Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Finally, a new way to provide meaningful volunteer recognition

A hugely positive reason to have an association blog is the ability to recognize volunteer participation, accomplishments, and writing skills in a way the public can actually find. Also, by adding an "In Memory" section you can provide a lasting memory for families, friends, colleagues, and future generations to find. The public routinely Google-searches business people (and friends/family), and your officers, volunteers and staff will show up on Google if they're on your blog. Tips:

1. Include their town/city location as many searches start with name and town (as I've noticed in analytics);
2. Take their picture during the meeting and TELL volunteers they'll find it on the blog. Some will forward to others. Everyone likes pictures;
3. Use the name they are commonly known by - for example, I'm found by Cindy, but rarely Cynthia. Assume those searching will use their commonly known name too;
4. "In Memory" is an especially nice and important way to provide a final tribute to a volunteer. Let their family know you cared about them and the role they played for your association and industry. Again, I can tell by analytics that our "In Memory" sections have a worldwide reach - likely link forwards;
5. The reach of a Google search is far more relevant than only a local newspaper recognition (if those even get published);

6. Add a Blogroll to link to your member blogs. Helps those with blogs (by having another way to be found); and provides easy to find example of those blogging within your association;
7. Note via other association communications (such as e-newsletter to members) you have new blog postings (with overview of subjects) - as internal promotion of accomplishments still matters too. Blog reading is new to many members so good way to get them started.

Volunteers contribute a lot. Let's recognize them. Forever. Association blog placement does what a few words on a plaque can't do. Tell their story - and have it found.

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