I have often
been told that Clan Societies donít in fact make much money and that
the only obvious way for them to attract members is by offering
their clan newsletter.
Over the years
Iíve often wondered about this as it seems to me that Clan Societies
should be able to offer much more than just a newsletter to attract
members. I remember for example that the Fraser clan in Canada did
much to support clan members that came over from Scotland to
settle. They helped find them accommodation while they looked for
work and in fact often managed to secure them jobs to get started.
In the old days
in Scotland with clans being very much associated with tracts of
lands it was obvious if you needed any services that you would turn
to a clan member to supply them.
I thus wondered
why this special sense of community couldnít be fostered more
strongly by current Clan Societies?
When the web
first came to my notice I really felt this was a real opportunity to
develop communities and engage with others of a similar interest to
your own. I felt that at last we had a great and powerful means of
communication that we ourselves could control and to an extent do
with as we wished. It transcended national boundaries and was a true
thoughts to this sense of community I have often wondered why most
of us are not able to just talk on the web. Looking at the vast
majority of web sites they really appear more like advertising
brochures than people engaging with other people.
When I was a
salesman it was drummed into me that I should use A I D C which
stands for (A)ttention (I)nterest (D)esire and (C)lose. In other
words get the buyers Attention so theyíll listen to your sales
proposal. Then develop their Interest by telling them interesting
benefits about your proposal. You then develop in them a Desire for
purchasing your proposal by explaining whatís in it for them and
then you need to Close the sale by asking for the order.
To do all that
you also need to be enthusiastic about your product or proposal and
so when you look at the web sites around the world do you see this
being played out? To me most sites do not create in me a desire to
spend much time on the site and thus Iím never going to go back or
get involved. Itís important that sites are updated at least weekly
otherwise folk coming back will see nothing new and not bother to
Now turning this
to Clan Societies I wondered how they might engage their fellow clan
members and get then to join. Again to me itís this sense of
community that weíre failing to engage. I mean in the old days if
we needed a service you would only look beyond your own clan if they
didnít provide that service. So why canít we do the same today?
My idea would be
for all Clan Societies to have a private part of their web site
where only members get access. Once in there each member should
list themselves by name with their town address and phone number and
their occupation and/or any expertise that they have. Then if a
fellow clan member requires a plumber, life insurance, health cover,
etc., they should be able to check to see if a fellow clan member
offers that service. If they do then they should go to them.
Might it not be
possible for the member selling life assurance to pass on a
percentage of his commission to the clan society? After all the
sale comes through the clan so giving a little back to help the
society do more would be good wouldnít it?
Even exchange of
knowledge would be good. Say you are a small business trying to
develop might it not be possible where a fellow clan member is in
marketing that the fellow clan member could help with some tips or
To me a Clan
Society should be a real community where fellow clan members are
active in trying to do business with other clan members or offer or
obtain help on a whole series of topics.
So my purpose in
discussing this issue with you this month is to encourage all our
Scots descendants to become members of their Clan Society but donít
just be a passive member. Be prepared to get involved and to ask
questions and suggest ideas. The better the Clan Society, the better
the community and the better all the members will be rewarded.
register with your Clan Society then make a real effort to join in
and contribute. Good clan societies will encourage member
participation and remember Clan is also another name for family so
is it not good to keep things in the family?
Scotland provides links to all Clan Society web pages where we know
of them but if you canít find your own Society on our site then do
contact the Family Tree as Beth knows every Clan Society in