Does your union leadership “get” digital?

Research undertaken in 2012 by pro-union academic Panos Panagiotopoulos found that globally, unions are increasingly viewing digital tools as essential to improving communications and member engagement. Over 61% of unions said that digital was considered a “priority” given budget and time constraints. Since then, it’s clear that the capabilities and benefits of digital tools (including web, email,…

Using evidence-based science for effective communications

Many people in unions and progressive politics talk about “framing” — made famous by George Lakoff’s Don’t Think of an Elephant — but it’s difficult to see what that means in practice. Effective communication is made even more challenging by the broad left’s obsession with “rationality” and fact-based arguments. I’ve previously written that progressives should give…

Myths and misperceptions about marketing for unions

Marketing is still widely disparaged as a term in the union movement, and progressive organisations generally. Partly this is a skepticism born from shows like Mad Men and The Pitch, and partly it is a misunderstanding drawn from the popular perception that marketing is just opinion polling, focus groups and TV advertising. Despite this, every…

Why unions should understand member lifetime-value

All unions want to grow and increase their membership. Significant efforts and resources are devoted by unions to recruitment and the effort of signing up new workers to be members. The cost of signing up new members however can be substantial. These can include hiring and training new staff, resourcing them (e.g. cars, phones, computers,…

Defining your union’s promise and standing for something

If the conversations that I’m having at the moment are any judge, many unions and progressive organisations are looking closely at their communications and narrative. In countries or states with hostile conservative governments, like Australia or Canada, this is especially pressing. The key to nailing your narrative and developing a strategic communications plan is simple:…