Guest Author: Allison Torres Burtka, Associations Now
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. Here’s a look at some examples for getting it done.
An association can easily be considered a knowledge community. After all, it’s a community of members who share a profession or interest, and knowledge gets generated and exchanged within it. But to be an authority and a thought leader, an association has to position itself as a trusted resource in the broader industry or community, not just with its members.
“As an individual, a thought leader is a professional who is deeply embedded in their field and who regularly communicates their knowledge, intelligence, and insight out to the overall industry,” said Jason Meyers, senior director of content strategy at SmithBucklin. And associations can be broader extensions of that.
Associations that are thought leaders are recognized as experts in their field and authoritative sources of knowledge. Many associations have this type of knowledge but share it only internally. “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.