Lately, I’ve found myself intrigued by takes on trends. That’s what they are — just forecasts — but some trendwatchers seem to be better at it than others.
Frankly, I’m scanning trends as much as I can. Because although much of this stuff doesn’t effect the communications you’re getting out the door today, certain trends will impact what’s in the works, and strategy now and in the future. So you have to keep on top of those looking ahead.
Of course, some of the ideas that proved to be the best of 2006 reminds us that we need to keep our radar tuned for the things nobody sees coming. It is also worth noting that some items should be crossed-off the list (or at least moved down in priority) when they jump the shark.
Keep posted. I’m going to start posting on trends you need to be aware of — those likely to impact nonprofit communications strategies, your targets or related elements in your world.
Let me start by sharing one of my trendwatching top picks:
- I highly recommend the recent article on marketing predictions from the Forbes.com Business Wire. Their information source, FogHound, has done a fine job of collecting all the basic topics smart communicators will be watching in the coming months, and looking back to analyze hits and misses of 2006 forecasts.
- Trends to watch:
- Virtual worlds (like MySpace) explode. Don’t ignore these channels just because it takes a lot of effort to keep up with what’s going on. Track what your nonprofit colleagues are doing, and experiment with at least one virtual channel in 2007.
- Service innovation trumps program innovation. That means building better relationships with donors, volunteers and other key audiences. More handwritten thank yous to donors, more in-person events, more effort to get to know these folks and get them what they need to maintain their loyalty to your organization. Nothing is a better investment
- Blogger fatigue builds. It’ll be interesting (self-interested, in my case) to see what happens here. I definitely agree that the introduction of a new communications opportunity always generates a lot of excitement and activity, not all of it quality. There’s an organic winnowing away once communicators understand how much it takes to be an effective blogger, and readers realize that managing their blog reading is a must.
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