Mike Sewell on why CPL is focusing on 'content beyond membership'

You’re investing in and creating some great content. But are you making the most of it?

That’s a challenge we often put to our clients, especially those working for membership organisations.

Our argument is that the content they create (or we create on their behalf) is relevant and engaging for more than purely their current members.

Between them, membership organisations have huge numbers of existing members to communicate with, as shown by research from Memberwise.

But they should also need to think about how they can engage wider audiences with their content including:

  • Future members
  • Consumers
  • Customers
  • Government, the media and other stakeholders

Our belief is that most content ostensibly created for members only is actually relevant for a far wider audience.

Take this piece on the engineer who has led an ambitious research project looking at how the Houses of Parliament’s labyrinthine 19th century ventilation system could be used in the historic building’s current restoration.  

It was written by my colleague Liza Young for CIBSE Journal, a print and online magazine primarily for the professional building services engineering body’s 20,000 members. But the article is relevant and interesting for a much wider audience than that, not least the many MPs and civil servants who work in the Parliament buildings.

Considering MPs and civil servants are among the most important audiences that CIBSE communicates with, it makes sense to ensure they can actually see the piece. In CIBSE’s case this is fine, because its website is openly accessible by all. But other membership organisations choose to hide their magazine content behind a paywall or members’ area.

At CPL, we believe this is a missed opportunity.

That’s why our proposition for this sector is “Content beyond membership”. Many membership organisations are investing significant amounts of money in creating high-quality journalistic content for their members; it seems crazy not to ensure it can be promoted to as wide an audience as possible.

Look out for more about how CPL can help you reach wider audiences beyond your current membership over the coming months.

Mike Sewell
is managing director
at CPL

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