We just wrapped up our 10th Annual .org Community Food Drive, pulling in 10% more than last year. To all of our participating organizations and generous donors: THANK YOU!
What started 10 years ago with 15 organizations and 2,500 meals has grown like a magic bean stalk. This year, with 34 participating organizations, we delivered 50,900 meals to the Capital Area Food Bank.
Our total over the course of 10 years? 170,000+ meals!
The food bank serves 600,000 or so people in our community at risk of hunger. Our annual food drive helps, but it's barely a dent in the need. You can give year-round at http://www.capitalareafoodbank.org. Or, support your own local food bank!
American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
American Counseling Association
American Geophysical Union
American Health Lawyers Association
American Public Power Association
American Wind Energy Association
Association for Manufacturing Technology
Association for Professionals in Infection Control
Bar T, Inc
Equipment Leasing and Finance Association
Independent Community Bankers of America
Infectious Diseases Society of America
International Food Information Council Foundation
Licensing Executives Society
National Association of Counties
National Association of Wholesalers-Distributors
National School Boards Association
Olcott Consulting Group
Optical Society of America
Personal Care Products Council
Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation
Reinsurance Association of America
Summit Marketing Group
Tate & Tryon
... and all who gave!
|American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases|
|American Counseling Association|
|American Geophysical Union|
|American Health Lawyers Association|
|American Public Power Association|
|American Wind Energy Association|
|Association for Manufacturing Technology|
|Association for Professionals in Infection Control|
|Bar T, Inc|
|DelCor Technology Solutions|
|Equipment Leasing and Finance Association|
|Independent Community Bankers of America|
|Infectious Diseases Society of America|
|International Food Information Council Foundation|
|Licensing Executives Society|
|National Association of Counties|
|National Association of Wholesalers-Distributors|
|National School Boards Association|
|Olcott Consulting Group|
|Optical Society of America|
|Personal Care Products Council|
|Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation|
|Reinsurance Association of America|
|Summit Marketing Group|
|Tate & Tryon|
If you're wondering whether cloud computing is an option for you, we invite you to a free webinar featuring a real-life case study of an association that actually moved their network infrastructure to the cloud.
Join Brian Sheehan of DelCor and Eric Hill of Enterprise Wireless Alliance for a free webinar on Tuesday, May 22, at 2:00 pm Eastern. Here's what you'll get:
Location-based marketing (LBM) services like foursquare, Instagram, Plancast, and GetGlue allow many of us to check into almost anything, whether TV shows, movies, or conferences and share it with our community.
As mobile adaption continues to grow over the past 12 months, location-based marketing services are also gaining traction. I recently joined a Focus roundtable with smart marketers from Silverpop, LunaMetrics, WCG, and the Location Based Marketing Association. The roundtable discussed key statistics around location-based marketing, the players, best practices, and case studies. Thanks to all of this rich content, I’ll cover what associations should be concerned with in this two-part blog post.
Location, Location, Location – Find Us!
Most associations are professionally using geolocation services minimally, adding their office(s) and/or conferences to Foursquare and leaving some suggested tips for visitors. Some orgs may be dabbling in geo more than others with promo codes offered (example: 15% off when you download this white paper) or via a “Treasure Hunt” game on the expo floor at an association's trade show, rewarding attendees for visiting a certain number of booths. Few, however, are using geo as part of a larger location-based marketing strategy.
Currently, spending on location-based marketing is at $460 million in the United States. Consumer adaption is showing good incremental growth. One year ago, only 8% of the U.S. population shared location versus 20% now. The market is growing, but concerns over privacy issues are slowing it down rather than speeding it up.
A lengthy discussion around the Girls Around Me mobile app was a big topic for the roundtable on the privacy front, but panelists were quick to point out that there are over 500 different apps out there just like it. Asif Khan, President & Founder of the Location Based Marketing Association, also pointed out that the split of location-based users is closer to 50/50 male/female.
So, while most of us our networking, sharing tips, and hoping our check-ins aren’t attracting any creeps, here’s what associations can do right now to ensure they’re geo-friendly and searchable:
Tip 1: Google Places – Are you listed on it?
Keep in mind that most people search for businesses online, so keeping a free, quick, and up-to-date location on Google Places and Google Maps is essential, and since this is a Google service, you better believe it’s going to ensure you have higher search rankings.
From the various apps like Highlight, Sonar, Glancee, and Kismet released last month at SXSW Interactive, what the new applications are offering are more ways to engage in "people discovery" and to navigate multiple events that live stacked on top of each other. In the future I believe we'll continue to see more products roll out that attempt to seamlessly stitch mobile and geo as part of our daily lives. Anyone who has taken a look at this Google Project Glass video sees Siri’s future step-sister in the making.
While I’m not exactly psyched to jump on the DC Beltway anytime soon with a bunch of Project Glass-wearing drivers, it would be really nice to have my coffee order queued up at Starbucks and paid for, all via one device the next time my car inches into the parking lot. Not an idea that’s too far away, but still poses some operational dilemmas.
More Tips to Come in How "Associations Can Use Location-Based Marketing: Part Deux"
Follow Kylee on Twitter at @KyleeCoffman
Last year, the Capital Area Food Bank provided 23 million meals to our community. Without the food bank, 633,000 members of our community would go hungry – 1/3 of them children.
There are many reasons to participate in a food drive. None of them is quite as satisfying as feeding a hungry, malnourished child, and seeing the light and life in her eyes.
Will you help us do that in 2012?
This year marks our 10th Annual .org Community Food Drive. Over the years, we’ve collected 120,000 meals, thanks to the efforts of dozens of organizations like yours. This year, we’re aiming to collect 50,000 meals, April 30 – May 18. But we can’t do it without your help.
Sign up, and spread the word. 21 organizations have already signed on.
Sadly, the need for food bank services is only growing. So much so that the food bank is moving to a new, larger facility later this year. Your contributions ensure that they can keep up with demand. Because we simply cannot allow 200,000 children in our community to go hungry.
According to Feeding America, hungry children are more vulnerable to getting sick, have a harder time fighting infection, and are more prone to developmental, emotional, and educational problems.
It is often said that children are a future. Together, we can make sure their future is healthy, void of hunger and all the disadvantages associated with hunger.
Help us help them. Sign up today.
by Gretchen Steenstra, Senior Consultant, Technology Management, DelCor
You can learn a lot at a poker table, even project management. Every year at the Avectra Users & Developers Conference, DelCor hosts an educational session, PM Poker. Last week I described why and how the game is played. Take a few minutes to read that if you haven't already; when you come back I’ll explain why there’s more to PM Poker than laughs and free booze.
Now that you know how to play the game, let me introduce you to the players. The PM Poker players represent the different roles on a project management team. During the game, we hear the perspectives of each one as they wrestle with project management issues.
This year’s players were:
And our dealer, as always, was my colleague, Tobin Conley, Senior Consultant, Technology Management at DelCor. To hear from new voices, we rotate players in and out each year. The topics are serious, but the mood is light. Unlike the poker tables on TV, ours is full of laughter and gibes. The open bar helps.
Your brain on PM Poker
We always thought PM Poker was a great learning concept, but we checked in with an education professional who’s attended a few of our games: Jodi Wesemann, Assistant Director for Higher Education at the American Chemical Society.
Jodi says PM Poker works because it’s focused on people’s realities. It’s an example of contextual learning. “The questions and scenarios resonate because the audience has wrestled with them. They’re real, relevant, and timely.” The format also “highlights the partnerships that have to be there during a project.”
“The lecture format is the least effective way to foster learning. PM Poker takes the lecture out of the session, and suggests that we (the audience) are supposed to be involved in learning.” The audience wildcards “show that people in the room have expertise as well, not just the players. The audience is part of the learning experience.”
Jodi noticed several overarching PM concepts reinforced throughout the game. Players often give the same advice, but from their particular perspective and in their own words. That’s the power of repetition.
DIY PM Poker
We encourage association staff to play a few rounds of PM Poker at project kick-off meetings, especially when people from other departments don’t understand why they have to spend time on “your” project. Bring your IT, operations, finance, membership, and events people to the table. Give them a safe place to share their perspectives and pain points. They’ll soon understand that everyone’s job is hard, and that you’re all working toward the same goal.
DelCor originally used PM Poker to start a really difficult conversation in a non-threatening public way. If your board or membership is wrestling with challenging issues, maybe a frank yet friendly discussion around the poker table would help bring people closer together.
You could also use PM Poker to work out issues that are putting segments of your membership at odds with each other: professionals vs. vendors, old school vs. new school, or niche vs. niche.
A PM Poker game creates a positive and non-threatening environment where people with different roles and perspectives can address difficult issues with mutual respect and candor. Everybody laughs, everybody learns.
PM Poker decks are available from DelCor, to associations and nonprofits only. Contact us if you’d like a deck, or are interested in having us facilitate a game for your staff!
I am a member of several associations. This week I received an “anniversary card” from one of them and I was surprised at how impersonal it was. However, the card was personalized on one side with my name printed in a graphic format. The rest of the card was very generic promotional content and for the most part selling the association to me – even though I have been a member for some time. The content was telling me about meetings I could attend or other services I could use. Here’s the missed opportunity – take what you know about me and use it to further personalize the card. Thank me for all the volunteer work I have done, list some of my more highly rated speaking engagements, remind me of something that happened a long time ago, summarize the discounts I received for being a member, and so on. All of this information is available in the association management system (AMS). Since the organization is already pulling some of what you’re custom printing from the AMS, pull more, personalize more.
It also occurs to me that the association could easily send me the anniversary wishes electronically – thereby giving themselves even more opportunity to personalize the content and reduce their production cost.
by Gretchen Steenstra, Senior Consultant, Technology Management, DelCor
Gather a panel of technology professionals – people who don’t always agree and often butt heads – and ask them to share advice and tips about a challenging topic: project management.
Give them an affable, some would say silly, moderator who keeps the discussion moving along.
Add an audience who is fully engaged and entertained in a room full of good feeling and community.
And what do you get?
You get a session that everyone remembers and talks about – conference veterans look forward to it and newcomers are immediately hooked.
Welcome to Project Management Poker, or, as it’s affectionately known at the Avectra Users & Developers Conference (#AUDC12), PM Poker.
Oh, yeah. Did we mention the open bar?
Let the Game Begin
Eight years ago Tobin Conley and I were invited to do a project management session at the first AUDC. We were hot off the talking heads circuit having just presented PM sessions at other conferences. But this time we wanted to try something new instead of the usual “best practices” panel. One night I saw the World Series of Poker on TV and an idea started brewing.
At the time I worked for the Optical Society of America (OSA) managing the implementation of our new AMS, Avectra’s netFORUM, along with Tobin, our DelCor Senior Technology Consultant. Tobin and I had an ulterior motive for PM Poker. It wouldn’t just be an educational session. We used it to have a difficult discussion in public about OSA’s and Avectra’s project management issues and frustrations.
The first game was a scripted performance with a purpose: to get everything out on the table in a respectful conversation that would also help audience members with their project management challenges.
Playing the Game
The theme for this year's game was Maintenance – which explains Tobin’s uniform and stage name “Delvis” in the photo above (credit: Avectra/Flickr). Each of the three rounds focuses on a project stage. This year’s rounds were:
Each player is dealt a three-card hand. For the first round, the cards list scenarios that arise during the “Keep netFORUM Alive & Visible” stage, for example:
Players have only 90 seconds to give advice on the three scenarios. 90 SECONDS! Imagine solving problems so quickly in real life. But it has a point: you must manage your time well and make your point quickly if you want to succeed.
At the beginning of the game, wildcards are passed out to audience members. After each round, they get a chance to address the issue they’ve been “dealt” or they can ask one of the players to address it.
The audience members are sometimes more eloquent and pithy than us players! Audience participation is one of the reasons why PM Poker is not only fun, but an engaging learning format.
In my next post, I'll bring in an expert to explain why our brains love PM Poker – no, it’s not the beer. I’ll also show how your association can use PM Poker for project management and more.
Association executives who hire me usually want to know how they are comparing in their social media use to other organizations in their industry and in the association realm in general. We can make generalizations, but the only way you can know for sure how you compare is to take the time to look into the social media activities, web traffic, and estimated influence for all organizations in question.
Over time, collecting this data, some trends appeared indicating a usefulness in tracking associations in a variety of industries. We created the DelCor Association Social Media Index (DASMI) as a year-long initiative to watch how the outcomes of associations successfully1 active in social media compared to other associations in various stages of social media efforts.
Since launching the DASMI in November 2011, we have used it to estimate potential social media growth for clients and as a gauge for overall association social media activity. Identifying trends in online activity using the "DASMI Dozen" is somewhat similar to following the S&P 500. How much the DASMI indicators work to explain anything outside of social media activity for associations remains to be seen.
[The following is taken from our DASMI explanation on the DelCor website.]
The DASMI is calculated weekly and is based on three factors:
Engagement is critically important for associations, particularly those whose primary efforts involve lobbying, regulation, or otherwise advancing their industries in the eyes of the American public. According to ASAE, associations employed more than 1.6 million people in 2009, with a payroll of more than $47 billion.
How well are associations engaging constituents and legislators through social media? Are social mentions entirely self-generated, or are people actually talking about your association? We measure this engagement by tabulating social mentions using Vocus Social Media Software.
How well associations are communicating through social media can impact the perceptions of their many constituents and observers. No longer is the conversation limited to private meetings, coordinated lobbying efforts, and carefully planned press conferences. People are talking about your association online; gauging your participation in those conversations is a key measure of your online influence. We measure influence using published Klout scores.
Advancing your association requires action. Online, that commonly means more followers or more visits to your website, where you can initiate further involvement with your association – encouraging visitors to respond to action alerts, volunteer, or learn how your association advances America. We measure action based on Alexa analytics.
If you would like to see how your association can use the DASMI to rate your own activity, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can find your DASMI score for your organization to track each week as the DASMI is updated.
1The DASMI is comprised of 12 national associations of all sizes, covering a wide variety of industries:
I had to start out with a strong title since this post is taking on such a challenging meme; one asking about my future impact on the world.
Maddie Grant asked, “How are you going to change the world in 2012?“ and association bloggers have been answering.
Peggy Hoffman and Elizabeth Weaver Engel tagged me in their inspirational posts and so now I am trying to answer this serious question and I just don't know what to say... It is hard to stick one's neck out and say anything one does will have an impact on the world.
My plan is to attack it from another angle - the angle of imagined retrospection - so I can get my head around the challenge to change the world.
How KiKi I changed the world in 2012: