Forming a strong and considered communication plan to reach out to members could be integral to the short and long term reputation of your association. More importantly, it serves as a reminder of the services and support on offer to help members prepare for and handle difficult circumstances.
The government is regularly updating its advice for businesses – you can find many downloadable resources here: LINK TO LATEST GOVERNMENT UPDATES
Many membership organisations offer a wealth of business support. These include HR support, legal advice, professional development and training resources. In the current climate, it’s crucial to ensure that you are regularly communicating these benefits to current and potential members to ensure that they are getting the most value from their membership. This strategy may also encourage other businesses within your sector to join your association if they deem the benefits on offer may help them tackle adverse conditions.
Online networking forums and webinar software can enable many events to still function remotely and offer the extended opportunity for your content to reach further afield. In addition, digital networking also provides the opportunity to source new members and raise the digital profile of your association.
LinkedIn and Facebook offer free facilities in which to start a closed group where members can share ideas and support each other. Key topics include tips on remote working, maintaining communications and business continuity – all shared with likeminded people. Placing someone from your organisation in the group to ‘moderate’ and monitor the discussion will give your association insight into how the virus is affecting your sector and provide opportunity to support members on the front line.
Whilst Covid-19 is wreaking havoc for many sectors, it is important to remain positive and helpful with all member communications. Try and steer clear of sensationalised headlines and negative conjecture, and instead serve to provide solutions and resources. The best impact you can have is to enable people to feel supported and listened to. Include emphasis on the importance of members’ feedback and engagement in your communications plan, and where possible, tailor your support to meet the changing needs of your sector. Encouraging unity and camaraderie by celebrating members’ work in the community, welcoming new members and focusing on positive messaging will help to boost morale across your membership base.
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