Associations, Are You Talking to Me?

are-you-talking-to-me?I’ve been waiting to see if some of the associations that I’m interested in would reach out to me first. Why? I’d rather spend the money on a weekend get away or dinner at my favorite restaurant, unless you can convince me of the value of membership in your association.

I love to read posts by XYZ University’s Shannon Neeser. Her post “Focus on the Future: Your Association Needs to Evolve in the Workplace” has had my wheels spinning. Why haven’t associations started heavy campaigns to engage GenY?

Shannon put it best when she said “People join associations because it is directly related to their work.”

That phrase resonates with me. And it’s true, but for millennials changing jobs every 6 months, how is an association going to convince us to join and stick around?

In the last post I wrote about how GenY thinks and acts at work and ways for employers to leverage these traits.   In today’s post, I want to look at those same character traits and show associations how to attract GenY.

In Jason Dorsey’s book Y Size Your Business, he lists 10 Hot Buttons and 6 Take Action Cues that GenY are thinking about when looking for a job. I truly believe some of these hot buttons are some of the same things we are looking for in your association!

Gen Y Hot Buttons

  1. FUN—Will it be fun?
  2. Challenge—Will I be challenged to pursue professional development in my work?
  3. Creativity—will they show me ways to use and develop my creativity in my career?
  4. Opportunity—What kinds of opportunities—to volunteer, to learn, to lead—are there for me as a member?
  5. Ethics—What kinds of values and principles define WHY your association does what it does?
  6. Entrepreneurship—Don’t forget I like being my own boss, how is this fostered?
  7. Lifestyle—Does being a part of this association support my lifestyle?
  8. Diversity—Does this association embrace diversity of all types?
  9. Technology—How are you using new technology within the association to communicate with me?
  10. VISION—What is the WHY behind your association? Do you communicate that in a way that resonates with MY vision and purpose?

Gen Y Take Action Cues

Use Gen Y Take Action Cues to get Gen Y excited about joining:

  • Make us feel special—Make it about us and how being a member will impact us, our career, our life.
  • Make it feel personal—How will our personality fit in with your association?
  • Give us instant gratification—if we just joined, we’re gonna need something more tangible than a welcome card.
  • Make it Entertaining—We like interactive meetings
  • Be Authentic—Know and use our first names
  • Simplicity Rules—We don’t want to have to jump through hoops to get in contact with a staff member to get questions answered.

Using the Hot Buttons and Take Action Cues are simple ways that Associations can make adjustments to their campaigns, get out there and start talking to me, without breaking the budget.