Members Have Spoken – Your Chamber Community Guide Could Be One Of The Most Important Things Your Chamber Does

by | Jul 5, 2016

A chamber community guide can be excellent non-dues revenue generator, but have you ever considered the value of your guide beyond a bump in your budget?

A recent survey by the Western Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives found that 90% of chamber members surveyed ranked “promoting the community” as the most important thing that their chamber should be doing. Did you catch that? 90%…promoting the community…most important. That’s a significant finding and worth noting.

One of the most concrete ways a chamber can demonstrate its role in promoting the community is through a well-planned, high quality chamber community guide. One that doesn’t just list members, resources and basic information, but also captures and communicates the unique characteristics and personality of the community and delivers a strong message that your community is the place to live, work and play.

Here are some examples of how some of the chambers we work with are providing more value and visibility for their members with their chamber community guides.

The Plano Cover 2016 Purpose In Plano

It’s mission critical to define the purpose of your publication. You need to know the audience you are trying to reach, what kind of information they want and need and also what you want and need them to know about your community. Do you want to use your chamber community guide to attract visitors? New residents? Site selectors? Are you trying to engage current residents of your community?

To effectively define the purpose of your publication, think about what’s going on in your region now and in what’s ahead in the near future.

Let’s take CMP client the Plano Chamber of Commerce as an example.

The city of Plano in Texas was experiencing rapid growth with many large corporations moving their headquarters, along with many new jobs, to the area. This presented a tremendous opportunity for the Plano Chamber to promote the community and its members to the thousands of new residents that would be relocating to the city and the surrounding area. With the current situation in mind, it was clear that the target audience was newcomers and the publication would best serve that audience as well as Chamber member advertisers as a relocation guide.

By honing in on the target audience, the Chamber was able to deliver relevant, quality content to the guide’s readers and provide much more value to member advertisers. For businesses trying to reach new residents, the repositioned guide provided a prime opportunity to connect with prospective newcomers.

The result? Advertising sales doubled.

Hooray For Hollywood

Hollywood Cover 2016_17 In 2014, approximately one-million square feet of commercial space was under construction in the Hollywood, California area, much of it was on spec without any tenants.

Leron Gubler, CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce wanted to help those developers attract tenants by publishing an Economic Profile that featured a snapshot of the community. Leron felt this new Economic Profile could replace his outdated, but financially, successful Business Directory. Leron partnered with Chamber Marketing Partners, Inc. to devise a strategy.

Rather than shut down the steady revenue stream from the outdated chamber membership directory to launch a brand new publication with no track record, the Chamber leveraged the existing revenue stream by revitalizing the current business directory, adding a built-in Economic Profile to the publication.

The chamber membership directory was re-branded as the “Hollywood Guide” which included a separate section titled “Hollywood Business & Community Profile.” An intentional overprint of the special section served as a stand-alone publication distributed to developers.

The result? The Chamber preserved a consistent revenue stream, completely redesigned, rebranded and made their new “Guide” more contemporary and relevant while building an advertising base for their new “Profile.” After all expenses, including mailing more than 10,000 copies throughout the community and to the developers, the Chamber netted a 17% return from this in-house project.

Ready For A Change?

Are you ready for total control and better financial performance from your chamber community guide or membership directory? Contact us now to discuss your project.

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