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Why your association’s industry will never be dull

We keep hearing that 'dull' associations are struggling to create compelling content.

The marketing literati continue to peddle the spiel that ‘dull’ associations struggle to create compelling content, yet compelling content is popping up in all kinds of places. In human resources. In engineering. In insurance. Perhaps, writes Martin Wanless, we would all do well to remember that associations are made up of people, and people are the most compelling creatures of all.

The roars of laughter were audible enough for the people at the table opposite to cast a judgemental glance in our direction.

“Stop talking about how interesting insurance is!” my friend guffawed. “You’ve changed.”

He had a point. I had just spent the past 20 minutes talking about my new-found interest and appreciation of insurance; a love that had unexpectedly occurred after I was parachuted into the role of Acting Editor of Insurance & Risk Professional, the member magazine for the National Insurance Brokers Association.

The nearest I’d come to insurance before was the rather begrudging annual payment  that enabled me to drive my car. Internet search for the cheapest price, hit pay, over for another year.

But insurance now had a whole new life in my eyes. I’d sat down to be briefed in by the (now former) CEO of NIBA, the delightful Noel Pettersen, and had been wowed by his insights. “Nothing would happen if it wasn’t for insurance. Trains wouldn’t travel. Workplaces couldn’t open. Cars couldn’t be driven. Hospitals couldn’t operate. Think of all of those people who’re enabled to do things, from the day-to-day and mundane to the magnificent, by virtue of the fact they have insurance.”

And the further the conversation went, the deeper my mind went. How are towns rebuilt after disaster strikes? Insurance. What helps people live a ‘normal’ life after a serious accident, or ensures the family keeps their home after the sudden death of a loved one? Insurance. What enables you to set foot in the office each day? Insurance.

After an hour I strode out of NIBA HQ, with my metaphoric I heart insurance T-shirt on display, raring to create inspiring content for the world of insurance.

I was already doing it for the Mortgage & Finance Association, and subsequently I’ve worked in numerous sectors, including engineering and project management. Very different industries, but with one common denominator.


If you’re a good content creator, a good journalist, it shouldn’t matter what industry you’re working in. If there are people involved you’ll find the most intriguing yarns to relay.

And that’s why you should never, ever, ever presume a sector is dull or boring. Yet some writers do, and more fool them.

In this era of social distancing, marketers are flocking to content to keep their audiences connected. How do you create content that will cut through this crowded space?
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Pharmaceutical Society of Australia