Milestones, Collaboration and Phone Calls Help These Organizations Grow

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I was just looking back over some past articles for renewal and recruitment tips and thought I could match up three of the best suggestions with actual, recent campaigns.

1. Celebrate company and/or membership/subscriber milestones. It's a great way to promote the size, scope, and offerings of your company. SIPA celebrated its 40th Annual Conference last year with some verve and will be trumpeting its 40th SIPAwards in two years. (Meanwhile, the program for the 41st Annual SIPA Conference is looking great, and the 38th SIPAwards are accepting entries now.)

Last week, Connectiv member WATT Global Media kicked off a year-long celebration commemorating the 100th anniversary of its launch. "As I look back through our historical archives, the one common denominator is serving the audience," said fourth-generation president/CEO Greg Watt.

WATT editors are creating a special content series called "WATT 100: Future of the Poultry Industry," that will feature articles year-round in their publications. In January 2018, those articles will be compiled in a special WATT 100-Year Compendium issue that will be distributed at the 2018 IPPE Show and available as a digital edition. WATT also created a special website for its centennial activities, including slideshows and scans of all WATT magazines from when the company started running Poultry Tribune in 1917.

In June, WATT will host its annual company meeting at Indiana-based Fair Oaks Farm, one of the largest "agritainment" farms in the country, offering tours and educational experiences to the public. "This is the first time we've located our annual staff meeting away from our main headquarters," said Watt. "Part of our Line of Sight strategic plan is to connect all our staff to the markets we serve, and the importance of the work everyone does and positive effect that it has for our audience.

"Today, being able to measure and being metric-enabled allows us to react so much faster," Watt added. "Our revenue has changed from being primarily magazine to being significantly driven by events and digital and our newest initiative for 2017 is moving into paid data. We're anticipating that to be an important revenue bucket to going forward."

(Read my colleague Matt Kinsman's full article here.)

2. Show the value of collaboration. The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is highlighting the importance of togetherness and collaboration throughout its industry in a new ad campaign titled "Together We Are a Force." It features a series of photos of officials—two per picture—who represent different parts of the industry and emphasize the work they do. These include OIA leaders, manufacturers, nonprofit partners and even Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (pictured).

The posters are designed to emphasize OIA's success in what it calls "coopetition," or collaborative efforts that highlight a competitive spirit. In Hickenlooper's case, for example, he's teamed with David Leinweber, a specialty retailer based in Colorado Springs, on policies favorable to small retailers.

"We know that there are numerous issues that are too important, too significant to be shouldered by the individual–they need to be addressed by the entire industry. On issues like the environment and sustainability, by working together and uniting our voices, we can achieve great success," said OIA executive director Amy Roberts.

3. Make the right call. In this age of text, email and other "easy" forms of communication, we tend to forget about the phone. The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine places phone calls to members who haven't renewed after three notices. About 40% of those reached renew. They also get insight about lapsing members who may have changed jobs or can't afford it.

"It's trying to do that personal touch in an era when there's not much of that going on any longer," said Laura Davis, director of marketing and membership at AAHPM, and it's driving hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for a few thousand dollars in staff hours. (Or consider a call center.) "When you see the numbers ... there's absolutely no reason why you wouldn't do something like this."


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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…