In May, 2010 I assembled a small but diverse group of associations (in size) to do an experiment in innovation. We selected one of the biggest challenges common to all the participating associations. To gain agreement was relatively easy: Not enough members read and appreciate our communications. This problem statement gained agreement across the board: small and large associations alike.
Over the next four months, we lost a few association executives to other pressing issues; but four of us have been meeting frequently to chip away at this problem. The process involved:
Brainstorming the root of the problem from the AE’s point of view
Conducting member communications survey to understand members’ point of view
Conversations and education about what innovation and communication means
Promising practices from various associations who have addressed their communications issues already
An overview of the strategic communications planning model
The assignment to write a plan of their own.
This is where WOW comes in. This REALTOR® association in New Bedford, MA – with 580 members and a determined association executive has developed a strategic communications plan that will both (1) earn her respect from her board and staff, and (2) give the association, and the communications staff clear and though-out direction, including built-in measurements.
Every association has the chance to WOW your members with a renewed approach to your communications. I doubt that Robin will fail in her efforts to change the way members perceive the value of their membership.