Date Approved

6-24-2001

Embargo Period

6-10-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Public Relations

Department

Public Relations & Advertising

College

College of Communication & Creative Arts

First Advisor

Bagin, Donald

Subject(s)

Associations, institutions, etc.--Membership; Medical personnel

Disciplines

Public Relations and Advertising

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to identify popular techniques used to recruit and retain members for healthcare and medical associations. The author compared and contrasted three medical associations and their membership benefits to show which benefits members value most.

Related research indicated recruiting and retaining members has become increasingly competitive among healthcare and medical associations. A new-member survey was conducted for three healthcare associations. Research indicated people primarily join organizations for specialized information, but they also hope to fulfill status-seeking needs.

A successful recruiting and retaining plan involves more than attractive benefits. Members' motivational needs must be included. Based on a member's motivation for joining and his/her expectations of the organization, members can be segmented into The Allegiance Categories of Association Membership's most popular personality types: cognoscenti, status-conscious, shaper, altruistic, comparison shopper and doubter.

Research revealed surveying new members and understanding the target population were the first strategies in recruiting and retaining members. Members can then be coded as a personality type and sent specific messages in mailings.

In addition, members reported the newsletter as the most important benefit and educational meetings ranked second.

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