Wed, August 15 2007

To blog or not to blog?

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Social Media •

My frolleagues (friends/colleagues) Jocelyn and Qui generously have shared the following presentation which answers the eternal existential question: “To blog or not to blog?”  Enjoy.

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Tue, August 14 2007

Extreme Nonprofit Makeover

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Fun stuff •

By Jono Smith

Last month at Network for Good, we launched Nonprofit 911, a monthly series of training calls focused on helping nonprofits improve the health of their online fundraising programs. We also invited callers to nominate their organization for an “extreme website makeover,” and I’m pleased to announce we’ve selected First Step as the recipient. First Step is a non-profit agency in Southeast Michigan (Detroit area). First Step works to assist victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and to prevent violence in the community, providing emergency shelter, a 24 hour crisis line, assault response team (volunteers who go to hospitals to assist victims), free legal clinics and support, adult and children’s children’s counseling, transitional housing, food, clothing, transportation, date rape risk reduction programs, children’s program and many other services. Last year, First Step touched the lives of over 16,000 individuals. In the words of Theresa Bizoe, Associate Director of First Step:

“First Step has a great story to tell. There are countless stories of women, children and men who have been helped by First Step. These stories have yet to be told and need to be shared with a community who believes that “victims always stay” and that the cycle of violence cannot be broken. Right now, the Detroit area needs to hear stories of hope and healing. However, violence can sometimes be a difficult subject to talk about. Some blame the victims for their situation (if First Step could have a $1 for every time someone asked us why the victim stays we would not need this makeover).
Congratulations Theresa & First Step! And stay tuned to the Nonprofit Marketing Blog for the results of this makeover!
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Tue, August 14 2007

Information Does Not Equal Action

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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Filed under:   Marketing essentials •


Picture (“For a minute there, I lost myself”) by doc18, flickr.

This post is on THE MOST COMMON communications mistake in our sector—saying this deadly phrase to yourself: “If people only knew (fill in the blank with something about your issue), then they would (fill in the blank with what you want people to do).” 

Don’t say this to yourself, because it isn’t true.

It is tempting to assume that if people have information, they will act on it. But sadly, information alone does not prompt action.

A lack of information is almost never the cause of inaction. People know they are supposed to do all kinds of things - read to their children, change their diets, help others. The problem is, it is usually more difficult to change behaviors than to stick to the status quo. Good causes are forever in conflict with the status quo.

That means we have to do two things, always:

1. Create a reason for action (not just offer information) that is personally more compelling to our audience than the rewards of sticking to the status quo. 
2. Make it easier to take action than to do nothing.  People will do something if it looks easier than what they’re doing now.

In marketing terms, I’m saying that we can’t just put lots and lots of fine print on the label.  We need to improve our offer while lowering the price of acting on the offer.

 

 

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Tue, August 14 2007

Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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You can visit this week’s carnival - hosted Nonprofit Leadership 601 blog - here.

Be sure to read the post on why most fundraising doesn’t work!

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Mon, August 13 2007

It’s “Listen Up” Day

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Author, Robin Hood Marketing

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As a marketer - and actually, as a mother and a friend too - I consider it an important part of my role to listen. 

Part of that is listening to what people are saying online.  I have a google alert set up so I know when people are talking about me, this blog, my nonprofit, my colleagues and issues of concern to me.  I have a technorati watchlist too.  Why?  People who go to the trouble to say something about you online feel strongly - and most likely, they have an audience.  For good or for bad, they are important nonofficial spokespeople.

This listening has been an incredibly educational experience - especially when I’m listening to negative feedback. While they hurt at times and can make me cringe, complaints are valuable.  When I’ve emailed and engaged in conversations with people who were dissatisfied, nine times out of ten they appreciated that I was listening and helped me see where my own communications and marketing efforts were falling short. Some of those conversations were so good that I developed an ongoing relationship with the commenters and use them as regular sounding boards in my work.

I hereby declare today “listen up” day.

Go listen to what your donors, supporters and detractors are saying about you online.  (Use those google alerts and technorati watch lists to get you started.)  Talk to people talking about you - not defensively or angrily - but with open ears and an open mind.

While I’m always yammering about stealing corporate savvy, I have to stay that a lot of corporations STINK at this.  I’ve blogged here about annoying experiences with Crate & Barrel and Verizon, yet no one from those companies has ever contacted me.  I wonder if they realize that 20,000 unique visitors come to this blog each month.  I wonder if they realize my comments come up with searches for their company.  Not good publicity…

Check out this.  I would think twice about setting foot in Best Buy after reading these posts and comments—a feeling only reinforced by the fact that Best Buy hasn’t bothered to truly listen or reply in any thoughtful way.

Nonprofits clearly need some work in this area too. 

I’m going to do an experiment here to see who IS listening - and help those that are.  Here is a list of three random nonprofits that participated in a training by me or Network for Good.  For each that picks this up and comments here within 24 hours, I will make a $10 donation.  Further proof that good listeners get rewarded!

Family Of Humanity
Glaucoma Research Foundation
Ageless Dreamer

PS Share your listening experiences - I’d love to hear them.

Update August 14, 10:23 am: No comments, no winners.  Family of Humanity, Glaucoma Research Foundation and Ageless Dreamer—- Please, set up google alerts! 

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