Thursday, April 7, 2011
Friday, August 20, 2010
- Does this plan support my business or operational plan?
- Does what it is being recommended build on our previous good work and avoid our past communications shortcomings?
- Are my audiences clearly identified by geography, interests, beliefs or other common characteristics?
- Are the messages we want to share clear, unambiguous and easy to understand?
- Could our information be misunderstood or misinterpreted and cause unintended consequences?
- Is our information persuasive and backed by evidence such as facts and figures, case studies but above all by stories of ordinary people who benefit from what we do?
- How, when and where is information going to be delivered to audiences?
- What opportunities do audiences have to offer their opinion?
- Is there a processes to improve communications based on feedback?
- Are the communications tools proposed the right fit for the audience?
- Is there a mix of approaches so if one communications channel fails, others may work?
- What is the communications timetable?
- Will we deliver consistent communications or are we communicating by episodes?
- How will I know if this proposal is working?
- What is the process to monitor, measure, evaluate and adjust what is being proposed?
Friday, February 20, 2009
A tele-conference call is a great way to pass highly relevant information to an individual or very specific group of people at the same time.
This past week, as part of a national PR campaign, we hosted PR teleconferences for not for profit groups around the country. We dealt with around 20 community groups around Australia that had recently received a Commonwealth Government grant for grass roots community relations programs.
The tele-workshops were set up to share thoughts on how these organisations could raise community awareness about the important work they plan to do.
The workshops covered media relations, social media and word of mouth marketing and explored how local not for profits could use these three strategies. People representing six to eight organisations took part in each 60 minute call. Keeping the numbers small made for an intimate atmosphere where people could raise issues and offer their thoughts on what works for volunteers and what doesn't.
To provide a focus for discussion we circulated a slide package highlighting key PR and marketing points before each tele-conference. People on the call either printed it off or followed it through their computer.
We conducted six sessions and received very positive feedback. We also found that after some minor technical problems (which Optus promptly fixed) the tele-conferences were easy to set up and manage.
In tight times when funds are limited, the telephone and speaker remain handy and cheap tools that people in different parts of the country can use to share thoughts on PR and marketing.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
- Act and communicate green. People automatically expect organisations to be environmentally conscious. It's now the entry level standard for successful community relationships.
- Go high tech to hire staff and to engage people you need to reach. Social media is free, easy to use so why not get on board and begin to use it in 2009.
- Times may be tough but think long term and resist the panic urge to slash your marketing budget. Hopefully your organisation will be around long after this financial meltdown so keep talking to your clients and your community.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
So spare a thought for not for profit groups that may struggle financially but still have to communicate with their communities. They will need to market themselves even more to attract volunteers, promote their services and raise funds.
So what are the low cost PR tools and tactics they can use? I'd like to compile at list and circulate it to the groups you and I both know who would welcome practical PR tips for the challenging times ahead.
I'll share a consolidated list with anyone who leaves a comment on this post.
Here's my six ways to stretch a PR budget in tough economic times:
- Freshen up, recycle and reuse communications activities that have worked in the past.
- Skill up your team to do as much of your media and marketing as possible.
- If necessary bring in a mentor to help develop additional skills and build in-house capacity.
- Continually measure your marketing to see where your dollars should be going.
- Build in word of mouth marketing into your communications. It's the oldest, most reliable and least expensive of all the tools and tactics available to you.
- People are increasingly online so ealy in 2009 experiment with new digital tools (Facebook, Youtube, blogs etc) to reach them at minimal cost.
Got your own cost saving ideas? Share with others by leaving a comment.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Recently we had coffee with the ACT Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Society. The Society supports people suffering chronic fatigue syndrome and estimates around 3000
Since January the Society has attended the marketing workshops we run for community groups and has been overhauling its marketing and PR approach.
In the last three to four months it has promoted a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness Day, a theatre screening to raise funds and a self help course. Along the way it has used community radio, YouTube, Facebook and email campaigns and changed the way it stages events.
Other marketing included:
* Notices in local newsletters
* Word of mouth
* Posters on community notice boards
* Online and offline community event calendars - including free notices on ABC, ACTEW AGL Switch, Canberra Times fridge door and wotzon
* Getting pro-bono support from communications professionals.
The President reports so far the Society has spent less than $100 on the new PR arrangements yet the results have been impressive.
”Our enquiries are up 400% since March! As we haven't recorded everything this is a conservative figure. As such our staff member is run off her feet trying to answer it all. I imagine our website is also receiving more hits ... our membership is (also) up approximately 10% since March”.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
But when it comes to events, the budget is the one thing you simply must get right. If you are in a not for profit organisation two things are certain this year.
- Firstly some time this year you will run an event. That’s what not for profits do: to keep in touch, attract attention or promote their cause. Your next event could be a humble cake stall at the local shops, a national conference or perhaps a gala fund raising ball.
- The other certainty is you will not have enough money for your next event. While most of us have champagne aspirations when it comes to events, in the not for profit world we generally work with six pack budgets.
Financing events is such a critical undertaking for not for profits. Get it right and you are a hero. Get it wrong and you may well have over-spent yourself out of a job.So before any meaningful event planning starts, you must nail down the fundamental question: how will this event be paid for?
Not for profits don't have much money so every penny needs to be wisely spent especially when it comes to events. So remember: no matter how good your event is it will never be a success if it breaks the bank.