Following last night’s Government announcement of the new five-level COVID Alert System, and varying approaches in the devolved nations, we continue to provide you with free practical help and support as the lockdown restrictions start to ease.

We certainly have a long way to go before things return to any form of “normal” and the new “normal” will look very different moving forward. For some this will be good, for others it will be more of a challenge. The right building blocks need to be put in place to help ensure the long-term success and viability of your membership body.

As the country takes these incremental steps out of lockdown, we can ensure that we are better prepared for whatever the future brings by considering the following ten tips:

1) Address Members Immediate Concerns
Directly aim to address your members’ current concerns. Hone in on the specifics that are ‘keeping your members up at night’ and aim to effectively market/deliver practical benefits that will help them to get back to normal (whether that is the new normal or the old normal). Think ‘Positive Member Outcomes’ not just long lists of member benefits.

2) Make an Impact & Tell Members About It
Acknowledge the current situation and actively outline how your organisation is making a real impact to contribute towards the stabilisation of the lives/well-being of your members.

3) Revisit Your Goals
Be mindful of the change that has occurred over recent months and revisit your short, medium and long-term membership focused goals.

4) Champion Member Success
Catalyse, champion, promote and celebrate ‘green shoots’ member activity as this may help to shape your other members’ futures and approaches. Promote good examples of member success (that could be replicated). Initial thoughts on related awards/acknowledgement should certainly be considered in the near future.

5) Ensure Your Voice is Collective and Strong
Your members will have felt isolated over recent months, so ensure there is clear awareness of your strong collective voice and/or online networking opportunities.

6) Segment, Personalise and Engage
Consider acknowledging the current situation of your members in a segmented manner. e.g. small companies v large companies, professionals in their early career/late career, geographical location and/or special interest areas. This will generate immediate and much welcomed value.

7) Engage with Key Stakeholder Groups
Consider other key audiences that will impact on the current/future success of your members (e.g. complementary industries/earlier or later elements of respective supply chains/strategic partnerships) and if your organisation can make an impact/difference consider what could be done.

8) Learn from the COVID-19 Experience
Let’s not lose sight of the learning of our organisations during this period. e.g. remote working in large numbers can work effectively. Also consider formally recognising/acknowledge member learning that may contribute towards CPD.

9) Continue to Be Kind
Continue to be seen as ‘kind’ as our members will continue to judge us as we go through this period. If you are able to help vulnerable members during this period there is a strong likelihood of future increases in advocates.

10) Construct a Plan and Move Forward
Construct a dedicated plan linked to the other 9 recommendations to ensure a robust and structured approach is adopted.

The MemberWise Network is a free professional network that represents 7,200 Membership and Association Professionals. Members receive access to a range of exclusive member benefits that help them to drive member value, engagement and growth. You can find out more about us here

During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) we have centralised all related help/advice on the MemberWise Coronavirus (COVID19) Hub.

Richard Gott
Richard GottChair and Founder, MemberWise Network