Here are my three reasons why the UNISON Prize Draw is the right thing to do…
1: We will be able to get members to get involved more quickly and easily
UNISON faces huge challenges this coming year. We are still lobbying hard to stop the Trade Union Bill, or at least change the impact of the proposals within the Bill. But if it passes and we need opt people into the political fund or switch them to direct debit, we’ll need a way to contact them quickly and easily. Letter take days, emails and texts are immediate.
And if the Trade Union Bill is beaten, we will still benefit: for any campaign the ability to respond quickly can be key. For example, last year we sent an email message to those members we have an email address for including a link to the online tax credits calculator. 80,000 used the calculator to work out what they were due to lose from the changes and another 2,500 sent letters to their MPs as a result.
2: We can save UNISON money
When it comes to those potential campaigns we may need to run if the Trade Union Bill passes, we will save money for each and every person who we can contact and switch to Direct Debit online rather than through a letter.
Finally, the cost of running the prize draw is small: We’ve asked our UNISONplus partners to contribute prizes to help ensure the success of this draw, keeping costs to the union at a minimum.
3: It will help us better understand what our members want and need
The first stage of the prize draw is all about member’s mobile numbers and email addresses. However from mid-April members who have entered with an email address will get a second entry if they say what they value about UNISON. We’ll use this to help us understand our membership better, and develop communications that can be personalised to each member around the things they care about. We hope this will make them feel better about their UNISON membership – and avoid the annoyance that comes with messages that seem irrelevant.
With 76% of adults now owning smartphones, millions of people in Britain are now constantly connected to the internet. This is as true of UNISON members as the rest of the population – and is particularly true of young members, who UNISON needs to recruit to grow.
People use internet to bank, book our holidays, meet the love of their lives and order the weekly food shop. Smartphones have become our trusted friends and, for some, they’re even worth jumping into a storm drain for. Yep, that’s right, last year a firefighter in Dover had to rescue a 16-year-old girl who became stuck in a storm drain while trying to retrieve her phone.
We need to remain relevant to all our members – current and future. That means being able to communicate digitally with as many members as possible. I think that encouraging members to update their records or to join UNISON is one of the most important things we can do to strengthen the union for the challenges ahead. Clearly the prize draw is just an incentive to do this: but hopefully a very powerful one.
Let members know about the prize draw at branch meetings, workplace visits and publicise in your newsletters and email contacts. You can also help us spread the word on social networks, here are the digital graphics and some suggested posts:
Social media promotion