Most chambers have excellent reputations in their communities. They’re highly regarded and seen as a knowledgeable resource. But if you’ve inherited a terrible chamber brand, what do you do?
Tips to Improve Your Chamber Brand
Your chamber brand won’t improve overnight but here are a few things you can do to get those wheels of progress turning:
- Make it clear there’s a new sheriff in town. Whether it’s a new ED or just a new way of doing things, let your community know you’re making changes and give them some ideas of what to expect.
- Get out there and have those painful conversations. Today, marketing doesn’t control your brand. A brand is what others think of you. So get out there and have the hard conversations to find out what people think you can improve upon. Then put a strategy in place on how you will accomplish it.
- Let them know you’ve heard them and how you’ll address the issues. If member service was an area cited as needing improvement, share how you plan on doing that so that your community has something to measure you against.
- Let your personality show on social media. Social media is one of the least expensive and fastest ways to reach a lot of people. Decide on how you can help in this area and start having conversations and listening.
- Make sure your staff is on board. Often when you have a bad brand, you also have complacent or disengaged staff. You can’t change your brand with a disinterested team. Make the employee cultural changes you need to first and then begin solving your outward brand issues.
- The ED is the embodiment of the chamber brand. Remember, as the CEO you are the brand. Whatever you want the chamber brand to be, you have to be it too. You can’t lead what you want to be a “social” chamber if you refuse to friend your members. You create a disconnect when you do.
- Enlist the help of proponents. When you mess up a personal relationship and that person refuses to talk to you, you might turn to an intermediary to help you get your message to the other person. You can do the same when rebuilding your chamber brand. Enlist the help of a well thought of community member who wants to see the chamber succeed. Ask them to tell their tribe of the changes you’re making. It will seem a lot more authentic if your voice is not the only one being heard.
If you want to improve your chamber brand, you need to persist and be consistent in your actions. It will happen, but not overnight.
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