Friday, 26 September 2014

Fall Programming

Join the Ottawa-Gatineau CSAE Chapter at one of our upcoming events!  Click here for our full slate of programming.

Or, scan the list below for additional details:

Programming & Continuing Education:

  • On October 16th, join us at the Best Western Plus Victoria Park Suites for our Leadership & Development Lunch.  Dr. Roseann O'Reilly Runte, President of Carleton University, will share her thoughts and insights on how to hone our leadership skills while maintaining that all-too-elusive work-life balance.  Be part of this unique opportunity to hear from one of Canada's premier leaders on a subject that directly impacts all executives and learn how to cut through the million threads holding you back.  Click here to register.
  • On November 18th, we will be hosting a half-day workshop at the Ottawa Conference & Event Centre on Information Management - Effective Processes to Reduce Uncertainty.

    Participants in this complimentary session will learn:
    • How to determine the right time to make a change
    • How to assess the needs of their organizations and select and implement effective and integrated systems
    • How to manage the human side of change
    • How to ensure that they understand and are delivering the financial and non-financial information the Board requires to discharge its responsibilities

      We have partnered with BDO on this one - and hope to see you there!  Click here for more info.
  • Right after the 1/2 day workshop, stick around for lunch - back by popular demand, we will hear from 3 Executives:  What are three tips for balancing the demands of a CEO role with the demans of the rest of your life?  Click here to register.
Interested in Marketing & Communications?

We also have two free networking sessions to consider:  October 14th will be geared towards Young Professionals in Association Communications, November 11th will be all about Digital Analytics: Making them relevant to your association.  Sign up for one, or both!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Stuff Happens - Social Media, Associations and Sudden Events

Twitter, Blogs and Helping Members When Something Goes Wrong 

There’s a scene in the iconic movie Forrest Gump where Tom Hanks/Forrest gets mud splashed on his face from a passing car and is given a shirt to wipe it away. When the bright yellow shirt is pulled away, it has a muddy smiley face gracing the middle. That’s when Hanks/Forrest mutters, “It happens,” in his Alabama drawl.

That moment is supposed to be the line that spawned a million upbeat bumper stickers pasted on cars and dorm room walls around the world. But it’s also very true; stuff happens and sometimes it’s not very good stuff. Floods happen, terrible winter storms happen, strikes happen and vandalism happens. That doesn’t mean your association, and its members, need to be unprepared.

Social media can help any association come to the assistance of its members during an event that threatens their industry. Here are just a couple examples.


Twitter is made for breaking news. Twitter users can instantly get news from colleagues, organizations, news services and other connections. They can search for specific topics, write an update in a less than a minute and include photos and videos. They can access the platform in their office or in the middle of a field. In this way, Twitter can be an association’s best friend when the unexpected hits.

Twitter offers organizations a way to relay vital information to its members. Updates on a natural disaster (evacuations, emergency services, etc.), surprise political decision or any other piece of news that affects your members can be quickly, easily and succinctly passed on to members.
Twitter is a great platform to use to not only inform members, but also guide them to important resources when they need them quickly. Tweets can be sent out with links to information on government assistance, your association’s insurance program, or articles that give strategies on coping with unexpected scenarios, such as a flood.

Twitter also acts as a gathering place, a space where an organization and its members can join together and support their colleagues. An encouraging tweet, a meaningful conversation about shared experiences or an offer of time or resources from a colleague can help a member through a tough time and many an obstacle. Twitter opens up several avenues to make this possible and the best one is through an organization’s account.

Twitter offers a forum for those affected by natural disasters to tell their stories in the days after an unanticipated event and long after a member has rebounded. Twitter is a great platform to see the way members triumph over hardship and the pride and perseverance they show in their jobs. There is no better way for an organization to inspire and empower its members than to share these stories of dedication and success.


Blogging does a lot of what Twitter does, but in a bigger, more in-depth way. While Twitter is there for you to pass on news and information immediately and in bite-sized pieces, a blog will help your association tell stories, convey detailed information and share analysis of an event.

It’s great when your association’s president, CEO or executive director can write a letter to members about an event, explaining the ins and outs, detailing the resources available and showing support for the people most affected by a sudden turn in fortunes. A blog is a handy platform with which to achieve this, as it encourages members to read, comment and share the content.

A blog can also be used as an outlet for storytelling. Your members have a story to tell after an unexpected event hits their operations. A blog offers those members a chance to outline their experiences in an interview, photo blog or guest post. This type of blog helps connect your members in a way few other platforms can; with shared experiences. They may even be a part of one member’s story that helps another member recover or cope with the changing landscape of an industry, whether it’s a physical landscape or a cultural one.

Author Bio: Marc Cousineau is the President and Founder of Incline Marketing. Marc is passionate about helping non-profit organizations and associations grow and serve members through online marketing and social media.

You can follow Marc on Twitter, @marccousineau2, and follow Incline Marketing @inclinemktg

Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG at

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Promote Your Publications by Harnessing the Power of Members

The tactic of using members to promote your association is nothing new. But have you ever considered using members to promote the value of your association’s publications? Here are five ways to use members, or even readers, to promote the value of your publications, leading to higher readership and possibly more advertising dollars.

  1. Put them in print. Most associations continue to do print pieces to promote their association to members as well as non-members because print is still effective when used smartly. Your publications are a key member benefit, so the value of the publications is promoted in any print pieces you produce for the purpose of recruiting and retaining members.Print promotions are the perfect place to use targeted testimonials. Target testimonials allow you to show segments of your audience the value of the publications in a non-promotional way because the testimonials come from their colleagues, not from association staff. When using testimonials in print, or any other format, it is beneficial to include testimonials from different segments of your key audiences so that readers will see themselves represented and associate themselves with the value being presented.
  2. Find the social media champions. Social Media is a great way to create engagement and spread information quickly. Many associations are already involved in this medium on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, and more. In addition to sharing information and creating conversation, you can use social media to locate individuals who are already talking about your association or the topics that you cover, and contact them about becoming a champion for your publication.This does not mean they promote your publication, or your association, but it does mean that you feed them important information or exciting things that are happening in your publications and ask them to participate in the conversation on your social media sites or on their own. If you recruit the right people to serve as champions, your content will get coverage without much effort on your part.
  3. Encourage members to forward content via enewsletters. Using your members to help spread the word can be very simple if you are producing an e-newsletter to recruit members or to inform current members about key happenings in your association. It is simple because almost all email programs make it easy to insert a “forward-to-a-friend” link within your e-newsletter. Not everyone is going to actually take action on a forward-to-a-friend link, so to maximize its usage, suggest that e-newsletter readers pass the message along, and then track how many recipients actually do so.E-newsletters are also a great place to insert video testimonials or links to video testimonials. A video testimonial can be captured at one of your events or can be self-produced by a reader. Like a written testimonial, a video is a great way to promote your publications in your readers’ own words.
  4. Feature testimonials on the website. Your website is a great way to communicate with members and non-members alike. Testimonials about your publications, videos about how members and non-members have benefited from your publications, and quotes from authors and social media champions can all be posted on your website for your community to see. The real estate on your website is very valuable and because of that, many of your association’s departments will want to have a presence on the site. However, since your publications are valuable member benefits, commit to making sure that publications have a regular presence there.
  5. Promote from the inside. It may sound silly to cross promote your publications, but it is a smart thing to do. If you have multiple publications, promote content from one publication in another publication so readers of one will learn the benefits of another. Including testimonials or links to videos or social media comments about your publications within the publications is a good way to engage more people, ultimately leading to a higher level of commitment and understanding of your content offerings. Messaging about sharing the publication with other colleagues increases awareness within the right audience, with the added benefit that the publication was suggested by a colleague, not a staff member. The members of your association and your industry are resources that you should take advantage of. Having these types of people speak for your association and spread the word about your publications provides a level of legitimacy and authenticity that staff spokespeople cannot duplicate. If you are not already using members to tell your story, start doing so right away. Happy recruiting!

This post was submitted by Scott Oser, of Scott Oser Associates, with over 17 years of marketing experience in the association and publishing industries. Before starting the firm he worked for market leaders like National Geographic Society, AARP and Science.Throughout his career Scott has excelled in developing, implementing and analyzing multi-channel direct marketing programs. He is highly skilled in creating effective membership, marketing and sales programs with the ability to align resources and operations to consistently achieve and exceed goals.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/