Attraction, Not Promotion: Winning Member Loyalty and Enhancing Member Engagement

By: Christine Umbrell

While taking the time to meet face to face with prospects can be time consuming, such an approach may be just what's needed to boost member and sponsor recruitment efforts. That's what executives at the Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA) learned a few years ago when they revamped their recruitment program. The results have been beneficial not only in terms of members added but also in terms of increased understanding of constituents and their unique needs.

The Massachusetts Hospital Association—the trade association for hospitals in Massachusetts—has about 80 hospital members and 42 members of other types, including law firms and consulting firms that are in the healthcare business. MHA also has a Center for Education and Professional Development (CEPD). Up until a few years ago, these two entities approached their recruitment efforts separately. Then senior staff members realized that combining efforts and adopting a softer-sell, one-on-one approach could be mutually beneficial....