By Joy Crosby, Association Communications SIG Co-Chair
The AAEA Association Communications SIG recently held a survey of association communication professionals to gain more information from our members on their needs and areas where education may be needed. In the fast-paced world where you are struggling to manage it all, sometimes it is nice to have a break or make sure you have time for continued education. Through AAEA’s Association Communications SIG we hope to provide you continued education through webinars and make them valuable with time constraints you may have.
The survey was very enlightening to understand more about the constraints and needs of association communication professionals. It is definitely an exciting career that also comes with a continued need for education so you know the latest in equipment, scheduling multiple jobs, social media changes, media relations and the list goes on and on.
One question in the survey asked members, “What are some of the biggest challenges facing your association from a communications perspective?” The answers varied from not feeling needed with so much information at a producers’ finger tips to budget decreases and limited staff. However, on the other side of the issue needs were simply an update of current communication methods from the website to email lists. However, the overall issue seemed to be retention of talent and limited budgets. Also, there seemed to be a need for better ways to stretch the budget and find a balance on the time spent on strategy vs. tactics.
Even though there may be time and budget restraints there are several new items association communicators have their eye on to help them with their career. Those answers came from another question in the survey, “What’s one of your favorite innovations or new, techy finds in the communications world that your peers should know about? The answers ranged from a 360 camera to virtual reality cameras, as well as podcasting platforms. Members also mentioned the need for a social media planning and posting program. Another suggestion for members to check out is the United States Farmers and Ranchers Alliance Engage platform. It is evident there are several tools members can learn about from each other within our industry.
Since continuing education is the key along with being able to share ideas, the Association Communicators SIG is proud to announce that our first webinar focusing on social media will be held Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019. This webinar will focus on social media with speakers from the National Pork Board and the National Peanut Board. We are excited about this new opportunity for education and hope you will join in to learn more. So, stay tuned to future emails from AAEA and the Association Communications SIG’s Facebook page for final details on the webinar and other upcoming events.