by Dani Damario
June 15, 2022
Here’s a scenario many associations may recognize: Your sales are hitting budget. Your event is a success. Your members are satisfied with the value you deliver. Your association is doing well, but how can you achieve greatness? How do you fully deliver on your association’s mission and become an industry thought-leader? This requires you to generate awareness of your association. Since associations tend to serve niche audiences, it can be difficult to expand your reach and generate exponential growth.
You’re not alone in this scenario. There are other organizations, associations, and groups within your industry facing the same dilemma. There’s always a new audience to unlock, but what’s the key? Enter the power of partnership.
In March 2022, the Neurocritical Care Society (NCS) was preparing for its second annual World Coma Day as part of the organization’s Curing Coma® Campaign. The 2022 success and future successes of World Coma Day relied on raising awareness within the neurocritical care community. To extend its reach and engage new audiences to participate in World Coma Day activities, NCS partnered with the American Neurological Association.
This partnership had two components, with each association bringing something to the table. First, NCS’s monthly Twitter Journal Club (#NCSTJC) featured an ANA article from their journal in March, two weeks before World Coma Day. The topic was research on coma, with the intention to start the online conversation about coma, Curing Coma®, and ultimately, World Coma Day. The NCS membership was excited about the opportunity to discuss an article from another journal, and ANA appreciated the opportunity to spotlight an article from their journal. The combined online engagement of both audiences with the discussion led to more than 1.6 million impressions on social media.
NCS and ANA didn’t stop there. They brought together two well-respected thought leaders in the industry, one from NCS and one from ANA, and jointly recorded a conversation for ANA’s podcast ANA Investigates. The episode, “ANA Investigates Curing Coma®,” was well-received on social media and kept the online conversation about coma going.
As a result, the partnership between NCS and ANA successfully raised awareness for Curing Coma and World Coma Day. In its second year, World Coma Day surpassed its debut year number of attendees by 26 percent. On World Coma Day, ANA once again showed their support by engaging with NCS posts and creating their own posts to share the event. From the beginning of NCS’ partnership with ANA, up until World Coma Day, our followers on all social media platforms increased.
Audience isn’t the only element you share with other associations in your industry; you may share similar goals to advance your profession, issues, or mission. There doesn’t need to be competition between your association and relevant organizations; a partnership can lead to a mutually beneficial relationship to achieve your objectives.
Dani Damario is in Marketing & Communication Services at Smithbucklin.