In the last post, I wrote about the importance of communicating with your members, participants and prospects. In this edition I’m giving you the 7 critical pieces of communication you need to have in place.
7 forms of communication you need to have
There are lots of ways to communicate with your members and participants, but there are some things that you need to have in place:
Today, no sports organisation should be without a website, even if you are just starting up. Even for individual people a personal website is worthwhile, particularly if you have a message to get to the world.
An organisation that specialises in websites for sporting organisations is Sporting Pulse. Check them out at www.sportingpulse.com
There is nothing, I repeat nothing better for building your brand, engaging your members and participants, and developing trust than the humble newsletter. It’s a critical element to your marketing. And in sport you have so much to talk about!
If you email your newsletter, you should also post a printed copy to the most important stakeholders in your sporting organisation. This includes sponsors, committee members, government and council officials, and anyone else who can personally, or through influence, impact your organisation.
What to put in the newsletter? The list is endless, but here are a few logical and relevant ideas to start:
A brochure positions your organisation as professional and organised. Take the time and make the effort to do this well, and it can be used on its own or as part of a bigger pack.
A brochure is also useful because it forces you to ensure everything you are saying is in place and operational. I often say to people that a product does not exist until there is a brochure. Once it’s in writing, you either have to have it in place or you are going to get embarrassed!
As I write this, the most common platform for video is YouTube. You should take the time to set up a YouTube channel and use this to host all your videos. Because of its connection to Google, YouTube is quickly becoming one of the biggest search engines in the world, so it’s critical for you to have a presence on this platform.
The content you put on video can include:
Member / participant welcome pack
Any person that joins your sporting organisation as a member, participant, sponsor, board member, volunteer, or any other role should receive a “Welcome Pack.” This can be as simple as a generic, one-page letter that welcomes the person or as elaborate as a full pack of information and “goodies.” The purpose of the welcome pack is to inform the person about the kind of organisation they are joining and to start to educate them on the opportunities and obligations this brings.
If you have limited resources, consider developing your welcome pack electronically. This could include a welcome email from the relevant person with a link to a video on your website, a downloadable voucher for the first time they visit the canteen, and a link to the results section of the website.
What others say about you is far more valuable than what you say about yourself!
Testimonials are critical for developing what I call “Social Proof.” Most people make the mistake of thinking that everyone else knows as much about their sporting organisation as they do and that they think about it in the same way. Sorry, but the truth is people spend virtually no time thinking about you and have no idea how wonderful you are. Therefore, you have to tell them, or better still, have others tell them through testimonials.
Good signage is important. Make the assumption that people coming into your venue or facilities have never been there before—make it easy for them to navigate.
If you have an office, consider putting up a sign that says “Membership Enquiries” or “Learn More Here” rather than “Office.” These types of signs will still help people find the office, but they will cause them to begin thinking about the ways they can interact with you, and it will set you apart from the pack!