Bylaws of your chapter dictate the responsibilities of each officer and board member. Here are the responsibilities of the Communications Committee:
The Communications Committee is responsible for all communications, internal and external, for matters relating to the chapter.
Your Chapter Newsletter
The most important vehicle for communicating about your chapter is the monthly newsletter. The goal of each newsletter is to inform members and prospective members about chapter activities. Make it pop so prospective members join. It's all about the money.
Effective April, 2011, new members with e-mail addresses on file with ASGA will automatically receive a e-newlsetter, not a printed newsletter. Members who have joined prior to that date are "grand-fathered in," i.e. they have the option of the printed version which is sent via snail mail (USPS) or have an electronic version. E-newsletter members can access their roster by going online to their website and clicking on the link "Download the Latest Roster." This roster is updated daily as changes are made. Members can also update their own info by going to the MY ACCOUNT button on the left side of the website, www.SinglesGolf.com.
When your newsletter editor submits "raw" material to the national office each month, we layout each page, setting headlines and inserting pictures. It quickly gets printed and mailed or e-mailed to your members. But before they receive it in the mail, it's immediately posted to you local chapter's section of the national website (e.g. ___________.SinglesGolf.com). And as soon as it's posted . . . members get an e-mail stating it's been posted. Guests should be directed there as they can view your newsletter as a PDF at any time.
Meeting Location Box. This box appears at the bottom of your newsletter each month and should contain information about the location, including address, phone number, directions, date, social hour, starting time for the business portion of the meeting, etc. Is it held in a private room? Is there a cost? Is dinner included or optional? Do you need to RSVP?, etc. It is important to be thorough since this is usually the first bit of information that a prospective member receives concerning the local chapter.
Submitting Information for Your Newsletter. You want to make sure that the information is sent to the national office at least 14 days prior to your meeting date. Please send only one e-mail and include your chapter name and month on the email, i.e., Charlotte Newsletter — March, 2011. If there are any changes to the list of officers, website address or voice mail, include this information at the top of the e-mail. Do you need to have a proof of the newsletter faxed to you? If so, include that information also.
Internal Deadlines. Set-up a time table for getting information from the other chairpersons. A good deadline date would be one week after your regular monthly membership meeting. In addition to the monthly meeting you will need information about the upcoming golf outings and social events. You may want to have “reporters” at the golf outing do a story or include a member or two each month under a column titled “member spotlight.”
The Newsletter Editor. It is your responsibility to double check the information and make sure that it is complete. Ask yourself, if this was my first newsletter would it answer all my questions? Make sure that there is sufficient time to register for an event. It is very frustrating to receive a newsletter and find out that it is too late to sign up of an event.
ASGA National has certain policies that relate to your newsletter, as follows:
Listing of Officers and Chairperson Positions in Your Newsletter
Generally on page two of each newsletter is a listing of your chapter's officers, chairpersons and other important contact persons. It is up to the Communication's Chairpersonson to keep the national office advised of changes in this section. Just because a title was changed on the roster does not mean it automatically is changed in the newsletter.
We are providing to you a special template for you to use each year in order to submit this information to the national office consistent with the format used by other chapters. Please click here for details.
Again, even if your chapter maintains it's own website, we still have a website for you under the national website (e.g. www.KansasCity.SinglesGolf.com), and your newsletter will be posted automatically to that sub-site under the national website once the newsletter is layed-out. It's posted as a PDF. So please emphasize to your chapter leaders that certain information will be posted to the general public, such as chapter officers names, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc. If you do not want your information posted in the newsletter, you'll need to advise your local editor of your wishes.
Other Internal Communication
Many chapter use e-mail to notify their members of upcoming events, changes, etc. Keep in mind that according to the national database, only 90% of our members use e-mail. Don't short-change those folks without e-mail. They are members as well. Have some means of notifying them as necessary such as a telephone committee (phone tree) where those names are divided-up and called.
Voice Mail – Some chapters find it beneficial to maintain a voice mail system for your chapter. Some call this a "chapter hotline." It is a local number your members can call to see, for example, if golf is "still on" for today since it's drizzling outside, or, as a means to greet local inquiries when they want to know where your chapter meets, on what day, etc. To get a voice mail set-up, please check your local yellow pages and look for a computer driven, automated system that allows you to check messages and change the greeting from any location. Your voice mail message should contain information about your monthly meeting. Ask someone to keep it up to date and to check the messages. Contact the membership chairperson with names and numbers of prospective members. The local chapter is responsible for charges incurred by local voice mail service. A company called Intelliverse (1-888-554-7835) has a basic plan for $12.95/month. More on voice mail, along with a sample greeting, is here.
Website – Websites have changed over the years from "electronic brochures" to "information sources." ASGA provides website space to each chapter saving the chapter hundreds of dollars it would have normally paid for hosting such site. Although we provide a website for you, your chapter may have its own URL or website not associated with (or under) the national website.
If you develop a website "under" the national website, your website would be as follows: www.yourchaptername.singlesgolf.com - - with this type of website, a few members in each chapter will have the "key" to open their chapter's area and make necessary updates. Updating is easy but there is a small learning curve. We have a website developed just to show you how to manage and write web pages. Go there. Through the local website "under" the national site, your members will be able to review their roster 24/7 as well as look at the current newsletter.
MeetUp.com - ASGA National will pay for your chapter to have its own MeetUp site. Some chapters have elected to use MeetUp as their primary means of communication. The beauty of a MeetUp site is that MeetUp will automatically send information about your "ASGA MeetUp page" to other golf MeetUps or other singles MeetUps. For more info on the ASGA Meetups, go to www.SinglesGolf.com/meetup
Posting in local papers – check with your local newspapers for free listings in their organizations or single section. Are there small community papers that would be willing to do a story about the chapter? If you have a something special planned such as charity event or night golf, contact your local paper about doing a story. Local reporters love us and are always looking for stories that their readers will enjoy.
Remember: when you’re trying to get some PR on your event, many radio, TV and newspaper outlets will not bother with you unless your event is newsworthy. Don’t ask for some “free press.” Tell them you think their readers or listeners would enjoy seeing a story about the event you’re running.
We've got some sample press releases at another area of our website. Good PR can help your chapter grow. And what do singles want to see? More singles!
American Singles Golf Association, 1122 Industrial Drive, Suite 107, Matthews, NC 28105