Rules Of Engagement: Connect Calls

Welcome new members with a call from a colleague.

Joining an association is, in essence, an entry into a community. So why not emphasize person-to-person connection right from the start?

At the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, every new nonstudent member receives a phone call from the AMCP Membership Committee. Volunteers have become a key ingredient in the association’s onboarding efforts. Here’s how AMCP makes it work, according to Betty Whitaker, MBA, CAE, senior director of membership engagement and publications.

1. Define the volunteer role. Cold-calling strangers isn’t for everyone, so the welcome-wagon duty is clearly stated in the volunteer recruitment phase. “We do look for an enthusiasm about the membership process … and a willingness to help it grow and see it succeed,” says Whitaker.

2. Develop talking points. AMCP staff provide volunteers with talking points and email templates about membership—but they’re not created in a vacuum. “It’s important to get the membership committee involved in [writing] the talking points, because they’re the ones who have to talk from it,” Whitaker says.

3. Foster relationships. A connected member is an engaged member, and that works for both the new members and volunteers, Whitaker says. Often, the volunteers end up arranging to meet new members they’ve called at future AMCP events. “Once the committee members get into it, they really enjoy it because networking is such an important part of why our members belong to the association,” she says.


Joe Rominiecki

By Joe Rominiecki

Joe Rominiecki, manager of communications at the Entomological Society of America, is a former senior editor at Associations Now. MORE

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