CEO to CEO: Open Access vs. Members Only

CEOs share guidelines that their organizations use to determine whether to keep content behind a member login or have it be open to the public.

How does your association determine what should be open-access versus member-only content?

Member-only content is restricted to items which a nonmember might use to their advantage, such as market statistics, surveys, minutes, and member publications. On the other hand, agendas for management meetings, though limited to member attendance, show speakers and can be useful as member development tools. We try to keep those open to let nonmembers see what they're missing.

—C. James Trombino, CAE, executive director/CEO, Metal Powder Industries Federation, Princeton, New Jersey

Our approach is that everything that we discuss, all our documents, if they were to appear on the front page of a major newspaper, they should not embarrass the association. There is nothing confidential in our information, but we are careful about sharing irrelevant information with the public that would confuse them instead of contributing to their understanding of the industry.

—Avhapfani Tshifularo, executive director, South African Petroleum Industry Association, Sandton, South Africa

We strive to keep most information on the Association of Cable Communicators website available to members and nonmembers alike. We feel members should have easy access to most materials created by the association for their use as well as others in the cable industry who may be interested in joining or supporting ACC. This includes information on our events, research reports, and white papers created by the association on industry topics.

—Steven R. Jones, CAE, executive director, Association of Cable Communicators, Washington, DC

We try to put enough rich content in the public domain to entice individuals who aren't members to want to join the association. All advocacy materials are on the public portion of the site, but deep-dive analyses of policies, regulations, and legislation are restricted for members. Since more and more information is publicly available on the internet, we have decided that the unique content that we develop utilizing volunteer and staff expertise has a premium value and should be restricted to members.

—Dale Singer, executive director, Renal Physicians Association, Rockville, Maryland