Here’s how one association solved the problem of member
communications that just kept growing and growing and growing.
By Apryl Motley
How can we get a handle on this?
That’s the question
that fueled efforts to better integrate the various channels used to
communicate with members of the American Society of Interior Designers.
The first step was
"recognizing that the number of communications vehicles was proliferating, and
we had lost control of what we were doing,” says Michael Berens, ASID’s
director of research, speaking to attendees at Association Media &
Publishing’s Annual Meeting.
ASID enlisted Naylor
LLC, a provider of print and online media and event
management solutions for associations, to assist in creating a single
branded space for its communications. "Integration means that each
communication vehicle should have a clearly defined purpose, frequency, and
audience,” explains Dana Plotke, Naylor’s manager, marketing and research of
"We wanted to
integrate, but avoid repeating ourselves by duplicating content,” Berens says.
One of the recommendations that Plotke made to help Berens better monitor
content was developing a communications calendar that detailed how the
organization was communicating with members.
The next key step was
assessing what communications ASID wanted to offer versus what its members
wanted to receive. Based on this assessment, the organization expanded magazine
content onto its website by starting articles in print and then "jumping”
readers to the web for additional content. In addition, social media feeds from
the magazine were added.
Further, a news tab
was added to the publication’s website that replaced a "news flash” members had
been receiving via email. "We want to build relationships with members through
email,” Berens says of the change. "We want them to be excited about getting
emails from us.”
He acknowledges that
because ASID’s staff is small, "it was easier to pull everyone together to look
at what we were doing and discuss how to send less stuff and still meet
everyone’s needs.” According to Plotke, the decision to "leverage the
association’s strong brand,” its quarterly online and print publication ICON, proved crucial to this discussion.
Berens says, "We now have consistency in branding across communications
Apryl Motley, CAE is a communications
consultant. Association Media & Publishing thanks her for covering
this Annual Meeting session for our members who were unable to attend.