Showing posts with label planning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label planning. Show all posts

Thursday, March 7, 2013

6 Smarter Ways to Market in a Flat Economy

Baer spoke on content marketing in Sydney
At the recent Content Marketing World Conference US author Jay Baer unpacked his concept of Youtility: marketing so helpful customers would be willing to pay for it.   

And Youtility is what can make you stand out in a flat economyParticularly when people have limited money, short attention spans, an overabundance of information and are spoiled for choice. 

It used to be salespeople provided information then closed the sale with customers relying on them for product knowledge.  Now their job is to close the sale with savvy customers armed with online research and willing to move on if they feel something is not right.   

The role of the marketer is also transitioning - from hyping products to helping customers - offering accessible and timely information that will help their customers make decisions and become brand loyalists.

Jay outlined six steps to build a content marketing strategy to set you apart in a tight economy:

  • Discover customer needs through market research, keyword search, social chatter etc.
  • Map those needs to a specific service or product your organisation has.
  • Develop user-friendly information around that product through case studies, tools, tips, apps, videos and other devices.
  • Distribute and then market that content through the channels where your customers live.
  • Skill your staff to continually come up with information to help customers.

Most importantly recognise that helping customers is a process not a program and marketing today is a marathon not a sprint.  

Other posts:

The age of content is new again 

Four ways to drive content marketing


Monday, January 16, 2012

Not For Profit PR Podcast: PR Must Be In Your DNA

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.

North American broadcaster Wayne Kelly and I finish by outlining three effective marketing strategies that cost less than $500 a year.

(Automatically get the next episode by filling in the email subscription box to the right.)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Communications Audit Tool for Not For Profits

Before beginning a new communication journey, it is worth reflecting on the current state of your organisation’s PR and marketing. A communications audit provides the opportunity to review your efforts and assess their effectiveness. 

A communications audit is a valuable exercise whether you are a large or small not for profit. It provides a handy reference point to assess what is working and what is not. Based on this you can then decide what to continue with and what to abandon.

In my workshops I ask groups to complete a simple audit template which takes around 20 minutes. An extract is below. 

Communication activity



Very effective


Not Effective

For example

Gather those who are responsible for directing and those who are responsible for carrying out your PR and marketing to complete the audit. Often in small not for profits these are the same people. It is handy to have the CEO or Chairperson involved because they know what is coming up, set future priorities and importantly control the communications budget. 
 Limit the audit to what you have done in the past 12 months and begin filling in the template. 
 In the column labelled Communication activity individually list what you currently do. For example you might use: 
  • 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.
 This list is not exhaustive but I hope you get the idea. 
 In the column labelled Frequency write down how often you do these tasks. For example it could be something you do regularly such as keeping in contact with funding agencies. Or it might be something that happens throughout the year such as approaching the media.  Or it might be something occurring once a year such as publishing the annual report.
 In the column labelled Budget you need to identify the dollar cost of each activity and the number of hours spent on it each month. Small organisations often have little to spend on marketing and PR, but compensate by devoting considerable time to communicating. It is important to identify both types of costs.
In the column labelled Very effective place a tick for a particular activity that you regard as successful and would want to repeat. Or you might rate an activity as effective (which is still a high score) so place a tick against that item in the column labelled Effective.  Or you might judge something as just not working, so tick the Not effective column.
Each communication task can only have one effectiveness rating and assigning a rating is based on either on evaluation data you have collected or an educated best guess of what works and what does not. (More on evaluation data in a later blog post .)
 A completed template shows at a glance the relative effectiveness of each item on your communications menu. You can now decide what to keep, improve or ditch.  Ideally you would want to continue an activity that was low cost in dollar terms and staff time but very effective.  Something that was effective but expensive might warrant more effort to make it work even harder.  Something graded not effective needs a massive overhaul or should be dropped.
You should conduct a simple communications audit least every 12 months and make sure you keep a record.  This then becomes an important document from which you can judge your progress. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Not For Profits And PR Planning

A charity would never think of providing food to the homeless without the proper arrangements in place? A not for profit would never schedule respite care without preparations? A green group would never save a river without researching the best ways to undertake the task. Not for profits continuously plan their next steps.

Yet when it comes to PR and marketing, many organizations work in a haphazard fashion, improvising as they go. The committee cries out. We need a brochure, build a Facebook fan page or get us on the evening news.  That is often enough for someone to be off and running with little thought of a larger marketing picture. 

Effective communication does not have to be elaborate or expensive. But it does have to be planned. A simple plan focuses efforts, ensures money is wisely spent and harnesses staff and volunteer effort into concrete actions which lead to a desired end point. A communication plan is as important as other key business and corporate strategies and flows on from these documents. In turn it contributes to their successful implementation.  You need a plan but it does not have to be complex.  

Unless your organization is small with only a handful of members you need to document your communication goals and activities. A written plan ensures everyone shares a common direction, removes doubt and allows your achievements to be measured. 
Communications plans vary between organizations but most identify:
  • 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. 
Not for profits are dynamic organisations and change constantly.  For example you hire new staff, get new clientele or your funding varies. Therefore your communications plan should be flexible rather than set in stone and has to be vigorously reviewed and updated so it remains current and relevant.