By Barbara Meyers Ford
Susan Sarfati recently spoke about engaging and growing membership at the 2010 Cadmus Executive Management Retreat, where she offered 20 tips for engaging and growing membership:
- Content isn’t king anymore; context is. Connect the dots and make sense of content.
- Live your brand, which is the promise you make to your constituents.
- Create experiences that are remarkable. Create a buzz. Introduce major innovations, not tweaks or tinkering.
- Send members lots of love. Competence alone won’t cut it.
- Capture the hearts and minds of your stakeholders and engage them for the long term.
- Be personal. Show your personality. Always deliver.
- Define the journey. Know where you are, where you are going, and what direction and actions you are taking to get there.
- Understand how to build community and recognize people for their contributions.
- DOWN with busy work and bureaucracy. UP with creativity, innovation, and meaning.
- Even with a community of thousands, create an experience of one.
- Be relevant, generous of spirit, and make a difference through social responsibility.
- Be inclusive, open, transparent, and authentic.
- Meet members on their own turf.
- Deliver the most off-the-charts customer care.
- Be a student of motivational theory, organizational culture, emotional intelligence, psychology and demographics to create a unique organizational culture.
- Balance high tech and high touch. Don’t jump on the technology bandwagon rather use technology as a tool to accomplish goals.
- Communication must be two-way and always remember to use Simple Speak.
- Tell stories, they make facts more engaging.
- Create a process to collect on an on-going basis the needs, wants, and perceptions of your community. Profile members according to aspirations. One size does not fit all.
- Spend a long time in the hiring process and a short time firing staff who don’t fit the culture.
Event Date: October 27, 2010, Baltimore, MD
Susan Sarfati is CEO of High Performance Strategies, a new company which she started after leaving the American Society for Association Executives (ASAE).
During her 35+ year career, Barbara M. Ford worked for societies and consulting companies before establishing Meyers Consulting Services (MCS), specializing in society management and scholarly publishing. Since starting MCS, Barbara’s work with commercial and non-profit publishers (as well as organizations in allied industries) ranges from a day of advice to months or years of service as adjunct staff in senior positions.
A co-founder of the Society for Scholarly Publishing and a past President of the Council of Science Editors, she has devoted considerable time to all the organizations serving our industry and continues to do so. Her most recent contributions are as adjunct faculty in the Masters in Publishing Program, George Washington University. More information can be found at www.bmeyersconsulting.com.