An intriguing post showed up in my RSS reader this morning under the â€˜public relationsâ€™ tracking tag: Ten things to manage in a recession: 1 â€“ memberships.
The writer, Paul Wilkinson, says:
[â€¦] if you are a marketeer, what can you do to help your business survive (and – perhap more importantly – keep your job!)? [â€¦] Number one: â€œCut association membershipsâ€
Thatâ€™s a worthwhile thought whatever your profession. I ask the question this way:
What does membership offer me that makes my annual subscription an indispensible investment?
Itâ€™s a bit of a selfish view â€“ it certainly doesnâ€™t look at reciprocity as in â€œwhat do I offer my professional association?â€ â€“ but weâ€™re in tough economic times and, in this post, looking only at judging the maximum return from a direct investment in a professional association.
Wilkinson offers six suggestions. Here they are as headlines (visit his post to read the detail):
- Get your association to enable and encourage online involvement.
- Look at low-cost alternatives to the big associations.
- Look at online networking groups and communities of practice.
- Establish a new network, or a sub-network.
- Build your own informal network.
- Several, or all, of the above.
Theyâ€™re good suggestions, valid to apply to the professional association you belong to, whatever your profession.
I did that for my membership in IABC (the International Association of Business Communicators), the only professional association I belong to and have done continuously for 20 years.
A no brainer â€“ Iâ€™m very happy with the return IABC gives me, not only in the obvious things from the suggestion list (eg, items 1 and 3) but also the open framework that lets me do things like items 4 and 5.
And, by the way, IABC just launched the IABC Marketplace last week â€“ if youâ€™re a communication consultant (as I am), itâ€™s a terrific free resource to showcase what you offer to your fellow members.
How does your professional association measure up?