Sunday, September 2, 2012

BDPA Marketing Tips Shared by Atlanta Chapter President Felicia Jones

How often have we heard the statement that 'BDPA is the best-kept secret in the Information Technology industry' or 'BDPA is the best-kept secret in the Black community'. I've noticed that BDPA Atlanta chapter has stepped up their marketing over the past year and as a result the chapter is one of the fastest-growing in the nation.

I reached out to BDPA Atlanta chapter president Felicia Jones with this question:
If you had to share insights into the 'best practices' of marketing experienced by your BDPA Atlanta chapter this year ... what would they be? What are the top 2-3 things that you would suggest for other local chapter leaders to think about or do in their efforts to raise the level of marketing and awareness of BDPA in the other 44 chapter cities around the nation?

Her answer provides a road-map for all of us in BDPA:
  1. Social media; the #1 marketing tool...period! From FB to LinkedIn to Twitter and all the other tools, you can reach millions of people in an instance. With today's technology & devices, people are always connected and plugged in. Atlanta was already using social media, but we had to come up with attention grabbers & catch phrases that would get people's attention to make them want to know more.
  2. Website; current with substance. Using social media to market your chapter is meaningless if you don't have a website, but a website with info, events, programs, etc. If you don't have one for your local chapter, use Nationals; every chapter has the capability to create a site within national's website. Atlanta had to update our website; the look, the feel, the info. We needed to tell a story and have people wanting to learn more about the organization and to also want to be a part of it. You must have events listed even if you are sharing events from another chapter (like webinars) or partnering with another organization on their event.
  3. Email Communication; tried & true. Email is the best form of communication to send out detailed information, but watch the frequency of emails, you don't want to be categorized as spam. Atlanta changed the look of our emails to incorporate better graphics, catch phrases & the frequency for which we sent out the info. We actually have people responding to the emails with great comments! We send out an email at the beginning of the month that summarizes all the upcoming events for that month, as the date gets closer to the event, we send out another email.
  4. Word of Mouth; the best form of communication. If you are providing great programs & quality events, people will begin to talk and spread the word for you. Atlanta introduced several new programs for its members along with having several networking events. There were several new faces & they said they heard about us from a friend, friend of a friend, co-worker, etc.
  5. Within all of those four avenues of marketing, we had to change our look and approach. We had to be creative and come up with new marketing material such as video. You can write, tweet, blast, and list as much info as you like, but there's nothing better than actually seeing/hearing someone give a testimonial, tell a story or provide info so we got creative with video. We have our own YouTube channel where you can view our Real Talk Series, The Speaker Behind the Topic, testimonial videos, interviews of our HSCC students & instructors, and much, much more.

What are your thoughts on Felicia's marketing tips? Do you have other 'best practices' about marketing of BDPA programs that you want to share with us?

No comments: