by Guest Blogger Kat Szymanski, Business Development at nSight Marketing
“Members don’t get it; they don’t understand what we offer them.” It’s common to hear this from association staff, CEOs, and leaders. Relentless focus on the member can turn readers from “so what” to get them to say, “Oh, I get it!” in today’s distracting digital world.
A communications plan helps solve that problem. An intentional, proactive strategy, with member preferences and their needs front and center, helps persuade them to learn and understand why they should rely on you.
A strategic communications plan includes:
- Communications specific goals
- Knowing your target audience, and
- Clarity about your value proposition to relay that you know the problems they deal with and how you can solve them.
When all three are in place, the communications plan becomes a tool to deliver on your value – in a systematic way – every time you write copy or deliver a talk – anywhere. In other words, you’ll be able to better tie your offerings and services to something that means something to your members.
If part of your value proposition is lowering members’ risk, your plan will include legal issues to explain how your Legal Hotline supports them, informs them, and helps them avoid expensive legal pitfalls. This will be part of your monthly editorial plan.
If members say they need help using technology, don’t advertise “Save the Date” for your annual conference. Instead, highlight a technology talk and the new ideas and specific tools members will walk away with to do better business.
Use your value proposition to curate relevant content from other sources. This practice will reinforce your value and it will help members look to you for support in their day-to-day work.
Some associations think they’re done after they discover and create their message of value. The best communicators view this as just the beginning. They intentionally integrate their value proposition into a communications plan built from the ground up.
Connect the dots so members can say, “Oh, I get it.” Show them how the offerings, information, and resources you deliver persuade them that they are better with you than without you.