09NTC

3 Experts Share Secrets of Effective Branding in a Social Media World -- 09NTC Talk about a branding brain trust!  I had the pleasure of designing, and participating in, today’s NTC session starring nonprofit communicators Danielle Brigida, National Wildlife Federation; Felicia Carr, National Parks Conservation Association; and Wendy Harman, American Red Cross. Common denominator here, beyond marketing expertise, is that all three women are all boldly plunging forward into the wild west of social media.

Danielle, Felicia and Wendy shared their org’s brand definition, the challenges they’ve found in moving that brand into the social media world where there’s absolutely no control of what’s said about you or your org, and the strategies they’re putting to work to deal with those challenges. Out takes as follows…

The issue is this:

  • As the nonprofit landscape gets increasingly complex, money and attention are tighter than ever.
  • At the same time, as your org/issue is discussed on multiple communications channels, it’s critical that your brand (what your org’s unique impact/value is, ideally conveyed by your base and/or folks whose lives your org effects) is tightly focused and succinctly and memorably conveyed.
  • That’s what it takes to ensure your base can easily share it with friends and family, and ups the chance that you’ll engage your base’s network over time.

The answer is…
Looking for the next best thing to being there? Download the cliff notes version for must dos, don’t dos and what we dids from Wendy, Danielle and Felicia. They’re some of the smartest brains in the biz.
Flickr photo: Denis St. John

Nancy Schwartz in 09NTC, Branding and Messages, Nonprofit Communications, Social Media | 0 comments
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Some Great Ideas & Inspiration from Marketers & Fundraisers at NTC -- Wish You Were HereI had the pleasure of co-hosting a meet-up for nonprofit marketers & fundraisers here at NTC (NTEN's mind-blowing annual conference) yesterday afternoon, along with nonprofit marketing guide Kivi Leroux Miller.

Running in the room 5 minutes before blastoff I was thrilled to see over 100 folks raring to go. We were a bit astonished but quickly got folks talking cocktail party style before we started the peer-to-peer Q&A. Here are the top 3 take-aways I got:

  • How to generate and work good storytelling
    • Show prospective storytellers how to do it (your donors, volunteers, program participants, clients), and tell them what your org's going to do with the stories. Will motivate and focus folks.
    • The Me Not Meth campaign launched some demo videos to model what the campaign was asking former meth addicts to do — create home-made videos of their own stories. That broke the barrier and drove video submissions. Even better, they had the budget to blanket selected geographies with billboard advertising inviting storytellers to participate.
    • Re-purpose the stories you have for different channels. Survey input can work as testimonials (if you have name, title, org). Video outtakes can become profiles.
    • Thank your storytellers and subjects.
  • Don't jump into Twitter or even Facebook till your Web site, SEO, e-alerts and blog are everything they can be! Web site is home base. Still few examples of traditionally successful social media campaigns.
  • Mobile fundraising — Still evolving. Expensive to launch & support a program. Key takeaway –  start collecting cell numbers now! They're usually good for the long term.

More to come. Just trying to get my brain and fingers to catch up with my ears!

Nancy Schwartz in 09NTC, Incredible Ideas, Nonprofit Communications | 0 comments
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Branding More of a Challenge Than Ever in a Web 20 World
As the nonprofit landscape gets increasingly complex, money is tighter than ever and your org is discussed on infinite communications channels, it’s more important than ever to brand your organization, programs and campaigns.

When you do so – conveying credibility and value in a way that’s easy to remember and repeat – you’ll build long-lasting relationships with donors, volunteers, members, the media, clients, and more. But it’s more challenging than ever in our Web 2.0 world, where your network ideally spreads the word to their network, often leaving your brand far behind.

I’m taking on this challenge big time — along with four incredible minds in the marketing and fundraising fields — at an NTC conference session this April. But since you should dive into this issue right now, here’s a preview podcast:

Nancy Schwartz in 09NTC, Social Media, Web 2.0 | 0 comments
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Join Me at NTC, SanFran 426-28 -- It's One of the Most Stimulating Conferences I Know

I hope you’ll join me at NTC (the annual conference of NTEN, the National Technology Network), April 24-26, 2009 in San Francisco. I want to chat in person and talk through what I’m learning.

Listen! Don’t stop reading because I said “technology.” Please forget the name and let what I’m saying sink in.

Here’s what you need to know: NTC is a gathering of some of the most thoughtful, imaginative, charged, exciting folks in the nonprofit biz. Communicators, fundraisers, program folks, IT staff — anyone who integrates technology tools into their work. People like Katya Andresen, Beth Kanter and Kivi Leroux Miller plus nonprofit innovators like the Humane Society’s Carrie Lewis and Wendy Harman with the American Red Cross.

I participated for the first time last year — when I finally realized how relevant the conference is for nonprofit communicators — and was energized, inspired and much smarter by the time I left.

There’s incredible content and connections. I left last year’s NTC with a slew of new friends and colleagues with whom I’ve shared stories, challenges and fun with ever since. Here’s my take on the 2008 NTC.

Take a look today at the agenda (communications breakouts here) and folks who are coming. Irresistable. Register now for the early-bird rate (expires January 31st). The conference does sell out.

NOTE: Full disclosure — I’ve just joined the NTEN board. But rest assured, I was a NTEN booster way before that!

P.S. Need a scholarship?

P. S. Don’t miss out on the in-depth articles, case studies and guides on key nonprofit communications topics featured in the Getting Attention e-alert. Subscribe today.

Nancy Schwartz in 09NTC, Nonprofit Communications, Professional Development, Special Opportunities | 2 comments
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