Your network (my new word of choice for your audience/base/supporters) has to be your organization’s guiding light, 24/7. Because if what you do, and how you say it, doesn’t interest with their interests and needs, your organization is dead in the water. (FYI — that intersection is your brand, but that’s another post.)
When you craft messages, it’s imperative that they resonate with your network. Not that your organization doesn’t have some very real needs that may have nothing to do with the outside world, but either you find the meet with your audiences or your communications fail.
Take a look at these crystal-clear examples of what works (that intersection) and what doesn’t: These are email subject lines from three organizations, each asking me to respond to an online survey:
- XXX Religious School needs your opinion! (thumbs down)
- What do you need? (thumbs up)
- How can we help your child? (thumbs up)
Each subject line makes the same request, but the first one does so from the point-of-view of the organization, whereas the latter two do from from the reader’s perspective. The benefit is clear; I can guarantee you that these latter two surveys generated a much higher level of participation — the organizations behind them are so focused on their audiences that the audiences are bound to respond more eagerly. Everyone loves attention, and to be understood.
My prediction? Extend this focus to all of your work — program and communications — and your organization will flourish.
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Photo: Flickr Moog