Last June, the PWRG Advisory Board and chapter leadership teams realized that they needed to better understand how our members felt about -- and what they needed from -- PWRG, so we sent out a survey.
Thanks to the tremendous response from the PWRG membership, we received valuable insight, and the findings have helped shape the direction of our activities and offerings throughout the past year.
We want to continue to keep abreast of your needs and desires, so the survey will be sent on an annual basis. Before we send the next one, we thought we would recap the impact that the first has had.
What we learned:
PWRG as a whole is valued by our members, yet not universally seen as helping build their businesses. Individual chapters are more likely to be regarded as aids to building business. Members are engaged and active in their chapters.
The benefit members want most from a business-building standpoint is more referrals. While most members claim to make regular referrals, the most common obstacle noted is not knowing people who would be good referrals for their fellow chapter members.
Members are very interested in increasing collaboration and interaction across chapters. COVID-19 forced us to cancel our semi-annual luncheons in 2020, so we had to come up with new cross-chapter opportunities.
We also asked for input on educational topics. The most popular ideas were professional best practices and topical roundtable discussions. There was also significant unprompted interest in marketing topics, specifically social media, and an external speaker series.
Very few used the website regularly, mostly because it wasn’t being kept current. Members would love to use the site to search by keyword or category, read member bios, and handle dues and event registration/payment. They’d also like to leverage the site to make referrals and invitations to meetings and events.
Despite expressing a desire for a stronger social media presence, it turned out that members had a limited social media relationship with PWRG.
So what did we do with all this information?
Some of the changes and introductions so far include:
The Online Taskforce (from which the idea for the survey was generated) was created last year under the leadership of Diane Labazio (Walnut Creek chapter). It morphed into the Marketing Committee, which has made a lot of progress:
Under the world-class strategic creative talent of Lisa Bond (Concord chapter), we launched a new brand identity and logo, which can be seen on our website.
Lisa Nichols (Danville chapter) is making sure that the website is kept up to date. For now, chapter updates should continue to be sent to her.
Sabrina Axt (Walnut Creek chapter) has taken the lead on Social Media – be sure to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram! She’s done an incredible job enhancing the content on these channels and highlighting our members and their businesses.
The Education Committee, led by Francene Anderson (Walnut Creek chapter), immediately organized a lunchtime virtual referral workshop. They also kicked off the new year with Ignite 2021!, a workshop featuring a cross-chapter panel to help us all make 2021 a successful year (video will be added to the PWRG YouTube channel soon).
Mary Blaire Wolf (Walnut Creek chapter) and the Social and Events Committee quickly organized a virtual Halloween social. A spooky fun time was had by all. Then on March 23, Sister Code was our guest at another social mixer that included some really meaningful sharing and reflection, as well as fabulous prizes from our member sponsors! Sponsoring our events is a great way to showcase your business to PWRG members outside your own chapter.
More improvements are in the works!
The new Membership Committee is tasked with helping PWRG attract, retain, and engage members and facilitating a first-class member experience. They’re working with the Marketing Committee to further enhance the website. You’ll soon be able to update your member profile, search the directory by name, chapter and business category, register for events, and pay dues and other fees. We’ll even have PWRG “swag” for sale! Longer term, we hope to add features facilitating referrals and event invitations.
The Membership Committee is also working on standardizing membership recruitment and onboarding processes and developing a new member orientation.
The new Policies Committee is drafting new policies and guidelines to present to the Advisory Board.
Mark your calendars for April 28! The Education Committee is planning a “lunch & learn” workshop on social media, featuring several members who have successfully used this channel to build their business.
2020 was an exciting year for PWRG. As much as we all miss connecting in person, the pandemic pushed us to improve engagement across chapters and find new ways to connect.
We’ll be sending out our needs assessment survey again soon. Your input is very much appreciated and valued, and we are committed to making your ideas come to life moving forward!