We all now know what it feels like to be in a completely unexpected situation, like a COVID shutdown, with no control of the circumstances or outcomes to our business. If there is one resulting lesson, we now have valuable hindsight for next time. But why wait till next time?
Use hindsight to your advantage
Did you keep track of the things you did that members noticed and told you about that helped them get through the early phase of the 2020 pandemic?
Was there an activity you and your members joined in to show care? One local association carried the flag for the community: they spearheaded a collection of food and household items to take care of people in their community.
Did you experiment with an activity to show you were part of the solution? One local association’s staff and volunteers carried the flag for their fellow members: they produced face masks for members to use to show homes safely to their customers. Would it help they wondered? They weren’t sure! They found out it created more than just appreciation from members. It helped members feel like a community to get through an unknown situation together.
Did you develop a plan for how to communicate in a crisis? One state association carried the flag for legislation for “essential services” along with an emergency communications plan. Every day the CEO and key communicators met on a phone call to decide the most critical information to curate and disseminate. If the start to a communications plan might help you,
Did you use a consistent value message or other key messages to convey to members how you would help them through the crisis? As a visible non-association example, UBER modified their proposition, THE SMARTEST WAY TO GET AROUND, to create a new key message to take a stand during the pandemic. They carried the flag for safety with the key message Moving What Matters:
Thank you for not riding with us right now.
When you #StayHome we can all #MoveWhatMatters.
One of the biggest “aha” moments for associations who have and use an established value proposition is that during a crisis, they can either (1) use the main message, (2) highlight one piece of their value message, or (3) modify the message slightly for the situation. A value proposition should be that flexible. Associations with a declared value proposition kept their members’ attention and established themselves as a place members can rely on every day, and also during the shutdown.
What ‘silent conversations’ do members have with themselves today about your association during the crisis? How you communicated with them? Showed care for them? If you’re not sure, now is the chance for you to discover and then offer a rationale to every member, so they will eventually learn what to look to your association for, through a crisis and beyond.
Associations are realizing it’s time to shift from VIRUS to VALUE. You can too.
can assist you through the proven 7-step process to develop your association’s, one-of-a-kind Member Value Proposition.