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Improving Your Member Communications, Part 1

Results of the 2015 Association Communication Benchmarking Report suggest that associations still struggle with content relevancy, communication integration and using data advantageously to learn more about members. With so many association initiatives tied to communication staff, creating and executing a formal and fully integrated strategy can be a daunting task.

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What 15-Year-Olds Can Teach Associations About Content Strategy

Jill Andreu

A colleague recently told me a story about how his 15-year-old daughter carries out her content strategy on Instagram. She doesn’t call it “content strategy.” She simply calls it “posting photos on Insta.” (Other parents out there probably recognize this slang.) But my colleague noticed that one afternoon, after his daughter snapped a “selfie” of them together, she didn’t immediately post the photo to her Instagram account as usual. At first he thought she didn’t like the photo enough to post it online, or that she was embarrassed to post a photo of herself with her dad. When he asked his daughter why she was holding onto the photo, she replied that most of her friends were not on Instagram until after dinner. If she posted her photo too soon, fewer people would see it. She was waiting until the right time to post it for maximum exposure. Just as in traditional journalism, you need to know your five Ws: Who, What, When, Where, Why (and How).  Social media is a two-way communication channel that makes it fast and easy to address the five Ws. If you’re stuck in a one-way zone, check your directions.  Communicate in the spaces where your members feel comfortable, where they feel valued, and where you know you’ll get the results you want. That includes face-to-face situations. Don’t forget to measure results accurately and consistently. Associations should continuously take stock of reactions to their content and adjust accordingly. Members want to see that you care. ...

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