We live in an increasingly connected world, a world where technology is integrated into our daily lives. The internet is no longer a passive medium only accessible from an office desktop. The use of social media (Twitter, Facebook, Google+) and mobile devices (smartphones, iPads) has liberated information sharing to new levels.
With so many ways to communicate or be heard, membership-based organisations need to be constantly reviewing their use of technology and ensure it maximises their communication abilities. But this doesn’t simply mean the CEO starts tweeting. To be effective, a membership organisation needs to have a co-ordinated communications strategy. This in turn requires the systems and infrastructure to support this strategy to be in place.
It’s been suggested that a message needs to be communicated six times before the audience will hear and accept it. We also know that different people respond to different forms of communication. Some prefer to hear a message, others to read it. The use of images or video also plays a vital role in delivering a message. Hence, getting a message through can often require a sustained campaign across a varied channel.
A tool like UpBeat, which is based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, is an excellent foundation for tracking and managing communications with members. By capturing and maintaining a record of interactions the CRM system becomes an effective database of knowledge. This foundational system gives organisations a platform from which they can build a communication plan with their members. Without such a central database, the varied forms of communication can get lost, overlap or be ignored.
We know that technology is constantly changing and the ability to take advantage of this change is what often marks the difference for organisations that want to get ahead. Technology improvements are often incremental. But it is only by investing in core systems and keeping them up to date that incremental improvements can be leveraged.
Keeping in touch with members across a variety of communications channels is vital. With more and more information being produced and consumed across the planet, organisations must take advantage of technology to meet the demands of their membership ranks. If not, the organisation risks their message being drowned out or marginalised.
Blog written by Chris Pennington, Consultant to PA. The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the writer. Content published here does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Professional Advantage Pty Ltd.