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Small groups weigh in-house, outsourced communications

Staff will have a deeper understanding of members and industry, but outside contractors can offer variety of skills and contacts


By Kathryn Walson
April 30, 2021

CEOs of small associations have big decisions to make when it comes to handling communications: Hire someone internally or outsource the role? Make it a full-time position or spread the duties among several staffers? Or—especially if there’s no other option—do it all themselves?

CEO Update talked to three association chiefs about how they manage communications to members, media and others.

At the Council on Undergraduate Research, two of the eight employees share communications responsibilities: The director of brand engagement manages marketing, social media and newsletters; the manager of communications and editorial projects writes press releases and other content.

Executive Officer Lindsay Currie works with both staffers on strategy, focusing on communication with members, partners and the industry.

1 Comment :

I enjoyed this article, and I think Ms. Currie, Mr. Copps and Mr. DeFife raise excellent points. External experts and vendors can certainly help groups ramp up programs quickly as well as fill in ever-changing skill gaps that may not be possessed by staff. I also agree that strategies and goals should be housed within the staff - no matter how small that staff may be. After all, it's the permanent staff that has the real ear of the members. May 14, 2021 at 10:56