Membership Focus: How to Market Your Affiliate

by Ardis Bazyn

The latest membership focus call concerned marketing your affiliate. Some of the tips suggested on the call are listed below.

  • Find your community news outlets — online and newspapers.
  • Write press releases on affiliate news.
  • Request an interview with “Affiliates in Action.”
  • Tell members and friends about ACB Radio.
  • Place information of interest on your websites and on your social media pages.
  • Have greeters at your meetings so people who attend aren’t ignored.
  • Invite general-interest speakers to your meetings and share announcements on Facebook.
  • Use community calendars online and in your local newspaper.
  • Share information about your activities geared toward parents with blind children.
  • Publicize your advocacy efforts — accessible voting, braille menus, audio signals, etc.
  • Contact disability resource centers and build relationships with them. Give them flyers and offer seminars on accessibility.
  • Bring brochures to doctors’ offices, ophthalmologists, and rehab centers.
  • Contact radio or TV stations about public service announcements. The stations usually need such information at least two weeks ahead of time.
  • Promote low-vision expos and fairs. Celebrate White Cane Day and Braille Literacy Month.
  • Create business cards.
  • Advertise any events you hold, such as a children’s vision summit, an annual conference, and any other community event.
  • Contact your local NLS library and write letters for them to send about your conventions and upcoming events.
  • At fairs and expos, write braille names of children and the alphabet on cards, and demonstrate accessible aids and appliances for newly blind individuals.
  • Speak at Lions Clubs, support groups, senior centers, and assisted living centers.
  • Distribute fundraiser flyers and regular newsletters.
  • Write grants for funding.
  • Attend audio-described movies and plays as a chapter.
  • Advertise your events on your local radio reading service.
  • Have a toll-free number, website and Facebook page.
  • Track down your state’s broadcasters’ association and newspaper association. These groups often publish media guides containing contact information for most radio and TV stations, and/or newspapers in the state. You can build your own contact list to avoid the cost of the distribution services. As you build the contact list, look at the websites for the media. Many will contain a direct email address for public service announcements, press releases, etc.
  • Write the press release, post it on Facebook, and post it on your affiliate website in the press release or blog section.
  • Ask local chapters to help spread the word. Send the news out via email to any contact lists. 

Watch for upcoming membership focus calls!