I have been a member of PYC since 2008 and started sailing a few years before that, initially participating in my work sailing club’s annual regattas which used Sunsail boats. That gave me the sailing bug and I was introduced to PYC by a diving friend who told me “it’s as cheap as chips!”. I have progressed with the club to Yachtmaster Coastal and am now a club coastal skipper.
Role and Responsibilities
- Organises publicity to attract new members.
- Makes contact with & issue club literature to all potential new club members.
- Assists all potential new club members in experiencing first sail on a club boat.
- Ensures adequate supply of club information / membership forms on all club boats.
- Develops new ways for the club to continue to attract new members & retain its existing membership
- Maintains and develops the club’s public web site and social media presence
- Maintains email communications lists for potential, current and lapsed club members
- Uses the above channels to disseminate club and marketing communications
- Publishes the club newsletter Mainsheet.
I took on the role of Marketing and Communications Officer in March 2017 when the previous Communications Officer stepped down. The expanded role gave me responsibility for maintaining communications with existing members while also reaching out to potential members to bring in the new blood we need to keep the club active and healthy.
My approach to Communications has been to establish a mailing list capability that I use to send regular news updates to members, as well as ad hoc announcements when required. I also have a mailing list for people who have expressed an interest in the club and another for former members who wish to stay in touch. These are all subscription based, enabling people to opt in and out and set their Communications preferences.
I have also moved the club web site onto the WordPress blogging platform which makes it much quicker and easier to publish sailing reports and other news articles of interest to both existing and non-members. The mailing lists and web site are complementary to each other since links to new web articles can provided in news emails and the level of interest tracked.
I have established a members only Facebook group, which is becoming increasingly used to share photos and short news updates from members while on trips. There is also a Members only area of the web site used to share confidential information, such as members’ contact list and skipper’s forms – as well as the all important bookings calendar.
External social media channels include a Facebook page and Twitter feed, each of which has around 250 followers. I use these channels to bring the club to potential members’ attention and manage the resulting enquiries; providing more information about the club, arranging introductory sails and facilitating membership applications. This process resulted in more than 20 new members in 2017.
In 2018 my intention is to more actively target members who are able to sail during the week, when our boats are currently less in demand, while tracking the satisfaction and engagement of existing members to ensure their sailing needs are also met. This should ensure we retain our existing members while recruiting the appropriate balance of new members.