It’s About Them — Your Network — Not Your Org, So Shape Your Messages Accordingly

It's About Them -- Your Network -- Not Your Org, So Shape Your Messages AccordinglyYour 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.

P.S. Don’t miss out on the in-depth articles, case studies and guides on branding, messages and more featured in the twice-monthly Getting Attention e-update. Subscribe today.

Photo: Flickr Moog

Nancy Schwartz on February 18, 2009 in Branding and Messages | 2 comments
Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , ,

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Roger Carr February 18, 2009 at 11:45 pm

Nancy, I am curious about how you would change the 1st subject line to be from the reader’s perspective. Would it be something like “What do you want XXX Religious School planning for next year?”

2 Nancy E. Schwartz February 19, 2009 at 10:46 am

Roger, Great question!
I’d use a subject line that focuses on the kids, since the parents are receiving this email.
Soemthing like:
“What Will Strengthen the XXX Religious School experience for Your Kids?”
OR
“Help us to make the XXX religious school even better for your kids?

Leave a Comment

<< Back to Main