Communicating to All Members in Many Ways
May 12, 2022
The May 2022 edition of the Economic Alliance Report marks the four-year anniversary of a partnership with the Corridor Business Journal. Our Team puts in a ton of effort each month writing, editing and designing an informative and beautiful Report. It has been the centerpiece of our strategy to communicate to tens of thousands of employees at our 1,200 member businesses, and the print version distribution in the CBJ has helped us reach our members as well as other CBJ readers.
The Report has gone through numerous iterations over a history that likely dates back at least a half century and might be nearly as old as our 100+ year old organization. I know the Report was a big part of my job when I was the communications director at the Chamber of Commerce more than 20 years ago (reporting back then to Chamber President Ron Corbett who today is the vice president of economic development for the Economic Alliance!). When we moved to new offices in 2012 and cleared out the old location, we found Reports going back decades.
The May 2022 edition also marks another transition for the Report and, more broadly, for our overall communications strategy. In a transition already underway, we want to tell more stories about member businesses, and we want to continue to expand the number of ways we get those stories out to you. People today get their news in so many different ways. Relying so substantially on any single means of communication isn’t an effective strategy anymore, and this time-consuming Report doesn’t fit well in our new communications strategy. This will be the final Report you’ll see produced and distributed in exactly this way.
Those of you who love printed reports and pages you can turn with your fingers, don’t fear. There will still be plenty of that.
A new economic indicators report called The Gauge will be published soon. And we continue to print standard reports such as Building to a Billion, Workforce Solutions Guide, our public policy priorities and a variety of other annual or periodic reports full of economic information and member news.
Also, the CBJ will continue to be an important part of our communications strategy, as will other print and broadcast media partners, through both printed and digital products.
For those of you who largely get information from digital sources, you may already have noticed changes. Our digital presence has exploded, with our reach to readers through various social media platforms increasing exponentially. As a traditional print guy, I was maybe slow to come around to recommendations from our Team on this front, but I can see what’s happening in basic statistics. After a ribbon cutting last month at Matthew 25’s new Corner Store, I put a short story and a few pictures on LinkedIn. It had more than 3,000 views in just a few hours. Others posts have performed similarly, and we can see we’re reaching our members more consistently, and that we’re reaching new audiences, too.
We’ll begin to use more features on LinkedIn, too, with videos supplementing the stories we tell in writing. A modified version of the Report has debuted on LinkedIn, called The Inside Scoop, where information can get to you quicker and in more dynamic ways, and with less time-consuming effort on our part. Two new web sites later this year will anchor our standard information and services such as event registration and the membership directory.
None of this is revolutionary, of course. The transition to digital strategies has been happening for years and is commonplace through all industries today. But the Economic Alliance will remain somewhat unique in another communications aspect.
We’ll continue to do a fair amount of our communication via one-to-one outreach. Although it’s time-consuming, we know from hearing from all of you that it is extraordinarily effective. Last year, we held 876 meetings with 343 companies, listening to your goals and concerns but also sharing the latest about the services, programs, projects and events of the Economic Alliance. No communication will ever beat the face-to-face encounters we have with you, and that will remain a big part of how we do business.
At the heart of all of these changes is our never-ending effort to help your business succeed and to help grow the workforce and the economy.