ur team began by listening to FEI’s challenges, clarifying what the leadership was aiming to accomplish through marketing and PR, and understanding the inner workings and nuances of the chapter. This ensured the activities we recommended were on target with supporting the organization’s goals and would fit into the existing structure and available resources.
We engaged in an ongoing program that included both external and internal public relations activities. Although opportunities for publicity are rather limited for FEI because of its specialized niche, our proactive, highly successful media relations program garnered dozens of news placements in local publications – including the Tampa Bay Business Journal, Tampa Bay Times, The Tampa Tribune and the Business Observer – in just one year.
“We’ve received tangible feedback from people who have seen us in the press, particularly those who hadn’t been involved in the chapter,” said Brian. “They would say things like, ‘Oh, I didn’t know FEI did this,’ or, ‘I didn’t know you were part of FEI.’ We’ve touched people we haven’t touched before. We consider that measureable feedback in terms of getting our name noticed in the community.”
And to enhance communications and involvement among chapter members, we create and distribute an html chapter e-newsletter every two months. News items include a message from the president, upcoming events, links to online photo albums from past events, committee updates, industry news, and member-contributed news. FEI’s chapter e-newsletter now has an average open rate that’s 35% higher than the industry average.