Branding Your Professional Development Organization

By Deborah Briers, MBA posted 10-08-2015 18:25


With just 12 days until we launch our new Society of Marketing Professional Services, Orange County Chapter (SMPS-OC) website, I wanted to share a sneak preview of how we are telling our brand story.

Brands are more than words. They are experiences that evoke thoughts, feelings, and images. Therefore, to visually express the SMPS-OC brand and value proposition, I created this infographic to guide the development process.

SMPS has identified the need for better advocating our organization to communicate value to leaders of firms who just don’t “get” why membership is important. Many firms in the AEC industry are resistant to letting their marketing and business development professionals stray from their “important” work of writing proposals and meeting clients. Their leaders also don’t want to increase their overhead by investing in professional development for their marketing teams. However, in today’s digitally saturated world, knowledge is the key to smart growth, competitive positioning, and building client relationships. These are not skills taught in universities. SMPS is the only national organization dedicated to providing the tools and training professional services marketers need to build business. Conveying this value on our website was a priority objective.

Relating the message of why members (and potential members) should get more involved was another key objective. Those of us who actively participate on our Board and in Committees know how important SMPS has been to our professional growth and career advancement. We also recognize that our Chapter is special. Many of the people who regularly attend our programs and events have told us that we are approachable, friendly, and willing to help. In a market that is as competitive as ours is, feeling included in a community of like-minded friends is important.

Every organization that focuses on professional development, opposed to industry-oriented associations, must clearly communicate their value. Participation in professional organizations requires an investment of time and money. One that really can’t be quantified in terms of ROI. Therefore, the best approach to conveying your message is concisely and visually.

Deborah Briers, CPSM, MBA is the Immediate Past President of SMPS-OC