While our mission is conservation, one of the most important areas we can focus on as a chapter or council is effectively communicating all we do at the local level to build awareness, attract and engage members and supports, and increase our impact. Good communications is critical to increasing attendance and participation, inspiring volunteerism, and raising funds to complete the work.
The good news is that what TU does – from our community and social activities to our education programs, conservation projects, work with veterans and more – makes for an easy sell! People who care about clean water, who enjoy fishing local rivers, who share a desire to make a difference are attracted to all aspects of our work. Our job is to find and reach those people with opportunities to get involved!
Never hesitate to reach out to your Volunteer Operations Staff for ideas and examples of effective communications, with examples and templates used by chapters and councils across the country. Be sure to review our Communications Related Policies to understand our rules on privacy, social media, logo use and more.
Elements & Tactics for Communications Success
- The TU Brand & Message
Underlying all effective communications strategies are the messages and images used to attract and inspire our members and supporters. Learn the ins-and-outs of branding, the messages that work and some helpful hints on how you can reach and attract more people and support.
- Website Tools & Tactics
In this digital age, having a strong and compelling website is essential to spreading the word and growing support. Your website should be the central clearing house of all things related to your work and activities and your outward communications should all emanate from and point to the website.
- Email Tools & Strategies
Communicating by email to members and supporters is an incredibly powerful way to reach a large audience quickly, easily and affordably. However, email communications only reach a small portion – typically 30-40% – of the intended audience. By using the latest tools and following best practices for email success, you can ensure your email messages are being send effectively and being read and acted upon.
- Social Media Tactics That Work
Having your chapter’s events and activities available in the palm of your members’ and supporters’ hands through social media outreach is a great way to increase awareness and activate hard-to-reach communities. Particularly among younger members and supporters, social media is fast becoming the preferred way to engage with organizations like TU.
- Local Media to Amplify Your Message
Expanding your reach beyond your existing audience requires reaching well beyond the limits of your email lists, social media followers and existing event attendees. There are many more people who have never heard of your great work, but would happily participate if they knew you needed their help. Print, radio and television media remain powerful outlets to reach this audience.
- Print Communications Templates
Print communications – from postcard and newsletter mailings to posters, flyers, handouts and more – can seem costly, but they are cost-effective and incredibly effective at getting the word out. Investing in print should be part of every chapter and council communications strategy.