The 7 elements of a good network: Internal communication/use of modern media

Those responsible for many networks think that a monthly newsletter is the crowning glory of modern “membership-relations” and thus absolutely sufficient for communicating with members. But think about it yourself: How many newsletters do you really read? A July 2010 study by ContactLab’s, a specialist direct marketing provider, shows that the use of newsletters is rapidly declining:

“More and more internet users are reducing the number of newsletters they subscribe to. Whereas in 2009 23 percent of users had more than ten different newsletters delivered to them, this year only eight percent have done so.” (www.internetworld.de)

Every now and then you receive invitations by post or maybe a yearbook or something similar. But it’s not really professional. We analysed the internal communication of about 15 networks and found that only three to five have a real system to communicate intensively with their members. “System” in this case means that someone has thought about how to get as regular, as meaningful, as intensive contact as possible from and to the network as a member.

After all, the goal must be that you as a member think positively about your network as often as possible and feel like an active part of the respective “community”. Facebook and Twitter, for example, have shown how this can be achieved relatively easily. Therefore, a modern community should use several, coordinated “tools” to keep contact with its members as lively as possible:

In order to give members a strong emotional attachment to the respective network, at least the following tools should be used:

A. Weekly e-mails with brief information on current activities

B. A monthly club magazine (printed or digitally published) with further information on club life and community-building content.

C. If applicable, an additional newsletter with a preview of upcoming events.

D. Personal telephone calls + e-mails with members in case of longer inactivity.

For modern networks with online-savvy members:

E. Daily tweets or messages via social media communities.

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