How do you communicate with your members? This question may be more important than you’d imagine. Do you include both the names of the husband and wife you are trying to reach? During his presentation at the World Conference on Club Management earlier this year, Steve Graves, membership marketing consultant, told club executives in the audience that the way names are listed on club communications is more of an issue than many realize.

Spouses should be seen as equals. That is the way the world outside of the private club industry works and should be the way clubs operate as well. “Clubs can no longer ignore the importance of equality as it pertains to the recognition of the women of the club,” Graves said. “Many clubs are discrediting their female members.” Using himself as the example, he listed the way he and his wife’s names could be listed in club communications.

  • Mr. Steve Graves – The club acts as though his wife doesn’t exist.
  • Mrs. Steve Graves – Indicates she only has value because of her husband.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Steve Graves – Acknowledges the wife but emphasizes the husband.
  • Steve and Nancy Graves – This is great!
  • Nancy Graves –If the communication is coming only to her.

“Ensuring that you are addressing the person you are communicating with appropriately can be more of a potential benefit than what the actual communication says,” he quipped. “Pay attention to the subtle ways you communicate with your members and it will make a very positive impact on your most important decision makers—the women!”

Private Club Advisor PLUS – July/August 2018