Communication for associations

Industry and trade associations and NGOs are fighting for their share of voice and media space. The associations themselves, highly prioritize media appearance, and for many, the solution is to outsource their communication and PR.

Danish associations and NGOs like to be heard and seen, but it can be difficult for them to get the editor’s and journalist’s attention. A large study in 2014 from the Department of Political Science, Copenhagen University, concluded that less than half of Denmark’s associations and NGOs ‘quite often’ or ‘very often’ issue press releases, feature articles, opinion pieces or organize debates or conferences. On the other hand, media appearances are the most popular choice when associations and NGOs are asked to evaluate what kind of contact they value the most.

To obtain continuous share of voice and media appearance, many industry associations and NGOs choose to purchase their communication from an external supplier. It makes associations achieve their goals and it removes the concern of the board and management.

A clear voice for hf2net
Hf2net is an association of ten special Danish two-years high schools throughout Denmark. The association has, for many years, effectively used communication and PR as a tool to achieve a strong voice in the debate on education systems.

“The goal of our communication is visibility, and we have had a very strong voice during the years in which we have collaborated with Grønbech. Hf was not on the agenda in the past. We have become much more visible as association and we see ourselves and our points of view in the medias. Now a days everybody is talking about hf, just as much as ordinary high schools, “explains Ole Vadmand who is one of the key persons behind Hf2net.

Hf has particularly affected the medias over the past years. Hf2net’s input and comments, in relation to an ongoing national high school reform, has penetrated the editorial filters. This is a result of the association’s cooperation with Grønbech, who provide Ole Vadmand and colleagues with the resources that enables them to focus their efforts.

“Grønbech systematize and streamline our communication and acts as professional watchdog for hf2net. It is very important that we can talk strategy with our consultants, and I’m never worried that hf2net is not active in the debate, “says Ole Vadmand who is Education Manager at “HF Center Efterslægten” in Copenhagen.

Activity and context for FSTA
The Forum for Hospital Engineering and Architecture (FSTA) aims to create a multidisciplinary community of all key persons, who are involved and interested in the planning, construction and operation of the hospitals in Denmark. The association is five years old, but has already had a big influence in the Danish hospital system. It has taken hard work, especially from the board, which also has had great benefit from professional help with their PR and communication.

“FSTA consists of active members, and it’s hard to find the time for e.g. member news and newsletters. We are visionary and progressive in FSTA, but it is difficult to show this, in a professional communication, “says Kaj Hyldgaard, who chairs the FSTA and at the same time holds a position as technical senior consultant at the New Aalborg University Hospital.

In 12 months FSTA more than doubled the number of visitors on their website and the association has had their share of voice in industry magazines. The chairman explains that FSTA is now much more visible, and it is mainly due to a decision by the Board in 2014.

“We have chosen to outsource our communication and PR. This represents a cost, but we believe that it is necessary if we want to develop FSTA. Grønbech ensures that FSTA’s communication is alive, active and consistent, “says Kaj Hyldgaard.

Communication improves relations
Grønbech is among the agencies that specializes in helping NGO and industry associations with their communication and PR.

Good communication makes organizations more visible and increase their impact. Grønbech’s founder, Susanne Lindø, has been working in the field of communication for 27 years and has experienced many organizations benefit from being more visible. It gives associations and NGOs stronger positions in relation to their stakeholders.

Satisfied clients benefit the economy of the communication agency. Grønbech has in 2015 and again in 2016 achieved the highest possible credit rating, AAA. This rating is granted to less than two percent of Danish companies.