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3 Crucial Communication Mistakes Your Association Could be Making

Let’s take a look at 3 common mistakes many companies and organizations make when communicating with current customers and even new audiences.

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Communication is key, but your association’s communication efforts could actually be hindering the way members interact and engage with you. When it comes to communication, it’s the gateway to your relationship with members- and you want to make sure your relationship is a good one.

After all, according to an infographic made by Invesp, it costs much more to acquire a new customer to an organization than it does to retain current customers. With the costs of acquisition coming at a high price, you need to make sure your communication skills with current members are hitting the mark. So, what mistakes could you be making that are costing your association valuable members walking out of the door?

Let’s take a look at 3 common mistakes many companies and organizations make when communicating with current customers and even new audiences. If these are faults your association makes, don’t worry- we’ll also go over some alternative communication styles you can try on for size.

Mistake #1: You aren’t connecting members

Your association’s members are looking to be apart of something bigger. So, if your association isn’t giving them the opportunities to make connections with one another, you may be limiting their experience. Networking is a big reason for many to join on with an organization. For young professionals, it gives them a chance to grow their industry connections and possibly start new, budding work relationships. For those experienced in the professional world, it allows them to inspire others, become mentors to many, and even build their own network as well.

There’s no downfall to getting your members interacting with one another. But by not providing enough opportunities for mingling and connecting, you could be hindering your members. Limiting communication channels between your membership can even make members feel isolated, instead of being apart of one big community.


In order to close the communication gap between members, you’ll need to get the ball rolling and get members talking. Hosting regular networking events can get all of your members under the same roof and spark some in person connections. By doing this, you’ll also get prime quality time with your members, therefore bettering your own communication with them. Have members across the globe? Introducing a member forum can allow members to interact and share experiences no matter their location. By hosting an online member community, you can give members the ability to communicate as well as the convenience to do it at a time and place that works for them.

Mistake #2: You aren’t sure who you’re communicating with

Depending on a person’s age, gender, profession, and many other factors, communication preferences can vary. So, does your association really know who its members are before reaching out? In order to properly communicate with your association’s members, you need to know a bit about who they are. What age are they? What do they look for in your association? What drives them, and similarly, what frustrates them?

By not understanding your membership, you may be communicating with them in ways that they either do not understand or do not relate to. For example, a younger demographic of members may want to be communicated with through social media and online tools. However, older members may find that method to be cumbersome. Not understanding who your members are at their core can hinder any communication efforts your association puts forward. So, what is there to do?


For those looking for a way to get the skinny on members, member segmentation could be the solution. Member segmentation is a strategy that allows your association to divide its membership into smaller groups, allowing you to organize these groups based on demographics and then deal with those segments accordingly.

In this case, it means you have smaller groups of members with similar communication styles, making your communication efforts much more effective. You can use any member data collected to segment your members into groups that make the most sense for your association. Then, you can begin strategizing your communication based on the segments you’ve created. Aren’t sure if you have enough data on members to get a proper read on how you should segment them? Not a problem. Sending out an online survey to members will help you learn a lot more about them.

Mistake #3: You aren’t promoting team communication

How is your association supposed to effectively communicate with your members if you haven’t fine tuned your team communication? Having a poor communication style within your association’s headquarters can lead to miscommunication with your members. If your team isn’t entirely on the same page, false information can get relayed, confusing messages can get translated incorrectly, and overall you may cause more harm than good. Keeping staff in the dark in terms of communication directly affects your member communication.

But this doesn’t just mean hosting monthly team meetings. Although a meeting with your entire staff is a great start, it’s only the beginning for effective communication. If you’re only holding periodic meetings and not following through on communication each and every day, staff can leave meetings still feeling confused, and even forget things that were discussed in meetings. Promoting team communication is a crucial must-have if you want to have effective member communication.


Promoting daily team communication is a must if you want all of your association’s staff to be on the same page and deliver proper messages to your members. And luckily for associations, there are many ways to do this that can fit into the busy schedule and/or work flow you’ve created. For associations with spread out headquarters or large staff, having online communication methods like live chat forums and instant messaging platforms can give you a space to deliver messages to staff no matter their location.

This is also great for any association with staff who work remotely. By using these platforms, you’re able to reach staff no matter the time or place, developing a stronger sense of communication. However, for associations with a small staff/high in-office staff presence, encouraging daily check-in’s and regularly scheduled meetings can make sure staff feel comfortable speaking up about problems or concerns they may have.

Developing a healthy office culture will allow your staff to communicate what they’re struggling with, ask questions, and better understand what messages you want relayed to members. Eliminating communication errors can make sure that your association has the best relationship with members possible. Consider using our tips when assessing your association’s own communication strategy, and see how members can benefit from a stronger approach to engagement.