After my recent presentation at TSAE on Communications as a Business Asset, I spoke with several Executive Directors who related to the idea that Naylor has studied for many years:
I had more than the usual questions about where to start in order to get better at the “8 ways” to engage more members in your association.
If you want a quick start on understanding the work that faces you back at your office with your own communications, pull out a new member flyer, or About Us page on your website and ask yourself these questions:
- Do you talk WAY more about yourself (your association) than you do about them (your members) and what you do for them? A good rule is 75% THEM and 25% YOU.
- Is there simply too much on the page that it’s overwhelming to a new member? Keep it simple (with 25% white space on the page).
- Could you cut out the jargon (acronyms and terms like “advocacy”)? It will be WAY more relevant when you us terms that ordinary members will relate to.
- Where is the ROT that you can remove (redundant, overwhelming and trivial words, sentences and extra information)?
- Is your ABOUT US landing page an old, un-interesting explanation of your association? Read it closely and remember, it’s not about YOU, it’s about what your organization will do for THEM.
- What do you best that your members need most? Does your material answer that? If not, work harder to present information that you know will help answer “SO WHAT?” Tell them why it matters.
You are not alone. Association communicators often lack the time, talent or perspective to use communications as a business asset. It is easier to simply report the news than it is to sell your association’s benefits.
Maybe it’s time to give your staff new inspiration and some new tools.