3 Steps to Great Nonprofit Messages (Case Study)

Congrats to the American Library Association for designing this 5-star message for National Library Week, brought to my attention by an NBC correspondent who saw it on his way to work and shared it on Facebook.

Here are the three elements that generate an instant “aha:”

1) An 100 m.p.h metaphor: The message here links something most viewers are familiar with (and many probably just got off of)—Facebook— with something they’re far less familiar with (or just plain rusty on) and never thought of as having any relationship—the library, in the speed of light. Doesn’t get any faster than this!

2) A recognizable visual: The mirroring of Facebook’s branding quickens the path to “aha” and enlivens the billboard, with a smile.

3) An accessible sense of  humor: The message is funny, as it plants its main point right in the middle of the Facebook logo. You can’t help but smile, and that recognition of the joke makes you think a bit harder about the message.

These are three of the most reliable messaging techniques there are (as long as you know your audiences well enough to be confident that they’ll get it.)

How are you putting them to work in your messaging, and/or what’s getting in your way? Please share your experiences here.

P.S. Get more in-depth case studies, templates and tools, and guidance for nonprofit messaging success in the twice-monthly Getting Attention e-update. Subscribe today.

Nancy Schwartz on April 17, 2012 in Branding and Messages | 0 comments

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