How Associations Can Become Thought Leaders

For associations to be seen as a trusted resource, they must get their knowledge, along with their members’ knowledge, out to the broader community that they represent. Jason Meyers, senior director of content strategy at SmithBucklin shares some examples for getting it done with Allison Torres Burtka of Associations Now.

“There’s so much intelligence and insight about professions that exist within the membership of associations—it’s just a matter of figuring out the best way of capturing and conveying and communicating all of that out to other members as well as the industry overall.”

Meyers said he has seen associations become more open about what they share beyond their members. In helping organizations shift toward a more online-focused publishing strategy, "they’ve seen that it’s more beneficial to their organization to ‘ungate’ their content and open up their thought leadership to a broader audience,” Meyers said. This doesn’t mean everything needs to be shared, but opening up more of it can help educate the industry.

One specific thing associations can do is establish a committee of members "who are very interested in the concept of content and thought leadership and understand the expertise that their peers have." [Meyers] explained that these committees "help identify the best possible people to contribute an article or do an interview on certain subjects."



The Broader Relevance of Content

Jason Meyers, Senior Director of Content Strategy, recently sat down with Carla Kalogeridis, publisher and editorial director for Association Media & Publishing to discuss ways to put high-value information to work for you. Read some key takeaways below, and download the full interview for ways you can balance the creative and business side of your content strategy. 

"Associations are in a unique position because there is so much knowledge within the membership of these organizations. With the right content strategies, they can become recognized sources of industry intelligence."

"Associations need to understand how valuable content can be beyond monetization. Monetization is important, but it shouldn’t be the sole focus."

"And remember that there are so many purposes content can serve. Listen to what members are saying back to you. Are they reading it? Watching it? Finding value in it? If not, then adapt."


Reprinted with permission from the October/November 2018 issue of Signature,