How can associations communicate being successful and active? “Brag about it!”

Years ago, when my son was around 8 years old, he asked me what brag meant. For a moment, I was thinking of ways to define brag to a young boy. Yet as a parent I have learned that asking a follow up question to the question will benefit me and the child’s curiosity. I followed up with “where did you hear “brag” used?”. He answered, “The Burlington Coat Factory commercial. They say ‘Brag about it!’.” Burlington’s tagline was used to emphasize how great their deals are. Associations can apply that tagline phrase to how we promote successful and active membership.

Associations are charged with delivering cutting edge resources, programs and networking to members. We have possibly stretched ourselves professionally to create these opportunities in the last two years more than what we created in the last decade.

Below are several questions to ask yourself about how your association can promote having a successful and active association:

How are you providing stewardship within your association? People like to be recognized for their efforts, participation and career successes at the association level.

Assess how and where are you recognizing members. Stewardship does not have to be synonymous with foundations or fundraising.

Give a shout out to members that have 5-40 years of consecutive membership at events, on social media and in newsletters or publications. This is a great retention initiative. Some associations have a tradition in providing the member with a trinket at various milestone of service/membership.

Ask to for members to brag on themselves or about others. Compiling a sentence or two about member’s accomplishments (receiving a grant, serving on another professional board, presenting at another association’s conference, etc.). Your association’s brand is just as strong as the accomplishments of your members in their industries and professions. It can be great content for member engagement storytelling as well.

How are you surveying or gathering tidbits of feedback from members?

The few minutes of awkward silence as people join a conference/video call is a great time to pick the group’s brain about the previous event (beyond the post-event survey feedback), gather feedback regarding burning question about how to energize the conference reception or ask what types of articles and news do they want to read in the weekly newsletter.

How have you diversified the ways you provide information to members?

Cross promotion of new content on the website, in newsletters, and on social media is a must. Try creating 5-10 second videos to convey the message in the newsletter or on social channels. Utilize a graphic to present data vs a 100-word paragraph. With how busy we all are, we scan what is in front of us – so meet the members where they are in needing short concise messaging.

And that young boy now is now a teenager and is very in tune with getting the best deals with his own money. Burlington has updated her tagline to ‘Love the DEALS’.