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May/June 2011

office meetingPromoting Participation

Strategies to Increase Committee Membership

Need participation? Want members? If your standards development work would benefit from additional expertise to polish that practice or test that method, consider taking advantage of the tools that ASTM offers to help attract additional members: use the “Invite a Colleague” email, or request publicity and membership promotions.

You are the most effective recruiter of new ASTM members because you understand the value of ASTM standards and the worth of participating in the process. To further that work, you are encouraged to use the “Invite a Colleague” email. You can personalize the included text and reference a specific ASTM technical committee if you wish; when your associate receives the email, it will be addressed from you.

Perhaps you would like publicity for a new task group or standards development activity with an article in ASTM Standardization News or a press release distributed to your industry’s trade publications. That process begins when you send in a publicity request form to help get the word out. Please note that staff automatically checks on possible publicity — both for SN and news releases — for newly published standards of significance and work items for newly proposed standards; staff also publicizes new main committee chairmen, symposia and society-recognized award recipients.

You can also email a colleague a relevant piece from ASTM Standardization News online or an ASTM news release. News releases can also be shared through such social media outlets as Facebook and Twitter, among others. Plus, you can easily attach “Additional Information” resources such as fact sheets or committee brochures to an email; available “Additional Information” resources can be found at links on technical committee home pages. (Check with your staff manager if your committee does not have a fact sheet and you are interested in one.) And, you can send URLs for or information from ASTM's membership resources, including the “Invite a Colleague” capability already mentioned, a video about the benefits of ASTM participation, a list of ASTM membership types and benefits, and more.

If you think that additional targeted membership promotion efforts would be useful, you can discuss ideas with your staff manager. ASTM has a membership promotion department that generates 35 to 50 membership promotions per year. If you have a need for a promotion, ASTM has the resources to help develop content and can assist in distributing the promotions to relevant industry lists.

Subcommittee C09.50 on Risk Management for Alkali Aggregate Reactions, a part of Committee C09 on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates, provides a good example of how the above mentioned tools were used to raise awareness of committee activities and bring together interested stakeholders. The staff manager and internal ASTM departments, in concert with the C09.50 chairman, developed and distributed information to involve additional stakeholders in C09.50. The effort included:

  • A press release about the new subcommittee organization and a related technical workshop that was distributed to the trade press before the events;
  • An email announcement with facts about the recently formed subcommittee — with a “Forward to a Friend” option — noting the workshop that had been held, the likely users of the proposed standards, the next meeting dates, membership information and staff manager contact information;
  • A mailed narrative letter, sent to specific industry lists, detailing the ASTM consensus approach and its application to the new C09 subcommittee, the benefits of joining ASTM International and Committee C09, and Web and contact information; and
  • Online links to presentations at a technical workshop accompanying the organization of the C09.50 subcommittee.

When membership promotion needs relate to a possible new subcommittee or main committee, ASTM’s director of developmental operations, Pat Picariello will also be involved. Picariello manages an exploratory, planning and organizational process to determine the need for a new standards activity.

Trade shows, association meetings or special workshops also provide opportunities for additional committee materials, posters or presentations. Should such opportunities arise, contact your staff manager to discuss the possibility of specially produced materials.

Whatever the situation, consider membership promotion to draw additional technical experts to your technical committee’s work.