By September of most presidential election years, most eyes and ears are glued to the campaigns. This year, with so many immediate problems effecting individual lives (unemployment, gas prices, foreclosure), it’s likely to be a bit different. Unfortunately, nothing drives civic interest like times of trouble.
Nonetheless, the candidates are media hogs (by nature and intent) meaning it’ll be harder than ever for your nonprofit’s conversation to flourish. The core pushback strategy I recommend is connecting with your base and other stakeholders where they are. Here are some practical ways to do so:
- Tie your communications campaigns to current issues and news whenever possible. That’s always a strong approach but it’s an imperative during this period when so much attention is elsewhere. Citizens are thinking about these issues more than ever during a presidential campaign — since in many cases that direct their votes — so connect there.
- Stayed glued to campaign coverage and connect the dots between your organization’s focus and impact with what the candidates’ have to say.
Your base will appreciate your highlighting this connection; most individuals just don’t have the time to be as on it as your organization has to be right now. When you do, you’ll make it easy for your base to understand your nonprofit’s role in that issue arena, and the breadth and depth of your ability to make an impact there.
- Be more selective than ever in when you do communicate, since all of us will be bombarded with messages even more than ever during presidential open season. Make sure every communication, be it a blog post or a direct mailing, is a must.
- When do you implement a strategic outreach campaign, make it short and sweet. Again, that style shows your respect for your community, and for their time and attention. I’m a less is more person in general, but it’s a must this season. If you’re no good at editing, have a colleague or family member ID what can be cut from your content.
Any ideas to add? Please do so in Comments below.
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