From time to time I will post articles containing advice on public relations and marketing for membership organisations on this page. Feel free to tweet them, post them on your website, or include them in your magazine or e-newsletter. If you do so, please credit me (Lindsey Collumbell, Bojangle Communications) with a link back to this website.
Simply put, public relations (PR) is about relationships and reputation. There is a lot of talk about the edges of what is PR and what is marketing being blurred. I agree – they are and there is a lot of overlap. An easy differentiation is that PR is what influences opinion, marketing is what influences sales.
Plan, plan and plan again – you MUST have a PR strategy so you know where you are heading. If you don’t have a plan, how do you know you are going to get where you want to be? This article takes you through what you need to consider when writing a PR strategy and activity plan … that will get results.
Your website is the shop window to your company. Would you go into a shop if the window was grubby, untidy and showed out-of-date stock? No, you wouldn’t. So … spruce up your site every now and then to keep visitors up-to-date on what is going on with your company. Don’t have your last blog post showing as one that is dated 4 months ago – just like your visitors will love to see fresh new content, so will the search engines.
Whether you own a business or are an employee, whether the organisation is big or small, private or public, a membership organisation or straightforward commercial business, it matters not. What does matter is if you have an online presence, use social media to promote who you are and what you do, but are doing all this without a strategy in place.
Free public relations and marketing does exist and there are many effective activities that won’t cost a penny (or at least not many) yet will point you in the right direction to get your business talked about.
Whether your business is large, small, new or been around the block a few times, every penny in your marketing budget has to work hard and give you a return. You may not see instant results but don’t let that fool you into thinking that free marketing is not effective.
A membership organisation, such as a trade association or professional body, exists to represent its members, to further the industry / profession they work in, to give its members a voice, and to assist them to thrive in business … amongst other things.
The more members, the more of the industry / profession represented, and the greater the influence when it ‘speaks’ on their behalf. So … how do you achieve the holy grail … and increase membership numbers? Read this article for my top ten fundamentals to regularly visit and review.
In days gone by, organisations had mission statements to communicate what they stood for. Whilst mission statements inform about the intention of the organisation, they are one-dimensional and too distant in relation to membership organisations. A more recent approach is to have a ‘Member Value Proposition’. Rather than reflect what the organisation delivers on behalf of its members, an MVP is about what members need / want, i.e. what they value.