Conference season is truly hotting up and this week we are managing two global conferences, the first commencing the morning and running across five days, with 25 speaker sessions, breakout rooms, networking sessions and panel discussions. The event has attracted hundreds of professional delegates looking to explore and unpick the hottest topics and biggest questions in their field.
Your membership organisation’s brand story is a powerful tool, but are you telling it in the right ways and the right places? It goes without saying that staying relevant, attracting new members, and retaining existing ones are paramount for success. But where does your PR strategy sit within your wider marketing plan? Is it showcasing membership value and in turn attracting new interest? Let’s take a dive into how this (often underrated) marketing tool could be your secret weapon for growth and longevity. As you embark on this PR journey, keep in mind that it’s not just about growing your membership numbers; it’s about fostering a vibrant community that shares values and aspirations.
Authentic storytelling is key. Start with the soul of your organisation—your values and mission. Craft narratives that genuinely reflect your values and the heart of your mission based on real life initiatives and examples. By doing so, you resonate with potential members who share these same values.
Build selective partnerships that align with your organisation’s values. This is about more than just expanding your network. It’s a strategic alignment of priorities. When you choose organisations for partnerships or collaborations, ensure that they align with your core values. Your PR efforts can then spotlight these partnerships as tangible proof of your commitment to causes that matter.
Transparency is everything and builds trust, and PR can be a powerful ally in demonstrating authenticity. Potential members are more inclined to join when they sense a genuine commitment to openness and honesty.
Engagement and feedback to tell your story. The beauty of PR channels lies in their potential for two-way communication. Use these platforms not only to broadcast your message but to actively engage with your target audience. Welcome feedback with open arms and demonstrate that you value their input. This commitment to continuous improvement reinforces your dedication to the member experience.
Finally, consider your organisation as a wellspring of knowledge. Leverage PR to share valuable educational content that showcases your expertise. By positioning your organisation as a valuable educational resource, you not only display your expertise but also invite newcomers to join a community that values knowledge and growth.
Demonstrating Membership Value through PR
Membership organisations thrive on their ability to provide value to their members. PR plays a pivotal role in articulating this value to both current and potential members. Here are some strategies that can help in demonstrating membership value through PR. Here are some of the ways you can do so:
- Highlight Success Stories: Showcase the achievements and success stories of your current members. Whether it’s professional growth, networking opportunities, or personal development, real-life testimonials and case studies can speak volumes about the value your organisation provides.
- Thought Leadership: Position your organisation as a thought leader in your industry or field. Regularly contribute articles or whitepapers to industry publications or mainstream media. This not only demonstrates your expertise but also raises the profile of your organisation.
- Community Impact: PR efforts should emphasise the positive impact your organisation has on the community or the industry. Whether it’s through charitable initiatives, environmental efforts, or advocacy work, show how your members contribute to a better world.
- Engage with Media: Establish relationships with key media outlets and journalists who cover your industry. Provide them with timely and relevant information, and position your organisation as a go-to source for industry insights.
PR is an underused tool that can elevate the brand positioning and market share of membership organisations. By effectively demonstrating membership value, integrating PR into the broader growth strategy, and attracting new members while staying true to brand values, membership organisations can thrive in a competitive landscape. PR gives you the opportunity to tell the story of your organisation and its members, enable a wider, but targeted reach to new and emerging markets, whilst stamping your position in your industry as a trusted thought leader.