Social collaboration platforms are making it increasingly easy for organizations such as Associations to communicate and engage directly with their members. One-way communication between the Association and your members is an outdated digital strategy. People have opinions and questions they want heard. If you are not providing a platform to fulfill this communication need, you can bet a competing organization is.
Brand Champions Are A Unique Mix
In our last blog, Building Brand Champion Basics For Your Association, we talked about the importance of identifying the right people to help mold into Brand Champions. Moving outside the Executive Suite, looking past the Board, and encompassing a mix of different types of people that could include:
Bringing Champions Together and Setting Expectations
Once you have identified your Brand Champions, you need to bring them all together for at least one (or more) brand engagement sessions. You may have engaged them during brand development to collect information and feedback, but you need to re-engage them to build momentum for rollout. Your goal in this stage is to determine WHAT topic each Champion wants to be the thought leader on. Your Champions know the topics that are important to the rest of your membership. This is your opportunity to stay inside the organization and turn to your Champions into your most valued SMEs. Since this is a team meeting, the group will leave with an understanding of who is focusing on what topics. Help encourage them to team up on topics when applicable-two thought leaders are better than one and can provide different perspectives.
Introduce Your Brand Champions Before Content
Ready to start building your content calendar? First things first, you need to take an opportunity to introduce your Brand Champions. This accomplishes two main objectives:
A common misconception that Association leaders make at this stage is that “members already know each other so there is no reason to formally introduce them to the membership.” Do they really know each other? Has each person had an opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with every individual member? Probably not. This is a value add for your general membership as they are not getting an opportunity to “expand their address book” and meet new leaders that are working through “like” challenges. Additionally, it helps put positive pressure on your Champions to perform. Now the stage is set for your Champions to perform.
The stage is set, the actors are in place, now you need to let the show begin. Check out the final blog in our 3-part series to learn more about carrying out your engagement strategy with your Brand Champions to achieve meaningful collaboration within your organization- Brand Champions In A Virtual Environment-Engagement and Collaboration.