The Army and Navy Club and The Country Club of Virginia have promoted fun ways to encourage members to proudly display their club affiliations from the farthest corners of the globe.
Getting members to keep their clubs front-of-mind while they’re going about their daily routines at home is a primary and constant challenge for every club manager. So when you can successfully find ways to have members remember, and proudly display, their club affiliations while traveling, even to the farthest corners of the world, that’s a sure sign you’ve made a lasting and meaningful connection. The Army and Navy Club in Washington, D.C., displays evidence of that accomplishment each month, by featuring at least one photo in each issue of its magazine, The Dispatch, that shows a member holding the publication during visits to various cities, monuments and reciprocal clubs throughout the globe.
The club’s management came up with the idea as a way to not only connect members to each other through shared experiences, but also to give its non-resident members a feeling that they too contribute and are really part of the club. The concept is an especially good fit for The Army and Navy Club, with a membership made up of 90% active-duty and retired military, two-thirds of whom live outside the Washington, D.C. area. So the photos that regularly appear in The Dispatch help to create and reinforce the club’s sense of community, no matter how many miles may separate all of those among the membership. Once the photos began to appear in The Dispatch, the club reports, the idea took on a life of its own, with members clearly enjoying the opportunity to participate and eagerly sending in, along with their pictures, enthusiastic descriptions of where they stayed and what they did at the depicted location. “We’ve even had members try to outdo each other by picking exotic and unique locations, such as a World War II fighter plane, to take their pictures,” says Ariana Garcia, the club’s Marketing and Communications Manager. “Their big smiles as they proudly display the magazine shows us that they take pride in their membership and are paying attention to the communications pieces we create for them.”
With over 65 new member families joining in 2017, the Carriage Club in Kansas City, Mo., created a New Member Yearbook and put copies in each service outlet. Staff members are encouraged to write in new discoveries about each family, and the books are then updated monthly.
Organized alphabetically by family, each page contains a family photo and each family member’s full name and birthdate, phone and e-mail contact information, and sections for dietary restrictions and personal food-and-beverage preferences…
Philadelphia Country Club, Gladwyne, Pa., instituted a series of Fireside Chats with members that gave the club’s staff an opportunity to enhance connections with the membership while also providing an additional staff training resource. The first session, with the CEO of a national health care provider, focused on communication, leadership and work-life balance, as well as particulars about how he used the club.
Another twist on the show-your-club-pride photo concept was developed by The Country Club of Virginia (CCV) in Richmond, Va., through its “Far and Wide” contest. For its monthly Golf Talk digital newsletter, the club issued a challenge to members: Send us your picture where you’re wearing CCV-logoed apparel, tell us where and when the
photo was taken, and the picture locale that is the farthest away from Richmond will win a prize. Even when that prize was just a sleeve of golf balls, CCV reports, the contest generated enthusiastic and farflung response, with photos coming in from around the world, and many members making it a “point” to show the logo they were wearing (see photos below). The “Far and Wide” contest increased the readership of Golf Talk, which includes information on golf- department events and promotions. As an added bonus, CCV reports, the contest also attracted attention and participation from members who weren’t as engaged with the golf program, and drew comments that opened the door for staff members to have conversations with them about their travels.
THE GOAL: Reinforce the club’s sense of community and promote member connections by encouraging members to send in photos of themselves from around the world that include some “proof” of their club affiliation, such as holding up the club publication or showing the club-logoed apparel that they’re wearing.
THE PLAN: The Army and Navy Club includes at least one photo a month in its monthly magazine, The Dispatch, of a member holding up a copy of the publication from locations around the globe. The Country Club of Virginia (CCV) held a “Far and Wide” contest offering a prize for the photo sent in from the farthest away that shows the member wearing CCV-logoed apparel.
THE PAYOFF: For The Army and Navy Club, with twothirds of its membership living outside the Washington, D.C area, the concept has helped to make non-resident members feel more a part of the club—and has fueled enthusiasm for “outdoing” each other by sending in photos from unique and exotic locations. At CCV, the idea boosted readership of the golf department’s digital newsletter and broadened its reach.