OUR COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY

OUR COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY COMMUNICATIONS GOAL To engage our target audiences around our business goal of inspiring people to invest in our communit...
Author: Jody Benson
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OUR COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY

COMMUNICATIONS GOAL To engage our target audiences around our business goal of inspiring people to invest in our community.

OUR COMMUNICATIONS ENVIRONMENT

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A SIMPLE STRATEGY

Target audiences

Calls to action

Donors (current & prospective) Profesional advisors Nonprofits (& community groups)

Give to the Foundation Get client resources Get grants Get knowledge

Foundation's business goal: To inspire people to invest in our communty. Objectives

Success

Help for staff and board Effective integration of social media Better content writing Measure, analyse and plan

Strategy for each social media channel Styleguide + how to docs for staff Increased online engagement Answer the so what? question

OUR APPROACH We’re creating a new strategy for a new day. A communications strategy based on controlled oneway messaging doesn’t work anymore. In today’s multi-channeled communications environment there is little control. We must be willing, ready and know how to listen, respond and participate in what is (or is not) being said about us and around us. Our strategy and actions should promote two-way engagement to build trust and support for our mission and business goal. This intentional and measured approach will lead to better results.

Engagement Listen | Read | Watch

Follow | Join | Create

Building trust Knowledgeable

Authentic

Taking action Realistic | Achievable

Measure succcess

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It’s more about our strategy and objectives than the tools. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, distracted or enamored with Facebook, Google+, Twitter or the website. The tools must flow from our strategy, not the other way around. We’ve adopted an editorial calendar to curate and manage content. We also provided ways for regular staff input, participation and reporting. Building on successes and learning from failures. In 2012, we launched of a new website, increased our use of social media and improved our content curation. However, we fell short trying to tie communications success to program, administrative and development objectives. We wanted those in the plan to be monitored and discussed throughout the year, but that never happened in any meaningful way. It may happen in the future, but for now we set our target on lower hanging fruit.

OUR COMMUNICATIONS TOOLS Our communications strategy illustrated on page two powers us forward. Our communications tools work like the turning gears below, choosing the right tool(s) to get the desired results.

P2P

Print Web 2.0

>People to people (P2P) This is still the most effective way to build and maintain relationships. Consistent use of our messages (by all staff), with attention to our business goal and core values (compassionate, engaged, knowledgeable, innovative and professional) carries the day.

>Print (and broadcast) The traditional old-school communication method for marketing still has value, especially in reaching target audience in our small media market. Considered here are annual publications, news releases, fund statements, letters, as well as print, television and radio advertising.

>Web 2.0 

Email Constant Contact is our email tool used for short, targeted messages that drive people to our website or other online resources. We’ve segmented our audience interests through five newsletters: Foundation News, Nonprofit News, Scholarship Alerts and Philanthropy 3 | COMM U NIT Y FO UN D AT IO N S ANT A C R UZ CO U NT Y

Connect (for professional advisors). 

Website Our website, designed by Embolden, is a modern, streamlined tool that helps us connect and engage our audiences. It was designed with an emphasis on stories, videos and photos, supported with short blocks of text. Foundant grants and Donor Central modules provide additional vehicles for engagement. The website is not a repository or archive of materials. It requires a new mindset from all of us on how we think about and use the Web.



Social media Strategy + target audience + desired action or result = knowing which social media tool(s) to use and when. 

Facebook to engage nonprofits and their supporters through authentic and personable daily posts, comments, tips and links to other sites.



YouTube to build the trust factor by sharing human stories to move donors and nonprofits to action.



LinkedIn to build our professional network by engaging professional advisors, business and community leaders.



Twitter to listen to and engage with the media and other influencers.



Blog posts by staff and guest writers promoting engagement and knowledge sharing.



HOW WE GET THIS DONE EXTERNAL Anticipate + respond

Communications strategy

INTERNAL Staff work plans

Monthly staff planning & measuring

Editorial calendar (LC+KE)

Set weekly priorities

Actions

(LC+KE)

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MANAGING OUR EDITORIAL CALENDAR We customized a template created by Top Nonprofits as our editorial calendar. It provides us with a simple tool to plan forward, map and schedule content and consider results. We are determined to keep the editorial calendar (like the strategy) simple, realistic and manageable given our existing staff capacity and resources. We ask that you trust the communications team to drive the plan and to set and manage the editorial calendar. Providing staff input. This illustration show how staff can provide content ideas at anytime and the best ways on how to do it.

Best

Worst

•Monthly staff communications planning meetings (the best way) •Staff meetings (ok way to start conversation & share ideas) •Direct communications to Luis: •Email or phone call (share details: who [audience], what & when) •Face to face sharing •Hallway or lunchroom conversations (yr ideas may get lost & forgotten) •Voicemails for Luis or Kim (harder to decipher & track) •IMs or emails only to Kim (the content mapping starts with Luis)

KEYS TO SUCCESS Plan

Discipline

Strategy

Focus

Action

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