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Speak With One Voice Jennifer Toups Region VI Technology Chair Jennifer@affordablehealthplans.net www.nahuregion6.org
Purpose of NAHU Communications Committee Developing a Communications Plan for your chapter. Share best practices & pitfalls Informed Members = Active Members!
Communications Commitee Purpose Statement: The purpose of the communications committee is to advise staff and chapters as to efficient and effective means of communications among members and chapters of the association. Duties: To work with local and state chapters in advising communications on the following: • Newsletters/e-newsletters • Websites • Directories • Other communication pieces • the collection and sharing of existing practices among our locals, states and regions in the area of member communications • Communicate to NAHU regarding communication problems from a chapter perspective
Communications Committee Tasks for Strategic Plan FY07 • Work with state and local chapters to develop a usable website. • In annual report to membership, include more positive stories about the association, our industry and our membership (similar to what corporations now do) • Promote networking and business growth through association involvement, sharing stories of such in HIU and state and local newsletters. • Conduct mini- and annual membership surveys to hear what the members want and need. • Conduct formal chapter board surveys at least once a year to hear what local leaders want and need. • Publish a list -- and report it to members -- NAHU's membership in the various existing coalitions.
NAHU Position • NAHU model is for each chapter to have a Communications Chair that is responsible for internal communications & the chapter website • Communications Committee will be creating the Communication Chair Handbook
The Leadership Effect A leadership void usually means that people don't feel looked after, they don't feel seen and heard and most of all, they don't feel as though there's anyone truly in charge who knows what's going on.
Creating a Communications Plan STEP 1…. • What’s the purpose of the communication? • Recruiting new members • Informing members • Soliciting volunteers • Encouraging meeting attendance • Creating excitement • Public service
Creating a Communications Plan STEP 2…. • Who is your target audience? • Non-Member Agents • Members • Public • Interested Parties
Creating a Communications Plan STEP 3…. • What’s the most effective way to reach your audience? • Newsletter (Yours or others) • Fax • Formal Invite • Email • Website notice • Phone call • Meetings • Media/ Press Releases
Creating a Communications Plan STEP 4…. • How Do You Implement It? • How Do You Get Your Message Across? • Who Is Responsible?
MAIL/ FAX WEBSITE MEETINGS E-MAIL PERSONAL CONTACT Speak With… … One Voice!
Should be easily updated Updated regularly Cost effective Easy to find items Should have contact information WEBSITE:Important Factors
E-MAIL • Establish one central contact address • Emails should be informative and used sparingly • Keep addresses updated
MAIL & FAX • Formal invitations to call attention to a special event • Newsletters • Way to touch people who don’t respond to e-mail • Ask members preferred communication method
NEWSLETTERS • Email vs. Mail? • Purpose of newsletter? • Make it interesting • Gear the content to what people what to hear about
HUMAN CONTACT • Nothing replaces human contact for effectiveness- easy to ignore e-mail, throw away paper, but if asked directly- a response is required. • Consider a plan to contact members at least once a … year, 6 months, quarter? • If we don’t see or hear from a member, we need to reach out to them!
MEETINGS • Event announcements • Connect with inactive members • Try personal invitations to members you haven’t seen in a while • Solicit for committee members
How Many Touches Does It Take? • Multiple communications sources to reinforce message • Checks & balances- who is responsible? • Follow Up- What works? What doesn’t?
SUMMARY • Use all forms of communication to maximize effect • Overlap/ repetition is okay- but don’t hound your members • Make sure you identify person responsible for initiating each part of communication plan. • List website in every publication, meeting notice, etc.
FOR MORE INFO: www.nahuregion6.org or Jennifer@affordablehealthplans.net