Strategic Communications: The Simple Way to Sell Your Association

By • November 5, 2012

With communications clutter at an all-time high—both professionally and personally—your members can begin to feel inundated. From bloggers and other self-proclaimed experts to traditionally competitive trade publications, associations are under increasing pressure to fight for readers and the advertising dollars that come with them.

Whether you call it content marketing, custom publishing or simply marketing communications, the messages you deliver to members and non-members alike are designed to do one thing: sell your association’s value.

By widening the scope of your communications program from one that simply informs or reports industry news to one fueled by a well-defined plan with strategic objectives, a clearly defined editorial calendar, and a distinct purpose for each individual communication vehicle, you can simplify your approach and more effectively sell your association’s value. This will lead to higher retention, new members and greater advertiser/sponsor support.

Even when technology, innovation and the speed at which business is conducted make it virtually impossible to adhere to a traditional annual strategic plan, an integrated strategy actually simplifies the approach and enhances your ability to sell the value of the association and communications brand and generate more non-dues revenue.

Four critical elements for improving the clarity of your message to sell your association’s value:

  • Create a single brand voice.
  • Align resources to match what’s important to members.
  • Improve internal communication as it relates to core strategic objectives.
  • Unite under one core objective.

By shifting from a one-way push of news to a clear, integrated approach that reinforces your objectives and value proposition, you can greatly improve members’ receptiveness to your communication vehicles and bolster your retention and bottom line. Take the time to think through your communication plan carefully. Your members, volunteers, suppliers and industry are counting on you.