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Posts Tagged ‘blog’

The Nonprofit build-up—More important than the event itself

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Hi all. I want to refer back to a point made in my previous post (Nonprofits-Begin to learn about the social media) about the “build-up” required when implementing a strategic marketing plan for your nonprofit. This post will explain how to get started when thinking about a build-up.

Myths: When using social media, e.g., blog, creating an excellent Web site, doing an email blast to notify people about an upcoming event, most communicators have the mistaken impression that one email blast is sufficient. Or, if you build a Web site, they will come. Or, if we just make the blog long and meaningful, it will draw an audience.

Build-up is more important than the event itself: These beliefs are understandable if your experience with social media is limited to using email and producing print publications and posters. Let’s say you want to raise crucially needed funds by staging an event. The build-up is actually more important than the event itself. This phase of creating excitement about your organization presents huge opportunities to:

(1) Clarify the mission of your organization
(2) Communicate energy and commitment, and
(3) Get people prepared to read, absorb and use the crucially important request or announcement you are planning to distribute in the future.

Build-up components: The build-up phase includes two aspects. (Plan ahead because it will take some time.)

 (1) Creation of substantive, irresistibly engaging information

Develop brief and well-written content about your nonprofit’s work. (Borrow generously from previous writing.) For example, post on your Web site a lively, engaging article profiling a young person for whom you identified services. (Look at MercyCorps for an excellent example of emotionally moving profiles spotlighted on the home page.

Or, develop a bibliography of relevant, informative articles or an index of occasions when your nonprofit organization has been in the news. Create a brief photo gallery of gorgeous images of your kids, your families, your staff at work, or of your facilities.

(2) Development of a strategic approach. Here are the rudiments:

- With every communication (electronic or print), encourage the recipient to forward the information to interested colleagues and friends.
- Give the recipient the option to opt-out with each email blast.
- Use brief, punchy text-only messages – include no images. Avoid using a Constant Contact™ newsletter platform unless you have a graphic artist and IT specialist who can devote a lot of upfront time to this.
- When ready, prepare a communication to your current database of constituents advising that you will be emailing important information to them occasionally.
- Think about how often you can refresh your engaging information for your audience, e.g., perhaps a new, uniquely important communication every 4-6 weeks.

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Blogging For Marketing

Monday, January 7th, 2008

As this is the first post of the new blog for the Boston chapter of the American Marketing Association, I think it is appropriate to write a few words about the purpose of the blog.

A blog can enable an organization to publish information quickly, allow readers to subscribe to the blog RSS feed, and give organizations another way and form to communicate. The style of writing a blog post can be very different and informal than a traditional website. We hope to showcase the events, programs and local members of the Boston AMA, but we also want to be involved with the wider marketing community. The AMA Boston constitution has been my starting point in thinking about the topics we should cover and the focus of any advocacy in the community. The constitution boils down to the following:

-Help everyone do better marketing work
-Promote professionalism in the practice of marketing
-Promote a greater understanding of marketing principles and practices

If you want to help get involved with the blog and contribute articles that about these themes contact me or the AMA Boston blog team directly.

John Cass
Past President, AMA Boston

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The views and opinions on this blog are solely those of the contributors and do NOT necessarily reflect the official opinions of the Boston Chapter of the American Marketing Association.