CDS Membership and Marketing Report
June 10, 2017
Overview of 2016-17
CDS Membership and Marketing members 2016-2017:
Dan Kahl, Rani Battacharyya, Paul LaChapelle, Chris Marco, Chris Cotton, Joanna Reed Adams, Cindi Banyai, Sharon Gulick, Norm Walzer, Gary Goreham, KP Williams, Michael Fortunato, Kenny Sherin, and Lisa Kirr.
The Printable CDS brochure (to support new members) was updated in the Fall of 2016.
Annual Membership in CDS was put on a rolling annual schedule. This means that members have a one-year membership from the time they join before their membership expires. Tracking this annual membership required membership updates and improved tracking services.
A letter (email) was created that is scheduled to be sent one month prior to the expiration of the annual membership. The formal email is now in the system to be sent to members whose membership is about to expire.
The membership web pages now indicate the term of membership and a reminder notice was also programmed to appear when peoples membership is nearing expiration.
The web page for becoming and renewing membership was redone.
The web page that details benefits of membership was created.
Testimonials from CDS members were solicited and placed on the web site.
The membership pages were analyzed and adjusted to be more user friendly.
A review of past membership lists was conducted to identify past members who have let their membership lapse. These members were contacted with an invitation to rejoin.
New Membership Drive
In February, CDS hosted a membership drive. The initiative incentivized members to invite new members to join. CDS members who secured new members received two free months of membership. New members received three free months added to their first year of membership. It was a heavily incentivized approach to gaining new members. Overall, however, it only resulted in a few new members. We would like to try the appeal again later this year.
The Conference marketing team (working with NACDEP) put together a series of emails and social media postings that were shared to promote the conference. Conference information was shared on CDS and NACDEP Facebook sites, Regional Centers for Rural Development, and shared with IACD and through other professional networks. Notices of call for proposals, scholarship deadlines, registration deadlines and reminders were scheduled monthly.
Members have repeatedly told us that an important aspect of membership is ongoing engagement. Aside from the news and publications, CDS M & M have launched a proposal for 2017 -18 that will intentionally invite and engage people in project centered on line work through the CDS membership pages. We will continue to work on developing creative and meaningful ways to draw people into the CDS site to increase our networking, resource sharing, and collaboration.
While all the members of the Marketing and Membership Committee are appreciated, a special word of appreciation needs to go to Lisa Kirr (association offices) for making things happen. Also, Stephen Jeanetta was incredibly active in connecting with Ogy Nicholic at Ogysense – our web designer and marketing consultant.
Submitted by Dan Kahl, June 9, 2017