online community

Progressive Exchange - $1,000,000 Answers to Your Nonprofit Marketing Questions (for free)

I want to tell you about an incredible resource that I discovered a few months ago–The Progressive Exchange. And, as soon as you read this post, I urge you to join me there. It’s free and will help you the first time you use it. I guarantee it.

The Progressive Exchange (PX) is an online community (a.k.a. easy-to-use email list serv or web-based community) for folks doing online organizing, advocacy, marketing and fundraising “on behalf of the public interest.”  I had heard about PX for years, but never really knew what it was, and don’t want you to wait as long as I did.

First of all, there’s a diverse and helpful community of participants with lots of nonprofit marketing expertise. Secondly, there are folks in related functions who can shed some great perspective on marketing issues. Best of all, PX is incredibly easy to use–I’ve set it up to email me daily summaries of questions and replies being asked by other PXers, and replies. I also email my questions out the the list but, if you choose, you can also do it all on the web.

I’ve learned so much in these few months, and gotten great guidance in seeking a proofreader, getting direction on a specific SEO issue and more. Today I want to review discussion on  e-news open and unsubscribe rates.

PX is an incredible community, and the more of us there are, the more valuable it is. Please join me!

P.S. Get more in-depth articles, case studies and guides to
nonprofit marketing success — all featured in the twice-monthly
Getting Attention e-update.
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Nancy Schwartz in Recommended Resources | 0 comments
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9 Tips on Designing for Conversation The Lynchpin of Effective CommunicationIdeas flew at last week’s Marketing and Online Communications Forum, sponsored by Forum One. And I was lucky enough to be right in the middle of them all.

Here’s what your organization needs to know about designing and maintaining compelling conversations with your base (offline or online, these tenets hold across the board):

1)  Nothing like a kick in the pants to get attention
. Comedian Heather Gold jump-started the day with her sharp, smart humorous shtick on the difference between presentation and conversation. Really funny, and startling in a palatable way. She showcased these ideas by creating a relevant conversation in the room so that we all experienced the difference between the two.

2) Shape your conversations to the needs and interests of individual participants, rather than to a meaningless common ground no one cares about. Heather had a series of chats with selected individuals rather than delivering the traditional monologue. Much more compelling than the standard Jerry Seinfeld stand-up approach (the comedic equivalent of presentation).

3) Shift from world of experts to real conversation, from one to many, a true exchange of ideas. When Heather opened up the conversation, we benefited from the expertise and creativity of everyone in the room, instead of hers alone.

4) Diversity in perspective AND style increase level of interest and participation, aka “heat.”

5) ID the point of connection (ideally, an emotional connection) to keep the conversation going and the community tight. What do people care most about at this very moment?

6) Vulnerability makes participants accessible, strengthens that connection and amplifies the speed of engagement. So when participants in an online community or a training on preventing child obesity or a board meeting show vulnerability (e.g. not getting a key concept or making an obvious error in answering a question), they give others a way in. It’s a lot easier to connect with human error than with blazing success.

    7) People don’t trust institutions anymore, but they trust other people (as long as they remain trustworthy). So put your team, clients, members front and center and let them be real (a.k.a. themselves). A real community or conversation enables us to be “ourselves together,” as Heather put it.

    8) Pay attention to your feedback loop; online or offline, community or not. It continues to amaze me how few nonprofits (just 33%) track communications impact.

    9) If communications — online or offline — are a conversation, and a conversation scaled up is a party, then ensure there’s a great host making introductions among folks with like interests, interceding in disagreements so no punches are thrown, ushering the intoxicated guest into the guest room and weaving the wallflower into party talk.

    Read what what my friend Marc Sirkin had to say about the Forum.

    Tag: #moc2008

    P.S. Yes We Can! When a powerful tagline is joined to a compelling mission…nothing is impossible! Download the free Nonprofit Tagline Report for must-dos, don’t dos, case studies and 1,000+ nonprofit tagline examples!

    Nancy Schwartz in Nonprofit Communications, Social Media, Strategy | 1 comment
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