Using communication to build relationships and a strong sense of belonging
A club’s communication strategy should not only seek to inform, instruct and remind people but should also seek to be engaging to the point that it creates or maintains a positive relationship that over time develops into a strong sense of belonging between the club and each individual.
Broadcast v Targeted communication
It is really important for clubs building a communication strategy that they consider the two different types of communication.
Broadcast communication – as the name implies, is information that is “broadcast” far and wide. Traditionally this would have been in the form of press releases and newspaper articles but today it can also be in the form of social media posts and email newsletters.
Broadcast communication is great for getting general club information about club activities, results, upcoming events and social activities to your general audience.
On the other hand targeted communication is communication that has a specific purpose and a specific audience and generally have defined outcomes. For example, if you are seeking primary school aged kids to join your club, then getting your message into the primary school newsletters is specifically targeting the parents with your invitation to join your club.
Traditional methods v online communication methods
In recent the focus of communication strategies has moved toward social media, email newsletters and websites, traditional communication methods remain as valuable as ever. Traditional communication methods include:
- Word of mouth
- Flyers and letterbox drops
- School newsletters
- Signage and banners
- Council communication
- Information stands in supermarkets and other places with lots of people
In fact by far the most powerful communication method is word of mouth. In the context of a sports club this is people who are participating in the club talking to others outside the club and inviting them to participate. Word of mouth is so powerful because people will only talk about your club to those they feel would be interested or relate to your club and they will tell the story of your club with credibility and passion.