According to Kathryn Hamilton, vice president for marketing and communications at NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, nonprofits should consider providing members with a place to share their successes and updates. In addition to boosting member morale, it also provides a platform for networking as well as additional exposure to the press. NAIOP has seen benefits since implementing a platform like this for members to share news.

“We built a section on our website where members could publish news related to personnel transactions (hirings, promotions), company news (awards, relocations, stock reports, mergers and acquisitions) and deals (purchases, sales, major financing, awarding of property management contracts, groundbreaking and topping off, leases and land sales),” says Hamilton. “Our members like to know the deals happening in the industry, so our Member News has been the home of that for quite some time. The deal transactions are among our most popular.” See a collection of recent member updates at http://www.naiop.org/en/About-NAIOP/News/Member-News.aspx.

NAIOP's online tool has helped members share news since 2012, when they converted from a hard clip book format. Organizations can benefit from an online news-sharing platform in the following ways:

  1. Coverage can be widened. An online platform allows members to take a more customized approach to the kinds of information they choose to share with fellow members, the public and the press. “Previously, we'd covered only transactions of a certain size or larger, but we had feedback from our members that they wanted to be able to promote new hires and awards too,” Hamilton says.
  2. Minimizes a need for press releases. “Instead of sending out a press release to hundreds of contacts, our members can post their announcement to our site for additional exposure,” Hamilton says. “We still get plenty of press releases sent directly to us, but we reply to each one and direct them to the online form where they can submit their news.” These submissions then go through an approval process on NAIOP's end to make sure the content is clear and relevant.
  3. Encourages friendly competition. “We remind our members about this tool and the exposure they receive by sharing their news with us,” Hamilton says. “When they see the competition's announcement posted, they quickly get on board.”
  4. Facilitates bite-sized updates. “Keep it short,” Hamilton says. “Readers don't want a full press release. Highlight the big news, provide a contact and add a link for more detail, perhaps to your own website press release.”

Source: Kathryn George Hamilton, Vice President for Marketing and Communications, NAIOP. Phone (703) 904-7100. E-mail: Hamilton@naiop.org. Website: www.naiop.org