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Resources for local sections and other ACS units

by Jason E. Ritchie, Chair, Local Section Activities Committee
September 14, 2018 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 96, Issue 37


A photo of Jason Ritchie.
Credit: Courtesy of Jason Ritchie

I am excited to tell you about a few new electronic resources that your local section can use to better reach and engage with your members, as well as to plan and promote your local section events.

The Committee on Local Section Activities (LSAC) has published the “Online Presence Best Practices” guide on the ACS Network. This guide provides practical and detailed information for best practices on electronic elections, event marketing, social media, internal communications, and overall marketing communication strategies for not only local sections but for any ACS group.

Have you ever wondered how to communicate with your local section members, how to organize registrations and publicize a local section event, how to start your section’s social media presence, or how to conduct your local section elections electronically? This online guide is a great place to start and will point you to resources for your local section, as well as approximate costs and examples of how these services have been used effectively. This guide can be updated as technology changes and new services become available. Visitors to the website can use the quick link to suggest a new resource, leave a comment, or discuss the various services offered.

As we head into the fall season, I’d like to remind our local section leaders of the importance of holding yearly elections in their local sections. If your section would like to hold your next election electronically and you’ve already updated your local section bylaws to allow for electronic elections, I can point you to our best practices guide for options on how to conduct your electronic elections safely and securely.

The guide discusses two services for conducting elections (with both free and paid options) that have been reviewed and tested and comply with our bylaws for electronic elections. In addition, the Committee on Nominations & Elections has produced the webinar “ACS Best Practices for Election Procedures,” which is available on the “Get Involved, Stay Involved” web page under Elections & Bylaws.

This webinar reviews the procedures and communications for conducting your elections. When conducting your elections and any election-related mailings, please remember to use the election-only eRoster for your local section. All of the eRosters are available on the “Get Involved, Stay Involved” web page.

Once you’ve successfully elected new officers, please encourage your new chair-elect, in addition to any other interested local section officers, to register for and attend the ACS Leadership Institute on Jan. 25–27, 2019, at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel in Atlanta. Attendees will learn the nuts and bolts of serving as a local section officer and get ideas for programming during their year as local section chair. Registration for the institute will open on Nov. 15.


I’d also like to point your attention to the ACS Legal Resource Manual, which also is available on the “Get Involved, Stay Involved” web page. This guide contains the written legal resource manual, in addition to a series of short videos explaining key chapters of the guide. The manual is a compilation of the informal legal information provided over the years and several new guidelines for managing the legal risks associated with operating an ACS division or local section.

In addition, LSAC has approved a Volunteer Local Meeting/Event Attendee Conduct Policy, which is available on the “Get Involved, Stay Involved” web page. This policy can be helpful if you have to address inappropriate behavior by an ACS member at a local section event or meeting.

Have you ever wondered how to communicate with your local section members, how to start your section’s social media presence, or how to conduct your local section elections electronically?

Finally, LSAC is pleased to announce the continuation of the Members Engaging through Technology grant program. The goal of this program is to enable local sections to use technology to more fully engage their membership in the section’s goals and activities and to enhance their member recruitment efforts.

Grant proposals may be used to request, for example, the purchase of hardware and software that enable remote attendance for local section meetings, enhancement or establishment of a local section’s social media presence, the creation of local section webinars or other online content, the enabling of virtual networking opportunities for local section members, the use of audience response devices to make section meetings and other events more interactive, or the purchase of technology to enable more inclusive local section governance.

The call for proposals will be published on the “Get Involved, Stay Involved” web page, under What’s Important Now. Grant proposals are due on Oct. 15.

Views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of C&EN or ACS.


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