Messaging

Nonprofit Message Magic: Surprise

Shaping messages to be relevant to the people we want to to engage and spur to action is the most reliable path to productive marketing. Relevance rules!

But there’s more you can do, once you get to relevance. Over the last few months, my passion to find, analyze and guide you to the most effective messaging possible has uncovered a few additional secret ingredients that are absolute magic. Today, let’s talk surprise…

READ MORE

Nancy Schwartz on October 13, 2015 in Messaging | 0 comments
Tags:, , , ,

South_Carolina_Children_s_TheatreYou have a priceless, DOABLE opportunity to position your organization, programs, services, campaigns, and events in audiences’ hearts, minds, schedules, and wallets: Relevant messages!

Your tagline is the heart of your message platform. If crafted right, these eight words (or less) will complement your organization’s name to convey its unique impact or value with personality, passion, and commitment.

Take a look at this one from the South Carolina Children’s Theatre (SCCT): Totally professional. Delightfully immature.

READ MORE

Nancy Schwartz on September 30, 2015 in Messaging | 0 comments

FullSizeRenderI’ve rarely seen a bigger message fail than this one.

There’s clearly been some controversy on this nearby street about front lawn etiquette. Typically, there are lawn lovers, who water and fertilize their way through summer. Then there are the folks (my family among them) who focus on garden beds instead, and others who just cut the grass. Peaceful coexistence, till now!

When you demand your audiences take action, you’ll fail every time. What you will succeed in is pushing prospects and supporters away for good.

READ MORE

Nancy Schwartz on September 8, 2015 in Messaging | 0 comments
Tags:, , , ,

Effective HeadlinesThe first line your reader sees means the difference between success and failure. Most leads are clever headlines that play on words. Many are cute, but most aren’t effective.

We can learn to do better from recently-deceased report  Vincent Musetto, who wrote this “most anatomically evocative headline in the history of American journalism. [see photo]

“What endured in public memory far longer than the crime was the headline, with its verbless audacity, arresting parallel adjectives and forceful trochaic slams. The corresponding headline in The New York Times that day proclaimed, genteelly, “Owner of a Bar Shot to Death; Suspect Is Held.” Headlessness was not mentioned until the third paragraph; toplessness not at all,” reports The New York Times.

You can do the same, even with far less sensationalism!

READ MORE

Nancy Schwartz on June 10, 2015 in Messaging | 0 comments
Tags:, , , , , ,

LisaSargent 2.1

Guest blogger Lisa Sargent is one of the best fundraisers and copywriters I know. She focuses here on donor communications, but her take is relevant for all nonprofit campaigns and audiences. Read on, and we up!

Lately it’s been that the 24/7 donor communications fiesta … is getting a little tired.

Same old players, same old info, recycled the same old ways: more you/less we, Flesch Kincaid and readability, ban all jargon, timely thank-yous, and on and on and on.

Then Nancy Schwartz wrote this. She said:

“[It’s] about WE…not you. This is a critical shift in voice that I’m starting to feel is very important.

For so long, experts have advised cause communicators to address prospects and supporters in second person—you. The shift to WE—signaling the power of collective action for stronger results—is a vital strategic shift.”

READ MORE

Nancy Schwartz on June 9, 2015 in Messaging, Relevance Rules | 2 comments
Tags:, , ,

Published in Ebony magazine, April 1967, Vol. 20 No. 6 “When the new antenna went live, you’d swear that Dizzy Gillespie was playing right next to you.”

I can easily visualize this scene, and hear it too. Can’t you?

In fact, this excerpt from WBGO’s (NYC’s premier jazz radio station) recent appeal made the listening-enriching value of the station’s new antenna crystal clear—by showing, not telling.

Compare it with another station’s intro of its new antenna:

READ MORE

Nancy Schwartz on June 3, 2015 in Messaging | 0 comments
Tags:, , , ,

<< Back to Main