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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Taking Your Nanny Support Group to the Next Level - part 3

by Kellie Geres

Regarding Nannies Development Team
President, ADCAN ~ Association of DC Area Nannies


A great tool for any group or business to serve its members or customers. It can consist of a simple one page, double sided mailed out version to multiple pages sent online via PDF. You might even consider an electronic version using a service like Constant Contact.

Keep in mind …
If doing a print version, you will have printing, postage, envelope, label costs.

An email version can be done using a free PDF converter which you can Google and find online, or you can purchase one. You can use a word document format or publisher format and these programs have easy templates for you to choose from.

Constant Contact offers numerous templates, minimal costs but is limited to those with email. Sending to a list of 500 emails can cost $15 a month.

A successful newsletter should include:
President / Vice President / Owner message. Greet your members or clients. Keep them up to date on what you are doing, something meaningful going on in your group and plans for the coming months.

Main Article(s) – something timely or professionally related. There are many resources available out there on the internet, find them and make sure to get permission to reprint anything you copy from another source. Have members write articles, guest contributors, industry professional and more. Connect with other nanny groups, newsletters, and bloggers and ask them for permission to reprint. I’ve yet to have someone say no to a request. Always provide a link to their site and give full credit to the author and website.

A Calendar of Events can include birthdays, groups events, holidays, meeting reminders. Calendar formats can be found online as well.

Featured Nanny is very popular amongst nanny groups. Pick a nanny in your group that you’d like others to know. Don’t let it be just a few sentences of who this person is – this is your opportunity to really get to know this person and introduce her to your group. Ask in depth questions, candid and thought provoking questions to get your subject talking.

Include photos from events. Let your members know that photos are taken at events and will be used in publications. If anyone does not want to be included, they can opt out of photo opportunities. Be respectful of members’ wishes on this matter.

What is your group up to? Include committee updates. Have events in the planning? Need help planning a party or event? Get your members involved and publish details in the newsletter.

Ask Nanny? Offer a question and answer section that members / readers can write in and ask a question and have it answered. You can set up a simple Gmail account so that people can anonymously send in questions and have answered in future issues.

Don’t forget a disclaimer. You can search Google for simple newsletter disclaimers for the wording, but the will protect you should any matter arise.

You may also want to consider advertising. I will go into further detail on this in part 5, but advertising will help defer your costs, offer added benefits to businesses and resources to your members and clients.

Here is a complimentary look at the newsletter of ADCAN ~ Association of DC Area Nannies.

A newsletter is a great communication tool, and communication is key in a successful group. Some other forms of communication you might consider for your group are:

Members Only Yahoo Group – this allows for membership only communications and can help with planning, organizing and implementing events.

Have dedicated emails for your group. Gmail is a great tool for this. Free and as many as you like. Offer one for newsletter, one for membership, one for events. This way you keep everything organized and only those persons who need access to certain information have access to those emails, and not the entire groups email.
Phone trees are a great tool as well. We all get caught up in emails and facebook and twitter. A phone call does wonder when reaching out to your membership. New members should receive a welcome call.

Something special going on in the group? Call and let everyone know. Is there a member who isn’t coming to meetings? Call and touch base and see if everything is OK. That personal touch goes a long way in creating relationships with your members and potential members.

Evite is an awesome tool for groups. Manage your events by creating, inviting, RSVP, directions and even refreshments. Simple and free.

Postcards are one of my favorite tools in communicating with groups. For this, I LOVE VistaPrint. 100 FREE postcards and all you pay is shipping. How can you go wrong? Do Save the Dates; group information to pass out at parks, playgrounds, businesses; membership receipts for payment, National Nanny Recognition Week reminders, and much, much more!

If you don’t have a blog, consider doing one in conjunction with your website. A blog is a great communication tool. You can post articles and findings from other sites (make sure to give credit), post articles that appear in your newsletter, and much more.

Have a group page on Facebook. Make it public so that people in the industry and the public can learn about you. Post when you have a meeting, area events and attractions, industry news, national news and points of interest for your members and readers.

So many opportunities, so many choices. Do your research and see what you are comfortable doing. Two pages or 20, it’s all up to you and what you want to provide.

Next up … Fundraising!


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