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Knowledge Base

Successful Communication Tips

  • Regular communication.
    Continual communication and frequent personal contact are key to acquiring and retaining members. Your communications plan can include membership satisfaction surveys, newsletters, an active online community, updated website, phone trees and personal calls from leaders, to name a few.
  • 24-hour turnaround.
    As both a courtesy and evidence of “life,” return phone calls and emails from members and volunteer leaders within 24 hours.
  • Remember – “No” may just mean, “Not right now.”
    Potential Members. If a potential member says "No" to membership, it may just mean that now is not a good time. Ask if he or she would like to be added to your mail or email distribution list for regular meeting and program announcements. A word of caution, though — you want to protect members-only benefits such as newsletters. If a non-dues-paying potential member receives important chapter communications for free, he or she may not be motivated to join.
  • Leadership Roles. If a member cannot commit to a leadership role right now, ask if he or she would be interested at some point in the future. Find out where his or her interests lie and try to involve the member now in small projects that support the larger effort. This will give the member exposure in a particular interest area and will groom him or her for a larger role within the leadership structure.
  • Devise a written plan for communications to first-year members.
    A special quarterly email or newsletter is an excellent way to orient new members to IFMA and make them feel included. Phone calls are also a great way to follow up and to make sure new members are aware of the membership benefits available to them. Chapter-sponsored new member breakfasts or orientations are also an excellent way to familiarize new members with the association.
  • Promote the benefits of upcoming programs. What will members take away and be able to apply to their jobs by attending/participating? Include specific learning objectives in your meeting and program announcements.
  • Send personal invitations to events and functions. This could be as simple as using mail merge to send personalized emails or letters. If time permits, arrange a phone tree to call and remind members of upcoming activities.
  • Make them jealous! Send follow-up correspondence after events to let prospective and current members who did not participate in an activity know what they missed. Examples would be newsletter articles recapping events or phone calls asking members why they didn't attend and reminding them of the next program or event.