Association's Chapter vs. National Digital Communications Strategy
The most recent buzz this December at HighRoad, is all about how we can grow the association space to begin the new trend of figuring out an innovative approach to how your associations national level and the affiliated local chapters, regions, special interest groups, are working together.
HighRoad CMO, Suzanne Carawan, says to think of the relationship between the national and international level of the association and its local chapters is to think of a healthy, flourishing tree. Think of your national level of your association as the upper part of the tree. This is the main part that is the most well-known, and seen by most of the people. While this is all well and good – the tree would be nothing without its roots, or in this analogy the local chapters of the association.
These local chapter roots can find themselves feeding the national chapter. These roots are essential in feeding and supporting the national level, or the top of our tree. Without the local chapters getting the TLC they need to be a sustainable entity, the tree cannot survive. Especially with the shift we have seen in the association space, the importance of letting your members BE your marketing tool to other/potential members, the local level chapters of your association are now, more than ever, something associations should be nurturing.
While making sure you are giving your local level what they need, that is not to take away national level of associations. Typically you will find more budget and bandwidth to launch a wide spread (TV, print, digital marketing) campaign that local chapters can not. From that, stems the leads that could potentially see that advertising, and go to the local chapter down
Ask yourself: Is our roots system healthy? Association started realizing you can have a big beautiful top (of tree) and dying roots (local chapters) when/if this happens, you will find your tree will fall over.
Once you have determined the health of your national/local relationship, following that is a series of 4 questions you should be considering:
Who Creates the Leads?
Who Handles Opt-Outs and Data?
Measuring the Aggregate?
Brand Power Struggles?
Asking yourself how you would answer these questions? Maybe wanting to improve on what the asnwer is? We'd love to find some time to chat it over with you!