Communicating for the Benefit of our Profession

Welcome! I am pleased to introduce you to Speaking of Actuaries, the new blog of the SOA. (Hopefully you’ve caught on to the play on the SOA acronym in the title.)

mcphoto As president of the SOA, one of my objectives is to stay in close communication with members, candidates, employers, academia, regulators and our sister actuarial organizations—all of our constituencies. And not just in North America, but also internationally. Your Board members are keenly aware that they are elected by the members—we know we have to stay in close contact to represent your interests, short term and long term.

I will post here regularly. You’ll also see posts from other leaders and staff at the SOA.
Some topics we’ll be talking about include:

  • Opportunities for actuaries
  • Professional Development and your career
  • The increasing importance of enterprise risk management
  • The global CERA credential
  • Future Education Methods—a follow-up
  • Collaboration with our sister actuarial organizations, both in North America and internationally
  • Issues specific to areas of practice

These are just a few ideas that immediately come to mind.

This blog will enable timely and interactive communication with you, by providing more and better-quality information sooner. I welcome you to share your ideas and comments here and start a dialogue. Communication works best if it flows in both directions!

Keeping in mind that what’s convenient for one person may not be convenient for another, we’ll use several communication channels. In addition to our traditional means and this blog, we are also going to start using quick polls and focus groups to get member perspectives on a variety of issues.

I’m also on Twitter, and you can follow me there. In addition, you can always e-mail me at mmclaughlin@soa.org.

I look forward to some lively conversations!

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7 responses to "Communicating for the Benefit of our Profession"

  • Tom Bakos says:

    Not seeing any responses – I wanted to sieze the opportunity to be first as was offered in the heading. I hope I made it – history may remember me for this.

    This seems like it may be a very effective way to get member feedback – but don’t expect to see me on Twitter. I hope our members use it but in order to use it to provide feedback they must know what is going on – i.e. what is on the Board’s agenda and staff direction.

    I suggest that we post the Board agenda prior to our Board meetings so that we may benefit from member comment and opinion prior to our Board discussions on important issues.

  • Max Rudolph says:

    Mike –

    Great idea! More transparency is always better, and each person has their own preferred channel so you need to spread yourself around. I already follow you on Twitter and look forward to your blog.


  • Mary Pat Campbell says:

    I think this blog is a good idea, but you might want to reconsider requiring real names being used on comments. Otherwise, conversation will continue at sites allowing pseudonymous comments such as the Actuarial Outpost. [and for one, anybody could “spoof” another person’s identity by just sticking in their name – in a way, pseudonyms are safer, because they’re not claiming to be a particular person.]

    Perhaps I’ve misunderstood the Terms of Use, but something similar killed the SOA’s official discussion board before. Not everyone is willing to make critical comments [or even complimentary comments] under their own names.

    Given that the comments are moderated, abusive remarks can be censored to prevent the degeneration of discussion, and keep the tone professional, even with use of pseudonyms.

  • Eddie Smith says:

    I just wanted to say that I also think this is a great idea, and I look forward to seeing the SOA embrace other means of social web-based communication tools in the future.

    I hope that this is the first step in making the SOA site more “social” so that actuaries with common interests can more easily connect and share ideas.

    A good next step would be to add one or more URL fields to SOA profiles so that members can post a link to their LinkedIn profile, Twitter page, or other external site.

  • Tom Troceen says:

    Hi Mike,

    I have been following you on Twitter (@actuary), and look forward to following the new blog.

    Keep up the good work,

    Tom :wave:

    P.S. As always, feel free to contact me with any questions about RSS, widgets & whatnot.

  • Patrick Lee says:

    Congratulations on setting this up, and also on being (as far as I know) the first President of a major actuarial society to be on Twitter too!

    I think it would be a good thing if our UK actuarial organisations (I’m a fellow of the Institute of Actuaries, as indeed I believe you are too) followed your lead in doing this, and also in posting on the Actuarial Outpost (AO, http://www.actuarialoutpost.com ) which I see you do from time to time.

    I think it important for actuarial leaders to post regularly on the AO as well as on blogs and twitter, because that is where the critical mass is likely to remain (simply because it already has such a huge volume of posts and readers).

    Once again, kudos to you and to the SOA for being the first organisation to take these steps.

  • Mary Pat Campbell says:

    Also, blogs tend to work better if there can be more timely back-and-forth in comments. Comments may need to be moderated/approved more than once in a 24-hour time period.

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