You frequently hear us talk at the Loyalty Research Center about how engagement drives behaviors. The more engaged a member is with your organization, the more favorable behaviors you get from those members.
As an example, if continuing education is a driver of your member engagement, then the more resource that you put into continuing education positively influences member engagement. Thus, you are likely getting a greater share of your members’ spend in continuing education, or share of classroom, as we like to call it.
Now advocacy on the other hand, represents a really unique circumstance for your association. You not only get the trickle up effect of more effective advocacy, but you also get a trickle down effect by leveraging increased engagement and those more favorable behaviors into more effective advocacy efforts.
What do I mean by that? Well, your ability to be knowledgeable on the issues that are impacting your members on their businesses, on their practices, on them personally. Your ability to address the correct issues, the issues that should be emphasized, that your members want you to focus on. The extent to which you’re effective at advocating on their behalf, promoting, protecting the profession. And how effective you are at communicating your efforts, win lose or draw. All of that contributes to the overall perceived effectiveness of your advocacy efforts.
Now if advocacy is a driver of engagement in your organization, then what that says is that the more effective you’re able to be, the more favorable behaviors you’re able to get from your members. Things like donating dollars to your PAC funds. Getting members involved either at a local, a state, or a national level. Or maybe even finding ways to get them involved by giving their talents. So, time, talent, and treasure.
The interesting part about advocacy is those behaviors feed back into the overall effectiveness of your advocacy efforts. The more involved your membership is, the more knowledgeable you will be. They will be bringing issues to you more effectively. They can be advocating for you, getting involved in the issues. They can help you communicate to other cohorts of members. So they’re raising the water level on advocacy overall. And what does that do? It gets more uninvolved members into the game.
So advocacy represents a unique opportunity for you to not only reap the benefits of investing in advocacy and drawing some of that engagement out of your membership, but then really harnessing and leveraging the power of that increased engagement to drive more effective advocacy in the future.