We all know the power of a good story. Long after we have forgotten reports, statistics, and theories, we remember stories. The art of story telling and image creating is imbedded in communications and marketing.
Communications consultants and firms offer a wide range of tools to help you tell your story and explain why what you do is important. They can help you rev up your communications efforts to be more persuasive, influential, or targeted.
You can create materials and communications piece by piece, but having a comprehensive, integrated communications strategy can make your communications more powerful, and make sure your organization has a consistent look and feel, which helps increase recognition.
If you need to promote your services or an advocacy position, start by doing some research. Research does not have to be expensive or complicated. If you want to make sure your clients understand your services, ask a few clients to read your draft brochure and give you feedback. Give your pitch to a friend who doesn’t know much about your issue to see if you are getting your message across without jargon.
If you have the time and money, research that is more comprehensive will help you hone your message. The more robust the research, the better you can target your messages. Will Rogers said, “people's minds are changed through observation and not through argument.” What story, image, or experience will make your case for you?
Be sure your marketing ties into your business plan and to your case for funding. You not only want to have a consistent clear message to the outside, but you want to have your ducks in a row for those within the organization.
- Not Just for Madison Avenue: The Basics of Nonprofit Marketing
- Marketing Plan Template [Word download]
Social Media & Public Relations
Public relations and social media can help you spiff up your organization’s image — or do damage control when something bad happens. PR consultants can build multi-pronged, multi-layered campaigns that can sustain your organization's visibility.
Social media puts free or low-cost tools in your hands, and lets you move at the speed of the Internet. Just be sure you are clear about who you want to reach and what you want them to know. And no dilly-dallying! Make sure you can deliver the quick responses social media users expect.