From Communications Chairman Tammy Levinson: Follow these ABCs and your communications are sure to be stellar!

Ask questions. Communicating within your club is just as important as communicating with the community! Get feedback on what is going well in your club and what may need to be tweaked! You must listen, observe, and then respond, to ensure everyone is on the same page! How do members prefer to receive club info – newsletter, email, text, telephone calls? Be sure you know so no one is left out!

Be sure your social media accounts all been updated. Many members and prospective members are tech savvy. Be sure your website, Facebook page, Instagram, & Twitter accounts are all current so when you are sought out, the club messages are current.

Choose press releases. These are a great, FREE communication tool!

  • Submit a release after each event – large or small – at the end of each release include website and next meeting information!
  • Submit photos from events, collection sites, and anything your club is working on. A photo and descriptive caption reach people too!
  • Invite prospective members through monthly press releases – simply work with your community papers to continually run your monthly meeting release to be sure it’s seen!
  • Make it fun – set a club goal to publish at least 12 releases each year!

Disseminate/ Document Club information. Do you have a Club Newsletter? These can be electronic or paper newsletters! Be sure your audience receives it and wants to read it! Name your Newsletter if you haven’t already – something identifying your newsletter with your Club! Feature a member, a recipe…something new & exciting! Try to include a corner at the end for the “non-member” that may read it – so she has a way to get in touch with the Club and attend a meeting/event! Leave a copy of your Newsletter at your local library, town halls, Doctor’s offices or even nail salons. And,,,

Document all of your work with a Club Pressbook or History Book. Your Club history can be told here – using press releases to walk you through the Club activities! This is a great way to save that amazing front page coverage for future members! Get a committee of new members together that may want to do something to help the Club, which is less daunting than running an event – documentation is very important too!!

Extend invitations. Sometimes people just need to be asked! Invite a friend or neighbor to a meeting – sometimes it’s the third or fourth time that gets them in!

Find ways that work best for your Club. Not all members will Tweet, Snap Chat, use Facebook, Instagram, or even Email – but find what works. Take a survey how members want to hear Club information and respond to their needs! Be ready to find the way that works best for your membership!

Get the word out! Press releases, emails, phone chains, so many ways to reach our members and prospects! Event flyers – try making a template for ease of creating new event flyers!

Hear what your members are saying and asking for! Communicating is a two-way street! Some members may not use email or texting – be sure you are listening to how they will best respond!

Investigate new ways to use Social Media! Facebook seems to be widely used throughout clubwomen and Twitter and Instagram are being used too! Let us know if you need help! Consider asking a special teen in your life – they can help immensely.

Join in all activities…you are recording information for your club newsletter, press releases, and club history books – be sure you are part of these activities when possible, so you can speak from actual experience!

Keep submitting releases to the newspapers, local magazines, and town newsletters! These publications are read widespread and will definitely help keep you in the forefront of the communities that they reach!

Listen to your members! It is important you communicate effectively in your club. Be sure everyone ‘gets the message’! They pay dues in return for membership – be sure they can take part in all that your club offers!

Media mix ups!! Have you created a Facebook Page? Have you tried using Facebook “events” for your meetings or fundraisers? Maybe you will reach new members! Give it a try! It is not too difficult!

Need to be ready for reports! Be sure your efforts have been documented and ready to transfer to the report
forms!

Outstanding year behind you! Onward as you begin the New Year! This is definitely the time to look at all you did and make any necessary tweaks to begin a new year off right! Perhaps this New Year will bring you in a new direction.

Patch.com Do you post your releases to Patch.com? Would you be willing to post our State News Releases there too? We want to saturate the State with our NJSFWC works! You can only choose 1 zip code. We have news for ALL New Jersey Zip Codes!!! Please email this Chairman if you would be willing to post releases as we have them and she can email you the releases as they are ready to be shared (thank you for your help)!

And another important “P” …

Prepare your reports! This Chairman is eagerly anticipating report reading! Take the time to report everything you did!

Questions can be answered in a great release! As you report your events – do not leave any unanswered questions for the readers! And include contact information in every communication – contact name, email AND telephone number. There is no question our Federation is the best – be sure all can read about us and be invited to participate!

Research! A good communication is one that will inform the readers. If you are supporting an organization – include information about them. Our Special State Project – CASA of NJ- is a perfect example. Your press release could reach a willing and able volunteer to become an Advocate.

Stay focused! Set goals! Social Media! How often have your conversations, articles, situations ended up in different directions? This could also happen when you are communicating with your audiences! Be sure you stay on track…focus on the message you are trying to convey and you will be successful! Setting goals is important too! All press releases submitted don’t always get printed! This Chairman knows that first hand! Set a goal to have at least one press release published each month! And … Social Media is taking over … it’s instant … almost everyone is using it! Therefore, use it often as a back-up tool to your emails, press releases, and flyers! Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media avenues are great free tools … use them!

Talk to everyone! Communication begins with simple conversations! Exchanging information, facts, ideas, opinions and emotions! Talk to your club – who is the chairperson of your next event? How would they like to see information sent out to audiences? Make it happen! Simple conversations are the building blocks to your communications!

Understand your audiences! Everything your club does will affect and reach a wide variety of people. How do you know you have reached them? Children – Teens – Young Adults – Mature Audiences. Each of these audiences will interpret your message differently. Children’s events, spelling bees, writing contests, scholarships, sip & paint nights, wine & cheese member drives, high teas, and so many more – you will reach every demographic of women…be sure you can reach them by understanding their interests and needs and use it to your advantage!

Vetting all sources is important! Validate, Verify! To effectively communicate you want to be sure your source is giving accurate, authentic, and valid information!

Written communication. You will almost always use written communication, as this tool will continue to be the way you record information for reference for your club for years to come. Written newsletters, emails, flyers, etc… Written communication is necessary!

Xerox copies! Sometimes people like to hold the paper still! In this world of electronic communications, be sure to still have some paper copies on hand for people to use/refer to!

YOU are the center of your Club’s communication! Be Clear, Correct, Complete, Concrete, Concise, Considerate, & Courteous. As communications chair – YOU – are the root of communicating effectively! YOU can do it!

Zzzzz…you can now rest…as you have exhausted almost all ways to communicate!

Now that you have an alphabet mixture of gentle reminders and ways to communicate effectively – you will be ready to pass this on to your next chairman, or continue to use the tools yourself!