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Public Relations News
Marketing & Communications are Key to your Grange
 

By Terri Fassio, Public Relations Co-Director

  MARCH 3, 2013 --

Marketing and communications are key to your Grange

Let’s start with the facts:

•  The public does not know what goes on behind the doors of your Grange unless they are informed.  

•  Members who do not regularly attend your Grange’s meetings and events do not know what happens at those meetings and events unless they are told.

Marketing for Granges means informing your members, the local community, and the general public about your organization and its events, activities and projects, and also finding ways to not only grow, but keep, your member base. In one word - communication.  You can have the best Grange ever with wonderful ideas and growth potential, but if you can’t market your Grange and communicate the worth of your Grange to others, you barely have a Grange at all.  

Many Granges operate under the assumption that the support of their members and the support of the public-at-large will automatically come because the Grange is a good organization. Many Granges believe that their programs, activities, projects - and their very existence - will promote themselves based on their history and their worth.  The public needs to be made continuously aware of your Grange’s existence, as well as the Grange’s mission and goals. 

General communication builds awareness.  Effective communication builds support.  Consistent communication builds sustainability, and thus, growth.

Communication elements to market your Grange:

• Define your Grange audience.  

Is your Grange’s audience just your local community or does your Grange extend its reach into neighboring towns?  Does your Grange want to attract younger members?  Is your Grange interested in gaining members of all ages?  Does your Grange want to raise funds for a project?  Or reach out to other organizations?  Adapt your approach to your audience.

• Maintain consistent communication.

Develop a timeline of Grange activities and events a year ahead of time, then promote them far in advance of their dates and repeatedly.  Update your Facebook page at least once a week - if not more frequently.  Send out quarterly newsletters and mailings to your members.  Send out e-mail updates to members after every meeting.  Have members call other members who may not be able to attend meetings to keep them in the loop.  Send press releases, photos and articles to your local newspapers on a regular basis.  Consistent communication keeps your Grange name on the tip of everyone’s tongues.

• Create a visual identity.

Use the Grange Name and the Grange Logo on all of your Grange communications, such as letters, posters, postcards, flyers, signage and more.  Develop visually appealing and eye-catching communications pieces.  A professional look validates your Grange to the public, and shows responsibility, dedication and intent.

• Repetition is just as important as variation.

Your audience will begin to recognize your Grange if they frequently see the Grange name, logo, and message reiterated in different types of communication.  For example, a potential member may read your Grange’s press release about an upcoming event in the newspaper, then see the poster for the same event in the grocery store, then see the sign out in front of your Grange Hall when they drive by.  That person will recognize the repetition through variation, and your Grange name will stick in their minds.

• Awareness builds over time.

When a potential member reads your Grange name frequently in the newspaper, sees Grange event posters regularly all over town, notices that the sign out in front of your hall changes for different meetings and events, stumbles across shared posts on their Facebook timeline, receives postcards in the mail about your upcoming Grange events, and maybe even overhears others talking about your Grange, that person’s awareness is raised. Their attention is captured and they instinctively want to learn more about YOUR Grange.

Be persistent and consistent with your Grange marketing and communications, but most importantly, be patient. In time, your Grange will be rewarded with an active and growing membership.

 
 
 

 
     
     
       
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