Putting the Strategy into Strategic Communications


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Too often nonprofits are scrambling to post on Twitter and Facebook, without thinking through how digital tools should be part of your organization's strategic goals.

In this presentation for the 2014 Peace and Security Funders conference, See3 CEO Michael Hoffman and digital strategist Laura Wilson walk through creating a strategic communications plan, theories of change, and how to use the tools at our fingertips - like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube - to achieve the change your organization seeks to make.

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  • The best stories make complex ideas to simple. If possible keep your story to one message, idea, theme; viewer often miss the point you really want too make if youpresent them with too many secondary messages
  • Video works most effectively when it creates a sense of identification between the viewer and the people in the story. People connect to people. As a result, be careful not to make your story about ideas, programs or policies, but the people who personify them.
  • What he means is that its often better to tell stories of your works impact or to hear peopleoutside your org talking about how great you are, than to hear you saying how great you. Like the moon, you can bask in the reflected light more than radiate your own
  • The times you think are most useful aren’t always the case. In the US, we often see weekends working well and after dinner, after the kids go to bed working really well.
  • Putting the Strategy into Strategic Communications

    1. 1. 1 Putting the Strategy Into Strategic Communications
    2. 2. 2 About Michael Hoffman • Former senior nonprofit fundraiser and political consultant • Founded See3 Communications to use digital strategy and tools to up the impact of nonprofits and causes About Laura Wilson • Veteran of 2012 Obama campaign digital team • Focus on digital campaign strategy and storytelling for change
    3. 3. 3 See3 Communications Strategy Capacity building Video, web, engagement
    4. 4. 4 Roadmap for our session • What is strategic communications? • How do you use strategy with your grantees? • Translating strategy into tactics • Tips and tricks for digital tools
    5. 5. 5 So: What the heck does “strategic communications” actually mean?
    6. 6. 6 strategy (noun) 1. A plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim. 1.1 The art of planning and directing overall military operations and movements in a war or battle. Often contrasted with tactics (see tactic).
    7. 7. 7 tactic (noun) 1. An action or strategy carefully planned to achieve a specific end.
    8. 8. 8 Bringing strategy into the mix with your grantees
    9. 9. 9 Theories of change 1. What is the change you want to see? 2. Who is in a position to make that change happen? The Theory: How can you influence those people/groups?
    10. 10. 10 Theory of Change #1 • Goal: To protect individuals from unsafe chemicals in seafood • Audience: Consumers • Theory: Providing simple tips on how to shop for chemical-free products will make it easier for supporters to “live smarter”
    11. 11. 11 Theory of Change #2 • Goal: To enact better legislation protecting clean water • Audience: Lawmakers • Theory: A petition with enough signatures will influence lawmakers to take action
    12. 12. 12 Theory of Change #3 • Goal: To build constituency advocating for better environmental protection • Audience: Current NRDC supporters and their friends • Theory: People are more likely to get involved if their friends already are. Peer pressure will recruit new likes/followers who can take action on future NRDC campaigns
    13. 13. 13 So – how is your org evaluating your grantees’ impact?
    14. 14. 14 Evaluation What’s the programmatic goal? Who are we trying to reach? What is our strategy for achieving our goal? What tactics will we use for implementing this strategy? How will we measure success? For every communications campaign, ask:
    15. 15. 15 Say no to vanity metrics
    16. 16. 16 How can you be a catalyst for your grantees to do their best work? Strengthening the skills, competencies and abilities that will allow your grantees to achieve measurable and sustainable results. Vision, quality, time, skills, integration, or ganizational development, leadership
    17. 17. 17 From STRATEGY to TACTICS
    18. 18. 18 Put it into practice: How do you use digital tools to lead in your field? How can you support your grantees in infusing strategy into their digital tactics?
    19. 19. 19 Traditional Mindset: Hubs and Spokes
    20. 20. 20 vs. the Network Mindset
    21. 21. 21 Benefits of Strong Networks • More efficient use of staff time • Regenerative, constant flow • Sustaining energy • Responsive & generous • Focus on people and community • Expand community of supporters
    22. 22. 22 How are you talking about change?
    23. 23. 24 VIDEO
    24. 24. KEEP IT SIMPLE
    25. 25. BE THE MOON
    26. 26. 28 First benchmark survey on use and impact of nonprofit video. 446 Survey Participants • Senior Management • Communications • Development Nonprofit Organizations • Representative of large, medium and small orgs • Rich diversity of missions • Broad range of experience with video YouTube Platform Data • 20,000+ nonprofits http://www.see3.com/intofocus
    27. 27. 29 GOING SOCIAL
    28. 28. 30
    29. 29. 31 Landscape of Digital Communications
    30. 30. 32 Three principles of being social
    31. 31. 33 #Ukraine 1. Add value
    32. 32. 34 2. Be real
    33. 33. 35 3. Strengthen the network
    34. 34. 36 Some basic tips to get you started: • Use an editorial calendar • Facebook < 3 / Day • Twitter 1++ / Day • P2P Asks Are Key
    35. 35. Mornings: 8 – 9AM Lunch: 12 – 1PM End of Day: 4:30 – 6PM Nights: 9:30 – 11PM Weekends vs. Wednesdays! Active Social Media Times
    36. 36. 38
    37. 37. 39 Thank You! Questions? mhoffman@see3.com www.See3.com (773) 784-7333