The association publishing world occupies a unique space. The AM&P Annual Meeting, held this June in Washington, D.C., provided the opportunity for those participating to take place in something meant just for their occupation.
Is your association publishing the right amount for your audience? Sarah Black, the Senior Manager of Editorial Services at Red Chair Communications addressed that question in her session, “The Strategy of Frequency in Publications and Communications.”
Ask the tough questions
- Are you publishing the right amount of content for your audience? Black cautioned against simply “adding to the noise” with the content you produce. People are presented with an immense amount of information every day.
- Are you publishing the right amount of content for your team? Consider your team’s capabilities. Are resources being stretched too thin?
- And consider the impact your content is making. Are you getting the most impact from everything you produce?
- Decide on one channel first, and hit it hard
- Build your following
- Refine what you’re doing
- Get recognized
When developing a strategy, stop and ask yourself three questions:
- What are we doing well?
- What are we doing simply because it’s always been done?
- Which of these are actually impactful?
Your content should focus on the information you’ve verified your audience wants. To find what works for your audience, start with a member survey.
Evaluate what you’re publishing within the context of all the organization’s communications. How does that line up with member expectations? What do they expect regarding:
- How much content?
- From whom?
- What kind of content?
- How often?
Content, content, content
Black emphasized that, publication people or not, associations are about content. Associations, by and large, are bodies of knowledge that disseminate information. When it comes to disseminating that information, every channel matters.
Digital and social content makes it easy to gauge reader interaction.
If there’s little interaction with social media rates, or email open rates are abysmal, consider why that may be.
- You may have the wrong channel for your audience.
- It could be that the content doesn’t resonate with them.
- Perhaps you don’t post often enough to build a following.
- It could be the opposite, that you post so often people have tuned you out.
A thoughtful, planned-out approach to publishing frequency is critical to any plan.
Black backed that assertion up with statistics. The top search results from Google now average 1,890 words. And, related to Google rewarding longer blog posts, the average time spent writing a blog post is increasing. Time needed for writing a blog post had been 2 hours 24 minutes in 2014. In 2017, the time needed per post had risen to 3 hours, 20 minutes.
Make sure the content is strong, and if you need to reduce frequency to create stronger content, do it!
At the end of the day, the big questions to ask about your association is this: What are you doing to create content that matters?