For AIGA, Slack has become a strategic tool for plugging chapter leaders into the AIGA network and giving them the opportunity to ask questions, make connections, access information, and exchange ideas.
WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE JUMPING ONTO SLACK
Like Facebook, LinkedIn, and other digital platforms, you don’t own your Slack platform or have any control over platform features.
It’s not like an AMS you can customize; you have to adapt to what Slack offers. But the benefits far outweigh any perceived challenges. In hindsight, AIGA said they would still implement Slack. If members or chapter leaders see the value, they’ll work through any hiccups you encounter.
ESTABLISH A PROCESS
However, you do need to establish processes for how you will use Slack. For example, decide how you will get new chapter leaders on board, and how you will identify inactive chapter leaders. You need to establish guidelines and standards, like channel and chapter naming conventions.
Because everyone at AIGA has access to Slack, they had to find a way to manage responses, especially to more sensitive questions like “What is AIGA’s stance on issue X?” Like any communication channel, you must have a process in place for who replies, when, and how.
HOW CHAPTERS USE SLACK
Two years have passed since AIGA and its chapters started using Slack. Chapters create their own AIGA Slack channels. If you search online for “AIGA Slack,” you’ll see pages of them. Chapters encourage members to join Slack and connect with their fellow members. Members can even create their own channels through the chapter’s Slack channel.
Chapter membership is included in AIGA dues. When a new member joins, the Slack moderator (AIGA’s chapter development associate) lets the appropriate chapter leader know about their new member. Some chapters even let non-members into some channels so they can get a taste of the chapter membership experience before deciding whether to join AIGA.
Slack is also facilitating member-to-member networking. 70 percent of the interaction on AIGA’s Slack takes place in direct messages between members.
AIGA’S SUCCESS WITH SLACK FOR CHAPTER LEADERS
- Nearly two-thirds of chapter leaders regularly use AIGA’s Slack.
- 95 percent of the Slack channels are chapter-generated with topics like student education, diversity and inclusion, programming, sponsorship, and membership.
- The other 5 percent are AIGA-created channels exclusively for chapter leaders.
Communication between chapter leaders has greatly improved. One chapter leader said on her company blog: “Since our [chapter leader] meeting, we’ve all signed up for Slack, a new tool for messaging and collaboration. It has helped keep the discussion going from coast to coast.”
- Slack has increased communication and information sharing between AIGA and its chapters. AIGA can see what chapter leaders and members are talking about. Chapters can bring their ideas and concerns more easily to National.
- Slack also helps to build excitement for the annual chapter leadership retreat. Chapter leaders use Slack to organize meet-ups or make plans to grab dinner and drinks.
- And what about those discouraging email open rates? Now that chapter leaders receive fewer emails from AIGA, they’re more likely to read what AIGA sends.
If you have a nagging chapter problem, talk to your chapter leaders. Maybe they have ideas for a solution. Create a mechanism to get constant feedback from them so they feel involved in any solutions you propose. Slack is perfect for this purpose, plus it can connect chapter leaders to you and to each other.