The brave new world for branches and communities

What we’re doing to help branches and communities communicate with their audience.

What’s happening?

Privacy laws and expectations all over the world are changing. We have to adhere to more stringent legislation and do more to protect and defend the data we keep of each individual on our database.

This affects the way we record and manage lists of members, as well as the way to track and measure their engagement, mailing preferences and interests. Not only do we have to centralise this into something compliant with current and anticipated legislation, but we also have to respect the requests of those in our database – actively making an effort to reduce the volume of emails sent to members by making better use of technology and social media.

What’s changing?

Community and branch representatives are all that AusIMM is not able to provide contact lists with member data to sub-entities. This isn’t changing. In fact, moving forward, most staff at AusIMM won’t have access to generate these lists at all. Instead, the power is being pushed to the user. Where you, the member, control what you receive, and how often you’d like to receive it.

When it comes to social media, our approach is to be inclusive and to empower every member to build their personal profile and professional network online. We’re building a powerful platform for you to share and distribute any AusIMM content to the 1st and 2nd-degree networks across your personal social network, regardless of the social media channels you choose to use.

So, how does a branch or community communicate news?

It’s different, but it’s also really simple. Let’s use an example:

Let’s pretend Sally Sample is responsible for events for the Perth branch. She’d like to share a few photos and a short synopsis of the recent technical talk the branch held.

As a leader of the Perth branch, when she’s logged into the website, she has a button available to “Manage the Perth Branch”. This gives her access to write and publish news on the Perth branch page.

Sally writes her synopsis and adds a few photos. Hits publish. And she’s done. She can click “View page” from the admin screen and see what she’s posted live on the AusIMM website.

From there two things happen:

The first is that our software picks up this post and queues it with our email system. This gets laid out nicely on a branch email addressed to the subscribers of Perth branch and (based on their selected email frequency) an email is shot off automatically to each subscriber to the Perth branch, alerting them to the news.

The second is that news then gets populated across the site and can be found by Google, Bing, Social media networks and members from across the AusIMM.

In addition, Sally can then share the post on her Linkedin Profile or Tweet it to her audience, and let everyone in her networks know all about this recent technical talk.

All Sally’s had to do, is write the post, hit publish, then hit share. The rest happens automatically – specific to Sally’s branch audience.

What if a branch or community wants to share news with another branch or community?

Context is always important. So, it’s not a simple copy-paste job.

If Sally would like Jim at the Kalgoorlie branch to share their event, Sally contacts Jim and asks him to promote the event to the Kalgoorlie Branch. If Jim agrees, he writes a short piece online under his Kalgoorlie Branch manager credentials highlighting the news and provides a link to Sally’s article. Jim hits publish and the cycle repeats. Automatically.

Alternatively, Jim could simply share Sally’s article on his personal social media networks in an effort to build his own professional profile while sharing content of interest to his network.

How does a branch or community create an event or webinar?

This will be similar to the current process, with more significant changes being rolled out later in the year.

For the time being, continue to contact the AusIMM membership and events teams to set up your event and webinar registrations. The team will use the information provided to set up the registration portals and create news items on your branch or committee page on your behalf.

These news posts advising of event information and registration with then be sent to a queue with our email system and (based on the selected email frequency) an email is automatically sent to each subscriber, alerting them to the upcoming event.

How does a branch or community share an event or news on social media?

We want to empower professionals to build their own personal networks and focus on the quality of the content they post. Using the AusIMM website, a website full of their own content, as the single source of truth for branch and community updates.

This way, it doesn’t matter what social media platform a branch or community’s audience uses – when your members are sharing that news and events on their own social media networks it can reach their first, second and even third-degree connections.

What about special events or news?

Let’s say Sally’s lined up a distinguished speaker for Perth’s annual dinner. It’s taken some work, some investment and is a highlight event in the Branch’s annual calendar.

Sally would contact the AusIMM membership team to discuss the event being posted via the national social media channels and added to other planned marketing communications.

Provided the content adheres to the AusIMM brand and style guide and there is scheduling availability, Sally’s technical talk would be marketed to a wider audience.