Add Twitter to your Nonprofit MarComm Toolbox!

Add #Twitter to your #NPO MarComm Toolbox!

Add #Twitter to your #NPO MarComm Toolbox!

“Of all the social channels, for a nonprofit, Twitter may be the most effective in terms of the biggest return for limited time and resources. Through consistent tweets that inspire and inform you reinforce your mission to your network of followers. The bonus is if you get it right your followers will share to their followers’, amplifying and extending your work.”  Toby Bloomberg @TobyDiva

Add Twitter to your Nonprofit MarComm Toolbox! Twitter is a must have tool for listening and monitoring. It successfully engages others in your stories, inspires action and builds effective awareness and fundraising campaigns.

Here’re my favorite ways to add Twitter to your Nonprofit MarComm Toolbox:

  • Fundraising via Twitter:

Fundraising Coach Marc A. Pitman @marcapitman suggests Twitter is an amazing way to engage donors and potential donors. Maintaining relationships is one of the hardest things that a fundraiser must do. And, Twitter helps us do that!

  1. You get to meet people all over the world that might be interested in your cause.
  2. You get to hear what people are really thinking about a wide variety of issues.
  3. You can follow other fundraisers and get great real-time advice.
  4. You can even promote traffic to your website or those of your friends.
  • Twitter and #GivingTuesday:

New York’s 92 Street Y (@92Y) in partnerships including the United Nations Foundation (@unfoundation) incorporated Twitter into its 2013 #GivingTuesday (@GivingTues). The Dec. 13th event produced a 90% increase in online giving compared to 2012. There were 269,000 Tweets with the #GivingTuesday hashtag on December 3, an average of 186 times per minute!

  • Matching Fund Drive with Promoted Tweets:

The Red Cross (@RedCross) partnered with Craigslist founder Craig Newmark (@craignewmark) to launch a Promoted Tweets matching fund drive for the holiday season. Both organizations used Promoted Tweets to ask Twitter users to respond with their idea of the “perfect gift,” & used the hashtag #PerfectGift with a link to the donation website. Newmark matched each @reply or Retweet with a $1 donation, up to $10,000.

  • Micro-funding via Twitter:

Janet Fouts (@jfouts) saw a post on Twitter that drew her to click on the link and then follow through with a donation almost immediately. It was from Small Can be Big, a group which works with local shelters to identify people in need and then posts their stories on-line seeking donations to help. The Tweet was a day old and by the time she got to the site they had raised the needed capital. She browsed around to learn more and made a couple of small donations right then and there.

  • Crisis Management with Twitter:

The power of Twitter’s real-time platform to inform and connect is never more evident than in the face of a natural disaster or humanitarian crisis. Over the past few years, organizations, government agencies, news outlets and individuals use Twitter to provide information and relief in times of need.

  1. On the ground
  2. Be an eyewitness
  3. Be a lifeline
  4. Become a conduit for critical information
  • Twitter and Media Relations

According to the 2015 Cision Social Journalism Study only 6% of PR pros only post press releases on the wires.

Journalists are very active on Twitter. Most journalists see Twitter as an extension of their own reporting these days and 75% say that they use Twitter to build their own brand. So Twitter is a marvelous opportunity to connect and discover what they’re writing about or looking for. How do journalists use twitter?

  1. Story Creation
  2. Finding Sources
  3. Self promotion

 Add Twitter to your nonprofit MarComm toolbox extra resources:

  1. 10 Twitter Tips for Nonprofits
  2. 6 Creative Ways to Use Twitter for your nonprofit marketing campaigns 
  3. How to get more people to your events with social media
  4. 10 Twitter Best Practices for Nonprofits 
  5. Top 10 nonprofit hastags to spark social good 
  6. Best Twitter Practices for Media
  7.  Twitter Nonprofits (@Nonprofits) highlights great uses of Twitter in the nonprofit community.
  8. Create a Digital Ripple to Promote Your Special Events

We’d love to hear from you! Do you have any Twitter favorites to add to your nonprofit MarComm toolbox?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strategic Communications is the key to Advocacy

Strategic Communications is the key to Advocacy

“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.” ― William Faulkner

I am a passionate, committed and motivated advocate to issues in which I believe. Advocacy means to speak up, to plead the case of another or to fight for a cause.

What ensures successful advocacy?

Strategic communications is the key to advocacy.

And, advocacy includes most of the work that is done by nonprofits!

When your nonprofits advocates you are seeking to affect some aspect of society, whether to appeal to individuals about their behavior, employers about their rules, or the government about its laws.

Good advocates are passionate, committed and motivated. Who are your advocates?

  • You
  • Your staff
  • Your board
  • Your volunteers
  • Your constituents
  • Others with like interests (a coalition)

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Advocates (with apologies to Stephen Covey):

  • Be Proactive – Change starts from within and highly effective people chose to improve their lives through things they can influence.
  • Begin with the End in Mind – Develop a principle-centered personal mission statement and extend into long term goals.
  • Put First Things First – Identify key roles you take on in life and make time for each
  • Think Win/Win – Seek agreements and relationships that are mutually beneficial
  • Seek First to Understand the other person and then seek to be understood
  • Synergize – Through trustful communications find ways to leverage individual differences to make a whole greater than the sum of the parts
  • Sharpen the Saw – Take time to build capacity through personal renewal of your physical, mental, social/emotional and spiritual dimensions.

Reduced to its most basic level, effective nonprofit advocacy is about communication and relationships.

Creating & Implementing Advocacy Communications

Communications Matters created a model designed to help communication practitioners and their colleagues working in other disciplines (program, evaluation, and executive leaders) build a common language and shared understanding for the role that strategic communication plays in advancing lasting social change.

This communications model is built around four central pillars: brand, culture, strategy, and action.

  • Brand – Every social change organization, no matter its size or purpose, has three key assets that shape its identity: resources, reputation and relationships.
  • Culture – Communicating organizations cultivate certain qualities that make their work compelling to others. You may not have all in equal measure, but you need a minimum supply of each to succeed.
  • Strategy – Successful organizations are consistently strategic (deliberate and intentional) about their communication choices, weighing several distinct, yet related, variables before they act.
  • Action – Communicating should never be a one way activity. Success demands a continuous, virtuous, self-correcting cycle of sending and receiving, plus the ability to cede control.

Strategic communications is the key to advocacy – just honor the process. Your campaigns will be stronger. And your nonprofit will create and run incredibly successful social change campaigns!

9 steps to advocacy strategic communications:

  1. Create clear goals
  2. Target audiences
  3. Utilize concise messages that resonate
  4. Develop good planning skills
  5. Tell people what to do
  6. Make a case for why action is needed now
  7. Match strategies and tactics with audience
  8. Budget for success
  9. Rely on experts when needed

6 steps to social media for advocacy:

  1. Set your goals. Is your goal narrow (publicizing an event) or broad (building and engaging with a community or coalition)?
  2. Identify your target audiences.
  3. Select the social media platforms you plan to use. Make your choice based on your goals and target audiences. The most well-known are Facebook and Twitter.
  4. Gather resources and materials to create content and share.
  5. Find volunteers to help manage social platforms.
  6. Be sure and integrate into your marketing communications plan.

For a more in-depth understanding of advocacy and strategic communications

 Enjoy these extra resources on strategic communications!

We’d love to hear how your nonprofit uses strategic communications and advocacy!

 

 

P2P fundraising empowers others to ask on your behalf!

The peer-to-peer family tree breaks down the different kinds of P2P fundraising and shows how big the P2P family is becoming.

The P2P family tree breaks down the different kinds of P2P fundraising and shows how big the P2P family is becoming.

P2P fundraising empowers others to ask on your behalf! Also known as Peer-to-peer fundraising, P2P uses the power of your constituents to engage their friends and family.

It’s one of the major driving forces in successful nonprofit fundraising. The peer-to-peer family tree breaks down the different kinds of P2P fundraising and shows how big the P2P family is becoming.

So imagine my delight when Tate Handy at Digital Third Coast  asked if I would be interested in sharing the P2P family tree developed with Plenty Consulting.

Then Tate offered an introduction by Plenty Consulting CEO Jeff Shuck. I was thrilled!

I’ve been a big fan of Jeff Shuck since 2007 when I first learned of his new paradigm incorporating special events to the classic development pyramid. For me it was a gateway to P2P fundraising and empowering others to ask on your behalf!

Jeff Shuck introduction to the P2P family tree:

  • Did you buy Girl Scout cookies this year?
  • Did you participate in a Tough Mudder as a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project?
  • Did you attend Penn State’s annual Dance Marathon, or purchase lemonade from one of Alex’s Lemonade Stand?

If you did any one of these things, I’ve got news for you- you were participating in an act of peer-to-peer fundraising, whether or not you knew it at the time.

Peer-to-peer fundraising, also known as P2P, is one of the most thrilling nonprofit fundraising channels being used today, and it’s growing at a fast pace. Yet despite its growing fan base, many people aren’t quite sure how to explain P2P to others. Here’s what you need to know.

First of all, in traditional fundraising, organizations reach out to their network to donate. In P2P, meanwhile, organizations ask their constituents to reach out to people connected to them on behalf of your cause. Instead of only having access to their donors, organizations can connect with their constituents plus their constituents’ networks, creating an unending collection of potential new donors. Your audience expands exponentially, and with it, so does your ability to do more to fulfill your mission.

Abundance is out there and peer-to-peer fundraising helps you unlock that abundance to be distributed to those who need it. What can your network do for your cause?

Deborah’s Comments –

P2P fundraising empowers others to ask on your behalf! P2P engages your network in a number of ways:

  1. Ensures successful events
  2. Integral part of cause marketing initiatives
  3. Fuels the engine for digital campaigns

We’d love to hear examples of how your nonprofit engages and empowers your network by involving constituents in P2P initiatives.

Keys to building film festival audiences!

Film festivals need a lot of promotions & marketing to be successful!

Keys to building film festival audiences!

Keys to building film festival audiences! Film festivals need a lot of promotions & marketing to be successful!

Here are my favorite keys to building film festival audiences:

  • Email: Email is one of the most important marketing tools you have to promote your film festival. According to a recent McKinsey & Company study, email is still 40 times more effective at acquiring customers than Facebook and Twitter combined.The Austin Film Festival uses email for direct communication to their audience. They see most of their returns from dedicated email subscribers, and use an email marketing platform to compare and report email performance.
  • Social Media: Visual storytelling comes to us naturally. Humans process visuals faster than they process text. Considering our attention span is about 3.9 seconds long, presenting information as visuals just makes sense.
  1. Facebook and Twitter are the two most useful social media channels for growing your audience. Facebook is more conducive to marketing with information, whereas Twitter is best for shoutouts, retweets and community engagement.
  2. Instagram is good for brand building and photo sharing, but it’s still a relatively small platform.
  3. YouTube is great to post behind-the-scenes video content on festival events throughout the year to keep people engaged.
  4. Pinterest drives more traffic than Google+, YouTube & LinkedIn combined. Mainly, the site now attracts women in the age range 25-44 who love fashion, home decorating and family related products. As it gains more of a following, this is bound to change.
  • Sponsorships and Partnerships: Sponsorships can be a huge gateway to growing recognition and audience. Partnerships with institutions, brands, and businesses can bring additional value to your festival through in-kind donations and exposure. Getting businesses and influencers to back your festival where there’s a mutual exchange will build the momentum and your reputation. Use this social currency to expand your reach.
  • One-on-one promotions: We’re bombarded by messages every day. Community Engagement Committees are a great way to engage with people directly, and bring your value to them.
  • Press-kits: I’m a big fan of press-kits. They ensure that reporters, bloggers your audience and sponsors have what they need. Key to success is an easy-to-find contact link and phone number.
  • Off-line promotions: Don’t forget newspapers, flyers, flags, posters, presentations at community meetings and events, cross-promotions with other festivals, etc.

I’d love to hear your suggestions for building film festival audiences! If you’re interested in our CS&I Film Festival PR/Marketing Template? Contact deborah@creative-si.com.

 

Want donors to stay engaged? Thank them!

Show your appreciation with a timely, sincere thank you letter

Want donors to stay engaged? Thank them with a timely, sincere thank you letter.

Want donors to stay engaged? Thank them!

Sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it?

Well, it’s unfortunate how many nonprofits don’t thank their donors.

Of course we thank them. After all, many of our donations are done online and we have our system send a receipt/thank you note.

Is this really thanking your donor? Does this create engagement?

I suggest not. Want donors to stay engaged? Thank them!

I don’t believe that the lapse is intentional. But, those thank you notes are extremely important. Here are some meaningful ways to rectify the situation and ensure that your donors stay engaged:

Donor acquisition is extremely important. Yet 3 of 4 donors leave and never come back. Frank Barry, director of digital marketing at Blackbaud and blogger at npENGAGE, wrote a very interesting blog post One thing most nonprofits stink at (donor retention) and how you can change it interviewed fundraising experts from across the industry to share 12 super simple (but effective) ways to engage and retain donors. I was thrilled when I saw how many spoke to the importance of heartfelt thank you notes.

These 12 Ways to Thank Donors will keep them from saying goodbye offer a good guide for using thank you notes to keep your donors engaged:

  1. Offer donors a next step in your thank you note.
  2. Thank your donors for being them.
  3. Send a handwritten note.
  4. Treat each donation as the beginning of a meaningful friendship.
  5. Don’t ask for more money — yet.
  6. Keep it simple and emotional, not filled with jargon.
  7. Make your donor feel something positive in your thank you letter.
  8. Avoid careless errors – double check your grammar and spelling.
  9. Send your thank you letter as fast as possible.
  10. Make the letter relevant.
  11. Give the donor credit, not you.
  12. Follow up later.

Writing thoughtful timely thank you letters is hard work. But, it’s worth it!

Thank you for all you do for your community. And, thank you for following my blog.

I’d love to hear from you with suggestions for keeping donors engaged!

 

Fight Prejudice with art, a website and Facebook

Share The Vision Through Art

“Diversity should enrich our lives. When we accept others, it elevates the human experience.” Embracing Differences Founder Charlotte Wilen

 

Embracing Differences is a nonprofit that engages metro Atlanta in a dialogue about ending prejudice and discrimination. The organization uses art to educate and promote a community where all people share a mutual respect for others without prejudice, hate or fear.

Their signature project “Students Draw The Line…Against Prejudice” was created to serve as a powerful weapon to help fight the battle against intolerance. The event, which takes place this November, involves students through high school submitting works of art, which are exhibited and displayed to the general public.

Using Art, a website and Facebook to Fight Prejudice

My team and I were tasked with finding a way to reach the community with Embracing Differences message and to encourage metro Atlanta to view an outdoor exhibit of the winning art.

First step was to update the Embracing Differences website

  • Start with a complete analysis of the website’s look, feel and content
  • The website was basic and was not very appealing. But, the organization was not in a position to develop a new website
  • Since Embracing Differences is focused on artwork, it was important to create visual integrity that resonated with their message
  • Visible link to donate was added to the navigation bar
  • Used 24Fundraiser for electronic fundraising. The fundraising header uses the logo for the signature event.
  • When we discovered that the site did not have the bandwidth to hold a lot of hi-res photos, we created a Press Center off-site that is linked to the Press Center icon.
  • An Application form to formally register for the competition along with an Application Packet gave teachers a chance to register for the competition and a teacher’s webinar without leaving the site.

Embracing Differences Facebook page –

  • Design Facebook page so it resonates with the same look and feel and theme of the website
  • Create hash-tags and use throughout posts
  • Post teacher training webinar Share the Vision through art
  • Update Facebook with relevant visuals and content daily
  • Encourage people to share posts with their networks
  • Create a People’s Choice contest to drive likes and interest in signature event
  • Used an app that allowed posting all 55 entries in categories.
  • Created a graphic in the Facebook header that leads people to Vote

Be sure and Like the Embracing Differences Facebook page and vote on your choice in Elementary, Middle and High School! Not going to the opening event? Come back to the Embracing Differences Facebook page after November 1st and see the judges and People’s Choice winners.

After the opening event, Students Draw the Line Against Prejudice hosts an outdoor exhibit of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each school category. The banner-sized art pieces will tell a story.

Some of the work will show struggles in the face of prejudice. And some will focus on positive experiences that diversity can create.

Would love to hear what you think after you view the artwork on Facebook!

 

 

Add marketing strategy into your nonprofit strategic planning

“Which road do I take, she asked?” “Where do you want to go?” responded the Cheshire Cat. “I don’t know,” Alice answered. “Then,” said the cat, “it doesn't matter!”

“Which road do I take, she asked?”
“Where do you want to go?” responded the Cheshire Cat.
“I don’t know,” Alice answered.
“Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter!”

“Okay,” the executive director said. “We really need to do some nonprofit strategic planning.”

“Why,” said the board members. “We’ll spend a lot of time and money and the plan will sit somewhere on a shelf.”

This isn’t an atypical refrain. There are, however, important reasons for your nonprofit to do strategic planning. Nonprofit strategic planning answers the 4 big questions:

  1. Where are we?
  2. Where do we want to be in the future?
  3. What part of the status quo do we need to change to get us where we want to be in the future?
  4. How do we make it happen?

But, the planning process doesn’t need to be a chore. Nor does the plan need to sit on a shelf.

I had the distinct honor of working with Bridging The Gap Foundation. I was a consultant for their Strategic Planning, Board Development and Fundraising Grant. This opportunity was made possible through the generosity of The David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s Organizational Effectiveness and Philanthropy Program.

The main lesson I learned is that there isn’t one perfect strategic planning model that works for every nonprofit. There are a number of variables that must be considered, including:

  • the culture of the nonprofit
  • whether or not the organization has had success in strategic planning
  • the volatility of their environment
  • the main reason for doing the strategic planning at this time

My most recent engagement was with a small nonprofit with a hard working and committed board. After some preliminary discussions, we decided on a planning process that integrated vision-based and marketing strategy.

Vision-based strategic planning model:

  1. Identify your purpose (mission statement)
  2. Establish a vision statement
  3. Select the goals your organization must reach if it is to effectively work toward your mission and achieve your vision
  4. Identify specific approaches (or strategies) that must be implemented to reach each goal
  5. Identify specific action plans to implement each strategy (or objectives to achieve each goal)
  6. Compile the mission, vision, strategies and action plans into a Strategic Plan document.
  7. Monitor implementation of the Plan and update the Plan as Needed

Add marketing strategy into your nonprofit strategic planning:

Strategy is not planning. Strategy is about making smart strategic choices. Strategy helps create strategic planning and action into real-time.

La Piana Consulting identifies 5 principles for strategy development that I weave into the strategic planning process:

  1. Know Yourself
  2. Know your market
  3. Build on Your strengths
  4. Make decision-making criteria explicit
  5. Identify Your Big Question, e.g., your greatest challenge

Do you have any thoughts about strategic planning or weaving marketing strategy into the strategic planning process?

We’d love to hear from you!

10 Ways to Increase Your Direct Mail Success

directmail.featured

“Direct mail is a long way from death. It’s still the most effective fundraising  medium (after the church offering basket) and it’s many times more effective than email,” Jeff Brooks, author of The Fundraiser’s Guide to Irresistible Communications: Real-World, Field-Tested Strategies for Raising More Money

Is direct mail dead? Not by a long shot!

According to Yory Wurmser, director of marketing and media insights at the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), direct mail boasts a 4.4% rate, compared to email’s average response rate of 0.12%. And, depending on how one crunches the numbers, direct mail has a response rate of up to 10 to 30 times that of email — and even higher when compared to online display.

So, I asked Keith Franco, a colleague who works in direct mail marketing at Sull Graphics, Inc., for some pointers to creating a successful direct mail campaign.

He prefaced his comments by saying that what you are about to read may seem fundamental in nature, even basic, but make no mistake.  The following points are absolutely, positively essential to a powerful and successful campaign.

  1. Choose your list carefully –A well-targeted list is key to any successful campaign.  For prospect mailings use a smaller list. All nonprofits should create a direct mail campaign with their house list.
  2. Offer something appealing – OK, now you’ve qualified them.  So, hook ‘em.  Get their attention.  Make them want to respond.
  3. Make it easy to respond –Provide multiple ways for your prospect to respond.  Not everyone wants to respond in the same way.  Provide a 1-800 #, email address or Business Reply Card or drive them to a web site where you can capture even more info about them for analytics and optimization in future campaigns.
  4. Use the right medium (fish where the fish are) –If you’re targeting an older crowd, you may want to go with a standard letter package via USPS.  If you’re targeting a younger crowd, you may want to go with a very colorful, eye-catching mail piece, email and invite them to respond digitally.
  5. Write copy that offers benefits –You’ve got their attention because you’ve qualified them and reached them using their preferred medium.  Now you have to captivate them with relevant copy that offers them a meaningful way to make a difference so they respond.
  6. Pick 2 or 3 Channels –If you’re not too sure about the medium in which to reach them so test it.  Divide you list in to sub-lists.  Send an email to some and a mail piece to others and judge the response.  Take a 3rd sub-list and send both mediums, then determine the preferred medium along with preferred method of response.
  7. Create an Emotional Selling Point – A proven method of evoking response is to trigger an emotion that causes them to act on your compelling copy.  This is critical, as this emotion will surface again as they refer back to or pick up your piece again, even if they don’t act on right away.
  8. Talk about your organization’s mission and how you make a difference for the community– Remember… everyone’s favorite radio station is WIIFM or What’s In It For Me.  If you can press their panic button and offer a solution, that’s half the battle.
  9. Stand out from your Competitors–Need I say more?
  10. Write a great Headline – Grab their attention right away.  Make them want to read on and explore more.  A great headline should entice the reader to request more information.

Now, it’s off to the races!  Good luck!!

If you have any questions for Keith email him –  kfranco@sullgraphics.com. Keith is one of the most responsive people I know!

Create a Digital Ripple to Promote your Special Event

 

 

Creating a Digital Ripple

Creating a Digital Ripple

 

“Hey,” my friend Bobby said. “We’re honoring Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat with a special performance by Broadway Diva Tovah Feldshuh. Are you interested in spearheading the marketing?”

“Silly question, I’d love to!”

My commitment to special events is well known. I encourage all nonprofits to integrate special events into their development plans. Seen this way events are part of a holistic development effort that integrates into everything you do as an organization to raise money. And, it is strategic – the events are focused on the mission. At each level of your giving paradigm you will find distinct events for distinct goals.

Promoting Stu, Long Overdue: A Salute to Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat

Stu, Long Overdue was an exciting yet challenging event to promote. Ambassador Eizenstat has a long active relationship with the presenting organization, Ahavath Achim Synagogue. The Eizenstat Family Memorial Lecture is a gift to the synagogue and the community at large, and features high profile speakers from the United States and Israel.

Members of the congregation were the primary marketing target for this special event fundraiser. On the other hand, Tovah Feldshuh, a well-known Broadway star opened opportunities to outreach to the whole community, especially those interested in seeing a special performance of her award winning one-woman cabaret Tovah: Out of Her Mind!

To start we developed a press release, fact sheet and visuals that integrated messages for those interested in attending the event to honor Eizenstat and people who would attend to see Tovah Feldshuh up front and personal.

We identified the paths to promote the event, which included traditional and new media elements.

This included:

  • Stu, Long Overdue page on the synagogue’s website. The website did not have enough bandwidth to create a Press Center. The print quality JPEG files and documents were housed off-site.
  • Foundation press release, fact sheet, flyers and posters, which we housed in the Press Center.
  • Personalized direct mail
  • Email blasts
  • Placements on all the relevant event calendars within the metro area
  • Identified organizational partners to help distribute html email and flyers to their constituents
  • Geographically our target market was in metro Atlanta. We chose the Atlanta Daybook. I love using the Atlanta Daybook for local news releases. They have direct reach into the newsrooms, corporate headquarters and nonprofits in my target market.
  • Personal outreach through twitter and email to press and bloggers
  • Creation of Stu, Long Overdue Facebook page
  • Event hashtag #Stulongoverdue

The Daybook helped create the event’s digital ripple through their distribution channels.  A digital ripple provides actionable insights into how campaign strategies and tactics worked.

Insights from Stu Long Overdue, A Salute to Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat Story Traction Report:

  • The total digital impressions from each placement ranged from 8,385 to 17,593, which was the last placement 4 days before the event.
  • Total campaign digital impressions – 54,176 
  • Average time on the page ranged from 3:34 to 8:51
  • Twitter Daybook Followers – 7,724. When a placement had just 2 re-tweets, the reach increased to 8,965
  • Facebook – 528
  • Google+ – 299

We saw increased activity on the event website including donations and ticket purchases related to Daybook placements, blog posts and off and on-line articles.

Why else are these metrics important?

We live in an age of metrics. These benchmarks are necessary to ensure that the nonprofit is spending its resources properly and that they are accountable and transparent.

I feel it is particularly important when it comes to special events and promotional initiatives since both are always under attack for not having and/or meeting measurable goals.

And, the story lives! The digital ripple created by this event will continue to raise awareness, inspire to purchase tickets to other events and even foster donations. It also established the organization as a knowledge center.

Three interesting posts that discuss ways to incorporate social media in your special events:

  1. 15 Ways to Bring Social Media to Events
  2. 18 Ways to Use Social Media for Events 
  3. Special Events Social Media

If you’re interested in a more thorough post on the importance of metrics for nonprofits, please let me know!

 

 

Emotions Rule in Nonprofit Marketing Communications!

lizard self

 

“Communications are all about the mind…and only about the mind. Keep that in mind.” Tom Ahern, How to Write Fundraising Materials That Raise More Money

Never did I think my study of psychology  & neuroscience, albeit to a lesser degree, would have such an impact on my work in marketing communications. Was I wrong!

I promise not to go too deep into the realms of neuroscience. But, bear with me. Understanding that the brain is the seat of emotions and that emotions “rule” when it comes to making a decision has huge implications for the nonprofit communicator.

In The Emotional Brain, Ken Barnett states that emotions invariably are formed in certain parts of the brain, in which the consciousness that we term the mind resides. From the mind these emotions– fear, anger, stress, elation, anxiety, love and all the rest – can gush out anywhere and everywhere, controlled or otherwise, productively or destructively, far more powerful and irresistible than logic.

Neuroscientist Antoine Bechara declared in 2006 that the “popular notion … that logical, rational calculation forms the basis of sound decisions … [is] wrong and [has] no scientific basis….”

Ironically this is something that direct mail marketers have known for quite a while!

Everyone is affected by emotional triggers. The key is to discover which emotional triggers create the action that you’re looking for in your marketing communications. My personal bias is that the main action you strive for is support for your nonprofit’s mission.

Group triggers to lead to action. Couple negative triggers – anger, sadness, fear with positive triggers – caring joy and hope. Create what Tom Ahern calls emotional twin sets. Match a catalyzing trigger, most often negative to introduce the problem with a calming trigger, which is positive and offers a solution if the reader takes action.

Don’t forget, as neurologist Donald Calne, author of Within Reason: Rationality and Human Behavior shows — reason leads to thinking, while emotion leads to action.

Of course this isn’t the whole picture. Interested in more applicable insights into the use of emotions and nonprofit marketing communications? I strongly suggest:

Communication is everything in marketing. If you can’t get your messages out to your audience and create the desired actions, your nonprofit will shrivel and die. Marketing communications is about understanding the needs of your audiences and finding the best way to speak with them.

Don’t forget, people develop trust with organizations that they are emotionally connected to. So, telling a story about how you change the lives of real people who come into contact with your organization is critical.

One last plug for neuroscience — our brain is hardwired to learn from and respond to stories! So the fastest and easiest way for your audience to understand and get involved with what your organization is doing is through stories.

By the way, curious about the photo on this post? That’s my lizard. She/it sits on a shelf in my office watching me work – or not!  I saw the lizard when we took a trip to Santa Fe New Mexico and I had to have it. After reading Seth Godin’s fascinating book Linchpin, I think I know why!

Any thoughts or contributions you want to make to the effects of emotional triggers on nonprofit marketing communications? I’d love to hear them.