For nearly my entire career, I’ve worked as a communication department of one. That made brainstorming a little tough. When trying to explain my challenges to my co-workers, whether it was media relations, advertising buys or writer’s block, my questions were met with blank stares. This is one reason I became involved in professional associations early in my career, just so I could spend a few hours a month surrounded by my peers.
When I became a staff member for association communications at Raybourn Group International, I also became a member of the Indiana Society of Association Executives (ISAE). When ISAE formed Shared Interest Groups (SIGs) this year I joined the Marketing/Communications Professionals group. After brainstorming a long list of hot topics over lunch during the ISAE convention, the group met for the first time in August. We’d selected social media as our hottest hot topic.
Andy Huston of Willow Marketing started the conversation by sharing two social media case studies – “Share a Coke” and the ALS ice bucket challenge. The Coke campaign capitalizes on a name, the one word most important to all people. Whether sharing a photo of you drinking from “your” can or sending a picture of a can found for a friend, the result is a social media message that is about emotion and relationships. In contrast, the ice bucket challenge was not a corporate campaign, but it also focused on emotion and relationships.
As a group we reviewed how to apply these lessons. I was reminded of a suggestion by our student committee to recognize members who are active on social media on their birthday. We also discussed the need to create impactful images for all posts and ways to make graphics quickly using templates and online quote generators. We shared how content creation is handled by our own associations. Those are just a few of the lessons I learned from my peers during that hour.
Making our case study analysis personal, we ventured outside to help our Marketing/Communications SIG Chair Amanda Cook with her own ice bucket challenge after the meeting. She challenged ISAE incoming president Mark McSweeney who challenged Raybourn co-worker Shelly Pfenninger who challenged me. This lesson became personal, emotional and wet.
Association Marketing/Communications Professionals: Mark your calendar for the next ISAE Marketing/Communications SIG meeting on Thursday, October 30 at 3:30 p.m. Andy Huston of Willow Marketing, 3590 N. Meridian St., is hosting us again and will lead our discussion on e-learning platforms, knowledge management and other topics pertinent to a late afternoon meeting the day before Halloween.