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Grab Your Trapper Keeper and Your Lunchbox, It’s Time to Dust off Those Research Paper Skills: Why association publications make a huge impact

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Grab Your Trapper Keeper and Your Lunchbox, It’s Time to Dust off Those Research Paper Skills: Why association publications make a huge impact

Amy Glasscock, Senior Policy Analyst + Jamie Rodgers, Deputy Director

What if you could increase the influence and reach of your association, make it the first organization that legislators, media and like-minded groups turn to for information, and set it apart as a national leader in your field just by dusting off your high school research paper skills?

There is no better way to give your association a voice and show it as a thought-leader in the field than by writing a publication.  One example of a useful publication may be in the form of a national survey of members that is then analyzed for key take-aways. Usually no one else can get that kind of access to (and cooperation from!) your industry group. The information will be unique and valuable to your members, trade press and other organizations or companies/vendors that work with your organization.

There are a variety of types of publications> Here are just a few associations should consider: 

  • Topical Papers: write about an emerging issue affecting your members
  • Case Studies: highlight the accomplishments of members to inspire others
  • Joint Association Recommendations: team up with another group on a mutual issue of interest
  • Guidebooks/Playbooks/How-Tos: ask members for best practices and share with others
  • Policy Statements/Recommendations: use your position to provide advocacy materials for members and advocate on their behalf when appropriate

When your association starts generating and sharing information, you get to show what your association is all about to the outside world. You will be seen as a national leader and advocate—and you can serve as a platform and a unified voice to highlight your members as thought leaders in a professional setting.

While every association may not have the staff or resources to work on a major publication (such as a national survey) right away, many of these ideas can be done with limited resources.  Blog posts, press releases, and advocacy statements can be short and to the point. Case studies can be largely written by willing members. Work can be shared with another association when you do a joint recommendation.

Publications can be valuable assets to your association—so dust off those research and writing skills and get to work!

For some examples of AMR Client Publications see the following links:
2018 Survey of State Chief Administrators: NASCA
Value and Vulnerability: The Internet of Things in a Connected State Government: NASCIO
Policy Statement on Automated Vehicles: APBP

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