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The Investment Association will bring to light new startups that could potentially reshape the asset management industry—a space that has struggled to pick up on new technologies.

The U.K.’s most prominent investment trade group is getting into the accelerator game.

The Investment Association this week announced the launch of VeloCity, a fintech accelerator targeted at the asset management industry. The endeavor will push forth new technologies and encourage their uptake.

And the sector could use the push. As Finextra reports, the British financial industry struggles to take up new technology despite the fact that its use and capabilities are accelerating. According to a State Street study highlighted by the publication, just 43 percent of the 507 industry leaders surveyed said they were quickly adopting technology.

In a news release, Investment Association CEO Chris Cummings spoke to the need to fix this situation, encouraging financial firms to take up technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud infrastructure, and big data.

“To remain globally competitive, the U.K. asset management industry must be restless in its quest for innovation and reinvention,” Cummings stated in the release. “Fintech firms are a key element in this process, driving innovation across the asset management industry to the benefit of investors, savers, and pensioners.”

Parliament member John Glen, the country’s economic secretary to the treasury and city minister, also offered his support of the endeavor and the asset management sector’s tens of thousands of employees, stating that the accelerator “will be fantastic news to them and to future entrepreneurs hoping to crack the market.”

VeloCity will get its start later this year, with approved companies joining the accelerator for a six-month tenure. At the end of the tenure, the startups will show off their work during a “demo day” targeted at industry insiders.

The post U.K. Financial Group Launches Startup Accelerator appeared first on Associations Now.

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An outdated website can put your visitors’ data at risk and cause them to mistrust you. Also: How to implement a culture of learning at your organization.

An outdated website suffers from more than a stale design. It may also result in losing your users’ trust.

“In 2018, security is going to be a top concern of your website visitors, especially if your site requires them to provide personal or financial information,” writes Brian Byer in a recent post for MarketingProfs. “After the numerous well-publicized data breaches in 2017, your users will be especially wary of how interacting with your site could affect them.” To keep your users’ trust, make sure that you’re using HTTPS to protect sensitive information.

If you’re looking to keep up with user expectations regarding content, you need to have video. “Video is the newest component of website literacy, with more ‘stick’ value than any text or picture you might have formerly used,” says Byer. “Moreover, video is one of the simplest and most effective ways to engage site visitors at that all-important emotional level, so be sure your video is funny or touching, or else extremely useful.”

Seek Learning

How to create a culture of learning that helps your association solve problems & prepare for the future — by @WBT_Systems https://t.co/vBT34xBv2I #assnchat pic.twitter.com/s7LDFLZR3A

— Deirdre Reid, CAE (@deirdrereid) February 19, 2018

A culture of learning can benefit your association in a number of ways. Employees who are constantly learning can take your organization into the future. And a learning culture promotes greater employee productivity and satisfaction.

The WBT Systems blog shares tips for creating a culture of learning at your association.

Start with getting buy-in from leadership. “Culture change has to be supported at the top,” says the post. “However, staff leadership must do more than just support a learning culture, they must model the behavior they wish to see. Leaders should talk about their learning experiences—their challenges, successes, and failures.”

Other Links of Note

Could your board meetings be more productive? Here’s one key secret from the Bloomerang blog.

Facebook has an array of fundraising tools. Nonprofit Tech for Good reveals how to use them.

There are common obstacles that all event pros will eventually run into. The CadmiumCD blog offers up ways to overcome them.

The post Tuesday Buzz: Why Your Website Needs an Update appeared first on Associations Now.

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From NBC’s pronunciation of “PyeongChang” to questionable coverage and commentary of the South Korea-based 2018 Winter Olympics, the Asian American Journalists Association has spoken up on the need to cover the event in a culturally sensitive way.

For some viewers of the 2018 Winter Olympics on NBC, something has been off about the coverage.

Particularly, the network’s pronunciation of PyeongChang, the county in South Korea where the Olympics are being held, has proved a major sticking point for many, including members of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA).

The correct pronunciation is “Pyeong-ch-ah-ng,” but NBC made the decision to stick with “Pyeong-ch-ay-ng,” with NBC Broadcasting and Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus telling Sports Business Journal in November that the network considered the pronunciation “cleaner” for viewers.

“We heard a variety of ways to say PyeongChang during our preparation for the Games, and ultimately decided on the version in which the second syllable sounds like ‘twang,’” an NBC Sports spokesperson told the Washington Post last week. “Although we have informed all of our commentators of this, with 2,400 hours of coverage and more than 80 on-air personalities, you may occasionally hear a slightly different pronunciation.”

The decision at NBC came about after an internal debate, and that debate was one that has continued at other news outlets since. Responding to this issue and others, AAJA recently called on news organizations to “exercise care” in the way they cover the Olympic Games and discuss South Korea.

AAJA MediaWatch on Pyeongchang Pronunciation - YouTube

In particular, the group has called on news outlets to use the “Pyeong-ch-ah-ng” pronunciation when possible. CeFaan Kim, the cochair of AAJA’s MediaWatch program, recorded a clip in which he clearly pronounced the name of the area to address the confusion that had cropped up.

“Unless you’re pronouncing it the way our guidance shows, it’s incorrect,” Kim told the Post.

Other Olympic-related issues that AAJA has raised concerns about include a TV station’s use of a graphic that misstated the host city as “P.F. Chang,” a comment during NBC’s coverage of the opening ceremonies that partly credited Japan for South Korea’s economic growth, and highly criticized comments by New York Times columnist Bari Weiss that implied figure skater Mirai Nagasu was an immigrant.

“AAJA applauds the news outlets and journalists that have acknowledged problems,” the group stated in a news release. “As always, AAJA is available to engage in a dialogue to foster fair and accurate coverage of the Asian American community.”

The post Asian American Journalists Group Speaks Up on Olympic Coverage Concerns appeared first on Associations Now.

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Earlier this month, the National Science Teachers Association released a new book geared toward preschoolers. The book is an extension of NSTA’s mission of supporting science for all.

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) recently unveiled its latest book, and the audience it was developed for may surprise you.

A Head Start on Life Science: Encouraging a Sense of Wonder is geared toward teachers of 3- to 7- year-olds and offers 24 inquiry-based lessons, which are designed to develop a sense of curiosity about the world within preschoolers.

“We published a popular book 10 years ago called A Head Start on Science, and it really became a classic,” said Claire Reinburg, assistant executive director of NSTA Press. “It’s sold 18,000 copies, so clearly preschool teachers responded really enthusiastically to that, and we wanted to meet their request and demand for more resources in this area for the youngest learners.”

This new book contains lessons on animals and plants and also includes learning objectives, lists of required materials, and context to the lessons. For instance, one lesson encourages preschoolers to explore the insides of a pumpkin, while others ask them to study bug camouflage and create bird feeders.

“NSTA’s mission is supporting science for all, so that includes the youngest scientists because again, kids are just so naturally drawn to the world around them, and their curiosity about what they see, we really could be capitalizing on that more by doing a specific focus on pre-k,” said Reinburg.

But this book is just one of the resources NSTA has created for the youngest scientists. NSTA has also published a list of titles for children themselves, under its NSTA Kids banner. Plus, it produces a journal for elementary school teachers that includes components for preschool educators.

“We’ve been doing this for awhile,” said Reinburg. “We really see science learning as something that builds over time, so if you can follow kids’ interest and foster their excitement about science and engineering early on, we can see that then carries them through their studies when they get to school—or in other efforts they might be interested in pursuing later on.”

Building a pipeline of future scientists and engineers is one of NSTA’s goals in developing these resources for preschoolers.

“We’d really like this book and the really engaging science activities in it to boost preschool teachers’ knowledge about science and help boost their excitement about it, too, so they can foster that same excitement in young children,” she said. “Kids are just natural explorers, so let’s capitalize on their curiosity and guide them to question and explore over a lifetime, because that’s really what it’s about—curiosity about the world around them.”

The post Teachers Group Looks to Develop Future Scientists With Book For Preschoolers appeared first on Associations Now.

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If so, you aren’t alone. Two of the world’s largest consumer goods companies have made waves by rolling back their spending on social media ads. What should associations make of that?

Social media is having a pretty tough run of bad press at the moment, and it has everything to do with its massive influence.

Folks in the technology sphere are making rumbles about the addictive nature of technology, with Facebook and Google among the main targets of ire. YouTubers with big audiences are making dumb mistakes and unwittingly tarnishing the network as a whole. Closely watched federal investigations are tying social networks to political propaganda. And, as if to put a cap on the whole thing, there’s a Photoshopped image of a punch-drunk Mark Zuckerberg on the cover of Wired.

If anyone’s going to have some serious thoughts about these kinds of attacks, it’s going to be Madison Avenue, which has invested in social media as if it were television in recent years. And some of the biggest spenders are getting nervous.

This is not something that can be brushed aside or ignored. Consumers are also demanding platforms which make a positive contribution to society.

Last week, Unilever—the company that makes Hellmann’s, Dove, Ben & Jerry’s, and Surf—called out the major social networks, threatening to drop its ad spending if it didn’t feel those networks were doing enough to drain the digital “swamp” of the at times controversial, sometimes offensive content that often fills its walled gardens.

“It is acutely clear from the groundswell of consumer voices over recent months that people are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of digital on well-being, on democracy—and on truth itself,” Unilever’s CMO, Keith Weed, said at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Leadership Meeting last week. “This is not something that can be brushed aside or ignored. Consumers are also demanding platforms which make a positive contribution to society.”

Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter? You’re on notice.

Unilever, arguably, is late to this outcry. Back in 2016, Procter & Gamble significantly cut the amount it spent on targeted Facebook advertising, but did so for reasons that were less political and more practical: The company didn’t think it was getting its money’s worth.

And that point was proven quickly: After it dropped $100 million in digital advertising spending the next year, it saw no negative impact on its business.

“We got some data that said either it was in a bad place or it was not effective,” P&G CEO David Taylor told the Wall Street Journal last year. “And we shut it down and said, ‘We’re not going to follow a formula of how much you spend or share of voice. We want every dollar to add value for the consumer or add value for our stakeholders.”

All of this may reflect an increasing savvy among major brands. They seem to realize that, after years of heavy investment in social networks from an advertising, marketing, and brand-nurturing standpoint, they give the social networks a lot of their power, and they can use that power for good.

Maybe that good is “social good,” for the world at large; maybe that good is “business good,” for the sake of the bottom line. And, honestly, maybe it’s both. Maybe the scope of the problem is significant enough that the two might overlap.

Time to Pull Back?

Associations may work at different scales from companies that sell consumer products, but they spend money on social networks, too, and they represent people and companies who might have stances on certain issues.

And as Facebook in particular is pushing organizations into pay-to-play, it’s understandable if your discomfort level is increasing, too—whether from rising additional costs or from the sociopolitical criticism that seems to be growing about these networks.

I don’t think there’s an easy solution here, but I do think there’s an astute one: Spend smartly, and execute in a targeted way.

Tide | Super Bowl LII 2018 Commercial | It’s All The Tide Ads - YouTube

That’s what Procter & Gamble is doing. Yes, it’s still spending money, just a lot less of it. The company scored a major social media win with its Tide ads during the Super Bowl, which was the biggest discussion driver of this year’s big game. According to AdWeek, Tide made a big investment in social listening, complete with a “war room.” (Great way to get people to forget about the Tide Pod Challenge.)

For a company that’s cutting its budget left and right, that’s pretty impressive work—work that builds on its existing marketing spend in a way that spreads it, rather than wasting it. Organic reach still works if you plan for it correctly. (It also does point out that P&G’s marketing budget is way more than yours, admittedly. But the lesson still stands.)

Ultimately I think paid social has its place. But if the issues around social networks that are driving all this negative attention bother your organization, now might be a good time to speak up. If Procter & Gamble and Unilever think they can push their weight around, there is definitely room for other voices in this conversation.

There is something of a comfort level around the corporate world taking a stance on political issues right now. Know your audience, but if you think they might be receptive to a shift like this and it works to your mission, now might be a good time to speak up.

It could inspire some important, possibly necessary changes in the ways that major social networks function.

The post Thinking Twice About Investing in Social Media Ads? appeared first on Associations Now.

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Why your organization should consider ways to keep passionate volunteer leaders active even if their term is over. Also: the value of membership mapping.

Even though a volunteer’s term on a board or committee may be over, that doesn’t mean they want to be done with the association. In fact, they may still be passionate about the organization they’ve been a part of.

According to Jeffrey Cufaude of Idea Architects, associations should consider redirecting and leveraging that energy and find a way to make room for them.

“Instead of talking about how to rid themselves of these people, organizations should focus on how to retain the best of what they can bring to their community,” he argues. “It yields a much richer and more respectful conversation.”

Read his full post for more thoughts.

Understand the Paths

Walk a mile in your members' shoes to identify areas for improvement. Here are 3 areas to consider when creating member journey maps > > > https://t.co/mWJbAEZeSL #AssnChat @AMCInstitute #YMBlog #Onward

— YourMembership (@yourmembership) February 16, 2018

Your members may start with your association from a variety of vantage points, and the better you understand those, the more effective you’ll be in ser.

Over at the YourMembership blog, the company’s director of product marketing, Peggy Smith, breaks down the perks and benefits of member journey mapping—particularly in helping you better understand how members interact with your organization and where you could serve them better.

“Members have different reasons for joining your organization, so it’s important to create maps for each of the member experiences after their initial joining period,” she writes.

Other Links of Note

Google changed the way its image search works, as part of a legal settlement with Getty Images. Here’s what’s different.

Sometimes, engagement isn’t the best option. According to Emma Thompson, director of Ashridge Communications, there are always pockets of members who simply aren’t looking to be engaged.

Email design matters. Web Scribble rounds up some important thoughts on the email marketing front.

The post Friday Buzz: Embrace Volunteer Passion appeared first on Associations Now.

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The National Basketball Players Association has launched a new brand management arm, Think450, to help boost the marketing value of the league’s 450 active players. The move comes thanks to a major shift in its collective bargaining agreement with the NBA.

Last year, the National Basketball Players Association scored an important shift in its collective bargaining agreement with the league—and the benefits of that approach are just starting to show themselves.

Ahead of the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, the year’s biggest showcase of both the league and its individual players, news is breaking out about Think450, the NBPA’s new marketing rights group. The endeavor was made possible after NBPA reacquired player brand management rights from the NBA a year ago—something the players association effectively loaned out to the league for two decades.

But while the NBA has a number of  valuable active players—450, to be exact, hence Think450’s name—there’s plenty of evidence that the investment wasn’t being maximized. For example, the NFL Players Association has moved in interesting directions with its player licenses, including launching a startup accelerator in 2016.

The NFL operates a $160 million-a-year business based on player licenses alone; per Fast Company, NBPA was getting a quarter of that from the league in the final year of their prior agreement.

With Think450, NBPA is basically reframing the model to market the league’s players to brands, according to the subsidiary’s president, Jordan Schlachter.

“We talked about what was important to our players and how we think about this business, and how we communicate it to the business community when we go out to the marketplace,” Schlachter told Fast Company. “We were bouncing around words, and we just said, ‘We need to think about all 450 of our players.’ That’s when it clicked.”

The organization has already teamed with brands like Lamborghini, and the licensing business offers a lot of potential flexibility—basically, the NBPA covers all licensing rights for players when they’re not in a uniform—which could help the players union as it looks to maximize its sizable investment.

“There are so many personalities in our league that I think the sky’s the limit in terms of how guys want to make an impact,” said Chris Paul, the Houston Rockets star who serves as NBPA’s president, in Fast Company. “It’s about making sure every player has a chance to take advantage of the opportunities in and out of the game.”

The post NBA’s Players Association Aims to Maximize Stars’ Brand Value appeared first on Associations Now.

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A Fidelity Charitable report finds that cryptocurrency donations increased by a factor of 10 in 2017. And things could further improve in 2018: At least one individual donor is anonymously sharing their bitcoin-earned millions with a huge number of nonprofits.

Cryptocurrency has had its ups and downs in recent years—literally, just check out the charts—but it nonetheless might soon prove something that donation-focused associations and nonprofits need to take seriously.

The reason for that is buried in a recent report from Fidelity Charitable [PDF], which found that the firm accepted $69 million in cryptocurrency donations in 2017. While just a drop in the bucket compared to the $4.5 billion the firm distributed last year, it represents a nearly tenfold increase from the prior year, when it was just $7 million.

“It is one of the fastest growing assets that we are seeing wanting to be contributed to charity,” Fidelity Charitable Vice President Amy Pirozzolo told CoinDesk. “Many people who own bitcoin or other forms of cryptocurrency do want to be philanthropic.”

The potential market for cryptocurrency donations could be massive. Case in point: Last December, the Internet Archive, an early adopter of bitcoin donations in 2012, received a $1 million bitcoin donation from the Pineapple Fund, an anonymous philanthropic campaign. (It has since donated another million.) The windfall came about a month after the nonprofit digital library expanded the kinds of cryptocurrency it accepted to include Bitcoin Cash (a fork of the original bitcoin project) and Zcash.

The Pineapple Fund, by itself, has been a very active cryptocurrency donor. This week alone, the group donated $1 million to the Sustainable Ocean Alliance, and in recent weeks, the fund has also donated to Pencils of Promise and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, among numerous others.

The potential of even more charitable giving via blockchain is something that’s been widely discussed recently. In a Medium post, Coinbase Cofounder and CEO Brian Armstrong made the case that nonprofits should consider having speculative funds invested in cryptocurrency.

“Given the enormous wealth creation from cryptocurrency, and the future potential upside, I believe there is a rare opportunity to create a large non-profit fund,” he wrote.

Another factor behind the recent surge may be taxes. Fortune notes that the Internal Revenue Service is becoming more aggressive about calling on cryptocurrency holders to report their income from bitcoin or other forms of currency. And the Fidelity Charitable report explains that by donating a portion of their funds to charity, cryptocurrency holders could eliminate the significant capital gains taxes they might owe as a result of the currency they own.

The post Report: Cryptocurrency Donations Heating Up appeared first on Associations Now.

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The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society will launch the first online broadcasting network focused on healthcare information and technology innovation in March.

There’s a new source for healthcare IT news. The HIMSS TV network will debut next month at HIMSS18, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s annual conference in Las Vegas.

“HIMSS is a global voice, advisor, and thought leader of health transformation through information and technology,” said HIMSS Media Executive Vice President John Whelan. “HIMSS TV gives us a powerful, broad platform to connect and engage our audience of global leaders, stakeholders, and influencers.”

The network will kick off with three hours of live coverage from the HIMSS TV News Desk at the conference, which will then be rebroadcast three times throughout the day. Former Bloomberg anchor Adam Johnson will host and provide viewers with conference news, as well as interviews, highlights from keynote speakers, and behind-the-scenes footage. Segment topics will include cybersecurity, health tech innovation, and telehealth.

HIMSS estimates the “programming will result in 300,000-plus impressions, reaching conference attendees and healthcare technology professionals tuning in remotely on all monitors throughout the conference, hotel TV channels, HIMSS websites, [and] social channels.”

After the conference is over, the network will continue to broadcast breaking industry news and other relevant content. HIMSS TV network content will also be global—providing comprehensive reports on significant healthcare IT developments and insights around the world.

HIMSS TV network is an answer to a problem—a “rapidly growing demand” for HIMSS content, said Director of Product Marketing Stephanie Hedlund. The road to solving it started last summer when planning began. HIMSS then partnered with video platform INXPO to help with the broadcasting technology.

“As our ever-connected digital lives merge, we, as individuals, are demanding content in the format we want, at the time that works for us, on any device,” said Hedlund. “Our audience is no different.”

In addition, the network’s reach will go beyond what some would consider HIMSS expected audience. It will be available to the public through HIMSS’ social channels, and anyone with a smart TV or a streaming device like Roku can watch it.

While HIMSS is excited for the network to debut, it already has plans for what’s next. “After the HIMSS global conference, we will be taking HIMSS TV on the road as we cover other HIMSS events, as well as key industry happenings, news, and special events,” said Hedlund. “Our content will be ongoing, and we plan to launch specific topic-based channels within HIMSS TV.”

The post Association-Backed Online News Network Premieres Next Month appeared first on Associations Now.

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Good data helps inform decisions about your meetings and events. However, is there a point where you reach data overload and you need to streamline?

Lots of associations live and die by data. New products are introduced to the market, publications are tweaked, low-performing member benefits are sunset, and events are launched because of it. And, don’t get me wrong, those are all good things.

But have you ever felt overwhelmed by data?

Truth be told, I have. Sometimes I open an analytics report or survey results and my initial reaction is, “Wow, that’s a lot of information right here. Where do I start?”

As event professionals, you may feel this way at times too. After all, you’re likely to have a plethora of data available to you at different points of the meeting lifecycle. Ahead of the event, there are numerous systems to analyze registration numbers, exhibit booth sales, and fundraiser tickets purchased. Once onsite, you may be using beacons and apps to track each attendee’s conference journey. And a few weeks after the meeting wraps up, you’ll have access to results from the postconference survey that was sent to every attendee.

So, what can you do to ensure you’re getting the data you want, and when do you know it’s time to dump certain metrics?

Where to Begin

In a December 2017 article posted by MeetingsNet, Richard Maranville, executive vice president and chief digital officer for Freeman,  said that the first step in making the most of analytics is figuring out the objectives you’re trying to meet. “You cannot do it the other way around, where you say, ‘Let’s see as much data as possible, and ideas will come to us,’” he said.

For example, are you trying to boost attendance from a certain segment of your membership, or are you looking for insights that will better market your event to sponsors? Only after you’ve established your objectives can you determine which data pieces are necessary to measure and analyze them.

Next Steps

So, say you know your objectives and the accompanying data that’s needed. Does that mean you stop tracking and analyzing any other data?

Probably not.

But having those objectives in mind may at least help you weed out a few unnecessary metrics. And although you may be tempted to take the approach used when cleaning out your closet (Have you not used the data in a year? Get rid of it.), that’s probably ill-advised.

At the very least, the process of starting with objectives will allow you to give thought to how data can be reorganized in a way that it’s either more useful or better illustrates how it’s connected to those larger goals you’re trying to achieve.

How have you determined which event data is most effective your association, or which data to dump or tweak? Let us know in the comments.

The post Can You Have Too Much Event Data? appeared first on Associations Now.

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