Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Are Your Communications Clear Enough?

Does your association clearly communicate your value proposition to your members?  Does it instill FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)?  Does it truly provide a reason for your members to engage?  Is it all about YOU, or do you write it so that it is all about THEM?

If your answers to the above are "No", or "I'm not sure", then you may be sabotaging your efforts.

Everyone is working on budgets these days; people are watching their spending, and as a result, you need t put your best foot forward - and ensure that your communication shows that you really are the ONE place that they will receive the best information, education, and resources -- or they may go elsewhere.

You can start by ensuring that your communications engage members and stakeholders, and reflect that their story is important to the story of your association.

Here are some examples of what you can do:

What Is Your Purpose?  Have your clearly outlined your purpose, or are you banking on a mission/vision statement that was drafted many years ago?  Educate your members, in every way (email, social media, your website) on what your association does to impact/improve your community.  Simply outlining benefits is not enough - associations need to work hard to name a benefit and provide concrete examples on how that benefit creates change.

Offer Something NEW:  Just because you have a program or service that you have been offering members for years doesn't mean it is still relevant.  Take stock of what you are doing, what people are buying, reading, or working on and see what you can eliminate and ADD to better enhance your value.

Be Where They Are:  Do you offer the same methods of communication as you have for the last several years?  Where are your members now?  Do you have an active LinkedIn group and Twitter handle?  Are you offering podcasts, webinars, or hybrid events?  Where do your members see you and where should they see you?  All questions that should be asked when developing communication plans.

Be Responsive:  There are literally thousands of tools available to help you track activity; who has opened emails, who has clicked on links, who is downloading resources.  Don't let these fall through the cracks!  Part of an effective communication strategy includes actual conversations.  Follow Up!  Ask for feedback.  Offer them other resources.  Have a conversation.

What else could you be doing to enhance your communication?  

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles

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