ASAE’s MMCCon content takeaways

Last week I attended the 2014 MMCC Conference. It was 48 hours of intense learning, collaborating and general brainstorming. So much so that I tweeted this as I left the conference:
Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 1.49.25 PMMany of the content takeaways are applicable even if you aren’t in the non-profit world.

  • It’s important to know what content your organization has and where it is located. Make sure to do (and then update regularly!) a content audit. This is the first step n creating a content strategy which will give you a good overall picture of your organization’s landscape. With a content audit you will know what pieces are located where.
  • Create a WHY for each channel you use to share content (print, podcasts, Facebook, twitter, etc). Why are you using these channels? Who is the audience consuming information in these areas? Who is visiting your website, what pages are they looking at and when? What are people searching for? Are they finding it? Don’t just look at entry pages in Google analytics, look at exit pages.
  • As you create the WHY for each channel think about your organization’s mission, vision and business objectives. Those three things alone need to be what drives the content. What are the goals? Membership? Sales? recruitment? Brand recognition?  Make sure each channel (and ultimately each content item) supports the business mission, vision and general objectives. If it doesn’t, is there a way to realign the content to fit? Why is it necessary if it doesn’t support those three things? While thinking about the WHY think about what defines success. What makes individuals pieces of content successful? What makes the overall content successful? The website, the Facebook page, etc. All content items should have a definition of success specifically for that piece.  All channels should have a definition of success specifically for that channel. Add a column to your editorial calendar labeled ‘outcome’. Know why you’re doing what you do.
    • 3 parts to review:
      1. Core target audience.  Who is the audience that you should be reaching with your content marketing?
      2. What will be delivered?
      3. What is the outcome for the audience?  Drive sales and revenue? Save costs (email versus paper) or sunshine (creating happier customers, keeping customers longer, get them more involved, etc.)
  • Each member (or audience) category should have its own content marketing strategy! Give people what they want, what they need, when and where they want and need it. Don’t make people search for content!
  • A content strategy must have a designated gatekeeper. A person who can look at a suggestion, content item or request and determine if it does meet the business mission, vision and general objectives. Or know how to create the piece to meet those requirements. Someone must have the authority to send the request back for more brainstorming.
  • Find a way (good source: slide share!) to share ALL presentations to the right audience. For an association, this might be in the member community site for those who miss out on a webinar, a conference or a presentation. Make the presentations available on demand to watch or re-watch.

Be sure to check back in the next few days for more takeaways from the conference as I have time to decipher my handwriting and review the tweets from the conference.

Keep learning

Editor’s Note: This post was originally for Brazeen Careerist, where I am lucky enough to be a guest blogger. If you haven’t checked out the site, I highly recommend it.

After college, you’ll likely never have to write a paper on the inhumanity of man in Don Quixote or solve 50 statistics problems using standard deviation before class the next day. However, you will have to prepare for meetings and presentations.

Learning shouldn’t end when you cross the stage at graduation.

According to a study by the Jenkins Group,  “42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.” (The validity of this study is questionable, but it’s often quoted.) Just because you aren’t going to be graded on how well you know a book, doesn’t mean you should stop reading.

Read books on management, even if you aren’t in management (yet). Read books on other businesses. Read fiction for enjoyment. Every book you read adds to your collective knowledge. Not only are books great conversation starters, but they also can nudge you into make positive changes.

Balance your checkbook. Practice math. You never know when understanding financials can help you make a good decision or keep you from making a bad one.

More than anything else, learning makes you a valuable employee. It sets you apart, makes you a more well-rounded person and keeps your skills sharp.

Every office has that one person who has always done things one way. They begrudgingly accepted email, but that’s it.  Change is glacial, if at all. Yet every year, new hires come in with baffling technical skills widening the gap even more.

“Individuals born from 1957 to 1964 held an average of 11 jobs from age 18 to age 44,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.  Job hopping is more common now than ever before. If your skill sets haven’t evolved to make you competitive with those fresh out of college, how do you expect to land that next job?

Assume Everyone is Listening

Visual image of Assume Everyone is Listening by Aurora Meyer on Dispatches from the Castle

I’m reverting back to the kindergarten rule of” Or at least I am really going to try to follow that completely.

A recent conversation I had trying to fix someone’s writing got misinterpreted and the person’s feeling’s got hurt. In retrospect, I could have gone about reading it out loud a little nicer (an editing habit one of my first newspaper editors taught me that I still cling to) and not allowed other people to submit their thoughts. There are about 10 things I could have done differently and handled the situation with more class. I didn’t. Now I feel bad.

Editing is its own form of criticism and I’m still learning how to nicely say, this might have worked for you in the past, but it can be better!

Luckily, the person I offended is extremely professional and knew I was just trying to help, not hurt.