message development

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Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring this morning, and I’m thrilled we’re not going to get stuck in the snow. In fact, it’s melting fast in the 50-degree sun right outside my New Jersey window.

Your marketing doesn’t have to stay stuck either. Instead, turn to comic genius Bill Murray for guidance on breaking out of your same old, same old marketing approach. He’ll help you take the rest of the year by storm.

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Nancy Schwartz on February 2, 2016 in Branding and Messages | 0 comments
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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.

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

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

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Nancy Schwartz on June 3, 2015 in Messaging | 0 comments
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Relevance RulesThere’s no better way for your organization to get your supporters’ and prospects’ attention (media attention, too) than piggybacking on what’s already top of mind. Your people are already thinking on this stuff, so are far more likely to connect with your campaign than at any other time. Relevances rules!

So, make the most of Mother’s Day—you still have time if you act now. Mother’s Day campaigns are right-things, right-now marketing and I’ve seen some fantastic examples from nonprofits like yours in recent years. Take a look and act NOW:

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Nancy Schwartz on May 5, 2015 in Relevance Rules | 0 comments
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Nonprofit Branding

Thanks to guest blogger Caryn Stein, VP at Network for Good

I’m so eager to share with you the incredible learning experience I had at the recent Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) . I learned all about nonprofit rebranding via Farra Trompeter, Vice President of Big Duck, and Will Nolan, Senior Vice President of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD). Here are a few key takeaways to help you understand the potential of brand for our causes, and knowing when it’s time for a change.

First Things First: What’s a Brand?
Your nonprofit’s brand represents your identity, your promise to donors and constituents, and the consistency of your work. The principles outlined here are relevant whether you’re shaping a first-time (intentional) brand for your organization, or you’re rebranding.

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Guest Blogger on March 25, 2015 in Branding and Messages | 0 comments
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Nonprofit Communications Jobs Post YOUR nonprofit marketing job here: Featuring jobs with nonprofits, grantmakers, B Corps, and vendors serving nonprofits.

Administrative Assistant, Communications Mott Foundation (Flint, MI)

Communications Director UC Student Association (Oakland, CA)

Communications & Fund Development Manager Yakima Humane Society (Yakima, WA)

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Nancy Schwartz on March 23, 2015 in Jobs and Hiring | 3 comments
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Nonprofit Marketing & Communications Jobs Post YOUR nonprofit marketing job here: Featuring jobs with nonprofits, grantmakers, B Corps, and vendors serving nonprofits.

Communications Assistant (PT) Pulitzer Arts Foundation (St. Louis, MO)

Communications Director Center on Policy Initiatives (San Diego, CA)

Communications Director America Achieves (Washington, D.C.)

Communications and Events Coordinator Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (San Francisco, CA)

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Nancy Schwartz on March 16, 2015 in Jobs and Hiring | 3 comments
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nonprofit communications job Please post YOUR nonprofit marketing job here: Featuring jobs with nonprofit organizations, grantmakers, B Corps, and agencies and other vendors serving nonprofits.

Account Coordinator, Digital Fenton Communications (Washington, DC)

Assistant Director Kilts Center for Marketing: University of Chicago Booth School for Business (Chicago, IL)

Assistant Director of Loyalty Marketing Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (New York, NY)

Associate Project Editor Appalachian Mountain Club (Boston, MA)

Associate Product Manager Wikimedia Foundation (San Francisco, CA)

Business Development Manager Nonprofit Finance Fund (New York, NY)

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Nancy Schwartz on March 9, 2015 in Jobs and Hiring | 3 comments
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Nonprofit Communications Jobs Please post YOUR nonprofit marketing job here: Nonprofit organizations, grantmakers, agencies and other vendors serving nonprofits and B Corps.

Associate Director Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (Boston, MA)

Assistant Communications Manager Montefiore (Bronx, NY)

Assistant Director, Marketing & Communications Arnold P. Gold Foundation
(Englewood Cliffs, NJ)

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Nancy Schwartz on March 2, 2015 in Jobs and Hiring | 4 comments
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