Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Social Media and More in St. Louis

Here’s my headline coming out of the recent American Society of Association Executives annual meeting in St. Louis: Trade associations and professional societies are using social media tools to influence public policy in exciting new ways.

Social media allow associations and societies to activate their networks in response to public policy challenges essentially at the push of a “button.” One group representing military officers used Facebook to generate so many emails in such a short amount of time that it succeeded in knocking down a proposal to reduce military spouse benefits in a matter of days. A health care group had similar success against a proposed regulation they opposed, largely using Twitter.

In both cases, social media directed members to websites that allow visitors to type in their Zip codes and send custom or pre-written emails to their members of Congress (there are many such sites). The power of associations and the reach and speed of social media combine to create a very powerful tool.

The ASAE Annual Meeting attracted more than 5,300 attendees from across the country and more than 20 countries around the world. The city rolled out the red carpet, starting with fireworks, food and a concert by native son Michael McDonald (of Doobie Brothers fame) under the Gateway Arch and ending with a celebration along Washington Avenue.

If you’d like to catch up on what happened at the meeting, visit the ASAE website.

No comments:

Post a Comment