Best Practices for Timely, Relative and Effective Communication with Your Pool Members

Diane Becker
Communications Director, League Association of Risk Management (LARM) of Nebraska
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As a pool communications director, I occasionally wish I had the superpower to insert knowledge into our members' heads; instead, it's necessary to use the more effective power of communication. Here are a few thoughts about how to get information effectively, timely and relative to your pool members.

First, look at the goals of your pool. More than likely, you want to promote risk management, and also a sense of community in the pool. Another worthy goal is to develop trust between you and your pool members. Effective communication in all its beautiful ways and methods can help you accomplish these goals.

For effective communication with members you need to know them - not only their size and location but their individual organization's needs and concerns. Is risk management a priority for them? How do they best get information from your pool? You may need to go to their offices or ask them during a conference break. Communicating effectively begins with knowing, listening to and understanding your audience. You may find that no one is taking the time to read your witty Twitter posts but they are distributing your email safety tips.

Once you know the pool member needs and how they are more likely to accept information from you, it's tempting to force-feed them data, i.e. about cybersecurity. There is a lot of extremely technical information coming out every day on how to be cybersafe. To get pool members to actually read and implement these practices, take the time to see the need for cybersecurity from their viewpoint. Many people don't have a high level of computer knowledge but know ransomware is a problem. Communicating to them effectively may mean first giving them tips about changing passwords and safe backup methods. As they see that the information you provide them is useful and understandable, they are more likely to respond to requests for them to use multifactor authentication and other more complex cybersafe practices. It’s a relative and effective way to provide them with information but what about being timely?

Communicating is best when it is responsive to current needs. Keep updated on the issues and events that affect your members. A few years ago, in a matter of one week many of our pool members were getting bridges, roads, and buildings destroyed by spring flooding. Our board had a special meeting that week to provide emergency mini-grants for those who needed barricades and other safety items. Similarly, we put out a frozen pipes prevention article last winter when meteorologists predicted record sub-zero temperatures for much of the state. Our members still thank us for providing valuable information when they need it. You gain trust and loyalty from members when they see that your communication isn't a bucket of knowledge you're dumping on their heads but a service you're offering for their benefit at the time they need it.

Every day gives us a chance to better communicate with our pool members as we learn more about them and the world of risk management. Listening and learning is a superpower that's just waiting to be tapped into.

*The views and opinions expressed in the Public Risk Management Association (PRIMA) blogs are those of each respective author. The views and opinions do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of PRIMA.*

By: Diane Becker
Communications Director, League Association of Risk Management (LARM) of Nebraska

Summary of Qualifications

Diane has written for newspapers and magazines for over 30 years. She had a webpage design business and also taught internet and webpage courses before being hired in 2013 as the first communications director for a Nebraska city of 23,000. Five years ago, she was hired as the first communications director for LARM, revamping and updating their website, newsletters and brochures and developing a communication strategy that allows LARM news to be featured regularly in Nebraska newspapers, radio and TV stations.


Diane's responsibility is to find and implement ways to communicate with LARM members in a timely, effective and relative manner. This ranges from setting up a LARM booth at a conference that best attracts LARM members and potential members to delivering Safety Grant Award certificates and featuring LARM information and activities on social media and Nebraska news outlets. LARM sends out a popular calendar each year that features photos of member cities. LARM also emails a monthly Lean on LARM Risk Management Newsletter and other risk management news throughout the year. Diane develops marketing materials to be distributed to members that are considering LARM as a risk management provider.


  • Masters of Science Degree in Education
  • Nebraska Property and Liability Insurance License

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