SIPA Chapter meetings are another way to get strong value from your membership…
At a New York City SIPA Chapter Meeting a short time ago, consultant Matt Bailey was on hand to tell people how to get the most out of social media. It was an intimate setting and allowed for questions. He talked up the value of YouTube, online forums, micro-blogging and blogging PR. He gave a list of Steps to Social Media:
1. Narrative – find your message;
2. Development – identify the best medium for your message;
3. Interaction – support, research, education, networking, news;
4. Recruitment – reasons to engage: incentives, problem-solving and entertainment
Considering that Bailey has served as a keynote speaker at large industry conferences, this was an amazing opportunity—courtesy of a SIPA chapter.
SIPA has six Chapters right now—New England, New York, Washington, D.C., Northern California, Southern California and the Southeast—and a strong regional presence in England with SIPA UK and continental Europe with the April Conference in Munich. Like the luncheon that featured Bailey, these chapters offer incredible opportunities for learning, getting questions answered and networking face-to-face with colleagues.
And more such opportunities are on the way. This Thursday, Jan. 20, there will be a networking dinner in San Francisco. On Tuesday, Feb. 1, in Atlanta, there will be a Southeast Chapter Cocktail Party. And while both will be a time for getting to know colleagues on a personal basis, it will most definitely offer a chance to ask questions of your fellow publishers and discuss important topics. I saw that firsthand at the recent Washington, D.C. Chapter Holiday Party at Kiplinger.
Last year, the American Society of Association Executives presented a session of its own titled, “Chapters, Taking It to the Next Level,” led by Lauren T. Mountain from CoreNet Global. One section addressed overcoming objections to join your local chapter. Four rebuttals to those objections are paraphrased below:
1. It Costs Too Much. Not at SIPA. The fees for Chapter events are low and, in many cases, the proximity makes getting there low-cost as well..
2. I Can’t Spend the Time Away From Work. Attending a local chapter event really means you ARE on the job. Think of the valuable ideas and solutions you will bring back. That will help you to increase productivity, save costs and improve efficiency. These are savings well beyond the annual dues investment and well beyond any limits on “discretionary” spending policies.
3. I Can Get This Information Online From SIPA. Most presentations are posted on the SIPA website now, as you can see with Bailey’s. But we cannot post your handshake with a colleague and subsequent conversations. Our listserve can certainly do some of the back-and-forth banter, but there’s still no replacing a face-to-face talk.
4. People Won’t Be Willing To Share Their Secrets. You obviously have not been to a SIPA meeting yet. SIPA members are amazing when it comes to sharing their knowledge. A conversation at the D.C. Chapter party about raising open rates yielded about 10 new suggestions to try. (Then it was back to the hors d’oeuvres.)
More Chapter events are in the planning as I write. The New England Chapter has always had a strong presence and will schedule an event soon. Same with D.C. New York has a history of bringing new people in. So stay tuned and get involved. The more people attending makes it better for everyone.
And if you can’t make a Chapter meeting or your area does not have one yet—creating more chapters is also a future goal—then definitely attend SIPA Munich in April, or the SIPA International Conference in June, or SIPA UK in July, and/or the Marketing Conference in early December. The phrase, there is strength in numbers, did not emerge without good reason.
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