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Membership growth

Bright minds discuss what our Society has got and how to market it

It's waaaaaaay to early to see what the Membership Growth Task Force is going to come up with -- they are keeping their minds open and their options open while they study the sources of our membership decline and guide us toward remedies. Suffice it to say, we've got some really bright minds working on this issue. (more…)
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A new chapter is forming nearby — OH NO!!!

Picture that happening to you. Suddenly, a small group of experienced barbershoppers want to start a new chapter in a neighboring city. SINKING GUT FEELING #1. "What will we ever do?"  This is a totally factual story (as best as my memory and our records might provide). You might be surprised by the result. (more…)
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How can we better recognize our off-stage achievers?

What gets measured gets rewarded. Our Society has a great system to find and honor the groups that put the best product on stage every year -- and there are a million good reasons to continue to honor these achievers. We're also getting better at recognizing the best recruiters among us. (When Roger Lewis was Society president, he recognized the best recruiters on the international stage, somet...
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If membership is Job 1, why aren’t we teaching marketing and PR at all our schools?

I recently received these questions in an e-mail:  "If Membership Growth is the Society's greatest need/problem, and now is our leaders' first priority, (1) why does the list of Harmony U 2009 classes, and Anaheim convention interest classes include practically nothing that could be considered Marketing & PR? and (2) can HQ now pressure the Districts to stress Marketing & PR in their upco...
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Voice Lessons for Your Singers?

I am writing an article (probably for the Harmonizer) about choruses that have some sort of private voice instruction (PVIs) included either in their weekly meeting or available for their members outside the meeting night.  I would appreciate any feedback you can offer about this topic.  Here are a few questions that may guide you: (more…)
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Going viral: does barbershop have a Susan Boyle in our wings?

Unless you've been in a cave, by now you've seen the video of Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent. Something like 80 million views and counting. Millions of dollars couldn't buy a promotion at any price that will get the views that the dowdy, unemployed, never-been-kissed 47-year-old with the angelic voice has gotten this past week. It was the message people wanted right now, set up perfectly by t...
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Building a Culture of Fraternity

Mike O'Neill, Society Music Specialist for Chorus Director Development, recently sent an email to the Director's Listserve asking the following: Does your chapter, or are you aware of a chapter, that is really great with the fraternal side of barbershop? (more…)
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Are our 20 percent most devoted members unwittingly the barrier to growth?

On a guest night in a past chapter, I was asked to take the guests downstairs and show the "Singing is Life" video. It had been a few years since I'd first seen it as a Society employee. As I watched the faces of the men in the room, I wondered whether we perhaps should have had some outside focus groups look at that script before we committed it to celluloid. (more…)
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