Tips for successful nonprofit communications strategies
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Getting the Word Out!. Tips for Successful Nonprofit Communications Strategies. Jennifer Hefti, Director of Communications & Community Outreach Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy Phone: 801-832-3272 E-mail: [email protected] Learning Objectives. Strategic Communications Plan

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Tips for successful nonprofit communications strategies

Getting the Word Out!

Tips for Successful Nonprofit Communications Strategies

Jennifer Hefti, Director of Communications & Community Outreach

Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy

Phone: 801-832-3272

E-mail: [email protected]


Learning objectives

Learning Objectives

Strategic Communications Plan

Branding and Planning

Communications Research

Audience and Segmentation

Communications Toolkit

Media Relations

Social Media

Measurable Outcomes

Your Personal Brand


Strategic communications plan

Strategic Communications Plan

Your organization’s mission is the starting point for developing your strategic communications plan.

Mission


Strategic communications plan1

Strategic Communications Plan

What is your communications budget? How much staff time are you willing to devote to communications?

If you cannot afford a staff person, does anyone on your board have communications, marketing or media relations expertise?

Who will do the work—are they comfortable with and knowledgeable about marketing/communications?

What has your organization been publishing in print and online over the past two years?

How powerful and consistent is your brand?

Assess your Communications Infrastructure


Strategic communications plan2

Strategic Communications Plan

Time Frame

90-day plan

Tools

List all the tools in your marketing toolkit

Priorities

Identify 3 priorities in the next 90 days

Action Steps

Goal

Key Message

Toolkit

Review

Future Priorities

1-Page “Street Smart” Communications Plan


Branding and planning

Branding and Planning

Definitions

Behavioral Branding

Branding is how your organization behaves.

Alignment Communications

Confronts your branding problems, not just on a strategic level, but every day, with every email you send and every brochure or newsletter you publish.

Alignment Gaps

Identify and state your problem

State your audience

State your message

Choose your communication tool

Get it done


Branding and planning1

Branding and Planning

To manage the organization, programs, and services effectively

To raise awareness & inspire engagement

To sustain and increase support

To raise funds

To tell your story, to touch hearts and minds

Establish your Communications Goals


Branding and planning2

Branding and Planning

Specific

Measurable

Attainable & agreed-upon

Realistic

Time-specific

SMART Communication Goals


Branding and planning3

Branding and Planning

Make a good e-connection

Interruption vs. interaction

Phone first… then e-mail

The wonder of spellchecking

Your tone

Your signature block (email)

Thank you

Your voicemail message

Speakerphone

Easy steps you can take today


Communications research

Communications Research

Communications Research is vital to support your branding, fundraising, and organization’s awareness.


Communications research1

Communications Research

Primary Research is research you conduct and create yourself.

Online Surveys

Quick and easy to assemble

Anonymous

Most often free

Provide immediate feedback

Offer a wealth of information that can be useful in reports

www.SurveyMonkey.com

Primary Research


Communications research2

Communications Research

Focus Groups

Focus Groups are meetings, a means to gather verbal information from your stakeholders.

Help you do a better job.

Help assess client satisfaction with your programs and services.

Help you launch a new program or service.

Help you understand people’s preferences for receiving information online vs. in the mail (for example)

Primary Research


Communications research3

Communications Research

Secondary Research is research that others have already published (free publically available research).

Internet Search Engines (e.g. Google)

Public or University Libraries

Blogs

Online Bookmarking Service (e.g. Delicious)

Professional Nonprofit Associations

Utah Nonprofits Association (www.utahnonprofits.org)

Society for Nonprofit Organizations (www.snpo.org)

National Council of Nonprofits (www.councilofnonprofits.org)

Secondary Research


Audience and segmentation

Audience and Segmentation

There is no “General Public”

Reach out to a specific subset of the “general public”

Start with three imaginary friends of your organization:

People who have had an international experience (e.g. travel, business, trade, etc.)

People who speak a foreign language

People who have studied International Relations

Develop your communications strategy for these three people (80-20 rule).

Three Imaginary Friends


Communications toolkit

Communications Toolkit

Direct mailing: letters, postcards

E-newsletters

Annual Report

Website

E-mails

Brochures

Displays at events

Posters, fliers, tablecloth, table tents

PowerPoint presentations to local groups

Partnerships with other agencies or businesses

Online social networks

[list your tool]

What’s your core toolkit?


Communications toolkit1

Communications Toolkit

E-Newsletter

Benefits:

Third-party e-mail marketing services (e.g. www.constantcontact.com) provides you with user-friendly templates

Gives you immediate feedback on how many people open your e-newsletter and how many people click through

Average opening rate: 15% - 27%

Trend:

According to the eNonprofit Benchmarks Study (2009), more people are using alternative forms of communication (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to get their information


Communications toolkit2

Communications Toolkit

E-Newsletter

How to get people to open and read your e-newsletter

From:

General – Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy

Specific – Laura Dupuy, Executive Director

Subject line:

Descriptive – “Rebuilding Diplomatic Capacity” – A Lecture by Ambassador Lyman, March 17, 3pm

Proactive – You are invited to… Support…

Include a link to click if the e-newsletter is not viewable

Use graphics, but in moderation

Use corporate colors to reinforce branding

Focus intensely on the top part of your e-newsletter

Timing (10:00 a.m./mid-week)


Communications toolkit3

Communications Toolkit

E-Newsletter


Media relations

Media Relations

Nonprofit organizations are newsmakers. You are your own “media.” Build your own “media outlet.”

Traditional Media Outlets

Newspapers, radio, and TV

Online Media Outlets

Online newspapers, forums, blogs

Grassroots Media Outlets

Inserts, fliers, school papers

What is the media?


Media relations1

Media Relations

Letters, e-mails, and phone calls

Visit the newsroom

Send editors, reports, and journalists a press kit

Hold a “brown-bag lunch” once a year

Keep regular contact

Build media RELATIONS


Media relations2

Media Relations

If you cannot influence the media DIRECTLY, who do you need by your side to get the word out?

Your Board Members or Board of Directors/Trustees

Your Members

Your Volunteers

Your Donors and Sponsors

Organizations that have similar interests – PARTNER

It’s important to remember that the news media can only cover your organization periodically.

Perspective


Media relations3

Media Relations

Read, listen, watch!

Make a list of your local media outlets

Print and online newspapers (e.g. Salt Lake Tribune)

Blogs (UtahPolicy.com)

Radio (e.g. KCPW – Utah NPR Affiliate)

TV (e.g. KUED – Channel 7 – PBS Affiliate)

Create a media contacts database

Name

Title

Department/Beat

Contact Information

Create a Media Database


Media relations4

Media Relations

Describe the story in a way that resonates with your mission, the values and needs of your audience(s), and is also interesting to journalists, or “newsworthy.”

Contact information

Who?

What?

When?

Where?

WHY?

About your organization

Frame your Story & Craft your Message


Media relations5

Media Relations

Call reporters and alert them to your news

Pitch via e-mail and then follow-up by phone

Include support materials (e.g. logo, relevant pictures with proper credits, etc.)

Tip: Upload your images to an online service, like Flickr.com, and then include the link in your press release.

Submit stories/events to:

Online community calendars

Public Service Announcement (PSA)

Facebook

Twitter

Send in the mail or fax

Distribute Your Message


Media relations6

Media Relations

“Spray and Pray”

You blast out a press release and hope for the best (e.g. calendar listings)

Pitch calls

You want to interest the reporter in a specific story. Get the right person for the story you are pitching.

Exclusive or advanced pitches

You call a media outlet to offer them something no one else will get.

Plan & Pitch


Media relations7

Media Relations

Op-ed Articles

The opinion page, opposite the editorial page in most newspapers, is commonly overlooked as PR tool. This space has the potential to provide your nonprofit organization with four to six publicity articles each year (under 700 words).

Deliver Your Message


Media relations8

Media Relations

Online News Rooms

To develop good relations with the media, you want to make information easy for them to access. One way to do this is through an online news room. On your website, include a link for “Media” or “News Room.”

Archived Press Releases

Photos

Organizational background information

Organizational facts

Story Starters

Published Stories

Deliver Your Message


Media relations9

Media Relations

Public Service Announcements (PSAs)

A nonprofit TV or radio Public Service Announcement is free to your organization and can be customized with your logo.

Online Community Calendars

NowPlayingUtah.com

KUER.org

KCPW.org

KSL.com

Community Boards

Libraries

Coffee Shops

Retail shops and businesses

Deliver Your Message


Media relations10

Media Relations

Photo first, then headline, then story

A picture is worth a thousand words.

“What picture would tell this story?”

Your headline positions the story in the reporters mind as either important or not.

Focus on content.

Press Release


Media relations11

Media Relations

Put the RIGHT face on your story

Show you are at the center of a solution

Consumers respond much more favorably to stories that portray a solution-oriented “difference maker” than stories about someone’s suffering.

Tip: Choose stories of individual people changing for the better as a result of your organization’s efforts.

Press Release


Media relations12

Media Relations

Frequency

How often should you contact reporters?

As often as you have a legitimate reason to do so.

Proximity

“The Trend is Your Friend.”

Watch your local, regional, and national news, and let reporters know how your organization is addressing the issue in your community.

Press Release


Social media

Social Media

Social Media Marketing Plan

Choose your social media priorities

Google

Blog

YouTube

Facebook

Twitter

Wikipedia

Determine your policies

Prioritize the tools you choose and master them

Social Media Marketing Plan


Social media1

Social Media

Your website should focus more on visitors than on your organization.

“What three questions would visitors want answered when visiting your site?”

“What three actions do people want to take by visiting your site?”

Your website is only useful if people can find it.

Use the right key words

How many other sites link to you?

Track your web traffic

Your Website


Measurable outcomes

Measurable Outcomes

Website

Virtual host statistics – Usage statistics

Insert real-time stats on your website (e.g. Google Analytics, http://whos.amung.us, etc.)

E-mail: Open Rate

Request a read receipt

E-mail marketing reports (e.g. Constant Contact)

Google Alerts

“Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy”

“UCCD”

“Citizen Diplomacy”

Online News Room

Archive media exposure

Track and Evaluate


Your personal brand

Your Personal Brand

“Be the model every day of what your nonprofit stands for, both on paper and in person.”

- Steve Cebalt, Nonprofit Consultant

YOU can affect the way your organization is perceived.

YOU can affect the message.

Think about your personality and voice – your personal brand.

Always say “Thank You”

Grow Your Credibility


Your personal brand1

Your Personal Brand

Constant Contact Learning Center

www.constantcontact.com

Marketing Profs

www.marketingprofs.com

Jacob Nielsen

www.useit.com

Public Relations Society of America

www.prsa.org

Greater Salt Lake Chapter - www.slcprsa.org

Nonprofit Marketing Guide

www.nonprofitmarketingguide.com (Kivi’s Blog)

Nonprofit PR Forum

www.nonprofitprforum.blogspot.com

Keep Learning


Get the word out

Get the Word Out!

“Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.”

Jim Rohn,

American author & motivational speaker

Effective Communication Starts With You


Get the word out1

Get the Word Out!

Steve Cebalt. The Communications Handbook for Nonprofits and Foundations, 2010.www.CommunicationsHandbook.com.

Kivi Leroux Miller. The First 100 Days in Your New Nonprofit Marketing Job, 2010. www.nonprofitmarketingguide.com

2009 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study, 2009. M+R Strategic Services and the Nonprofit Technology Network. www.e-benchmarksstudy.com

2010 Nonprofit Social Media Benchmarks Study, 2010. M+R Strategic Services and the Nonprofit Technology Network. www.e-benchmarksstudy.com/socialmedia

Bibliography


Tips for successful nonprofit communications strategies1

Getting the Word Out!

Tips for Successful Nonprofit Communications Strategies

Jennifer Hefti, Director of Communications & Community Outreach

Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy

Phone: 801-832-3272

E-mail: [email protected]


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