Content Writing Boot Camp for the Nonprofit


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Websites, social media, newsletters, fundraising communications. Compelling, strategic content isn't an option. It's required.

How do you to take a holistic view of your content strategy and make what you say stand out in your readers' minds?

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Content Writing Boot Camp for the Nonprofit

  1. 1. Content Writing Boot Camp<br />
  2. 2. Content Writing Boot Camp <br />Content Writing Boot Camp for the Nonprofit<br />Websites, social media, newsletters, fundraising communications. Compelling, strategic content isn't an option. It's required.<br />How do you to take a holistic view of your content strategy and make what you say stand out in your readers' minds?<br />Roll up your sleeves. This is a hands-on workshop.<br /> <br />Trainers:       Paul  Weber, EAG President<br />                      Laura Lake, VP Client & Interactive Services<br />                      Brenda Galloway, Director of Content<br />
  3. 3. Our Plan for the Morning<br />Before we write, we must differentiate our nonprofit – in just 3 words<br />Finding your words and building on your promise<br />Implementation (Social Media, Strategic Keywording, etc.) <br />
  4. 4. Who is EAG?<br />Full-service agency serving small business & nonprofits<br />Advertising, Creative, Online & Education<br />Kauffman Foundation FastTrac, UMKC Small Business Center and other small business incubators<br />Nonprofit experience <br />Capital campaign consulting firms<br />Giving Institute & Giving USA Foundation<br />School districts, start-ups, social service agencies & more<br />Board members and volunteers<br />
  5. 5. Why do we need to write?<br />
  6. 6. Follow the Behaviors of Big Brands<br /><ul><li>Big brands invest in the research & tools to influence our behavior
  7. 7. They know what works and what doesn’t work
  8. 8. We can use our own consumer experiences as learning tools</li></li></ul><li>Big Brand Strategy: A Definitive Example<br />Brilliant marketing begins with the right words, for the right purpose<br />
  9. 9. Words alone are not enough to drive action<br />Understand the customer (donor) and their emotion<br />Offer value in exchange for their time, gift, attention<br />Targeted messages offer much better results<br />Measure and monitor performance <br />Big brands focus on relationships<br />Follow the Behaviors of Big Brands<br />
  10. 10. Brand Positioning & Powerful Words<br />
  11. 11. Establish a Brand Position<br />The words we use tell us a lot about a brand.<br />
  12. 12. Living a Brand Position<br />
  13. 13. Establishing a Brand Position<br />Positioning creates distinction and choice.<br />Yes, donors have similar options and choices.<br />
  14. 14. Establishing Your Brand Position<br /><ul><li>Create 3 words, 3 sentences, 3 paragraphs that describe your mission – programs – services
  15. 15. Does everyone know it and understand it?
  16. 16. Spread the word among the board, staff, volunteers, donors, constituents
  17. 17. A clear, succinct message will travel farther faster</li></li></ul><li>Establishing Your Brand Position<br /><ul><li>Clarify your purpose and your mission
  18. 18. Helps you “compete” when fundraising from “casual donors”
  19. 19. Helps expand awareness of your mission
  20. 20. People remember causes – you want them to remember you!
  21. 21. Good
  22. 22. “I give to the arts”
  23. 23. Better
  24. 24. “I give to (your organization) because they are the best at supporting the arts.”</li></li></ul><li>Remembering Your Brand Position<br /><ul><li>You can’t be everything to everyone
  25. 25. Use your 3-words, 3-sentences in your message
  26. 26. Simple concepts & simple phrases
  27. 27. We see over 8,000 messages a day
  28. 28. Repetition increases memory
  29. 29. Use similar styles and images</li></li></ul><li>Remembering Your Brand Position<br />Committed to doing the most good with your contributions of money, time and resources.<br />An alliance of premier hospitals for children.<br />We build strong kids, strong families, strong communities.<br />A single voice increases retention<br />
  30. 30. A Case Study in Development<br />The Challenge:<br />Develop Purpose, Mission & Vision<br />Honor the past but recognize a significantly changing membership and structure<br />Consider all the internal constituents <br />Use as many of the keywords and phrases accumulated in board attempts to develop the message<br /> <br />
  31. 31. A Case Study in Development<br />Our Voice Cannot Always be Heard<br /> <br />Our voice, loud and proud, will speak to our history of service to mankind. (Honor the past 100 years & Service to Mankind)<br /> <br />Our voice, brave and determined, will speak of the past in reverence but look toward the future with anticipation. <br />(Recognize that significant changes are coming)<br />
  32. 32. A Case Study in Development<br />Our voice is heard in harmony; the harmony of individuals coming together to create a community. (What were once clubs, may now become communities)<br /> <br />Our voice is one of conviction and strength, the attributes of leaders. (A transition of purpose; leadership development)<br /> <br />Our voice is one of empathy and compassion, a beacon for those who wish to serve. (Calling to individuals who want to serve, not necessarily join)<br /> <br />Our voice cannot always be heard. For those who cannot hear, there is Sertoma. (And the mission, hearing heath, never changes)<br />
  33. 33. Brand Positioning<br />What are your three words?<br />Would your board agree?<br />Would your constituents understand?<br />
  34. 34. The Importance of Three Little Words<br />
  35. 35. Your Organization’s “Key” Words<br />Just three little words can:<br /><ul><li>Define your organization in your nonprofit sector
  36. 36. Make it immediately recognizable in the community
  37. 37. Serve as the root of all communications
  38. 38. Act as your unique rally cry
  39. 39. Keep your message on track no matter who’s writing it
  40. 40. Reflect your organization’s stability
  41. 41. Underscore the commitment to your mission</li></li></ul><li>Real-World Examples<br />
  42. 42. Southwest Uses Their Words<br />
  43. 43. Uses Their Words<br />
  44. 44. The Worksheet<br />List three words that best encompass your organization’s cause, mission and results:<br />1.<br />2.<br />3.<br />Develop a sentence detailing your three words:<br />1.<br />2.<br />3.<br />Create paragraphs expanding on your sentences:<br />1.<br />2.<br />3.<br />
  45. 45. What Are YOUR Words?<br />Choosing your organizations three “key” words:<br /><ul><li>Think of your cause
  46. 46. Think of your mission
  47. 47. Think of your results</li></ul>Keep in mind:<br /><ul><li>Would your board agree?
  48. 48. Will your supporters understand immediately?</li></ul>For example: <br />1. strong kids <br />2. strong families <br />3. strong communities<br />
  49. 49. Building on Your Promise<br />Step 1: Write a sentence detailing each of your “key” words.<br />Step 2: Share your sentences. Get feedback in the form of questions. <br />For example: <br />1. Nurturing the potential of every child and teen.<br />2. Improving the nation's health and well-being.<br />3. Giving back and providing support to our neighbors.<br />
  50. 50. Filling in the Details<br />Step 1: Share your sentences.<br />Step 2: Partners give feedback in the form of questions that the sentences left unanswered and vague. These are the questions you’ll answer next.<br />For example: <br />1. How does the Y nurture children?<br />2. What do you offer to promote family health?<br />3. How does the community benefit exactly?<br />
  51. 51. Almost There…<br />Last step:<br />Address the questions in a paragraph for each of your “key” words.<br />For example: <br />1. We believe the values and skills learned early on are vital building blocks for life. Because of the Y, more young people in neighborhoods around the nation are taking a greater interest in learning and making smarter life choices. At the Y, children and teens learn values and positive behaviors, and can explore their unique talents and interests, helping them realize their potential. That makes for confident kids today and contributing and engaged adults tomorrow.<br />2. Being healthy means more than simply being physically active. It’s about maintaining a balanced spirit, mind and body. The Y is a place where you can work toward that balance by challenging yourself to learn a new skill or hobby, fostering connections with friends through our lifelong learning programs, or bringing your loved ones closer together through our many family-centered activities. At the Y, it’s not about the activity you choose as much as it is about the benefits of living healthier on the inside as well as the outside.<br />3. The generosity of others is at the core of the Y’s existence as a nonprofit. It is only through the support of our hundreds of thousands of volunteers and public and private donors that we are able to support and give back to the communities we engage—summer food programs, social services, global services, volunteerism & giving and advocacy.<br />
  52. 52. Strategic Implementation<br />
  53. 53. Strategic Implementation <br />Now that the foundation is laid and you have your <br />Brand Position<br />Your Words <br />Audience Understanding<br />Let’s focus on the development of your content strategy and how it impacts your marketing. <br />
  54. 54. Understand the Power of Content<br />Content is a Force Multiplier for<br />Social Media <br />Search Marketing<br />Public Relations<br />
  55. 55. Social Media Impact<br />Content Fuels Social MediaWithout content, social media is a sports car with an empty gas tank:  All show, no go<br />
  56. 56. Search Marketing Impact<br />Content Wows Your Search Engine Marketing Efforts<br />Keyword-rich content and inbound links have historically been the one-two punch of good search engine marketing strategies, but that has changed! <br />Search engines now award you with higher rankings if you produce high quality content. <br />
  57. 57. Public Relations Impact<br />Content Drives Public Relations<br />Your ability to create fresh content around the needs of donors and prospects has become more valuable to your PR efforts than a general announcement.<br />
  58. 58. There is Always a Need for Content<br />You need content for:<br />Newsletters<br />Websites<br />Donor Appeals<br />Thank You Letters<br />and more…..<br />It’s never ending and probably feels like you are filling bottomless buckets<br />
  59. 59. As If That Weren’t Enough…<br />Let’s add some more buckets – <br />Blog<br />Facebook<br />Twitter<br />YouTube<br />Google+<br />Who Has Time?<br />
  60. 60. Your Content Strategy Can Be Manageable<br />Creating and following a content strategy can be overwhelming – but it does work and can help in reaping substantial marketing benefits.<br />Let me show you how to create a manageable strategy by chunking your content strategy into 3 Phases:<br />Phase 1 – Think Ahead – Get OrganizedPhase 2 - Squash Writers Block and Generate Ideas Easily<br />Phase 3 – Utilize Social Media to Help Drive Content<br />
  61. 61. Phase 1 – Think Ahead – Get Organized<br />3 Important Questions You MUST Answer<br /><ul><li>Where do you need content?
  62. 62. Which channels?
  63. 63. How often?</li></ul> <br />
  64. 64. Organize Your Thoughts<br />Use category folders to help keep your thoughts and ideas organized, being organized helps ease the process of content creation.<br />Sample categories might include:<br />Fact sheets<br />Web pages<br /> News<br />Photos<br /> Videos <br />
  65. 65. Tagging and Category Tools<br />Use virtual tools to help you and speed up the process. My favorite tools for tagging, keeping track of notes and creating categories include:<br /> (Social bookmarking service - discover, save, organize and share information)<br /> (Virtual software used for note-taking)<br /> (Highlight text and add sticky notes to web pages)<br />
  66. 66. Content Schedule<br />Create a content schedule – but be realistic. Don’t set a schedule that you know is unattainable. It will only leave you frustrated.<br />Will you draft new content quarterly, monthly or weekly?<br />
  67. 67. Organize Your Calendar<br /> Organize your calendar by:<br />Channel (Web / Mobile / Email / Print / Television)<br />Audience<br />Program<br />Format (Text / Video / Photos / Presentations)<br />
  68. 68. Content Calendar<br />Use a Content Calendar –<br />It doesn’t have to be sophisticated.<br />It helps when it comes to staying organized with your content. <br /> <br />
  69. 69. Content Calendar Example<br />
  70. 70. Prioritize <br />As you start to create your content strategy and draft your schedule mark each item accordingly:<br /><ul><li>Must Do
  71. 71. Like to Do
  72. 72. Ok to Bump</li></ul>Give yourself flexibility!<br />
  73. 73. Where Do the Ideas Come From?<br />You’ve created your calendar, you’ve listed the channels and you’ve marked items that are a priority – but where do the content ideas come from?<br />
  74. 74. Idea Generating Exercises That Work<br />Brainstorm<br />Mind Mapping<br />Tickler / Pending File (Use those tagging and category tools)<br />Stories<br />Old Archives (Content recycling rule – for every piece of content you recycle you must create two new pieces)<br />Web and Email Analytics – (This data will show you what people looking)<br />
  75. 75. When All Else Fails… <br />Use outside resources –<br />Social Media Listening Tools(, Google Blog Search, Google Alerts, Twendz)<br />Surveys<br />Content Aggregators( is my favorite)<br />Mainstream Media Headlines<br />Trade News<br />
  76. 76. If You Are Still Stuck…<br />Think in terms of –<br />Lists<br />How To’s<br />Review<br />Tips<br />Question and Answer Interviews<br />Opinion Pieces<br />
  77. 77. Get Help! <br />Do you really have to generate all of the content yourself?<br />Why not consider using contributors?<br />Guest Columnists<br />Experts<br />Board Members<br />Clients<br />Donors<br />
  78. 78. Lay the Groundwork with Contributors<br />If you use contributors – lay the groundwork by:<br />Making your expectations clear<br />Spell out the process step-by-step<br />Build in a cushion of time – you’ll be glad you did. <br />
  79. 79. Utilize Social Media<br />How does social media fit into the content mix?<br /> <br />Social media is the marriage of content and conversation.<br />
  80. 80. Conversations Can Become Content<br />Conversations can be made into content by:<br /> <br />Highlighting trending topics<br />Publishing Q & As<br />Summarize Debates<br />
  81. 81. Social Media Drives Content<br />Use social media to drive content by:<br />Asking questions<br />Soliciting feedback from your followers<br />Refining your content ideas based on comments that you receive.<br />
  82. 82. How the Content Strategy Pieces Fit Together<br />Keep a clear and workable plan, collect ideas and data, write your content or get others to help. <br />Implement and allow content to serve as a force multiplier for you in social media, search marketing and public relations.<br />Ideally – try to create 1 new piece of content weekly. It’s a start – the more you do it, the easier it gets! <br />
  83. 83. Summary Slide - TBD<br />Establish a concise brand position<br />Use it consistently so all understand<br />Implement so that content serves as the force multiplier for you.<br />
  84. 84. For the full presentation and handouts go to:<br /><br />Please call or email with questions.<br />Paul Weber<br />Brenda Galloway<br />Laura Lake <br />816.842.0100<br />