I Am a Proud Member of NFPW

I am a proud member of NFPW!

That’s the theme that emerged from an afternoon that focused on membership. Why did we join? Why did we stay? How do we recruit and retain members?

We broke into four groups and listed ideas and then collectively shared them. They’ve all been placed on a list, and then we narrowed that list. Each of us had six stickers that we could place on any of the items.

In first place was “proud member.” We should be sharing our membership on our Facebook pages, we should join the NFPW group on Linkedin. One thing I do is to include in my e-mail signature that I’m president of NFPW.

Several of us are wearing our NFPW logo wear. If you want a shirt, you can go to the Web and  purchase one.

Here are the other membership items we have agreed to focus on between now and the conference —

1) Develop an on-line calendar so all affiliate and national events are known by all members. Why? If I happen to be traveling to Idaho when a conference is being held, I may just attend. But I can’t, if I don’t even know about it.

2) Tout our national speakers. Our Vice President spoke to us in 2003 in Delaware. Best-selling novelists Adriana Trigiani and David Baldacci both spoke to us in 2007. Heloise spoke to us last year. If you were considering joining or attending a conference and knew you could hear from this caliber of speakers wouldn’t you want to get involved?

3) Recognize milestones with graphics to use on personal Web sites. This suggestion came from Sherry Stocking Kline. We recognize membership milestones at the national conference, but these banner graphics will allow members to post them on their Facebook pages, Web sites or email. It’s a way to recognize milestones and another way to say, “I’m proud to be an NFPW member!”

4) Offer buddy mentoring. At the Chicago conference each first-timer will be paired with a member who can provide them with information about NFPW, making the most of the conference and introducing them to other members.

5) Reach out to communications programs at universities. This will include several facets, including inviting professors to speak at affiliate and national conferences, recruiting members, sharing our expertise with university claases, featuring college students who place in the communications contest in the newsletter and developing internships during the conferences. We have more work to do in developing this one.

6) Get personal! Social media allows us to communicate quickly but it’s not always personal. You’ll be seeing a lot more handwritten notes in the coming months. We want our members to know they are valued and not simply a number.  

Taking the “Get Personal” approach one step further, we’re going to change how the conference is organized. You’ll find that the head table will be much smaller because your board is going to “Get Personal.” We’re going to sit with our fellow members so we can hear first-hand how things are going for you.

7) Schedule more events and include younger and newer members in the planning. When you get involved with an organization and have a role to play, you are more likely to stay active. Just ask any one of us on the board. We also want fresh ideas so we’re going to collect some of the great seminars from affiliates and post them so that other affiliates can steal the idea for their seminars.  

This is just the beginning. Once we get these ideas implemented we’ll move on to others. And if you have more suggestions, send them our way.

We’re not done. Tomorrow we’re going to talk budget, conference and contest. Stay tuned!