Expanding the value of association membership


Founded in 1990, ARMA is the professional Association for Research Managers and Administrators in the UK. It has over 2,600 individual members from around 250 organisations, ranging from universities and funding bodies, to the National Health Service and independent research institutions.

Engaging the members of an Association is critical and ARMA is taking a lead in this area, actively developing their membership service portfolio and providing real value for their members.

Our relationship with ARMA began in 2014, when we sponsored the ARMA Conference in Blackpool. Initial discussions helped us to gain an understanding of the brand and clarify some of the strategic objectives and priorities. We discovered that ARMA was looking to develop a further iteration of their brand and grow membership.

The first of many projects was to evolve their brand identity, alongside a refresh of their conference branding and suite of collateral. Another early initiative was the launch of ARMA’s first membership magazine, The Protagonist.

Taking the lead on concept and design, we developed a modern publication with a strong visual identity that would inform and engage on a number of levels. Launched in March 2015, The Protagonist drove a 100% increase in membership renewal rates – double those of previous years.

In addition to offline outputs, we have worked on a number of digital projects for ARMA, including corporate and conference websites and animations.

Since inception, our relationship with ARMA has transitioned from one based on individual jobs to a strategic partnership.

developing a modern membership magazine with a strong visual identity that would inform and engage on a number of levels

“It is no coincidence that in the weeks after we published the first edition of The Protagonist our membership renewal rate was the highest it’s ever been. Publishing the first UK professional magazine for research managers and administrators clearly struck a chord with our members: obviously it responded to demand, pulling together for the first time key debates and highlighting salient topics that ARMA’s members want to read about and discuss.

Perhaps more significant however is that through The Protagonist Research Media captured the diversity and depth of the research support profession with pertinent editorial that resonated with a wide and varied audience. The resultant surge in membership renewals was an unequivocal response to members receiving a high quality, tangible benefit – one that is only available to them as members of the Association.”

Chief Executive, ARMA