Chapter News

Influencing the Influencer: A Perspective from Someone Who Thought They Had No Influence

by: Sara Keene, 2019 Communications Director, PCMA Southeast Chapter

Every day I come across influencers. Sometimes it is a manager influencing their team, or kids being influenced by other kids at the playground, or people  on social media influencing followers to buy their products. The art of influence is everywhere, and we all have the power to influence. Within this blog, I will share my story of influencing, which began when I accepted the Communications Director position for the PCMA Southeast Chapter in January 2019.

As you can imagine, taking on a Communications Director role is a major responsibility. Member engagement is key for any non-profit to remain successful and to grow. Ultimately, members have a choice to either feel connected to your brand and engage with your Chapter, or spend their time and money elsewhere. When I took on this position I had never held a marketing role, but I soon realized you don’t have to be a professional marketer to have an influence on your members. There are plenty of tricks of the trade when it comes to social media marketing that I would like to share with you, which I hope will empower you as an influencer for your organization, even if you’re not in a marketing role.

Social Media Marketing Tips

  1. Draft a Plan: Planning is key! Determine a strategy on what channels you want to focus and what goals you are seeking to achieve. I recommend building a timeline with content ideas to start until you get comfortable with social media marketing. Remember that practice makes perfect. Over time and frequency will make social media posting feel natural. I also found it valuable to have a framework to follow. Learn more here.
  2. Leverage Other Influencers: Just like with events, no one wants a repeat experience. Try to leverage your volunteers, team, and members to help create and share content that you can re-share on your channels to make it a more interesting experience.
  3. Purchase a Graphic-Design Tool: There are so many online, DIY, free or inexpensive graphic design tools now available, which help you create a very professional looking output without needing previous designer experience. The one I primarily use is Canva, but have also found success with Adobe Spark for curating content for social media posts.
  4. Post Regularly: To keep your audience engaged, you must continue to post regularly. Even if you do not obtain many likes on your posts to start, know that someone is always watching, and it is typically your future member or customer. Learn more here on recommendations for post frequency per social media channel.
  5. Add Original Content: Original content is the key to success of any social media engagement. This is your unique opportunity to share articles that would be relevant to your audience. Remember who your customer is and curate content that they would want to engage with. I’ve found the most success with posts that have been connected to a blog, article, and/o video featuring our members.
  6. Have Fun with It: Don’t be afraid to be authentic. Most of the posts I have seen high interaction with have been quirky and witty. Leverage what is happening in the social media universe to help keep your brand relevant by including the most popular hashtags to increase the likelihood your posts will be seen.

By following these steps, I believe you too will see an increase in followers and member engagement. With limited resources, I’ve been able to increase the PCMA Southeast Chapters engagement and brand awareness on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter twofold. If I can make this sort of impact within eight months, and no previous experience in social media marketing, I believe you can as well. Remember, we all have the power to influence.


PS – If you are not currently following the PCMA Southeast Chapter, I hope you will decide to do so. Also, share your story! You are a valuable member of #PCMASE and we hope to learn from you as well. Please consider sharing your story by following the links below:

PCMA SE is looking for YOUR stories! You can submit in one or multiple categories.



You are valuable member of PCMA SE and we understand the importance of learning from your story. We have recently organized a new program titled – “What’s Your Story?” where you can submit stories in one or all three categories below:

Member Spotlight: Share a spotlight about yourself, or a colleague. We will share member spotlights on social media and in chapter newsletters.

Hospitality Horror Stories: We are requesting members to submit horror stories they’ve encountered in their career. These stories can remain anonymous but will provide our members an opportunity to learn from mistakes.

Neck of the Woods: The PCMA Southeast Chapter covers seven states and Puerto Rico. We’d like for you to share with us what is happening in your area. Keep us posted on upcoming conventions in your area, hotel openings, CVB updates and more.


Thanks for sharing!


Lisa Kraus gardnerInfluencing the Influencer: A Perspective from Someone Who Thought They Had No Influence