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Where Did our Members
go?
Membership and finance challenges in
association management in Nigeria
Chido Nwakanma
President,...
Overview
 Two inter-related challenges confront voluntary membership associations of
professionals. They are retaining an...
IABC NIGERIA
 The International Association of Business Communicators is a global body that
brings in persons with intere...
The Challenge of Engagement
 With IABC Nigeria, there were some challenges.
1. An association of professionals in communi...
IABC Nigeria & the challenge of
engagement
 7. Enthusiastic responses.
 8. Did not however lead to a growth spurt in mem...
The Challenge of the Internet
 The Internet has been a blessing to all professionals.
 However, for professional associa...
2016 challenge
 For 2016, our challenge is to grow membership and finance base.
 We are seeking solutions.
 However, EX...
The PRCAN experience
 The experience with the Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria
(PRCAN) has differed on...
What’s the benefit?
 Key challenge for PRCAN was establishing benefits for members.
 What do I gain by enrolling my firm...
Public Relations Gold Medal Lecture
 Our Guest Speaker
was the Governor of
Ekiti State, Dr Kayode
Fayemi.
 He is now Min...
Growth in membership and acceptance
 PRCAN has grown membership numbers.
 From 2012 to 2014, we grew from 35 to 50. Over...
What else can we do?
 This is the key question for us in the EXCO of IABC. What else can we do?
Where cometh inspiration ...
Where did our members go
Where did our members go
Where did our members go
Where did our members go
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Where did our members go

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A session from the First AfSAE Conference

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Where did our members go

  1. 1. Where Did our Members go? Membership and finance challenges in association management in Nigeria Chido Nwakanma President, International Association of Business Communicators, Nigeria Chapter.
  2. 2. Overview  Two inter-related challenges confront voluntary membership associations of professionals. They are retaining and growing membership as well as generating funding to run programmes.  The challenge of member retention has been exacerbated by technological improvements that have reduced the appeal of a core appeal of associations in the past: access to content.  I share here the challenges of two associations with which I have been closely associated as President in the last five years.
  3. 3. IABC NIGERIA  The International Association of Business Communicators is a global body that brings in persons with interests in the broad field of integrated marketing communication.  IABC members draw from fields as diverse as public relations through advertising to teaching, journalism and publishing. Everyone in business communication.  Chartered in Nigeria in 2009.  Membership was 120 in 2011.  Bulk of membership drew from Nigeria LNG Limited. It registered 30 persons.  Others registered courtesy of their companies but dropped off if company changed policy or they left the firm.
  4. 4. The Challenge of Engagement  With IABC Nigeria, there were some challenges. 1. An association of professionals in communication was not communicating to members or to any one else. 2. We set out to change this beginning 2013. 3. Introduced IABC CEO Breakfast Forum with notable speakers and sponsorship by corporate bodies. 4. Frequency was supposed to be quarterly but we are now planning for the sixth edition in three years. 5. Breakfast Forum well received and successful. Average attendance 60 persons per event. Good media mileage for one month after each event. Interesting topics.
  5. 5. IABC Nigeria & the challenge of engagement  7. Enthusiastic responses.  8. Did not however lead to a growth spurt in membership.  9. Many factors A. IABC itself had problems with its payment platform meaning that old and new members had difficulty paying for their subscriptions. Problem only sorted out in November 2015. B. Exchange rate differentials have impacted Nigerians negatively. It was N190-$1 in May 2015. Post election, the exchange today is N405-$1. Many members find the difference too much.
  6. 6. The Challenge of the Internet  The Internet has been a blessing to all professionals.  However, for professional associations, it seems the Internet has been a bane rather than a boon.  The Internet has removed one of the strong pillars of association membership. It makes CONTENT readily available so people do not need to come to meetings to learn the latest development.  Other challenges have worsened situation.  It is so bad that as at January 15, membership had declined to 35. NLNG stopped enrolling their team en-bloc, as did several other firms.  Yet, we now have presence on the Board and growing membership in Port Harcourt, Abuja and Yola, home of the American University of Nigeria.
  7. 7. 2016 challenge  For 2016, our challenge is to grow membership and finance base.  We are seeking solutions.  However, EXCO has identified the need to do the following: 1. Have at least four of the Business Leaders Forum in 2016. 2. Have a major Conference and bring speakers from abroad. 3. Promote the certification scheme of IABC 4. Partner with a University to prepare candidates for the IABC certification examinations 5. Drive aggressively for membership-renewal as well as new signings.
  8. 8. The PRCAN experience  The experience with the Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN) has differed only slightly.  I was President from 2012-2014. Before then I had served as Treasurer and Vice President over a 10-year period.  PRCAN is the association that aggregates and promotes the interest of public relations consulting firms. We found that most of our members do Events and Sponsorship activities along with their work in corporate communication, media engagement, community relations, CSR, Government relations etc.
  9. 9. What’s the benefit?  Key challenge for PRCAN was establishing benefits for members.  What do I gain by enrolling my firm in this body, many prospects asked.  Another was, curiously for a communication association, very low awareness of PRCAN.  We then did major efforts:  Brand building campaign  Advocacy efforts  Interventions in public discourse on issues around Governance and Public Communication.  Introduced the Public Relations Gold Medal Lecture
  10. 10. Public Relations Gold Medal Lecture  Our Guest Speaker was the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi.  He is now Minister for Solid Minerals  Next was Wendy Thlou of Brand South Africa.
  11. 11. Growth in membership and acceptance  PRCAN has grown membership numbers.  From 2012 to 2014, we grew from 35 to 50. Over the next two years, it has now grown to 56 members.  More importantly, there is awareness by key stakeholders.  Dues are still a challenge.
  12. 12. What else can we do?  This is the key question for us in the EXCO of IABC. What else can we do? Where cometh inspiration and guidance to help drive attainment of our objectives?

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