Clubs are doing an amazing job of adapting to the impact of Covid-19. To help clubs along here's some guidance on how clubs can continue to communicate and stay in touch with members.
Why it’s important to keep your club connected
Keeping in touch with your members, volunteers and instructors, helping them feel like they are still ‘part of the club’ is particularly important right now. There are two different tiers to doing this, explained below. The level of communication and what is realistic will differ for each club, but your members will appreciate any efforts to engage with them.
1. Information sharing
It’s really important to try and continue running your club/organisation wherever possible. This might mean holding virtual club nights or meetings, including AGMs, to make longer-term decisions and plan for the future. Any information like this still needs to be shared with your membership, which is one way to continue engaging them. It will also reassure them that the club is working hard to get through this period. However, be upfront and honest about any challenges you are facing during this time. Don’t feel like you can only talk to them about the club though – why not look for other interesting news/content from your sport or area to keep people informed!
There are a number of ways you could look at sharing club information and announcements. These include:
- Sharing regular newsletters or email updates with your members.
- Setting up group chats or closed groups on social channels to share information with specific groups of people. For example, you could have a whole-club group, plus smaller groups for individual teams or interests
- Using the club’s main social channels. For more information on the different social channels your club can use, and how to manage them, click here.
2. Bringing people together
Sports clubs and organisations provide a brilliant sense of community. If you can, why not capitalise on this by finding ways to bring people together from within their homes? If you can, encourage or even create opportunities for your members to engage with each other – not just to chat about your club or sport, but to catch up and take advantage of the social contact! Many clubs are organising virtual pub nights, others are doing weekly quizzes.
There are a number of ways you could look at bringing people together. These include:
- Explore using a virtual meeting space, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts or GoTo Meeting, where you can run online sessions from your living room or garden! Members can follow along in real-time, which will really help them feel connected.
- Alternatively, you can use something as simple as WhatsApp video chat or FaceTime.
Many of the above methods will help you to bring your members together during this time, from regularly updated WhatsApp group chats to virtual training sessions they can tune into. Just make sure you build in the opportunity for social contact as much as possible and remember to get in touch with people at the club who might be having a difficult time due to their personal circumstances.
A note for clubs with junior members
Remember to keep lines of communication open with parents. You may have found ways to stay in touch with your members/participants, but make sure any important information is still making its way to parents.
Encourage them to keep an eye on the social channels you’re sharing information through if possible, but also try to make sure you have up-to-date contact details and send out regular updates to parents. You might be able to set up a WhatsApp group or similar, or you can rely on update emails or newsletters.