WASHINGTON (3/5/09)--Trade associations and lobbyists must work together to battle tough economic times, Credit Union National Association President/CEO Dan Mica said in his monthly column in The Hill
newspaper. While a challenging economy can trigger fear and panic, the key to overcoming economic strains is to communicate effectively and work cooperatively, Mica said. As the economy worsens and budgets tighten, the strains on association membership only increase. Just as investors panic, so do associations, their leadership and members. A once-unified membership can suddenly point fingers and turn minor issues into major disagreements, he added. He also encouraged association leaders to:
* E-mail and call members frequently; * Provide webinars or video conference calls because many members or clients are cutting or reducing trips to Washington, D.C.; and * Anticipate “big stories” in the mass media instead of waiting for news to break. Tell members and clients that the news is coming their way.
A time of crisis, while challenging, can also be energizing because it pulls everyone together to create meaningful solutions. Quoting a friend of his, Mica said, “Humans are naturally wired so that their intuition does not guide them properly when it comes to making financial decisions. Intuition and fear always drive people to sell and wait until the stock market gets better. They lose the buying opportunity.” To avoid losing the "buying opportunity," Mica said: “It is important to sometimes ignore that human intuition and instead focus on the key facts and what needs to be done to rebuild our country.” Mica’s column, which appears each month in the “K Street Insiders,” is geared toward lobbyists and trade associations in Washington, D.C. To see the column, use the link.