The American Orthopaedic Association’s AOA News
An underlying goal is to reinforce the AOA’s mission. The organization also uses the newsletter to deliver content related to the reasons why they value their membership (determined via survey).
The AOA News was cut for the 2016 budget as a purely financial decision. This left nearly one-third of emeritus and senior members from keeping in touch with their organization in their preferred way.
How Project Contributes to Business Success
Published three times a year, the AOA’s print newsletter helps keep members engaged, involved, and updated with insight on critical issues, member opportunities, and news. Typically 16-20 pages, the AOA News is one of the few concrete benefits that members. It is used to provide content on:
- Critical orthopaedic issues
- Academic Orthoapedics
- Leadership development concepts/tools
- Opportunities for involvement
- At 1,550 members, the AOA is a small association
- Membership is only gained through a process of nomination, stringent review, and member vote
- All AOA members belong to at least two to three other orthopaedic associations
- A majority of members are full-time academic orthopaedists or in private practice with an academic appointment. These members hold positions of Department Chairs, Program Directors, Full Professors, and Associate Professors
- Over 26% of members are Emeritus and Senior, many of whom do not have email address. A print newsletter remains an important means of contacting those members
- 72% of members are practicing orthopaedics, many of whom use smart phones and/or tablets
- As Managing Editor, I create the editorial calendar and take the lead in all aspects of content creation and layout.
- Ensure integrated brand look and feel.
- Increased the percentage of education content and member opinion pieces (versus promotional content).
- Initiated a drive to the website or a call to action at the end of most articles.
- Solicit and work with member or topic experts to obtain articles.
- I had a designer create a “We’re Listening” logo to use next to articles and information inspired by the Member Satisfaction Survey or program evaluations.
- Initiated a drive to the website or a call to action at the end of most articles
- Coordinate photos and graphics.
- Initiated the CORD Corner as an area for AOA members involved in academic orthopaedic education to receive updates about the Council of Orthopaedic Residency Directors (CORD) program and issues important to academic orthpods.
- Based on data provided in the 2013 Membership Survey, I originated the Leadership Development Education column to provide actionable leadership concepts and tools–and solicit committee members to introduce the topics.
- While staff have good data about members, we do not have good measurements about readership or what gets read and when
- Self-reported data from the 2013 Membership Satisfaction Survey (response rate of 34.0%) indicated that a majority of respondents (70.5%) are thorough readers of AOA News
- Although there is a drive to the website after many articles, website analytics do not indicate the reason why someone came to the website. Further, we do not have strong traffic to the website on a year round basis.
- Many members have indicated an interest in a digital version of the AOA News, which would reduce costs
- However, with one-third of members lacking an email address, this is not something the Association is seriously considering at this time. Further, with the poor open rate of the e-newsletter, we believe that the print version may be more widely read