Nonprofit Communications

Nonprofit Media RelationsThanks to guest blogger Mollie Katz, Multimedia Strategist at Mollie Katz Communications.

In their day, legendary journalists like Ben Bradlee of The Washington Post essentially defined the day’s news for their audiences. But today it’s a different story—Increasingly, audience interests shape journalists’ decisions on what’s news.

NBC, for example, is sharing viewers’ thoughts on the election anonymously, collecting them via text, phone, and Tumblr. The New York Times has decided “to produce a product that consumers have a greater say in creating,” according to its public editor Liz Spayd. Other examples abound, affecting news, feature, and opinion coverage.

How the News Is Changing, and Why You Should Care
This is happening because traditional media is still adjusting to the internet’s impact. Digital media has exploded with new outlets representing diverse opinions and covering an incredible range of subjects. To compete with these newcomers, traditional media outlets must stay closely attuned to their own audiences.

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Nancy Schwartz on July 27, 2016 in Media Relations and Press | 0 comments
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All-Org Marketing TeamWelcome to the Nonprofit Blog Carnival on Launching and Supporting Your All-Staff Team of Powerful Marketers—the best methods and tools to ask, train, support, and thank your colleagues to be effective insight gatherers and messengers. 

I’m thrilled to share with you this sampling from the powerful posts and recommendations submitted by you and your nonprofit peers:

Mad Men’s Don Draper would adore Marissa Garza, Director of Marketing and Communications at Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois. She goes for what she wants, and shares five tips on how she and her marketing team created an “organization-wide marketing team.

Here’s how I train orgs like yours to Extend Your Reach with an All-Staff Messenger Team

Lisa Rupple, Communications Coordinator at the Community Foundation of Lorain County, wants to brainstorm:

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Nancy Schwartz on July 14, 2016 in All-Org Marketing Team | 0 comments
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distractedHow many times did you get distracted already today?

It’s no secret that we need to communicate quickly, briefly and on point to grab the attention of folks in a near constant stage of distraction. That’s been one of the most significant fundraising challenges since the advent of the Internet, compounded over time by our reliance on more content on more platforms on more devices more of the time. But the first step to connecting in our age of distraction is understanding what’s going on.

Consider your habits. How much attention do you give your 8-year-old daughter’s first-time request to host a sleepover, your BFF’s distress over her mom’s increasing dementia, or your colleague’s wrangles with her boss? For most of us, the answer is “not as much as I would like to.”

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Nancy Schwartz on May 17, 2016 in Branding and Messages | 0 comments
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One-to-One Review ProcessYou guys are so smart! I love it when you share a marketing technique that’s made all the difference in the world to you. There’s no better model for the rest of us.

Thanks today to Jennifer Johnson, director of marketing & communications at Advocates. I worked with Jen to develop a first-time brand for this human services agency providing a breadth of programs and services throughout Massachusetts. Here’s the inventive approach she designed to solicit prompt input throughout the brand development process:

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Nancy Schwartz on May 4, 2016 in All-Org Marketing Team | 1 comment
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Nonprofit Marketing Job

Looking for your next communications job? Hiring? Reassessing your own role or team configuration? Turn to these top sources for nonprofit marketing and communications job postings:

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Nancy Schwartz on April 13, 2016 in Jobs and Hiring | 9 comments
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Guy Arceneaux

Guest blogger Guy Arceneaux is Director of Marketing and Communications at Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland

My last Meals on Wheels communications case study touched on the advantages of communicating and fundraising for a smaller nonprofit. Today, I’d like to share one of the greatest challenges—Many smaller organizations, like mine, don’t have an explicit, documented process for creative workflow.

Perhaps these organizations’ smaller staff size creates the illusion that a process is not needed. I’m not sure. But what I do know is that most of my career successes were built on the foundation of a documented creative workflow. Here’s how to put a creative brief to work:

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Guest Blogger on April 6, 2016 in Planning and Evaluation | 0 comments
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I’m riding the tide of energized learning and conversations at the recent Nonprofit Technology Conference (#16ntc), and thrilled to share my takeways with you.

Use these insights from The Future of Email: From 2016 to 2026 to shape campaigns that motivate action despite the clamor of our multi-channel world:

Email Still Important but Can’t Stand Alone

Email remains the ultimate push notification. It’s also tied to everything you do on social.

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Nancy Schwartz on April 5, 2016 in Email and E-Newsletters | 1 comment
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Better Nonprofit ContentNeed help with that campaign email or program registration mini-site due to launch last week? Ready to move from making mediocre messages to the most audience-delighting, highest-impact calls to action of your life? How about getting there via a captivating romp through the life—and laws—of one of the most motivating fundraising writers around?

You can get it all with Jeff Brooks’ Turn Your Words into Money: The Master Fundraiser’s Guide to Persuasive Writing. You’ll learn and laugh as you gobble your way through this guide to writing good—then great—messages that spur the actions you need.

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Nancy Schwartz on March 16, 2016 in Writing | 0 comments
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Flickr: Ben Solah

How many of your communications projects go nowhere because the approval process is a landmine? For many of us, that happens way too often. We diligently do our homework, developing buy-in from colleagues (by highlighting what’s in it for them) and sourcing practical insights on audience habits and wants.

We use these guidelines to get “it” right, whether it’s a first-ever formalized organizational talking points, campaign mini-site, new program marketing plan, an anniversary celebration approach, or… Then, we sit down again with those colleagues (or send a reply-to-all email with requests for specific feedback if folks are in multiple locations) to get interim or final approval.

Suddenly everyone’s a graphic designer, or a writer, or a creative director. Chaos ensues, even though we shaped the deliverable to what we heard from these same colleagues. I think you know what I mean.

There is a better way—be as strategic in your review and approval process, as you are with your marketing and fundraising work.

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Nancy Schwartz on March 8, 2016 in All-Org Marketing Team | 0 comments
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