- Not for profits is marginally up.
- Trust in media is up six points.
- Business has taken a 10 point leap in trust levels.
- There is a higher level of trust in government.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Podcast Powered By Podbean
Last week I ran an events workshop for sporting codes and clubs in the Australian Capital Territory.
That's because events provide opportunities to meet face to face with your audience and impress people with your passion.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
In the third of our nine part podcast series PR for Not For Profits, North American broadcaster Wayne Kelly and I explore the secrets of how not for profits can successfully work with local newspapers, radio stations and TV networks.
Each week we post a fresh episode in our podcast series. Automatically get the next one by adding your address in the email subscription box to the right.
Monday, January 16, 2012
This second episode in our Not For Profit PR series explores why planning must be in the DNA of every not for profit.
It talks about planning and the importance of communications objectives, understanding your audiences and crafting convincing messages.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
- Setting a social media governance framework with clear boundaries.
- Resourcing social media efforts and train those who manage social media platforms.
- Monitoring and listen in to social media platforms before you start to advocate.
- Using a personal voice because corporate speak does not cut it in social media.
- Engaging, supporting and responding to others with valuable information.
- Give people a simple call to action – something they can easily do online to contribute or participate.
- Provide fresh content as the campaign unfolds.
- Tell people your targets and graphically show how and where you are achieving them.
- Show who else is involved.
- People appreciate acknowledgement so find a way to recognise those who donate dollars, time, and effort or otherwise support your cause.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
- Are your clients, staff, volunteers and others you wish to engage using these new platforms? If not and now, should you?
- There are no gatekeepers in social media and people freely share information and opinions without restraint. In cyberspace they can comment on anything, including how your organization performs. If you want to succeed in this freewheeling universe you must engage in, not try to control, the conversation with your on-line audience. If your communications style is traditional and based on command and control it may be just too unsettling to embrace social media. Can you handle the participation and democracy of the new communications as well as its technologies?
- Social media is a space of informal conversation. There is no room for insider talk, corporate speak or jargon. Sure, never dumb down your information but the nature of social media means it must be uncomplicated to be effective. Are you ready to be simple?
- Measurement is easy with social media. People leave behind digital footprints as they upload content or visit digital spaces. Their conversations and level of engagement can be tracked and recorded. Are you prepared to measure the quality of your social media relationships? While people may follow you or become a fan or a connection, can you translate their on-line support into the real world where their involvement may be critical?
- New social media tools hit the market at a bewildering rate. Most not for profits would be better off choosing social networking platforms that have already gained community traction before experimenting with new applications. What platforms should you invest in and what do you let pass by?
- In new media, like traditional media, it takes time, effort and persistence to succeed. Do you have the time, effort and energy to try, operationalise and integrate new ways of communicating into your marketing?
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Not for profits are therefore forced to adopt the strategies and tactics of the big end of town when it comes to building and delivering persuasive messages. And this includes wrapping persuasion packaging around a core set of key messages such as:
- Testimony from happy clients who benefit from a not for profit's services.
- Stories of front-line staff making a difference.
- Endorsements by relevant celebrities, local leaders, academics and other public figures.
- Comparisons with the successes or failures of like minded groups.
- Contrasting an organisation's services with a situation where they were or are not available.
- Presenting data and detail showing how a not for profit makes a difference.
- Independent research showing why an issue is important and how it is trending.
- Using all communications channels to cater for all the different ways people consume information.
- And of course using simple, plain language to inform a community bloated on a massive communications overload.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
| || || || || |
- Print collateral such as brochures, fliers, newsletters. Even list your annual report if this is how you make key people aware of what you do.
- Media relations such as media releases, interviews, media conferences, letters to the editor.
- Digital platforms such as your own or others’ websites, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, Foursquare.
- Events such as those you stage and those where you join with others.
- Word of mouth marketing such as liaising with influential people and asking clients for testimonials.
- Advertising such as radio, TV, newspapers or on-line advertising.
- Direct marketing such as direct mail, email campaigns, telesales
- Other activities.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
- Objectives: the communications fundamentals to achieve.
- Audiences: the people you need to reach.
- Messages: what you want to tell people.
- Tactics: how you will get information to your audiences.
- A timetable: what happens and when.
- Budget: how much you have to spend and on what, over the life of the plan.
- Measurement: how you will measure your efforts so you can improve.
- Responsibilities: who is doing what and by when.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
- The objectives or why the organisation will engage the media in the coming 12 months.
- An encouragement for clubs to proactively engage their local media outlets as way of telling communities what they and the larger organisation is doing.
- Tools to help clubs such as pre-packaged media backgrounders, fact sheets, templates, speaking points and standard paragraphs for media alerts and media releases.
- Advice on how to access localised media contact lists.
- Guidance on handling media relations in crisis and advocacy situations.
- A media release review process - for all levels - so key players in the organisation know what is to be presented to journalists and what might make news.
- Tips for recycling earned media coverage so that office holders, members and key supporters know what the press is reporting.
- Social media guidelines so what is presented online is consistent with what is presented to traditional media.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
- Continuous communications and keeping in mind the PR maxim: just when you are sick of saying something, people are probably just starting to listen.
- Compelling content (centred on personal stories) that motivates people to change what they are currently doing.
- An approach that grabs attention and propels your message through the communications clutter engulfing the average person.
- A repetitious mix of communications tactics so if one approach fails one time, another may succeed later.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Now in its sixth year these sessions offer pro bono marketing advice to volunteers groups, charities and not for profits.
To finish up the 2009 program we asked colleagues in our international PR networks to name the top ten things not for profit organisations must get right when they set out to communicate to their communities.
We got more than ten so here's the list.
Craft a message that resonates and connects. Before embarking on a PR campaign, craft your message. Who you are and who do you help? Do your services overlap with other groups? How is your organization unique and what makes it stand out? People want to know before investing what area of the community you serve. Is it pets, homeless people, the elderly, disabled children, etc? They also want to know that the majority of funds go to the intended programs and recipients.
Find out how to connect emotionally with your target audience. Put a face on the population you serve and tell their story. Describe their situation and how your services have helped them. If you must present a bleak picture be sure to provide a solution. People want to hear positive outcomes to things that affect them and their community so how do your services improve the community's quality of life.
Make your message as personal as possible to the audience you are trying to reach. And the information you are giving them has to be kept simple on the front end. People aren't going to read, or listen to a lot at the outset. Once you get their interest then you can deliver more content. So you have to really target your audience carefully. Tossing out lots of content broadly hoping to catch a few is wasteful in this economy.
Demonstrate the need, show you have a solution and then share your successes.
Listen before you communicate. The good Lord gave us two ears and one mouth for a very good reason.
The basic motivation factor of "putting something back in to the local community" is a good message. It leads to a sense of achievement and well being for volunteers and a sense of philanthropy for donors. Also promise donors publicity because people like to be seen to be doing good things.
Communications must empathise transparency and accountability. Ensure you report on how the funds you raised are being used and that what you claimed you would do, you actually did.
A lot of not for profits want to start with the tactics first and forget to spend a few minutes asking the questions to make their efforts smarter. So before you communicate, ask what is the purpose of my communications? What is the primary message I want to convey? Who is it designed to reach? What do I want people to do after they hear what I have to say? How will I know I have been successful?
Have I got my logos, images, taglines and spokespersons ready to roll before I start talking?
Understand the media likes conflict. Where there is no conflict or opposing views there is no story. So find a local hero and go for a feature story rather than a news story.
What is your value to the community at large? How many people are using your services, how many are unable to get these services? Where would those folks get services if your organization didn't exist? What would happen to them? And what is your impact on the general community?
Take advantage of third party endorsements in the form of testimonials from clients, favorable media placements, or even simply through the reputations of the people who serve on your board or who volunteer. But please choose them wisely. The best part of this strategy - it's virtually free.
Show the value you provide - the value of your research, the fact you employ real people at all levels, spend your money in the local economy and that you are open to people asking questions and seeing what we do. Wrap those points up in good story telling and tell a story about people who do things. Storytelling is becoming a lost art but you can't lose if you can get a handle on it.
... and my very special thanks to our contributors - Chips Henriss, Kristie Aylett, Karen Miller, Tim Entwisle, Janet Bosserman, Jeff Botti, Mike Spear, Rosanne Gain and Susanne Dupes.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
It concludes that:
- Incomes of not for profits are declining but government funding is stable.
- Incomes are reducing at the same time as costs are rising.
- 30% of not for profits have taken measures to reduce costs and more plan to do so in the next 12 months.
- Larger organisations are faring better. Probably because they have more reserves, are better known and so far they have been more proactive in introducing cost saving measures.
- Many will put more emphasis on winning government funding so government relations tools and tactics will increasingly feature in their marketing mix.
- About a third of organisations plan to upgrade their websites and 35% are planning to improve communications with stakeholders.
- Many are considering collaboration or partnerships with others but very few would consider a merger.
- There will be a greater call for volunteers as one way to meet increased demand for services as staffing levels either remain static or drop.
The PR and marketing implications from this study are stark.
In the coming year not for profits need to develop and implement simple, cost effective marketing efforts that deliver both dollars and volunteers. That's if they intend to continue to offer the same level of services their communities have come to expect ... and keep the doors open and the lights on.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
If you have ideas on how not for profits can keep their cash flow going in these uncertain times please share them with others by leaving a comment.
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.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Now in its 10th year the Barometer is a measure of the trust people around the world have in institutions. Not surprisingly in the midst of very difficult times in global markets, trust in business and government is on the decline.
Edelman reports "62% of 25-to-64-year-olds surveyed in 20 countries—say they trust corporations less now than they did a year ago. When it comes to being distrusted, business is not alone. Globally, trust in business, media, and government is half-empty; and trust in
government scores even lower than trust in business".
However not for profit organisations are the most trusted global institutions. Which should encourage those community groups, charities and others that struggle to get attention. State your case clearly and people are likely to respect what you have to say, more so than information from other types of organisations.
But does trust really matter? According to the survey the answer is a resounding "yes":
- In the past year, 91% of 25-to-64-year-olds around the world indicated they bought a product or service from a company they trusted.
- 77% refused to buy a product or service from a distrusted company.
- Being able to trust a company is one of the most important factors in determining a company’s reputation, ranking just below the quality of its products, the treatment of employees and on par with its financial future.
- Companies seen as responsible are significantly more likely to be supported in their efforts to sell goods and services, pursue changes in local laws, seek preferential treatment or have foreign investors assume a controlling stake in the business.
The complete report is expected to be released in the next few weeks.
Source of information: Edelman PR
In some respects Australia's councils are leading other government agencies in using the Internet to connect citizens.
In an Australian first, the City of
The Casey Connect project is providing a web-based portal for local groups to help them communicate with members, promote their services and generally link to the wider community.
The City is providing the Internet infrastructure that lets local voluntary organisations create their own web presence, I particularly like the interactive nature of these sites and the list of resources to get people started is impressive - on-line tutorials, user manuals and help guides.
The City of Casey is providing a service few volunteer bodies could afford.
Monday, December 29, 2008
It probably happens to you once or twice a year.
A well known charity knocks at your door during its annual fund raising appeal. You make a donation and in return get a receipt. This brief encounter speeds your money off somewhere to help someone somehow. Or you might donate regularly to an aid agency that sends out an annual letter about a sponsored child in the third world.
This remote control philanthropy – where your donation helps someone but you’re unsure who or how - is set to change according to US author Tom Watson. In his book Cause Wired he argues that Web2.0 technology is arming not for profit organizations with “weapons of mass collaboration” and transforming how people support good causes.
Watson believes that social networking applications like Facebook, MySpace, Linkedin etc are evolving from personal promotion into important fund raising, activist and political tools. And it seems Internet users across generations are welcoming the change. Members of Generation Y find that digitally supporting the issues they believe in is a natural extension of living their lives online in public. And Baby Boomers are attracted because the new ways of giving allow them to be personally involved and see results for themselves.
Pioneer charities are beginning to use the power of Web 2.0 to gather, sort and distribute information to donors in a way once reserved for only their very wealthiest supporters. kiva.org is probably Cause Wired’s best example of online fund raising. This digital not for profit allows small scale donors to use their credit cards and laptops to help struggling entrepreneurs in developing countries.
For a $25 upwards you can join with others to loan money to specific individuals in specific countries such as a group of women needing sewing machines for their garment start-up or impoverished taxi drivers urgently after car repairs. Kiva works through established non government organizations (NGOs) and the web to provide the loans, monitor repayments and continually report back to donors through reports and images from the field.
Watson cites other cases where digital philanthropy is achieving equally impressive results but he tempers his enthusiasm. While a campaign on a social networking site like Facebook may raise awareness of an important environmental, human rights or other issue, the actual fund raising figures for many charities still remain modest.
Cause Wired also explores how Web2.0 can empower political organizations and community movements to connect with citizens and consumers. Perhaps Barack Obama’s Presidential election campaign is among the most powerful example of new media technologies helping to win a cause.
While Watson’s 236 page book is enthusiastic about the new possibilities it acknowledges its limits. Online causes can get tens of thousands even millions of people talking. But they still need online leaders. Just like the bricks and mortar world committed individuals who can organize, coordinate, administer and generally keep things moving are still at a premium. And transitioning this digital attention to real world results is still the acid test. Once you have raised awareness you still need to motivate people to take out their cheque books and man the barricades.
Cause Wired is a very good, easy to read book. It is a must for marketers in not for profit and community organizations who want their fund raising efforts to remain competitive in the coming year.