The Vanguard View: Insight for Association Websites

7 Secrets of a Master Digital Story Teller

Posted by Ray van Hilst on Wed, Aug 21, 2013


Today's guest post is written by Susan Young, CEO at Get In Front Communications.  Connect with Susan on Twitter at @sueyoungmedia or by email.

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Topics: guest posts, web strategy, Communications, content strategy

Why Jeff Bezos buying The Washington Post is great for associations

Posted by Ray van Hilst on Thu, Aug 08, 2013

This week’s announcement that founder Jeff Bezos is buying The Washington Post is big news here in the nation’s capital. We all know the newspaper industry has been (and is going) through turmoil and upheaval.  Major newspapers have laid off editorial staff with a dismissive phone call and more are on the auction block.

However this news is personally comforting knowing since the newspaper I grew up reading will now be shepherded toward its future by a proven innovator who takes the long term view instead of eyeing the next quarter’s profits.

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Topics: web strategy, Websites, content strategy

Your new website isn’t ready for launch. And that’s OK.

Posted by Ray van Hilst on Thu, Jul 11, 2013

You’ve toiled for months. Your team has scoured every nook and cranny of your old website and spent hours making every pixel perfect for your new online home.

So, are you ready to launch?

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Topics: web development, web strategy, checklist, association website design, association websites

Defining Your Markets for Campaign Efficiency

Posted by Ray van Hilst on Thu, Jun 27, 2013

Today’s guest post is written by Reina Munsch, Senior Director of Marketing at the American Pharmacists Association.

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Topics: web strategy, Communications, marketing, content strategy

What to Know Before an Association Website Redesign – Practical Advice

Posted by Ray van Hilst on Tue, Jun 18, 2013

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Topics: web strategy, website redesign, content management system

If Content Marketing is the new black, why are associations wearing plaid?

Posted by Ray van Hilst on Wed, Apr 10, 2013

Content Marketing is the “hot new thing” as for-profit marketers rush to create infographics, whitepapers, newsletters, checklists and anything else that will generate inbound traffic.  SEO agencies change overnight into “Content Marketing Agencies.”  And every marketing expert out there is declaring, “Content marketing is the new black.”

The more we read, associations should be relieved because they are already on the leading edge of this trend. points out the key elements to successful content marketing: content, distribution and trust.

  • Content – Associations have journals, magazines, newsletters, industry reports, seminars, continuing education and more.
  • Distribution – Associations already have established publication distribution, websites, annual conferences, social media channels, grassroots advocacy, evangelist members and other channels.
  • Trust – Associations are the recognized, unbiased leaders for their industry with these same for profit marketers paying dues as members of the association.
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Topics: web strategy, CMS, content management system, content strategy, association websites

Say NO to Stock Photography for Association Websites

Posted by Ray van Hilst on Wed, Mar 20, 2013

Images can be a powerful – if used wisely. For example, consider stock photography. Stock images are everywhere because they are easily accessible and inexpensive. But are they good to use?

Stop for a moment and tell me how many times you have seen THIS guy?

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Topics: web strategy, association website design, best practices

7 Questions To Ask About Your Association Website

Posted by Chris Bonney on Mon, Mar 11, 2013

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Topics: web strategy, association website design, associations

Best-of-breed Integrated Association Websites - The Right Choice Now More Than Ever

Posted by Michael Wiley on Tue, Mar 05, 2013

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Topics: ams integration, web strategy, association management software, association website design, Michael Wiley

5 For Friday: Darwinism and Evolution for Associations and Websites

Posted by Ray van Hilst on Fri, Mar 01, 2013

Welcome to this week’s issue of the 5 For Friday series. Starting with one of last week’s links about evolving your skills, I’ve been thinking about how associations and those of us who work with them need to continually adapt and evolve in order to stay relevant. This applies to web design, engagement, programs and everything we do.

Digital Darwinism. Evolve or else.

My local Barnes & Noble is about to close along with 1/3 of all their stores. It’s going the way of Borders, Blockbuster, Polaroid, Kodak and many more.  Brian Solis explores the concept of Digital Darwinism in an article for LinkedIn. He makes excellent points about how the pace of business is only accelerating and how every company is not only too big to fail, they are too small to fail.

Technology is a game changer and many of the organizations Brian cited recongnized the change too late. The magic question is: How are associations embracing the rapidly changing tides of technology? Or will they get left behind?

Read more at LinkedIn

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Topics: web strategy, Tactics, 5 for Friday, associations

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