Highlighting media stories about members opens the door for increased engagement and peer-to-peer connections.
How does it work?
Selected Independent Funeral Homes represents independently owned funeral homes, which tend to be smaller and operate differently than corporate funeral homes. For example, many don’t have dedicated staff members to handle marketing and press releases.
Patty Neuswanger, Selected’s member engagement director, set up Google alerts to find local news articles featuring members so she could reach out to them personally, congratulate them on the coverage, and share the articles on social media and in the group’s weekly newsletter.
Then the pandemic hit. The media sought out Selected’s members for interviews on a range of topics, including guidance about funeral attendee restrictions, and press coverage about them increased exponentially. Neuswanger added a daily newsletter to feature the media stories and provide other helpful information about the pandemic.
Why is it effective?
It meant a lot to members to have a personal connection with their association and to be recognized among their peers, Neuswanger said. Her outreach about news coverage also opened the door for her to talk to members about other topics, like member benefits they might have missed such as an upcoming education session or a group roundtable.
“It started a string of conversation,” she said. “That to me is where the magic is.”
What’s the benefit?
“Probably one of the greatest benefits of being a member of Selected is the open idea-sharing that occurs between members,” Neuswanger said. Distributing news stories about members highlights their successes, helps them connect and be inspired by one another, and raises awareness about their work in in their communities. It supports Selected’s “overarching theme of helping one another,” she said.
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