In the last few years, there has been a huge shift in consumer attention. With every new medium comes even more disruption. Think about it: television disrupted radio. Cable disrupted network television. Home movies disrupted cable television. The Internet disrupted home movies. And so on and so forth. (Who’s guilty of sitting in front of their TV with a laptop and phone?) (Be honest.)

With so many mediums fighting for attention among us all (and this includes your small staff association’s members!), it’s more important than ever for your association to be as authentic as possible in your communications.

But really, what does authentic mean?

Be relatable. Empathize with your members and understand their concerns. Be an advocate for them – and show them you’re on their side!

Be personable. We all have bad days. But being friendly and open can not only go a long way with your members and coworkers, but it can help change your mood if you’re really having a terrible day.

Don’t use corporate language. The gauntlet has been handed to brands and organizations: consumers and members don’t want to feel like they’re being marketed to. With some many different channels available, it’s possible to utilize each to their best advantage and ditch the corporate language on the more casual channels.

Reward your power members. The traditional membership has been questioned a lot recently, but right now, it still exists. So to ensure your loyal and active members stay loyal, reward them. Give them a discount on services or access to special events. The word-of-mouth marketing it will generate will go a long way.

How has your small staff association adjusted its communications in recent years?