CONTENTS VOL. 3 • FALL 2019
ON LOCATION: KANSAS CITY, KANSAS
Kansas City, Kansas: Home to Family-Friendly Conventions By Cecilia Harris, writer, KSAE Magazine
10 STRATEGY Podcasts: New Broadcasting for Associations and Nonprofits By Liz Stevens, writer, KSAE Magazine
14 HUMAN RESOURCES Intentionally Employing the Best – Hiring for Culture and Skills By Kristin Scott, president, Scott Human Resources
18 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: KANSAS LIVESTOCK ASSOCIATION What’s for Dinner? KLA Continues to Help Members Meet Consumer Demand for Quality Beef By Brittany Willes, managing editor, KSAE Magazine
22 CONFERENCE PREVIEW KSAE 2019 Conference and Expo
18 30 TECHNOLOGY
Six Questions to Ask a Potential AMS Provider Information provided courtesy of MemberClicks
34 SOLUTIONS Millennials and Memberships: How Associations can Communicate with the Younger Generation Article courtesy of InLoop
38 BOARD GOVERNANCE Eye on the Prize – Keep Board Meetings Focused By Bob Harris, CAE, nonprofitcenter.com
40 MARKETING Striking the Right Note – Selecting Keynote Speakers By Lara Copeland, copy editor, KSAE Magazine
DEPARTMENTS 4 28 29 42
Letter from the Director Industry News Association News Calendar / Ad Index
Better Together: Using Social Media for Grassroots Mobilizing By Lauren Beatty, communications director, Alliance for a Healthy Kansas, and Melissa DeDonder, communications strategist and advocate Cover photo courtesy of Anthony M. Nickens, founder, A. Specs Film and Photography; far left photo courtesy of Visit Kansas City Kansas
KSAE Magazine • Fall 2019 |
LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR
Christy Classi, CAE Executive Director KSAE
My absolute favorite season is here! I wait all year for the crisp temperatures, Halloween, the start of KU basketball season and opening registration for the KSAE Conference and Expo. This year is shaping up to be one of my all-time favorites because the lineup for the conference is almost too good to be true. I honestly don’t think you could find better education or content packed into a day and a half anywhere.
Kansas Society of Association Executives (KSAE) PO Box 4790 Topeka, KS 66604 785.234.0155 • www.ksaenet.org KSAE Board of Directors President Eric Stafford, Kansas Chamber President-Elect Ron Seeber, Kansas Grain & Feed Association/Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association Secretary-Treasurer Sean Miller, Capitol Strategies
Starting out strong in the morning will be Gov. Laura Kelly, followed directly by Dr. Tiffany Anderson, superintendent of Topeka Public Schools.
Immediate Past President Brandy Johnson, CAE Brandy Johnson Consulting
In the afternoon, Mike Smith will share the vital traits needed by innovators in every profession and reinforce the requirement that business and science decisions must be based on data rather than consensus. Dan Prater will advise members on strategic planning in the face of industry consolidation, technology and rural-urban migration. Anyone facing these issues?
Chad Austin, Kansas Hospital Association Niki Sadler, Kansas Dental Association Kari Presley, Kearney and Associates Amy Dubach, Kansas Society of CPAs Leslie Kaufman, Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. Sara Neiswanger, National Glass Association Carrie Riordan, Riordan & Associates
Personally, I can’t wait to hear from Paul J. Long the MLB Kansas City Royals’ 2016 Fan of the Year. Long’s shenanigans have been featured on ESPN, the Washington Post and even the Wall Street Journal. Through his unique take on F.U.N. in the workplace, Long will stretch everyone in your organization to think differently about how they approach business and life. And let’s be honest, “shenanigans” is one of my all-time favorite words. Starting off day two, Greg Peters will talk about the most successful people in the world and how they surround themselves with connections that can take them where they want to go. We will wrap up the day with Paula Kidd Casey, who will discuss recovering from Type A personality – enough said. Still not convinced? As a CAE-approved provider of educational programing related to the CAE exam content outline, this program may be applied for 7.0 credits toward your CAE application or renewal professional development requirements. I can’t wait to see you all soon for some shenanigans, networking, knowledge and some credits. Happy fall! Sincerely,
Christy Classi, CAE
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Peterson Publications, Inc. 2150 SW Westport Dr., Suite 101 Topeka, KS 66614 Phone 785.271.5801 www.petersonpublications.com Editor in Chief Jeff Peterson
Advertising/Sales Vicki Peterson
Managing Editor Brittany Willes
Copy Editor Lara Copeland
Art Director Becky Arensdorf
Circulation Manager Brenda Schell
Graphic Designer Kelly Adams
E ND LESS REA SONS TO M EE T I N K A NS A S C IT Y, KS !
Attractions Dining Meeting Venues
Kansas City Kansas Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. VisitKansasCityKS.com | 913.321.5800
ON LOCATION KANSAS CITY, KANSAS
KANSAS CITY, KANSAS: HOME TO FAMILY-FRIENDLY CONVENTIONS
By Cecilia Harris, writer, KSAE Magazine
s the popularity of familyfriendly business meetings and conventions continues to rise, the number of entertainment options available for attendees of both traditional conferences, as well as those meetings that allow busy working parents to blend quality family time with business, makes Kansas City, Kansas, the perfect destination. Easily accessible by car via the interstate system and just 20 minutes from an international airport, the eastern Kansas metropolis offers venues that not only provide exceptional meeting facilities, but also supply, or are located near, forms of entertainment for attendees and their families to enjoy.
“There are several unique venues; it’s a great location, and there are a lot of things for attendees to take in and do during their meeting,” said Justin Stine, meeting and sports sales manager at Visit Kansas City Kansas. “But they can also bring their families, and there are things for their families to do. Whether it’s a one-day conference or a two-, three-, or four-day conference, there’s a wide range of things to do in the Kansas City, Kansas, area.”
“Our biggest advantage is the ability to mix business with fun; groups can have a productive business meeting in our meeting space and incorporate team building within the Lodge,” he said, adding that attendees can participate as a group in such activities as a miniature golf tournament or an arcade competition. Another benefit, Green said, is that families can enjoy the Lodge’s amenities while the businessperson is attending meetings or other functions.
Great Wolf Lodge in the Legends Outlets, located in the Village West Entertainment District, easily combines work with pleasure.
The Lodge’s indoor water park’s age-appropriate pools, tube rides and slides, hot springs and lazy river provide fun for all ages. The daily agenda includes story time, a Great Clock Tower lobby show and other activities for kids.
Terry Green, the Lodge’s director of sales and catering, said the facility is the largest full-service hotel with 281 spacious guest suites and over 4,400 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space in three separate and configurable rooms.
“We are focused on creating a great experience with every event and every guest,” Green said. “There are a lot of different ways to enjoy this Lodge. We can do what is necessary to create a great meeting and a great escape.”
Great Wolf Lodge, 10401 Cabela Drive, has more than 4,400 sq. ft. of meeting space. Photo courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge.
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Children’s Mercy Park, 1 Sporting Way, offers unique meeting spaces and recreational opportunities. After a day of meetings, attendees can cheer for professional soccer club Sporting Kansas City, take in a baseball game or enjoy an evening of shopping and dining. Photos on this page and page 8 courtesy of Visit Kansas City Kansas.
One example is the Lodge’s collaborative effort with nearby Children’s Mercy Park, home of the Sporting Kansas City professional soccer club, which offers 300,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. “Their larger space, along with our guest suites, allows both of us to work with groups we would have otherwise not been able to accommodate, so we team up and use each other’s assets to make a great destination for people,” Green said.
Meeting space often overlooked in the Legends area is Dave & Buster’s, according to Stine. The sports bar and restaurant – known for its quality food in a fun, upscale atmosphere complete with its famous Million Dollar Midway of electronic interactive entertainment and traditional games like billiards and shuffleboard – works closely with hotels in the area that lack meeting space.
Stine said Children’s Mercy Park can accommodate 1,000 people indoors with creative and unique options using its various sizes of suites and lounges that can accommodate breakout sessions to large conferences, banquets and receptions. The upscale Sporting KC Locker Room and Player’s Lounge, the most sought-after space, can hold 125 people for a reception or 22 in a classroom setting. Sporting KC professional soccer, T-Bones professional baseball, the Kansas Speedway, Hollywood Casino and numerous restaurants and shopping opportunities abound in the area that includes nearly a dozen hotel properties in addition to Great Wolf Lodge. Other unique event spaces include Chateau Avalon, which features 61 themed hotel rooms and offers outdoor meeting space on the new Beaumont Terrace adjacent to the Beaumont Fountain. “They have a really nice board room that would be good for a board retreat,” Stine said; the board room can accommodate up to 25 guests. www.ksaenet.org
Several locations have rooftop event spaces for networking receptions or corporate parties for up to 520 guests.
“When people look at Dave & Buster’s, there is a certain image that it’s food, games and arcades,” he said. “But they have classroom-style meeting rooms that can accommodate about 200 people. They have a smaller room that can accommodate 60 people as well. And, lastly, they have a rooftop area that continued on page 8 KSAE Magazine • Fall 2019 |
ON LOCATION KANSAS CITY, KANSAS continued from page 7
Memorial Hall, 600 N. 7th St. Trafficway in Kansas City, Kansas, includes a ballroom that can hold 250-300 people.
is perfect for receptions and can accommodate 150 to 175 people; it has a beautiful view of the Village West area.” Legends Outlets also has rooftop event spaces for networking receptions or corporate parties for up to 520 guests with amenities including a built-in stage, covered bar areas, free parking and the skyline view of the area.
A great plan for meetings Start the conversation 913. 907. 2950 . firstname.lastname@example.org 10401 Cabela Drive • Kansas City, KS 66111 greatwolf.com/meetings
In downtown Kansas City, the Hilton Garden Inn has 147 rooms and is connected to the Reardon Convention Center offering 15,000 sq. ft. of meeting space that meets a variety of needs from board meetings to seminars, conferences, tradeshows and conventions. The two are in close proximity to the Strawberry Hill area, Kaw Point (where the Kansas and Missouri rivers meet), the 7th Street Casino and Memorial Hall. The Strawberry Hill historic neighborhood, which sits on the bluffs overlooking the Kansas and Missouri rivers, was established by European immigrants whose stories are told in the Strawberry Hill Museum and Cultural Center; there also are a number of shopping opportunities, restaurants, coffee shops and bars. Memorial Hall, located just two blocks from the Hilton Garden Inn, is a historic veteran’s memorial that includes an auditorium that can seat up to 3,500 people and a ballroom, located on the upper level, which can hold 250 to 300 guests. Stine said Visit Kansas City Kansas staff works hard to ensure conference attendees will return with their families to experience more the area has to offer. “They are going to have a great experience in a unique destination,” he said. “We’re creative, we’re unique and we’re welcoming.” F
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PODCASTS: NEW BROADCASTING FOR ASSOCIATIONS AND NONPROFITS By Liz Stevens, writer, KSAE Magazine
hat the Gutenberg press did for the printed word, podcasts seem to be doing for the spoken one. Radio broadcasts and sound recordings have been produced and available for a long time, but podcasts have recently thrown open the door to nearly everyone for listening to, creating and sharing audio content – even for associations. In fact, there are a wide variety of associationoriented podcasts. Podcasts: a smorgasbord of content There is a podcast to suit every listener’s interest. Even within the category of association-oriented podcasts, there is a surprisingly wide selection. One can tap into topics ranging from advice offered by professional beer brewers, to news from an association for amateur radio operators, to bridal trends from a wedding association.
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Closer to home in terms of content, podcasts such as the following exist for curious listeners: • American Sheep Industry Association Podcast • Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association Podcast • K-12 Greatest Hits: The Best Ideas in Education • Produce Talks (“produce” as in fruit and vegetables) • AASA Radio – The American Association of School Administrators Podcast • American Libraries Dewey Decibel Podcast • Open Space Radio: Parks and Recreation Trends When it comes to podcasts for association executives and leaders of nonprofits, there are plenty from which to choose. These three names show up regularly on lists of must-hear podcasts for associations and nonprofits. www.ksaenet.org
Nonprofit Leadership Podcast As described by its creators, The Nonprofit Leadership Podcast: Making Your World Better features discussions covering the most critical issues, trends and opportunities facing nonprofit leaders and those engaged in social innovation. Hosted by Dr. Rob Harter, this podcast features real stories from experienced leaders discussing the various strategies and practices have made them successful. According to Harter, “It is our hope that through this audio series, people can learn not only what it takes to be an effective nonprofit leader but to hear inspiring stories about people and organizations that are successfully making a positive impact in their communities.” Titles in this podcast include “How to Become the Leader You Would Follow,” “PGA Tour Generates Millions of Dollars to Nonprofits Every Year” and “Building a Digital Fundraising Framework.” Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) The SSIR site describes its podcast as “Talks and lectures by leaders of social change, co-hosted by Stanford Social Innovation Review Editor-in-Chief Eric Nee.” SSIR produces 30 separate podcast series, including series such as Healthcare, Energy Efficiency, Nonprofit Management Institute and Frontiers of Social Innovation. Specific podcast episode titles include “How Client Feedback Helped Transform a Houston Health Agency,” “How Nonprofits Can Find Data-driven Success,” and “Get Out of Your Own Way: Challenging Your Mindsets and Behaviors.” Hubcast As Hubcast describes itself: “Nonprofit Hub is dedicated to bringing you the best content in all forms. The nonprofit podcast production we like to call the Hubcast gives you the opportunity to experience a new way to learn and be inspired. We’ll break down data from industry reports, chat with the sector’s top thought leaders and ponder the grand questions of life. No matter the subject, Nonprofit Hub executive director Randy Hawthorne will narrate the way to transforming your organization for good.” Hubcast divides its podcasts into four categories: What’s Next, Management, Fundraising and Growing Good. Hubcast podcast titles range from Get Your Board on Board to Major Gift Fundraising on a Small Shop Level and The www.ksaenet.org
Changing Landscapes of Social Media. And for sites that offer a slew of podcasts by associations (as well as thousands of others), visit player.fm/podcasts/ Associations or www.iheart.com/podcast/. Narrow the long lists of topics by searching for a specific topic (“associations”) or an industry (“agriculture”). Cooking up a podcast Of course, executives and leaders don’t have to settle for just listening to podcasts. For those looking to set up their own podcast, a slew of resources is available to help get the process started. Tony Veroeven’s June 2018 article published on manageassociations.com, “15 Things to Consider Before Starting an Association Podcast,” offers a checklist of important points to consider long before an association dives into podcast production. The following are just a few subjects from the recommended “15 things” to hash out before deciding to commit to creating a podcast, along with related commentary from Mark Athitakis’ article, “The Power of Podcasts.” Consider motivations and goals. Is the podcast being created to influence thinking and promote change? To reach a new or broader audience? To share insight into association members’ perspectives or highlight wisdom from industry leaders? In his article, Athitakis looks at associations that have implemented podcasts. He describes the success of podcasts hosted by Dr. Vincent Racaniello, a professor of microbiology at Columbia University, noting that Racaniello’s listeners are about one-third microbiology professionals, and two-thirds students and curious people from all walks of life. A takeaway: “Done right, (podcasts) can build member engagement – and, perhaps more important, expand an association’s mission to the wider population – in ways others can’t.” Research and choose the podcast’s audience. Veroeven recommends the practice of developing buyer personas – representations of an association’s ideal target audience which is based on membership and market research. continued on page 12 KSAE Magazine • Fall 2019 |
STRATEGY continued from page 11
After a podcast is launched, it is important to maintain engagement with the audience. As Athitakis noted, “Just like comments on blogs and letters to the magazine, a backand-forth dialogue with an audience is a key way to keep people listening.” Athitakis recommends actively gathering audience feedback and devoting some regular airtime to answering listener questions and reading their comments. Decide upon a podcast format and the length of the episodes. Veroeven poses the question: “How will the information be presented? Will it be a highly produced NPR-style podcast, a single host speaking to the listener, or a host or panel discussing a topic?” Other options include five- to 10-minute quickie episodes and 60-minute in-depth interviews. The length of episodes and the number of speakers are some of the factors that add to the cost of producing a podcast. Athitakis noted the costs for a typical episode of the Million Dollar Round Table’s (MDRT) podcast: 10 hours of staff time plus two hours of volunteer time, $450 to record 90 minutes of content (enough for three to four
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MDRT episodes) and another $575 for production and editing for each episode. Be aware that this cost estimate does not address podcast hosting fees. Create a script, the podcast’s blueprint. A script can be detailed, or it can be a loose outline, but without the guidance of a script, a podcast is merely a recorded verbal ramble. Per Veroeven, “Having a script does not mean reading from a page word-for-word. A podcast script can simply organize intro and outro music, promotional reads, advertisements, when one speaks and the general flow of an episode.” In summarizing the podcast production of financial services association MDRT, Athitakis explained that while the captivating dialogue captured in a recording session may occur spontaneously, podcast episodes do not build themselves: “Though the process of gathering podcast fodder is relatively serendipitous, producing an episode requires deliberate steps. MDRT staff members read through transcripts of the recorded conversations and select the portions they want to include. A production firm handles editing, background music and voiceovers for the intros and ‘outros.’” Athitakis also examined the minimal time and cost podcast strategy of the National Association of Convenience Stores. This association’s hosts record a month’s worth of podcasts at a time in a studio and then use a professional contractor to edit the episodes and add music. The association understands that the costs of recording in a studio and hiring professionals are crucial for creating podcasts with superior sound quality. In a podcast, sound is the one and only ingredient so it must be great. Intent on a do-it-yourself podcast? Invest in high-quality audio gear and robust software. While Veroeven noted his own experience in launching podcasts that were begun with bargain basement equipment and free software, he acknowledged the importance of good headphones and microphones, a quiet space for recording, digital recorders and the like. Whether associations and nonprofits are looking for advice on issues relevant to its industry or looking to connect with a wider audience than it is currently reaching (consisting of members and nonmembers alike) podcasts are a great way to connect and share. F www.ksaenet.org
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INTENTIONALLY EMPLOYING THE BEST – HIRING FOR CULTURE AND SKILLS
By Kristin Scott, president, Scott Human Resources
emember the good ole’ days when employers could place a job listing and the applicant pool filled with quality candidates? How times have changed. The hiring game has transitioned from an employer market to an employee market. An employee-focused market isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does require that hiring managers develop and hone their hiring skills. A hiring story Recently, a client was in a bit of a dilemma and needed to fill a critical position. After interviewing several candidates, one stood out. The candidate, “Sarah,” was bubbly, upbeat and had a warmness about her. She also used a particular response frequently, “Yes, ma’am.” Maybe Sarah wasn’t the ideal candidate, but she had many positive traits. She was hired. After working with the company for a few months, though, it seemed that she used “Yes, ma’am” as a way to get management to leave her alone. She operated a little too independently. When asked to do something, Sarah always said, “Yes, ma’am.” Then she would go and do the task her way. She hadn’t been there long enough to learn the systems yet, nor why things need to be done in a particular way. There is always room for improvement in systems and processes, but the employee has to understand the current process and everything else it affects first. Ultimately, Sarah was terminated, but not without months of turmoil among her, the manager and other staff. After reflecting, it is believed the company fell prey to hiring out of desperation. Hiring out of desperation is terrible. Sometimes it is better to have a position unfilled a little longer than to bring someone onto the team that shouldn’t be there. Desperate hiring happens, and every single time it does clients say, “We are never doing that again!” Commit to what is needed in a new hire, and don’t compromise. Be intentional about hiring the best person for the team. But how do managers go about hiring the best person for their team? Can the management team even agree on what
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skills the best person needs? To make the best hire every time, a consistent process must be developed that identifies the right combination of cultural fit, tactical expertise and essential skills. Define core values If it hasn’t already been done, create a set of core values or guiding principles to use in all facets of HR systems. Core values should communicate why or how the organization operates and should be incorporated in performance management, policies, job descriptions, team meetings, accountability and the hiring process. Read The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni for more on this. Examples of core values include the following: • Hungry, humble, smart • Relational, reliable, responsive • Connect, complete, commit • Communicate, collaborate, character • Integrity, respect, initiative Review the organization’s core values or create them from scratch. Share these values with applicants in the first interview. Ask them to define the core value based on their understanding of the word. In the next interview, share how the company defines it and ask them how they have rolemodeled that core value at work. Stick to real world questions During the interview, do not ask hypothetical questions. It’s easy to know what to do in a hypothetical situation and to give the right answer. Instead, ask them how they have previously handled scenarios in the real world. Take time to determine which questions will best reveal the applicant’s values and problem-solving skills. Ask applicants to share specific details: What was the situation; what did they do; what was the outcome; and what did they continued on page 16 www.ksaenet.org
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learn. It can be challenging to interview with this method, but if managers persevere and drill for specific answers, they will get to know the individual very well. Learn to identify essential skills Technical skills can be taught on the job as needed, but essential skills should be present when an applicant is hired. Formerly called soft skills, essential skills are learned and formed before adulthood. Having a positive and teachable attitude, being self-motivated and the ability to solve problems independently are crucial skills. Of course, some people do learn new essential skills even as adults, but it’s much more challenging. If the applicant can share specific examples of these fundamental skills in practice, it will be easy to see if they fit the organization’s culture or if additional options need to be pursued. Keep score Create and use a scorecard for each candidate for each part of the hiring process. The scorecard should measure each candidate’s ranking when it comes to core values, cultural fit and job knowledge. It is amazing how rating core values and technical skills can provide insight into hiring the right candidate. Essential steps of hiring To make the right hire with confidence, the organization must complete the essential steps of the hiring process. • Draft a compelling reason why people want to work for the organization and make that the opening statement of the job posting. • Request an application. Resumes are great, but applications provide additional details. It’s helpful to know the names of their supervisor and if HR can contact them for a reference. Plus, most applications include a waiver of release to obtain references and verify other information. • Always complete a phone interview. Phone interviews are a valuable screening tool because it allows for focusing on their tone of voice, how they use language and how complete their thoughts are. • Conduct two onsite interviews, preferably with a panel of different people each time. Having more people involved in the hiring process creates more valuable feedback and diverse perspectives.
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• Ask a potential coworker to give the candidate a company tour after the interview. Train the coworker to listen carefully and ask effective questions. The applicant may reveal traits they sought to conceal during the interview. • Job shadowing is an excellent way to give the applicant an honest glimpse of the job and working environment. The experience can be brief, even just two to four hours in length, but will reduce the risk of an immediate bad hire. • Always conduct reference checks and other required background checks. Typically, if the applicant is genuinely a solid hire, the reference will provide good comments and insight because they want to help them get a job. A reference that provides minimal information isn’t necessarily a red flag but may require more care. • Provide an official acceptance letter and structured onboarding. Onboarding is an entire process and system. It can make the difference between keeping the right hire (and the most productive employees) and losing them within a year. Find happiness in hiring by clarifying the organization’s values, culture and fit and reviewing the hiring process against these recommendations. Identify where improvement is needed and get to work! Great people want to work for excellent companies. With a little time and effort, the hiring processes can be strengthened and focused to bring the best candidates onto the team. F Scott Human Resources facilitates executive and leadership coaching sessions both in groups and one-on-one to create accountability and confidence in leaders. Kristin Scott has served the HR profession for more than 20 years partnering with companies to grow their staff. She has earned a bachelor and master’s degree and is certified by both SHRM and HRCI as Scott an HR Professional; she is serving as president for Topeka Independent Business Association, co-chair for the Executive HR Forum and is an adjunct professor at Washburn University. For more information, contact Kristin at Kristin@ScottHR.com.
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MEMBER SPOTLIGHT KANSAS LIVESTOCK ASSOCIATION
WHAT’S FOR DINNER? KLA CONTINUES TO HELP MEMBERS MEET CONSUMER DEMAND FOR QUALITY BEEF
By Brittany Willes, managing editor, KSAE Magazine
n 1894, a group of more than 100 Flint Hills ranchers gathered in Emporia to discuss issues related to cattle theft and unreasonable railroad freight rates. The result was the formation of the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA), which currently represents 5,600 members of a multi-billion-dollar industry. From its earliest years, KLA fought for the interests of Kansas ranches at both the state and federal level and continues to do so today. While the association itself has come a long way from its humble beginnings in Emporia, the determination to provide the best resources and opportunities for its members has remained a driving principle for more than 100 years. “Our mission is to advance our members’ common business interests and enhance their ability to meet consumer demand,” stated KLA CEO Matt Teagarden. “In executing that mission, we are honest, responsive, dependable, professional and principled. These values are elemental to our daily work, whether that be with members, legislators, regulators or other stakeholders.” Like most associations, advocating for members through state and federal legislation is high on KLA’s priority list. Taking issues and concerns facing Kansas ranchers directly
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to the statehouse is one of the best ways for the KLA to support its members – something its members recognize and greatly benefit from. “The Kansas Livestock Association is very active in the legislative and regulatory arenas,” said Teagarden. “That representation is high on the list of reasons why livestock producers join our association.” That representation doesn’t end at the Kansas state line. In order to offer members the best representation possible, the association also is an active affiliate of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). “By aligning ourselves with our national association, we are able to make sure Kansas’ interests are represented beyond just the state level,” explained Teagarden. “We are also active in media relations with our communications staff and members serving as spokespersons for the livestock industry with state and national media outlets.” Media relations is another area where partnering with other associations benefits Kansas ranchers. For instance, with the increasing popularity of plant-based and other alternative protein sources, NCBA has dedicated media resources to position beef as the best protein source for consumers. Digital programing and advertising are being utilized to correct www.ksaenet.org
misinformation regarding beef and imitation products. Furthermore, NCBA is also working to ensure that all protein sources, including currently available plantbased proteins and cellcultured options that may be available in the future, are subject to the same production and marketing standards of beef and other animal-based proteins. The Young Stockman’s Academy (YSA) offers the next generation of Kansas Livestock
Naturally, Kansas ranchers Association members a unique opportunity to develop leadership skills while gaining a have a vested interest in deeper understanding of KLA’s work in serving the livestock industry. keeping the public informed about the benefits of beef-based vs. plant-based and other Other events include the KLA Convention and Trade Show. protein substitutes. Through its affiliation with the NCBA, A great educational opportunity on a state-wide level, the KLA members are able to benefit from its media advocacy convention features a chance for presentations/discussions on a national level. addressing key industry issues such as sustainability, market outlook, technology for cattle production, research Of course, KLA’s communication staff is kept busy with into consumer trends and a tradeshow featuring livestock its own media relations projects, including the association’s products and services. weekly newsletter, monthly magazine, website and social media properties, all of which serve to connect and engage The convention also offers members a chance to discuss with KLA members. issues important to them, review existing KLA policies and develop new resolutions for the association. “We’re a “All of these resources keep our members apprised of the member-driven outfit, with each member having the same issues impacting their business and how KLA continues to opportunity to engage in our policy development process engage and work on their behalf,” said Teagarden. “We also as well as the overall direction of our organization,” host local, regional and state-wide events where members explained Teagarden. can connect with one another and with volunteer leaders and staff.” Additionally, KLA provides numerous opportunities to take on leadership roles. Teagarden noted that KLA relies These events include ones like the local, co-sponsored heavily on volunteer leaders. In fact, many members KLA/Kansas State University Ranch Management Field experience their first leadership role by serving as a KLA Days where ranchers are able to learn about various issues county chairman. affecting the industry, such as managing health issues amongst cattle or the latest technology designed to aid “The county chairman serves as a conduit between KLA livestock production. members in their county and the volunteer leaders and staff,” said Teagarden. Furthermore, KLA committees and For example, a recent Field Day hosted at Moyer Farms councils provide additional leadership opportunities, along near Emporia featured educational sessions on the potential with opportunities to serve on the board of directors and the use of drones in livestock production – including an in-air KLA officer team. “KLA leaders constantly evaluate new drone flight – and the first live demonstration of CattleTrace, services and benefits that would be valuable to livestock a program that uses ultra-high frequency technology to track and trace animal disease. continued on page 20 www.ksaenet.org
KSAE Magazine • Fall 2019 |
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT KANSAS LIVESTOCK ASSOCIATION
continued from page 19
producers,” he continued. By encouraging members to take on active leadership roles, the association is able to offer services that most directly benefit its members – because they’re the ones calling the shots. KLA also puts a strong emphasis on providing educational opportunities. “This includes both production- and consumerrelated research, worker safety programs and industry issues,” said Teagarden. “This information is disseminated to KLA members through our communication pieces and at KLA-hosted events.” One issue affecting nearly every industry in the US is that of connecting with and drawing in the next generation. Like many organizations, KLA is meeting this challenge head on by establishing programs specifically designed to appeal to younger members. For KLA, the implementation of its Young Stockmen’s Academy (YSA) has been a particularly successful program aimed at young members.
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“This program gives 20 KLA members in their 20s the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the Kansas livestock industry,” explained Teagarden. YSA participants gain a deeper understanding of KLA’s work in serving livestock producers and develop leadership skills. They have the opportunity to see the full scope of the industry from genetics suppliers to retailers marketing their product to consumers. One of the activities has class members offering beef samples in a Kansas City-area grocery store, interacting directly with consumers and answering questions about beef production practices and how it fits in a healthy diet. “The program has been very successful. Many past participants now serve in leadership roles for KLA,” said Teagarden. Through programs like the Young Stockmen’s Academy and annual conventions, communication outreach via newsletters and social media, KLA works hard to keep its members engaged with the community and connected to the industry overall. “The opportunities and resources that KLA offers provide value back to individual members while strengthening the livestock industry at the same time,” said Teagarden. As the industry and the association continues to evolve, “We will continue to work on behalf of our members, defending their ability to raise livestock and provide nutritious meat and dairy products for consumers around the world,” Teagarden said. “We will continue to focus on connecting the next generation of KLA members, providing leadership opportunities for them and current members and continue to provide services that are valuable.” F
To learn more about the KLA, visit kla.org. visitemporia.com 800-279-3730
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8:00-9:00 a.m. Registration and Exhibitor Set-Up 9:00-10:00 a.m. GENERAL SESSION: The Importance of Grassroots Advocacy Gov. Laura Kelly 10:15-11:15 a.m. Linking Young People to Professions and Associations Dr. Tiffany Anderson, superintendent, Topeka Public Schools 11:15 a.m.-1:15 p.m. KSAE Lunch and Expo KSAE is pleased to bring exhibitors from the state’s best hotels, meeting venues, CVBs, products, services and contractors to help association professionals get the job done. 1:30-2:20 p.m. CSI: Meteorology – One Man’s Quest to Save Lives Mike Smith, founder, MSE Creative Consulting Can one person make a difference? Yes! The behind-the-scenes story of a courageous scientist who, in spite of tremendous opposition, makes everyone who flies today much safer. “CSI: Meteorology” conveys the vital traits needed by innovators in every profession and reinforces the requirement that, for optimal results, business and science decisions must be based on data, rather than consensus. 2:30-3:20 p.m. Strategic Planning in the Face of Industry Consolidation, Technology and Rural-Urban Migration Dan Prater, senior managing consultant of nonprofit excellence, BKD CPAs & Advisors Strategic planning often gets a bad rap. But a well-thought-out plan provides clarity for everyone – from board and staff to donors and community partners. It can help your organization keep in tune with our ever-changing world and help ensure your precious resources are being invested wisely. 3:30-4:20 p.m. Connecting to Life Through F.U.N.! Paul J. Long, motivational speaker and consultant Two grown men, cat wrestling singlets and a social experiment. Paul J. Long leveraged his concept of Fundamism to become the Kansas City Royals’ 2016 Fan of the Year, national speaker and advocate of pediatric cancer research. Bringing his experience as a director of operations for a Fortune 300 company, Paul provides an inspirational experience while sharing best practices in creating a forward-focused, service-oriented, self-disciplined FUN team. Paul’s philosophy of Fundamism is a deliberate approach to building trust-based relationships, can be applied by all staff members and is certain to help you move forward in the development of any team. 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Happy Hour Reception and Auction
More info on sponsorship, exhibiting and www.ksaenet.org
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Conference and Expo Dec. 11-12
Capitol Plaza Hotel, Topeka
Thursday, Dec. 12 9:00-10:00 a.m. Influence, Education and Profit: Creating Connections with Success Greg Peters, The Reluctant Networker You’re not in sales, so why bother with networking? You shouldn’t – unless you need to develop a stronger organization, connect with potential employees or vendors, create powerful strategic relationships or increase your sphere of influence in your community or industry. Participants will learn not only how to make first connections, but also the tools to turn those five-minute conversations into long-term, profitable relationships. 10:15-11:15 a.m. KSAE EXCHANGE Event A speed dating-style business event with efficient, effective one-on-one appointments allowing association professionals and exhibitors to meet in a highly productive environment. 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Recovering from Type A Personality Paula Kidd Casey, lawyer, speaker and consultant Paula practiced divorce law for 40 years and in her own words now “wants to use her powers for good and not evil.” A brush with stress-related health issues caused her to look in a positive direction, and she spent several years under the tutelage of Bob Proctor before writing her own book, The Laywer and the Law of Attraction. “Recovering from Type A Personality” is great for anyone caught up on the performance wheel. 12:30-1:30 p.m. Awards and Annual Meeting Lunch Recognize the 2018 leadership and recognize KSAE’s outstanding association professional and supplier members by celebrating their accomplishments. As a CAE approved provider educational program related to the CAE exam content outline, the KSAE conference may be applied for 7.0 credits toward your CAE application or renewal professional development requirements.
registration available at www.ksaenet.org. www.ksaenet.org KSAE Magazine • Fall 2019 | 23
BETTER TOGETHER: USING SOCIAL MEDIA FOR GRASSROOTS MOBILIZING
By Lauren Beatty, communications director, Alliance for a Healthy Kansas, and Melissa DeDonder, communications strategist and advocate
ocial media provides a unique opportunity for grassroots mobilizing – an effective means to reach more people in less time and for fewer dollars. But simply signing up for a social account and jumping in won’t be effective without a strategy that identifies the account’s intended audience and goals. With some time and effort to get the details right, a powerful digital strategy can be developed in no time. Why social? It seems like everyone is in the social media space in some capacity, so incorporating these tools into advocacy work is a no-brainer. The great part about joining the fray on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – or the other seemingly endless social networking platforms – is that it’s an easy way to reach people where they’re already active. Building a network of supporters is simply a matter of researching which platforms the organization’s target audience is using and then joining conversations, posting news and following and engaging with like-minded organizations and groups. As a network grows, social media offers expanded opportunities for the audience to engage not only with the work but also with each other, which further expands the impact of advocacy efforts overall. Speediness is another advantage to social media. Policy can move quickly. Sometimes a piece of legislation can move from lying dormant to being held for a vote in a matter of
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hours. Presence and consistent engagement on social media ensures that organizations can activate their networks quickly when action is needed. Finally, social media provides a means to shape the discourse on a given issue. The organization can be the expert – sharing relevant information and news, elevating key messages and responding to opposition when needed. Engaging with members of the media in the social space is another important way to establish credibility on an issue. Follow and share content from reporters who cover the issues and offer story ideas and expertise. Getting started Almost any organization can benefit from a social media presence. To get started, it needs to define its goals and identify how social media may help realize them. Spend time thinking about the organization’s social media voice. How can it sound like an expert, while also sounding approachable? Are there opportunities for humor? How will criticism be responded to? How will the organization grab attention? The next step is to build a network of supporters. Do a little research to find out what platforms supporters are most likely to be using. Then begin growing an audience using these four key steps: continued on page 26 www.ksaenet.org
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TRENDS continued from page 24
1. Find common ground – Join groups that already do work in a particular area and begin interacting. On Twitter, use hashtags to discover people who care about the issue. Jump into already established hashtags, and don’t forget to create one unique to the organization’s cause, too. 2. Be a follower – Lift up others and amplify activists who are working on similar issues. 3. Keep it simple – Make it easy for supporters to get involved. The organization’s asks should be simple. For example, have them sign a petition or share a post. 4. Give up the reins – Allow supporters to step up and take ownership of the issue, when it is appropriate, in order to move them from passive to active support in championing the issue. Creating content Now that a network of supporters has been established and the organization is beginning to grow its presence on social media, what does it actually say? This is where a good plan and strong messages play a key role. Draw on resources already being used – blogs, emails and web content, for example. Here are some other ideas for creating content to feed social media accounts: • Share – This one is easy. Retweet and repost content created by the network of supporters. • Rely on emotion – Stories from real people are always effective. Find people in the network who may have stories about how the issue affects their lives. • Be timely – Capitalize on what’s current. Tweet from events and share photos of what the staff is doing. • Demonstrate expertise – Offer something no one else can and build credibility on the issue. • Repurpose content – Can an article be turned into an infographic? Did someone from the organization offer testimony on a legislative item? Transform that testimony into a blog post. • Interact with media – Comment on news and message journalists. Share their content. • Join in – Is it “National Hug a Tree Day?” Find days/ weeks/months with specific themes that relate to the issue and plan social media campaigns around them. Encourage the network to do the same.
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Social media provides a unique platform to help build relationships with key players, amplify messages and drive supporters to take action. No matter what type of content is created, always remember to keep it short and easily understandable. Visuals are important, too. Develop a toolkit with graphics and sample messaging that supporters can use to elevate the organization’s messages on a regular basis. Sustaining efforts Building capacity for supporters to amplify the organization’s messages not only creates a sense of ownership for them but it takes some of the day-to-day burden off the organization. By increasing the number of people talking about the issue, there is also a greater chance of capturing media attention and moving the issue forward. It’s critical to keep supporters active and engaged throughout the year so they are ready to take action – such as calling legislators – when the time is right. A steady stream of news, graphics and shared and original content will keep the network engaged. • Post regularly and encourage supporters to share posts regularly to recruit new followers. • Thank-yous go a long way to reducing fatigue. If supporters feel valued, they will continue to contribute. • Don’t panic if someone in the network goes “off message.” Everyone has their own skin in the game, even when sharing common goals. It’s more important to sustain the network than to discipline someone for saying or doing something in their own unique way. Social media provides a unique platform to help build relationships with key players, amplify messages and drive supporters to take action. Even having no previous experience with social media, it can be easy to set up accounts and to start connecting. Keep the organization’s goals and audience top of mind, and social media will be a snap in no time. F www.ksaenet.org
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Meet the Nominees of the KSCPA’s 2019 “Women to Watch” Award The Kansas Society of CPAs (KSCPA), in partnership with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), sponsors the “Women to Watch” Award program which honors outstanding women in the profession. The awards are given in two categories: emerging leaders and experienced leaders. KSCPA and AICPA will be awarding two of these exceptional accounting professionals, while honoring all nominees at a luncheon in Lenexa on Oct. 4. The nominees, pictured above, are: Jackie Reynolds, CPA, VP, McAuley & Crandall, PA; Alyssa Sharp, CPA, QSR Senior CPA, Mize Houser & Co., PA; Becky Shaw, CPA, tax manager, Berberich Trahan & Co., PA; Amber Goering, CPA, CGMA, shareholder, Goering & Granatino, PA; Michele Hammann, CPA, CVA, CSO and shareholder, SS&C Solutions, Inc. and VP of Summers, Spencer & Company, PA; Janet Houchen, CPA, managing member, Pro 31 Tax & Accounting LLC; Laura Lehmer, CPA, partner, Regier Carr & Monroe, LLP, CPAs; and Angela Malley, CPA, CGMA, VP and trust officer, The Trust Company of Kansas. For more information, contact Danielle Hologram, 785.272.4366 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Jayhawk Area Council Announces 2019 Topeka’s Top 20 Under 40 Honorees Each spring the Jayhawk Area Council sends out a call to the greater Topeka community for nominations for the year’s Top 20 Under 40 program. Nominees are candidates who’ve shown leadership and community involvement. This year, the program received more than 230 nominations. In August, the council’s steering committee members sought out and surprised 20 individuals revealing they had been selected as a 2019 honoree. Christy Classi, executive director of the Kansas Society of Association Executives, was selected as an honoree. Nominees were chosen for their accomplishments in professional and personal service to build a stronger Topeka. On Nov. 14, the Jayhawk Area Council will host a banquet at the Ramada Downtown Convention Center. For more information, visit www. jayhawkcouncil.org/20Under40. Lead to the Future Announces Newly Designed Program The LEAD TO THE FUTURE (L2F) Leadership-Elite Network is a refreshed enhancement of the renowned “20 up to 40” Leadership Program from the Kansas Society of CPAs. The newly designed program offers a mixed format of virtual and live session “waves” to accommodate the busy schedules of accounting professionals. Emerging leaders have the unique opportunity to gain momentum with each session wave as they develop personally and professionally as a leader into the future. The program will culminate the leadership experience and training with individualized coaching sessions with top leadership experts in the accounting profession. For more information, contact Natasha Schamberger 785.272.4366 or email@example.com. ASAE Announces 131 Professionals Earned CAE Credential One hundred and thirty-one association executives, including KSAE board member Amy K. Dubach, CAE director of member engagement with the Kansas Society of Certified Public Accountants, recently earned their Certified Association Executive (CAE®) credential from the CAE Commission of ASAE, joining more than 4,300 industry leaders worldwide. The summer 2019 class of CAEs successfully completed the CAE examination administered nationwide on May 3, 2019. They were honored, along with the winter class of CAEs, during the 2019 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition from Aug. 10-13 in Columbus, Ohio. For more information, visit www.asaecenter.org. F www.ksaenet.org
ASSOCIATION NEWS Registration Now Open for the KSAE 2019 Conference and EXPO This is one of KSAE’s premier events that features topnotch education programs, networking opportunities, a tradeshow and an appointment show. Kansas association staff are career professionals with high levels of knowledge who appreciate well-informed and carefully developed relationships that build trusted partnerships. By attending the conference, you’ll walk away with ideas on how to solve a complex array of problems ranging from increasing membership, to creating innovative meetings and events, to ensuring your community is preparing to face the future. Opportunities for Sponsorship KSAE members know that our sponsors are a welcome and knowledgeable resource for the association community. Your sponsorship of the annual conference is designed for you to gain business opportunities through building relationships and enhancing your exposure to association professionals and executives. Most Kansas association staff have been a part of the industry for 15 years or more
– so relationships are a critical part of making decisions with vendors and business partners. All of KSAE’s valued sponsors will receive recognition, and all attendees will be made aware of the generosity of KSAE sponsors at the event and throughout the conference. Increase Exposure and Exchange Ideas with KSAE The 2019 KSAE Conference and Expo is your one stop for exposure, networking, promotion and education. Plan to create even more connections upon which to grow. The entire staff of our Kansas Associations are active members of KSAE, which puts you face to face with the decision makers you do business with. Join us on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019 from 10-11 a.m. for our EXCHANGE event. This one-hour speed dating business event with efficient, effective one-on-one appointments is a not-to-be-missed opportunity. EXCHANGE allows association executives/ meeting professionals and exhibitors to meet one-on-one in a highly productive environment. For more information about the 2019 Conference and Expo or to register for events, visit www.ksaenet.org. F
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KSAE Magazine • Fall 2019 |
SIX QUESTIONS TO ASK A POTENTIAL AMS PROVIDER
Information provided courtesy of MemberClicks
hen it comes to shopping for an association management system, the questions people most often ask are pretty routine: How much does it cost? What features are included? What does the timeline for implementation look like? But while those questions are important, they aren’t the end-all-be-all. In fact, it’s just as important to establish a good partnership with a future AMS provider. Finding a software provider that truly understands the association’s members and, more importantly, its mission, is the key to AMS success. That said, here are six questions organizations NEED to ask their potential AMS provider. Why do they do what they do? When shopping for an association management system, it’s crucial to understand the vendor’s mission. Remember, this company could be a potential technology partner, so it’s important to understand their vision and their culture. Be sure to ask them what their “why” is – what drives their company decisions?
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Furthermore, ask about their ownership structure. Who’s the founder? Who are their venture capitalists? Are they privately owned or a public company? Additionally, have they made any recent acquisitions or been acquired themselves? These are all things to know before getting into business with someone. What makes them different? There are many AMS providers out there, so it’s important to find a few that target a specific type of association. Pay close attention to culture here. What is their culture and, more importantly, does it align with the association’s culture and that of its members? Also, what does their typical customer profile look like? Do they serve other industries or solely the association space? If it’s solely the association space, do they champion a specific type of association? And what about size? Do they target small- to medium-sized associations or large organizations exclusively? These are all important things to know upfront. continued on page 32 www.ksaenet.org
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KSAE Magazine • Fall 2019 |
TECHNOLOGY continued from page 30
Do they understand the association? Rather than just asking the vendor questions, give them an opportunity to explain how they understand the association. What specifically do they understand about it in comparison to other associations? For example, do they understand it has limited time and resources? Do they understand the association needs an outsource partner? Do they know the association’s goals – that it is trying to increase value for its members? Let them talk and see if they really understand the association’s specific needs. How can their system help the association accomplish its mission? At the end of the day, the association’s members and its mission are what matter most. That said, it is important to find an AMS provider than can help achieve a particular mission. So, how to do that?
Prior to selecting an AMS provider, be sure to ask for ample reviews and references. And when looking at those reviews, take notice as to whether or not the company has improved upon them. Well, start off by asking the company if they offer software as a service. How many customers do they have and how have they helped those particular customers (in terms of their mission)? Are there any case studies they can share? And what about examples of implementations? It’s important to know exactly what the association is getting into. Does the organization want to do business with this company? Prior to selecting an AMS provider, be sure to ask for ample reviews and references. And when looking at those reviews, take notice as to whether or not the company has improved upon them. For example, if there are a few old reviews complaining about XYZ, has the company since improved upon XYZ? Are there newer reviews supporting that? An AMS provider should be constantly improving. In addition, what will happen within two years of working with that company? Will they continue to offer support? Will prices change much? And where will that company be in four years? Is there longevity?
KSAE Association & Meetings is the official magazine of the Kansas Society of Association Executives. The magazine – available in print and as a digital edition – includes intriguing articles and news on conferences, meetings and association management that affect Kansas-based associations and other nonprofit organizations in the region.
petersonpublications.com/KSAE 32 | KSAE Magazine • Vol. 3
How to get started If an AMS provider seems to fit the bill, that’s great – but start asking about next steps: What does the activation process look like? What is the overall timeline? Is the pricing transparent? Is the software self-service or with a service? Leave no stone here unturned. F MemberClicks offers all the tools that membership organizations need to make the most of the web. From online databases and event registrations to custom-designed websites and member communities, products are tailormade for small-staff organizations. For more information, call 800.914.2441 or visit www.memberclicks.com. www.ksaenet.org
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MILLENNIALS AND MEMBERSHIPS: HOW ASSOCIATIONS CAN COMMUNICATE WITH THE YOUNGER GENERATION
Article courtesy of InLoop
t 56 million strong, millennials represent the largest segment of the workforce, outnumbering both the baby boomers and Generation Xers. Though millennials form a massive number of those in the workforce, they make up less than 1% of association memberships. That is a shocking statistic considering the benefits of association membership, which include increased learning opportunities, industry advocacy, a wealth of resources and a connection to a like-minded community. Most would think millennials – the majority of whom still have decades to advance in their careers – would want access to those benefits.
Associations have always embraced a multigenerational communication strategy. The difference now is how most of the workforce communicates. Communication teams that run an outdated communication strategy on old technology risk alienating members by not optimizing their engagement with current members or failing to attract new members. Multigenerational communication strategies that can engage both current and future members often put old communication strategies and technology to the test. Associations that do not leverage multiple platforms and customize their engagement for millennials risk becoming irrelevant. The urgency for communication teams to upgrade their approach compounds every year as current members retire, and their replacements are not joining.
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The goal of engaging millennials is something traditional publishing organizations have been confronted with for years. This need to attract millennials created a flurry of new tools and methods. Publishers continually invest in research and tools to understand how millennials find and absorb content. Publishers seeing the most success use this research to develop intentional strategies for creating new, sustainable paths to engage millennial members, leveraging new technology and data. The following are four changes taking place and how organizations are actively implementing strategies to stay ahead of the curve. Who are millennials? Millennials are a combination of generations Y and Z. Generation Y represents the generation born between 1981 and 1991, while Generation Z is 1991 through 2001. These generations grew up in a time when communication was evolving from traditional print to online, and internet access was shifting from dial up to Wi-Fi. The older millennials were www.ksaenet.org
coming of age as cellphones were shrinking and becoming devices on which to text and snap a photo rather than make a call. Younger millennials have grown up with smartphones. Both consume content online at breakneck paces. Millennials’ expectations for their experience with an organization and the speed in which this experience takes place are drastically different than their predecessors’. Their expectations are transforming and altering communication. They evolved digital conversation by introducing shorthand, such as emoticons, to utilizing instant communication technology like text. Millennials also hold different values: they are issuesoriented and not loyal to brands or organizations unless they align with their principles. They look for organizations that value communities where the culture encourages a sense of belonging, where solutions to problems are pursued. Millennials are also used to being busy and having their attention pulled in many directions. Because most are now well into adulthood, they have careers and families to focus on. That means that when they do engage in content, it is meaningful, and interaction is efficient. With the changes in communication comes a different means of finding and engaging in content. Here are some of those changes: Short attention span... Content producers typically have about eight seconds to relay their message to millennials, according to Social Factor. That short attention span could be produced through content shock, Mark Schaefer writes. It occurs when the exponentially increasing volumes of content are put in front of people who have a limited human capacity to consume it. Content shock is surreptitiously training millennials and younger generations to become numb to content. They are digesting an unprecedented amount of content, but they are not given the time to consciously absorb and evaluate it. The average millennial is used to being fed easily digestible information quickly. Consider this: Every minute… • 500 hours of YouTube videos are posted • 29 million WhatsApp messages are sent • 148,000 emails are written • 1,440 WordPress posts go live • 448,000 tweets are tweeted www.ksaenet.org
• 65,927 Instagram photos are uploaded • 3.8 million searches are conducted on Google • 3.3 million Facebook posts are made ...the solution Quantity is not better than quality. Content producers compete for people’s time and attention in a world where content is often delivered to the user through a notification on their phone, email or streaming device. They need to give readers compelling information in an efficient, engaging format. Organizations such as BuzzFeed and InLoop have spent countless hours testing and studying the best way to deliver information to this generation. The Buzzfeed site incorporates alternative formats to present real journalism. Using colloquial language, it pairs the information millennials need to know with the information they want to know. Articles are formatted as lists or visuals are integrated throughout text with truncated paragraphs and attention-grabbing headlines. However, organizations such as InLoop realize associations do not produce content at the rate Buzzfeed does. Instead, it leverages automated newsfeeds that pull content from relevant sources throughout the day, giving associations relevant content any time members visit the website. This provides a visually appealing and personalized experience every time. Consumption of this style of communication is being adopted by the other generations as well. As traditional media formats and content are being replaced by intentional formats and a variety of visuals, content is reaching further across a variety of platforms. Readers are scrolling through digital articles longer, interacting more and sharing content. Getting personal... The use of artificial intelligence (AI) – or using technology to allow computer systems to learn from and mimic human behavior – is on the rise. Organizations such as Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, Spotify and others continually deploy AI-related solutions that directly guide and learn from consumers every day. These organizations have created a new expectation for one-to-one personalization While the application of AI to create a personalized experience for users is not a new concept, advancements continued on page 36 KSAE Magazine • Fall 2019 |
SOLUTIONS continued from page 35
in technology have increased its accessibility to the market. The amount of data organizations collect is far too much for any human to sort through. Nor is it possible for a person to create a personalized experience for all their clients. AI’s role is to consume the ongoing stream of data, learn consumer preferences, create individualized use and showcase the pertinent content. ...the solution Remember what was said about millennials being busy but wanting to engage in meaningful content? AI technology provides marketers a one-to-one solution for content. With each engagement, the user is making their next experience better because AI technology tracks what they are interested in. This experience is also drifting to the consumption of professional news. People tend to engage more if the content is tailored to their interests and habits. Members join an association for a variety of reasons – to gain a sense of community, learn more or advocate for their industry. To communicate effectively and meet members’ needs, content needs to be tailored to their personal goals. AI technology is the best way to provide that tailored content without an association staff member having to sift through mountains of data. Additionally, organizations that package their content and provide it to members on a regular schedule see the most interaction. In fact, Oren Ahronson, CEO of InLoop, shared that association members that personalized their emails have an increase of 62% in open rate. Instead of sending an overwhelming amount of newsletters, registration links and membership renewal emails on various days, InLoop uses AI to find relevant content from association blogs, member benefit information, webinars and conference details. Because of an AI powered approach, busy millennials can expect interesting and engaging content in one place, making them more likely to engage. Social power... Millennials have an inherent distrust of brands and traditional advertising, necessitating that content producers use a variety of platforms to reach them. The first step in mastering social media is creating a consistent presence. Tools such as Hootsuite, SocialPilot, Sendible, InLoop and Buffer give organizations a streamlined service to do this
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Content producers compete for people’s time and attention in a world where content is often delivered to the user through a notification on their phone, email or streaming device. They need to give readers compelling information in an efficient, engaging format. across the social channels. All these platforms provide the opportunity to take social strategies to the next level. To be successful, organizations must also learn how millennials engage with social media for information and feedback. This generation tends to believe what their peers say. They seek peers’ opinions and often search for their validation as well. However, according to McKinsey, a small number of influencers are accountable for the lion’s share of referrals via social media. According to entrepreneur Andrew Molz, brands should focus on earning those referrals and recommendations to reach millennials. Gartner Research shows that 84% of millennials are likely to be influenced to make a purchase based upon user-generated content that is created by strangers. While influencers and peers may hold the most influence over millennials, organizations can impress millennials through engagement rather than promotion. About 62% of this group states that they are more likely to become brand loyal if a company engages with them sincerely on social media. ...the solution Millennials want authentic interactions to get them thinking and engaged, not more content to scroll through on newsfeeds. Social media is just another platform on which consumers can have a conversation and disseminate information. That means quality content is still a must in order to draw in millennials’ attention. They will then talk about that content on social media, rather than face to face. This means marketers and producers need to keep up with social channels to spread awareness about whatever product they have created and are marketing. The content should be as unique and engaging as possible. www.ksaenet.org
Nontraditional media... Over two-thirds of millennials read the news daily, but they are discriminating consumers. They gravitate toward niche publications and communities vs. traditional media outlets. Few traditional publishers are seeing traction with millennials. Only the New York Times and the New Yorker appear in the list of top news sites for millennials. Outside of social media, sites such as BuzzFeed, Vice, UpWorthy, Complex and Elite Daily have captured the millennial audience. Traditional media continue to serve a substantial portion of the population, but they are being replaced by narrowcasting – slicing audiences into smaller and smaller pieces. With social media sites overtaking TV as a source for news for young people, news organizations have become increasingly reliant on social media platforms to generate traffic. A report by Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism described how a “second wave of disruption” had hit news organizations, with publishers such as The Economist having to employ large social media teams to optimize their posts.
is changing the professional landscape and digital world. To communicate effectively, content needs to grab their attention through unique and authentic platforms and messaging that aligns with issues about which individuals already care. Associations will see this membership demographic grow if they can communicate with millennials effectively and allow them to see that associations are another group in which to build community, learn from and have an authentic experience. Data will be one of marketers’ and communicators’ biggest assets as well. Associations must have superior analytics that allow them to measure audience interest in real time. They will be able to see which topics are or are not driving interest so they can adjust to keep an audience engaged. With these tactics, associations can watch their membership grow as millennials find new value in associations. F Sources
...the solution Millennials are not loyal to a business or organization just because they may have brand awareness. The generation is issues-oriented, and they want to know that an organization they devote time and money to is aligned with their interests. They could also give millennials the impression that they are authentic content producers worthy of their time.
Communicators should use nontraditional platforms and mediums to maintain a consistent message to consumers about their organization’s mission. The best solution is to incorporate nontraditional publications. Because of narrowcasting, some of the most viewed and influential information is not coming from traditional publishers. This is pushing communication teams to research far past traditional publications and trade journals to find the influencers. Organizations such as Meltwater and others provide content services that aggregate information from leading publications to grassroots blog posts. The service gives communication teams the ability to stay on top of the industry news and their members’ interests.
Communicate effectively It is well known that millennials are a unique group that www.ksaenet.org
www.smartinsights.com/internet-marketing-statistics/happens-online60-seconds/ www.entrepreneur.com/article/311931 www.forbes.com/sites/andrewarnold/2017/12/22/4-ways-social-media-influencesmillennials-purchasing-decisions/#2aacdda6539f www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/getting-asharper-picture-of-social-medias-influence
www.contentgarden.org/social-media-is-the-new-word-of-mouth/ www.americanpressinstitute.org/publications/reports/survey-research/ millennials-news/ www.wibbitz.com/blog/top-10-millennial-media-companies-for-now/ reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/risj-review/news-organisations-face-second-wave-disruption-potentially-profound-societal
InLoop is a leading AI-powered content curator and publisher for associations. By utilizing Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning, associations can deliver personalized content to members while driving engagement. For more information, visit www.inloop.com.
KSAE Magazine • Fall 2019 |
EYE ON THE PRIZE – KEEP BOARD MEETINGS FOCUSED
By Bob Harris, CAE, nonprofitcenter.com
any factors detract from good board meetings. They range from a poor setup to an ill-designed agenda. Some executives have described their board as having issues staying focused. Association and chamber executives attending the US Chamber Foundation’s Institute for Organization Management offered these suggestions for how to keep the board focused. Consent agenda – Distribute reports in advance of the meeting with the agenda notice. If directors prepare by reading the reports in advance (it is their fiduciary duty of care), then a motion can be made to accept the reports as provided. Controversial items in reports can be moved to the regular business agenda if needed. Using a consent agenda provides more time for priority issues. Respect time – Everyone’s time is valuable. Demonstrate respect for time by ensuring that meetings are called for good reason and postpone if there is no reason to convene. If an important issue arises between meetings, use online meetings or delegate authority to an executive committee. Board development – Plan an annual orientation for the board. Design it as a “refresh and blend” to update directors on priorities and budget while giving new directors a chance to blend into the governance team.
Have a process for adding items prior to meetings. Eliminate the usual call for new business at the end of the meeting. Timed agenda – Add time markers to the agenda. For instance, financial report, 10 minutes; legislative action, 30 minutes. Time indicators should frame the length and depth of discussions. Leadership development – Provide training to directors so they understand their responsibilities. For example, ask them to sign a commitment form acknowledging they will work to advance the mission and goals, serve the members and read the governing documents.
Set ground rules – Agree upon general ground rules for the board. These might include insisting on accountability for commitments, professionalism in association dealings, confidentiality, respect among volunteers and staff, timely responses and acting as a role model.
Room set-up – The room, board table and seating make an impact. An open U with the chief elected officer at the closed end of the table works best. Be sure there is enough space for food and beverage and the ability to adjust room temperature. Consider whether providing a meal is a distraction due to waiter service, a buffet line or eating.
In the weeds – Conversations may drop from the level of governance to tactics. Directors and staff should recognize the descent in conversations by posing the question: “Is this governance, or are we doing committee work?”
Digital or paper – Directors are transitioning from printed notebooks and paper to displaying reports on their tablets. Project reports on a central screen to keep directors focused on the discussion.
Craft the agenda – Design a meeting agenda to achieve results. If reports and updates dominate, move them to the consent agenda to make room for meaningful discussions.
Mission focused – The mission statement should be familiar to the board. Keep it on the agenda and post it on the meeting room wall. Start meetings with a mission moment,
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reminding directors how the work of the association has had significant impact. A frequent refrain might be, “Does this discussion advance our mission?”
Rely on the roadmap – The strategic plan is the roadmap. Keep it on the board table. If new projects are suggested, check them against the plan to see if adjustments must be made.
Call-ins – Meetings require a quorum. Instead of in-person attendance, calling in may be convenient, but callers can be a distraction with background noises or dropping off the call. Set protocols for directors on the phone and promote in-person attendance to maximize understanding and engagement.
Assessment – Take a few minutes before adjournment to ask directors if they think the meeting was effective and how it can be improved. Directors might suggest less paper, shorter or fewer meetings, changes in room set-up and location, time of day, etc.
Guest attendance – Some guests are included because they are identified in the bylaws, often called ex-officio members. Other guests are drop-ins wondering what the board is doing. Guests can be a distraction and change the dynamics of board discussion.
A board should not routinely get off track. Discuss ways to improve focus and reduce distractions. F
Minute taking – Don’t let the board secretary try to record every statement made. In most cases, the advice is brief is better. Follow a template rather than making the minutes look like a newsletter with interesting details. Ask legal counsel whether or not they suggest recording the names of the motion maker and seconder.
Bob Harris has more than 30 years of experience with associations, chambers and other nonprofits. He is known for sharing best practices and promoting sustainability of associations and chambers. His Harris specialties include strategic planning, board roles and responsibilities and staff training. For more information, visit www.nonprofitcenter.com.
MEET DODGE CITY
1-800-OLD-WEST KSAE Magazine • Fall 2019 |
STRIKING THE RIGHT NOTE – SELECTING KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
By Lara Copeland, copy editor, KSAE Magazine
any of the best speeches ever given have been presented by some of history’s most passionate and confident visionaries. Engaging and motivating thought leaders can capture an audience like Steve Jobs, rally a nation under Nazi threat like Winston Churchill and inspire fellow countrymen like John F. Kennedy. Speakers who possess the ability to connect intimately and authentically with their audience will be successful for any event regardless of its audience, venue or purpose. Tasked with finding keynotes, association event planners need to know where they can turn to find such speakers while remaining within their set budget. It comes as no surprise that one of the most useful and economical resources for creating an unforgettable event is the internet. Combing through websites can help event planners narrow down choices for keynote speakers. For instance, TED Talks, an online audio and video podcast series, has showcased passionate presenters on an array of topics. These speakers’ names are recorded on a running list TED maintains. Another site worth exploring is YouTube, where many videos feature experts and industry leaders who could make great speakers for an association’s event. Kym Conis, managing director of American Mold Builders Association (AMBA), suggested Googling the names of potential speakers. “They should have a website or be able to send you footage,” she added. She also mentioned having had great luck obtaining speakers through referrals, saying it is “one of the best ways to vet a speaker.” Email contacts within other associations, whether similar in size and industry or not, and members, and ask for their list of valuable past speakers. Scouring the web is often a time-consuming task; therefore, a faster route for finding a presenter may come in handy. Enter a speaker’s bureau – an entity that not only eases
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the search for talented speakers, but also provides a sort of insurance policy should the contracted speaker suddenly become unavailable due to extenuating circumstances. Shari Bennett, vice president of event planning for Kansas Grain and Feed Association, Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association and Midwest Management Solutions, said she has utilized this type of bureau with great success. “We went through a speaker’s bureau for the Kansas Agri Business Expo, and our contracted speaker came down with pneumonia and was hospitalized,” she explained. “The bureau found us an awesome backup that was a little higher priced than the speaker we originally contracted with, but thankfully he accepted the bureau’s offer to speak for the same price.” As president of the Foil and Specialty Effects Association (FSEA), Jeff Peterson advised looking locally, where the conference will be held, to find relevant speakers and to keep costs down. “Finding local speakers can help you save on the speaker’s travel fee,” he urged. Communities have several sources that may be able to offer speakers for association events. Reach out to organizations such as the chamber of commerce to find business owners who have joined to increase visibility for their brand or business www.ksaenet.org
in the area. Contact local universities who can suggest experts, professors who are trained in communicating and educating, to weigh in on a topic or new study. In her work as an event planner for various associations’ events around Kansas, Kari Presley, of Kearney & Associates, Inc., said that she stays on budget by using a local state senator, representative, secretary or other agency staff, depending on the subject matter. “This saves on speaker fees, and then we can issue reimbursement for mileage to state agencies if necessary.” A budget-conscious planner may have luck looking for presenters within the industry, and Peterson advocates using these individuals as much as possible. “They see the benefit of speaking at the event,” he said, “and that often means we can avoid paying a speaker fee.” He did caution, however, to preview the presentation beforehand to ensure it does not turn into a sales pitch. “We strive to keep the information educational.” Furthermore, not only is the association benefiting from this arrangement, but the speaker can as well. Professionals often join industry organizations to build upon their expertise and to take their careers to new heights, and a speaking engagement can provide them with more clout and advance their career. One piece of advice all the expert event planners can agree on is negotiating. “We have gotten speakers for half of what their published rates are, so it never hurts to ask,” Conis conveyed. “Tell them what your budget is and see what kind of value they can offer beyond the presentation.” As the lead negotiator on fees for speaker’s who may be out of budget, Presley said that “99% of the time, speakers are willing to work within our budget.” She typically has good luck in negotiation once she explains she is working for a nonprofit association. Beyond simple negotiating, Conis also said she likes to make the budget known and then work with the speaker to find value beyond the presentation. She said sometimes keynotes will have a book that can be offered to attendees, and the benefit is two-fold if a sponsor is able to offer support. Additionally, the speaker may be willing to help with marketing the event by promoting it on their social media accounts, garnering attention from their followers. They also may consider recording a YouTube invitation to www.ksaenet.org
“We have gotten speakers for half of what their published rates are, so it never hurts to ask. Tell them what your budget is and see what kind of value they can offer beyond the presentation.”
Kym Conis, managing director of American Mold Builders Association
the conference or agree to join in a networking event the night before. To get the most value of the speaker for the cost, Conis negotiates what she calls a second “Deep Dive” to be included in the speaker’s fee. “This is where the keynote speaks to a smaller audience on the topic presented, only it’s a ‘deeper dive’ and a more interactive session,” she said. “This can even be a ticketed event over lunch.” AMBA has had great success with this idea, and they generate more profit, which can help to defray the cost of the speaker. Also, Conis said the association holds a VIP event called a “Lunch and Learn” for $40 per person. People sign up for it when registering for the conference. Attendees can choose either the Networking Lunch, included with the conference registration fee, or the Lunch and Learn for $40 extra. “We usually have two rooms slated for two lunches, and we serve the same meals and give an attended count for each, prior to the conference,” she said. “But we negotiate that we can move people from one lunch to the other up to the morning break on the first day.” If the keynote opens the conference and people really like him or her, they can still buy a ticket to the Lunch and Learn at the break. With roughly 10-15 people switching from the networking lunch to the Lunch and Learn at the morning break, Conis said they have a history of gaining great revenue. Whether helping to launch a product, educate employees or offer members inspiring and new ideas, effective keynotes can make or break any association event. And utilizing the most cost-effective resources for finding and working with such talent can prevent overspending for such services. Knowing where to look, who to ask and how to negotiate can support an association’s fiscal viability while also providing the audience with efficacious presenters. F KSAE Magazine • Fall 2019 |
CALENDAR DEC. 11-12
KSAE 2019 Annual Conference
Mark your calendars! More information is available at ksaenet.org.
KSAE Room at the Capitol Room 140-S, Capitol
The KSAE Room at the Capitol is a great benefit to KSAE members. The room will not be staffed, so each member will use his or her key to enter anytime, day or night.
Digital editions of past issues of KSAE Association & Meetings can be found at ksaenet.org.
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