SHRM Chapter Planning and Marketing

shrm chapter planning and marketing

This post on SHRM chapter planning and marketing is a piece of the SHRM Chapter Leadership Guide.

Today I had the opportunity to meet with the NASHRM Webmaster (anyone else think “webmaster” is the coolest title ever?) to go over some ideas for the upcoming year. In just a few short weeks, we’ll be starting 2010, and I will officially become the “Assistant Webmaster” for NASHRM. We both have some great ideas for making this chapter the best. How many other SHRM chapters are thinking about…

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Rebuilding the site with the user in mind
  • Blogging
  • Email newsletters

I bet there aren\’t many. I\’m thrilled to have such a great guy to work with on this project. Erich laughs about being a lurker in the social media space, and I keep telling him that I\’m waiting on a guest post for the SHRM chapter blog. It\’s a fun experience, and neither of us is new to this whole social media thing.

marketingBack on topic: I\’m so excited to see what we can do with this thing. There has been a lot of talk lately about how SHRM may or may not be worth the expense, and we are looking at this redesign with that in mind. Some of the questions in the forefront of my mind:

  • How can we provide enough value to justify membership?
  • What can we do to help those HR pros “in the trenches?”
  • What can we do to open their eyes to the competitive advantage of social media?

I\’ve been talking a lot with other professionals in the past few days. The topic has been the difference between local and national SHRM membership. While I can make a great case to people for joining a local SHRM chapter, it\’s harder for me to do that with national membership. However, that doesn\’t mean local always wins. For instance, two of my friends went out of their way to get involved with their own local chapters, and they were pretty much turned away!

Some local SHRM chapters just plain suck (yep, I said it).

Let me give you a hint if you\’re involved with a local chapter somewhere: you are selling membership. You aren\’t a charity, you\’re a business. Act like it. Sell your members on the benefits of your organization. If you can\’t succinctly tell prospective members the benefits of joining, then maybe you should revisit the reason your organization exists.

Are you a member of a local SHRM chapter? Do you get anything out of the experience? Why or why not?

Images by and dan taylor.

11 thoughts on “SHRM Chapter Planning and Marketing

  1. Frannyo

    I’ve worked off and on with my local SHRM – I’m in Houston, the 4th largest city in the US. I’ve found that most people in leadership roles there, particularly committees, treat the job as a line on their resume rather than an awesome opportunity to learn, network, and build future talent. The committee leadership roles are given to the same people every year, and they do the same things they did the year before, every year. From my other nonprofit work I know it’s a vicious cycle – the only people who show up are the same volunteers, so you give them the job, and they do a mediocre job and don’t give anyone any responsibility so it drives off new blood, so then the cycle continues.
    I, frankly, don’t have the interest or energy to fight that level of inertia and insularity without some payoff in terms of cash, momentum, or impact. Sorry, SHRM Houston.

    1. Ben Post author

      I’ve seen that happen several times to several people, Franny. You’re not alone. If the same, stale group stays put, then nobody benefits other than THEM!

  2. Alicia Arenas (@AliciaSanera)

    I recently met with the new Pres of the San Antonio chapter. She had just started dabbling in social media but was unaware of the massive HR community online. She wants to bring change but is facing several of the Everests Franny mentioned; especially finding volunteers who follow through and are in it for the long-term.
    .-= Alicia Arenas (@AliciaSanera)´s last blog ..How To Create An Irrelevant Brand =-.

    1. Ben Post author

      The volunteers are out there if you can find them. Promise them rewarding, resume-worthy work, and you will find the people you need!

  3. akaBruno


    Good thoughts. I will be forwarding your post to our local chapter for ideas to consider in 2010.


  4. Joan Ginsberg

    I just shared this with my local chapter (Human Resources Association of Greater Detroit/HRAGD) via LinkedIn. I don’t know how many people I will reach, but I keep trying.

    I am new to my local – I joined in August 09. So far I have been under-impressed. They are all incredibly friendly, but so far I have had a very difficult time connecting in any real, meaningful way. I have had two offers to help and get involved rebuffed, and every time I bring something up, I am referred to different people, who refer me to someone else, etc.

    I keep trying because I made a commitment at HRevolution to put up or shut up, and shut up is too hard for me. But, man, my local is a tough sell when it comes to doing anything different.
    .-= Joan Ginsberg´s last blog ..HRevolution – The Future of HR =-.

    1. Ben Post author

      The locals being hard to get along with was one of the things that made HRevolution so refreshing. You can find people who you can work with, but it might take some work. Let me know if you don’t get anyone’s ear. I might be able to help you out.

  5. Hannah

    I decided to become more active in HRAGD just recently. My first event was a round table discussion last January. I thought it was a great idea, low cost and informative. I let the committee members know my thoughts and they seemed to think we would have more. I have not seen any more round table discussions scheduled. I must say I am disappointed.

    I recently went to the December dinner and the presentation was great! It was nice to meet new people and have a nice dinner too.

    I think a variety of ‘venues’ is the best way to keep people involved.

    1. Ben Post author

      Hey, Hannah! I think it’s a great idea to do round-table type events. We found at our HR unconference that people responded very well to small group discussion and it seemed like the smaller the group, the more everyone had to say! Thanks for stopping by to comment. Come back soon. :-)

  6. Pingback: Local SHRM Chapter-3 reasons to find and join one today | upstartHR

Comments are closed.