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Attracting Contributors

Encourage Members to Write Content for Your Communications

Wouldn't it be great if members called in story ideas, wrote letters in response to your articles, or engaged in a debate over issues presented in your newsletter?

You can encourage members to pipe up or chip in with a few simple steps:

Be sure to put the word out, especially through Association Representatives, that you're looking for news and interesting people to spotlight. You may be surprised at how much information you can collect once word gets around.

Start small. Instead of asking members to write a column, ask them to commit to turning in one story lead a month. Or instead of asking members to write "a piece," ask them for two or three paragraphs with their thoughts – they may find that task less daunting.

Make sure you have a “Contact Us” page. In addition to your Association’s contact information, it should also list your name and all the ways you like to be contacted (address, phone number, e-mail). If you're easy to reach, members may pick up the phone and chime in.

A “Letters to the Editor” (or "Voice Mail") section can attract both readers and contributors. Many people enjoy seeing their opinions in print – and even more people enjoy seeing what other members think!

A survey is a great way to attract readers and get their opinions at the same time. Include a form or an email address asking for members' opinions on a particular issue, and note that you'll tally the results and run them in the next issue.

  • Survey Monkey is a free, easy-to-use online survey tool. You can create your own, personalized surveys on the Survey Monkey website, or you can embed the surveys on your Association website.
Contests appeal to a wide array of readers, whether the contest is a random drawing or a race to solve a puzzle. As readers respond, you'll get an idea of who's reading your publication – potential contributors!

Finally, members can do more than write for their publication. Ask volunteers to oversee the photocopying or printing. Ask others to coordinate distribution. It all adds up.