Organic reach and engagement are down on Facebook and other social networks. So how do you get your marketing messages through? Julia Campbell shares her expert advice. She’s principal of J. Campbell Social Marketing.
Board relations. Fundraising. Volunteer management. Prospect research. Legal compliance. Accounting. Finance. Investments. Donor relations. Public relations. Marketing. Technology. Social media.
Every nonprofit struggles with these issues. Big nonprofits hire experts. The other 95% listen to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. Trusted experts and leading thinkers join me each week to tackle the tough issues. If you have big dreams but a small budget, you have a home at Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio.
Transcript for 504_tony_martignetti_nonprofit_radio_20200831.mp3
Processed on: 2020-08-28T18:07:55.849Z
S3 bucket containing transcription results: transcript.results
Link to bucket: s3.console.aws.amazon.com/s3/buckets/transcript.results
Path to JSON: 2020…08…504_tony_martignetti_nonprofit_radio_20200831.mp3.364866745.json
Path to text: transcripts/2020/08/504_tony_martignetti_nonprofit_radio_20200831.txt
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be thrown into Gree and Barry syndrome if you wore me out with the idea that you missed today’s show. Get heard in a time of info, fatigue, organic reach and engagement or down on Facebook and the other social networks. So how do you get your marketing messages through? Julia Campbell shares her expert advice. She’s principle of Jay Campbell, social marketing and digital marketing policies. You’ll need policies around. The smart online marketing that you’re now doing are 20. And TC panel reveals what belongs in your policies. Why you’ll improve workflow and how policies can be exciting. They’re Misty McLachlan and Justin Birdsong from Cause Craft Consulting and Casey Crawford with Sierra Club on Tony’s Take two planned giving accelerator were sponsored by wegner-C.P.As guiding you beyond the numbers wegner-C.P.As dot com and by turned to communications, PR and content for non profits. Your story is their mission. Turn hyphen. Two dot ceo here is get heard in a time of info fatigue. It’s my pleasure to Welcome back to the show. Julia Campbell. She is principal of Jay Campbell social marketing. She’s a speaker, author and trainer. In fact, she has a new course starting in September. Social Media for Social Good Academy. The company is at J. Campbell social marketing dot com, and she’s at Julius C. Social. Welcome back till you see social,
I tell me, How are you to have you back? Yes, you really, really great to be back. I’m really excited to be back
coming off a week of vacation.
Yes. So my husband and I joked that when you take the kids, it’s not really a vacation. It’s a family trip. But this
one really seemed like a
vacation because I actually think because of the time we’re living in, there wasn’t as much to do. There wasn’t as much pressure to go do as much because nothing’s open. So we spent a lot of time in nature, a lot of time outside, a lot of time, just hanging out and doing nothing, and it was fantastic.
That is vacation right now. I never have heard the distinction between family trip and vacation.
A family trip is when you wake up at 7 a.m. And you have to go to an amusement park all day. But that was not the case this time, because everything’s closed.
Okay, Ghoul So good. Welcome back. Glad to do this on. Ah, right after your vacation. So the social media landscape, let’s start generally in the in our pandemic recession, social justice, environment. What are you seeing? Social wives. And then we’ll drill down.
Well, Ah, lot of people ask me, You know what is really going on with social media as we enter, you know, kind of the last half of this year. What is what is the landscape? Looks like one of the trends. And I’m not gonna throw a million statistics at you or maybe any statistics at you. But the trends that I’m seeing is are that people are getting information fatigued. I think we were information fatigued before Cove it hit, and then we spent a lot of time at home. We transition to remote work. A lot of us we spent a lot of time on our phones and social media usage kind of spiked. And now we’re almost seeing a backlash to social media, and I what we’re seeing. We’re not seeing the engagement numbers and the reach that we were seeing and even the email marketing open rates. I know those were skyrocketing in the first month of the pandemic on, and now we’re kind of seeing people are maybe taking a break, doing a digital detox, kind of calling where they are online and really focusing on the things that they care about and the things that are interesting. So a lot of my clients and my students have been finding that organic reaches just I mean, it was decimated in the beginning of the year, but it’s just incredibly difficult to build organic reach right now on the issue becomes How do we remain relevant but also stay true to our mission. So we don’t want to continually just talk about Corona virus or talk about black lives matter, even although if they’re part of our mission, obviously we should be doing that. But how do we incorporate those messages into what we’re doing on social media? So we don’t seem tone deaf and we still seem very relevant and timely and sort of on top of things for our donors. So what I’ve seen with nonprofits. Right now, the landscape has I’ve just seen innovation and I’m loving it. I’m seeing more people doing live streaming live streaming is It’s always been the most engaging type of content across all of social media platforms. But I’m seeing a lot of organizations go live. Ah, lot more video. I’m seeing a lot more experimentation Maybe, you know, doing short form video on tick talk or short form video on instagram stories. So what I’ve been seeing is a lot of transparency, authenticity, conversation and a lot of nonprofits getting out of that kind of template id, Social Media post and editorial calendar that goes for six months and really being more in the moment and focused on the day to day what’s happening and connecting with their donors that way.
So by the same token, though, you do need Teoh, keep in mind what was in your communications plan for the next six months. I mean, you can’t You can’t abandon your fundraising. Maybe your petition work. You’re recruiting volunteers. You have toe meld what your goals were for these six months and the six months coming in, like six months that have passed on the six months coming along with remaining relevant and topical and timely. Given everything that’s going on in the country,
we have to be flexible. So non
profit Wait, I thought you have to know is my fault. We have to What?
Be flexible. Okay, Thank you. Non profit. They’re terrible at that. Of course. So we like to have all of our ducks in a row. R I’s dotted! Artie’s crossed. We need everything run by committee. We need the board to approve every tweet. We need the executive director to sign off on every Facebook post. And the reality is that we can’t do that anymore in order to really look like we’re humans and not robots behind the social media platforms that were running. So you know, really, what I’ve been seeing is that people are actually posting less, but they are posting things that are of higher quality and are mawr intentional? So rather than looking at your calendar and saying, Oh, I have to get in this grand post every day and just throwing up whatever they’re being a little bit more focused in meaningful and intentional in what they’re sharing and what they how they’re communicating with their audiences. So this is not true across the board. But it is a trend that I’m enjoying and also just. I see a lot of nonprofits experimenting with new technologies. They have to be very agile right now in terms of events especially, and that’s another whole rabbit hole. We could go down but incorporating digital and virtual elements into what they’re doing. So when I say throw out the editorial calendar, I don’t mean throw out your pivotal events or campaigns. I just mean we can’t schedule three weeks worth of tweets. We can’t because who knows what’s gonna happen tomorrow? Who knows what’s gonna happen in an hour? It’s just not the automated world that we were living in. We were kind of going on autopilot. A lot of us. I know a lot of my clients scheduled an automated, a lot of their content. They had evergreen content and now we really have to work on our toes a little bit more, and I understand that that that does scare non profits because we’re not. We’re really just not used to that, but I think I think it’s a good trend I think that it’s it’s worthwhile to pursue, and I think that it’s going to just create and deepen and strengthen relationships with our communities. At the end of the day.
Well, it’s necessary in the if we’re gonna be relevant in the environment. Um, so we have to be up to the challenge. It is. It is hard the way you’re describing for the reasons you’re describing. But we’ve got to meet the challenge because we can’t abandon our goals and we can’t stay silent and we become terribly irrelevant. Well, that’s another would be exactly will be up to the challenge. By the way. I just want to let you know, um, if you hear banging or sanding, I’m having renovations done upstairs. I’m on myself. My second floor.
I’m having renovations done too. But they’re in the basement. You may hear them. I don’t know.
No, I haven’t heard anything from you. I don’t know if you hear mine, but
now I can’t hear it.
You’re saying stapling and, um, drilling and pounding and so that it’s on my end. Yours is down in the basement, so we won’t hear yours. Your Highness, that mind is up. above and it’s ah, in the stairwell outside Outside where I am. So yeah, so we gotta stay. We have to be up to this challenge you were about.
Yes. The other point I wanted to make is another unfortunate trends that we’re gonna say Positive trends, negative trends, it I see a lot of organizations kind of trying Teoh stick their head in the sand a little bit and say, Well, yeah, we’re just gonna emerge from the dust. Or when the dust settles, we’re going to start talking again or were not really comfortable talking to our donors. That’s no good. It’s no good at all.
Just settles. That’s like trying to time the stock market. What?
Someone said that to me, and I said, I’m not the dust is never going to settle right. And also, if it does settle, it’s not going to be in the same configuration that it waas when it got kicked up and its swirling around our heads So saying when the dust settles to me, says, I’m just avoiding
that’s a cop inevitable, right? And how do we define the dust? What’s the dust is the dust The election is that the recession. Is that the pandemic? Is that the long lasting conversation on social equity or racial equity? Exactly. Dust
the dust is a lot. So the thing is like, I
were not a not a little a little dust up like mulch blowing on the driveway letter. I literal, though that was a Category five hurricane.
I work with a lot of marketing directors and and development directors, so a lot of them don’t have the power to just overrule everything. And they have ideas, and they are. They’re usually younger, and they see the forest for the trees here, right? They see what’s going on. They understand they have their finger on the pulse of things, and in my experience, they’re just getting a lot of pushback from the board of the higher ups or the executive director who want to go back to business as usual. But business as usual. What does that mean?
Or what way? How do we How do we push back to that leadership?
So for me, what the advice that I give, especially to the marketing managers that I work with, is toe come to your board or your executive director with a plan and with examples. So what, you don’t want to dio and what I m absolutely, absolutely like at fault of doing is coming from a place of emotion, right? So my husband and I always joke that he will come from a place of rationality. He really does. And I just have that emotion. It’s like we got to do this and like, but he will say, Okay, how how much is it gonna cost? When are we going to do it? Who’s going to do it? What’s gonna happen? And that’s the right approach. So have that passion have that emotion for the change that you want to see or for that campaign that you want to run. But then come with, like, a five point plan. The who what? When, Where? Why,
otherwise that renovation in your basement? Because, uh, addition, that doubles the size of your house.
Oh, I keep yelling about a mud room. I want a mud room. Why
don’t we have a mud
room? I want a mud room. Like ever since we moved here, it’s like, OK, Julia, how
much is that gonna
cost? What’s the budget? Who are you gonna hire. When is it gonna happen? Who’s gonna oversee it? It’s absolutely so. It’s the same thing, I think, with any kind of marketing or fundraising change you’re trying to push through, but also come with examples. So I have to Google drives. I’m happy to share with your listeners. One is just literally emails, social media posts, event screenshots that I’ve taken from related to Corona virus. Really Jacoby, 19 like how to communicate, how to pivot your events and the other related to black lives matter and George Floyd protests, because what I think happens is that we get so passionate about the changes and the things we want to say. But we we don’t show up with examples and say This other organization posted this and I think it’s pretty cool, and I think maybe we could adapt. It’s not perfect, but I think we could do something like this in our organization. And here’s what I’m planning to dio. So if you’re getting pushed back for communicating with your donors or supporters during any kind of time of unrest, because everything is volatile right now, everything is political right now, By the way, anything you say saving kittens. Someone’s going to say That’s political. It doesn’t matter. Serving hungry kids, that’s political. So everything you say is gonna get pushback from someone but understood having a plan and understanding that your donors support you for a reason and they love you and they want to see you succeed. And even if you’re not a covert 19 forward facing charity, even if you don’t work specifically and racial justice um, and equity you still you still have a way that you can communicate with your donors right now because your
mission is not going away just because we’re in a pandemic breast cancer doesn’t
just pause, right, because we’re in a pandemic. Food and security doesn’t pause. Domestic violence doesn’t pause.
The folks in nonprofits know that, but it’s how to communicate that to the to their constituents, whatever form those take so that they continue hearing from you because they need to know that your cause is still there, that you didn’t evaporate, and now you’re gonna come back when the dust settles, whatever that means in in six months or two years, you know, it’s it’s not. It’s not tenable. So yeah, the people in the non profit snow. But our listeners know but right now to convey that
it’s had to modify your message,
it’s time for a break wegner-C.P.As paycheck protection program. Loan forgiveness. It’s still out there breathing down your neck. You need to get your forgiveness application in. Wegner has the free webinar that explains P p p Loan forgiveness. Go to wegner-C.P.As dot com. Click Resource Is and recorded events Now back to get heard in a time of info fatigue with Julia Campbell. So you mentioned a couple things. Ah, Google Drive that you can share. Yes. How do we make that
share happen? Um, so the Google drives I can send them to you to put in the show notes. It’s bit dot li forward slash capital n capital P Capital C overhead. So it’s NP Cove. It But the n, p, N. C. Or capital. That’s my non profit chronic
treasure trove. Bitterly so B I. T. Donald y slash Capital and Capital P Capital C O V i D. Lower case.
Yes, and then the George Floyd one actually have to check it. It’s what I like the bit Ly’s. It’s np. It’s non profit capital end BLM all capitals
capital end BLM for black lives matter
Yes, capital and non profit BLM capital BLM and with Billy Unfortunately, you have to have the caps.
Yes, Billy, it’s case sensitive. Wait, you’re confusing me. All right, b i t dot l y forward slash What?
N p cove it.
But we got that one, right?
Okay. And this other one is non profits BLM
non profit bln. And what? What’s in caps there?
The end of non profit and the B, the l and m.
Okay, Very good. Thank you.
And I am still collecting. Resource is And if you have a resource, if anyone has a resource they want me to include because it’s not you can’t edit it. You could just view it. But I’m happy to add resource is to it And take a look at at what you have and how you’re communicating, because they do. I mean, I think that non profit seem to understand that we do not have to completely shift to talking about Corona virus in black lives matter in every post and every email, but we need to acknowledge that it’s happening, and we also need to acknowledge that our donors and supporters are thinking about it’s on their mind. So how has our work? Shane’s either in a positive way or a negative way. And how can we talk to our donors like they’re real people? You know, we kind of want to sugarcoat everything and not really tell them what’s going on. And I think they want to know.
Yeah, of course, because people see what’s going on around them. You can’t You can’t ignore reality or or sugarcoat reality. It’s it’s people’s perceptions. You’re not gonna undo someone’s perception, right? Right? Exactly. And I know I mean, what their pursuit, what they’re seeing and hearing around them, You’re not gonna be able to ignore that or undo. It s so you have to deal with the reality. All right? You also mentioned a five point plan.
Yes. So that’s the who, what, When, Where and why? So I would start with the why? Actually, I would start with the reason why you’re trying to institute this change. Why you want to push through this post why you want to include the story in your email appeal? Whatever it might be. Whatever you’re getting pushed back for
okay, this is just
write down these five things
is your five point plan for answering leadership that yes wants things to be the way they were in
or or just coming to leadership, kind of right off the bat and like nipping it in the butt. If you know that your executive director is going to be hesitant to talk about black lives, matter is just an example coming to them rather than getting emotional and saying, Look, we your ridiculous and were tone deaf. And I’m quitting, which are valid reasons if you need to do it, and I will support you in that. But if you do think someone can be convinced or if you think that they just have a narrative in their mind that’s different from yours than having this planet could be one page, you know, why do we want to do this? What is the goal of doing this?
Who is going to
do it like a my doing it, Um, Are you writing it like our my writing it for you? What’s happening? You know, what is it going to say? Where is it going to live and what is it. Who, What, When, Where, Why and how. How is it going to get done? So I’m gonna take an hour and do it this way, and then you’re going to review it and then we’ll go on, do it this way, and then we’ll send it to our donors, so showing them that you have a plan for it. Also problem if it needs a budget, maybe attaching a budget number if you might not. But if you want to boost a poster, start a Facebook ad campaign, whatever you want to dio. But then also coming to them with examples, I would say three examples and say these are examples that I have seen from other organizations. Kind of like ours, either the same size, the same industry, the same cause area health care, you know, whatever it is. And this is how they did it. I don’t think we need to do it exactly like this, but I think they have some good ideas here. And I wanted to get your ideas. I wanted to get your thoughts. I wanted to work with you on this idea that I have and really get your buy in on get your feedback because it’s challenging when you are development director and I have completely been there, and you have this great idea, and you really struggle to get people to see what you’re trying to say. But as long as you have a plan, then you can set you condone addresses every single question than executive director might have. Well, how much time is this gonna take? Okay. You You have estimated it. Well, I don’t know. Like how much is this gonna cost? Well, you’ve estimated it. I don’t know. Are other organizations really doing this? You have examples. So just anticipating the questions,
right? You’re coming with a solution, Not merely a problem. Ah, problem Were tone deaf? Yes. We put out a black lives matter statement, but we’ve done nothing since then. And now it’s been eight or 10 weeks, and we seem irrelevant. That’s a problem. It’s a problem that now you’ve laid it on the on your leaders. Whatever you’re talking to your president, your CEO, or your board shoulders to resolve versus identifying a problem and coming with a solution. Julia can five point plan, right? Just lay it out. All right, Lay out what you proposed to do around about this problem in you’ve identified.
But I came up with it because I always tell the story of people might have heard it before. But when I was 16 maybe 17 and I wanted to borrow the car, my dad would literally make me right out of five point plan. I’m not getting He’s a lawyer. So he would say, Who are you gonna be with? Where you going? This before? Cell phones. How can I contact you when you coming home? How much is it gonna caught like a literal five point? You ever take the car? So I’m just well versed in this.
You’re married to your father’s image. You married your father. You married the rational one. You’re the you’re the more emotional and ah, you married. The guy was like, you’ve done, but
we don’t want in the
gate. We don’t want to get the emotion either. So that’s the wide part of the five point plan. Is this is why this is important. And if you’re passionate about your idea, hopefully it’ll be contagious, you know? I mean, hopefully people will will see that you’re really passionate about spreading these ideas and talking in this way and communicating in this way. And it’s not just about marketing, right. It’s not just about, let’s get some new donors. Let’s get some new likes. Let’s get some video views for non profit. It’s about much more than that. It’s about changing hearts and minds. It’s about creating this community of people that have a shared identity around a problem. They want to solve our on a cause that they care about. So that’s personally why I love working with nonprofits because it’s not just about like selling a pair of shoes, which is fine. But it’s about really making the world a better place. And I know that sounds a little cliche, but it really is.
No, we can’t forget that. No, I don’t think that’s quick. It’s aspirational. It’s aspirational. Let’s talk about your course coming up.
Yea, I’m so excited.
Social media for social good academy. So people people could be academicians.
Yes, yes, so about So this is a live course. It runs for five weeks and you are taking a live training with me every week for five weeks. It is the Onley live online training course I found for non profit social media managers designed for the busy, stressed out, overwhelmed, non profit social media manager. And when I say that, I don’t mean it has to be your full time job. I mean, it could be a piece of your job, and we’re gonna walk you through a road map that you can use again and again to be more strategic with social media. So it’s pretty evergreen. I mean, we will talk about the different tools and the shiny, sexy platforms, and you know, we’ll talk about the algorithms. But mostly it’s just how to really create a foundation and an infrastructure in a plan so that you’re not spending your wheels every day and kind of throwing up spaghetti and just seeing with sticks,
OK, this is for anybody who’s responsible for communications and digital communications. Yep, yeah, okay, absolutely right. Whether it’s your full time job or it’s, it’s just part of what you do.
Yes, So whether you’re an accidental social media manager, which I think a lot of us are, or you are a full time social media director at a non profit on dure, just really wondering How can I truly be intentional and get results? Then? It’s definitely
for you. What’s the What’s the level, would you say, like 101 being, You know, the basic course and 501 being the advanced. What
say it’s a two, a one. So you have to understand what Facebook is, you know? I mean, like, you have to you understand a little bit about what social media is, but you’re looking to get more results. You’re looking to really strategically use it to accomplish what you want, whether that’s advocacy or marketing or fundraising. So what kind of cover? All of the above. So you usually my students have been working in non profits for a little while. Maybe the transition to a new role. Maybe Social Media was thrown on their plate, and they really want to hone their skills and create a plan that they can just kind of plug and play and follow.
Okay, starts in September. Where do we go for info? Is that Jay Campbell?
Well, it’s social social. Good academy dot com will take you to the early interest list. So the doors when the doors open if you signed it for the early interest list. You’re going to get a discount code when the doors open. So go there, sign up. And definitely people can email me. Tweet me with any questions that they have. So I’m I’m really excited about it. It’s more like a community. So that’s how I think about it. It’s not a bunch of recorded videos and PS, which is fine. But that’s not how I just can’t teach that way. I like to teach live. So it’s all live and lots of hand holding lots of support
for five weeks. Okay, And where do we go again?
Social Good academy dot com
Social good academy dot com. Okay. And so you have to do this soon because it starts. Do you know when you’re starting In September,
doors will open September 7th and the class will start September 21st, so they’ll only be two weeks to enroll. And then class will start Monday, September of September 20
first. All right, I’m excited. Good. That’s outstanding. And, uh, how many classes have you done? This is, uh,
this is the
second round, so we’re calling it academy two point. Oh, So you are going to benefit from everything that I learned running in the first time and all the feedback from the students that were in the first round, which was just absolutely a meat. I mean, really incredible. So we learned a lots, and we will pass it all on to the new students. Okay. Julie Campbell. Thank you very much. Thanks, tony. I appreciate it. Thanks for 20.
Absolutely. My pleasure. Good luck with the course. Thank you. The company again is Jay Campbell, social marketing at J. Campbell social marketing dot com. And Julia is at Julius C. Social. Thanks a lot, Julia. Good to talk to you. Good to talk to you. To have a great summer. Thank you. Now, time for Tony’s Take Two planned giving accelerator. This is a virtual membership community that I’ve created to get your planned giving program started. You’ll join for a year, and I will teach you everything I know about how to get your planned giving program started. Will identify prospects. Get your marketing messages out and you will start seeing results. I cannot guarantee that every member of planned giving accelerator is going to get planned. Gif ts but it’s damn near likely that you are going to see GIF ts out of playing giving accelerator. I’ve been doing this since 1997. I know how to start programs. I know how to get the motivation going. I know how to get these gif ts coming in. I’d say around the 6 to 9 month point is where we’ll start seeing Gift’s coming in from members. Four members for members. Nonprofits. This is obviously organizational sustainability for your non profit right long term fundraising, but it’s also professional development. If you want to broaden your career, learn about planned giving could look at it from that perspective to an investment in your career. Whatever approach you’re taking might be both help your or GE and your career. You can check it all out. Find out the details at plan to giving accelerator dot com that is Tony’s Take two. Now it’s time for digital marketing policies. Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 20 NTC, the 2020 non profit Technology Conference. The conference had to be canceled, but we’re continuing virtually sponsored a 20 NTC by Cougar Mountain Software Denali Fund. Is there complete accounting solution made for nonprofits. Tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Mountain for a free 60 day trial. My guests now are Misty McLaughlin, Justin Birdsong and Casey Crawford. Misty is principal and founder of Cause Craft Consulting. Justin is a senior consultant at Cause Craft, and Casey is director of digital content and strategy at the Sierra Club. Misty, Justin Casey. Welcome.
Thank you, tony.
Thanks so much, tony.
Glad we were able to put this together after a third. After a couple tries gonna persevere, my Internet will not drop. And, uh, well, I know this is a good time, and I know you’re each well and safe in your respective places that now, even nine days after we were trying to do this originally, I’m glad. I’m glad looking. Your topic is digital marketing policies for the rial messy world. Casey, I know you revised and greatly expanded the Sierra Club. Um, uh, marketing, marketing policies, engagement strategies, given policy. Why don’t you explain what? What? It was that, uh, made you recognize you needed a more robust and expanded policy than where you were before you started working with cars craft.
Sure. No, I appreciate that question. And for background, I came onto Sierra Club about four years ago, and one of the first things that I did when I came on board was to really look at our constituent experience, to look at our email program, to look at how we were communicating with our constituents across channels, but especially via email, because it is one of the larger channels that we use. And in that research that I did, I noticed that we had a very just disjointed and very fragmented experience. We there was we were lacking some coordination amongst our various See Miller’s. We have organ, we have organizer’s, We have communicators, we have content creators. They’re communicating all across the organization, and at that time it just you could feel it on the constituent end that there was just a lack of coordination, a lack of prioritization happening with some of that messaging. It was it was as if she Sierra Club was showing up in the inbox as all these separate organizations with a very disjointed experience. Okay, so it became really clear really early on that I needed to dig in further and find out why was that happening? How was that happening is was it, you know, a lack of training. Was it a lack of processes and guidelines and best practices? And as we as I continue to do research, it was a little bit of all of those things. But the big areas that we identified Waas, that the policy was just to bare bones and didn’t really address all of the things that needed Teoh, both from a constituent constituent experience perspective, but also for our internal email sender’s. We realized that our policy was not doing a good job of holding, you know, accountability and holding. Just who owns certain parts of this work and what does the way are the checkpoints? What are the governance standards, you know, things that are good, solid policy, Has we? We really didn’t have that. We really did have a bare bones policy. So I started then pretty quickly after that, making the case for us. Did you work on the email policy specifically as a starting off point for some other areas where we also needed to do some work?
Um, if I call a digital marketing or digital engagement policy, are those synonymous? My okay. Using those interchangeably? Yes. Yes, you engage in digital marketing. Okay. Okay. Um Misty What? What? What kinds of things? I mean, Casey Minister, A few things that they approached. But what? What? What? Take off some of the other things. Maybe that belong in a digital marketing policy.
Don’t over promise to us. Please
way. We’ll get into some of the excitement in a bit. So, you know, everybody knows that strategy is everybody knows, you know, it’s what you’re what you’re gonna do in Why, but the policy is really addressing standards and practices that you use. So it’s really about helping your people get aligned and stay aligned internally as your strategy under practices of all. So that’s sort of a good, well crafted policy can kind of be a North Star to your organization. Kind of an internal contract are operating agreement between your people about how were they gonna work together to get things done with a shared set of standards? So digital marketing policies can be really broad, like for all of your digital marketing, the that even be broader than that and be a marketing policy. But they can also be really specific. So in the case of Sierra Club, they decided to really focus in on email first. As a channel, you can also have a social media policy. People are very familiar with moderation, policies for forums or social media community conversations. You can have equity policies. You could have data policies, all of these air kind of different needs, where there needs to be some sort of operating agreement or social contract between your staff about how they’re gonna handle something and what the constituent Experian and constituent experiences that they’re trying to achieve. So how do you organize behind the scenes to be able to achieve that constituent experience with your communications?
Okay. Justin, what was your role in this in the Sierra Club
Work? Well, I’ve been actively working with book Misty and Casey and, um, having a riel ball of a time doing it. Also, Sierra Club is a really fantastic organization. Um,
you sure? Here and Mr Not over promising. Now you’re having a ball. She’s talking about exciting policies, excitement, You know how risk for consultant over. Promise.
gonna hold you to these, uh, these superlatives.
Well, you know, I mean, I think part of it was that Sierra Club’s approached this Andi Casey has really helped us continue to navigate toward this. North Star isn’t Misty. Just mentioned is that they were really interested in figuring out not just to produce a policy to set some bumpers and guardrails, but what does it need to be? It’s going to be a ZX thorough and cover all of the measures of accountability and in protecting the preferences of the constituents, protecting equity and access even for the internal email centers. So from the beginning, the scope was very broad. So one of the big things that I did I came in to the project last summer, summer 2019 when it was kind of really starting to kick off and the whole fall. That was just a giant research phase that included four separate sub projects with almost 20 I think maybe even more than that, different staff from across the Sierra Club across different departments. There were some representations from Sierra Club chapters who are another sort of subset of users that are affected very differently, by the way that the email channel gets used. The way that the legacy rules were sort of informed were baked in a very sort of national office centric kind of way. So we spent the whole ball researching and getting in touch with the internal staff at the Sierra Club, including their volunteers and chapters. Um, a big giant survey went out to existing members and donors and constituents who are already on the list to kind of give me back from the subscribers perspective on. And then we also researched pure organizations. Talked turned out there aren’t a lot of organizations doing this. It was one of the main things we found we talked to, I think probably 10 different both for profit and nonprofit here, organizations with large scale marketing efforts and found that there in a lot of ways, the Sierra Club was the one of the first that was really trying to consolidate with standards and the sort of social contract workflow agreements a ZX, along with this equity component as well. And then a lot of data and benchmarking of existing in the email performance helped us kind of track all of those things in a quantitative way and say, OK, if we I want to make adjustments to this policy, what are we aiming for and where are we coming?
All right. I can see how enormous this became, Casey, What were some of the take aways from this many months of research that Justin is describing all these focus groups surveys? Well, you didn’t say focus groups, but when interviews, however you did it allow these months of research, what did you Would you take away a couple of key things?
Sure. I mean, I think one of the big ones was that we’re doing okay on email. Generally speaking, we’re doing OK. So I think we came into it with some hypotheses that maybe we were over emailing or that some of what I had experienced early on in my research was gonna hold true throughout. But on the whole, we found that we were doing OK. Our constituents were saying they appreciated our email. We did get some responses back. That said too much of this kind of email, maybe tone back on that where I think we learned the most, was honestly on the internal research and just understanding the pain points that are internal senders are experiencing and the lack of coordination between Chapter National. We were at the time still managing to some quotas about how many emails certain folks could send. And so it became more of an access issue and an internal stakeholder issue more than it even became a constituent issue. And so I think those were some of the big takeaways. The other big one was that we realized that this was an opportunity to cross train our staff. Ah, lot of our teams had never done this kind of research before, So it was a really a side benefit of doing this work is that we got to train the 20 plus people that we’re working on this project in qualitative and quantitative research methods. So is the take away from this they’re doing still building that they’re not gonna take on to the next project? We didn’t realize we saw, you know, we made some assumptions going into this that folks just kind of had that in in their skill set, and they didn’t. And so it was a really wonderful chance to really cross train folks and allow them to apply learnings from this project to another
one. What? Some of the trainings that were done. This is expanding way beyond what my concept of ah of a digital marketing policy would be. What? What was what Some of the internal trainings that you did.
So one, for example, with how to conduct a qualitative interview. So how to get folks actually talking to members or to fellow organisations and how to structure that interview? What kinds of questions to ask how to aggregate and organize that data. How to score the data on how to make that actionable. So when we’ve conducted these interviews and when we’ve gathered that data, then how do we use that as an input to the policy work we’re doing? So we did a series of training. I think that was probably the biggest one that most folks had not been exposed to. But then there were other more. Um, you know, more technical quantitative trainings as well. Of just showing folks, you know, scoring, analyzing quantitative date of a date as well, whether that be survey based or from some of the actual one on one interviews that folks did. So it’s kind of across the board on, and we conducted the three of us. Here are the ones that conducted most of those trainings because the three of us, fortunately, had experience with that. So it was also stretching our training muscles as well to be able to share our knowledge non area.
Okay, Mr, could you put this in context for us? What if listeners air not part of a national organization with scores of people e mailing and with access to the full email channel? It’s that you know what? What what? What would they be looking for? around a policy. What’s that? Still the need for a much smaller organization to have some cohesion around digital engagement?
That’s a great question, tony and I think, really some of the problems that Sierra Club was trying to solve in this worker problems that everyone is trying to solve at some level, it’s just a question of scale. Some of them are very unique toe having a large and complex organizational structure. But in this case, I pull out a few problems that I think might be sort of universal problems, or at least pretty common. One is how do we work together behind the scenes? What’s the decision making protocol that leads to an email getting sent out? You know, their their approval process questions, their workflow questions, their questions of scheduling and prioritization. So if you have a couple of different messages, or if you have 100 different messages vying to go out, how do you can consistently make decisions about what’s gonna go out toe what audience and when. How do you think about quality assurance when it comes to each of your digital channels, in this case, quality assurance and making sure that there are quality standards in place for emails was a huge priority for Sierra Club. And that applies to everyone, right? Sometimes you’re just trying to get something out the door. But what’s the difference between the quality we’re shooting for with the kind of normal process where you can really plan and focus vs rapid response. So how does that change in a time like this? In fact, you know, in the era of cove it how does everything need to change? How does everything need to scale up or down happen more quickly? Had a standard still getting it get enforced. So this year, club policy is gonna address that as well on Dhe, then never questions around. A lot of questions around equity were central to this process. And Casey, I don’t know if you actually want to speak to that, because, you know, you had all of the context coming in, and then we’ve tried to center equity and in this process, both in terms of equity issues with constituents, but also equity issues between chapter and national, between staff working on different types of projects with different priorities and goals.
Yeah, I think it goes back thank you for Misty, for Team that up. I think it goes back to what we talked a little bit earlier. It was an access issue. Was was one of the biggest indicators of, like an equity disparity that we had definitely felt the chapter national level. The chapters were abiding under a quota where they could only send a certain number of emails, and that was creating a lot of friction on a lot of feelings of, you know, just that that’s an equitable. In addition, the way that we fund some of our work also feels inequitable, some to some folks. And so teams that have more bandwidth to hire more folks or toe, you know, do more creative or have writers on their teams. You know, folks, folks that are better funded campaigns that were better funded. We’re just getting further along and with email as part of their strategy. And so really, we came into this thinking, you know, as Mr already alluded to thinking externally, you know, what a record, what our equity values showing up as in our email, what is the experience on the other end of the email box? But then it’s senders. How are we ensuring that everyone has equal access to the tools to the same set of guidelines that everyone is managing to this North Star? That we’re all kind of signing off on that contract that says like, This is This is why we do email. This is how we use email. This is the purpose of email for this organization. I’m just putting some some really helpful measures in place to help, to help bring equity back at the at the center of that so that we don’t have that disparity of folks feeling like their work is not important enough or not. Priority enough. And that was definitely some of what some folks were experiencing at the time.
Time for our last break turned to communications relationships. The world runs on them. We all know this, especially if you’re a fundraiser. But really, anybody in nonprofits knows how important relationships are. Turn to is led by former journalists. So you get help building relationships with journalists. Those relationships are gonna help you when you want to be heard so that people will know you’re a thought leader in your field. Turn to specializes in working with nonprofits. They’re at turn hyphen two dot ceo, we’ve got but loads more time for digital marketing policies. Justin, we still have some time left where? You know, what else should we be talking about with respect to this? This work that that I haven’t asked you about, that we haven’t covered
Well, I think one of the things that was also a real priority for us was thinking about durability of this policy, right? So the interim policy of that we were building off of was meant to the interim, but it was almost 10 years old by the time we really started t jump into this project. And I think that’s reflective of a lot of organizations just because things move fast, right? We’re living in a very fast paced, reactive moment right now. And so, you know, being able to sort of stop and even assess what you would want a policy to look like. It’s kind of a luxury, and so we wanted to really take advantage of that, and in doing so building into the policy, things that were about ongoing governance and making sure that the policy was not going to very quickly become either a relic that became quickly outdated or just was sort of two high level, that it was sort of like, OK, yeah. I’ve read that policy. I’m gonna check this box, and I’m never gonna think about this again. We wanted it to be very relative. She related to Rather the day to day work on the ground and also have mechanisms for making sure that there were people assessing it on an annual basis who are re addressing even research. If research is to happen again at some point in the future, making sure that it become that it remains a living document that is able to scale and adapt to the needs of the non.
Yeah, you know, changing. That’s an interesting point. I’ve especially doing these interviews in the midst of our Corona virus pandemic. I’ve had a couple of guests say that organizations should be meeting like weekly to just to figure out what the priorities are, what the strategist are for the for the coming several days. And so a policy needs to be. I get flexible enough toe to allow that, but it still provides an overarching You know, you’ve both used the metaphor of the North Star, you know, some kind of alignment, but but also nimble enough to allow changes on the fly. And those changes can come, you know, even across just a couple of weeks.
Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, Casey, maybe we can even talk about. I mean, we’re finding that some of the things that we were just kind of beginning to put into place to form the policy are already being needed by the organization alive in real time.
Like what? Can you point to something, Some specifics There?
Um, one of the things. Actually, tony, you just mentioned it. Meeting weekly. We had established this idea in the policy of an email advisory group. That would be the group that would help. I’m just kind of governed the priorities and help make decisions about the, you know, the staggering of emails, the audience selection, the segmentation, things like that. We’re having to do that with Cove in 19 right now. And it’s a cross functional group that is meeting actually three times a week to just revisit those priorities and make sure that our messaging is in touch with the reality that folks are experiencing. But also still Mission aligns, Um, and so that’s happening. That’s gonna take away directly from the policy the way we actually prioritize thinking about, you know, back to our goals of you know who we are is an organization. What are equity values are We’re still leaning into all of that and making decisions based on that. So that’s one of the biggest ones. We’ve actually been actually able to test out our Furies on this policy in real time, and it’s working well.
Well, what were some of
the troubles that you were seeing? Just be more specific. I’m taking a step back like many minutes, but many topics. But what was was inconsistent messaging or inconsistent tone like there weren’t key words that were being across messages across my hitting on some of the pain points that
keep going. It was all of those things, and I think also, you know, the organization was also we were having a little bit of like a brand identity confusion. Also, you know, Sierra Club had about 50 plus brands out in the marketplace at one point, for each campaign had their own brand in their own way of talking about sayings, and that was very issues specific, but often get into a really academic level of conversation with folks who may or may not have been ready for that s o. There was brand confusion, so that came down. Also, just even the way that you mail looks went before purse, even read a word was just different logo, different colors, different format, different send frequency different. It was all of it was all of those things. Honestly,
okay. And I think one thing that I would add on if this is helpful at all Casey to is that I think a lot of the things happen to informal practices or they had started with some formal idea, but it had never been documented or shared, and so decisions would get made in strategic ways. But no one knew why those decisions got made. The kind of ramifications about all people would experience as an email sender was Well, my email didn’t get sent in, and I don’t know why it wasn’t a priority on then. All kinds of things happened like people were sending emails that weren’t well targeted. Well, that totally worked five years ago, right? It was the kind of spray and pray approach to email. But the email environment has changed, and targeting is now really the name of the game. In most communications, right kind of moved from multi channel to even sort of Omni Channel. And so really, there was this opportunity to say We all need to be on the same page from a strategy perspective about what are our standards. We want to do better. Targeting like everybody across the club really needs to be doing better targeting and Sierra Club’s gonna enable that. It’s not just going to be a top down mandate, but we have to say this is a priority. We have to put that on paper and get the agreement around it. And so there’s this whole you know, there’s crossing the policy, which is part of the work, But there’s this whole change management piece that I think is just as important as what actually goes into the policy, which is what are you going to do to make this real for people? How are you going to support people to be good actors and act according to what the policy specifies? How are you going to change people’s behavior and really kind of innate practice if they’ve had for a long time.
A lot of a lot of that is supported by the work that Justin described. You got to get the you have to have people contributing to this feeling bought into the process, and it not just be something monumental that’s foisted on them, that they had very little or no input into that. That would just be a recipe for ignoring the whole thing and continuing all the bad practices that cases on all bad appearances. Mr. You just said something. Well, we’ve gone from multi channel the Omni Channel, which is which is more. The world has moved
different green on the channel and multi channel
there s so they’re not competing approaches. They’re more like a ZX, a client and friend of mine since their layered approaches. There it’s It’s an interesting moment, right, cause many people think of Omni Channel as a buzzword. Multi channel. I’ll just can I just
got George in jail on non profit radio, so,
yeah, I get
a severe your severe offender, so there’s no possibility of
parole, can I am I can I explain myself for a mighty
Oh, yeah, What you find multi channel in Army general and how they’re different. Or did you just make the
cell? Yeah. No, I made it up. No. So multi channel is where I think most organizations, many organizations are still aspiring to multi channel. And the idea of multi channel is that you’re doing these very targeted approaches for different channels, right? And there’s some level of coordination across all your channels, But you’re just basically trying to show up in those channels, right? It’s a It’s a lot particularly for small organisations, new organizations. It’s just like, where do we need to be in the conversation and kind of what do we need to be saying? Where is Omni Channel is moving toward this? This idea. It’s almost like thinking above the level of channel and thinking about the constituent. So instead of putting channel at the X at the kind of the center of your planning, it’s putting the individual constituent literally like a segment of one person at the center of your marketing efforts or your fundraising or your advocacy and thinking. All right, how am I gonna touch this? individual constituent or talk to them and all the places that they might be right. It’s really about the constituent kind of getting an experience across a number of channels wherever they want to be. Does that make sense?
Yeah. I’m gonna quibble with the use of the term Omni Channel. It sounds it sounds like too much like a variation of multi channel, right? So, yeah, the focus of the individual and they’re getting targeted across multiple channels.
It’s not everybody who signed focusing
about the channels. I’m quibbling. I know it’s
here. Make it this time. I
don’t think it focused being on individuals getting approached via channels.
Right? So it sounds like a channel centric approach may be a different way of thinking about it. So I didn’t coin the term on the channel, but, um, you go No, look it up. It’s interesting, but I think maybe thinking about putting the constituent and the center, yeah, really repeats right that it’s about a constituent experience centred approach that literally you’re trying to get more and more and more data about constituents. So you conserve up more and more and more personalized experiences. And that doesn’t mean saying Dear first name in your emails. That means saying this person’s on text. I’m gonna send them an SMS about this breaking opportunity and then that’s gonna fall over to a Facebook ad that I know they’re going to be interested in this. So we’re going to serve up a specific Facebook ads of them about this campaigning, and if they respond to that, we know that’s a channel they want to be in. So we’re gonna push more content to them that way or move them over to Facebook Messenger. But it’s about that individual constituent, which means able to automate some of their.
And there’s there’s technology that will support these individuals messaging across multiple channels.
Yeah, I love it. A lot of it. Yep, yeah, it starts with C. R M and then involves a lot of digital engagement technology to help reach people in all of these different places. But it kind of starts with having a core centralized data view like that elusive 360 degree view of your constituents.
And I would add to that misty that it also a commitment to honor those constituent preferences. Two, In addition to honoring the channel that they’ve shown up in and are behaving in but to honor preferences. So any time that we’re gathering those preferences whether implied, stated or by behavior doing something meaningful with those and that becomes part of that, you know, keeping the constituent. Of course. So it’s no longer about just what are organizations goals are and the messaging and the things that we want to put forward its meeting and holding the tension that exists oftentimes between that organizational goal and that constituent need that they’re coming to us for And there is that tension is always in existence,
right? But if you’re gathering the information from people and learning a learning about them, but then you’re doing a disservice if you’re not honoring where they are absolutely with their interests are Justin, I’m gonna give you a shot toe. Wrap it up. Uh, leave us with Cem Some final inspirational words and you’re welcome to say my up Omni Channel If you want
todo you come up with a better term
is not free. Yeah, I’m gonna work on it. All right, Go ahead. Justin Club.
No, I mean, I don’t want to get put in jargon jail for sure. So let me choose my words. Very. Um you
know, I think that overall So
You’re mistaken. Sheriff’s l
e. I wouldn’t mind. Um you know, I think that overall, I think my biggest take away from this whole experience has been simply that, um, the communication down to the individual level isn’t a lot of what we just described. And that from the internal perspective, from the people sending emails within the Sierra Club to the people receiving those emails, that the whole sort of point end to end is that we’re paying attention to what people need and our and our desire into here. In the case of the staff, it’s whether they need in order to do their jobs effectively. How do we remove barriers between departments? We’re all at the end of the day, One Sierra Club. Well, I’m not would love to be
are all used to staffer ah, one Sierra Club and want to be perceived as such and all of the rich nuance that that means down to the local level of people who are able to respond at the chapter level. The individual things happening in communities all the way up to national campaigns that need sort of nationwide velocity in order to make make things happen. And that this policy has been able to do that and has been really specifically trying to stitch together those kinds of layers accountability, focus and resource in t broke from the staff level all the way up to our rather down to the small offices that are working with mostly volunteers. And and I think it’s really, really a strong workforce. And the fact that they were able to prioritize this, I think, really says a lot about where they want to go in the way that they want to show up in a digital states.
Okay, thanks. Thanks to all three of you for explaining the value of this, uh, keeping it in context and broadening going beyond Teoh on the channel. Mr. McLaughlin, she is the founder and principal and founder cause craft consulting. Justin works with her as senior consultant cause craft. And also Casey Crawford, director of digital content strategy at Sierra Club. Thanks to all three of you. Thanks so much for sharing. Grab. You could work this out. Thank you. Thank you, tony. Pleasure and thank you for being with tony-martignetti. Non profit radio coverage of 20 NTC were sponsored by Cougar Mountains Software Denali Fund. Is there complete accounting solution made for nonprofits? Tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant er mountain for a free 60 day trial? I know that’s Omni Channel. It might be on the general. Thank you. Uh, thanks so much for being with us next week. More from 20 and TC Or
archive show. Let’s see, let’s see what moves me. If you missed any part of today’s show, I beseech you, find it on tony-martignetti dot com were sponsored by wegner-C.P.As guiding you beyond the numbers wegner-C.P.As dot com and by turned to communications, PR and content for non profits, Your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot ceo. Our creative producer is clear, Meyerhoff shows Social Media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our Web guy, and this music is by Scott Stein with me next week for non profit radio Big non profit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great