Some of your events may only be open to chapter members. In these cases, it is only necessary to communicate the information about the event to chapter members. However, you may want to get the word out to a broader audience when it comes to events such as continuing education courses or workshops, conferences or symposia the chapter organizes, or chapter meetings with a guest speaker. Attracting people outside the chapter can raise its profile, attract new members, and increase the chapter’s revenue. The ASA has tools in place for chapter officers to reach both current and prospective members.
Communicating with Chapter Members
There are two ways officers can send messages to members. Keep in mind that these messages will only reach individuals who are national ASA members and pay their chapter dues through the national office. The chapter is responsible for maintaining a roster and distribution list for people who pay dues directly to the chapter.
In the ASA Community area of the ASA website, there are eGroups automatically created for each chapter. You can send an email to all members of your chapter by posting a message on your chapter’s eGroup discussion board. If you are unfamiliar with using the ASA Community area, there is an ASA Community Guide to assist you.
Another way to send a message to your chapter members is by using the chapter officer tools found in the Members Only area of the ASA website. Log in to Members Only using your login and password. Once in the Members Only area, place your cursor over My Volunteer Activities found on the toolbar that runs across the top of the page. Select My Chapters from the drop-down menu and then click on your chapter, which will appear in the fly-out menu.
Under the Tools header on the next page, click on the Chapter Member Reports link. Near the top of the next page will be a gray box with the current membership count of the chapter. Click on this gray box. At the top of the following Chapter Report Options page, click on the Display Current Chapter members link. This will create an Excel file with your chapter members. Copy and paste the email column into the To: line in the email message you would like to send to your members. Compose your message and click send.
Sending just one announcement about the event to your chapter members usually isn’t enough. Send a reminder announcement 2–3 weeks before the event.
Communicating with Non-Chapter Members in the Area
At the bottom of the Chapter Reports Options page, there is a tool to find current ASA members in the area who do not belong to the chapter. Sending an announcement to these people about your upcoming chapter event is a great way to demonstrate the benefits of belonging to a chapter and could bring in new members. Select the state you want to run the report for and click on the gray Get Report button. This will create an Excel file of non-chapter members living in that state.
Communicating with All ASA Members
If your event might be of interest to ASA members outside of the chapter’s region, there are several options for spreading the word to all ASA members. First, add your event on the Calendar of Events on both the home page of the ASA website and the Council of Chapters website. Anyone can post an event on the ASA website. For the Council of Chapters website, send information about the event to Chapters Liaison Rick Peterson at email@example.com.
Event announcements can be placed in Amstat News and the monthly electronic newsletter, ASA Member News, at no charge to the chapter. Each issue of Amstat News has a section devoted to ASA committee, section, and chapter news. The print version of the magazine can accommodate an announcement of 6–8 sentences. The online version will accommodate a full article. Announcements in ASA Member News should be 2–3 sentences, and a link to a website with additional information should be included.
It’s best if an announcement for your chapter event appears in these publications 2–3 months before the event is scheduled to take place. This gives those interested in attending from outside the region time to make travel arrangements. Both publications are sent to ASA members around the middle of the month. The deadline for an announcement to appear in ASA Member News is the 1st of the month in which it is to be included. For Amstat News, the deadline is the 1st of the previous month. For example, If you would like your announcement to appear in the May issue of both publications, you would need to send your announcement for ASA Member News on May 1 and April 1 for Amstat News. Send your announcement(s) to Chapters Liaison Rick Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ASA also has a Facebook page and a Twitter account from which we can post announcements at any time. The character limit for a Tweet is 140; the limit for a Facebook post is 420. Please send these announcements to Communications Manager Megan Murphy at email@example.com.