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IAFC Wins 2015 Gold Circle Award for Association Marketing Excellence

Fairfax, Va. – The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) today announced it has been recognized by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) with a 2015 Gold Circle Award in the membership recruitment category for its “We are the IAFC” campaign.

Launched in January 2014, the campaign featured IAFC members of different ranks and experience levels. Each  member profile—under the headline “I Am the IAFC”—featured a photo of the member and briefly described my need, IAFC resource used and the result.

The IAFC marketing team displayed the member profiles in a variety of ways on the website, in print and electronic advertising, as well as in printed flyers and recruitment letters. Additionally, the IAFC launched three direct-mail campaigns, each targeting qualified membership leads based on rank.

The 2014 marketing campaign yielded a 40% increase in new members for officers ranked lower than fire chief and a 20% increase among all ranks. The number of new members was the most in eight years and total IAFC membership in 2014 was at its highest level since 2010.

“The goals and objectives of this marketing campaign directly relate to our mission of providing leadership and guidance for officers of various ranks,” said Mark Light, IAFC CEO and executive director. “The IAFC also is about serving its members, and the member stories we highlighted in this campaign clearly resonated among peers. This campaign shows how stories and narratives are a great asset for demonstrating the value of your association and recruiting new members.”

The Gold Circle Awards competition is the premier association marketing, membership and communications award that recognizes excellence, innovation and achievement in association/nonprofit marketing, membership and communication programs. This year’s competition received more than 190 entries across 13 categories, including magazines, membership recruitment pieces, innovative communications and video.

“This award recognizes associations who are creating effective ways to communicate their messages including elements of creativity, design, technology and metrics, which measure the success of their tactics and campaigns,” said ASAE president and CEO John H. Graham IV, FASAE, CAE. “Marketing, membership and communications are crucial functions for any association – it’s the primary means for sharing information with members and staff as well as branding the organization to the global community. Congratulations!”

Entries for the Gold Circle Awards competition are judged consistently in each category, based on established criteria for excellence in association marketing, membership communication and component relations programs. In addition to a Gold Circle Award, a Merit Award (formerly the Honorable Mention) may be awarded. Judges are experienced marketing, membership and communication professionals from associations, nonprofits and for-profit organizations.

“The entries this year were excellent examples of marketing, membership and communication. It was a difficult decision for the judges to select which organizations received the Gold Circle Awards,” said Millie Hurlbut, CAE, director of marketing at Association of the U.S. Army and chair of the Gold Circle Awards Committee. “During the Membership Marketing and Communications Conference, there will be an education session with selected winners who will present their programs, share what worked as well as lessons learned. It will provide attendees with information they can take back to their organizations.”

For more information about the Gold Circle Award program, please visit the ASAE website.

About the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)
The IAFC represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. IAFC members are the world's leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous materials spills, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety legislation. Since 1873, the IAFC has provided a forum for its members to exchange ideas, develop professionally and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders. Learn more
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