A very special post from the Mass Chapter's Online Marketing Manager, Allissa Haines
As a Chapter, the leadership in Massachusetts have it pretty well together. They (and I say "they" because I am not on the volunteer leadership team) run a great annual meeting every May and three additional education events a year (for only $50 a day, mind you). The Mass Chapter donates $10,000 a year to the Massage Therapy Foundation, and the members have repeatedly shown their overwhelming support of that donation. Our members show up to massage at the Massachusetts State Legislature, they run programs for underserved populations, (and they win the National Humanitarian awards for those efforts) and we post other education, volunteer and social events on our website, too.
The leadership is also forward-thinking. They do not think in terms of, "This is how it's always been done." They say, "How can we change what we do to better serve our members." Because of that progressive thinking, our members have access to a health insurance specialist and an attorney. We gave away two student scholarships and recently started the Dianne Polseno Student Scholarship Award. Why am I bragging about the Mass Chapter on our own blog? Because I'm a big fan of all their work, and especially their recent decision to be a leader in their online communications with members. What does that mean? It means they see the value and importance of a cohesive online presence that includes a website with great resources (including this blog!), effective strategies for emails to members, and a useful, fun social media presence. They also hired me to be their Online Marketing Manager and have been nothing less than excited to learn and use all of our online resources on their own and along with me.
It would be easy for the Leadership to simply hire this online stuff out, and for me to take their money and just do exactly (and only) the work of communicating with the members online. But we're not about easy. We're about awesome. The Leadership is embracing social media. They're embracing exciting new marketing strategies. They are embracing having a personality online, spirited conversations with members and now, serving other chapters who may not have the resources that we have.
We're all in this together, and if we're bushwhacking a trail, you may as well enjoy the hike, too.
What this means to you, other AMTA Chapter leaders and volunteers.
Once a month, maybe a little more than that, we're dedicating one blog post to teaching you what we know about creating and using our presence. Maybe I'll tell you what I'm doing with our email strategy, why I'm doing it, and how you can adapt the techniques to fit your chapter. Or perhaps I'll answer a question that comes up when I'm showing the leadership something new. Whatever it is, it'll be useful and fun, I promise.
Like penicillin and popsicles, this series is something of an accidental discovery. I realized last week that I hadn't gone through the list of member benefits at the National AMTA website in awhile. How can I keep members up to date about their benefits if I haven't hooked us up with the online presence of all the companies who give us the goods? Then I checked out a few other chapters' networks and found they hadn't done it, either. (Which made me feel better, but still, HOW SILLY OF ME?!)
You can find the very first lesson here, and it'll quickly get you and your chapter on the way to easily sharing info with your members on Facebook. (Don't have a chapter Facebook yet? Sit tight, that's the next lesson.)
Welcome to Allissa's Corner. Grab a beanbag chair and a cookie and make yourself at home. We're growing together.
Allissa Haines is a massage therapist with a full private practice in Plainville, MA. She creates marketing and business resources for massage therapists at Writing A Blue Streak and is an educator for the Massage Learning Network, an online learning center for massage therapists and students. She is also a marketing consultant, professional speaker, and a frequent snacker.