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Communicating In Difficult Times - NCG

Communicating In Difficult Times - NCG



Facing the New Economic Reality

Facing the New Economic Reality
A Communications Guide for Philanthropies



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Communicating In Difficult Times - NCG Communicating In Difficult Times - NCG Presentation Transcript

  • Facing the New Economic Reality Communicating with your Stakeholders
  • Reality Check – Where are we now?
    • Misinformation will fill a vacuum – and spoil years of hard-earned credibility
    • We usually know more than we think we do – and often share less than we could
    • Calls to increase payout from within & without
  • What is happening inside your organization?
    • Doing more with less?
    • Drastic cutbacks?
    • Deeper investment?
  • Grantee Philosophy & Values
    • What do you value in your grantees - Independence? Collaboration?
    • What additional resources do you have to share?
    • What guides your grantee & external communications?
    • We are all on the same team –working to make social change
  • Where do we start?
  • Make a Plan to Communicate
    • Make communications an organizational priority – especially in difficult times
    • Start with Strategy – then move to tactics
      • Ask they “Why” question first, then the how
    • Utilize proven planning resources
      • Smart Chart
      • Communications Trainings
    • Ask your team – we are living in a communications culture
  • Elements of a Plan
    • Identify your communications goals early on
    • Know your target audience(s)
    • Know EXACTLY what position you are in
    • Develop key messages & ensure they are used
    • Challenge: Will communications decisions drive policy decisions?
  • What is success? How do you get there?
    • Write a Plan - Planning now means success later
    • Do a few things really well – prioritize your actions
    • Think “Dissemination” & Surround your audiences
    • Everyone is a communicator
    • Get buy-in across org
  • Thinking about your audiences
    • What do your Grantees need to hear from you?
    • We will work with you
    • You are not alone in the tough choices you are making
    • We will tell you as soon as we can
    • Your work matters
  • Thinking about your audiences
    • What other audiences are there?
    • Electeds
    • Board of Directors
    • Donors & Investors
    • Who else matters – think “narrow”
  • Thinking about your audiences Courtesy of HollyMinch.com Program Area What News? Not Key Changes or other info to Share Who Needs to Hear it? List all key stakeholders In What Format? Note the communications channel you will use to share the info By When? From Whom Do They Need to Hear it?
  • How transparent can you be?
    • Communicate early & often
    • Share everything you can & be honest about what you can’t
    • Talk about what you are doing
      • Creative financial solutions
      • Additional TA & other support
      • Cutting costs internally
  • What worries you?
    • Anything out there?
    • Often the biggest roadblock to planning
    • Be prepared to answer the question you hope never gets asked!
  • But I’m not an expert…
  • You can do this!
    • You already have the skills.
      • You can think .
      • You can write .
      • You can use a telephone .
    • All of your daily work skills are transferable.
      • Persuasion
      • Cajoling
      • Consensus building
    • Our Goals:
      • Be clear with our friends & supporters
      • Inform the people we hope to influence
  • YOU are the network
    • You know the field and have the “rolodex”
    • You have the network & are doing the networking
    • You are visible to communities that matter
    • You are the frontline of communications
  • You already are a communicator…
    • Lessons from Public Speaking Prep
    • Be Prepared
    • Do your homework
    • Connect – dry facts won’t do it
    • Always come home to your key messages
  • Real Time Examples & Tools
    • Use what you already have
      • Websites
      • Newsletters & e-communications
      • Staff relationships
    • Acknowledge the “moment” & use it
      • Open letter to grantees & community
      • Share insights & knowledge whenever possible
      • Rise to the challenges & lead by example
    • Reinforce to staff (and grantees) that everyone is a communicator
    • Good communications flows from good strategy
    • Reputation and branding: Be true to who you are
  • Learn from the Political Pros
    • KNOW your audience
    • You can’t convince everyone.
      • Empower your supporters
      • Educate the neutrals (give them a home)
      • Understand & prepare for those who disagree
  • Upsides of the challenges we face?
  • Make Communications Lemonade
    • Work with Grantees to create new media opportunities
    • Use the challenges you face to forge greater clarity of purpose and messaging
    • Holly Minch says, “Tech tools are cheap” – so try them all
  • It should NEVER feel this way
  • Now What? Here’s a To-Do List
    • Start on a plan – today.
    • Make communicating an organizational priority.
    • Don’t be afraid to learn by mistakes. Most mistakes are like stones tossed in the water. They ripple, get some notice, and then vanish.
  • Dan Cohen Principal Full Court Press Communications [email_address] 510-465-8294