Communications Overview

Successful Sections communicate regularly with their members - to demonstrate relevance, let them know what has been done on their behalf, offer meaningful engagement opportunities, and seek their input. Many Sections already have a communications officer or subcommittee responsible for communications.

Communications generally have three purposes: providing updates, communicating opportunities to engage, and calls to action.

Webpage

Your Section webpage is often the first place members and potential members go to get information about your activities and opportunities to participate. Relevant blog posts and recent submissions and resolutions are regularly updated by CBA.

Each webpage can incorporate news posts of interest to your members. Simply send the relevant link to your CBA staff liaison.

Member Articles

One way members can engage is by submitting short articles in English or French (300 - 1,000 words) to the Section editor or mailbox, as noted on your webpage. Articles can be case comments, updates or analysis of recent legislative developments or address any topic of interest within your group’s mandate.

Most Sections assign an editor, who solicits articles and reviews submissions prior to publishing. Many find it effective to establish a monthly schedule of articles to be submitted by the Section’s executive (or interested volunteers they find!), to ensure content is updated regularly. Previously published articles can be submitted if the requisite permissions are in place.

Articles are published directly to the webpage once translated. Members can post comments on articles, to initiate discussion. CBA sends quarterly emails to members to highlight recently published articles.

Discussion Board

Want to discuss a particular issue with your members? Each section webpage has an interactive discussion board feature that offers members an open forum to communicate with each other. This is a web based forum. Users who subscribe receive notifications about messages that have been added to the discussion board. New to Discussion Boards? Read our Step-by-Step Guide to post messages.

Volunteer Portal

Section executive committee members can communicate with each other in a closed forum by logging in to the volunteer portal (CBA membership number required). The portal allows the executive and CBA staff liaisons to post upcoming meetings/conference calls and share documents related to specific meetings to assist with the work of the executive. Various documents of interest to the executive are also found in the volunteer portal.

Email Blast

Email is the most effective way to deliver time sensitive or targeted information, although these should be used in moderation due to e-mail fatigue.

Process: work with your staff liaison to book a date at least 4-6 weeks ahead. More notice is better, as often there is a lengthy queue and CBA needs to manage translation and formatting. At least 3 weeks prior to the delivery date; provide a short, catchy subject line, and concise text, the shorter the better to ensure it is read. Links can be added to keep the text short and direct readers to more detail. For all email blasts you will want to consider additional links at the end (unrelated to the current subject) to upcoming Section PD conferences, recent submissions or resolutions, and ongoing opportunities for members to engage in your activities.

Listservs

Some Sections have active all-member listservs which provide a forum for members to share information, state opinions, share ideas or seek advice. Listservs are basically email chains. Before establishing a listserv, please consider whether this option will work well for your members and how frequently content is likely to be generated. To create a listserv for the executive committee or your members, please contact your staff liaison.

Social Media

CBA regularly uses its social media channels – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram – to publicize Section advocacy and PD initiatives. Several Sections have active social accounts, fostering a greater sense of community. Because success is tied to frequency and relevance of posts, development of a communication strategy and identifying interested and committed volunteers to this work is highly recommended. If your Section is interested in using social media please contact your staff liaison.

In the meantime, join the CBA community on the channel of your choice:
Facebook: @CanadianBarAssociation 
Instagram: @CanadianBarAssociation
LinkedIn: Canadian Bar Association
Twitter: @CBA_News

Podcasts

Taking advantage of the steadily growing podcast market, CBA introduced two new content marketing podcast channels in the Fall of 2018 – The Every Lawyer and Juriste branchĂ©.

The target audiences for the channels are CBA members and non-CBA member lawyers. The objective for members is twofold: to offer valuable, relevant content and to increase member awareness of CBA products and services available to them. The objective for non-member lawyers is to drive them to valuable members-only content on the CBA site, underscoring the value of a CBA membership and encouraging them to become members.

New CBA podcast episodes are released every three weeks in English, and monthly in French, via public podcast websites and apps such as Apple Podcast, Stitcher and Balado Québec. In order to stay up-to-date on the latest episodes, be sure to subscribe to the podcast.

CBA National magazine

In early 2019 we launched a new digital platform for CBA National magazine as part of the association’s Go-Digital strategy. Grow your Section’s online presence by contributing articles to the magazine. Got an op-ed in mind? Email CBA National Editor Yves Faguy at yvesf@cba.org.