Comments: Readers' Rights (and Wrongs)

Readers share their views on recent Associations Now articles.

Associations Now is lucky enough to have readers who do more than just give us a thumbs up or thumbs down on an article. They also point out where an article could have provided more information or pushed the envelope more effectively. Here are a few letters and comments we've received recently.

Missing Perspective

The Zakaria article ["Time to Find a Fresh Market?" October 2009] was quite nice. I always like it when I see an article that highlights the many values from globalization.

It would have been nice to see his perspective on whether "protectionism" is growing in the United States. It is hard to avoid the implications of protectionism when talking about all the merits of globalization.

Many groups, trade associations/unions/policy makers, view imports as taking U.S. jobs. In fact, many ASAE & The Center members lobby for protectionist policy (OK, wrapped in the language of "free and fair" trade).

It would have been interesting to see a few questions that explored this perspective, including, for example, his idea for when trade protection and reduced "globalization" is legitimate? I realize I'm quite biased (representing an organization of U.S. companies that import wood products for value added in the United States).

—Brent McClendon, executive vice president, International Wood Products Association , Alexandria, Virginia

From the Twitterati

@swellkell82: Reading Service vs. Leadership: Finding the Right Balance - Associations Now Magazine ["A Perfect Pair," November 2009]

@msilacboeder: Reading an article in Associations Now pub. by ASAE & The Center 4 Association Leadership:
7 Deadly Sins Of Association Finance [September 2009]

@theispot: Kim Rosen's image of a board meeting gone wild is whooping it up in the current issue of Associations Now magazine. ["Call to Disorder," November 2009]

@J_Maiman: See article in Assns Now on how an association publication doubled page count and increased its frequency ["The Formula for Publication Growth," November 2009]

@annegentle: Great "listening toolkit" from a social media manager and community specialist in Associations Now online magazine. ["Masters of Community," November 2009]

@jamienotter: Association Social Media awesomeness in Associations Now this month. ["Masters of Community," November 2009]

Lacking Sensitivity

I am shocked that your magazine would think two bottles of wine in a gift basket would be appropriate—and that you would promote it ["A Well-Woven Gift," November 2009]. You talk about avoiding allergies—but yet you have no thought about those with alcohol problems. Shame on you.


Seek Better Counsel

[From a web comment on "Endorsement Breakdown," October 2009] I like the article's format—dramatic narrative with a "Greek chorus" on the margins. I think it can be a successful way to present this topic to a lay audience.

On the substantive side, CMPA may need to rethink its devotion to perennial counsel, Scotty. The piece does not disclose what, if any, advice or opinion he provided. Shall the reader assume (for the sake of the storyline) that CMPA simply ignored his recommendation? CMPA got tripped up on matters that competent legal counsel would have flagged.

—Barry Shanoff , attorney at law, Rockville, Maryland

"Bigger" Focus on Mission

I enjoyed Laura Otten's article ["Bigger Does Not Equal Better"] in October's Associations Now. The apparent need to get bigger can also be detrimental to small business. Many entrepreneurs forget it is the bottom line that determines long term success. Getting bigger can help achieve specific goals but it may not help achieve the important ones (like quality of life for the entrepreneur).

Associations need to focus on their mission instead of their leadership's ego. You did not mention it overtly, but the leader's ego often gets in the way of really serving members. Or maybe some have forgotten the mission. Great nudge.

—Jon Aleckson, chief executive officer, Web Courseworks, Madison, Wisconsin