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Struggling to Stand Out – Saving Your Organization

by | May 27, 2009 | Industry News & Trends

Struggling to stand out? This is no time for same old same old.American Idol is so wildly popular and I admit I’ve been known to tune in (although I am an apathetic citizen of reality land and do not vote). But one of the reasons the show (and karaoke for that matter) is so successful is that each one of us imagines our own shining star moment, when the audience is looking at you adoringly while chanting your name and begging for more. But as I step back and watch the unquestioning hero worship that makes shows like this possible, the cynic in me wonders if this person is really worth all the hoopla and money.

For member organizations like Chambers of Commerce and associations, you may be feeling like your members are looking at you with that same cynicism and wondering if their membership is worth it. It’s a quick cost to cut – membership. And it places you in a reactionary position, not an easy one to see your way out of. Members are leaving, your job is at stake, you’re panicking (rightly). If only a fairy godmother (or Simon Cowell) could make it all better and transform you into the rock star you know you could be. So let’s apply some of the advice the judges give to those schmoes on TV to reinvigorating your members:

  1. That wasn’t a good song choice – aka make it memorable. When your members are not renewing dues ask yourself what are they going to be missing in their lives without you. If you don’t have an answer in ten seconds, stop reading and start finding the answers. If you have so many answers you’re shouting at this page, we have somewhere to begin.
  2. I didn’t see a connection – AI judges like to see a personal attachment to a performance. Your members are no different. Does your organization just spout out info and miss an opportunity to draw members in? Are you just going through the motions with no real feeling behind it or are you presenting them with a robust forum for discussion and multimedia exchange?
  3. The look is not working for you  – if only your members could be this honest and tell you exactly what is not working. Institute interactive surveys and quizzes and you can take the pulse of your online community whenever (and wherever) you want.
  4. Sounds kinda karaoke to me – as in been there done that. You brought nothing new to the table. With an ongoing dip in the economy people everywhere are trying to save money and cut cost. You can’t afford to be redundant now. You need to be innovative, an original.
  5. I’m bored – your members won’t be as brutal as Mr. Cowell but non-renewals mean the same thing. If people are bored your organization is in jeopardy so try your best to provide robust online community features.

No organization wants to hear the phrases above but when you come under fire, it’s important to keep your chin up, face the challenge and try to do better in the future. How? The prospect of embracing social media can be so overwhelming. There’s so much to consider and not enough manpower, right? I’ll agree there are many choices out there so you do have a little research ahead of you but I’ll break it down to a level that would cause Paula to give a standing-o. provides both a feature-rich online community and a membership management component rolled into one. We charge an affordable flat fee for all of it and you can choose to toggle your features on or off as your organizational needs grow. We’ll customize a website for you and house your data on our secure system. You have access to your data and control your own content. No HTML experience is necessary. You can provide your members with membership profiles, online chat, emailing, messaging, group pages, outside social network profile management, multimedia upload capabilities, dues payment and online shopping opportunities and so much more. Also included is our admin side where you can manage events, dues collection, membership, content management system, administrative statistics and reports, calendar, data synchronization, custom form creation and lots more.

Think of’s management solution as the future of your organization in one neatly organized package, everything’s included even future upgrades and enhancements. Sign with us and you’ll be up in 72 hours. Stop putting off today what will benefit you by the weekend. Then you too can be idolized by your members.


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