I got to thinking about what we could be doing at our national Amateur Radio organization as opposed to what we are doing which seems to be alienating a lot of Canadian hams.
And let’s be fair here perhaps this alienation is coming from a lack of understanding or even apathy and indifference. After all our main goal is to improve our national organization and the experience of its members.
So I ask myself what would a trained public relations professional like myself do to help attract new members and re-engage with current members?
Here’s where I would start:
For a group of communicators who use radio wave capable of reaching across the community or across the country it’s curious that we don’t have a national on-air roundtable once a week or so.
I wouldn’t expect a lot of success here but creating a national on-air roundtable would make a statement around transparency and even interest in what our members have to say.
The roundtable need not be political. It might not have anything to do with the association but it would say “here we are” and might be a portal that attracts non-members into our ranks.
Maybe we should also run a national digital (PSK-31 or RTTY?) bulletin service and utilize the bandwidth we’ve been privileged to use?
It has always seemed odd to me that despite our membership issues we haven’t launched a simple member-to-member membership-building campaign.
Of course without a forthright accounting of actual membership numbers there’s no way to set a goal.
It seems odd to me that the members of the non-porfit association aren’t privy to a day-to-day accounting of the actual number of members. I can’t understand how we think it’s okay to withhold this information from the members. Maybe I’m wrong here?
Executive and board members of a non-profit organization are mandated to serve and not govern and that seems to be a problem with many organizations and ends up with the members voting with their feet (and their dues).
If it were up to me I’d put a membership counter on our modern new blog page but that would require an understanding of how to use a blog effectively. The current RAC blog has become a dead-end depository for dreary “official” bulletins. This, in my professional opinion, is simply a waste of bandwidth and shows a fundamental lack of understanding when it comes to social media and member engagement.
I would be showing our membership numbers to everyone so that everyone (members and non-members) could be part of the solution. Remember there are a lot more non-members than members out there.
We need to be attracting more non-members. Hiding this membership information is an incredibly bad thing to do.
Same thing for our finances. We are a non-profit association open to anyone who pays $50 and fills out a form. Our finances aren’t a state secret. All of our financial information should be posted in public on a monthly basis.
After all we have nothing to hide right. Right?
So why do I keep reading emails from people complaining they don’t know what’s happening?
Is it because they aren’t listening or is it because we aren’t talking?