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!

 

 

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.

What it takes to be a nonprofit marketer

multitask

 

Look inside the heads of great marketers like Seth Godin & Steve Jobs and you’ll be surprised by the number of skills these guys and gals have that might not necessarily be tied to marketing. You’ll see things like interview skills, giving good feedback, and even kissing butt. Sujan Patel, Single Grain 

Wow, I thought. Maybe this is why I see myself as driven!

The DNA in a marketer includes a relentless desire to get better and better at what she does. She is always trying to improve and to help her team members improve also.

So, I’ve developed a short list of what I feel it takes to be a superstar nonprofit marketer.

1.  A hunger for knowledge about great marketing and lessons from great marketers:

2.  Be open to learn from great marketing campaigns:

3.  Great writer in multi-mediums – annual reports, web, online newsletters, press releases, SM, etc:

4. Prolific content generator across mediums – written, video, audio, & photo:

5.  Marketing generalists – new & traditional media:

6.  Proactive communicator & connector – A marketer understands that the more people you know the more opportunities, ideas and help you will have. So you need to spend a good chunk of your time connecting with people, be it on social media, at conferences, networking meets and even lunches.

7.  A committed leader – As a nonprofit marketer most likely you will work with a team to accomplish your goals. A great marketer is a great leader, always recruiting and encouraging her team to accomplish goals from start to finish.

8.  Driven by metrics:

9.  Donor-Centric Focused – The truly great nonprofit marketer obsesses about her donors & other stakeholders: her needs, wants, desires, dreams and problems. Every marketing conversation begins with the “customer”—and how she will benefit.

10.  Be a Decision Maker – You have access to a ton of information. But, you’ll never have enough. Or, as I do sometimes, you may get paralyzed by information overload. Analyze the data, make a decision and then learn from your mistakes. A true decision maker doesn’t let fear stop her from moving forward.

Most importantly you must love what you do and celebrate that you are making a difference in the world!

Any suggestions to add to the list? We’d love to hear from you!