Archives for May 2012

Activities Attendance Slump? Re-Think Event Marketing to Get Members Involved.

It’s hard to get members’ attention. Time and time again staff  hear “I didn’t know about that” or “was that last week” and even “it was never announced!” It’s frustrating when you feel like you have painted the town red with announcements. So maybe its time to try something new.

Pervasiveness

Are you promoting everywhere? Really everywhere? Traditional advertising takes 6-12 views before action is taken. Send 12 emails with the same message and members will likely riot – or worse – ignore you. Look for ways to spread the message around through different media to get the most impact.  Traditional media still works — posters, flyers, ads in the newsletter, upcoming events online. If you are creating all of these, what else can you do? Save those files as .jpgs and use them as photos on Facebook. Create a slide show of pictures from last year’s event(s) (try www.animoto.com) and add it to your website and emails. The more “touches” a member has with a message the more likely they are to respond. Be creative and they just might tell their friends about it too.

Consistency

If you are already integrating your marketing, have you looked at all your pieces for an event together? Treat event marketing like a campaign.  A strong, high quality design is a good start and it needs to be carried through everything you do to provide maximum results. Frequently, organizations may have an ad created by their newsletter designer, a poster done by a volunteer and then put together a flyer themselves. When things don’t look the same, members don’t build recall from having seen it over and over. It’s easy to get bored or want to tweak designs, but resist. Repetition breeds recognition and promotes action.
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Flip the Pitch —Turning Volunteering a Real Opportunity for Members

I hate being the new kid.  It’s like September in school when the teacher doesn’t know your name and you have nightmares you’ll forget your locker combination. While it’s awkward and uncomfortable to be new, it is the perfect time for organizations to invite members to become volunteers.

Members join an organization for varying reasons, but they are never more enthusiastic than in the beginning. Volunteering is one of the best ways to meet people and scrub the stiff, uncomfortable newness off a membership. Despite the benefits, few organizations have created volunteer roles that ease-in new members or communications programs to let them know what opportunities are available. It takes some time and prep work by your current volunteers, but it will pay off in reduced workload and easier transitions.

Re-Tooling Volunteer Jobs

There are many publicly recognized roles in associations and nonprofit organizations — Board President, Program Chair, Committee Member and others.  Anyone walking in the door can spot them. These are big roles with big time commitments. New members often are not qualified and or ready to fill these roles. So what else have you got? Need someone to stamp envelopes? That’s a volunteer job. Check in for the first hour of registration.  Volunteer. Stuff gift bags, make directional signs, lead a workshop? You probably need that too. And you probably end up scrambling to find someone to do it, paying your association management company, or overworking your committee chair and staff to get it done. Why not consider offering volunteering at a micro level?
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Iris Creative Group Inc. • 451 S. Bethlehem Pike, Suite 310 • Fort Washington, PA 19034 • P: 267.468.7949
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