis assessment. A gap analysis
18

surveys your staff, association members
and advertisers/supplier members to
see where there are gaps in perceptions
about the quality and direction of
member communications. This
approach can help bridge the divide
between member needs, advertiser
goals and your association's objectives
as it relates to content and your overall
communications.
If you don't have the resources to
conduct something so robust, a simple
survey through Survey Monkey,
Qualtrix or another survey platform
can still have a huge impact, as long as
you are analyzing and making a plan of
action based on the results, which brings
us to our next topic.
Culprit No. 2: Not Implementing
Survey Results
Do you survey your members
regularly but find its difficult
implementing anything based on those
results? This could be another possible
reason associations don't understand
their members needs and wants. The
survey is complete and you set it and
forget it. What should actually happen
when the survey closes is a group of
selected people meet to review the
results and conduct a full analysis,

Ca lSAE's T HE E XEC U T IV E - NO V E M B E R/ DE C E M BE R 2 0 1 8

including opportunities and action
plans. If you work with vendors to
produce or sell advertising for your
communications, they should be
involved in this process as well.
Ensure you walk away from the
meeting(s) knowing what you need
to do to implement the changes your
members or advertisers have told you
they want. These action plans can
sometimes seem overwhelming, but
taking them one step at a time, and
truly having a specific and detailed plan
in place will help you stay on track and
be successful. And remember, Rome
wasn't built in a day. Implementing
these changes and seeing progress takes
time! Set realistic expectations and
goals with you and your board.
Culprit No. 3: Not Asking
the Right Questions
This seems like an easy task, right?
We know our members. We know
our communications. We know what
we should ask. But it's a little more
complicated than that if you really
want to get the answers you seek. The
key is to work backwards. What do you
want the survey to accomplish? What
are your goals? Surveys seek to provide
you with information about how survey



The Executive - November/December 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Executive - November/December 2018

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: CalSAE Still in the Middle of Its Story By Jim Anderson, CAE
AT A GLANCE BY THE NUMBERS: Understanding Gen Z as They Enter the Workforce
AT A GLANCE BLOG SPOT: The Importance of Virtual Meetings
AT A GLANCE TECH TOOLS: Prioritize Your Association’s Technology Needs
AT A GLANCE CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Want Successful Marketing Campaigns? Don’t Leave Emotions at the Door
A Tale of Three Chapters: Rebuild, Rebrand or Reinvent
Don’t Let These Communication Culprits Derail Your Content
Is Your Communication Keeping Up with Leadership Evolutions?
Embrace Your Personal Brand— And Make it Work for You
DESTINATION: Wining-and-Dining in Style in Northern California
NEW MEMBERS
INDEX TO ADVERTISERS
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Laura Calderon Rivera
The Executive - November/December 2018 - Intro
The Executive - November/December 2018 - cover1
The Executive - November/December 2018 - cover2
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 3
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 4
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 5
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 6
The Executive - November/December 2018 - PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: CalSAE Still in the Middle of Its Story By Jim Anderson, CAE
The Executive - November/December 2018 - AT A GLANCE CALENDAR OF EVENTS
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 9
The Executive - November/December 2018 - Want Successful Marketing Campaigns? Don’t Leave Emotions at the Door
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 11
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 12
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 13
The Executive - November/December 2018 - A Tale of Three Chapters: Rebuild, Rebrand or Reinvent
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 15
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 16
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 17
The Executive - November/December 2018 - Don’t Let These Communication Culprits Derail Your Content
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 19
The Executive - November/December 2018 - Is Your Communication Keeping Up with Leadership Evolutions?
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 21
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 22
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 23
The Executive - November/December 2018 - Embrace Your Personal Brand— And Make it Work for You
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 25
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 26
The Executive - November/December 2018 - DESTINATION: Wining-and-Dining in Style in Northern California
The Executive - November/December 2018 - NEW MEMBERS
The Executive - November/December 2018 - INDEX TO ADVERTISERS
The Executive - November/December 2018 - MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Laura Calderon Rivera
The Executive - November/December 2018 - cover3
The Executive - November/December 2018 - cover4
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