Increase Your Association’s Visibility and Value During the COVID-19 Pandemic
There’s no question that the COVID-19 pandemic will irrevocably alter how organizations do business for the foreseeable future. As leaders transition away from managing operational fires, they must consider larger, strategic questions:
- How can your association provide COVID-19 information and guidance to stay relevant with current and prospective members?
- How is your association positively influencing the lawmakers and media on behalf of your industry/profession? Are you transparently relaying that activity to members?
- How can your association continue to derive member-driven revenue in a time of great economic uncertainty?
- What tactics should your association use today to cultivate a member community?
Be Transparent & Show Your Efforts
Every association must deliver tangible member value through COVID-19-related communication, advocacy efforts, and resources to remain relevant today.
It’s time to move from reactivity to strategic planning. This is anything but “business as usual”—and associations that respond to members’ needs during this pandemic will be better positioned once the worst is behind us.
What COVID-19 Content Should You Publish?
Your content strategy for COVID-19 must start with empathy for your members. Get in the right frame of mind by answering the following questions:
- How can you provide members with COVID-19 information and give them control over the changes impacting them and their industry?
- How can you create a member community through specific advocacy or support actions?
- How can you illustrate your association’s work to keep members informed?
- How can you be a valued aggregator of relevant, industry-focused COVID-19 information, becoming a trusted resource for facts and transparency?
- How can you provide members with new resources and training that helps them acclimate to this (hopefully temporary) new normal?
- How can you share the impact of COVID-19 on your members with news media to inspire action?
Creating a COVID-19 Response Center (not just a landing page)
Creating a COVID-19 Response Center illustrates the value your association provides to its members. It illustrates “we’re sharing relevant information so you can do your job more efficiently, we have your best interests at heart, and we’re here to support you in this difficult time.”
As members consider which memberships they’ll renew and prospective members evaluate whether they’ll choose to join a new association, providing deeply relevant and helpful content can be the difference between a membership purchase or not.
Key Elements of a COVID-19 Response Center
A COVID-19 Response Center houses critical resources and communications that help your members discover how COVID-19 impacts their industry and career. It must be hyper-focused on actionable steps your members can take to support themselves and their peers.
Ensure Your Response Center Is Easy to Find and Navigate
Your members want and need information about COVID-19 that impacts them and their jobs. Don’t make them search through your entire site to find the content you’ve created.
Your Resource Center should be a centralized hub that is easy to access from every entry point of your site.
Lead With Empathy
It’s a stressful time. That’s why it’s more important than ever to focus on your members and the impact COVID-19 has on them—not on you.
Yes, it’s important to share important operational changes. But show members that you care about their struggles and you’re doing everything you can to provide for them during this time. Human connections are vital right now and people will remember those that went the extra mile to be empathetic.
Publish Industry Impact Data to Drive Advocacy
Both your members and the media are looking to understand the impact of COVID-19. Publish data, both past and present, so your audiences can get the full picture of what’s going on right now. You can also provide resources, such as forms to send letters and tweets to lawmakers, to help influence positive change.
Unite Your Community By Encouraging Action
It’s time to mobilize members. People want to create connections through digital communications, which has led to a flurry of social media activity. Your COVID-19 Resource Center should include ready-to-share social content so members can provide information to their own networks.
Provide Unique, Industry-Specific Resources and Organize Them
Resources are key to informing your audience. While basic CDC and COVID-19 content is important, you should focus more on industry-specific news and information your audience won’t find in other places.
Break your content into easy-to-distinguish groups that are searchable, accessible, and shareable. Consider:
- Are readers looking for resources to share within their organization?
- Are readers looking for resources to help them manage their job during this tumultuous time?
- Are readers looking for resources to share via social media to raise their voice related to the challenges in the industry?
Also, now is the time to share content with members and non-members to build goodwill in your community. There may be resources you choose to keep for members, but consider publishing content that everyone can access. This illustrates your value, brings prospective new members into your atmosphere, and ultimately supports your industry.
Aggregate And Send News For Members
COVID-19 articles have increased exponentially. It will only become more difficult for members to find content that relates specifically to their industry.
Creating a media aggregator will help highlight the media hits you are generating as well as provide a trusted source. Take it one step further and enable desktop notifications, so members can receive news alerts when articles are published.
How to Build a COVID-19 Response Center Now
We know schedules are tight and teams are stretched thin.
We can create your association’s COVID-19 Response Center with a branded template and custom features in just seven business days. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for content strategy, design and development services.