For those who may not recognize the word play, the blog title is a nod to an often-quoted line by Amy Poehler’s character in the teen comedy Mean Girls. Poehler’s character tries desperately to be the “cool mom”; a friend who dresses like her teenage daughter and knows all the teenage gossip. In the end however, she just seems desperate.
The fear of appearing desperate or, more likely, unprofessional, prevents many associations from adding personality to their communications and instead falling back on a sterile, just-the-facts style.
The reluctance is understood. Will members equate levity with a loss of credibility? Could a joke unintentionally and unknowingly offend? But, having a little bit of fun in communications can break through the clutter and better engage our members. So, how can associations strike the right “cool” balance?
The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) has used holidays and widely recognized pseudo-holidays to shake up messaging and interact with members. More than just a gimmick though, the use has been purposeful. With this intentionality, messaging doesn’t stray into a cringe-worthy zone.