Effective marketing and communication can attract members, sponsors, volunteers and funders. The more people who know about your club, the more opportunities that might come your club's way. Marketing and communication initiatives are also a good way to promote (and thank) your sponsors, funders and other community partners.
Effective marketing and communication means both doing more with less, but also ensuring your messages are being seen and heard by the appropriate audiences.
Promoting your club can include events, activities and advertising, however proactively sharing stories of successes and highlights can be just as effective. The club should also ensure information is made available for people wanting to get involved as participants, coaches, officials, volunteers or supporters.
There are a number of ways to deliver these messages, including club networks and meetings, noticeboards, newsletters, emails, SMS, media releases, local and community newspapers and radio, school newsletters, website posts, YouTube, Facebook, twitter, other community forums and event calendars etc.
The key is for communication to be regular, in order to retain interaction with your members and stakeholders, but also ensure your community is aware of your club and activities. The simple task of ensuring the club's contact details are listed in the phone book and local directories is also important but can often be overlooked.
Another important consideration is for the club to meet the needs of their customers, by understanding WHAT people want to know about, and the WHEN and HOW they want to receive that information. This is particularly important when needing to deliver messages to members about events, competitions, facilities or club announcements.
Clubs can increase their memberships and their social standing in the community by creating inclusive and safe environments through the following strategies:
- finding out which people in their community needs them - targeting women, juniors, people with disabilities and people of varying cultures and ethnicities;
- developing specific programs which encourage participation;
- utilising their clubrooms and facilities as a place for people to meet socially after games or on specific days; many people meet members of the local community by participating in the social events put on by their sporting club;
- scheduling games/events so the whole family can attend on the same day and then enjoy refreshments together at the end;
- involving more juniors in the club - more juniors means more parents, which results in a vibrant community atmosphere and increases the pool of potential volunteers for the club;
- getting involved with local schools to recruit new junior members;
- welcoming new mums back to the sport by providing informal child care, and scheduling events at family-friendly times e.g. on Sundays.
Your club should facilitate this behaviour through the application of various policies and procedures including:
- training in the service of alcohol
- establishing and promoting codes of conduct and conflict resolution policies
- communicating the clubs values to its members and community
- ensuring transparency and fairness when dealing with conflict resolution.