Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Don’t rely on one form of communications for your association

Ohio State recognizes 50 years of varsity ice hockey

One common theme among association professionals: frustration about communication with members and prospects. (See some of the ASAE Collaborate commentary below.)

I just experienced poor communications of an event designed to include me and my teammates.

As a college sophomore playing JV ice hockey, I was called up to the varsity team in late January, 1964, thus becoming part of the original varsity hockey team for The Ohio State University.

That was 50 years ago!

So, Ohio State organized a 50th anniversary event as part of an upcoming Big 10 conference hockey game.

The OSU Hockey office started sharing news of the event last fall.

Two weeks ago, they told me I was the only member of the original team of 18 people who had registered! After hearing that, I reached out to three others from that team: two had not heard about the event, the other had but could not attend. Our captain said, “I haven’t heard anything about it but I don’t have a computer or email.”

My analysis of the problems around this big event:

  1. Posting a meeting notice in your monthly electronic newsletter is NOT an invitation. And, it is much too easy to overlook.
  2. The notices of the event were solely by email. Ohio State should have included at least one snail mail piece even if only a postcard “save the date” notice.
  3. They did not engage some of my teammates to make personal contacts.
As a result, only three of the original team made it back to receive the recognition they deserved. (And, it was a great event leading to awesome feeling for those who attended.)

One of the neat things about my Ohio State hockey experience is that the three of us from the original team got to drop the ceremonial puck for the anniversary.

Here we are:

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