Most big problems between members and their association can be solved with thoughtful, strong leadership. But solving the problem is only half the job. Regular and relevant communications is a necessary piece of the pie to deliver full value.
Take the airline industry. They have the solution to keeping us safe, but unless they communicate that solution with passengers, it’s pointless. Why else would flight attendants give standard instructions every time a plane prepares for takeoff? Because there are so many consistent messages that all travelers need to hear…sometimes again and again and again.
Do these sound familiar? Bring your seats to a full and upright position. Items may shift during flight. Stow large electronic devices for takeoff and landing. Hearing these messages every time we fly is part of the airlines’ communications plan.
There are three Ps that make a communications plan successful:
- A Process to make sure your system and your message is consistent
- People to follow the system
- Proactive thinking by the message writer—what to say and how to deliver
The only way to establish credibility and rapport with your members is to regularly send relevant information to them. Regular and relevant. And, without the three Ps in the plan, your communications staff may be posting/sending multiple messages one day, then going days and days before the next touch; and worse, sending information that means way more to you than it does to them.
When Karl Berron, CEO decided the Indiana Association of Realtors® was ready to discover and then develop their value proposition, he didn’t stop there. He was clear: “We need a thought out approach to integrating our value proposition into our daily activities, and the discipline to execute it. Staff training and buy-in is part of it, as is a comprehensive plan for delivering the message.”
Whether it’s articulating your value proposition or rolling out a new class or offering, be sure to work with your communications staff to develop and present a plan to you that regularly communicates the most relevant information to your members. Otherwise, you’re cheating them out of the full value.