Essential Nonprofit Communications Plan


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Essential Nonprofit Communications Plan

  1. 1. It’s Really that SimpleThe Essential Nonprofit Communications Plan March 15, 2012 Martha Wells Susie Bowie
  2. 2. “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard ShawLet’s look at a plan.
  3. 3. What we’re covering today • What’s a brand? • Your audiences • Message development • Goals vs. strategies • Tools & tactics -Media relations 101 -Self-generated communication 101 -Successful partnerships • Evaluation
  4. 4. How do you feel about plans?
  5. 5. NonprofitCommunicationMyth s
  6. 6. Nonprofit CommunicationMyths & Stumbling Blocks Myth 1: “Because we do good work” Myth 2: “Who wouldn’t be interested?”
  7. 7. Nonprofit CommunicationMyths & Stumbling Blocks Myth 3: Your audience is everyone Myth 4: We need a billboard
  8. 8. What is a brand? • What’s your nonprofit’s personality? • What’s your position relative to competition? • What brand characteristics are delivered well and not so well?
  9. 9. What’s in acommunicationplan?
  10. 10. The communications plan • Situation Analysis • SWOT • Goals, Strategies, Tactics & Tactics • Who’s responsible • When it’s going to be done
  11. 11. The communications plandoes NOT include • Common sense • Policies • Internal processes (management)
  12. 12. PR & Marketing Basics • Earned media • Paid media • Self-generated communications
  13. 13. Communication does notequal management
  14. 14. YourAudiences
  15. 15. • Who are you talking to?• What do you want them to know about you?• What do you want them to do?Emotion – Information - Motivation
  16. 16. Let’s do an exercise. Did you just have a birthday?Your 3 most important audiences. Are they internal or external?
  17. 17. Are you ignoringan important audience?
  18. 18. Internal Communication MessageWho are “internal” audiences? Staff Clients Board External Audiences
  19. 19. It’s not rocket science! Board Web Volunteers Public Exhibits Officials Members Clients MESSAGE Media Peers Education Programs ??? Publications Regulator Donors Staff
  20. 20. Making Internal Communication Work Step 1. ASK! Need to know? Want to know? Frequency? Method? Step 2. PROVIDE! Staff Meetings. E-Mail. Phone. Memos. Lunch room.
  21. 21. Board Members are Ambassadors • Frequent & informal communication • Formal presentations through Speaker’s Bureau • Joining staff for donor meetings • Sitting at tables at YOUR events • Representing your organization at community events
  22. 22. MessageDevelopment
  23. 23. A few goodmessage tests…1. Is it personal?2. Are you conveying uniqueness?3. Is there a call to action?4. Does it add value?
  24. 24. Where can people turn when they are desperate forhelp with their housing situation? Our team at theOne Stop Center provides friendly, caring,compassionate assistance to people that come forhelp with a wide variety of issues. No one choosesto be homeless - it is not something young childrenaspire to. But when it happens to you or a lovedone, we are here to provide basic services and helppeople move on a path to improve their situation,and ultimately, to independence if possible.
  25. 25. Charis, age 12, was 20 pounds overweight and veryunhappy about it. Each day, she would endure teasing andridicule at the hands of her schoolmates. She tried dietingbut never seemed to have any luck. At times, she evencontemplated suicide. One day, a counselor at the Boys &Girls Club gently suggested that Charis try the Triple Playprogram. … After 4 months in the Triple Play program,Charis was at her normal body weight and feeling very, verygood about herself. Her newfound love of fitness has evenled her to try out for the track team at school!
  26. 26. Stroke is the leading cause of adult disabilityand can happen at any age. It’s the 4thcause of death nationwide. More women dieof stroke every year than of breast cancer.Approximately 2,800 strokes happen inSarasota and Manatee counties annually.With over 8,000 baby boomers turning 65every day for the next 19 years, that numberwill significantly rise!
  27. 27. Stories + Factsemotion “proof”heart statisticsconnection numbersself-identification a need beyond one
  28. 28. Let’s do an exercise. Is it your birthday next?Creating a sound bite message for a new potential donor:The 36-Hour Giving Challenge.
  29. 29. Goals vs.Strategies
  30. 30. • What are youGoal trying to accomplish? • “Game plan” Strategies for accomplishing goals • Activities-- Tactics & how you Tools execute your strategies.
  31. 31. Goals • The outcome of what you’re trying to accomplish vs. how you will accomplish it • What’s going to change as a result of your communications/ marketing? • Linked to your organization’s organizational objectives • SMART Specific Measureable Attainable Realistic Timely
  32. 32. Strategies • Big picture approaches to meet your goal, supported by tactics and tools.
  33. 33. Tactics and Tools • Media Relations & Paid Media Print media, TV/radio • Self-generated messages Newsletter, annual report, brochures, flyers, direct mail Website, E-news, Social media • Strategic Partnerships With other nonprofits, with businesses, with government, etc.
  34. 34. MediaRelations101
  35. 35. Reporters are people who like to… • Be approached as individuals, not as a “blast”. • Receive information in certain ways. • Know you are considerate of their time. • Be called back. Now. • Be thanked. You have a job to do. They have a job to do. Are you helping them do their job?
  36. 36. Know what is news.Know what is not news.• Know the beats and how your story relate.• Calendar items are NOT news!• Is your pitch interesting to anyone outside of your organization? TIP: Relate it to a national or local issue that’s big right now?
  37. 37. Message Development Information More Information More Info and Build to Conclusion
  38. 38. Message Development Use the Inverted Pyramid Your Message Information = Conclusion More Information More Info BasicMore Info and Build to Conclusion Info(Your Point = Your Message)
  39. 39. Self-GeneratedCommunications101
  40. 40. Integrate, integrate, integrate Step 1. The right message for the right audience Step 2. Delivering your message in the way(s) they would like to receive it. • Links, QR codes on printed material • Links to website/ FB from e-news • Sign ups for e-news on website, printed materials and direct mail
  41. 41. Oneness in look “By the time you’re getting sick of your logo, your audience is just starting to associate it with you.”
  42. 42. Oneness in look Style guide • Core values • Color palette • Typography • How to use your logo
  43. 43. 5 key questions for your website1. Can visitors easily find contact information?2. How many clicks does it take to get the information you’re seeking if you are… -a donor? -a volunteer? -a client?3. Are there pictures of people? Are they smiling?4. Are you maximizing SEO?5. Is there too much text?
  44. 44. Quick guide to effective e-newsletters The subject line • “Our Newsletter: Volume XVI” Really? • Make me want to open it The content • Short articles, clickable to your website. • Use the “does anyone care?” test • Doesn’t have to be all original • Ask what people want!
  45. 45. Quick guide to effective e-newsletters The look • Easy to click through • Pictures • Two-column The frequency • Twice a month is enough
  46. 46. Fundamental Principles of Social Media • Add value. • Have a personality. • If you’re pitching for a need, make it timely, relevant and urgent. • Use your networks. • Same principles of audience, goals and strategy apply.
  47. 47. The new Facebook timeline• Large cover photo taking up much of the vertical space of the top screen.• Can highlight a key post at the top of your timeline for up to 7 days (call to action)• People can see what their friends are saying about your org. Thanks, Nancy Schwartz!
  48. 48. Engagement vs. Numbers What’s more important How many fans, or the quality of your interactions with them?
  49. 49. Leveraging partnershipsfor communication reach • Develop a clear partnership agreement -Who takes the lead -Single point of contact -What items does everyone have input on • Reaching “alignment” • Joint press releases • Be careful of “sharing” distribution lists.
  50. 50. CrisisCommunications
  51. 51. What you need to knowabout a crisis • It can happen to any organization. • One spokesperson. • “No comment” or “off the record” will come back to get you. • The truth always wins. Make sure they hear it from you. • People assume what they don’t hear directly.
  52. 52. EvaluatingYourEfforts
  53. 53. The 3 Key Questions of Evaluation1. Did our messengers know the message?2. Did our messages reach our audiences with minimal ambiguity?3. Did you accomplish your goal?
  54. 54. Qualitative vs. Quantitative Quantitative: • Google analytics (website) • Click-thrus & opens (e-newsletter) • Readership (print publications) • Facebook insights Qualitative: • Surveys (formal, informal) • Action based
  55. 55. That’s it.Any questions?