Public relations for industry associations – a gold mine of material

Extreme close-up of a pile of gold, shiny glitter

Content is all around us, you just have to know where to mine it. And when it comes to industry associations, they’re gold mines for PR and marketing folks looking to generate content and pitch the media.

At Hodges, we love working with associations because it makes our jobs infinitely easier. Why? Because we’re not just working with one client; we’re considering every member of that association a client contact in some way – and when we and the association succeeds, so do the members.

Here are four reasons why engaging on a public relations project with industry associations piques our interest.

Associations are networks of subject matter experts.

We’ve worked with a number of industry associations over the years, and what is so great about the membership structure of an association is that we’re able to tap into the entire membership for content and media relations efforts. This allows us to take a timely, topical pitch and send it out across Virginia – connecting media markets with the members who are in their region. We also can create regular social and blog content with a similar approach, which makes the member the star and raises the credibility of the association in the process.

A solid PR program strengthens internal communications with members.

But how does that workflow work? Well, with a solid PR campaign in place, you’re going to build or refine communications with your members to ensure they’re aware of opportunities ahead. We’ve written communications to members, developed internal newsletters and spoken on calls and in workshops to help educate them about the strategies in place so everyone is on the same page. These regular communications and intentional touchpoints often reflect on the industry association overall in a positive way.

The lift is shared, so burnout is reduced.

With access to dozens, or hundreds, of SMEs, we’re not going back to the same person for every single media request or content asks. We’re all tired and busy – we get that. The beauty of utilizing the entire association network means it’s a team effort, and no one person is going to be burned out from requests. The hope is that when we come knocking on a door for content or an interview, the contact is fresh, not overtaxed and willing to play ball.

The PR tide raises all ships.

Lastly, a major benefit of a public relations strategy for industry associations is that a rising tide lifts all ships. We may not be able to mention every member in every piece of content we create, but by finding ways to highlight the industry overall, we’re helping craft the narrative that helps all members in the association thrive.

Casey Prentice

A self-proclaimed organizational junkie and data geek who confesses to a secret desire to be a professional organizer, Casey enjoys account management, writing, editing and digital content strategy. Her agency work has helped clients like Virginia’s Community Colleges, VCUarts and Swedish Match.

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