I’ve asked some colleagues to contribute to this page. Here’s Melissa Houghton, Executive Director of the Washington D.C. Chapter of Women in Film & Video (WIFV) on how younger members and staff have increased the impact of this professional membership association. If you are interested in guest blogging, please feel free to email me at amy[at]amydelouise[dot]com.
WIFV is blessed with many members who are early adopters of all types of technology. Social media platforms have been no exception. But when it came to WIFV moving from its members-only listserv into a social media platform, so we could reach beyond our members, we didn’t jump in with both feet.
What held us back? What keeps us moving forward?
Sometimes, the same thing. WIFV has about 1000 members, many of them filmmakers using the latest non-linear computer-based editing tools and digital cameras. The organization has a vibrant listserv for members that makes it easy for them to get technology questions answered, fill positions, get references and learn what films are screening.
On the one hand, why do anything more?
Our goal is to provide services for members and the listserv is where we’ve encouraged them to go for information. At the same time, they expect WIFV to be available to them wherever they are and they are on social media. And they want others within and across industries to know more about us. When some members set up Facebook and Linked In profiles for the organization, and we only found out after the fact, we realized we had to become pro-active about our brand in this new space.
Who could help us?
Thank goddess for interns and student members! They are fearless with social media and were able to watch the sites for a while to learn who was using them, and what were the most active discussions. Our younger members’ experiences in the office with program development also helped them understand what types of postings would generate the most interest and keep the sites active with valuable and engaging content. They’ve also been tireless about getting involved with our committees and bringing their enthusiasm and know-how to the members who had more reservations about how WIFV would use social media.
It has been a learning experience for us all.
Our older members are beginning to engage through SM and build the same personal connections they’ve always used to produce and distribute powerful films, just in new ways. The young professionals in our midst realize that there is a business as well as personal need to share content and resources and keep pushing us forward. They don’t let us slack off with postings and make sure we re-tweet, write on walls, and link with others. And hey, here I am, blogging!