Chair: AANR Social Media Sub-Committee
Member: AANR Public Relations Committee
In The Nudists, the 1959 guide to the history and current state of the then-burgeoning nudist community, author Donald Johnson offers present-day readers valuable insights into our past and possibly a guide for our steps forward. In Johnson’s exposition of mid-century American nudism, he describes a public relations and outreach strategy that incorporated print media distributed by mail (after numerous hard-fought legal battles), the occasional nudist film, brochures, word of mouth, good old fashioned handshakes, and exchanging letters with the owner of one’s local nudist club.
Today, much of the way we find information, discover new ideas, consume media, and communicate with one another has evolved, requiring that our public relations and outreach strategy, while rooted in the same principles, also evolve. Gone are the days of multiple competing nudist magazines along with popular nudist films. Brochures and classified ads have evaporated, and handshakes have been replaced by the coveted “like.” Zoom meetings and Meet n’ Greets have emerged as a new way to build membership and educate the public on the nudist movement. Many of these types of communication, education, and media consumption have evolved to suit how we live in the 21st century, that is, they now take place primarily online and, increasingly, via social media rather than in print or in person. AANR’s continued success in nudist advocacy, education, and community-building will rely on our ability to adapt our public relations, education, and outreach strategies to these new media—and to do it well.
Modernizing the communications of a legacy organization like AANR poses a challenge. How do we positively and effectively present the nudist idea in today’s world? How do we ensure that people can find us, that our values and mission are clear, and that people feel welcome? It requires collaboration of AANR’s national and regional leadership, cohesive marketing and messaging across all forms of media, and the ability to present ourselves as a welcoming community. That can feel daunting, especially for an organization relying largely on volunteer contributions.
To achieve this objective, AANR’s Public Relations and Membership Marketing committees have established the Social Media Sub-Committee expressly aimed at providing guidance to AANR’s national and regional social media contributors on best practices. This new committee’s responsibilities include aligning AANR’s messaging across social media platforms, generating content suggestions, providing support and an open forum for contributors to request assistance, sharing tools and resources, and gathering feedback to pass along to the appropriate national and regional leaders. Importantly, the committee also educates and advocates internally on the importance of social media to AANR’s mission and growth.
The AANR Social Media Sub-Committee began meeting in September of 2022. It is chaired by Timothy Sargent (West) and co-chaired by Lee Vaughn (Midwest) under the guidance of the chairs of the PR and Membership Marketing committees, Ronna Krozy and Karen Lahey, respectively, with the contributions of familiar AANR voices like Linda Weber (West), Andee Rodgers (Northwest), and Evan Nix (West). All national and regional social media volunteers are also welcomed as members. As our first order of business, the committee pored over the existing AANR Social Media Guidelines, a document for all volunteers and employees responsible for official AANR social media accounts, which was passed by the AANR executive board in August of 2021. During this process, we implemented numerous revisions to clearly outline the core messages and values in our communications. Included were concrete, positive examples of messaging, additional considerations around accessibility and inclusivity, recommendations of specific social media platforms to reach specific audiences, and reinforcement of the importance of social media as a primary means of communication with members and potential members alike.
The revised AANR Social Media Guidelines document is available for all official AANR national and regional social media volunteers in the “Brochures” section of the AANR Members Portal. While primarily intended to guide official AANR social media account holders, AANR clubs, resorts, and individuals are invited to reference the document for content inspiration and best practices. This document alone is not a complete public relations or social media strategy, but the Social Media Sub-Committee sees it as an important step in providing resources for our volunteers and in uniting all AANR regions behind a common message and mission in support of nude recreation.
Unity of voice and messaging is key to AANR’s continued legacy and to our ability to effectively educate about nudism, to illustrate nudist values and philosophy in a positive light, and to advocate on behalf of the nudist community. We have everything to gain from putting our best foot forward on social media, and the Social Media Sub-Committee is here to help!