September 3, 2008

Your Association's Messaging and Channels

I was watching HGTV the other day, and notcied an inordinate amount of commercials for Lowe's. I found it interesting that I hadn't really noticed that before - that Lowe's is being extremely smart in getting its message out on the appropriate channels where the people most likely to shop there are...

It's the same reason that the companies who exhibited at the ASAE Annual Meeting did so - they had a captive audience of the people who are the MOST likely to utilize their services.

I think this relates well to what we're doing in recruitment of members to our associations and how we are communicating with them.

When recruiting members, how are we developing our messages to get the most out of them, and are they being put on the right channels to get the most out of them? For recruiting newer young members, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and other social media tools might be the best channels to utilize. 

For older members, perhaps hard copy brochures and ads in print publications are the most appropriate channels to recruit members. 

My question - is there enough thought being put into the channels our associations are using to recruit and communicate with our members and potential members? If not, why? If so, who took the proactive steps to develop these messages and determine the channels that they would be "broadcasted" on?

It certainly seems to me that the Lowe's Corporation has it right in targeting their messages to the people who have the BEST chance of acting on the messages they're trying to get across. 


Lisa Junker said...

"Is there enough thought being put into the channels our associations are using to recruit and communicate with our members and potential members?" In my experience, the answer for most associations is "no." =)

I know in my own past life as a communications person, there were some channels that we kept using just because we'd done so in the past--we always put out a press release when this happens, we always put this in the magazine, we always post it to the website, etc. And my communications department was pretty short-staffed, so it often was easier to just write the article or press release without thinking about it too much than it would have been to really sit down and think about the best approach for a particular message.

The key was finding the time to take a step back and think.

Bruce Hammond said...
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Bruce Hammond said...

@Lisa - Thanks a lot for your response. I appreciate it.

It's interesting that you say you've seen that in your previous stops. I think I am seeing that as well where I am, but I am hoping to do a better job of determining some of those alternative channels, and using them to hit the right audience segments.

For many years, we have had a one size fits all approach, and we're going to be changing that as we move forward, because segmentation is key as we are trying to do outreach to our various constituencoes who range in age from 18-90...