Engage Younger Members to Secure Your Association's Future
"They're not ‘joiners'!" "They're entitled!" "They're on their devices all day!" These are just some of the epithets leveled at younger professionals by those trying to explain the inexorable aging of association membership.
In fact, those characterizations of what could be the the smartest, best informed, most open-minded, and most capable generation to enter the workforce are inaccurate. Plus, engaging millennials and Gen Yers as association members is not an option. It's an existential concern for any association.
I've got good news:
You have to understand millennials — what they value, what challenges they face, and how they prefer to communicate — and develop a whole new set of strategies to welcome them into the fold. You may have to change your model, your language, and your approach. Remember:
They're not all the same.
Although they share certain characteristics, millennials are not a monolithic bloc. They divide themselves into countless distinct and diverse segments. They want their individuality considered, and respected.
They don't speak your language.
This goes far beyond slang and "r u listening lol" abbreviations. They start with a whole different set of assumptions, and as a result they don't even think like you do.
They don't want to belong to your exclusive club.
Born with internet connectivity, they can talk to anybody, anytime. They're not interested in working their way up your leadership ladder.
What to do? PCI has some answers for you. Today through Friday we launch a series of infographics, one per day, designed to give you a head start on recruiting and engaging younger association members. We'll tell you how to rebrand for a new age, fix your website, really use social media, and take advantage of digital marketing.
To kick things off, here are some clues about what millennials tend to value. Keep checking back this week to see how your association can (and must) develop marketing and communications strategies to speak to this new generation.
Face-time with senior professionals
Leadership opportunities, now
Supporting causes they’re passionate about
Many are unemployed or in debt
Credentialing, certification, continuing education
Standing out in the crowd