Lessons Learned from the Current Crises
The pandemic and social injustices are the current crises we're all coping with and trying to navigate as STEM professionals.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the omni-present social injustices are the current crises we're all coping with personally and trying to navigate as professionals of STEM organizations. At the annual ACCESSE20: A Virtual Connection Leadership conference July 22-23, the community will come together to discuss the effects of these crises and innovative ideas to move forward.
Staying True to Your Mission
I, for one, have learned many lessons from the current crises. One lesson that stands out to me is how major stress tests such as these, really illuminate our brand's (or organization's) strengths as well as our weaknesses. Organizations with strong brands and clear positionings had a beacon to guide them when they evaluated their member value during COVID-19 as well as where they stood on statements about racial equity during the protests. They are able to pivot more easily to produce product offerings that delivered on their brand promises but at the same time were economically and socially relevant.
For example, it was reported that a faith-based organization expanded its services to help their congregation as well as the community with unemployment applications. That's an example of an organization that stepped up, demonstrated leadership, and stayed true to its mission of helping the community while expanding its services to address immediate community needs related to COVID-19. We can draw inspiration and ideas from industries outside of our own like this.
Leveraging Your Thought Leadership Position
Our organization focused on its thought leadership position within the industry by leading through advocacy, communications, and education. We provided invaluable and actionable information on the Payment Protection Program, delivered frequent educational opportunities via webinars and roundtables, and followed up with up-to-date communications. Despite being physically separated through social distancing, we found that the level of connection to our members had never been as strong as in the past few months. Those organizations that provided crucial information, education and resources to their members earned their loyalty, resulting in those members ultimately renewing their memberships (or intending to) and re-committing to their professional homes.
At the end of the day, the organizations that looked ahead to what kind of member society they wanted to be for their constituents during these trying times had a guidepost to follow. These actions have highlighted the organizational leadership and member loyalty possible within societies.
Join me at ACCESSE20: A Virtual Connection on July 22-23
I plan to discuss lessons learned and the latest developments at my panel discussion on The Effect of the Pandemic on our Approach to Member Recruitment and Engagement. Hope to see you there as we continue the conversations and move forward together.
Meet ACCESSE20 Speaker Veronica Purvis, MSM, CAE
Veronica is Director of Marketing for the American Council of Engineering Companies and an award-winning, brand leader, speaker, and author with decades of experience running advertising, branding, communications, and marketing programs as well as leading staff and driving missions within associations and non-profits. She is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and holds a Master of Science in Management and Marketing.
She currently serves as chair of the CESSE membership special interest group. Her experience has included spearheading membership recruitment and retention initiatives, leading brands and re-positionings, developing on-site and remote teams of various levels, marketing all aspects of an association, developing partnerships, launching products and brands, and more. Her background as an image consultant rounds out her holistic approach to personal and organization brand management.