Relevance Rules

We’re long-time members of the local JCC (Jewish Community Center, sort of a Jewish Y). Our daughter was there for daily pre-K care but now we’re there mostly for the pool and gym rather than the Jewishly-oriented cultural and learning programs.

Big Change: New members with diverse cultural perspectives
There’s been a big change at the JCC over recent years, as the membership has grown to include many who are not Jewish. When the JCC needed to funded a major facilities redo a few years ago,  the leadership decided to invite the larger (i.e. beyond Jewish)  community to join—focusing on use of the athletic facilities—and made changes, such as opening on Shabbat, to support their wants.

Challenge: How to connect with new members without losing the base
Brilliant idea and it’s worked well, but I watched eagerly for the JCC to revise their core messages (shaped to a shared Jewish context) too.
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Updated April 20
Now that the manhunt for the suspect in the Boston bombings is over, it’s time to reassess when and how to re-engage with your base. Listen to them, closely and carefully, and analyze what they want in the context of your organization’s goals, personality and voice

But most importantly—make sure you have people, processes and decision-making criteria in place to you can reassess your approach the moment things change in the next unexpected situation. More to come on that.

Please share your take, questions and/or how your org is moving forward now here.
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Right-Place Nonprofit Marketing

Here’s one of the most common pain points nonprofit marketers like you have just shared with me. NOTE: I’m interested in hearing your greatest pain point—Please take 2 minutes to tell me now right now.

There are so many choices these days in choosing the marketing direction forward, that it’s tough to ID the right things to do right now.

And it’s not just you. It’s the world we live in. But I have a way out for you…

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Email Subject LinesGuest blogger, Kerri Karvetski, owner of Company K Media, helps nonprofits communicate online.

How did nonprofits share the love on Valentine’s Day 2013? Let us count the ways.

But this superstar technique isn’t limited to Valentine’s Day. Get brainstorming now to connect your cause with days coming up—St. Patrick’s Day, April Fool’s Day and Earth Day. It’s a proven way to connect with supporters and move them to give, donate, volunteer or spread the word. Here’s how:
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Nothing is more important than communicating the right message to your network at the right place and time!  And  leveraging a news item or special day by connecting your organization’s issues to it (when relevant!) is a tried-and-true nonprofit marketing strategy with a strong ROI (return on investment).

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Timing is everything, and no organization hits that mark better than the Environmental Working Group (EWG). They’re the royalty of relevance rules.

I just received EWG’s email heralded by the timely subject line above. And because Fourth of July is top of mind for me this week, I opened it right up.

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Rest in peace, Ray Bradbury.

Just a few minutes after I saw the famed science-fiction mastermind had passed away, I stumbled on this letter from lifelong library supporter Bradbury crediting his UCLA library workspace for inspiring him to crank out The Fireman in just nine days. Here’s a excerpt:
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Thanks to marketing master Dan Zarrella for pointing out this obvious (but often overlooked) clue to relevance  — look at behavior to date.

As a complement to last week’s guidance on when to post, email and tweet (when other’s aren’t, for the most part), he adds these “it depends” guidelines on when to blog.
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Nothing is more important than communicating the right message to a specific target audience at the right place and time! This kind of relevance is vital for connecting with your network and prospects to move your mission forward. And relevance rules in 2012 (click here for your complete how-to guide).

Marketer Dan Zarrella, creator of the illuminating infographic at left,  says it well: It’s like when you’re at a noisy party and it’s hard to hear the person talking to you two feet away, but suddenly you say something awkward and the room quiets down. Now everyone can hear you. The same is true with the internet. When there is less other noise to compete with (ie fewer Tweets, emails, direct mail asks, blog posts, etc), your content can gain attention more easily. But…
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