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Becoming Brand Advocates Should Start with the Board

Chapter Brand Advocates

Your chapter is a brand. It carries with it an identity all its own, even if connected to a parent association at the national or international level. Your brand speaks to the value your members will internalize into their life, into their career, and into their engagement with your chapter. Personalize your brand development by incorporating the skills and personalities of your chapter’s leadership at all levels.

Brand advocacy should begin with the board serving as promoters for the brand that is your chapter. This activity should not supersede duties, of course, but rather be stitched within the expectations of every board member from the beginning of tenure. It shouldn’t be a difficult process to talk about the chapter from a place of loyalty and respect since service on the board is rooted in confidence about the benefits of the chapter.

  1.        Speak Out with Enthusiasm.

While the president is often the go-to for speaking on behalf of the chapter, this shouldn’t be the only route. All board members should present information about the chapter at the office, their place of worship, or even their gym. Wherever it seems logical to talk about the chapter, they should talk about it.

  1.        Event Centered Communication.

When your board talks about your chapter, start the conversation with invitations to events. As the discussions evolve, return the conversation back to events. Events should be central to your brand identity since this is where the members come together in person. They will engage and lay the building blocks for relationships at events designed to educate and inform within the industry.

  1.        Focus on Engagement.

In communicating with members as well as prospects, enthusiastically share how members can get involved. Share what engagement means to your chapter and how the board lives up to the value offered to members through engagement.

  1.        Serve the Community.

Board members should lead members into volunteer activities. Giving back to the community in which you operate is a great way to cement your brand messaging while getting your chapter’s name out into the community. All board members should be required to attend a certain number of community activities in a year as a brand advocate. The whole purpose being to find and exemplify the link between the chapter and community in which the chapter pulls its members.

  1.        The Essential Social Media.

Board members should go beyond their in-person network and activities to spread the word about your chapter’s brand messaging. As a chapter, there needs to be a social media strategy established that makes it easy for board members to comment, like, post, share, etc. Their extended network can be a broadened community to which your chapter can share its value. This works for members-at-large as well. Encourage all members to share content on social media with their own networks for an even wider reach.

  1.        Make Members Part of the Process.

Board members lead by example, but members should follow suit as an advocate for your chapter. Even if they choose to never serve in a leadership role, they can share the good news about the benefits of being a member. Create opportunities that inspire members to share and bring new members to activities. Referrals, after all, remain one of the best ways to market your brand, thus your members are essential to your brand advocacy efforts, alongside the board.  You may even want to consider motivating members with discounted membership due renewals or a free meeting voucher to encourage referrals.

Accomplishing the branding of your chapter doesn’t have to be a tedious activity that needs to be checked off on a to-do list. Rather, it should be an exciting way to get your board leaders and members engaged with the chapter and the community. Begin with a plan and follow the above six rules to maximize your success.

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