In the second installment of this two-part series, here are
some additional strategies to encourage member authorship in your publications.
By Apryl Motley, CAE
1. Develop an author-get-an-author contest or campaign.
Make it fun for
members to help you recruit more authors by sponsoring contests or campaigns
where they earn money towards a future purchase, a gift card in a nominal
amount, recognition in your print and electronic publications, or simple (but
enticing) bragging rights based on how many new authors they are able to
recruit in 12 to 18 months. The length of your contest or campaign may vary
based on the frequency of your publications, but give your members a good
reason to go through their contacts.
2. Ask another member to solicit a new author.
Nothing is more
flattering to your members than having their peers recognize their expertise by
encouraging them to write articles. Draft a short email message your members
can use as a template to reach out to their peers on your behalf. The editorial
team could develop a Top10 list of members they want to see published within a
specified timeframe, and then determine who might be the best member to contact
them to extend the invitation.
3. Pair them with associate members or industry partners.
Whatever terms your
association uses to describe this category of members, they are usually eager
to write for your publications. However, you may be concerned about the content
of their articles. One strategy for ensuring their articles are topical and not
advertorial is to structure your author guidelines to strongly suggest that industry
partners co-write their articles with practitioners working in the industry or
profession that your organization represents. These are perfect pairings: Industry
partners are pleased to get editorial exposure in your publications, and you
have recruited more member authors.
4. Solicit conference presenters as authors.
The roster of speakers
from your associationís annual meeting or another educational event could be a veritable
gold mine of potential member authors, especially since technically, they wonít
be starting from scratch. Because they have already researched topics in
preparation for their presentation, itís likely they have additional material
that they werenít able to include in their presentations, or there are areas
that they would have liked to cover in more depth. Thatís where you come in
with a great suggestion for making sure that information doesnít go to waste.
Whether you decide to
use one or all of these strategies, itís also key to remember to make the
editorial submission process as painless as possible for your members.
Apryl Motley, CAE is
a freelance writer and communications consultant.