Together the Association for Biomolecular Facilities (ABRF) Executive Board (EB), Membership Committee (MemComm), and Communications Committee (CommComm) formalize the ABRF “Ambassador Program.” Committee and individual members of the ABRF will officially serve a key role in advocating and sharing information about the association with various regional, international, and other cross-disciplinary groups to attract potential ABRF members. Formalizing the Ambassador Program not only provides our representatives resources helping them share a unified message with potential members with fresh marketing tools, but also provides MemComm data with which to retool strategies to build and engage the membership.
“In the past ABRF has tried to promote the Ambassador program by simply identifying ABRF members that attend the regional/chapter/local/technology focused meetings to spread the word about ABRF at those meetings. This was an informal process and the results were mixed. We did not have mechanisms to follow up and there was no support infrastructure for the ABRF ambassadors.” said MemComm co-chair, Claudius Mundoma.
The idea to formalize the Ambassador Program and provide a coordinated communication package for Ambassadors. In the past MemComm spearheaded the “Member Get A Member“ campaign, which attracted 50+ new members to the ABRF. The EB and CommComm have agreed to further develop these efforts and create a harmonized message for the Ambassadors to share. Ambassadors will now have access to tools and resources and be empowered to identify what the larger community of core and technology focused people need. This includes a new ABRF pull out banner, brochures, rack cards, a slide deck, a poster, and a free, one-year ABRF membership to raffle off to non-members at each meeting.
The overarching goal of the Ambassador Program is to effectively, and in a fiscally responsible manner, broaden awareness of ABRF’s reach at a very nominal cost. The best way to build any network is through word of mouth, through current ABRF members sharing how they have benefited from being part of the association and inviting others to join. “We simply want to make sure that the Ambassador has enough support to effectively communicate the mission and benefits of joining the ABRF. We expect the Ambassadors to give us feedback on their engagement and we can get actionable insights from these reports.” Mundoma continued.
Several meetings are already booked in the hopes of opening doors for ABRF and building existing relationships:
- Susan DeCourcey (Executive Director) – MADSSCi – June 8 – 10 in Pittsburgh, PA
- Scott Tighe (Chairperson, Metagenomics Research Group) is an invited speaker at the The 18th Genomic Standards Consortium Meeting being held in Greece in mid June
- Bill Hendrickson (President) will give one of the keynote lectures at CTLS 2016 – Core Technologies for Life Science in mid June at EMBL
- Susan DeCourcey (Executive Director) – SEASR – late June in Atlanta, GA
- Frances Weis-Garcia (President-elect) is speaking at the NIH, NIGMS 6th Biennial National IDeA Symposium of Biomedical Research Excellence (NISBRE) in DC in late June
- Claudius Mundoma (Co-chairperson, MemComm) is
- Heading to South Africa this summer, where among other things he and will share how networking with ABRF members around the world can strengthen core facilities and science in South Africa
- Attending a Florida-wide core facility directors meeting in mid-August
- Andy Chitty and Julie Auger (EB Members) – WACD – late September in Torrey Pines, CA
- Paula Turpen (EB Member) – MWACD – early October in Cincinnati, OH
- Claire Reardon (Co-chair, MemComm) and other ABRF members – NERLSCD – mid October in Boston, MA
Members are encouraged to propose other events to MemComm at which ABRF members can represent the association and encourage people to join.