communications-tree-owlby Linda Burr
Education and Publicity Committee

Thank you to all of our members who participated in the survey on communications this past January. The electronic version was distributed by email to 658 members and a paper survey was distributed by mail to 115 members. We received an incredible 395 responses (39 on paper, 356 on-line), which is a response rate of 51%! Considering that a 10% return rate is viewed as good for these types of surveys, it shows that OFNC members are really passionate about this organization, and the results should provide an accurate snapshot of our club’s membership.

The survey is part of a larger plan to improve the ways in which we use our various communication tools (e.g., website, Facebook, etc.) to better serve OFNC members and attract new members. We want to ensure that the OFNC is still thriving in the future and that it continues to meet its members’ expectations, including ensuring that members can easily find out about all club activities in which they may want to participate.

The vast majority of our members (76%) are 55 years or older (46% are 65 and over). While it’s easy to make assumptions about members’ communication methods based on their age, we learned from the survey that 85% want to receive emails, 44% want to receive paper mail, and 22% want updates via Facebook. What does this mean in terms of the ways we will communicate with members in the future?

To better understand how the OFNC is currently communicating with members, our consultant has now spoken with all the individuals in the club who are involved with communications. We have realized that the OFNC and its committees are using about 30 different communication channels with members, including Trail and Landscape, emails from various groups within the club, Facebook, websites, etc. Why so many? If our goal is to ensure that the ways we are communicating are those that will best serve the club members, could the OFNC benefit from a more coordinated approach to communications?

Ultimately, we want to ensure that we make the best use of all the communication tools at our disposal. Currently, the final analyses from the survey are being tabulated, and the broader implications for the club are being considered. A final report with recommendations will be submitted to the OFNC Board by the consultant in June 2015.

Stay tuned for more in June!