The Appalachian Region has come a long way since it’s chartering on 2/6/15 with less than 100 primary members. Many folks have worked together to bring the region to where it is today with 172 primary members and 115 supplemental members.
The region is off to a very good start and has a bright future with its demographics, exceptional roads and destinations, Porsche dealer/Harmony Motors relations and support, mild four-season climate, experienced leadership team (see nominations for 2016 officers), etc. Effective communications and marketing can assist the region in interfacing with its membership (and with prospective members and sponsors) and with the Porsche world and PCA outside the 16 counties of western North Carolina.
The region primarily uses these communication tools at present:
- Website The region has chosen (along with about half the other PCA regions in North America) to rely heavily on electronic communication via its website and to forgo a printed newsletter. This is primarily an economic decision yet it impacts communication with members and prospective members. Currently the website is packed with information on news, upcoming events and calendar, reports, directory of historical information and documents as well as links to other sites. The region actively refers members to the website for news and information on events and activities.
- PCA Emailer communications to the Appalachian Region membership list. These are primarily announcements of events and activities and letters and notes about pertinent region news and information. There is no schedule of these communications. Events are pre-announced, and the region President sends periodic information updates, both of which are then posted on the website.
- Facebook page/site has just been approved by the Board and is being launched. This step into social media should be helpful in communicating with members, particularly those younger and more socially oriented. A Facebook page comes with some risks; guidelines will be posted on the site/page and are on the website.
- Monthly membership meetings, events and activities.
- Periodic email communications and face-to-face meetings with sponsors and supporters.
- Welcome, renewal reminder and expiration reminder letters from the Membership Coordinator as appropriate.
With the above in perspective, these opportunities exist for improved communications (and marketing) by the Appalachian Region:
- Team with Events and Special Events Coordinators to consistently document monthly meetings, events and activities with photos and commentary. Actively promote upcoming events and activities.
- Develop a consistent vehicle to provide timely and concise Appalachian Region news and information to members.
- Coordinate with the Membership Coordinator to develop and distribute materials and communications for use in cultivating membership participation as well as membership recruiting and retention.
- Ensure communications with sponsors are not overlooked and are timely, clear, and consistent.
- Work with the Board, Webmaster and Social Media Coordinator to ensure a consistency of region identity ‒ logo, region name in print, electronic and other formats used for internal and external communication.
- Coordinate with PCA Zone 3 (south-eastern US with exception of Florida.) Primarily updating the Zone 3 Calendar of Events to reflect pertinent Appalachian Region events and activities.
- Integrate with PCA website - calendar of Upcoming (Appalachian Region) Events of interest/importance on a Zone and National basis.
- Coordinate with PCA member magazine Panorama, primarily to submit timely and interesting short articles about the Appalachian Region for the From The Regions section of the publication.
- Facilitate timely communications with neighboring PCA regions with regard to upcoming Appalachian Region events and activities, particularly multi-region events.
Many of these items are currently receiving attention and support and are not being ignored. The responsibility for the above is loosely distributed among Board members, committee chairs, and membership volunteers. This note is an invitation to further develop, refine and coordinate the communications and marketing of the Appalachian Region for the benefit of its membership, prospective members, sponsors and PCA.