2012/11/27 by grahamfawcett2012
There is a variety of possible approaches to marketing and membership development:
- The immediate term (present & ongoing): the easiest and most direct method of publicizing our program would be for each existing participant to bring a friend, sign up a relative, or invite a colleague to join us. This approach is based on personal relationships and networks, requiring almost no investment of material or special skill, a great advantage. One way to facilitate this approach could be to make sure every existing member has a set of business cards designed specifically for presentation of the local organization and its program of events. Incentives to reward individual successes could easily be found.
- The short term (upcoming events, current program): as many strategies as possible in my previous blog entries on Membership and Random Thought 04 should be tried for short-term results. These strategies require some special skills and investment of time.
- The medium term (1 – 2+ years): the goal of efforts here should be to establish and expand ongoing relationships with sponsors, partners, and mentors. We also need credible allies from entirely different fields – people and organizations who interact and speak directly to the concerns of today’s young adults. By this, I mean health care providers (physical and psychological), life insurers, family counselling services, churches and pastoral care workers. As walkers, we have heard and know that walking is probably the single best exercise one can do for a host of reasons and illnesses. For this reason, some of the entities above should be easily convinced that it is in their long-term interest to support organizations that help reduce their costs and meet their mandates. Other interested parties would include local Chambers of Commerce, Tourism Bureaus, tour operators and travel agencies so that families can be aware of and integrate walking activities into their itinerary.
- The long term (2+years): research. Every year, several news items on the benefits of walking attract my attention. From so many points of view, they all confirm what we ourselves have learned. But until they are collated and studied, perhaps in a few Master’s Degrees or a Ph. D., or integrated into college and university programs (recreation programs, sports medicine, kinesiology, etc.) they lack critical mass and direction. The benefits of walking need that kind of stamp of approval before entering the public consciousness.
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Please also visit the IVV web site for up to date information on our international program of non-competitive sport activities.