How your small association can be a better advocate for your industry  

Becoming a better advocate for your industry can help you deliver more of the benefits your members want.  

Read on for ideas on how to elevate important issues in your industry – even with a small staff. 

Michelle Schweitz, YourMembership Marketing Manager

By Michelle Schweitz, Marketing Director, Community Brands



Your association is in a unique position to help advocate for your industry or profession. You can help to elevate important issues in your industry and even influence discussions that lead to positive change. 

And, in fact, recent association industry research suggests that advocacy is a key benefit for your members. In the 2021 Association Trends Study by Community Brands, members of professional membership organizations who responded to the study’s survey (Members) rank advocating for their industry among the top three most important benefits of membership. People who work at professional membership organizations who responded to the study’s survey (Pros) also see advocacy as a top priority. 


How your association can be a better advocate for your industry
When you think about being an advocate for your industry, it might seem daunting – especially with a small staff. But it doesn’t have to be. 

Here are some simple, yet effective ways you can become a better advocate for your industry: 

Share information about key issues impacting your industry.
As part of your efforts to share valuable content with your members, be sure to keep them informed about key issues impacting your industry. Also, offer up content on your website and other channels that helps the public understand the issues and the importance of your industry and profession. For example:

  • Include a section in your member newsletter that covers the latest challenges, regulations, and legislation impacting your industry.
  • Offer member briefings and trainings on key issues.
  • Share thought leadership content covering key topics via: 
  • Social media 
    • Your association’s website 
    • Your online member community 
    • Your organization’s annual event

Partner up to provide research.
For industry issues that would benefit from studies, partner with a company in your industry that has a specific interest in the issue to conduct the research. By delivering co-branded research to your members and the public, you and the partner company will be helping to advocate for your industry while furthering your brands. And, you won’t have the burden of funding and conducting research on your own.

Support your foundation.
Your organization might have a foundation that works to promote and advocate for your industry or profession. If so, one thing you can do is help support the foundation. For example, ask your members to donate funds to support the foundation. Or, invite your foundation to present and/or exhibit at your next annual event so they can get the word out to members and others in your industry about the great work they do.

Learn more.
Even with a small staff, your association can deliver more of the benefits your members want. Find out more: Join YourMembership for the webinar, Do’s and Don’ts of Member Benefits on November 16 at 11:30am ET. 



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