Take this list of ideas to your next directors’ meeting and knock their
By Scott Oser
It’s Monday morning, and with
coffee in hand, you are heading to your executive director’s office for the
weekly directors meeting. One of the goals of this week’s meeting is to
brainstorm ways to use the association’s quality content to help recruit and
You enter the meeting with pep in
your step because as editor of the association’s very popular print
publication, its e-newsletter, and provider of a lot of the content for the
association website, you are constantly creating content of great value to your
members. This is an opportunity for you to shine. You have spent a lot of time
talking to editors at other associations, researching what consumer
publications do, and talking to your membership colleagues as to what is
possible. In short, you are prepared to knock the other directors’ socks off to
the benefit of the entire organization.
As you wait for the meeting to
start, you pull out your well-prepared notes on how editorial content can be
used to increase recruitment and retention. The printout includes the following
1. Editorial premiums
Members love the
content we provide in our publications. Why not compile some of the content we
have already created and package it into a special report to be used as an
editorial premium? It can be used in recruitment
(join and receive this special booklet on …..) and retention campaigns (renew
your membership and receive this special booklet on ……), and if cost is an
issue, it can even be delivered as a pdf via email.
Consumer publishers use these in recruitment campaigns all the time. Develop a
mini-mag or a "special” issue of your publication that includes enough
editorial content to allow prospective members to get a good feel for the
incredible content they will receive when they join, but not so much that they
feel they don’t need to join to get the content. Using a combination of
complete articles, teaser articles, an explanation of what they publication is
all about, as well as an easy-to-complete order form is a great way to get
prospects to taste some of the value they will receive on a regular basis when
added content on the website and in e-mails
We seem to always have some extra content or photos or interviews or video
that don’t make it into the publications or onto the website. It would be great to use this content in
e-newsletters or on the website so they have a reason to go to the website, and
read our e-newsletter, on a regular basis.
Besides the value-added content mentioned above, we can develop a stronger
members-only content strategy around the website. We can provide teasers on the
home page that will get prospects interested in the content and then link to a
join page so they can become a member.
We can place groundbreaking information and our most recent content
behind a members-only wall for a period of time so members are the only people
that get access, or at least, get access first.
our analysis to our advantage
Readers can get
news faster than we can produce it, so just announcing current events is no
longer a point of differentiation. As editors, we can analyze the impact of
happenings in the industry and use that to retain members as well as attract
prospects. When we become recognized as the go-to group in our industry, it
will definitely impact membership numbers.
6. Tweets, facebook, LinkedIn and blog posts
As editors we know our content better than anyone else. We also know the key players in the industry
better than anyone else. We can capitalize on our knowledge by using social
media to get the word out about breaking editorial news, key areas of focus in
upcoming issues, value-add on the website, etc. We can also really spread the
value of membership by working with our social media connections.
content in acquisition and retention packages
As editors we are trusted and respected. We could provide short letters from
the editor, or quotes, or editorial lineups to be used in recruitment and
retention activities. Having information directly from us could help portray
the type of quality information they will receive as a member.
Interaction is great for recruitment and retention. If members (and
possibly even prospects) are interested, we could have a monthly online chat
with an editor. The chats could be 30 minutes, handled online or on the phone,
and editors would field questions on a pre-determined topic area.
Involving and collaborating with members proves to be very successful in
retention. If possible, we could work with members to assist us in providing
content to the members. We would need to make sure that the editorial is not
biased or too "salesy,” but it could increase the volume of great content we
have, while also increasing the connection with participating members.
As the executive director sits down, she sees your list and smiles. That
makes you happy, as you are confident that the editorial team can truly assist
the organization in reaching its recruitment and retention goals. You can’t
wait until it is your turn to talk, as it will get you one step closer to
making that happen.
Scott D. Oser is president of Scott Oser Associates.