Integrating PR and communications into your membership strategy will help attract and retain members.

Common examples in the sports and health sector are gym goers, class instructors, a professional club’s charitable foundation and active lifestyle organisations.

Follow the steps to create impactful outputs to achieve your goals.

Social media community

Sports provides the public with an opportunity to feel a part of something from an athletics club to a local football team. Creating that presence in the community shows there is a hub for them to share their passions and interests.

For example, on Facebook, Avatar Fitness runs a public page in addition to a private group for members only, which provides access to exclusive content including tips from trainers, live workouts and a Q+A.

It’s a key reason why many people renew their membership.

Newsletters and blogs

Frequent updates keep your followers in the loop, and members-only content entices readers to join you so they can be the first to know what’s going on. Featuring fans in your news also puts the spotlight on them, encouraging them to stay.

For example, Parasport’s newsletter connects disabled people with getting active and provides those registered with latest events and activities.

Expert commentary

Trusted third parties including your opinion adds credibility to you and positions you as a leader in your field. That one article on a recognised industry website might give you the added edge against a rival who doesn’t appear anywhere else on the web or in the media.

For example, a Philadelphia Eagles fanbase, the British Eagles, received coverage on a range of news outlets in the US and the UK. The media campaign was successful in its goal of increasing its memberships. We are their chosen sports PR agency.

Virtual tours

People can feel put off joining something new when they don’t know what to expect. Show the world what you have to offer using multimedia. Provide 360-degree tours, tease classes and games with previews and offer one-to-one messages. Put a friendly face to a name, so that after speaking to an employee online they will feel encouraged to sign up.

The Badminton Horse Trials offers a virtual tour of its stables. This inspires those who wish to compete and calms nerves of competitors who can gain some familiarity with the course.

Use current members to sell the benefits

Asking people to participate in social takeovers to show off the perks of being a member adds authenticity to what you’re promoting as they are real examples. It also helps with retention, building deeper connections with those who helped feeling like they’ve played a role in your success.

British Canoeing’s Instagram page is packed with podcasts and actions shots of participants, proudly displaying the organisation and what it’s like to be a part of it.

Media relations

Forge relationships with the press so that when you have that latest celebration to share or you’ve raised money for a local charity, your story can be told via key publications.

For example, Active Cheshire, a lifestyle charity, has championed recent findings that 86,000 people in the area embed activity into their day-to-day life.