April 2023 Club Updates and Club Achievement/Membership Tips

AAF Tuscaloosa

Our club keeps track of monthly to-dos in Basecamp, where board members are encouraged to post photos, graphics, summaries and other assets. This is doable on any project management software like Monday or Trello. Every month, chairs submit reports using the assets in their to-dos and formatted like club achievement reports. Whenever it comes time to submit their books at the end of the year, it becomes less about writing and compiling and more about editing.

– Jacob Crawford, President

AAF Memphis

We don’t have anything for the topic of club achievement but we did get interviewed on our local TV station about the American Advertising Awards. Check it out here!

– Richard Fudge, President

AAF Mississippi Gulf Coast

Whew, we learned a lot this year (of what not to do). Here’s what we’re doing to make sure we nail our Club Achievement submissions next year: 

  • We’re gonna use Club Achievement for goal setting in the (5) categories during our Board Retreat. Starting off strong, baby!
  • We know it’s important to start early, so we’re not gonna procrastinate. We’re giving ourselves plenty of time to gather info, organize it, and create a polished final product by working throughout the year.
  • To stay organized, we’re setting up a collaborative storage system like Dropbox or Google Drive. And we’re gonna document everything! That means assigning (2) people to take pictures/videos, screen shots, etc.
  • We’ll use social media for timestamps and as an easy method for membership feedback. Gotta keep those lines of communication open!
  • We’re focusing on the results our club achieved rather than just listing off what we did. And we’re gonna be specific by including numbers and data to demonstrate the impact of our club’s work.
  • To make sure we’re staying on top of things, we’re making Club Achievement metrics a part of our monthly reports from chairs/committees so we can collect info while it’s fresh. The reports will make a great start for our books.
  • And finally, we’re establishing a review committee to give our submission a once-over before we submit. Gotta make sure we didn’t miss any details.

– Cece Shabazz, President

AAF Baton Rouge

From the start of this year, our club knew that membership development and retention needed to be one of our primary focuses. With this in mind, we tasked our Membership Committee with the goal of holding one “fun” networking social every month. While that goal may not have been entirely met, we still had overwhelmingly positive feedback about the many new and old types of networking events that we hosted. From haunted houses to “random ad trivia nights,” we held events that would appeal to a wide array of members. For those members who may not enjoy traditional happy-hour networking, these events provided different ways to find value in club membership and to meet new industry professionals. 

One fortuitous change we were able to make use of this year was our return to a popular luncheon meeting venue that had temporarily closed during covid. While our return to this fondly-remembered “old classic,” would not be an obvious way to retain members, it did turn out that way. Many long-time members enjoyed returning to a more consistent monthly attendance routine. There was also the added draw of being a newly-renovated venue many locals looked forward to seeing.

Finally, we held several highly successful membership development events this year with workshops and presentations by topical speakers. Toward the beginning of the year, we put on a one-day, mini-headshot session that any member could sign up for. We also brought in speakers to discuss topics from intellectual property law to the implementation of AI in advertising. By providing insight into hot issues of our day and access to valuable professional tools, we were able to provide appealing benefits for our members and retain many of them throughout the year. 

– Julia Yarbrough, President

AAF Mobile Bay

Like most clubs, we entered this year with a goal to increase our membership as well as retaining all of our current members. But thanks to some strategic programming choices and personal outreach efforts by our membership chair, we have actually already exceeded our member growth goal! 

One of the ways we did this was by hosting a luncheon program that featured as speakers the coeditors of a local alternative newspaper (now the only printed paper in the market). Not only was the program well-attended, it led to that publication purchasing a corporate membership for its sales team, as well as another local publucation that attended the program as a guest. 

With Mobile being a smaller market, personal outreach, via phone calls and emails, has also gone a long way to grow and maintain our membership.

– AAF Mobile Bay Council of Presidents