Sunday, April 13, 2014

Old Fashioned Tool May Boost Association Communications.

Drinks on the Driveway
Our neighborhood has a “drinks in the driveway” gathering every other Friday afternoon. It’s a great way for neighbors to stay in touch.

The social committee promotes the event (including time and the driveway hosts) via email, notice on the website and sign at the street entrances.

For the last two events, the social committee chair has been away. As a result, the signs have not been posted at the neighborhood entrance.

Interestingly, participation in the events dropped dramatically.

In fact at Friday’s event, even the hosts thought drinks on the driveway had been cancelled. And, they weren’t home when a few neighbors strolled up – drinks in hand – to their driveway. When they arrived, they said, “We didn’t see the sign so we thought drinks had been cancelled.”

As we later drove to dinner with friends, we talked about the phenomenon of no sign, no event.

And, that got me to thinking about our work as association executives.

Overcoming communications clutter

With today’s “communications overload” filled with multiple electronic messages (emails, social media, etc.), have we overlooked something as simple as a sign?

In the case of national organizations, I think a simple postcard reminder might serve the same role for associations that a sign does for neighborhood events.

Don’t get me wrong: I love social media, email and websites for association marketing and communicating with members. But, most association executives recognize association members face information overload. They are bombarded with messages not just from our association but also from their work place, other organizations, their frequent flier groups and their retailers.

Something simple as a post card reminder ... showing dates, location, website ... might just jog their memory about registering, renewing or participating in your association.

What do you think? What is your association doing with marketing and communications? Leave comments at

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