You know it’s going to happen. The moment your community guide or chamber membership directory is published, the phone starts to ring. On the other end are members whose listing information in your brand new publication is out of date or inaccurate.
It’s rarely the chamber’s fault.
Members simply forget to keep their chamber information up to date. Even when you send out member verification forms, some don’t come back. But that doesn’t matter. When it’s wrong and it’s in print, it becomes the chamber’s problem.
All Digital Is Not The Answer
That’s the nature of a printed publication. Once it is in print, it cannot be changed. But going purely digital with your chamber member directory isn’t the answer. People still have an appetite for print.
A recent survey at one chamber that CMP works with showed that 75% of respondents prefer a printed publication versus 25% preferring digital-only. A chamber member in Silicon Valley recently requested 10 additional printed directories from the chamber. When asked why she said sifting through a Google search is like looking for a needle in a haystack. She felt that the chamber had already filtered through the noise and provided the best information for her.
A printed directory still has value. One way to avoid inaccurate member listings is to combine chamber member verification with your community guide or chamber membership directory production.
The timing is perfect. Chamber membership professionals tell us that people still respond to “join by X date to be listed in the chamber membership directory.” Members are much more motivated to respond when they know there is a deadline tied to a publication.
Chamber member verification can be a big job on your own, so we have developed a solution for chambers that work with us. Chamber Marketing Partners offers an add-on service for our chamber clients that provides chambers with updated member information, as well as opportunities for members to purchase enhanced listings in the publication.
CMP Chamber Member Verification
Here’s how the process works. Members receive a letter from the chamber with instructions for verifying their information. Chamber Marketing Partners provides that letter to the chamber. But we also have a team that gets on the phone and calls each and every member to confirm whether they received that letter. Our team talks with your members about any changes that need made to their listings, and while they are on the phone with your members, they offer them an opportunity to enhance or upgrade their listings.
Chambers that use this service appreciate the personal outreach aspect of it, as well as the opportunity to generate additional revenue from upgraded listings. Members benefit from accurate information about their businesses. Plus, businesses with smaller budgets have opportunities to gain increased visibility in the community guide or membership directory where they may not have been able to purchase a color ad.