Tag Archives: communications

Nonprofit Radio for January 16, 2023: Overcome Common Communications Conundrums

 

Erica Mills BarnhartOvercome Common Communications Conundrums

It’s time to change the way you think about marketing, says Erica Mills Barnhart. You’ll make it more successful, find your true believers, and have more fun. She’s CEO of Claxon.

 

 

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[00:01:22.42] spk_0:
Hello and welcome to Tony-Martignetti non profit radio big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite he abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d bear the pain of a phone. Yah. If I had to speak the words you missed this week’s show overcome common communications conundrums, it’s time to change the way you think about marketing says Erica Mills Barnhart, you’ll make it more successful, find your true believers and have more fun. She’s ceo of klaxon On Tony’s take two planned giving accelerator here is overcome common communications conundrums. It’s a pleasure to welcome Erica Mills Barnhart to non profit radio Erica is a communication expert, speaker, author and coach. She’s founder and Ceo of Klaxon focused on teaching companies and leaders how to use words to change workplaces and the world. Erica also serves as an associate teaching professor at the University of Washington. She’s at Erica Mills barn and the company is at klaxon hyphen communication dot com. Welcome e M B

[00:01:37.34] spk_1:
Thank you Tony for having me.

[00:01:39.41] spk_0:
Pleasure to have you. Happy new year.

[00:01:41.33] spk_1:
Happy new year back at you.

[00:02:23.35] spk_0:
Thank you. I hope you enjoyed holidays and time off very much. Let’s talk, let’s talk marketing because this, this is your, this is, this is your world and because you think about this stuff every day and others of us only get to think of it when uh things are not going right, we’re, we don’t feel like we’re, we’re having a struggling with 8.5 by 11 inch blank piece of digital paper and we feel like we have to fill it and it’s not flowing? And we feel like we’re not we’re not reaching our audiences. Maybe not in the right places, maybe not in the right ways. Were people have questions that we feel like they shouldn’t have they, people should know all this. You know, I think all this gives rise to us the rest of us thinking about marketing, but uh, you know, trying to piece it together and go as well. So I know you can uh allay our concerns

[00:02:41.93] spk_1:
and

[00:02:43.64] spk_0:
it doesn’t

[00:02:44.26] spk_1:
have to be that complicated.

[00:02:45.96] spk_0:
Thank you. Thank you. I I feel the same way about the work that I planned giving. Keep it simple. Thank you. All right, that’s enough of me talking. So you want us to change the way we think about marketing? What do you want us to do?

[00:03:00.16] spk_1:
Um I want you to start with the what? Rather than the how,

[00:03:04.21] spk_0:
here’s what I mean.

[00:03:10.17] spk_1:
So you gave, you gave a beautiful example, tony Um I mean years with a blank piece of paper, but oftentimes when we’re thinking about marketing, we go straight to like

[00:03:15.87] spk_0:
should

[00:03:16.21] spk_1:
we be on twitter? Should I be on linkedin? Should be on instagram? Should we do a newsletter? Should be online. But those are all

[00:03:21.69] spk_0:
house

[00:03:27.31] spk_1:
and there are I mean so many house, that’s the wrong question to ask

[00:03:29.45] spk_0:
first.

[00:03:30.79] spk_1:
You first want to ask, what does success look

[00:03:33.55] spk_0:
like? What

[00:03:34.94] spk_1:
are the results that we are looking to achieve? What are the outcomes that we

[00:03:38.58] spk_0:
want? Right?

[00:03:50.20] spk_1:
And these, you know, you want them to align with your organizational goals. Marketing and communication doesn’t means to an end, right? Let’s let’s start there. So it’s always a means to an end, Right? So how is it gonna

[00:03:51.26] spk_0:
support your

[00:03:52.41] spk_1:
organization? So always start with the what and then the

[00:03:55.13] spk_0:
who, who

[00:03:56.48] spk_1:
are you, who do you need to

[00:03:58.24] spk_0:
reach and

[00:03:59.48] spk_1:
engage with in order to achieve

[00:04:02.57] spk_0:
the

[00:04:19.85] spk_1:
goals that you set for your marketing, once those two things are answered and your real clear and don’t move on, like the best thing that you can do for yourself and your team, your organization is to like hold off on the how conversation until you’re what you’re who are very clear. And then, and the reason it’s so important to do in that order is because if you don’t, if you aren’t clear on who your target audience is, you’ll sort of project into the house, like, well, I love an annual report, I’m making this up, Right. Um How about we do an annual

[00:04:32.89] spk_0:
report.

[00:04:34.27] spk_1:
Well, if your target audience is, you know, gen z,

[00:04:38.40] spk_0:
they’re

[00:04:56.67] spk_1:
probably not looking for a, you know, multi page annual report, they’re looking for something really different. So it mitigates projecting your own personal preferences into your strategies and your tactics. So what, who, how, that’s what I call the Klaxon method? What, who, how what who, how always grounded in the UAE the bigger picture y for the organization, but also, you know, with what does success look like?

[00:05:01.60] spk_0:
Why is that important?

[00:05:02.78] spk_1:
Why is that goal important to the organization? Right? Who’s your target audience? Why are those

[00:05:07.40] spk_0:
people so

[00:05:08.72] spk_1:
important to you in the work that

[00:05:09.80] spk_0:
you’re doing?

[00:05:10.81] spk_1:
Right? So always what who, how backed by the way? Um And that keeps things

[00:05:36.55] spk_0:
simple. Which which I’m grateful for. Let’s let’s let’s unpack some of that. Um Marketing is a means to an end. You said it’s you’ve heard you say somewhere it’s in service to your mission. Alright. Let’s let’s let’s start with say a little more about why, why this is merely but an important means to an end.

[00:06:03.64] spk_1:
Yeah. Because if you’re not, if you’re not clear on that, like you’re sort of saying the beginning and I appreciate it. It’s like marketing can be a little existential, right? There’s a lot of the sense of like, I should know what I’m doing. We should, you know, we should be on Tiktok, we should be on all these things, right? It can be kind of like a fear guilt, shame based activity, right? Um

[00:06:07.19] spk_0:
And that’s

[00:06:07.75] spk_1:
when you’re just doing stuff for the sake of doing stuff because you know that you should do it, but you’re not quite, you know, like this, like what you were talking about? Like, I know I should be doing things, but I don’t really want to do. And I know, right. I just want to release that for people in the way. One of the ways there’s a few ways, but one of the ways that you do that is by really reminding yourself like doing this just for the sake

[00:06:27.75] spk_0:
of it, right?

[00:06:40.76] spk_1:
We’re not posting on Tiktok if you decide or linkedin, we’re not putting on newsletters or annual reports. We’re not doing any of that just for the sake of it. We’re doing it because it’s a service storm mission. It is in support of our mission. And that just, you know what I found because I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years, it can really calm people down. It can help you get grounded and then you can get that clarity and focus going

[00:06:54.14] spk_0:
alright. You also said start with outcomes. What does, what does success look like? Right. All right. So what are some of these, could you give us some like, sample outcomes? Is it, is it fundraising related? Is it, uh, engagement on linkedin related or maybe it’s all that, you know, give us some sample outcomes to, to start with,

[00:07:21.65] spk_1:
um, in for nonprofits, there’s sort of a hit parade. Right? So fundraising for sure. Um, programs definitely, um, sometimes can be internal engagement also

[00:07:27.57] spk_0:
by the way.

[00:07:28.53] spk_1:
Um, if we’re talking internal, but I’m going to keep the conversation sort of focused external. But I just want to note that, right? Sometimes you actually need internal marketing in order for the external activities. Marketing to be

[00:07:38.44] spk_0:
Successful. And internal internal outcome might be 50% reduction in turnover. Exactly like that.

[00:07:48.07] spk_1:
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. That’s a simple

[00:07:49.30] spk_0:
minded ones. I’m scratching the surface, simple minded, you know. But for

[00:08:08.12] spk_1:
non profits, it’s always gonna be fundraising and programs. Right? But there’s a third that actually it will surface uh, initially, which is raising awareness and when I work with clients

[00:08:12.42] spk_0:
so

[00:08:26.27] spk_1:
mushy. Exactly, tony It’s like very amorphous also. So that’s fine. Oftentimes you do need to raise awareness, but you’re going to add two words raising awareness. So that dot dot dot right?

[00:08:28.11] spk_0:
It’s

[00:08:28.39] spk_1:
Fine to raise awareness, but it needs again raising awareness. So that what so that you bring in, you know, more donors so that you increase your retention rate, you know, for existing donors. So that you attract 100 new clients or custom, you know, whatever it is. It’s, it’s like the means to an end to the means to an end that is marketing.

[00:08:47.87] spk_0:
Yeah, right. We have to hold our feet to the fire, raise awareness. Okay. 11 person in the community now knows that we exist who didn’t know. Okay, we raised awareness. We’re done.

[00:08:58.39] spk_1:
And you know what I want to say. Get

[00:09:01.02] spk_0:
away with that.

[00:09:01.99] spk_1:
The balance of staff versus volunteers or board members for your, for your podcast listeners. But the people who are, who offer raising awareness as a goal in and of itself, mainly board members.

[00:09:15.55] spk_0:
It’s

[00:09:16.61] spk_1:
often board members. Um but this comes from a from a beautiful place. So I also want to acknowledge that they’re so excited to work with the organization, right? Like of course they want people to know about,

[00:09:27.85] spk_0:
you know, we

[00:09:28.39] spk_1:
want more people to know. So I want to say it comes from a really beautiful place that we want to honor that, right? And and then also go to that next step, because that’s where things get strategic.

[00:09:45.21] spk_0:
Okay, okay, thank you. Alright, so, so we’re starting with our objectives. Um you you want us to have objectives that are objective neutral?

[00:09:50.75] spk_1:
Yes,

[00:09:51.61] spk_0:
talk about that.

[00:10:10.09] spk_1:
Yeah, well, so I distinguish between goals and objectives and it’s, you know, it doesn’t really matter, it’s a little nitpicky, but I have found and I have a podcast, communicate for good. And one of the early episodes is dedicated entirely to this topic, which is um I find it helpful if you’re semantically

[00:10:13.22] spk_0:
tidy,

[00:10:27.85] spk_1:
right? So that you have organizational goals and then you have marketing objectives or communication objectives and it just sort of reinforces that hierarchy of marketing and communication being in service to the organization and the organization’s mission. Um

[00:10:28.56] spk_0:
you know, and we’re here to talk about the klaxon method, so that’s fine.

[00:10:32.78] spk_1:
So we’re

[00:10:33.97] spk_0:
gonna we’re differentiate between objectives and goals. Starting with starting with objectives?

[00:10:43.92] spk_1:
Well, no, you would start with goals, organizational goals, organizational goals don’t move onto marketing. Let’s say

[00:10:47.11] spk_0:
that like

[00:10:48.41] spk_1:
if you’re not clear on your organizational goals, no marketing for you yet.

[00:10:52.49] spk_0:
And

[00:10:53.18] spk_1:
again, that can be simple too. I’m sure you’ve had other folks on here. You talked about this. You don’t need to be complicated to be effective with your goals, but you gotta have those. Otherwise you can’t move on to the marketing objectives because you don’t

[00:11:05.23] spk_0:
know, right?

[00:11:14.47] spk_1:
You don’t know what you’re being in service to. So, um, and yeah, you want the objectives to be something you can measure. Like did we make progress over, you know, a quarter or a year or whatever your time horizon is. Did we make progress? Did we increase

[00:11:21.13] spk_0:
retention? Did

[00:11:29.95] spk_1:
we grow acquisition? Do we have more donors? Right. Um, so it has to be something that you can measure. And oftentimes

[00:11:31.67] spk_0:
we

[00:11:32.42] spk_1:
resist in the nonprofit space getting this

[00:11:35.85] spk_0:
concrete right.

[00:11:43.15] spk_1:
We’re like, well, you know, we’ll just increase retention. Let’s stick with that because increasing retention is fantastic. But we don’t say by what percent right? Or by how much? Um, and this, what I find most often is that’s a fear of failure.

[00:11:53.77] spk_0:
Oh yeah. Right. We don’t,

[00:11:56.26] spk_1:
if

[00:11:57.31] spk_0:
we put a number to it now, we’re now we’re gonna be accountable at the end of whatever our time period is and you know, there’s the acronym for smart goals specific measurable. Is it attainable achievable is realistic

[00:12:14.20] spk_1:
and time and

[00:12:15.37] spk_0:
time bound. Right, okay. smart goals and that, that’s, you know, folks, you know, our listeners just google smart goals, You’ll find a million articles on

[00:12:25.38] spk_1:
smart what smart

[00:13:08.49] spk_0:
stands for and what smart means and etcetera. So, um, yeah, but right. But if we’re not gonna, but we’re not gonna be realistic and, and hold our own selves, hold ourselves in our organization accountable. You know what I mean? We’re supposed to be running this thing like a business. It’s a nonprofit business, but it is a business. I’m not saying, I don’t mean business pejoratively like cutthroat, but you know, we’re running a business here. We have employees, we have people who are serving or counting on us for, for for what we deliver. We have people who support us. They don’t necessarily buy things, but they support us with their time and their money more, You know, so, so I believe it is a business and it should be

[00:13:11.23] spk_1:
corporations, right? Nonprofits are, are technically corporations. Yeah,

[00:13:26.57] spk_0:
they are, they’re just non profit corporations. So, so, so don’t be afraid to hold yourself accountable. And, and so this leads to something that you believe that failure should be, not, not feared, but you know, accepted. And so, so, so don’t be afraid. I’m gonna give you a second. Just so folks, you know, don’t be afraid to set goals and objectives that are measurable. So, you know, whether you’ve achieved them because failure is not, um, I’m not gonna say failure is not an option, because that’s not true, failure should be, should be accepted and maybe even embraced, you learn something,

[00:13:59.38] spk_1:
it’s all in and what you do with the failure, right? I mean, it’s it’s, it’s somewhat inevitable, like we were all coming through covid, right? We tried all sorts of things, like we just had kind of had a failure fest in a lot of ways over the past few years and if you look at like how the sheer volume of things we learned,

[00:14:15.61] spk_0:
that’s

[00:14:18.03] spk_1:
success, that’s winning, right? Like failure has such a negative connotation and I do want to unpack this a little bit because I can imagine that that you have listeners and they’re like, that is not an option in my organizational culture, it’s not safe to fail. So this is, this is a leadership issue, issue in a culture

[00:14:34.67] spk_0:
issue, right?

[00:14:45.07] spk_1:
Like we have to lay this firmly at the feet of the leadership, that is where this culture either is or is not created. Um, and when, when, when failure isn’t an option just to play that out a little bit, people play

[00:14:49.72] spk_0:
small, they’re

[00:14:51.03] spk_1:
doing the same things over and over again, right? You actually become less effective over time,

[00:14:55.64] spk_0:
small, safe,

[00:14:56.80] spk_1:
safe. This is how we do it. And you know, this is how we do it a shorthand for, this feels safe to me,

[00:15:02.68] spk_0:
right?

[00:15:04.01] spk_1:
So, so a piece of this

[00:15:05.15] spk_0:
is

[00:15:08.38] spk_1:
psychological safety, this feels safe to me, right? And so you have to bring great intentionality as a leader when I’m coaching, you know, I do a lot of coaching one on one with leaders and with teams about one on one. We talk about failure a lot, like, because you have to start with what’s what’s your personal relationship with

[00:15:21.36] spk_0:
failure? Because

[00:15:27.70] spk_1:
failure feel safe to you, because if it doesn’t feel safe to you, well, that’s first step for you, right? You can’t be up there pontificating about like sailors, great, we’re gonna embrace it and meanwhile you’re like, oh my God, please, I never wanna fail. Um that’s not gonna work. You know, you have to unpack that. Like, what is your subconscious mind telling

[00:15:40.73] spk_0:
you, what

[00:15:41.00] spk_1:
are your beliefs about failure? What was modeled for you growing

[00:15:44.36] spk_0:
up around

[00:15:49.17] spk_1:
failure? You know, you have to do that inner work first that inner game, and then when you’re like, okay, I see the positivity and failure, then you can bring that forward um

[00:15:56.96] spk_0:
as

[00:15:57.51] spk_1:
a leader, but really this is about culture and it’s about leadership.

[00:16:28.35] spk_0:
Yeah. And I would say, you know, if if you’re in a place where failure is not at least accepted, I mean, we’re not gonna we’re not cheering for it, but at least accepted. You know, it may not be the right place if you because because it is it’s a place that’s playing like you said Erica it’s a place that’s playing safe and small, and, you know, we have enormous problems. Whatever whatever work you’re doing from education to animal welfare to the environment or whatever religion, whatever you’re doing, we’ve got a lot to do and playing safe and small is not going to get us there.

[00:16:48.96] spk_1:
Yeah. But you know what’s interesting tony is when we look at both like inter internal to the sector, but also external constraints to the sector. Um, but I just always wanna acknowledge when we talk about failure as it relates to nonprofits and they’re very

[00:16:53.60] spk_0:
world

[00:17:17.46] spk_1:
changing work. Like donors are not always super jazzed about the idea of failure. So there are some legitimate external constraints, funding constraints, largely funding related or partnership related, but mainly funding is what we’re talking about here, where it’s like, no, we’re not, no, that’s not on the table. And so you have to, you know, really figure that out for you. You know, look at your funding sources and risk tolerance and failure tolerance as it relates to those and then figure out like how can, how can you create a funding portfolio that does allow you to take risks. It does allow you to fail. Um, so I just always want to acknowledge, you know, uh, you know, listeners, if if you’re getting funding from pretty traditional sources that have like where that’s not an option. I just want to acknowledge that that’s a dynamic.

[00:17:42.67] spk_0:
Okay. Yeah. And I’m, I’m not disagreeing.

[00:17:46.40] spk_1:
Yeah, I don’t, I just never want to come off as like failure and embrace it and say hooray and whatnot. You know, like given given all the variables that leaders are dealing with. I just I want to acknowledge it’s not it’s it’s it’s messy, right? It’s

[00:18:25.62] spk_0:
part of that also is messaging though the way you, the way you go back to those funders and and and and even not only after the fact, but before before, you know, right before here’s something we’re going to try and launch this program and we’re gonna try to reach 2500 people in the next year, you know, but acknowledging that that’s that’s a stretch, you know? So I mean there’s there’s messaging, maybe it’s even marketing involved in all those in the whole process

[00:18:41.95] spk_1:
relationship building, right? So if from the I would hope like when I, you know, was in development that one, um you know, especially with institutional funders, um you know, you have the conversation up front, so are we gonna set big audacious goals together

[00:18:49.82] spk_0:
and if

[00:18:50.61] spk_1:
so we might not achieve them. What are we gonna do when we don’t achieve

[00:18:54.14] spk_0:
them? Right,

[00:19:08.68] spk_1:
Like and having those conversations upfront, what are we gonna do if we do? Because that’s what we’re going for, what are we gonna do if we if we don’t right? And where the course corrections gonna gonna come along the way, you know, I started talking about this idea of micro communication, which is, we tend to think about like big picture communication and big picture messaging and you know, a lot of my work with clients is

[00:19:17.25] spk_0:
developing,

[00:19:38.44] spk_1:
I call them identity statements but mission vision values, purpose statements right? Like you nail that and the rest of your messaging becomes so much easier, right? It just all closed. That’s lead domino. So we always start there. Um, so rightfully so big big ticket, big ticket messaging and communication elements. But increasingly, especially given what happened to our brains and our essential nervous systems with Covid,

[00:19:44.63] spk_0:
I’m

[00:19:45.16] spk_1:
really working with clients about being more attentive and intentional about micro communication. So what’s happening in between the big moments? How are you creating that

[00:19:54.10] spk_0:
connectivity?

[00:19:58.74] spk_1:
Right? And this can be very light touches doesn’t need to be a big deal. But like

[00:19:59.99] spk_0:
what? Give an example of what you’re talking about

[00:20:02.56] spk_1:
text message, right? Like hey, just checking in. We had a, we had a, we had a big day today, you know, we had our, you know, 100 people signed up just wanted you to know, you know, pop them a quick email, we don’t have to like wait rather than waiting for the formal report,

[00:20:16.67] spk_0:
you

[00:20:16.86] spk_1:
know, share the winds as they come in. And even if it’s just, you know, like I’m very attentive to my instincts. Um, you know, your gut, you know, people are like, oh, it’s like, well it actually is millennia

[00:20:28.67] spk_0:
of

[00:20:29.11] spk_1:
information that we all have inside of us. So I’m pretty

[00:20:31.46] spk_0:
attentive anytime

[00:20:32.66] spk_1:
somebody pops on my radar,

[00:20:34.41] spk_0:
follow your instinct. But I’m a huge believer in following your instincts,

[00:20:38.18] spk_1:
right? Like it’s telling you something

[00:20:40.91] spk_0:
anytime

[00:20:45.45] spk_1:
someone just pops on my radar and this is multiple times a day I stop what I’m doing and I pop, it depends on how they like to be communicated with, right? But it could be email. It could be a text, it could be facebook messenger, you know, whatever it’s gonna be. And I just say, hey, you popped on my radar.

[00:20:56.25] spk_0:
Uh, you

[00:20:57.20] spk_1:
know, I’m thinking of

[00:20:59.35] spk_0:
you, you

[00:21:00.20] spk_1:
can do that. You know, in a relationship with your funders and your donors as well. Like I think we’re in a place where a little more humanness is allowable. Um, and actually craved.

[00:21:12.03] spk_0:
Yeah.

[00:21:12.32] spk_1:
And also just from an internal communication perspective, there was an article recently based in Harvard Business review based on some research at the University of pennsylvania. And it was about what staff employees are looking for from their managers. And

[00:21:28.32] spk_0:
um, it was

[00:21:31.29] spk_1:
micro understanding. So this is what got me think about micro communication, right? And micro understanding meaning I don’t want you in my business. I don’t want you to be micromanaging me, I want you to understand me. Don’t you understand what happens for me over the course of my

[00:21:44.41] spk_0:
day because

[00:21:51.65] spk_1:
we are remote or hybrid for the most part, um, definitely not going away. Don’t you understand what that means for me and to me,

[00:21:54.76] spk_0:
so that

[00:21:55.14] spk_1:
was a really interesting evolution and and uh and an invitation for leaders to really be thinking what does micro understanding look like? And then my next step with that is and what is micro

[00:22:05.26] spk_0:
communication based

[00:22:06.98] spk_1:
on that? Right?

[00:22:07.97] spk_0:
All more humanness to like

[00:22:09.81] spk_1:
that Humanness,

[00:22:51.74] spk_0:
more humanity. So then um All right, so uh audacious go well, we talked to them about, you know, having audacious goals. Not not that goes back to you know, not playing small and safe and no, and that’s where this yes, our our digression on failure and micro communications came when I said it may not be the right place for you. What I meant was you know, if if leadership is not accommodating at you know, at least accommodating being audacious willingness to fail. Uh you know, then you have to evaluate whether that culture can change and if you’re not sure that it can evaluate whether that culture is the right place for you. That so that that was you know, I’ve

[00:23:02.98] spk_1:
also worked with um you know, leaders who

[00:23:08.55] spk_0:
were they

[00:23:09.18] spk_1:
are genuinely risk averse,

[00:23:10.74] spk_0:
but

[00:23:24.71] spk_1:
that does not, that doesn’t fire them up. It makes it very uncomfortable, right? So I just wanna say on the other side of it, you know, just is it a culture fit for you can be anywhere along that continuum. But I I love the question right? Like is this a fit for me? Right? I feel like so often

[00:23:30.51] spk_0:
we’re

[00:23:31.33] spk_1:
like, you know, when I, when I teach at the university of Washington in the oven school, the public policy and governance, um when I talk to my students and I mainly work with graduate students, so they’re getting their master’s degrees, They’re like rock stars, they’re amazing, they’re just amazing. And they get to the point in the, you know, in their time and they’re interviewing for jobs. And I always say to them, is

[00:23:51.91] spk_0:
when

[00:24:03.67] spk_1:
they’re making you the offer, you you you are in the power position, ask for what you want because it’s like, oh my God, they want me and then you don’t negotiate because you’re like, oh, they, they like me. Oh, and I’m like, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. You hold all the cards in that

[00:24:09.85] spk_0:
moment.

[00:24:10.69] spk_1:
They don’t want to go through that again. You hold all the cards and it’s sort of similar like,

[00:24:16.40] spk_0:
and we’re seeing this

[00:24:24.37] spk_1:
with quiet quitting and, you know, a lot of other movements. It’s like this openness, like maybe this isn’t what I want. And so there’s a lot of, you know, downsides and tough stuff happening right now obviously,

[00:24:29.74] spk_0:
but I think of

[00:24:51.07] spk_1:
bright, I mean I’m I’m a total optimist by nature. Um so I’m always looking for the silver lining in the bright spots while acknowledging the darkness um is this for me, is this what I want? Is this who I want to be? Is this where I want to be? You know, like there’s just a different and that that’s like authoring your life and I want to, I just want to invite listeners to like, this is your one, this is it, Right?

[00:24:57.13] spk_0:
Uh

[00:24:58.55] spk_1:
and you’re wonderful.

[00:24:59.98] spk_0:
And

[00:25:08.49] spk_1:
so are you offering your life, are you like making it happen for you as opposed to like that? It’s happening to me, stance is demoralizing and again, from a leadership perspective, are you inviting that sense

[00:25:12.76] spk_0:
of,

[00:25:13.71] spk_1:
is this for me? How is this for me? Um and encouraging

[00:25:17.32] spk_0:
that regardless

[00:25:18.75] spk_1:
of your risk tolerance by the way?

[00:26:28.28] spk_0:
Right. Right. I love the idea of making the life that you want, not defaulting into the life that lots of other people have made before you just because you know, and that might be taking a year or two off before, you know, to do, to do volunteer work or to travel and you know, there there are myriad different ways. It involves your personal relationships, your, your professional relationships, your relationship with family. I mean turn this into a therapy session, but intentional about the life that you make for yourself and a significant part of that, although it seems like maybe in declining proportion, but still significant is your work. The work you do. The reason I say that maybe in declining proportion is because since the pandemic, I think work has become less significant to large swaths of, I don’t know about the world. So I’ll just focus on our country. I think work has become less or

[00:26:39.98] spk_1:
at least differently significant. Like the way I’m experiencing it with my clients and you know, friends and colleagues, it’s differently significant, which isn’t good or bad, but it does feel different, right? Like it’s holding different space in people’s lives. And I think part of that is the sense of agency that’s

[00:26:46.61] spk_0:
like maybe it doesn’t

[00:26:47.85] spk_1:
have to look like this. And also by the way, you can honor,

[00:26:51.11] spk_0:
you

[00:26:59.26] spk_1:
could like, you know, I’m a woman. I like there are women who carved the path so that I could do what I want to do and I honor

[00:27:00.05] spk_0:
that while

[00:27:01.57] spk_1:
doing things differently and while doing them on my own terms, like you can hold both of that and I think sometimes it can feel a little like, but this is how insert person who’s important to you or who you respect, did things you can respect and honor that

[00:27:15.20] spk_0:
and do

[00:27:16.59] spk_1:
it your own way.

[00:27:17.36] spk_0:
Yeah, we can hold both these

[00:27:18.73] spk_1:
thoughts. You can hold both

[00:27:29.36] spk_0:
of course. Alright, well I made us digress from uh strict marketing communication. So let’s let’s go a little back. Um true believers. We have you want us to find true believers, help us. What are what are, who are our true believers and or what are they in the abstract And how do we find our

[00:27:59.69] spk_1:
okay, so in the world for marketing, generally speaking, in particular for nonprofits? There are three types of body of people in your audience is okay. And I’m not using these terms in their religious sense, using them sort of neutrally. Okay believers, agnostics and atheists. So believers believe what you believe. If you are on a mission to eradicate extreme global poverty, they’re like, yes to that. If it’s too, you know, spayed and neutered dogs and their yes to that, right? They believe what you believe. Agnostics might believe what you believe.

[00:28:14.55] spk_0:
Um, but

[00:28:15.88] spk_1:
you need to persuade them a little bit, right? Maybe it’s not top of their list or maybe it’s like, how you do it or whatever, but they’re they’re removable, right? You can, you can,

[00:28:23.26] spk_0:
you

[00:28:25.06] spk_1:
know, so you might think of them as like uninitiated believers.

[00:28:28.81] spk_0:
Okay.

[00:28:34.04] spk_1:
But they’re they’re they’re in the middle and then atheists don’t believe what you believe. And um, so one thing that comes up is it feels fantastic to convert an atheist, right? Like any time I do a big public talk and we talk about this, there’s always somebody who never believes, like, yeah, but there was this guy and you know, he was, he was against us. He was again, you know, we really kept working on him and now he’s a, you know, he’s a donor. My question back is that’s great. But what was the opportunity cost of converting one? Atheist versus connecting with 1000

[00:29:01.34] spk_0:
believers

[00:29:02.58] spk_1:
like which one? Which one is advancing your mission more dramatically? I mean, except in the world of politics, I just wanna, that’s the caveat, that’s its own little different things.

[00:29:12.90] spk_0:
Um, it’s

[00:29:14.91] spk_1:
all about connecting with your, with your believers.

[00:31:38.28] spk_0:
It’s time for Tony’s take two. It’s planned giving accelerator season. I’m giving 50% off the full tuition for the month of january. So all this month, 50% off full tuition. The class starts in early March 1st week of March and will be done by Memorial Day. It’s a three month class. You’ll spend an hour a week with me. Well that may not be the biggest selling point. You’ll spend an hour a week with your, who will become your friends in our zoom meetings always set up as meetings, not webinars. If you know the difference, you’ll know that you can talk to each other. There’s no, there’s no putting questions and comments in a chat box always set up as meetings. These folks will become your friends. They will be similarly situated in small and midsize nonprofits wanting to launch planned giving. All right. This is, this is what we do together. Oh and and I am there too. And I’m teaching and you know, I’ll be guiding you, giving you the resources you need, like sample, um, Uh, donor letters, template letters, um, marketing materials? Uh, a power point for when you talk to your board and that’ll be one of the meetings we have together is acquainting your board with planned giving and perhaps soliciting your board, identifying your top prospects and soliciting them, identifying your tier two prospects and identifying them, etc. All the info is at planned giving accelerator dot com. I hope you’ll be with me, love to have you. And that’s Tony’s take two. We’ve got boo koo but loads more time for overcome common communications conundrums with Erica Mills Barnhart. Give us some, give us some ideas about how to, how to get, maybe get somebody from agnostic to, uh, to believe her. Those people are those, they work the return on investment. The agnostic community.

[00:31:50.77] spk_1:
Yeah. You know, for the most part, you have to be doing both. So, so a lot of marketing those optimization, right? So it’s for whom are we optimizing? Um, and in general,

[00:31:52.86] spk_0:
if you’re

[00:31:53.42] spk_1:
optimizing well, like with your messaging, right? So, so you have a message and it really speaks to the hopes Dreams, wants needs

[00:32:00.22] spk_0:
of

[00:32:01.22] spk_1:
your believers. That’s gonna be enough to like get your agnostics interest is going to perk up their ears for your believers. They’re like woo. And you’re off to the races for your agnostics. Um,

[00:32:13.34] spk_0:
it’s gonna take

[00:32:14.01] spk_1:
just a little more conversation,

[00:32:15.80] spk_0:
right?

[00:32:16.70] spk_1:
And so, you know, questions are your friend,

[00:32:20.07] spk_0:
like

[00:32:32.25] spk_1:
we default into this. Like if I tell them everything out of the gate, then maybe I’ll hit on something and that is interesting to them and you end up just like, right? And I always say when you tell someone everything, they remember nothing and that comes from like a worried place actually, right? So again, like that you’re gonna hear a theme which is

[00:32:38.05] spk_0:
like you’re

[00:32:39.37] spk_1:
the authority

[00:32:40.86] spk_0:
in

[00:32:41.13] spk_1:
what your organization does show up as the authority ask questions, right? Because the answers to the question, that’s how you’re gonna get that, then you know what they’re interested in and you can feel a little scary at first to do this. If again, if it’s not we’re used to doing or that’s not the culture, um,

[00:32:58.53] spk_0:
get

[00:32:58.82] spk_1:
them, you know, ask questions, just find out

[00:33:00.99] spk_0:
what, what

[00:33:02.42] spk_1:
is it about, what you do specifically? So it’s like there’s a level of specificity and understanding agnostics that you need to move them might refer to it as an engagement cycle. From knowing the organization to understanding the organization, to engaging

[00:33:17.89] spk_0:
believers

[00:33:18.63] spk_1:
move along that cycle real quickly.

[00:33:20.35] spk_0:
You need

[00:33:21.07] spk_1:
to spend more time that zone of understanding and helping them understand what you do with agnostics.

[00:33:27.72] spk_0:
Is this all consistent with uh Simon Sinek, his his core belief that people don’t buy what you what won’t buy, what you don’t buy what you do, they buy, why you do

[00:33:41.92] spk_1:
it

[00:33:46.23] spk_0:
consistent? Okay, okay, so say a little more about the engagement cycle now, you can’t shortchange non profit listeners with like a 12th drive by of the engagement cycle.

[00:34:15.73] spk_1:
I mean marketing and messaging is like very fundamentally all about moving folks around this engagement cycle. And it actually doesn’t matter if you’re like buying toothpaste or you’re trying to get, you know, a new donor. It’s like everyone has to go from knowing to understanding to engaging. And I got, I got specific about this because what can happen, this is unique to nonprofits is because we care so deeply and passionately about what we’re doing. There’s kind of this like to know me is to love me, to know me is to engage, why wouldn’t

[00:34:24.05] spk_0:
you Right?

[00:34:25.73] spk_1:
And then you skip over

[00:34:28.43] spk_0:
the

[00:34:38.12] spk_1:
understand phase and, and that’s really a miss and it’s a miss because like let’s take the events I pick on events a lot. Um, events are a classic example of moving someone from knowing to engaging right? Like I care about something I invite you tony and some other folks to sit at my table at, you know, the lunch and the dinner you come because you know me, maybe you care maybe you don’t and then there’s an

[00:34:53.45] spk_0:
ask rightfully.

[00:34:54.84] spk_1:
So, you know, we should ask for the support.

[00:34:58.51] spk_0:
But if

[00:34:58.93] spk_1:
you go from no to engage that

[00:35:00.39] spk_0:
quickly and

[00:35:08.97] spk_1:
you don’t plan and this is what I see again and again and again with nonprofits is there isn’t a plan for, okay, how am I going to go back to tony and

[00:35:09.71] spk_0:
sort of,

[00:35:10.38] spk_1:
you know, back up the caboose like understanding what what you tony care about as it relates to my organization.

[00:35:15.74] spk_0:
The important follow up

[00:35:22.23] spk_1:
the important what Yes, very intentional follow up. Um, and this is where you know, like retention comes into play, but it’s really interesting. Like you know, you say these things just like, why wouldn’t you do that? That’s weird. Why are you saying that out loud? Of course you would do that. It’s, it’s stunning how often it doesn’t happen. And it is this like really fabulous.

[00:35:38.80] spk_0:
Well tony

[00:35:39.55] spk_1:
Gave money of course he loves what we do and we lump, you know, then we lump you in with somebody who’s given to the organization for five

[00:35:45.40] spk_0:
years now.

[00:35:49.29] spk_1:
Your current donor, not everybody does this. I’m sure listeners, I’m sure there’s some of you like, no, no, we nailed it on the follow up. Like, you know, that’s not so I’m, I’m painting a wide with wide

[00:35:58.73] spk_0:
broad

[00:36:05.49] spk_1:
brush strokes here. But I have seen this so often. Um, and it’s heartbreaking because then you don’t, you know, maybe you don’t come back to the event the next year. You haven’t been nurtured and then your one time donor and that’s super

[00:36:12.46] spk_0:
expensive. That

[00:36:13.86] spk_1:
is low R. O I

[00:36:15.74] spk_0:
I

[00:36:15.97] spk_1:
want the highest return on investment possible.

[00:36:23.45] spk_0:
I’m guessing you’re a big believer in segmentation. Yes, I believe segmentation,

[00:36:26.43] spk_1:
but but not over segmenting.

[00:36:29.46] spk_0:
I

[00:36:29.89] spk_1:
feel like given some of the databases that we

[00:36:32.20] spk_0:
have,

[00:36:36.46] spk_1:
you can almost use it as a stalling tactic like well we’re not ready to like send out our appeals because we haven’t you know, segmented enough. So I just like it’s

[00:36:44.03] spk_0:
it’s a

[00:36:52.28] spk_1:
bit of an art. There’s an art to the segmentation in addition to the science. So yes. I’m a fan of segmenting. Um and not crossing the line into over segmentation as sort of a stalling tactic to doing the work.

[00:36:59.11] spk_0:
All right. I’m not I’m not clear on this. I mean anything. Yeah, I agree. I mean anything can be overdone and used as a used as an excuse uh as an excuse for immobility. What what what is what what’s over segmentation? Like what’s

[00:37:15.61] spk_1:
your database rather than sending out the appeal?

[00:37:17.85] spk_0:
Oh okay.

[00:37:20.95] spk_1:
Yeah.

[00:37:22.33] spk_0:
And and segmenting we want to segment right by interest. Maybe if we know someone is interested in the spay neuter program then then those are the those are the touch points. Those are the data points. Those are the stories we’re gonna share with them. Not the uh not the adoption, not the adoption and rescue program.

[00:38:06.00] spk_1:
Yeah exactly. Like what are what are their interests? And so you know any organization will know in advance. Like here’s kind of our top three top three things we do. Top three ways that we services, we offer our ways that we go about um taking care of animals. Um So you start there again offering, right? So yes you want the information and you know your organization best. So start there and then you can put people in the file folders as it were.

[00:38:20.57] spk_0:
And you’re gonna find out what their interests are, not only by their giving, but by asking the questions that you were talking about earlier. You know, what, what moves you about our work? What brought you to us? What do you love? And

[00:38:21.93] spk_1:
how do you like to be communicated with?

[00:38:24.28] spk_0:
Yeah,

[00:38:32.28] spk_1:
we have like a pretty strong email default setting now, I would say. Um, not everybody loves

[00:38:34.26] spk_0:
that. You

[00:38:46.37] spk_1:
know, I’m seeing, I have clients who are having great success with kind of not, not not doing email. That’s always gonna be a part of what you’re doing. But taking the time to like, actually, you know, back to snail mail. Um, you know, really working direct mail. I feel like direct mail is like having to come back.

[00:38:54.25] spk_0:
Yeah. It’s always strong. I think it’s always so

[00:38:57.88] spk_1:
much stronger than people. Whenever I like show the stats on direct mail, they’re like, what?

[00:39:01.91] spk_0:
Especially when you’re writing to people who love you already. Your mail is not their junk mail, they’re giving to you. They’re supporting you. They’re spending either their time or their money with you. They’re gonna open your letters.

[00:39:24.27] spk_1:
Yeah. I spent a lot of time talking about delight with my clients. How can you delight them? And it’s, it’s just, I mean, it’s a delightful conversation to talk about delight a lot of the work, You know that that nonprofits do is it’s heavy, it’s hard. Um

[00:39:36.19] spk_0:
And so delight

[00:39:36.92] spk_1:
can feel a little antithetical uh trivializing the work. And so I’m not trying to, you know, don’t trivialize the work and don’t trivialize what you’re sharing. Um But can you can you create delight in

[00:39:50.65] spk_0:
how

[00:39:51.08] spk_1:
it is delivered in some form or fashion? I think delight is a gift um in this day and age and it activates people’s particular activating system, which is opens, opens them up to whatever comes next. It

[00:40:03.25] spk_0:
also sounds like fun, right? You can be willing to have fun. Don’t be afraid to have fun. Right?

[00:40:08.60] spk_1:
Yes.

[00:40:10.03] spk_0:
Fun. Yeah.

[00:40:11.83] spk_1:
Yeah. I mean listeners can’t see it, but I do have a string

[00:40:14.33] spk_0:
of holiday

[00:40:15.77] spk_1:
lights around my neck.

[00:40:16.75] spk_0:
I was thinking about saying it right this minute to yeah, got christmas lights multicolor.

[00:40:21.22] spk_1:
I mean it’s been an intense year.

[00:40:24.21] spk_0:
It’s a necklace necklace of

[00:40:25.80] spk_1:
christmas.

[00:40:26.68] spk_0:
The old, the old style big bulb type, not the

[00:40:30.09] spk_1:
right. Yeah. There’s nothing, there’s nothing sophisticated about these lights

[00:40:35.05] spk_0:
there.

[00:40:39.10] spk_1:
Dr Seuss lights. And I put it on this morning cause I’m, you know, I’m talking with you and I like have a lot of stuff and I’m like let’s have a lot of fun

[00:40:56.85] spk_0:
please please do? Alright, we still have more time together. E. M. B. Erica Mills Barnhart. What else, what else would you like to talk about marketing doing it differently. Thinking differently that we haven’t talked about yet.

[00:41:23.14] spk_1:
You know, one of the things I, this is not a unique to me type of thing, but I really invite listeners to think about what they can let go of to do less. What I consistently see is organizations doing too many things. Um and often the reason for that is far more like fear of missing out often, often to double down that this comes from board members. So if you’re a board member listening, you may have a fabulous idea for marketing, Thank you very much for that. And

[00:41:32.87] spk_0:
go

[00:42:05.73] spk_1:
back to the klaxon method, what does success look like? Who’s our target audience? So does your idea, which is a, how is that really going to resonate with the target market? This is why working the method is so important. Part of it. It grew out of like I wanted a way for to kind of mitigate positional authority negatively impacting marketing outcomes, right? Because if you’re a staff member it can be tough to say no right, It really can be. And so then you end up with kind of a bloated number of marketing activities that you’re doing. Um so it’s early in the year, like the work I’m gonna be doing with clients and I am hosting monthly free Ask me Anything sessions starting in january 2023 So you’re listening and you’re curious, come to come to an A. M. A. Right? Like what can I take off my plate? I’ve been doing this so long that it’s, and I’m right, I’m objective. So I can be like, don’t do that.

[00:42:25.49] spk_0:
Take that. Where can we learn about the go to

[00:42:35.03] spk_1:
Klaxon dash communication dot com, backslash newsletter sign up because it’s for newsletter subscribers. That’s how you’re going to find out about like get the zoom link and all

[00:42:39.53] spk_0:
that. You say dash. I say hyphen hyphen. Okay. You don’t mind hyphen.

[00:42:43.99] spk_1:
Maybe that’s an east coast west coast thing.

[00:42:50.91] spk_0:
Maybe it is Klaxon dash Klaxon hyphen. You say you would say dot com though, right? You wouldn’t say that period

[00:42:55.32] spk_1:
correct. I just think about that. Yeah. Dot com. Dot org.

[00:43:01.43] spk_0:
It’s your company. Use dash. I just, I don’t know. I learned hyphen maybe in law school. Maybe I learned hyphen in law school. I don’t know.

[00:43:07.86] spk_1:
Oh, 100% seems lawyer lawyerly.

[00:43:11.04] spk_0:
It sounds like it’s

[00:43:11.94] spk_1:
very technically accurate,

[00:43:13.49] spk_0:
right? Like aiding and abetting it’s, you know, you have to duplicate the words in case you didn’t get it with aiding. Like I gotta, I gotta double down with abetting. Yeah.

[00:43:29.28] spk_1:
So that’s one thing I would say and part of it is like I just want to, I give all your listeners and all non profit people? Just a permission slip to do less.

[00:43:30.40] spk_0:
What kinds of things, what kinds of things we do less of?

[00:43:37.36] spk_1:
Don’t be on so many social media channels, knock it off. You don’t need to be on all of them unless you are a very, very large organization, which as we all know listeners. So there aren’t that many nonprofits that are big enough to support

[00:43:46.64] spk_0:
the very big right University of Washington is not listening to us

[00:43:50.29] spk_1:
go dogs. But no, they’re not

[00:44:05.61] spk_0:
Erica is in Seattle Seattle Washington. Um, well we just talked, well, my guests just last week, I talked about what’s going on twitter amy sample ward and you know, for the new year, whether whether you want twitter maybe, you know, her advice was just evaluated objectively.

[00:44:12.81] spk_1:
I literally tony Just had this conversation with my client yesterday. One of them was

[00:44:16.92] spk_0:
a good time to think, take a step back,

[00:44:20.96] spk_1:
take a step back. But,

[00:44:21.75] spk_0:
and, and

[00:44:23.22] spk_1:
you know that, that I don’t, I mean I haven’t listened yet what Amy said, but I do and believe everything Amy says by the way, she’s brilliant.

[00:44:30.47] spk_0:
She’s on, she’s on all the time. You know, Amy sample

[00:44:32.58] spk_1:
ward. Yeah,

[00:44:33.78] spk_0:
she’s a regular. She’s my, our technology and social media contributor on the show.

[00:44:39.47] spk_1:
Yeah, way back when I worked for an organization called End Power. So we put technology into the hands of nonprofits and so we

[00:44:46.10] spk_0:
started

[00:44:55.61] spk_1:
crossing paths then. So we’ve orbited for a long time. Um, it’s a values decision to a certain extent. Right? So just with that twitter piece, she spoke to this?

[00:44:57.62] spk_0:
Here’s the like, yeah,

[00:44:59.42] spk_1:
are, are, are are people there? So who’s your target audience? If so Okay, that’s that’s one piece of equation but also like how does this align with our values as an organization? So that that’s really twitter is really a twofold choice whereas the rest of them

[00:45:11.82] spk_0:
um you

[00:45:13.18] spk_1:
know, linkedin facebook, I would,

[00:45:15.95] spk_0:
what

[00:45:17.75] spk_1:
I generally say is beyond one.

[00:45:21.37] spk_0:
Yeah,

[00:45:22.83] spk_1:
Beyond one. Be fully on one be the organization where if you’re on linkedin and you, you know, you’ve got the algorithm going for you. People are like, Oh my God, it’s you know, it’s so and so again insert the name of your organization like that. It’s your omnipresent.

[00:45:38.34] spk_0:
I

[00:45:41.71] spk_1:
Would rather have the clients be omnipresent on one channel Then sort of, you know, not even blinking onto the radar of the 17 different social media. I mean there’s a hit parade of five basically, but I’d rather have you beyond present on one once you have that nail.

[00:45:53.03] spk_0:
I had

[00:45:53.33] spk_1:
Another, you know, some organizations can do to it’s fine, but even at two. oftentimes I see

[00:46:00.19] spk_0:
diminishing diminishing

[00:46:01.63] spk_1:
returns for clients.

[00:46:02.77] spk_0:
I

[00:46:07.65] spk_1:
mean I run a communication firm right here on Lincoln period full stop.

[00:46:12.03] spk_0:
What what’s well at Erica mills barn, is that not?

[00:46:16.03] spk_1:
Yeah, yeah, that was my choice to sort of be the face of

[00:46:19.37] spk_0:
um

[00:46:20.22] spk_1:
so that’s our

[00:46:21.38] spk_0:
the company. Okay, so the company is strictly on linkedin,

[00:46:24.59] spk_1:
yep. Gotcha.

[00:46:25.67] spk_0:
Okay. Klaxon, yep. Alright permission to do less

[00:46:30.32] spk_1:
permission to do less permission to less because you’re going to do it better and you’re gonna feel like

[00:46:36.56] spk_0:
just you’re going to

[00:47:10.03] spk_1:
feel the energy of it. And I actually, because I do have, you know, people call it street, but actually it’s quantum physics um and metaphysics, which is like, if you’re on, I’m gonna make this up, right? If you’re on five channels right now where you’re doing five or six things, I want you to write each of them on a piece of paper. I want you to go what who, how make a strategic informed choice about which you’re gonna keep and the ones that you’re gonna release, you’re gonna go burn the scrap of paper. It is so gratifying and there’s something energetically about that. I mean, one of the things that I talked about a lot is the energetic of language in general, right? So words, we hear words matter, Words matter because they actually are matter.

[00:47:21.88] spk_0:
Um

[00:47:22.19] spk_1:
So they abide by all of the universal laws of physics and thermodynamics, just like anything else. So, the words themselves have energy.

[00:47:30.61] spk_0:
Every

[00:47:31.39] spk_1:
word has its own energy, the way you deliver it can shift the energy right? Um and so as you’re like, that’s why just releasing and having to change form is really an important part of the process. Plus it’s

[00:47:43.26] spk_0:
fun theme

[00:47:46.41] spk_1:
of the day, it’s fun, but I mean, you know, be safe about your burning and I’m not like suggesting

[00:47:50.73] spk_0:
you may not be

[00:47:52.11] spk_1:
safe and have fun with burning things, but

[00:47:55.30] spk_0:
um,

[00:47:56.13] spk_1:
it really helps because otherwise there’s going to be this niggle that’s like, oh, but we still have that like profile up so maybe we should be doing something or yeah, just release that for yourself. Political,

[00:48:06.52] spk_0:
you deserve it.

[00:48:08.10] spk_1:
But every single person listening deserves to do what they’re doing in a way that feels amazing to them.

[00:48:15.15] spk_0:
Alright, that’s empowering. That’s

[00:48:16.80] spk_1:
empowering.

[00:48:18.90] spk_0:
So words follow the laws of physics and thermodynamics.

[00:48:27.09] spk_1:
Their energy. They’re literally

[00:48:27.78] spk_0:
energy, right?

[00:48:29.10] spk_1:
Because they’re matter

[00:48:43.79] spk_0:
words are matter. Well paper that words could be written on his matter, but aren’t the words ephemeral and why

[00:48:44.04] spk_1:
would they be?

[00:48:55.19] spk_0:
Because they’re vocalized. Yeah. So they don’t they, they vaporize after they’ve been articulated

[00:48:56.50] spk_1:
tony Has anybody said ever said anything to you that hurt your feelings?

[00:49:00.03] spk_0:
Sure.

[00:49:02.43] spk_1:
Did that feeling vaporized as soon as the words left their mouth?

[00:49:10.40] spk_0:
No, Yeah, we’re

[00:49:13.77] spk_1:
trained to think of them as ephemeral and they are not their energy.

[00:49:17.70] spk_0:
Hmm

[00:49:18.83] spk_1:
Yeah, that blows people’s minds most the time. Your listeners are like, oh my God, they’re talking about, what are they talking about now? So let me get concrete about this. I mean, I love talking about it

[00:49:28.88] spk_0:
at

[00:49:29.08] spk_1:
this level, but I want to make this practical for listeners. Um, this, so when I’m creating like identity statements, mission vision values purpose. Um, we look at and there’s a tool were to fire dot

[00:49:40.23] spk_0:
com, you can

[00:49:44.81] spk_1:
go there, you can put in any word you want. Um, and it is a massive database powers is we pulled every single word of 2503 nonprofit websites. This allowed us to generalize to the entire sector at a 95% confidence interval for any of my fellow geeks out there. That’s what, that’s the bar that you want. Right? So you can go there, put in any word you want and it’s going to tell you it’s going to give you a red, orange or

[00:50:05.36] spk_0:
green.

[00:50:06.76] spk_1:
Red means this is, this word is used a lot by nonprofits a lot. So you, you, it’s not gonna, people are gonna notice it.

[00:50:14.84] spk_0:
Impact, impact

[00:50:17.30] spk_1:
is up there. I’ll tell you, I always joke that provide is the lamest verb ever. Verbs are very

[00:50:22.37] spk_0:
important. It’s

[00:50:24.02] spk_1:
The 4th most used

[00:50:24.92] spk_0:
verb by

[00:50:25.98] spk_1:
nonprofit. So what that means is no one’s going to notice that

[00:50:28.60] spk_0:
verb

[00:50:29.61] spk_1:
and verbs represent the change that you’re committed to creating the world world

[00:50:33.83] spk_0:
and so you

[00:50:34.36] spk_1:
want a verb that’s like, oh,

[00:50:35.86] spk_0:
okay, interesting.

[00:51:21.37] spk_1:
Okay. Um, so there’s always a better verb can provide so you can put that in and, and, and the green ones so you can get some, you know, synergy is still green. It’s not saying like definitely use it. It is giving you feedback about the extent to which somebody is probably going to notice the word or not. So, so in language we have function words and content words, function words are like the and but like our brains don’t register those because our brains can’t register everything right? Like our subconscious mind is processing 11 million bits of information per second. And that’s condensed into like 40 ish pieces of information for our conscious mind. So our brains are very efficient because they have to be and so for a messaging perspective, you

[00:51:24.35] spk_0:
Know, your your your light bulb necklaces overloading my my my conscious and subconscious processing like 20 million bits a second because I got I got these lights. It’s a good thing you didn’t put them. I asked her to put them on flashing and she said no, give me a headache. It’s a good thing. You didn’t do that. I’m sorry, go ahead. I’m sorry.

[00:52:02.28] spk_1:
Yeah. So that’s why, you know, when we’re creating and again, this is the most important set of statements that you’re ever gonna write as an organization. So it’s worth the investment to do it well. And you’re looking for like that combination of like, oh yeah, that makes sense. And like, oh that would interest me. I’m not used to seeing that quite in that context. You know, that’s the art. That’s why like after 20 years of working with organizations writing those. I never get tired of that. That’s just

[00:52:12.03] spk_0:
fun. You like to read fiction.

[00:52:14.56] spk_1:
Yeah, I read

[00:52:55.90] spk_0:
fiction fiction much more than non more southern nonfiction use of use of language word word choice. You know, it sometimes it stops me. I don’t read I don’t read that much fiction actually. But when I do you know someone’s word choices. Oh man she wrote she wrote that he threaded them through the narrow pathway, not that he led them or or took them, he threaded them through the narrow pathway that happens to be part of a book that it stays with me. See words words, words follow the laws of physics and thermodynamics. I told you that you thought they were ephemeral her, you know this is Joyce. Uh

[00:52:59.39] spk_1:
it is one of those things that can we just pause on this for a second.

[00:53:01.75] spk_0:
Like every

[00:53:03.01] spk_1:
time when I first talked about that with somebody shared their like wait my range is hurt and then you’re like,

[00:53:08.62] spk_0:
oh that makes a lot of sense. Like

[00:53:10.60] spk_1:
once you see it you see it. Yeah,

[00:53:12.28] spk_0:
well you grounded it well and you know, hurtful, hurtful words and also

[00:53:16.03] spk_1:
start to go there positive

[00:53:17.05] spk_0:
positive words.

[00:53:18.10] spk_1:
Yeah, like sorry,

[00:53:21.84] spk_0:
thoughtful, thoughtful words could get me going for a month. I can think about, oh she she took the show to her board and it led to a discussion which led to an action and you know, I could go on six months on that. So yeah, okay.

[00:53:33.03] spk_1:
Either way words are on a continuum just like all energetic things are on a continuum. But yeah, but they but they do either have a negative or positive charge. So

[00:53:43.26] spk_0:
is that your background? You have a degree in physics sciences? No, my

[00:53:47.72] spk_1:
dad was a professor

[00:53:50.29] spk_0:
of

[00:54:06.08] spk_1:
engineering. I artfully um didn’t do any, I didn’t do chemistry. I didn’t do physics. I like avoided everything in that realm. But later I really started seeing like it’s um

[00:54:07.13] spk_0:
how

[00:54:08.27] spk_1:
relevant is everything in life. So I sort of did more self study, but I do just I do run things past my dad. Like when I landed on that, I think I think words abide by all the so I sent my dad a note and he said, let me think about that for a little bit. He came back and he said, yes,

[00:54:24.36] spk_0:
you’re right.

[00:54:27.76] spk_1:
So I press your test all of these things because I do not have a background in it

[00:54:43.60] spk_0:
on your dad’s responses. Classic engineer. Let me think. Let me think about the problem. I think about the question. You think about the question and the solution and the answer. All right. But you sound like me. Like I took physics for poets in college. No,

[00:54:44.82] spk_1:
my daughter is a senior, so she’s applying to colleges and graduate.

[00:54:50.34] spk_0:
My

[00:54:50.95] spk_1:
daughter is a senior

[00:54:52.51] spk_0:
in

[00:54:53.10] spk_1:
high school. And so the other day, she said, mom didn’t you you like majored in french and political science, didn’t you? As an undergrad?

[00:55:00.38] spk_0:
And I was like, yeah,

[00:55:03.40] spk_1:
she’s like why? It’s like, I don’t know, you know, I’ve done fine, so, but she is very much, you know, she wants to be a neuroscientist and she’s very,

[00:55:11.53] spk_0:
she follows her grandfather sciences strictly rooted in the sciences Alright. Yeah. Where did your dad teach, Where did your dad teach?

[00:55:19.02] spk_1:
University of british Columbia?

[00:55:21.74] spk_0:
You

[00:55:23.22] spk_1:
will notice like a little weirdness to have

[00:55:25.79] spk_0:
A little further north in Seattle, right, you’re from Vancouver, two

[00:55:35.33] spk_1:
Hours north of here, you hit the border about 45 minutes past that you get to Vancouver, that’s why I still say a couple of things weird like my mom and passed and I’ve been places

[00:55:39.43] spk_0:
because that’s where I was born. Your mom being right, why don’t you leave us with some inspiration, Erica Mills,

[00:55:46.04] spk_1:
tony Come

[00:55:48.64] spk_0:
on, take us out with, take us out with good marketing inspiration, you’re loaded with it. What do you come in? Come on, this is a walk in the park for you.

[00:56:46.73] spk_1:
I’m going to double down on some of the things I said, I really, I mean I’m kind of on a bender about do less, be kinder to yourself by doing less, really want that. I want that for every listener, I want it for their teams. I want for their families, I want for everybody. We’ve just gone through so much tough stuff. Um one of the questions that I love playing with that, I always play with with my, especially my my leadership, you know my leaders who I do coaching with is like how can you make it easy, Like oftentimes we make things harder than they need to be, I am notoriously fabulous and making things really complicated. Um and a couple years ago I just started asking like how can I make this easy? What’s the easiest way to do this and easy in the sense of easy? Maybe it’s for you, how do you make it easier for you, for your team, for the organization, right? Like just without losing or negating or minimizing the importance of the work

[00:56:50.13] spk_0:
that that

[00:56:50.77] spk_1:
that you know, listeners are doing, there’s almost always a way to just make it a little easier and let me tell you there’s always a way to make your marketing easier. Always, always, always. I mean it’s why I have, like listeners have heard some of the methods and the frameworks that I use, that’s why I’m such a fan of creating them and mine are all super

[00:57:08.60] spk_0:
simple.

[00:57:10.18] spk_1:
And the reason for that is because I want to make it easier. Like I want to free up that energetic space

[00:57:17.64] spk_0:
for

[00:57:18.03] spk_1:
you to be focusing on the substance of what you’re doing on the way in which you’re changing the world. Um You know, marketing communication isn’t rocket science, it’s actually pretty darn straightforward. Um and so let’s let’s make that as easy as possible.

[00:57:32.35] spk_0:
We also doubled down on have more fun, have

[00:57:35.50] spk_1:
more fun. I mean by the way that’s giving myself a permission slip. Um it’s you know, it’s easy, like if especially I love the work I do. I mean I truly it it lights me up. Ha

[00:57:46.81] spk_0:
um ha

[00:57:48.50] spk_1:
ha because okay I do have light bulbs around my neck. Um

[00:57:54.63] spk_0:
but this

[00:58:04.60] spk_1:
work can it can be heavy and getting, you know, the stakes feel high. I have some really high profile clients um you know, I need to get it right with them and for them. Um and I think that it can be we can forget to have fun,

[00:58:10.11] spk_0:
you

[00:58:10.32] spk_1:
know, we can forget to have fun. So like fun.

[00:58:12.62] spk_0:
Don’t forget

[00:58:13.35] spk_1:
Spaciousness. I always like come up with three words for the year.

[00:58:18.59] spk_0:
That’s

[00:58:19.07] spk_1:
pretty fun if listeners don’t do that. That’s a beautiful way to set the stage for the year ahead for yourself.

[00:58:23.54] spk_0:
You have three words for 2023?

[00:58:25.47] spk_1:
I do.

[00:58:27.14] spk_0:
Well no no we’re gonna wrap it up,

[00:58:31.87] spk_1:
we’re gonna leave people like wondering you can reach out

[00:58:35.17] spk_0:
Right? You have to reach Erica Yes. If you want the three words, what are the three words for 2023

[00:58:39.79] spk_1:
spaciousness, vitality and play,

[00:58:58.65] spk_0:
spaciousness, vitality and play. Alright, spacious while we talk to permission to permission to do less permission to have fun. Play play and vitality Yeah.

[00:59:00.32] spk_1:
tony And I’m gonna ask what yours are, I’m gonna I’m gonna email you in a couple of weeks.

[00:59:31.24] spk_0:
Okay because we’re recording in december. So I don’t have mine yet but we’ll we’ll go we’ll go out with yours spaciousness, vitality and play BMB. Erica Mills Barnhart, communication expert, speaker author coach. You’ll find her at Erica Mills barn and her company at klaxon hyphen or dash communication dot com. Erica Thank you very much. Real pleasure so

[00:59:33.23] spk_1:
much for having me. tony I really appreciate it. It’s been great

[01:00:11.41] spk_0:
next week the 2023 fundraising outlook report from one cause if you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. The shows, social media is by Susan Chavez. Marc Silverman is our web guy and this music is by scott Stein, Thank you for that. Affirmation Scotty B with me next week for nonprofit radio big nonprofit ideas for the other 95 go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for November 28, 2022: Thought Leadership & Content Strategy

 

Peter Panepento & Antionette KerrThought Leadership
Peter Panapento and Antionette Kerr co-authored the book, “Modern Media Relations for Nonprofits.” They share their insights on how to build relationships with journalists so you get heard as the thought leader you are. Plus, other media strategies, like crisis communications. This was part of our coverage of the 2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference.

 

 

 

 

Valerie Johnson & Katie GreenContent Strategy
Now that you’re an established thought leader, you need to produce multichannel content that’s relevant. Also engaging, actionable, user friendly and SEO friendly. Also from 20NTC, Valerie Johnson from Pathways to Housing PA and Katie Green with The Trevor Project show you how.

 

 

 

 

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[00:02:38.49] spk_0:
Hello and welcome to Tony-Martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. I hope you enjoyed your thanksgiving. I hope you enjoyed the company of family friends, time for yourself as well. Lots of lots of good thanksgiving holiday wishes, I hope you enjoyed very much and I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be forced to endure the pain of epidermal Asus below psA if you gave me the blistering news that you missed this week’s show. Thought leadership, Peter Pan a pinto and Antoinette car co authored the book modern media relations for nonprofits. They share their insights on how to build relationships with journalists so you get heard as the thought leader you are plus other media strategies like crisis communications. This was part of our coverage of the 2020 non profit technology conference and content strategy. Now that you’re an established thought leader, you need to produce multi channel content that’s relevant, also engaging actionable user friendly and S. E. O friendly. Also from 20 N. T. C. Valerie johnson from pathways to housing P A. And Katie Green with the Trevor project. Show you how Antonis take two. I’m still wishing you well. We are sponsored by Turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot C. O here is thought leadership with me now are Peter pan a pinto and Antoinette car. Peter is philanthropic practice leader at turn two communications, Antoinette is part of the leadership team of women advance and ceo of bold and bright media. They are the co authors of the book Modern media relations for nonprofits. Peter Antoinette welcome. Yes. I’m glad we could work this out among the three of us. Thank you. And uh, it’s good to know that you reach well and safe in your respective locations. Okay.

[00:02:39.44] spk_1:
Thank you. Yes.

[00:02:51.33] spk_0:
Okay. I, yes, I see. No one within six ft of you. That’s good. Even though you are home, we’re talking about thought leadership and media. Let’s, uh, let’s start with you Internet. We can, we can use our leverage thought leadership and use the media to, uh, to influence those who are engaged with us, our constituents and even influence policy.

[00:04:02.66] spk_2:
So the media needs experts and non profits are on the ground there doing the work and they are the perfect folks to be experts in this conversation um, in particular and emergency Peter non talks about earlier about crisis communications and in a lot of situations the media scrambling looking for experts. If you have established yourself as a thought leader, which is what you should aspire to do. I know that turn to does the work in helping people to kind of establish themselves with the thought leader in this conversation. But right now we need people with good information and who can provide great stories for example and nonprofits can do that and they can do that work. And that’s why the thought leadership conversations important. Most nonprofits don’t see themselves needing to do that. It’s not the first thing we think about, we think about fundraising, right? Um, but not necessarily media friend raising. And so now is the time that you want to have those relationships and be considered as a thought leader.

[00:04:18.59] spk_0:
Because when there’s news that relates to your mission, um, your call is more likely to be taken, your email is more likely be answered. If there’s that pre existing relationship you mentioned. But if if everybody in the sector is calling all the, all the media blindly, then it’s just sort of a crapshoot whether they answer you or not or

[00:05:38.32] spk_2:
if you think about the media needing like, you know, going to a crisis example, like the media needing a source or an expert And they don’t want to quote the same person that’s, you know, something that I’ve learned from my media background and training. I’ve been working as a journalist since 1995. And you know, one thing that my editors say, you know, don’t quote the same person, don’t quote the same organization. So in a crisis people will call big box non profit sometimes. Um, and they’ll just see them as being the experts for a conversation. And that’s why establishing yourself as a thought leader is so important. So someone can say, you know, I’m a unique voice about this. We have an example in our book modern media relations where um, someone who an organization that worked with Children and families involved in domestic violence became very important in the conversation when a professional athlete in in Georgia was convicted of family violence and all of a sudden that person was called upon to be on radio shows and talk shows and they became a thought leader. But they done the work to position themselves as an expert. And so I know Peter you, I know you have some examples as well, but we just kind of dived in there and and didn’t talk about the whole broad concept about leadership.

[00:06:04.05] spk_0:
Well, all right, well, um peter, I was gonna ask you, how do we start to build these relationships? Um you wanna do you want to back up what thought leadership is?

[00:08:02.93] spk_1:
Sure, I’ll start with thought leadership defined and that and that’s really um the process of establishing one’s expertise in a in a specific area and and and doing it in a way where they are recognized beyond their own organization, in their own kind of immediate networks, as a, as an expert as a thought leader. Somebody who is driving the conversation and really really helping people better understand a key issue or a topic. So for a nonprofit or a foundation, a thought leader might be your ceo um who or executive director, somebody who um is at the front lines uh and and kind of is in a in a position where they um not only have expertise but they have some authority and being able to talk with some gravitas about a topic, um but um in order to kind of establish your credentials there um and get recognized, you have to do some legwork beyond just having that expertise. You have to be um you have to be comfortable talking about that topic. You have to um you have to spend some time kind of building the relationships and the and the and the the larger credibility that you are, somebody who has something interesting to say and the expertise to back it up. Um and the more you do that, and you can do that not just through the media, but through your own channels and through speaking at conferences and and all kinds of other things. Um the more you do that, the more you kind of become uh somebody who is recognized and is called upon to weigh in on important topics or or when news events call for it or in a situation like what, where we are now with with the covid 19 response, Somebody who can kind of come in and bring a voice of reason and perspective to what’s going on around us.

[00:08:31.98] spk_0:
So you have to lay the groundwork there, there has to be some fundamentals and you have to have your gravitas and you you need to appear bona fide and be bona fide not just appear, you have to be bona fide on the topic that you’re that you’re an expert in the mission of, of your, your nonprofit. How do you then start to when you have that groundwork? How do you then start to build relationships when there isn’t really a need for you to be talking about the subject?

[00:09:39.59] spk_1:
Sure, there are a lot of ways to do that one is that you, um, you start to build some personal relationships with media who are covering these topics. And you can do that either through, you know, somebody on your communications team that helps you, or you can kind of do it yourself, but you can, you can start to show up in, in their coverage of stories by, um, by um, positioning yourself and, and building relationships with individual reporters. Maybe even when they don’t need you by having an informational coffee or call so that they can get to know you and know what you stand for. Um, you can do it by your through your own writing and, and public speaking and making those things available and accessible to the media. Um, and you can, you can do it through your own channels to a lot of nonprofits have blogs, they have, uh, they have their own podcasts. They have different ways where they’re positioning their internal experts externally so that they’re kind of talking about and establishing their credentials around around a subject. And

[00:09:41.01] spk_0:
that’s your, that’s your owned media, right. That’s your own media versus earned media?

[00:10:12.00] spk_1:
Yes. Yes. And, and the value of that, is that the more you’re, you’re kind of demonstrating through your own media channels, your expertise, you’re not only building um some greater relationships and and credibility with your donors and the folks who are already kind of in your network, but you start to show up when people are doing searches or when people are on social media and seeing stories and articles that are passed around, if they may see something you’ve written or talked about, shared in another network, and it it sparks a light for them that you’re somebody worth going back to when they need, um when they need some, you know, somebody like you to weigh in on something.

[00:10:52.96] spk_0:
Okay, peter, I know you and Antoinette are both former journalists. Uh, so I’m gonna jump over to Antoinette for what Antoinette, what what what do these outreach, I guess, calls and emails to journalists to try to build the relationship. Uh what what do they what do they look like? What would you suggest people are saying to, to try to get the attention um to build the relationship, not, not when I’m looking to be quoted because there’s a breaking news, but to build the relationship.

[00:12:33.00] spk_2:
So, full disclosure. I’m a current journalist. Um so, yes, so I I still work for publications right now. Um and so people contact me on twitter and social media, which is a new thing. We talk about press releases. I’m a big fan of press releases, um yes, just full disclosure about that. But I still like for people to pitch me on social media, direct messages through twitter. If I’m using my company profile, it’s safe for nonprofits to contact me and say, hey, I have a story. I noticed that you’re interested in this concept, it’s always great when people know what I’m interested in. Like when they’re like, I noticed that you publish a lot of stories like right now I’m working on a story, a series of stories about missing and murdered indigenous women. And so when people see, oh, I notice you’re publishing stories about this and they pitch me on a direct message or um through facebook messenger even and say, hey, would you consider this the story and here’s the angle. Um or have you thought about, you know, I’ve had other people reach out and say I noticed you’re publishing these types of stories about, you know, missing and murdered indigenous women. Have you considered other stories about violence against women and it’s always a really great connection for me. So I think just kind of knowing what the journalist is interested in is really important, kind of, understanding their angle. Sorry, y’all, um understanding their angle and just flowing from there and saying, you know, here’s how we fit into this conversation is always a wonderful

[00:12:46.00] spk_0:
um so outreach by any of the social channels is fine too, you talk about twitter and direct message facebook, those are all

[00:12:56.47] spk_2:
yes and people tagging me like I feel like if a journalist is using their profile in a way that is professional then you’re safe to contact them and them in that way.

[00:13:11.60] spk_0:
Okay. Yeah, yeah peter anything you want to add to? Yeah, I think

[00:14:13.09] spk_1:
that I think is dead on about making sure though that when you do that, you are, you are, you’re you’re not coming with something that’s off the reporters beat or off of um what’s what, what you know, is um what they cover uh or the type of story they cover within that beat. Um you could spend a lot of effort reaching out to every journalist you see on twitter about your specific cause, but if they don’t cover your cause um you know, it doesn’t relate to what they what they do, then they’re probably either going to ignore you or or start to block you because you’re, you’re, you’re kind of almost spamming them. So um it’s it’s important to be targeted with who you reach out to as well and and make sure that you understand that journalists and their work before you before you do your outreach and come at them with a pitch that they don’t necessarily want. So yes, I think it’s really important to to do a bit of that homework up front um and respect that journalist time and if you do that and if you come at them with something that is actually on, on their beat and is of interest to them. Um, then I think you have a much greater chance of getting their attention and getting them to want to follow up with you and and help further, um, the relationship beyond that initial pitch

[00:14:32.47] spk_0:
and

[00:15:31.85] spk_2:
Tony, can I share a pet peeve like to Pet peeves actually is, um, if I write about a non profit and they don’t share the story on their own social, it’s just, it’s heartbreaking for me. Um, a lot of times I have to fight for these stories to appear and I have to fight with an editor to say, this is why this is newsworthy. This needs to be here. And then the nonprofit really doesn’t share the story. And I think, well, you know, I don’t write for my own, you know, just for it not to be shared. Um, and then the other thing is I love when nonprofits support stories that aren’t related to their particular story. So I’ll start noticing like one thing, um, Kentucky non profit Network, for example, before they ever shared or were involved in anything that I was involved in, they started sharing things or liking things that I would publish as a reporter and I didn’t know anything about them, but I thought that was interesting. So that when they pitch something, then you’re more likely to notice it as a, as a reporter, you’re more likely to notice because you feel like they’re really genuinely interested in the conversation, even if it doesn’t apply to them, you’re still interested

[00:15:51.29] spk_0:
Internet. Where are you writing now?

[00:15:58.07] spk_2:
I am writing, working on a piece for Guardian. I am for the Guardian. I am writing for Women Advance, which we have our own network. And then I write for Halifax Media group publications. So I’m on the regional circuit, doing all the fun things.

[00:16:13.38] spk_0:
Halifax is nova Scotia.

[00:16:22.99] spk_2:
No, Halifax is a media group in the United States. They own a series of their own regional newspapers across the country. So

[00:16:28.59] spk_0:
let’s talk a little about crisis management. You wanna, can you get us started with how you might approach crisis communications Antoinette.

[00:16:38.11] spk_2:
I thought that was Peter’s question. I’m just kidding.

[00:16:40.29] spk_0:
No,

[00:16:41.31] spk_2:
I’m just kidding. Um, crisis communications, I think actually Peter is a really great person to talk about this. My crisis communications conversation really has shifted with what we’re going through. So I don’t want to make it so unique to our current situation. Um, so I’ll let Peter start and then Peter, I can back you up on it if that’s

[00:18:50.46] spk_1:
okay. Yeah. So, um, with crisis communications, it’s really important to not wait until the actual you’re actually in a crisis to put your plan together. It’s really important to, to have a protocol that you’ve set up when you’re not in the middle of a crisis of possible to really kind of put together uh some protocols for not only what you’re going to say, but who’s going to say it and how you’re going to communicate during that situation. So um what does that protocol look like one? Is that you um upfront, you designate who your spokesperson or spokespeople are going to be ahead of time um and you spend some time ahead of that coaching them up in terms of what some of the key messages for your organization are, regardless of what the crisis might be. Some things that you would broadly want to try to reinforce and kind of a mood and a tone that you’re gonna want to take with what you’re talking about. Um do that 1st 2nd, is that you would really want to have a system in place for how you activate that for how you activate your crisis plan and your crisis communications. So that essentially means that you want to um you want to make sure that you know, kind of who who needs to sign off on what you’re going to talk about, who you’re gonna be involving in your decisions on whether you need to put out a statement um who how you’re going to communicate in what different channels, the more you can make those decisions ahead of time and have your structure in place, the better equipped you are to actually respond during a crisis situation and be able to get a quick and accurate and positive message out um in in in a situation and often crises are not their crisis because they’re not expected, but you can be planning ahead so that you you are able to react quickly and authoritatively during that situation. Um

[00:19:07.87] spk_0:
you’re you’re compounding the crisis if you’re not prepared.

[00:19:12.53] spk_1:
Absolutely,

[00:19:13.33] spk_0:
You’re scrambling to figure out who’s in charge, who has to approve messages, where should messages go? All, all which are peripheral to the to the substance of the problem.

[00:20:12.02] spk_1:
Absolutely. And in today’s world, where crisis can really mushroom not only in the media, but on social media, the longer you’re allowing time to pass before you’re getting out there with with your statement and your response to it, the worst the worst the situation gets for you. So you really need to position yourselves uh to be able to respond quickly to respond clearly and to respond accurately. Um and and it’s important to note that, you know, that planning ahead of time is really critical, but what you say in the situation is also critical to um you do want to make sure that you communicate truthfully. That doesn’t necessarily mean that um uh you uh u um reveal

[00:20:14.17] spk_0:
everything,

[00:20:14.72] spk_1:
reveal everything

[00:20:15.67] spk_0:
exactly

[00:20:18.45] spk_1:
do uh that you do reveal is accurate. It’s not gonna come back to bite you later. It’s not going to mislead people

[00:20:31.86] spk_0:
talking about complicating the complicating the crisis if you’re lying or misleading, it comes back. I mean, people investigate things get found out.

[00:20:36.17] spk_1:
Absolutely. And I, and I, and I was

[00:20:38.82] spk_0:
technically expanded your problem.

[00:21:42.71] spk_1:
Absolutely. And and you’d be surprised how, how many times when I was a journalist that people, if they had just come clean and and kind of got the truth out there right away, they may have taken a short term hit, but their lives would have got on fine after that. But the more you try to obfuscate or or lie about the situation, or or try to to spin it in a way where you’re, you’re kind of hiding the truth that the worse your situation is going to get. So be be in a position to be as transparent and clear and accurate as possible. Um, with that first statement, uh, knowing that in some cases you might have to say, you know, we don’t know. Um, but we’ll follow up when we do know, because sometimes a crisis situation is one in which speaking of, of when we’re in now, we don’t know all of the, all of the different twists and turns the covid 19 situation is going to take. Um, so, but but rather than trying to speculate, um or or or in some cases, as we’ve seen, some, some public figures do try to spin this one way or another, rather than just saying, here’s the situation here are concerns, Here’s what we know, here’s what we don’t know. Um, it compounds the situation and in some cases it can be dangerous to

[00:22:01.82] spk_0:
people internet, You wanna, you wanna back up a little bit? I

[00:22:38.74] spk_2:
Did. So the, I think the statement, um, I love how people are putting forward these COVID-19 statements and I think we need to have more statements like that. I mean these statements are demanding and people feel like that. But I’m like we could do more of that. We could have statements as nonprofits on issues on public issues, public concerns, things that are um, emerging and urgent for people. I think about in the eastern part of north Carolina because tony I know you’re in, in my home state. I am

[00:22:40.58] spk_0:
in eastern north Carolina.

[00:23:26.54] spk_2:
Happy to have you here. And when we have um, hurricanes, when we have issues like that, if non profits would put out statements like they have with Covid 19 if they felt like they needed to say here’s where we are, here’s what we do here. Here’s, here’s what we have to offer before during after and just update them. You know, I feel like this crisis has brought forward a level of communication and and help people to see the necessary level of communication that we need to have. But we don’t have that all the time is non profits and people are looking for that. So I feel like in the eastern part of north Carolina where we had, um, you know, 100 year, hurricanes within three months of each other that we didn’t think would happen. You know what if people, what if people make covid statements like that? I mean, what if people and so I’m just gonna start calling the covid statements peter that I don’t have a better term for. But what if we felt like we needed to make these types of statements when there’s an emergency,

[00:23:51.92] spk_0:
um, Antoinette, I’m gonna ask you to wrap up with something that you said, which is contrary to a lot of what I hear. Uh, you said that you’re a big fan of press releases.

[00:24:02.00] spk_2:
Could

[00:24:03.26] spk_0:
you take us out with your rationale for why? You’re a big fan of them. I’ve heard that they’re pretty much obsolete

[00:24:10.20] spk_2:
from a journalist. I

[00:24:12.51] spk_0:
don’t know from a commentator. I

[00:24:14.37] spk_2:
don’t want to write that.

[00:24:17.47] spk_0:
I

[00:24:27.93] spk_2:
believe that. I believe that. Um, so yes, because I’ve been reading press releases for a long time and I feel like the who, what, when, where and how gets me past that part of it, then I can ask you all the interesting questions. So if you can give me that in a way that I can cut and paste and I will not butcher someone’s name, like tony

[00:24:43.54] spk_0:
It

[00:24:55.22] spk_2:
might be, it might be a challenge. So I can, we can get all of that out of the way. But a good press release gets me excited as a journalist. It brings me into the conversation and if you aren’t excited about your press release. I can probably tell on the other end. So I had a good press release. All

[00:25:15.51] spk_0:
right, thank you. We’re gonna leave it there. That’s contrary advice. Which which I love hearing. All right. That’s uh that’s Antoinette car part of the leadership team of women advance and ceo of bold and bright media and also Peter Pan a pinto, philanthropic practice leader at turn two communications and they are co authors of the book modern media relations for nonprofits, Antoinette Peter, thank you very much for sharing. Thanks so much. Thanks for

[00:25:28.62] spk_1:
having us. tony

[00:27:19.59] spk_0:
pleasure. Stay safe. And thank you for being with tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 20 N. T. C. It’s time for a break. Turn to communications. Well, as you heard lots of ideas about the relationships, the relationships that will help you be the thought leader that you want to be. That you ought to be relationships leading to thought leadership. Turn to communications. They’ll help you do it. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot C. O. It’s time for Tony’s take two. I am still thinking about you and wishing you well. I hope you had recovery time over Thanksgiving. If you’re in giving Tuesday, I hope you’ll be happy with your results or you are happy depending when you listened. If you are, if you did congratulations, celebrate what you achieved. Take that victory lap you deserve it. If you’re not so happy, keep your head up, you know that you did the best that you could, don’t let it drag you down. You have other successes that are gonna be coming and you’ll be celebrating those. So don’t let a disappointment drag you down going forward. You have all my good wishes for your year end fundraising this week and continuing That is Tony’s take two here is content strategy, which by the way, we have boo koo, but loads of time left for Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 20 N T C. That’s the 2020 nonprofit technology conference. My guests now are Katie Green and Valerie johnson, Katie is Digital Giving Manager for the Trevor Project. And Valerie johnson is director of institutional advancement at pathways to housing P A Katie and Valerie welcome.

[00:27:44.11] spk_3:
It’s

[00:28:07.84] spk_0:
a pleasure. Good to good to talk to both of you and glad to know that you’re each safe and and well in in Brooklyn and uh, suburban philadelphia. Glad you’re with us. Your NtC workshop was content strategy for donor engagement From tactics to testing, let’s start with you, Katie, what what do you feel was the need for the session. What are nonprofits not getting doing so well, they could be doing a lot better.

[00:28:57.87] spk_3:
Yeah. So we have this session this morning at the same time as we originally had planned, which is great. We were able to give it virtually. And I think what a lot of donor content strategy is missing is simply structure. I think a lot of people don’t know where to start and they’re intimidated by it and we Valerie and I provide it’s some real life examples on how you can achieve a donor content strategy that does get you closer to your revenue goals. However, the tone of the presentation changed a little bit given how the world has come to be our new reality. So we did talk a little bit about the crisis and what it means for fundraising and what it means for content strategy under a tight timeline, knowing that things are changing at a really rapid pace. So really just structure and storytelling are the things that we talked about in this morning’s presentation, which will be available for viewing later, we’re gonna have a recording available for those who weren’t able to make it. But yeah, that’s what we focus on.

[00:29:27.47] spk_0:
Let’s start with part of the a good strategy is using personas, user personas. Can you kick us off with that Valerie? How do you, how do you start to identify what persona looks like and what’s their value?

[00:29:54.36] spk_4:
Absolutely. So, a persona is really like a profile or a character sketch of someone that you need to connect with um and understanding their motivations and goals. So it’s a way of segmenting your audience. And rather than sending all of your messaging out into the ether, trying to tailor that messaging to a specific demographic or a specific group of people. So for pathways to housing P. A. We’re actually still developing what our personas look like. We have an idea of what it looks like, but we want to dig some more into the research and analytic side of things to see who exactly is supporting us right now and what um ties they have in common to help us build those profiles. I think Katie might be a little bit further ahead of us in developing this persona. So I’m gonna toss it over to her.

[00:31:18.60] spk_3:
Yeah. So uh user personas are something I’ve been doing throughout my career. I worked in an agency before I came to the Trevor project. So I was able to get a lot of industry knowledge on how we create user personas and user journeys. But what we did, when we started looking at our end of year campaign for last year at the Trevor project, we made sure we carved out some time to conduct a little bit of an audit of what our donors were looking like, Where were they coming from? What could we track? What could we track? We found out we had a lot more questions than we did answers. So in order to get user personas, something that’s really important is tracking and understanding where people are coming from and where their first and last last clicks are. So because of our ability to use google analytics and source code tracking protocol. We did get a lot of tracking during end of year that will improve what our users like going into future campaigns. But now we’re gonna be able to better tell what is actually inspiring people to give. What is the moment where they’re actually clicking that donate button. What is the first thing they’re seeing that starting their relationship with the trouble project? So that’s what we’ve been doing.

[00:31:45.74] spk_0:
What are the pieces of a persona? How granular do you get? What is it where they live to what they read or what what you give us some like depth of this thing.

[00:33:34.60] spk_3:
Absolutely. So the main important piece of a persona is to know what their needs are. So you can have a persona that’s as general as this is a donor. They need to know how to give that’s a persona. But what you’d like to do is get a little bit deeper in being able to tell what the values of that persona are. What’s what’s the name? What’s the age? What’s the key characteristics? What are the opportunities really? You know, I like to create fake names and really go into it. You stock imagery so that you can try to connect with who this person might be? You’re really giving a face to a name and a value to a person and you want to look at what donors are looking like. So for example, for the Trevor project, we have a lot of one time, first time donors and we have a lot of people who come in, they give their first gift and I’m trying to find where they’re dropping off. Right. What is causing that? So I maybe create a persona that is a one time user that’s not really convinced they want to give again a one time donor. Um, they may be young. They may be, um, like within our demographic, which is under 25 of the youth that we serve with our crisis services and suicide prevention services. Um, so you can get as granular as making and they, and an age and the demographic and the location and what devices they’re using. I think that’s a big one. Is this person usually on their mobile? Are they usually on desktop? What channels do they typically like to look at twitter? You can get as granular email. Are they just looking at your website? So you know, it should get as detailed as you can, but I would encourage people to get really creative with it. If the more details you’re able to get is just a, just a more clear picture of a donor that you’re looking to target. Just make sure it’s someone you actually want to target and not someone you’re gonna be, uh, that wouldn’t actually be coming to you? Like maybe Bill Gates isn’t going to be coming to, uh, a nonprofit website to donate. Um, but you can look at what those specific donors might look like that are more realistic for your campaign.

[00:33:56.12] spk_0:
Okay. Right. You’re, you’re basically on what’s realistic, not what your aspiration is.

[00:34:22.36] spk_3:
Yeah. To a degree, I mean, I think you can be aspirational aspirational in some facets of what you’re doing. I think it has to be somewhat grounded in in, you know, a realistic approach. We do get asked. I get aspirational myself when I’m creating donor personas. When you know, I am looking for major gifts, I am looking for people who are willing to process of 15,000 dollar credit card charge. And there are people out there that that do that. So when I do my donor personas, they may not be the number one target of my campaign, but I do want to consider what those people are interested in as well so that I can personalize content for them to the best of my ability.

[00:34:53.03] spk_4:
Yeah. The other thing to keep in mind is diversifying your donor base. So in looking at who’s giving two pathways to housing right now, they’re mostly middle aged, college educated white women who prefer facebook and giving on a desktop, um, which is fine. And that’s definitely one category of people that you would want to be supporting you. But philadelphia is an incredibly diverse city. So if those are the only people that were getting to with our messaging, then we really need to think about diversifying our strategies to build new donor profiles for people who don’t all look the

[00:35:36.72] spk_0:
same? Okay. And then once you have a bunch of personas and profile? I mean, it sounds like you could have 10 or 12 really different ones, different, um yeah, different characteristics of people, different types of people that come to you. And, and like you said, Katie, even people who leave, you know, you want to capture them back. So, so once you have these Valerie, then you’re trying to communicate to them. But how do you how do you turn your communications into targets to to these personas?

[00:35:46.68] spk_4:
So you really want to think about building content specifically for that persona? So you might be doing a campaign um that you want to hit a couple of different

[00:35:56.37] spk_3:
personas

[00:36:07.97] spk_4:
with, but you’re gonna tailor that campaign specifically to each persona and deliver the message to a specific segment of that campaign. So if you’re gonna do a mail campaign, um, you want to think about how you’re putting together that letter and what you’re writing into the letter and how you’re addressing the donors for each of the different segments for each of the different personas that you’ve put together to really help craft a message and to inspire them specifically to donate.

[00:36:32.48] spk_0:
Okay, right, like Katie, like you were saying, you know, yeah, you know what’s important to them. Um, but that stuff is, this is very uh amorphous to try to, you know, it’s not just what do they give and how much do they give? And what time of year do they give, You know, what’s important to them? What do they value? This? Is this is difficult stuff to suss out.

[00:37:10.42] spk_4:
Yeah. One thing our co presenter said this morning, Marcus was that donors are smart and they’re savvy and with the advent of the internet and all of the various channels that you can communicate with people now, they know what they want and they know what they want to hear from you. And if they’re not hearing from you what they want, they’re gonna go find someone else who’s going to provide that information and communicate to them the way they want to be communicated with. So fundraising and marketing for nonprofits right now looks very different than it did maybe 10, 15, 20 years ago, um, and, and donors know what they want now.

[00:37:24.54] spk_0:
Okay, so it’s worth, you’re trying to suss out all this amorphous information as as best you can. Okay. Um, Katie, is there anything more you want to say about personas before we move on to being multi channel?

[00:37:36.13] spk_3:
Let’s go on to multi channel.

[00:37:40.11] spk_0:
Alright, Alright. Anything I don’t want to leave anything important.

[00:37:44.66] spk_3:
Okay. I think we’ve covered the main point.

[00:37:47.19] spk_0:
Okay. What’s, what’s, what’s important about? Well, I think we all know why to be multi channel, but how to coordinate those messages? What what’s your, what’s your thinking there?

[00:39:21.81] spk_3:
Yeah, I can jump in here. So I think what people often don’t do is they don’t coordinate messages cross channel at the right time. That’s what I’ve been seeing a lot with just by industry research. I mean, I’m always looking at what everybody is doing in the space because I want to be part of the best. Uh but they say being what I’ve heard at multiple conferences is that there’s a rule of seven. Right. So as a non donor, let’s say, I’m scrolling through facebook, I need to see an ask seven times before I’m actually likely to give. So if you’re seeing that ask seven times on facebook, that means it’s seven posts. That’s kind of a lot. And that’s gonna have to be spaced out through a certain amount of days, weeks, months even. So if you’re just increasing all the channels that you’re presenting that message on. So let’s say I’m seeing it on facebook, I’m seeing it in my email. I’m seeing it on my instagram. I’m getting a paid ad for it because I liked it on facebook. That’s gonna shorten the window of which I see seven points of that call to action. So I’m gonna be more likely to give if I’m seeing it in a wider spectrum on the digital space than I am in just one channel. So making sure that you’re saying similar things, but that are custom to what the channel is providing, Like social media has like paid ads have a certain amount of characters you can use. So, um, making sure it’s optimized for what channel you’re using, but still with the common thread is really important for increasing your conversion rate.

[00:40:05.59] spk_0:
Okay, now it’s a little clear to me why I see so many ads for the uh, pickpocket proof slacks. I see them across all kinds of different channels. I’m not, I’m hardly on facebook anymore. But um, I, I see them when I go to websites and I’m reading articles and because one time, I don’t know, I, I swear it was like three years ago I was browsing through these like CIA approved slacks with 14 pockets and it’s all supposed to be pickpocket proof for something and you know, they $200 slacks or whatever, they’re, you know, but

[00:40:08.62] spk_3:
I’ve

[00:40:09.74] spk_0:
seen ever since. Yeah. And I don’t know. I’m not even sure that if I bought them, the ads would stop, maybe

[00:40:16.43] spk_4:
it’s

[00:40:17.57] spk_0:
sophisticated enough. No, it’s not right. That would be right. Because now your brother needs to pay or whatever. All right,

[00:40:23.00] spk_3:
Valerie,

[00:40:24.15] spk_0:
anything you wanna, you wanna explain about multi channel and how, how important it is to reinforce and be consistent.

[00:41:16.62] spk_4:
I think the biggest thing for me is if you’re starting from scratch and you’re really trying to develop content and put it in the right places. Um, you really want to be thinking about who your audience is on those channels. So for, linkedin, the messaging that you’re putting out is gonna look a lot different than what you’re putting out on facebook. Most people use facebook recreationally and they use linkedin for professional relationships. So the type of information that someone is seeking on linkedin or more likely to respond to on linkedin is a lot different than what they’re more likely to look for or respond to on facebook. Um so for us, we make sure all of our job listings go up on linkedin and all of our industry specific information that goes up on linkedin, um just to kind of show our expertise in the area. But when we’re posting to facebook, we’re talking more directly to people that we know are supporters of us and want to do tangible things to support us. So the messaging is different, even though the information is really the same.

[00:41:31.44] spk_0:
Okay, okay, again, you’re consistent but consistent, but but different. Maybe different format even. Um Okay.

[00:41:39.99] spk_4:
Yeah.

[00:41:52.00] spk_0:
Um I mean, there’s there’s other format, you know, content papers, white papers. Um Again, depending for the right, you know, for the right channel research, um, do either of you use um, media, uh, working in working through thought leadership in developing thought leadership in media media relationships either of

[00:42:30.91] spk_4:
you. Yeah, so there’s a local media outlet here in philadelphia called generosity and they are focused on nonprofits and social enterprises and people who are making positive impact in philadelphia. So they’re super open to having folks guest post um, or write op EDS for them. So we’ve utilized that outlet a couple of times. Um, actually just last week, um, our ceo over wrote an article about the opportunity for kindness in the era of coronavirus. So it’s something that she actually wrote to communicate to our staff members and let them know what our stance on, you know, moving forward was going to be. And we thought it was something that would be beneficial, not just to our staff but to be at large. So we passed it along to them. They posted it as an op ed and that gave us um, a little bit more bang for our buck for things that we had already

[00:42:58.94] spk_0:
written. Um, Katie, are you doing much with earned media?

[00:43:03.08] spk_3:
I am not the Trevor project is, but Katie Green is not doing that. Okay, handled that.

[00:43:10.85] spk_0:
Okay. Um, let’s talk about some, some analytics. I mean, how do we know whether we’re being successful? Uh, and where we need to, where we need to tweak or pivot Katie, can you, can you get us started?

[00:44:29.28] spk_3:
Absolutely. So analytics is very hard for a lot of nonprofits because it’s such a scientific based skill set. And you know, that’s something that when I first came onto the Trevor project, is that the first thing I implemented was our source coding protocol. It’s so important to know where people are coming from that you can actually optimize, but we a B tested and continue to A B test absolutely everything. We do it through our website, we do it through email, we do it through our paid social and to see how things work. I think really we just test absolutely everything things you think you know you don’t and that’s what I keep learning through testing is what you think works today, won’t work tomorrow and we retest everything. A time of day test for example isn’t gonna for ascend for email, isn’t gonna be the same after daylight savings. It’s not gonna be the same as the seasons change and particularly not the same now that everybody is stuck at home. So you know they’re testing and optimizing really what you know is working. It just requires retesting re optimizing and testing literally.

[00:44:35.20] spk_0:
Could you, could you give some more examples besides time of day, what are examples of things you test?

[00:45:24.47] spk_3:
Oh absolutely. So on our website we tested, we have a little um call out box with questions on our donate form. We tested the placement of that. Is it better to have it right up next to the form underneath directly on top. So the first thing people see um we test there, we test what photos we use a lot does a photo of somebody looking sad versus somebody looking more celebratory and happy. Um we test a lot of pride imagery because we serve LGBTQ youth. We wanna see if Pride imagery actually helps get our word out there. Um We test our colors a lot because our our brand color is orange which is can be very cautionary but we see you thing oh it’s your brand color. Of course everybody’s gonna always respond to it. But that’s not really the case. Like sometimes things like our blues and purples and greens when it comes to see ta buttons. Um Gosh, I mean I can tell you every test we’ve ever run. Thunder tests um using graphics versus photos on the website. Uh you know the size, the width, the height of our light boxes, the width of our donation forms the amount of buttons we have. It just the list goes on and

[00:45:51.24] spk_0:
on.

[00:45:53.35] spk_3:
I

[00:46:13.51] spk_0:
heard one that just made me think of just one small example of what riffing off what you just said was testing the text inside a button instead of just donate or like uh review or something. You know, be more be more explicit about what the what the action is you’re asking for instead of just a single word. A little little more descriptive. Yeah

[00:46:32.93] spk_3:
testing C. T. A. Is is something that we do a lot just to give people some ideas. I think one that can be really helpful when it comes to fundraising is seeing how your donors react to the word give and the word support and the word donate. So so it’s all the same thing. We’re asking you to support our mission to give to us and to donate. But those three words have very different feelings when you’re reading them on your screen. So that’s one of the biggest tests we ran. Um, but yeah, I wouldn’t recommend always testing the C. T. A. When you have a new one especially,

[00:47:09.95] spk_0:
was it, was it act blue that or or change dot org? I think maybe it’s change dot org started calling it chip in. Could you chip in? Okay. Okay. Um, um, so Valerie, can you talk us through some metrics? You’re the director of institutional advancement? What what numbers do you look for to decide how you’re doing?

[00:48:23.15] spk_4:
Uh, we look at a lot of things. So we’re looking at the click through rates on our emails and on our post actually reading to the bottom and clicking the links that we’re providing. Um, we’re looking at how many people are interacting with things that were posting on social media and whether they are enjoying it or not based on how many people are interacting with it. Um, we do a lot of surveys to do, so, talking to our donors directly and asking them what kinds of things they want to see what kinds of things they don’t want to see. Um, I know Katie is doing a lot more with metrics than we are. So, um, this is my friendly reminder to smaller nonprofits where there’s just one person trying to do all of this. you don’t have to recreate the wheel. Um, so you can look at an organization like the Trevor project that does have the staff who can look at all of these things and do all of these testing and all of the metrics and see what’s working best and they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. So you can look at what they’re doing and then borrow it. Um, so for an organization like me that has a smaller staff, um, we’re doing a little bit on our own, but we’re also looking a lot at what other nonprofits are doing and assuming that they’re taking the time to test things and we’re kind of, you know, copying what they’re doing because it’s obviously successful for them.

[00:48:36.00] spk_0:
How do you learn from them? Do you just create a build a relationship and then ask what, what kind of metrics do you look at

[00:48:54.20] spk_4:
sometimes? And sometimes it’s as simple as going to the Trevor project, websites donate page and seeing where they place things and what they name their buttons and what giving levels they’re putting up there. Um, because you know, you’re never gonna be exactly the same as another organization. So you definitely want to take a look at who you’re using as an example and use someone who’s doing similar work or in a similar location to you. But at the end of the day, there’s only so much you can learn through testing and after that you’re just gonna have to dive in and do something. So if you don’t have time for the testing, you can do a quick search of what everybody in your industry is doing and kind of take it from there instead,

[00:49:20.34] spk_0:
Katie, uh, since everybody’s stealing from the Trevor project, what, uh, what I assume you knew Valerie was doing this.

[00:49:28.27] spk_3:
I didn’t, but it’s, it’s such a compliment.

[00:49:31.09] spk_0:
It’s

[00:49:32.63] spk_4:
because you do a great job. That’s why we’re looking at

[00:49:35.06] spk_3:
you. Oh gosh,

[00:49:36.48] spk_0:
what do you want to add about metrics?

[00:49:59.95] spk_3:
Um, I think I just wanna reiterate Valerie’s point that there are so many nonprofits where one person is doing this. Um I’m the only person on the digital giving team. I’m the first person they’ve ever hired to do Digital giving. Um I’m still a team member of one, but you know, I do have the support of a very large marketing team that helps me with creating all of the tests that we do and anyone can tweet me email me whatever if like any nonprofit ever wants to connect. I’m always an open resource. But uh, metrics are increasingly uh important, just critical to donors, content strategy. So

[00:50:21.55] spk_0:
since you’re offering yourself as a resource, do you want to share your email and or your twitter, you don’t have to give your email if you don’t want to.

[00:50:28.72] spk_3:
Yeah, maybe twitter is probably the best way to reach me because I’m trying, I’m trying to learn how to tweet more as a digital person. I feel like I need to, that it’s at Katie Sue Green like one word, so it’s K A T I E S U E G R E N K T. Still green green, just like the color. Okay,

[00:50:51.53] spk_0:
Okay, thank you. Um it’s a Valerie, you wanna uh wanna wrap us up some some parting thoughts about uh content strategy.

[00:51:18.42] spk_4:
Sure. Um since I am kind of representing the smaller organization here, I just want to remind everybody that you’re doing everything that you can and it’s everything that you’re doing is important. So don’t try to do everything at once, really pick one thing to focus on and get to a point where you’re doing that well and comfortably before you try to add more um listening to a podcast like this or going to a presentation, like the one that we did this morning is overwhelming in the number of things that you could be doing and it makes you feel like you’re not doing enough, but you are. And just tackling those small hills one at a time is much much easier than trying to climb the mountain.

[00:52:42.29] spk_0:
That’s very gracious, very gracious advice. Thank you. Thanks very much. Um that was Valerie johnson, that is Valerie johnson director of institutional advancement at pathways to housing P A. And with her is Katie Green Digital Giving Manager for Trevor Project. Thank you very much for sharing each of you. Thanks so much And thank you for being with Tony-Martignetti non profit radio coverage of 20 NTCC in two weeks. Trafton Heckman with his book, Take Heart Take Action next week, I’m working on it. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I Beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com were sponsored by Turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff shows, social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by scott Stein, Thank you for that. Affirmation Scotty B with me next week for nonprofit radio big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for March 29, 2021: Cure Communications Gaffes & Talking Mental Health In Your Workplace

My Guests:

Julie Ziff Sint, Claire Thomas & Shafali Rao: Cure Communications Gaffes
Our 21NTC coverage begins by explaining what to do after you put the wrong gala date in an email, or send a letter to the wrong segment. Might an intentional mistake improve open your open rate? Our panel is Julie Ziff Sint, Claire Thomas and Shefali Rao, all from Sanky Communications.

 

 

 

Dan Berstein: Talking Mental Health In Your Workplace
Also from 21NTC, Dan Berstein helps you avoid a different gaffe: Saying the wrong things when faced with challenging behaviors or mental health disclosures. He’s got easy-to-follow strategies. Dan is founder of MH Mediate.

 

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[00:02:22.04] spk_1:
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be thrown into zero Estonia if I had to mouth the words you missed this week’s show Cure Communications Gaffes. Our 21 NTC coverage begins by explaining what to do after you put the wrong gala date in your email or send a letter to the wrong segment. Might an intentional mistake improve your open rate? Our panel is Julie’s. If ST Claire Thomas and Shefali Row, all from Sancti Communications and talking Mental Health in your workplace, also from 21 NTC, Dan Burstein helps you avoid a different gaffe, saying the wrong things when faced with challenging behaviors or mental health disclosures, he’s got easy to follow strategies. Dan is founder of M H. Mediate on tony State, too. How are you doing? We’re sponsored by turn to communications, PR and content for nonprofits, your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot c o. Here is a cure. Communications gaffes. Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 21 NTC That’s the 2021 nonprofit technology Conference. We’re sponsored at 21 NTC by turn to communications. Turn hyphen. Two dot c o. My guests at this session are Julie’s. If ST Claire Thomas and Shefali Row. They’re all with Sancti Communications. Julie is vice president of account and Strategic Services. Claire is copy director, and Shefali is senior copywriter. Welcome, Julie.

[00:02:22.57] spk_2:
Thanks for having us.

[00:02:23.81] spk_3:
Welcome to be here.

[00:02:32.24] spk_1:
So, uh, let’s see. So does everybody work for Julie? And then then And then Claire reports The Shefali is It doesn’t work like that. I’m sure it’s a very collegial place. Thank you. Community were totally lateral. Totally flat. Everybody gets the same pay. Everybody is exactly the same

[00:02:54.44] spk_2:
way. We’re really collaborative agency, but I work more on our strategic side of things. And Claire and Shefali are two of our genius copywriters who manage our clients messaging.

[00:03:37.34] spk_1:
Okay, I think it’s important to flush this out. So give folks a feel for swanky communications because they might be working with you someday. Your workshop topic is my bad to all. Good. How to repair a mistake in donor communications. So, like if you dropped an email with a mistake in it, or you sent out an email about the gala, and it has the wrong date or the wrong time. That’s that’s That’s a particularly egregious one. We would think we would catch that in copyrighting. So, um, Shefali, let’s start with you. How does these things happen? First of all, like suppose that example? Wrong time in the gala invitation. How could that How could that possibly happen when we have multiple eyes on projects on communications?

[00:04:14.34] spk_4:
Yeah, you would think that it wouldn’t, but sometimes it just misses all sets of five. I actually gave this example, even in the conference, but I used to be a journalist, and I used to be at the news desk copy editing and one day on the front page in a headline. The word public was missing an L. And that just went out the next day. And, um, the good news is that we have a system we have, like, strategies in place where we kind of make those mistakes work for us. Which is really what our workshop was about.

[00:04:18.19] spk_1:
Yeah. I mean, you could have some fun. I don’t know. Pubic might be tough. to have fun you can have fun

[00:04:22.29] spk_4:
with

[00:04:36.74] spk_1:
without getting carried away. I mean, I think making light of a mistake, a gaffe. I use that all the time. I mean, you’re suffering with a lackluster host, so don’t be surprised if this comes up three or four times in a half an hour. Um, like the banging? I don’t know. You know, I have you here that banging

[00:04:42.14] spk_3:
a

[00:05:03.04] spk_1:
little. Okay, it’s It’s a hammer. There’s guys working on my stairs. You might hear vacuuming because they’re very fastidious about cleaning up. You might hear some, uh, sawing drill drill. Uh, circular saw type work. Um, not that that’s a gaffe, but, you know, it’s background noise. We got to call it out. If I can’t hide it, I’m gonna flaunt it, so well. Shit. I gotta ask, What did the paper do with, uh, public to

[00:05:20.94] spk_4:
pubic? And then we printed into the collection the next day. That’s all you can really do. That’s not the fun way. I mean, it’s not a fun where it was pretty upset about it, but we have actually had fun with some of our mistakes in the bus. Right?

[00:05:24.44] spk_1:
Okay. Who wants to share a mistake that, uh, so

[00:05:27.40] spk_3:
one of them One of them was in the footer. You know of an email and, you know, these things go out all the time, and and everybody is real careful about the

[00:05:36.00] spk_4:
content of the email, and And

[00:05:46.34] spk_3:
was the subject line perfect? And you kind of forget to be as careful about the footer and in the footer to the donors. It said eight cents of every dollar goes to programs services.

[00:05:51.34] spk_1:
Okay. Yeah.

[00:05:52.64] spk_3:
Now, most people already wouldn’t even see

[00:05:55.27] spk_1:
that Most people are going to look at the footer,

[00:07:01.34] spk_3:
right? This and this is an animal shelter. So? So when when it was caught, we were like, Okay, so we’re So what we did was we said, Okay, let’s let’s send it up. But let’s stay in character for how the donors know us. And we we have with this with this, um, animal shelter. We have a really fun, friendly voice. And so we sent out a correction email, and we used it to educate donors on what the truth is. And what we said was forgive us if you are, forgive us for our mistake. Um and we try. We’re pause P a w positively horrified. We made this mistake because the truth is it’s 82 cents of your dollar that goes to programs services, and we’re really proud of that. And then we talked about how we care for donor services. But we kept the really used pictures of cute puppies and kittens and, you know, it was all friendly and fun, and it was a good chance to educate the donors on what the actual You know how the organization uses donor resources. And,

[00:07:25.04] spk_2:
of course, the silver lining on that example and everything else is that when you do have an effective apology like that, um, you can have extraordinary engagement with your donors. So for that example that Claire just shared, we had over 50% open rate and almost a 5% click through rate, which is more than three times as high on both metrics as as you might hope to see.

[00:07:39.04] spk_1:
Yeah, Julie, I was going to go to you. Uh, so it sounds like the first thing you should do when you discover one of these gaffes is don’t panic,

[00:07:40.84] spk_2:
never panic. Panicking definitely does not help

[00:07:43.58] spk_1:
you accomplish your compound, right, you’ll send the wrong thing. You won’t think it through. You’ll blow the one chance you have to really fix it well, so keep your head on.

[00:08:35.44] spk_2:
Panicking definitely doesn’t help in any environment, I will say before, you know before you get there. It’s definitely worthwhile to have a comprehensive QA process. Um, and quality assurance process. Make sure that you’re going through steps to try to avoid the mistakes in the first place. But then, yeah, once the mistake happens, because no matter how good your quality assurance process is, mistakes will happen. Um, so when something does happen to be able to, like you said, don’t panic, figure out what was the mistake? What was what type of mistake was it? Is there an opportunity there? There might be a silver lining. There might be an opportunity. And how can you? How can you apologize in the most effective way? Or turn the mistake into make some lemonade from that lemon and really find a good silver lining there?

[00:08:58.34] spk_1:
What if someone is screaming at you? Maybe it’s a board member who just got the email. Maybe it’s the CEO. Whoever someone senior to you is furious about the mistake. Yeah, about them. Yeah, not about Not about what you’re wearing that day. But yeah,

[00:09:03.86] spk_3:
I’m just because the other problem is when the donor picks up the phone and starts to screen with you, right?

[00:09:20.34] spk_1:
Okay. It could be a donor, but I was trying to manage in the office first, but that’s a good one. Clear. We’ll get to. We’ll do that later. The secondary. The secondary market. Yeah, the other constituents. But how about right in your office? Uh, you know, a CEO or board member? Well, we’ll consider board members insiders for purposes of our conversation. What do you do there? Furious.

[00:09:49.54] spk_3:
Yeah. Yeah. And the first thing to do is to say, this is this isn’t all bad. There’s There’s probably an opportunity here. And we had a whole section on opportunities. Every every one of the case studies that we presented and the our speed round where people were talking about all these are the mistakes they made, you know, we talk about Well, there’s an opportunity there, like shuffle. You had some great ideas about opportunities.

[00:10:22.94] spk_4:
Yeah, and I mean, the first question you asked that the step was How does this happen? You know what I mean? Like, how do these mistakes happen? And they happen because there are human people at the other end of that happens like we all make mistakes. And sometimes the donor wants nothing more than to know that a person is at the other end of these communications. And that’s your opportunity right there to say sorry. Build a connection to make, like, some sort of personal, heartfelt apology. Um, and then you have a lasting connection with the donor.

[00:10:51.04] spk_1:
Claire, let me continue with you where we’ve got a furious supervisor here. Doesn’t it help to just also say, I’m sorry? I mean, I know, I know. I know. I made a mistake without trying to deflect or, you know, just even if it’s not 100% your mistake. Like if two other people read the copy also, but but the CEO is in your office in the moment. Oh, yeah. You just say I know, I know. We messed it up or I’m sorry. You know, I mean, just right, well,

[00:10:56.17] spk_3:
and and it is, you’re you’re absolutely right. But then there’s the other. The other mistake that you just alluded to when it was completely out of your control. Julie, talk about what happened with the USPS this year.

[00:11:30.54] spk_2:
Oh, my goodness. And so this is, you know, there are definitely issues that are outside of our control, right? So, you know there was for people who use Blackboard Online Express there was one year that it stopped taking donations on giving Tuesday. There was the black pod data breach last spring and summer. Gmail started hard bouncing in the middle of December this past year. And then, of course, in direct mail, USPS had delays and we had some of our clients were sending out holiday fundraising appeals at the very beginning of December. But then the seeds weren’t even received until the beginning of January. So if you’re mailing that,

[00:11:54.84] spk_3:
you think Yeah, I mean, there’s There’s a pissed off CEO pissed off client pissed off everybody that people didn’t The donors didn’t get the asks.

[00:11:58.54] spk_1:
Yeah, it’s

[00:13:06.94] spk_2:
outside. It’s outside of your control. But there are ways to make that into an opportunity. We had one client. They had sent out a mailing that talked about a December 31st, matching gift deadline, but people didn’t receive the mailings. Um, it bombed. And so we have brainstormed with them. What can we do to figure out a way around this? And we ended up doing an email campaign in early January that effectively said, We understand there were delays with the post service. We know that you may not have received our appeal letter. We would like to tell you that even though it said that the matching gift deadline was on December 31st we talked to the matching gift donor, and we’ve been able to extend it. Please make your contribution now, and so you know it’s not going to necessarily completely counter active. You know that’s not our mistake, but it’s not going to completely counteract that problem. But you can still look for a silver lining. You can still try to connect with the donors, show them that you are a human, show them that you’re all partners together for the mission, um, and then bring them back on board for for the mission.

[00:13:26.44] spk_1:
Claire, you you seem to be the one who raises the good hypotheticals. Alright, let’s let’s go outside now. I suppose it is a donor on the phone, so it’s not. It’s not a supervisor, but now it’s a donor. You know, maybe it’s maybe they’re the ones who maybe they’re the challenge donors who December 31st, you know, in January 3rd, they got the they got the challenging male or whatever it is, you have an upset donor or a very upset volunteer. How do you manage that?

[00:15:20.44] spk_3:
Well, first of all, remember that the fact that someone has picked up the phone and called you you have a dedicated donor on the other end of the line. This is a person who cared enough, cared enough about the work that you’re doing and is invested enough in the mission to pick up the phone and complain. So you’ve got someone on the phone who really cares, and then you kind of follow some basic steps. Remember feelings before solutions? Let them vent. Let them say whatever it is that made them angry and listen to it and be sympathetic and listen for opportunities to connect and then solve the problem. Sometimes it’s that it’s that the donor says, Well, I only wanted to be mailed once a year, and this is the third appeal I’ve gotten this year, and so you know you have a chance to draw them into a conversation and get them talking about why they care about the organization’s work, why this mission matters to them. Once they start talking about why they care, they usually talk themselves into wanting to give. I’ve been in the situation where I’ve been the person talking to the donor that was angry and letting them talk and then finding a way to, like, say, Well, that’s a really good point and I think we can We can address that mistake and then upgrading the donor getting them. That’s actually how I started in fundraising. I was. I was asked to call donors who were angry, find out what the problem was and and then just these were people who had pledged money, and we’re going to pay it off. I raised all the money they had pledged just by listening to them just by solving little problems that they had really small. Um and then they ended up being very dedicated, the organization, because again it’s what you’ve always said is that human human, you know, these are people on both sides of the equation. Philanthropy is, of course, the most human of acts.

[00:15:40.74] spk_1:
You all know the service recovery paradox.

[00:15:44.84] spk_3:
No,

[00:15:46.44] spk_1:
really, I haven’t. We

[00:15:49.33] spk_3:
do that. Pardon me? My suspicion that we actually do that.

[00:16:07.54] spk_1:
Well, yeah, you’re you. You could very well be a part of it, but, um, it’s bona fide. There’s research. The service recovery paradox is that someone for whom a mistake occurs and and has that mistake satisfactorily corrected will be more connected to the brand. I think I’ve seen it more on the commercial side will be more connected to the brand than someone for whom a mistake never occurred.

[00:16:20.14] spk_3:
Yeah,

[00:16:21.62] spk_1:
actually, you’re describing Claire like your clarity talking about upgrading people who were upset.

[00:16:28.24] spk_2:
There are a lot of psyche communications. We were founded by sinking pursuant. Um, back in the late seventies. And there are a lot of myths around Spanky Pearlington. Um, and many of them are not verified.

[00:16:42.65] spk_1:
Uh, thank you, man or a woman or

[00:16:44.76] spk_3:
she is a woman.

[00:16:49.84] spk_2:
Um, I think he was a nickname for Selma. Um, apparently, maybe that’s the new thing that we can learn for today. Um,

[00:16:54.61] spk_1:
I think

[00:16:55.60] spk_3:
I

[00:17:24.44] spk_2:
know so So There are a lot of a lot of myths around her in the industry, but one, and I have no idea if this is true. But I have been told that she used to plant mistakes and direct mail letters because there was an increased increased responses or an increased response rate or an increased giving. If there was a mistake in the letter, people would actually right back, correct it and send in their check while they were at it.

[00:17:26.56] spk_1:
That’s brilliant.

[00:17:27.84] spk_3:
It’s brilliant,

[00:17:43.84] spk_1:
right? They love you enough to point out like Claire was saying, they love you enough to point out your mistake. But then they might feel bad about not including a check. So you’re you’re you’re helping them get over the hurdle of, uh, whether to reply, you’re giving them a giving them an even better reason to reply. And by the way, they feel bad. If they if they only complain so they’ll give you money too well.

[00:18:05.94] spk_3:
And we writers like to believe that once somebody has noticed some kind of little mistake, they start reading for other mistakes, and then they actually get hooked into the message. Those of us who spend all our time crafting those messages. It’s our chance to hook them.

[00:18:13.44] spk_1:
Shefali, do you do you deliberately? Have you ever deliberately honest Now have you any deliberate mistake in?

[00:18:18.61] spk_4:
I have to say I’m having this conversation. I’m already thinking of, like subject lines that maybe you have a mistake, but not super obvious. But it would get people to just open the email.

[00:18:30.64] spk_1:
Wait, wait, I want to flush this out. We’re getting good advice. This is the stuff I love. A nonprofit radio. Actionable, actionable advice. What way?

[00:18:53.54] spk_4:
What’s an example? For example, I’m just thinking, What if the subject line just had somebody else’s name and you click on it? Because you think OK, this person made a mistake? That’s not my name. And then you open it and says, Just getting Of course we know you’re tell me because you are one of our most dedicated supporters,

[00:19:06.84] spk_1:
Okay, but they think they’re being voyeuristic by opening it up. It’s made for somebody else. I definitely want to check that out more so than I would read my own. The problem with

[00:19:09.64] spk_2:
tony that that that will be great with the donors. It may not be so great with that CEO that comes into your office yelling.

[00:19:24.34] spk_1:
Well, I should get approval in advance and say, Look, I want to want to test it. I want to test it exactly like we’re going to send 1000 that are that are misnamed than 1000 that are correctly named And, uh, let’s see. Let’s see which one pulls better. Which one clicks through better. You want to

[00:19:34.69] spk_3:
share one more?

[00:19:36.33] spk_1:
I have these copywriter minds think it’s amazing. Anything else occur to you while we’re talking?

[00:19:42.54] spk_4:
No, that’s it. I mean, new campaign idea in two minutes. I’m pretty happy with

[00:20:13.64] spk_1:
that. Yeah, right. Okay, well, we’re 17 minutes in, so try to try to up your game a little bit. Were already. You’re only one idea in 17 minutes. We’ve got to do a little better than that. Um all right, what else should we talk about? The crisis communications management is this This is this is no, I mean, that’s a crisis, but we’re now we’re moving to organizational crisis. Where the where the local paper headline and it’s not good. Who? Julie, you got You got a first bit of advice for that.

[00:22:10.54] spk_2:
Um so I think we we go back to where you started with before, which is always start with. Don’t panic. Um, for many of the organizations that we that we work with, one of the first things that we do is we talk to them about what is the rapid response plan? Um, it applies to if there’s a hurricane that impacts your services or if there’s a political situation that impacts your services or if there’s something in terms of internal politics where there’s something that is going to impact your reputation and you have that that rapid response plan. And it’s a question of, you know, we’ve given whole other talks about this and that it’s a whole other topic of conversation, but it is. It is really important, right? If you have the plan going in that you can deal with whatever the issues are, so you say Okay, who are the decision makers at the organization? What is the chain of command? Who are the people who we need to gather at the organization to figure out whether or not we respond? If we respond, what channels do we respond in what is the messaging of that response, right? And so you know that that really does have to depend on what is the situation. And in some some issues you don’t some problems, whether it’s a mistake internally, a mistaken communication or a one of these kind of rapid response publicity, something some situations will not require a response, and others do. And so it’s a question of what is the message? Is it something where, you know, if you actually do something really offensive, who is the right person to say something? Is it the executive director? Is it the chair of the board? Um, so so is it somebody who is a trusted individual who is the right signer for it? What is the right message? You know, we do. We do often. I will say, use humor when we are crafting an apology. Claire Claire talked about that example of Please forgive us from an animal shelter. You’re not going to do that if it’s something really offensive, you

[00:22:22.60] spk_1:
don’t want to. Yeah,

[00:22:24.30] spk_4:
I

[00:22:30.54] spk_2:
mean, you never know, but you want to be very human. Talk about it. Ideally, you want to be real explain. Here’s the situation and and have a very real genuine apology. What?

[00:22:56.84] spk_1:
Okay, what if at the outset, you don’t You don’t have enough facts. I mean, can you Can you come out and say we can’t comment right now? You know, we’re still looking into whatever the situation is, and we don’t want to say anything inappropriate. So give us 24 hours or something like that. Well,

[00:23:34.54] spk_3:
and committing to transparency in that process, I think is going to go a long way to saying we’re still figuring this out. We want you to know we’re on it. Were These are the steps we’ve already taken. Here’s a step. There is the next step we’re taking, and we’re going to tell you what’s going on. You know, you’re going to hear about this. Um, and just just to reassure them anytime you’re you’re dealing with somebody you’re dealing with donor group, they’ve given you their money. This is this is an act of trust. You have to you have to work to keep that trust, um, to make sure it’s, you know, earned. So you don’t want to lose that,

[00:23:49.04] spk_2:
and transparency is important. But you’re also then messaging them and saying to them as a donor. You are. You are our partner in executing our mission. You are part of the organization. We owe you an explanation. And we need you to help us get through this. We need you to continue to support, um, you know, shelter, animals, homeless youth, whatever the population is that you are providing services to you, our our partner in supporting this mission. And we need you to stand with us.

[00:24:11.94] spk_4:
Yeah, and the more authentic and personal it is, it’s also it’s more of its transparency. But it’s also assurance that not just like it’s not just we have your best interest isn’t just that hot, but it’s also you’re in the know about what’s happening in the organization. Like Julie said, you’re a partner

[00:25:33.54] spk_1:
building on that trust that Claire was talking about. Yeah. Yeah, right. You have that trust in the bank you don’t wanna you don’t wanna exploit it, uh, and squander it, which, you know, conflicting messaging will do. I think too much delay. Depending on the situation, you know, too much delay. Then the story gets ahead of you, and I’m envisioning something really bad, you know, and then somebody else controls the narrative, and you’ve You’ve lost your opportunity. You know, those those things are bad. And that’s that’s a squandering of good faith, squandering of trust. All right, well, that’s that. That’s the trust to that Claire you talked about when we were talking about the gaffes. You know, people love you so much that they’re going to let you know that you made a mistake. Those are those are the most concerned, Like most invested people, the ones who don’t care, we’re gonna write off like, uh, another. Another problem with these people, you know, something like that. But the ones who really care, we’re gonna say, How could they let this happen? Do they know? You know? So, yeah, they’re invested their invested. All right. Um, what else are we talking about? We got a couple more minutes. We don’t have to wrap up whatever we covered yet.

[00:25:38.94] spk_3:
Well, one of the fun things we talked about not fun at all. It was how to apologize appropriately.

[00:25:45.24] spk_1:
Okay, well, you gave a good example of the animal shelter. Were,

[00:26:02.84] spk_3:
But if it’s offensive, what we’ve all noticed in, you know, in our media consumption in the last couple of years. Is all of these people, uh, providing apologies? You know, apologies.

[00:26:25.34] spk_1:
Backhanded apologies, if backhanded apology. If anyone was offended. Exactly, I didn’t intend it. And I regret that they’re offended. So it’s like it’s like their fault. It’s your fault for being offended, right? I regret that you’re offended, you know? All right, talking about her one. Horrible. Yeah,

[00:26:36.14] spk_3:
it’s horrible. And we actually said, Be sure if someone if someone said something offensive, be sure they say I offended. And I apologize.

[00:26:37.31] spk_1:
We should follow, you know, making human. There’s a human behind this apology. Not it wasn’t written by a

[00:26:43.58] spk_4:
robot. You know, it’s not like a template apology. Yeah, 100. An apology

[00:26:50.44] spk_1:
if anyone was offended. I’m sorry that they are regret that they are people who won’t even say step. Probably won’t even say sorry. I regret that. It’s unfortunate that you are

[00:27:01.19] spk_3:
all

[00:27:16.04] spk_1:
right. All right. What else you want to, um Let’s see. Anybody who wants to take us out with, uh, parting parting advice for the Let’s stick with the Gaff. I like that. That was the most animated part. The somebody take us out with good gaffe advice.

[00:27:19.24] spk_3:
Well, I’ll tell you one of the things we had fun coming up with Shefali and I, um, included. We gave a little bit of conference swag in some some checklists and things that people

[00:27:31.03] spk_1:
can take.

[00:28:21.14] spk_3:
And we also provided a little freebie five subject lines to try if you made a mistake. So this is how this is how to get somebody to open your email apology. And so we came up with we came up with. Well, this is awkward. Um, let’s see if we can get our apology right. You deserve our best. You didn’t get it. Can you forgive us? Name of donor and then my favorite. I think this is shit follies. Um, the email you were actually supposed to get name. Okay, So just kind of helping people out. We have. We have unfortunate reasons. Were knowing that all of those emails are successful. Um, so a

[00:28:35.84] spk_1:
lot of communications is gonna be a lot of mistakes. I mean, it’s going to happen. It’s humans. You don’t you don’t strive for them. Obviously you strive not to like Julie was saying, but but with QA. But it’s going to happen now. What about this? I don’t like I don’t like teasing nonprofit radio listeners, and then they don’t get anything. What about this checklist you mentioned? So

[00:29:03.24] spk_2:
those five subject lines along with a variety of other things, including some of the most common QA mistakes to watch for, um, at sinking dot com slash ntc 21 you can download a pdf that has whole bunch of good checklist for both avoiding mistakes. And then what to do if you made a mistake.

[00:29:07.44] spk_1:
Okay,

[00:29:13.54] spk_2:
so that was Thank you. Slash And so sink e ink dot com slash ntc 21.

[00:29:20.54] spk_1:
Got it and sank is s a N k y. Thank you dot com slash ntc 21. All

[00:29:24.33] spk_3:
right.

[00:29:43.34] spk_1:
Thank you. Think as opposed to what I said, which was Thank you. Thank you, Link. All right, Nobody talked. Now nobody talked. Thank e ink dot com slash ntc 21 You betcha. Thank you. All right. I don’t like cold, madam. Non profit your listeners. Alright, Good. So they can get the resource there. We’re gonna leave it there. Julie’s if sent Vice President of Accounts and Strategic Services. Claire Thomas, Copy Director Shefali Rao, senior copywriter all at Sancti Communications. Thank you very much. Wonderful.

[00:30:01.56] spk_3:
Thank you so much Fun.

[00:32:49.14] spk_1:
Real pleasure. I enjoyed it. And thank you for being with tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 21 NTC 2021 Nonprofit Technology Conference where we are sponsored by We should be sponsored by sank Communication with all these shout outs I’m giving, but we’re not. We’re sponsored by turn to communications sank e ink dot No, not spanking dot com Turn to communication. Turn hyphen two dot c o responsible. I turn to communications Turn hyphen two dot c o thanks to each of you. Thank you very much. It’s time for a break. Turn to communications relationships turn to has the relationships with media outlets, journalists, even bloggers podcasters like me they have the outlets to get you placed When there’s a reason for you to be in the news. There’s some news hook that they can grab and they can talk to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, CBS Market Watch, et cetera. They’ve got the existing relationships and they’ll leverage them to your advantage because you’re their client. You get in the media, turn to communications. Turn hyphen two dot c o It’s time for Tony. Take two. How are you? How are you doing? Have you had a vaccine? How’s your family doing? Your family been vaccinated? I’m interested. I’m interested in how listeners are doing. I sent this out asking folks who get the insider alert our weekly insider alert. And I got a bunch of responses back. People. People told me how they’re doing. Tell me what’s going on, How they’ve been what? What It’s like, uh, planning to go back to work, etcetera. So I turned it to listeners. That’s you. How are you doing? How’s your family? Let me know. You can use my email. Here it is. It’s not gonna be able to use it and give it to you tony at tony-martignetti dot com. Tony at tony-martignetti dot com Let me know how you are That is Tony’s Take two. We’ve got boo koo, but loads more time for nonprofit radio. Here is talking mental health in your workplace. Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 21 NTC, The 2021 nonprofit Technology Conference. We’re sponsored at 21 NTC by turn to communications turn hyphen two dot c o. My guest now is Dan Burstein. He is founder at M H. Mediate. Dan. Welcome to our coverage of 21 NTC.

[00:32:59.94] spk_0:
Thank you very much for having me.

[00:33:15.94] spk_1:
Pleasure. Absolute pleasure. We’re talking about something that’s important. That’s not talked about enough. Your session is talking mental health in a virtual workplace. There’s there’s stigma around mental health. Is it? Is it Is it worse now in a

[00:35:38.34] spk_0:
virtual world? Um, I would say that, and I’ll just say, I’ll just say that, you know, my background is I’m a mediator and I do work to help people talk about mental health. But I also personally live openly with bipolar disorder. And I would say that stigma is a funny thing, because when we think about stigma, we think about well, do people have a negative attitude towards someone having a mental illness? And as time has gone on the general climate of negative attitudes to someone having a mental illness, I believe is shifted so people are more accepting of the idea that someone might have a mental health problem and we need to work with the fact that everybody in the workplace has mental health needs of some kind and people might need take a personal day or something. The interesting thing is, what kinds of ideas do people have about what do you do when you see that somebody may or may not have a mental health problem? And that’s where so much talk has happened during the pandemic, where, UM, people are saying, Well, what do we do? How do we pay attention to our co workers? How do we notice if there’s a mental health problem and help them? Their statistics out that about half of people have some kind of mental health symptoms now during the pandemic. And so there’s a lot of people have these good intentions that they want to find a way to support someone who has a mental health problem. But the way that they offer that support might actually be stigmatizing. And, um, one way of doing that is if you assume someone needs help. So if someone hears I have bipolar disorder, or even if someone notices, I’m having personal issues at work, if they approach me with the assumption that I need their help, that that’s paternalism and that’s one kind of stigma, another type of stigma and I’ll end it right there is, um, another type of stigma is, if you believe, for instance, Oh, well, Dan has bipolar disorder, but if he goes to the doctor and he takes his medicine, Dan will be fine. Where you that’s That’s an accepting idea. But that’s not how it works for everyone, because I have a choice about how to take care of my mental health. And plenty of people don’t get better even when they take medicine, because they have side effects or treatment resistance. And it’s a difficult journey for them. And so sometimes there’s an oversimplification of we have all the answers for someone’s mental health. Now you just need to come tell HR tell somebody, and we’ll be able to get you the help you need. Use the employee assistance plan. You’ll get your help, and we have it all figured out. And that creates a lot of stigma as well, because it puts that pressure on people to have their mental problems figured out or solved.

[00:35:59.64] spk_1:
Okay, so we want to. We want to be able to say the right things and avoid these Gaffs around dealing with folks who may need help and you said during the pandemic, What’s the statistic? Like as many as 50% of people have have some mental health needs. Intervention needs. Doing what

[00:36:56.43] spk_0:
I would say is 100% of people have mental health needs. So that means, you know, everybody has stressful days. They get to have worried, overwhelming, take care of ourselves like we’re all in a spectrum. In a normal year, one in five people will have a diagnosable mental health problem. So that’s what a normal year looks like. It’s about 20% of people will have a diagnosable problem now with the pandemic, it’s been. About half of people have been reporting mental health symptoms of some kind, and that’s for a number of reasons. That’s partly because of the social isolation, the fear of the illness, getting sick from the pandemic. Um, you know, losing your job. I mean, so many things are happening that are possible stressors that can trigger someone to have a mental health problem. So putting it all together, the data has shown that about half of people are having some kind of mental health symptoms that they’re reporting.

[00:37:09.23] spk_1:
Okay. All right. So yeah, 2.5 times as much as a as a as a normal year.

[00:37:10.53] spk_0:
All right? Exactly. So it’s more relevant now than ever. Accept that we all always have mental health stuff going on in some degrees. So I like to say it’s always relevant all the time for us to do.

[00:38:08.32] spk_1:
Yeah, fair point that. Everybody. You’re right. 100% of people have mental health needs. That could be as easy as I need. I need an hour away. Uh, I need I need quiet. I I gotta be with people. I’m too. I feel like I’m twice later, I got to get outdoors. I mean, those are all us, uh, responding to what we’re feeling in the moment and trying to take care of ourselves. Exactly. You’re right. Of course. 100. You’re right. Not that I thought you would be wrong, but yeah, you give voice to it. 100% of us have mental health needs. Absolutely. All right. Um right. So can we Can we flush these two things out? You know, assuming that people need help or that is assuming that the answers are simple. Is there Is there more like is there. Are there more ways we can help people avoid saying the wrong

[00:41:26.41] spk_0:
thing? Yeah, So what I usually do and what I taught in the workshop at the conference is, um, I try to focus on people remembering that when we’re in the workplace, we have to know what our role is. So are are you this person’s, um, you know, support system. Are you this person mental health treatment professional? Or are you there co worker or boss? If your co worker or boss you should start thinking what’s appropriate for me as a vantage point to engage in the topic of mental health and what what really is appropriate is talking about the behaviors in the workplace and how they affect the workplace. So you may see somebody who let’s say their absence a lot, and that’s not like them. And it’s not really appropriate work, even if it were like them. And so you’re thinking, Gee, from the way they look, they remind me of my friend from college who suffered from depression, and I might go over to them. And I might say, You know, Dan, uh, you’re absent a lot. I’d like to refer you to the employee Assistance Plan, which offers free counseling benefits. Or I’d like to suggest a way to help you with your mental health. I’m concerned that might be an issue that is wrong, because done now is you’ve added the backstory of your idea of what their mental health might be from your personal experiences instead of just focusing on what you’ve seen in the workplace, which is the absence is. So the better conversation is to sit down and say, Um, you know, Dan, I’ve noticed that you’ve been absent and I’d like to talk to you about how that affects the workplace and what we can do to manage that going forward and follow that conversation forward about the behavior. And then there’s ways that you can integrate mental health, you know into that conversation. And the typical way is to say, you know, whenever anybody is absent three times or whenever anybody misses this many deadlines or whenever anybody turns in lower quality work, we always let them know that there’s resources here to help them. And here’s a handout that includes all the resources we have that includes the employee assistance plan, etcetera. But what we’ve done here is we’ve taken the behavior indicator and we said, Okay, my role is really about the behavior I’d like to offer mental health support. You don’t have to. I’d like to offer mental health support. So what I do is I find a way to do it without singling anybody out. And I regularly promote these resources, um, and link it to clear behavior based criteria when I do it, as opposed to my hunch that I’ve seen something and I’m guessing, if you may are made out of a mental hunch about you, right, So that’s 11 way to look at it and that covers most situations. The the other thing that happens, Um, so that covers if you if you if you see you know performance problems at work or if you see inappropriate conduct, you can do the approach, I just said, But the other thing that can happen is someone can come and disclose to you, and they can disclose to you either just in passing like I did on this program and say, I have bipolar disorder and that’s it. Or they can disclose to you by saying, you know, I have bipolar disorder, I have depression and I’d like to change something here in the workplace. And at that point, most workplaces of a certain size have a responsibility legally to consider what’s called a reasonable accommodation for disability. And so there is a process for talking about that, and the American

[00:41:29.53] spk_1:
is that’s under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

[00:42:56.00] spk_0:
Yes, this is under the Americans with Disabilities Act, reasonable accommodation. Most Most organizations do not talk about this very well in the sense that they have a policy. If somebody asked for a reasonable accommodation, but they don’t educate the managers and the staff of when someone says something that could be a request for an accommodation. Um and so the example that I give is You know, a lot of people hear me say, I have bipolar disorder and they go, Whoa, that’s serious. Do you need help, Dan, Um, you know, But if I said, Oh, I’m feeling depressed right now and I need some time off I might not realize that that person is suffering from major depression and they’re actually asking for a disability accommodation. So it’s very dangerous to use your own judgment of whether or not a situation is serious enough to refer to H R or to refer to the disability accommodation on policy. And so what you really need to do is, um, when someone shares anything that includes two elements, which is possible health condition and that requests for a change in the workplace you should have, you should offer to process it like a disability accommodation. Um, and you should not, as a manager, informally offer the health, because even though you think you’re doing that person a favor, you’re making that person feel insecure that there’s not a real system to take care of them and instead that they’re relying on the goodwill of their manager. And that’s not a comfortable thing. In addition to the fact that if you’re letting the manager do these ad hoc favors, um, you’re opening up the possibility that there might be discrimination where whoever the manager notices, some people get, some people don’t etcetera, and and that becomes a problem. So that’s basically the whole gamut of interactions. You can have that work related mental health.

[00:43:21.80] spk_1:
So what is so what is the best way? By the way, I don’t know if you can hear There’s vacuuming because I have a contractor preparing my stairs, and

[00:43:22.84] spk_0:
I can’t hear the vacuuming, but I I feel for you.

[00:43:44.10] spk_1:
Okay. Thank you. I was feeling for you because I thought it might be distracting. Uh, well, if you hear vacuuming or pounding, it’s on my end. Okay? There’s no one trying to break into your home. What? So what is the appropriate thing to say? Then tell us, You know, like, if you can script it, what should What should the supervisors say when the person presents with these two? You know, these

[00:46:51.98] spk_0:
two criteria? I think they should just ask, you know. Oh, I I hear you’re saying that, um I hear you saying this and that. Would you? You know, would you like us to, um, Steve, there’s a way to adjust the workplace as part of an accommodation. This is what we say to anybody who presents with a possible health issue and, um, request for help. And most people will say No, I don’t I don’t want to do it as an accommodation. Um, and I’m saying this also with the caveat that you should go to your own HR department and find out how they want you to do this, but because they have their own practices and they have their own attorneys that have decided how to do it at your organization. But the key thing is, a lot of people at the organization don’t understand that regularly. People are saying things that could be a request for accommodation. And the fact that you would take it more seriously if I say I have bipolar disorder than depression is on its face. Discriminatory because you know you don’t realize it because you’re just thinking you’re being nice. You’re being supportive. Um, you know, But, um, but it’s just it’s just it’s better to have a uniform approach where anytime anybody shares any kind of health need while asking for for some kind of change at work, you refer someone, and if somebody just shares it like I said, I have bipolar disorder. Um, don’t assume they need help. So that’s the other piece. You need both elements before you offer the accommodation for all. Otherwise, there’s some lessons about generally how to talk about mental health. Um, and people can get resources that I promoted on the conference. I guess we could add a link to go with this podcast. But I could say that you are l, um, Dispute resolution and Mental Health Initiative is where you can get the free resources. So it’s D r M h initiative dot org. There’s a lot of resources there to help you figure out ways to talk about mental health and empowering ways. Um, one example is person first language. So you wouldn’t say Dan is bipolar because that’s defining me by my condition. You would say Dan has bipolar disorder, or Dan, um, you know, has a diagnosis of bipolar, you know, or whatever it may be, Um, the other thing is, you should really never make any assumptions. So when someone says something to you, the easiest thing to say is, Oh, what What do you want me to know from that? What do you want me to know from that? Instead of jumping in and saying, Oh, I have a friend who also has, um, you know, depression, right? Or I’m depression myself. I’m anxiety. You know, someone says to you, Hey, I’m mentioning, um that I have, uh, I’ll use me again as an example. Bipolar disorder, you can say. Oh, Dan, I hear you. You know what? What do you want me to know from that? And I said, Oh, you know what? I’m fine. I don’t need anything. I’m just open with everyone so that, you know, I just was saying it because it’s just what I do to feel more comfortable or it’s just part of what I do for my work. Um, but but But most people, when they hear something like that, they go into their hole on their whole inner wheel in their head. Um oh, what do I do to help this person?

[00:46:53.73] spk_1:
What I read about that. Yeah, I

[00:47:03.18] spk_0:
read about that. And it’s the actual advice to take care of. This is it’s actually quite simple. Don’t listen to yourself. Listen to the person who’s talking and make sure you hear what their ideas are and what their desires are. Um, to guide the conversations and there’s a lot more to it than that. You can get those resources again at D. R. M. H initiative dot org.

[00:47:19.48] spk_1:
Okay. Okay. Um, since we’re talking so much about bipolar, why don’t you acquaint folks with what it means to have a diagnosis of bipolar.

[00:49:52.37] spk_0:
Sure, well, but well, every mental health diagnosis because of the nature of what a mental health problem is, where it affects your thoughts and feelings and behaviors is unique to each individual. So I don’t want anyone to generalize from my story to other people. But I have bipolar disorder. It’s a mood disorder, which means I have trouble regulating my moods to some degree. And because it’s bipolar, there’s two different types of ends of the spectrum. On the one hand, there’s the low mood, which is depression. Um, what differentiates me from someone who has a diagnosis of depression is there’s also periods of high moods, which can be mania or hypomania. Traditionally, people think of that as you get very euphoric. Um, but you can also, which means very happy. But you can also have a very upsetting or dysphoric mania. And there’s a lot. There’s a lot of complexity, so I don’t want people to walk away thinking they know what it means that someone has bipolar for me. I was 19, um, in college, and I didn’t sleep for four straight days until I was then hospitalized and they checked my brain and, um, saw that I didn’t have drugs in my system. I didn’t have a brain abnormality physically on the scan and diagnosed me with bipolar disorder. Because if you have one of these big up episodes where you don’t sleep and you talk faster than I’m talking right now and you engage in erratic behaviors, um, that is definitive for a diagnosis of bipolar. Basically. So, um, if you just have depression, you don’t know if someone’s going to have depression or not, because you need to see that up episode to know that somebody has bipolar disorder. So for me, I was 19. I had that episode in college. I missed a semester of school, you know, got hospitalized and I’ll stop the story there. But it’s obviously a long story of life with a mental illness. Um, and it’s complicated, and it’s just one of many people’s different stories. Some people go to the hospital. Some people don’t. Some people take medications some people don’t, and that’s why what’s important is to let people tell their story and tell you what they want you to know. Instead of asking your own questions and pro and probing. Um, what? Your question was totally appropriate, Um, for this podcast. But in general, if you’re at work, you know, you keep your head down, and when someone brings it up to you, you listen to them and you ask them what they want to talk about. And you follow some of the other skills that you can learn to be empowering and talking about mental health.

[00:49:54.57] spk_1:
So a better way to ask. What would you like me to know

[00:49:57.77] spk_0:
about? What Would you like me to know and or just Yeah, or just I mean, you can say diagnosed. You can say anything, but yeah. I mean,

[00:50:05.84] spk_1:
what would you like me to know

[00:51:19.56] spk_0:
about what you’re saying, what you know or what are you? What are you trying to convey to me? You know, the idea is less about specifically what you say and more about showing the person a few things. So number one is I’m listening to you. I want to hear your ideas and your story. You’re you’re empowered in this conversation. So that’s one thing you’re trying to do. The other thing that I mentioned earlier, it’s really important is I’m not judging you and singling you out to treat you differently than other people. So those are the themes that you want to show with. Everything you’re trying to do is to say we we we check in on everybody who is absent, we check in and everybody who misses deadlines, you know, we have the same conversation. It’s better to give a written handout because with the written handout, um, people can see Oh, yeah, You didn’t just make this up just because you’re freaked out by me. You you give this out to everybody. So those are the key principles that are the most important. And if you say the wrong thing along the way, um, you know that’s not always pleasant for someone. But if they can see that you’re really trying to be fair and treat them like somebody else and if they can see that you’re really trying to listen to them, then you’re going to have a good outcome. And and that’s not just when there’s a mental health problem involved, that’s actually all communication. Um, you know, in all interactions, it’s good to do those

[00:51:22.44] spk_1:
things listening,

[00:51:23.50] spk_0:
listening, listening

[00:51:24.73] spk_1:
just as I just cut you off as you’re talking. But I’m saying, but I’m emphasizing, Yeah, listening appropriately. Careful

[00:52:24.25] spk_0:
listening. Um, and what happens with mental health is a lot of times people see mental health niche and they start panicking about what do I do? What do I do? And it’s like, actually, you should really just focus on treating everyone great all the time, and then you won’t have any problems. And and And that’s where I come in as a trainer or, um, you know, to help different organizations is, you know, basically what happens is they have They have some missteps and how they’re dealing with mental health. And so we address those. But it’s actually addressing the culture for everyone because as we started, um, this podcast 100% of people are having mental health needs 100% people, um, you know, might need to communicate about feeling sad or worried or overwhelmed or having a rough day and and and these skills will benefit in all those situations. Um, you know, as long as you get to that mindset of the empowerment and treating everybody the same, all

[00:52:50.55] spk_1:
right, that’s excellent. And I’d like to leave it there if you make you make your points very, very clear. Very succinct. I do want to leave folks with DRM H initiative dot org for Dispute resolution and Mental Health Initiative. DRM h initiative dot org For all the valuable resources you were talking about, Dan Dan Burstein, founder M. H. Mediate Dan, Thank you very much.

[00:52:51.89] spk_0:
Thank you for having me.

[00:53:56.85] spk_1:
Awesome. Valuable Thank you and thank you for being with tony-martignetti. Non profit radio coverage of 21 NTC were sponsored at the conference by turn to communications turn hyphen two dot c o Next week. More 21 NTC panels If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by turn to communications, PR and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot c o. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff shows Social Media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our Web guy, and this music is by Scott Stein. Thank you for that affirmation. Scotty, be with me next week for nonprofit radio. Big non profit ideas for the other 95% Go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for February 1, 2021: Communications Trends Report

My Guest:

Kivi Leroux Miller: Communications Trends Report

Kivi Leroux Miller returns to share her 11th annual, Nonprofit Communications Trends Report, released just last week. She walks us through the impact of the pandemic, the resurgence of email, email best practices, CALM, leading a Girl Scout troop, and more. Kivi is CEO of Nonprofit Marketing Guide.

 

 

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[00:02:13.44] spk_1:
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be stricken with hantavirus pulmonary syndrome if you got ratted out that you missed this week’s show Communications trends report. Kimmy LaRue Miller returns to share her 11th annual non profit Communications Trends report, released just last week. We talk about the impact of the pandemic, the resurgence of email, email, best practices, leading a Girl Scout troop and a lot more tony steak, too. The people are seizing power were sponsored by turn to communications, PR and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot ceo and by dot drives. Prospect to donor. Simplified here is communications trends. Report. What a pleasure to welcome back to non profit radio Kivi LaRue Miller. She is founder and CEO of non profit Marketing Guide, helping hundreds of non profit communicators and participants in the communications director mentoring program. Each year, she called leads a Girl Scout troop and is president of the Lexington Farmers Market Association in Lexington, North Carolina. She also co founded Grow and Go Girls, a small bakery where all net profits go into a travel fund for a group of small town girls to travel. The big World non profit Marketing Guide is that non profit marketing guide dot com? Where else would you expect it from a master communicator? Where else would it be? And at N p m k t g d. I’m not sure about that one. Kivi is at V l m. Welcome back to the show,

[00:02:19.89] spk_0:
Kivi. Thank you, tony. I’m glad to be here. It’s a pleasure to have you

[00:02:23.39] spk_1:
back. You got a little screwed on your Twitter handle for non profit

[00:02:27.08] spk_0:
marketing. You know, it’s too many letters that profit marketing God is just ridiculously log. So you gotta abbreviate these things.

[00:02:43.94] spk_1:
N p m k T g d. I’ll find you on T V l m get you there. All right. Um, what about this Girl Scout troop? What’s that? Like hurting a bunch of girls through a pandemic? Uh,

[00:02:55.57] spk_0:
well, we’re just grateful that the big trip we’re working towards us in 2022. So 20 we will be going to bullies in 2022. God willing so, you know. Yeah, it’ll be a 10 day trip. They are all ninth and 10th graders that we’ve had with us since they were little itty bitty brownies and Daisy Girl Scouts. So, um, it’s great. It’s great. We started the baking business to help them earn more money because you can really only earn so much via Girl Scout cookie sales. But we’re also doing that, too. So it’s alright.

[00:03:23.97] spk_1:
So is an adjunct to the Girl Scout cookies. You’re you’re baking your own throughout. Yes, yes, that’s a short term

[00:03:30.11] spk_0:
campaign. Exactly It Z

[00:03:33.24] spk_1:
is there a brick and mortar store? Thio grow and Go girls.

[00:03:36.32] spk_0:
Well, we participated the farmer’s market six months out of the year. So they have a booth at the farmer’s market. And, uh, we did a little renovation in a building that used to be my father laws electrical shop. So they have a little kitchen out in our backyard, and they do bread and cakes and all kinds of delicious,

[00:03:53.74] spk_1:
so they don’t have to do it in their own home. You have ah,

[00:03:56.28] spk_0:
commercial. We have a state approved home kitchen. Yes, so they can stand that they can sell their stuff legally.

[00:04:05.34] spk_1:
How big is the Girl Scout troop?

[00:04:07.48] spk_0:
It is six girls.

[00:04:09.94] spk_1:
That’s outstanding. Alright, that’s a smaller troop. It’s a small,

[00:04:14.34] spk_0:
uh and you know, the girls they tend to drop out of girl scouts is they get a little older. I think the same is true with boy Scouts to, uh, the promise of international travel is what’s kept them all super engaged in girls

[00:04:26.43] spk_1:
who have Teoh. You have to bake a certain number of gross gross number of dozens or something to get to qualify for your bellies trip. No es somebody somebody brownies.

[00:04:41.04] spk_0:
They’re doing really well. There, there, you know, they’re They’re making significantly more money at the farmers market than we do for the cookie sale. I’ll just leave it at that. We’re gonna be fine. They’re gonna have a great trip. So,

[00:04:49.79] spk_1:
Lisa, what a wonderful exotic place to go.

[00:04:52.54] spk_0:
Yeah. Yeah.

[00:04:53.82] spk_1:
You need any male?

[00:04:55.45] spk_0:
Uh, schedule is very flexible. We’ll put you on the wait list. Tony.

[00:05:08.14] spk_1:
It really wouldn’t matter when you’re going. I know I could accommodate it. Very flexible schedule. Believes I would love. Yeah, Wonderful. Um and so how about the girls through the pandemic. Well, what’s what’s that like right now?

[00:05:32.24] spk_0:
It’s tough, you know? I mean, they’re all doing online schooling, so they don’t really want to get on Zoom to do Girl Scouts. So we we occasionally do things outside, whether permitting, you know, here in North Carolina, it’s not totally frozen out. It’s certainly a little too cold right now, but, um, we were doing some things outdoors with them. It’s a small enough group that we could meet outside. All

[00:05:39.16] spk_1:
right. Wonderful commitment to non profits. You got. You got a bakery. They got the farmer’s market. I love farmers markets. When I lived in New York City, I would look forward to Saturday Farmers markets.

[00:05:49.54] spk_0:
Oh, yeah? Well, New York City got some

[00:05:51.40] spk_1:
amazing one. Yeah, they do. But now here in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, I could just go to the farm stands. There is a There is a local farmers market a couple towns away, but it’s only every other week, you know? So all the farmers are together in a big lot, but But otherwise, you know, we have the luxury of farm stands. I mean, I could go to my favorite please get my apples in the winter. Get my straw. Get my strawberries. Starting in like April May uh, for my favorite You pick place. You go right to the farmers here in North

[00:06:19.19] spk_0:
Carolina. Right? We’ve got lots of lots of roadside stands and curb markets. All kinds of choices

[00:06:26.06] spk_1:
stuff so But I admire your You have a six month, six year, six months a year farmers market in Lexington too.

[00:06:33.54] spk_0:
Yeah, made October. So being a communications professional, I got roped into being on the board. Shocker. Eso now. So now the president of the board

[00:06:45.24] spk_1:
another? Well, food, food, food. Uh, the emergence of girls as leaders.

[00:06:51.94] spk_0:
Yeah,

[00:07:19.34] spk_1:
that’s all. Great baking. You got your food component. It’s You’re staying active. Alright, so let’s talk about the trends report. Um, coming out Well, by the time we record is just last week, it z Tomorrow, as we’re recording, congratulations on 11 annual reports. Thank you. Uh, this was presumed this was an unprecedented one. I mean, you had the we had the recession, but that’s that Z not as significant as the pandemic.

[00:07:38.74] spk_0:
Right? And so, you know, we we there are sets of questions that we ask every other year. So we stuck with some of those. But then we did shift it up a little bit and asked a number of questions. Specifically related. Thio. How people, Whether the pandemic in 2020 and I suspect given how things were going this year, we may ask some of those questions again. Next year is well, since I think we’ll be living with this through 2021 as well.

[00:07:48.84] spk_1:
Uh, certainly a good part of it. Yes. Uh, So what What’s your What’s your like number one take away from from this year’s report?

[00:08:17.24] spk_0:
Well, you know, I think, Ah, a lot of people did really well Ah, lot of nonprofits did really well in a lot of non profits did not do well, And I think there’s a There’s a pretty big stark contrast between the ones that were able to really pivot. I know that everybody hates that word now, but, uh, really pivot in to do things differently. And to do that successfully and the ones that were really just kind of stuck and paralyzed by all of the change that was thrust upon them

[00:08:32.64] spk_1:
and your you have your acronym for what characterizes those who distinguishes those who did well from those who didn’t.

[00:09:18.34] spk_0:
Yes, yes. So we the way that we talk about communications, management frameworks and and effectiveness is calm and calm stands for collaborative, agile, logical and methodical. And that is true. Pandemic or no, the organizations that really embrace those for qualities and the way they manage their communications work are always more successful than those who don’t. And you know, I was very curious to see if that would have an impact if the if that mattered or not in 2020 and in fact it mattered quite a bit. Based on our survey results, it’s time for a break

[00:09:55.74] spk_1:
turn to communications. The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CBS Market Watch, The Chronicle of Philanthropy You want to be in media outlets like this. Turn two has the relationships with outlets like these, so that when they’re looking for experts on charitable giving, non profit trends or philanthropy, they call turned to turn two calls you because they know you because they’re your their client. Turn hyphen two dot ceo. Now back to communications trends report. Um, I don’t suppose you consider bomb I was thinking a bomb like bold, bold, agile, logical, methodical.

[00:10:03.04] spk_0:
We’re going. We’re going with com e like bomb, too, but, you know, already wrote the column. Not busy book, tony. So late on your A little late on your assistance with the acronym there.

[00:10:13.74] spk_1:
Well, I wasn’t. My opinion wasn’t solicit. Well, that’s my opinion. Wasn’t solicited 30 seconds ago. And you got anyway, so that doesn’t hold me back. All right, we’ll stick with bomb. No, you’ve been with You’ve been with calm for years. Of course. E. I was thinking balmy. You put a y in maybe.

[00:10:28.64] spk_0:
Yes. Okay. This is you living at the beach. Be

[00:10:32.73] spk_1:
for beach. Alright. So let’s let’s define com for folks who are not part of the non profit marketing guide community. And then we’ll talk about how that how that helped folks during the pandemic. So your collaborative, agile, logical and methodical What

[00:11:18.50] spk_0:
do you mean so collaborative? When you are being collaborative us, the communication staff are working with your management team with your program ah, leaders with your fundraisers, if those are on a different team and really collaboratively developing and implementing a communications plan. In contrast, to that. We often see communication staff that are just sort of thrown in the quarter by themselves, and they only communicate with others when those people are coming to dump work on their lap. Yes, yes, it’s so. You know, we use a lot of metaphors, that non profit marketing guide. So the metaphor for this is like, Are you the drive thru fast food window where people are just coming and barking orders at you? And then you have to turn around and quickly deliver a somewhat mediocre product often, um, or are you more like a You know, a nice restaurant where people are coming in and sitting down and having conversations about what they’re going to eat, and it’s more of a collaborative, high quality product at the end.

[00:11:46.09] spk_1:
You can even bring over the Somalia if you wanna. You wanna high end wine choice

[00:12:56.54] spk_0:
right? It’s a little different than just the like barking orders and get in the back of seat out the window, so that’s collaborative. When we talk about agility, it’s really about trust. Ultimately, so do the managers of the organization. The program managers trust the communication staff, trust their ability to do a good job, trust their intentions and supporting the goals of the organization or not. And when that trust is there, the communication staff have the ability to really be responsive to what’s happening in the world. And to do that very quickly and to have their professional judgment about how to make those changes be trusted and followed through. They are the experts on a lot of the communications work. You know, a lot of executive directors come up through the program side. They don’t know anything about marketing on dso. You know, the agility really comes and building those trusting relationships and trusting the professionalism of the communications staff again. On the flip side, as you can imagine, when that trust is not in place, there is tons of second guessing what the communications staff are recommending. There is a really inability to make a fast decision. Uh, people just get really paralyzed. And I think we saw a lot of that, um, paralysis and decision making, uh, in the comments that we saw in the trends report.

[00:13:23.54] spk_1:
Okay, how about logical? Methodical?

[00:13:57.44] spk_0:
Yeah, it’s a logical is all about. Does your communications plan makes sense for what you’re trying to achieve. So when we talk about you know what is your objective? What are you really trying to accomplish with your communications? Have you thought that through, or are you just making all the things? So the people who I would say are less logical are the ones that air just doing the stuff, putting this stuff online because that’s what you dio the people who are more logical, understand what they’re actually trying to achieve through their communications and methodical is really about workflow and process. It’s kind of the boring stuff, in a way, but it’s the it’s the kind of secret sauce. It’s the things that we tend to geek out on most at non profit marketing guide. So things like Do you have an editorial calendar? Have you talked about the process by which people will create drafts and who’s gonna edit those things? And who has final say, How many times do people get to see things? Or is it just these endless review loops, you know? Is there a style guide all of these sort of process and workflow things that keep communications moving and produce high quality product relatively quickly

[00:14:37.73] spk_1:
keep things orderly.

[00:14:39.32] spk_0:
Exactly. Exactly. And so again, organizations that don’t have that in play, um, tend to be the communication staff that burn out very quickly on get very unhappy on Don’t produce good results because it’s really just kind of chaos And how stuff is produced and approved and published,

[00:15:14.64] spk_1:
Right? So what was Cem? Were some bad Some bad spots? Or maybe still are. I mean, we’re still in a pandemic. Of course. Right. Um well, uh, I was like, I want to end with Yeah, I wanna end on the upward trend. You gotta start low. What are some? And and of course, you learn from mistakes, too. I mean, this is basically asking what not to do when when your besieged by by a crisis at your non profit or worldwide, you know, what should we be avoiding? So what do we see? That’s not such That’s such good work,

[00:17:21.24] spk_0:
right? So we asked people to explain in their own words. You know what we’re what? Problems were exacerbated by the pandemic. So we were We were assuming that some of these things were kind of already in play, and then the pandemic made the worst so well, that’s how we asked the question. And so we saw a number of themes come out from those answers. One won’t be a big surprise to anybody that’s been working in our sector a long time. The having to cancel all those in person events was obviously traumatic for everyone. Whether you were successful in doing something different or not, there was a big split there. So the organizations, like I said that are not calm in particular, not agile, ended up just canceling and not really doing a lot of replacements or took a very long time to make those decisions. So staff were just constantly scrambling around and there was a lot of mixed communication and a lot of confusion. Um, so you know, that was a problem. We also saw. You know, a lot of organizations have not invested into their digital communication strategies. They have old, clunky websites. Uh, their email lists are pretty small or un engaged. And so when we really had to shift to more of those communications channels, a lot of organizations just weren’t ready for that, and, um then failed toe move quickly. Again, it goes back to that agility and be able to make fast decisions and to ramp things up quickly. And they just weren’t able to do that. We saw a lot of people complaining about additional sort of crisis. Communications associated with the pandemic piled onto the workload, but nothing being taken off the plate. So this sort of ignoring the reality that everything was changing pretending like they were going to keep doing things, Um and and just not really changing quickly.

[00:17:45.24] spk_1:
Do you know how this cuts across? Um, organization size,

[00:18:28.44] spk_0:
You know, we have found in our research. And it was true this year that the organization size by itself doesn’t make that much of a difference. Nor does the mission over the organization or where they’re located. Um, the things that really make a difference are the communications team size, which does not necessarily track with organization size. So you have some very large 10 $20 million organizations and bigger that have a single communications staff person. So those two don’t necessarily track. Okay, so it’s really across the sector. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:18:32.74] spk_1:
How could How could an organization be that big? I mean, $10 million organization with a single communications director. I mean, a person. How can that function organization with that much staff and that much activity? And there’s just one person talking to all their constituencies.

[00:19:28.34] spk_0:
Yeah. Yes, it does. It does. It does No. And you know, how are they doing that? Well, in a lot of cases, they’re not doing it very low. Um, and in other cases, you know, it’s just it comes down to how they view the role of communications. And and so if they think that, well, all of our program staff are capable of communicating, uh, then you know, they’ll just have that one person that basically tries to play traffic cop with everybody else putting stuff out. But when you know, you take a look at how those organizations were performing, it’s usually not fabulous. Um, you know, some organizations have more need for communications than others.

[00:19:33.04] spk_1:
How about one of your questions reveals level of control that you have over your workload.

[00:19:39.84] spk_0:
What

[00:19:40.96] spk_1:
do you What do you I guess. What have you seen over time and what we’re seeing now in this report?

[00:21:32.64] spk_0:
So that is definitely one of those indicators that we look for when I’m coaching communications directors. It’s one of the first questions I ask, because it really gives you a sense for whether, um, they could be strategic or not. If they if they feel like they have some level of control, then that tells me that they are willing to say no to requests. Or maybe not yet. Or maybe if you know, they can push back on it. Just the overwhelming number of requests that air. It’s just endemic to our sector, like the communications have always being asked to do more than they can. So whether they have the control to really be strategic about what they actually dio and what they say no to or push off is a pretty big indicator for us about whether they’re going to be successful, long term or not. And, of course, in the pandemic, we did ask people, uh, if something’s changed. So we saw more planning, more collaboration, but basically less or the same amount of a feeling of control. And I think some of that is natural, like all of us are in this pandemic. And you know, none of us have control over the pandemic. But um do you have control over your reaction to the pandemic and your response to it? And so you know, we would like to see more people saying Yes, you know, I had a role in deciding the strategy going forward. That wasn’t always the case, you know, in part again because of the I think that our over reliance on in person events and the sector is a big part of this with canceling all of those events or putting them online. That was a huge communications lift for non profits. We’ll see if you know now that people have some experience with the online events there. We’re seeing a lot of organizations that are getting better engagement now reaching out to different kinds of folks through the online events that they didn’t get to the in person. So I think it’ll be really interesting to see a year or two or three from now what that mixes between in person and online events.

[00:22:37.04] spk_1:
You know, folks have been talking for years about diversifying beyond events. Those conversations were always focused around the value of having different streams of revenue, whether it’s earned income, individual giving, corporate Azaz event sponsorship monthly sustaining etcetera. So, you know, obviously nobody anticipated they’re being a Nev ent. That would cause all events to be canceled. But it certainly does go again to the the value of diversification in in all realms, whether it tze fundraising or communications channels. Um, you know, it’s it’s risky to be to be dependent on 11 source of In this case, we’re talking about one source of revenue and it all be events. And plus we know how much time events take versus return on a lot of

[00:22:48.26] spk_0:
them. Exactly. And, you know, again, this sort of goes back to the logical. It’s like how many of these organizations were actually paying attention to just how effective those events were with that are Oh, I was. A lot of them aren’t paying attention to how much staff time is included, or they only pay attention to the event coordinator. They don’t add in all the communications time associated with marketing those events. So I do hope nonprofits will take a much closer look before they just sort of revert back to what they used to Dio.

[00:23:26.94] spk_1:
Yeah, good. Critical. Look. Right. All right. So we know that the organizations that maybe maybe thrived is overstating it but succeeded during the pandemic. Those are those are the calm

[00:23:30.59] spk_0:
ones.

[00:26:31.44] spk_1:
It’s time for tony. Take two. The people have seized power. My concern is that non profits are not exempt. Stopping the work of the U. S. Congress seizing the capital. Five people dead, maybe even more now. Ah, suicide from one by one of the officers. And just this week bringing Wall Street hedge funds to their knees so that they needed many billions of dollars of infused capital. Thio keep them going. Groups of people are organizing collective izing and seizing power, seizing it from Washington, seizing it from Wall Street. My concern is that nonprofits are not exempt a crowd. However they put themselves together, however they organize could easily see that or could easily decide that your good work isn’t so good to them. That might look like some kind of attack on your website. It could even look like an attack on a physical office. I mean, does that really seem impossible now? So these air my concerns that the non profit community we need to be planning for the possibility that these insurgency’s hit us hit our organizations. I don’t think it’s so far fetched. Folks are seizing power from institutions and nonprofits, our institutions. So I just want you to be thinking about it. Planning for it. I don’t know how overt overtly you plan. I mean, certainly in terms of disaster recovery communications, you don’t know when it’s gonna happen. In it happens. I think in an instant I just wanted folks to be conscious of it. That’s all that the non profit community isn’t, isn’t isolated and is not immune from the whims of large groups. That is tony steak, too. Now, let us return to communications trends report with Kivi LaRue. Miller, you wanna you got a story of or a case you can share of somebody. That was some organization that was exemplified. Calm

[00:26:37.49] spk_0:
calmness. Sure. So we we saw a number of people talk about, um they’re essentially their leadership team, sort of stepping up and saying yes. Now I’m ready to listen, and I’m ready to invest because their hands were really forced, right? So you know whether it may have been a little collaboration before, we did see a number of organizations really step up from the programmatic management side as well, a sort of the executive director side and say, Okay, we’re with You were ready. What do you need? And so those organizations that really gave that attention and time and resource is to their communications staff. We’re able to really make some great things happen. And we saw a number of organizations really beat their fundraising goals, beat their community engagement goals. Um, so you know, it really speaks to having that sort of full collaboration across the organization around those strategic communications goals.

[00:27:38.04] spk_1:
Talk about engagement a little more now. You mentioned twice. You’ve some organizations. So higher rates of engagement in the pandemic. What what was what were they doing that caused that?

[00:29:56.54] spk_0:
So when we talk about engagement, it’s It’s almost like everything other than fundraising, right? So a lot of people are communicating for fundraising goals, but about half of non profit communicators don’t actually consider fundraising to be a primary goal for them. What they’re usually trying to do instead is the sort of big term community engagement, so it’s trying to get it depends on the organization, but for some of them, it’s people that are actually using their programs, and service is so recruiting them and keeping those people engaged in in those service is other people. It’s more of an advocacy or education or awareness kind of engagement where they’re trying to get people to care mawr or to think differently or act differently on different issues. Um, so you know, we saw a lot of successful organizations really experimenting this year, particularly with moving events online and the ones that were really willing to try some new things, I would say moving events online. We saw a lot more people talk about video this year than we ever have. We have been, you know, preaching video as engaging online content for many years now. But, you know, it’s kind of hard, and people get nervous about being on camera on DSO. The pandemic has really again sort of taken that barrier away. And we saw a number of organizations say, You know, I could never get my program staff to do a video for me before they just always No, no, no, no, no. And now they’re you know, people are used to being on Zoom. They’re more comfortable using their own phones to video themselves. So now we’re seeing tons more program staff, cooperating with their communications departments on creating video in particular. So that’s been really nice to, um, you know, just mawr attention to the online channels in General Thio email to social media. Whereas those might have been considered sort of nice toe have sorts of things before now. Leaders we’re really seeing them is essential tools to communicate for fundraising and engagement. Instead, attention is nice.

[00:30:15.24] spk_1:
The attention is nice. Yeah, leads. Thio leads to calm leader leaders got dragged by the pandemic. Thio Thio. Execute what you’ve been saying for for years. Be calm. Let’s be calm. Email. You got a lot to say about email. Email is not dead by any means, but no, no, not only not dead, but it’s resurging. You’ve got ideas around anybody. All right, so first, let’s start with the resurgence of email. What happened?

[00:31:30.84] spk_0:
Yes, so you know, for as we said, this is the 11th year of the trends report and then the first five or so we you know, every year we would ask Okay, what is your most important communications channels? And we kept getting the same answers every year. It got kind of boring. So we stopped asking. So we haven’t really asked in five years. And the last time we asked, you know, websites were always number one and then email and social media kind of flip flop between two and three. Well, so we waited five years, we asked. Email is now number one, and I don’t think that’s just because of the pandemic. I think in part it’s because, you know, it’s still a direct way to communicate with people, unlike the website, which you sort of have to draw people to. But you have so much more control with email than you do with social media, you never know what Zuckerberg and all the rest of them are going to do with their algorithms and what changes they’re gonna make to the way. Yeah, you know. So it’s extremely frustrating for folks. Um, so, you know, it makes a lot of sense that email is now number one. But there’s some problems too now, I

[00:31:45.54] spk_1:
see. Yeah. Um Okay, well, you’re the guest. So you talk about the problems, I cease? Um, e c. Some dissonance between importance and use, but we’ll get to that talk about the problems that you see with email, please.

[00:33:29.54] spk_0:
So there are a lot of best practices associated with email, and this is true for anybody that’s using mass email, not just the nonprofit sector. So managing your email list, for example, paying attention when people stop opening, you really have to stop emailing them. Um, it goes into what’s called your sender reputation, and that effects how often your stuff shows up in the spam folder. And I don’t think nonprofits really appreciate that. There are these algorithms at work, much like there are in social media, where the inbox providers. So the Google’s and Microsoft’s of the world are deciding whether to send your email to spam or not. And, um, you know, I bet tony, if you look at your inbox, I know I see this. When I look at my inbox, I’m subscribed to a lot of different non profit newsletters, etcetera. Sometimes those things show up in my inbox and other times, same organization. It will show up in my spam folder, and I honestly never go look in my spam folder unless someone has told me I missed something or I’m trying to do some research like this. So a lot of non profit content is going to spam. How do we stop that? Well, there are a number of best practices, and unfortunately, in our surveys both this year and last year, you know, maybe 25%. Maybe a third of nonprofits are implementing those different best practices. The overwhelming majority of nonprofits are not doing it. So while email is becoming more important, the likelihood that you’re nonprofits email is going into that spam filter is going up a ZX.

[00:33:30.53] spk_1:
Well, all right. Um, personalization s. So we got to talk about the things that that are simple organizations should be doing thio over. Overcome the the algorithm, the spam filter algorithms personalizing. You mentioned personalizing subject lines. Even

[00:33:50.24] spk_0:
so, is that your name

[00:33:52.55] spk_1:
in the subject line?

[00:33:54.84] spk_0:
Sure. So that’s one way you could do it. Another way to do it is to like if it’s a fundraising email is thio put in the body of the email? What? Their last gift, waas or the last time they gave? If depending on how robust your data tracking is, you may know which programs people care about the most. And so another way to personalize email is to, you know, send them the content that they care most about. You know, we just sort of simplify it. We say, Okay, if you’re a humane society, like, who are your cat? People who’re your dog? People like you want to put the dog photos and the dog people emails and the cat photos and the other one’s

[00:34:31.12] spk_1:
right.

[00:34:43.54] spk_0:
Exactly. So that’s kind of all related to personalization. And we do see nonprofits doing that of of all the different things we asked about. The majority of nonprofits have tried some level of personalization, so that’s a positive for

[00:34:48.48] spk_1:
sure. I see you have 59% but we’re still missing for that. We’re still missing 41%. Yes, like 40% of non profit. They’re not doing that

[00:35:00.14] spk_0:
right. All right,

[00:35:01.04] spk_1:
I’m not I’m not focusing on the negative, but, you know, pointing out everybody is not. This is That’s a pretty simple practice, like Hello, you know, first name code. You know, that’s not hard. I mean, even I do that.

[00:35:23.74] spk_0:
It’s it’s not hard, you know. The thing is, it’s like it’s it’s more than just copying and pasting email template and going right. You have to pay attention. And but

[00:35:25.05] spk_1:
there’s value in doing

[00:35:33.94] spk_0:
so. Yes, you have to test it. But it’s time consuming. Like all of these little extra things, you have to dio take time. And so if you’re super busy and dot com, you don’t have the

[00:35:43.84] spk_1:
time. You’re the one person, the one person shopping, a $10 million organization. You don’t have time for the 1st 1st name code,

[00:35:55.64] spk_0:
right? And then also, you know, to really do that, you have to have confidence in the data. So if you have a really messy old database, it could be a little scary to think about what they might be merging into that first name slot.

[00:36:01.19] spk_1:
It might be a letter, right?

[00:36:03.63] spk_0:
Yeah, I could

[00:36:05.81] spk_1:
be any name,

[00:36:06.42] spk_0:
or it could be nothing. You know, you might not even have first names in your database, so yeah, so it could be a mess.

[00:36:17.33] spk_1:
Alright, Data integrity. What else s O A. B testing is another common simple that you mentioned it. You could test subject lines. You could test just about anything the color of the, uh, color of the give now button the body of the text, the photos, the videos.

[00:36:48.83] spk_0:
Yeah, and the email service providers. Most of them are making that a little easier, but again, it’s an extra step you have to take. And then you have to sort of think about Okay, What makes sense to test? How do I keep track of all this? It sounds like you’re

[00:36:49.92] spk_1:
you’re very empathetic.

[00:36:51.77] spk_0:
You

[00:37:03.13] spk_1:
do for the I can see it. E c it, I hear it do. I’m sure listeners gonna hear it. So what do you do for the one person in the $10 million organization who can’t find the time or doesn’t feel she confined the time and which means she can’t? She feels she can’t. We’re not looking at it objectively. Subjectively perception. Find the time for the for the first name code. How do you meet that person where they are?

[00:38:21.42] spk_0:
Well, what we talk about is really getting riel about their workload. They’re often trying to do too much, Um, and to manage too many channels and talk about too many different things. And they don’t have the trust. They don’t have that ability to say no or not yet. So we go back to basic boundaries, you know, I mean, all of us that do any kind of coaching work ultimately end up talking about boundaries, what the people were coaching because so much of that comes back to people sort of personal control and agency and ability to say yes or no to things. And so that’s usually where I start. And then once I can help them kind of get rid of some of the noise that’s not really contributing to success or to just give them the confidence that they’re not going to get fired by saying no to something stupid within their organizations. Um, then we can talk about, you know? Okay, if we can just get two hours a week, we can implement a lot of these best practices that are going to make a huge difference. It really doesn’t take that much time. It’s just kind of getting over that hump.

[00:38:23.42] spk_1:
What about advocating for more help for these beleaguered communications directors? Do you talk about trying to make the case toe leadership absolute for adding another person who’s a professional

[00:38:36.37] spk_0:
community? Yes, absolutely. We talked about that a lot Andi and we’re seeing some of that, you know, like we do a number of different coaching programs and I’m just starting a new group. And there are a number of people in that group that are growing their team from 2 to 4 or 3 to 5, even because they were finally able to make that case.

[00:39:01.22] spk_1:
How about when it just comes down to This isn’t direct place for you. You just You just should leave E mean your coach, and you have to be

[00:39:05.85] spk_0:
absolutely

[00:39:07.82] spk_1:
good for the good of right,

[00:39:10.72] spk_0:
right? It’s It’s one of the secrets of our training and coaching programs that we don’t advertise. So, yeah, just for you, tony and your listeners. But, um, you know, lots of times, we’ll get nonprofits that pay for training and coaching with us, and then I end up encouraging those people to find another job, and they do. They they you know, they realize that they’re working in an environment that is not supportive and that there are lots of other opportunities to work in an environment that is supportive, and they go find those jobs so

[00:39:44.12] spk_1:
well. Our listeners are the CEOs, so they could be on that side of it. But our listeners are also focusing communications, and they may be beleaguered. And so they need to know the the range of opportunity available to them. Of course, yeah, waiting, that’s the last. That’s the last step After you.

[00:40:01.44] spk_0:
It is, but, you know, but

[00:40:07.81] spk_1:
other less drastic methods. But But it has, uh, it’s a possibility,

[00:40:08.72] spk_0:
right? And, you know, I think we all know there are some really bad managers in our sector, just like there’s bad managers in every sector. Just because we’re trying to do good doesn’t mean that, you know, everybody is a perfect human being who’s got all kinds of training and how to be an exceptional manager. That’s just not the case.

[00:41:34.11] spk_1:
Yes, I’ve heard rumors to that effect. Yes, yeah, time for our last break. Quote. There’s nothing as simple as dot drives. Our executive team meets once per week to sit down and go through our dot drives pipelines. It’s fun to watch them have a healthy dialogue and to see them get excited about their numbers rising toward their goals. DOT drives has allowed us to take those key relationships and bring them to a deeper level and quote, that is Wendy Adams, director of donor engagement at Patrick Henry. Family Service is dot drives Prospect to donor. Simplified. You get the free demo, and for listeners, there’s a free month. You do that at the listener landing page. Tony dot Emma slash dot We’ve got but loads more time. I’m glad of that. We got, but loads more time for communications trends. Report. You got one more that I really like, uh, welcoming, welcoming and re engaging campaigns around. Email s. So if you have a lackluster list that’s not engaged on and to bring people on board the on board them to your to your organization talk about those those two potentials.

[00:41:45.81] spk_0:
Yeah, these air super easy things again like it doesn’t take. It’s not a lot of time on going. It’s a It’s a little bit of time up front, right? It’s one of these prevention kind of things, like you do the thing up front so that you don’t have to worry about the problems later. So there’s some things you could do with your list to keep the vaccination

[00:41:59.92] spk_1:
your vaccination and then you need occasional childhood boosters

[00:42:03.38] spk_0:
exactly. So Okay, so we’ll stick with your metaphor here. So you’re welcome. Syriza’s your vaccination, right? Someone gets on your list. The hard part is really done. How do you keep them on the list? So the welcome Siri’s? It’s just a quick Siri’s. We recommend three emails over the course of a week or 10 days, where you really just sort of introduce people more to the organization and how they can be involved. You really want to get them excited about this new relationship and try to build that relationship. And so there are a lot of different approaches that you could take to a welcome Siri’s. But the idea is that you’re really trying to say, Hey, we see you, We’re glad you’re here. Let’s do some amazing things together to change the world. And

[00:42:42.79] spk_1:
And don’t email providers often have. Ah, excuse me. Have Ah, a process that you you for on boarding, You know, You know, you’ve got a new you know, you’ve got a new member to your organization do list. And so within 24 hours, you want them to get this and then 36 hours and then 72 hours and there’s your like, there’s your three.

[00:44:34.99] spk_0:
You just gotta go. You just gotta go fill it in. But, you know, making the decisions about what goes on those emails is sometimes too hard a decision. So again, it goes back to whether you have collaborative support from your leadership about what should be in those emails or the authority to just decide for your organization. So filling that out, you know, really, it doesn’t take that long, so going back to your your booster idea. So let’s say people are on your email list. They’re open an email cruising along, and then they just kind of stopped. For whatever reason, who knows? Right, but haven’t opened an email from you in six months. At that point, most of those email companies both the inbox providers and the people sending your email are going to consider that person un engaged. And that again has implications for how often that email will be in the inbox versus spam. So we want to re engage, so you can also do another set of emails just to those people who haven’t opened an email recently and what you’re trying to do. There is basically to get them to open or click on the email, so you’re sending them your best content. It’s the sort of in case you missed it kind of messaging. Sometimes people will do kind of, you know, funny little. Oh, you know, Do you still like us? Are we breaking up? You know that kind of thing? Not my favorite, but you know, it’ll work for some organizations, but you’re basically telling people, Hey, we’re still here. Do you still want to get our email or not? And if you don’t, you should stop emailing them. And that’s a really hard thing. We find that the overwhelming majority of nonprofits just cannot.

[00:44:43.83] spk_1:
They’re not. They’re not stopping there. They’re

[00:45:01.79] spk_0:
not. They’re not. And it’s really bad because they’re going to continue. I mean, that’s That’s the nut. That’s sort of the worst thing you could do is continue. Thio email people that are not opening your stuff and haven’t opened it for months or years. At this point that really tanks your

[00:45:02.45] spk_1:
your sender reputation. It all goes into your algorithm. I

[00:45:05.57] spk_0:
mean, it doesn’t know

[00:45:07.22] spk_1:
that the email providers know how your emails are being treated

[00:45:12.29] spk_0:
right. Sometimes people will call us and they’ll say, Can’t be I subscribe your email, but it’s in spam. I wanted you to know it’s in spam and you know my response to that is, Well, that’s really your behavior problem less than mine because I know I’m not sending bad content. The problem is, you’re probably not opening enough of our emails. So what I need you to Dio is go ahead and rescue it out of the spam folder, and then the next couple times you see it come through. Just go ahead and open that email and that will send the signal that you know, you don’t consider a spam.

[00:45:44.49] spk_1:
How did you get the great name? Kivi? What a lovely

[00:45:46.52] spk_0:
name. Eyes

[00:45:47.85] spk_1:
that from Yeah, it’s It’s like I think of a little bird like it reminds me of a hummingbird. What? What?

[00:45:54.17] spk_0:
What? It’s a Hebrew name, But, you know, I also joked that I was born in 1969 in Northern California. So my parents thought they were hippie, so they wanted to give me a fun name.

[00:46:04.28] spk_1:
It was a fun name, but it’s just Hey, Bru, what does it does it mean something in Hebrew.

[00:46:09.38] spk_0:
I believe it means protected one, although I might have

[00:46:13.83] spk_1:
that non protector. Maybe it’s protector.

[00:46:39.48] spk_0:
Yeah, it tze something nice. It’s also a male name in, I think, something like a one of the Scandinavian languages and it means stone. It’s a it means stone or rock, I think in a e Don’t know camera. But when a camera Which name? Yeah, it’s a male. It’s a male name. So sometimes if you if you’re like looking at Kitty’s online, it will be a bunch of tall blond guys,

[00:46:53.28] spk_1:
right? Right, eating, eating a lot of salmon or swordfish. I like the protector or protected one. Now, uh, contrary to what I usually do, I let you mentioned something. So I said, You’re the guest, So let’s go there. I usually don’t do that.

[00:46:59.78] spk_0:
Yeah, that

[00:47:00.16] spk_1:
surprised ultimately, for you as a za marketing communications professional, because usually I take

[00:47:12.08] spk_0:
over. Yeah, I was a little surprised when that happened, but resume your normal personality. Tony, please. Let’s talk about

[00:48:13.07] spk_1:
the center of the universe is me in this show. The the dissonance I see between your respondents say that email is either very important or absolutely essential is like 50/50 percent, 53%. But then the usage Oh, and then and then Facebook. They about about the same percentage. 54% say Facebook, not at all important to them. But then you have a lovely another lovely, colorful bar chart on community use of communications channels. And Facebook is being used week, either several times per week or daily by 80% of the org’s. And email is down like only 21% are doing daily or or then 53% of doing several times per week or daily. So I see a distance between the the importance the relative importance of email on Facebook and their actual usage.

[00:49:19.07] spk_0:
Well, I guess I don’t quite see that because they’re they’re just different channels, right? And so what would be considered best practice is going to vary so on Social media, You know, people update its shorter updates more frequently, um, than with email, which is somewhat longer content. But you know, most organizations probably shouldn’t be emailing every day, whereas they probably should be posting everyday on social media. So with email, what we really say is, you know, if you’re on Lee doing email monthly or even quarterly. It’s like, Why are you even bothering if you’re only emailing people quarterly? But you know, we we try to really encourage people to move in the direction of weekly for email. Now, of course, it depends what they’re doing, right? Like the organizations that air really actively involved in advocacy work. Our political topics for things were changing very quickly. There’s tons of breaking news, you know. They are going to email daily in a lot of cases, but even kind of your average non profit. That’s not doing super newsy things. You know, I would still encourage them to do a short email once a week. A short email once a week is better than a long email once a month.

[00:49:59.67] spk_1:
A short email once a week is better than a long email. Yeah, yeah, more, more frequency. People only hear from you 12 times a year. That just in 2021. That just seems completely inadequate from educations standpoint. Month. Yeah, they’re gonna forget you in between. All right. All right. So I understand. Maybe there’s not the dissonance that I that I saw Just What about Facebook, you know, Do we still have to be? You have to talk about it because there’s 30 you want me to get Julia Campbell to talk about it, E

[00:50:10.23] spk_0:
I recommend.

[00:50:11.68] spk_1:
Yes, I know. I’ve We’ve We’ve had her. We’ve talked. I’ve talked to her. Um, Alright. There are still 3.5 for whatever billion

[00:50:18.62] spk_0:
people there. You

[00:50:19.39] spk_1:
still have to be

[00:50:20.47] spk_0:
there. I mean, it’s still the, you know, the big the big monster. Right?

[00:50:26.49] spk_1:
So

[00:51:43.06] spk_0:
you know, what I encourage people to do is to really think about how to use Facebook, though. So when you look at what is most engaging on Facebook and where Facebook itself is investing, most of its resource is it’s into video, particularly Facebook Live or it’s into the group’s function of Facebook. You know, tony, I don’t know if you’ve how much time you spend on Facebook or, you know, if you really analyze your own personal use, but I know the overwhelming majority of time I spend on Facebook is in Facebook groups, okay? And so, you know, a group isn’t right for every organization, but if it if you’re interested in both communicating with people and having those people communicate with each other. So you’re really interesting in organizing that community and facilitating that community conversation. Then I think a group can make a lot of sense on. Then again, Like I said, video is something that ah lot of people are embracing now with the pandemic, they’re just going for it. And so Facebook live could be really helpful in that way, too. Um, you know, I don’t encourage people to spend tons and tons of time on just sort of random posts on their Facebook pages. Um, I think there’s a better ways to use that time. Okay,

[00:51:48.06] spk_1:
what would you like to wrap up with? What should we say about the non profit communications trends report that we haven’t talked about yet?

[00:52:59.95] spk_0:
Well, you know, I think you mentioned how empathetic we are, um or I enormously. Yeah. I mean, I am not, like, normally, a cheerleader type of person, but this is the one place in my life, you know? Besides, maybe my girl scouts that I do feel like I am a cheerleader is is really trying to encourage calms, folks, Thio, uh, you know, step into the role to lead in the role to really move their organizations forward. And, you know, I think we’re seeing some of that take place. Every time we do a trends report, we can see MAWR, especially in the open ended questions where people can really talk in their own words, about the changes that are going on on. We’re continuing to see that, and I think the pandemic was a great test of that. The organizations that are doing the calm, the collaborative, agile, logical, methodical are able toe whether even this horrible pandemic on. So I think I find that encouraging and hopeful. If they could get through this, they could do anything. Just imagine the possibilities.

[00:53:21.78] spk_1:
The empathetic Give You Lulu Miller non profit marketing guide at non profit marketing guy dot com and at I’ll Say It one more time. N P M K T G D. On Kivi is at key BLM at TVL M. Well, I’ll be talking to you before you and the girls go toe, but I’ll say I hope you have a wonderful trip thio to Belize, but I’ll be talking to you before then. Thank you very much, Kevin.

[00:53:27.83] spk_0:
Thanks for sharing

[00:54:20.75] spk_1:
my pleasure next week. I just can’t say at this point, But have I ever let you down? If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. Sponsored by turn to communications, PR and content for nonprofits, your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot ceo and by dot drives Prospect to donor Simplified tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant demo and a free Month Ah, creative producer is kiddies. Friend Claire Meyerhoff shows Social Media is by Susan Chavez Mark Silverman is our Web guy, and this music is by Scott Stein. Thank you for that affirmation. Scotty, you’re with me next week for non profit radio. Big non profit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

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[00:00:43.04] spk_1:
welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 20 and T. C. That’s the 2020 non profit technology conference. Regrettably, the conference in Baltimore had to be canceled, but we’re persevering virtually via zoom, sponsored at 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 guest today is Sarah Durum. She is CEO of Big Duck and add dramatic Sarah. Welcome.

[00:00:50.64] spk_4:
Hi, tony. Thanks for having me on the show today.

[00:00:52.67] spk_1:
I’m glad it worked out that we could get together. Virtually, uh, not being able to do it together in Baltimore. Um, how are you doing? You’re in. You’re in Middle Massachusetts? Yeah.

[00:01:04.19] spk_4:
I’m a native New Yorker, and I live and work in New York, but I have decamped to Massachusetts. Everything is fine here. Thank you for asking. I hope you’re well too. I

[00:01:56.34] spk_1:
am. I mean, my beach house in North Carolina. The beaches across the street, the beaches are open so I can walk there because we don’t get crowds on beaches. It’s to the town is too small. Nobody’s heard of it. Which is which is why I’m here. Um, so we’re gonna you know, NTC brought us together. Uh, but I’m gonna release this as a special episode of non profit radio because you’re deep expertise in communications, and you’re you’re you’re NTC Topic was creating kick ass major donor communications. Uh, with your permission, I’m gonna convert that creating kick ass Corona virus Communications, please. Okay. Okay. And we’re gonna We’re recording this, Ana Wednesday, March 24th. And,

[00:02:03.94] spk_2:
uh, we’re gonna look for release on next Monday. Whichever day the But everyone is, that looks

[00:02:32.34] spk_1:
like the 30. I think that’s the 30th of March. Gonna look to get this out. Um, all right. And I’m gonna you leave it to you. What? Where? How should we? Let’s let’s talk about communicating with our donors because there’s gonna be a time when fundraising is the message. I don’t think that’s the time. This is the time now. But what should we be saying to our committed donor? People are already giving to us. We’re not trying to acquire anybody new at this stage. Um, what should we be saying to people who are already

[00:02:34.47] spk_2:
loyal to us?

[00:02:35.95] spk_4:
Well, first of all, I love that you’re starting with this question of, you know, the people that are already loyal tow us. I think there’s what should we be saying? How should we be saying it, and when should we be saying it? And certainly starting with your base is one of the most important things you can do right now. What you should be saying, I think, depends a lot on your mission and how affected your donors and the audiences you serve might be by what’s going on right now. If you’re in an area that’s directly affected, then you want to speak to that very directly. But if you’re not, you may want to be candid about what you’re working on and what’s going on in other ways.

[00:03:24.50] spk_1:
What’s going on? Can it be stories about where your how your employees air faring? You’ve got parent employees. You’ve got some maybe can’t work remotely. People do face to face meetings, maybe with beneficiaries. They can’t do that. You know, if the story’s gonna be like insider baseball,

[00:03:53.67] spk_4:
it can and it can’t. I did an interview recently with Seville Me hand are who’s one of the leaders at CCS fundraising, and we were talking about exactly that. We were agreeing in our conversation that in some cases the first wave of communications should be the insider. Baseball. How is your team faring? But a lot of organizations already done that. That happened in Week one. For most organizations. The second wave of communications after you send the Here’s how we’re faring really should be. I think about your community and about your work and, um, and beyond that, talking about what’s going on in the future and how you’re navigating. I mean, there there are, You know, there are five or so principles that we’ve been advising our clients to use in terms of their tone and style, and I think a lot of it is about adapting those principles of tone and style in a few ways. But the other piece that I think is perhaps most critical is that you, um, you adapt your communications to be much more iterative, both in terms of how you plan and what you’re doing. In other words, if you had a communications plan or strategy, probably it’s needs to be updated on a weekly basis every week. Who are you communicating with? What are you trying to communicate and what will feel appropriate from a tone and style point of view for those donors to hear from you this week, given what’s happening?

[00:05:09.54] spk_1:
Um, how about those five principles? What are those?

[00:05:13.44] spk_4:
Well, so the 1st 1 is to be authentic. One of the questions that we’ve been getting a lot is should I be candid with our donors about the financial hit that our organization is taking? And our advice is yes, you should be. You’re gonna You’re gonna need Thio. Ask them for support and you don’t wantto paint a rosy picture If that’s not the reality for your organization.

[00:05:46.74] spk_1:
You know, I think a great example of that is any sample Ward CEO, then 10 Great exit. D’oh! You know, you see her wiping tears from her eyes in her video explaining that that conference is 62% of their annual revenue and now they’ve not only lost that revenue, but they have penalties to pay for the contracts that they’re breaking. So you know, she was I think that it’s a great example and absolutely great read with authentic, heartfelt, sincere, You know, she’s she’s tearful and she didn’t do it take to

[00:06:11.74] spk_4:
yet? No. Amy is a great example of an authentic leader in all contexts and particularly if you haven’t watched those videos on the end 10 website where she really you know, day by day she was navigating, making a decision about when to cancel the conference and how to do that? That’s That’s arguably, I would say, the best example. I’ve seen OVEN or organization leader being proactive and authentic, and

[00:06:45.12] spk_1:
in 10 dot org’s I listeners know her very very well. She’s on the show every month, but in 10 dot organ yet you feel her our anguish. You feel it’s an excruciating decision, but yeah, I mean, that has to be made.

[00:07:11.04] spk_4:
Yep, and Amy Amy is also an example. Those videos are a great example of some of the other tips that we’ve been giving people. The second is to use your values, use the values of your organization if you if you look at the way and he did it in that communications. She talks about the values of the community, the values of connection that they they share with each other, and she really leans into the organization’s values to guide her decision making, and we’re encouraging all organizations to do that. She is also very human. And that’s another thing that I think is really important right now.

[00:07:25.09] spk_5:
There are There are

[00:07:26.39] spk_4:
e mails that we are all getting that are not at all acknowledging the situation that people are in and they don’t feel good right now. They feel inappropriate. So it’s okay to be human. It’s okay to reach out and call your major donors and say to them, How are you doing? Here’s how I’m doing and make a human connection. The compassion that we express for each other right now is what’s gonna bind us together

[00:08:20.74] spk_1:
and especially exactly That’s the point. I was just gonna say, Yeah, this is what holds us together is our common humanity. And, you know, not only is it okay, I don’t You go out of your way to preserve your humanity in the face of uncertainty, Financial loss, both personal and professional. You know, the organizational level and on a personal level, those of us who have their own businesses, you know you have employees go out of your way to preserve your humanity.

[00:09:07.53] spk_4:
Absolutely. One of one of my employees at Big Duck, a copywriter named Lila Dublin just wrote a piece that we are going to probably post in our block in the next couple of days. It should be live by the time your show airs about words to avoid during during this crisis. Delilah writes a very popular blogger every year called words to avoid in the nonprofit sector. But this one is the sort of Corona virus specific set of words to avoid, and one of the words she recommends avoiding is social distancing. She talks in this piece about how what we want to engage in right now is physical distancing. We don’t need social distancing. We actually need social connections more than ever. So So let’s let’s work on staying apart physically. But actually with your donors staying in touch and being human and on, um, making that personal connection with them is is what’s gonna weave the social capital you have with them, um, in an even tighter way, which is which is, you know, whether or not they’re going to donate to you or have the capacity to donate you right now is just the right thing to do.

[00:09:33.64] spk_1:
Yeah, yeah. What’s where Do radio people find that that blogged?

[00:09:40.41] spk_4:
Uh, it’s going to be on big duck dot com. And if you go to insights, um, so that’s big duck dot com slash insights. You’ll see that you’ll see the blog’s. We also have recorded videos about crisis communications right now. How to facilitate great meetings online. We’ve been posting a lot of free content over the past few weeks designed to help nonprofits adapt to this. This environment.

[00:10:04.56] spk_1:
Yeah. Thank you. I’m trying to do the same. I have been doing the same. Um, what else after after be human.

[00:10:57.24] spk_4:
So Okay, so be authentic, be human. Use your values. And the last one I want to emphasize is the importance of adapting for the audience you’re communicating with. You know, in the marketing and communications world, the jargon for this is segmentation. But you don’t have to have the capacity to segment to think about how to adapt for your audience. What I what I really mean by that is, if you’re going to send out an email, if you’re going to send out your you know, end of your appeal, I mean, a lot of organizations with fiscal years that begin July 1 or are asking this question right now, you know what’s gonna change in my year end appeal? You know, think about who’s on that list and what tone is appropriate for that. So eso in a, um, webinar I gave recently about crisis communications. One of the people who was participating chatted in, um, an example. They said, You know, I’ve been very offended. I’ve seen a lot of emails going out that say things like, Well, you know, on Lee, X percent of people will actually become sick from Corona virus. But our disease or our issue effects way more than that. You know, that’s an example of the kind of communications that just feels really inappropriate for most audiences. Um, now that’s an extreme example. But the point is to think about who’s on that list and what message is going to resonate for them and reflect where they are right now, not just where your organization is. So in my book brand raising, I use this term audience centric and and talk about how many organizations communicate in ways that our organization centric. We talk about us is an organization. What we need communicating in an audience centric weighs about speaking to your audience is in this case, your donors, um, in a way that reflects where they are and what you and they connect about. Not not just what you need is an organization.

[00:12:08.57] spk_1:
Um, Now, you said there are five principles.

[00:12:10.94] spk_4:
Um, you, uh, you find you’re getting Let’s see. Okay. Authentic. Adapt your audience, be human. Use your values. Your ate it. Reiterate.

[00:12:24.74] spk_1:
Okay. Thank you. Don’t shortchange us now. Come on. Sorry. We’re okay. What’s your advice around? Adoration.

[00:12:27.99] spk_4:
Well, so you know, there are a number of places where organizations plan, um, strategic planning. It is first and foremost, communications, planning, fundraising, planning. Maybe even how you plan out your website and what you’re gonna, you know, build or change your overhaul on your website. I would say all of those things right now

[00:12:47.74] spk_5:
are a little bit up

[00:14:27.20] spk_4:
in the air. Probably your strategic plan, conceptually is right. But some of the plans you put into place for things you might do this year are no longer gonna work. So it reiterating as a principle that comes from the world of agile and It’s not something that nonprofits air super familiar with, but basically the idea is that oftentimes when we plan, we plan in ways that are kind of fixed, where we assume that there is an outcome or a destination we’re trying to reach, and then we kind of worked backwards off of it and we set a plan. We say, Okay, if I want to achieve X by December, Here’s what I need to do in November, in October, in September and so on and so forth. Illiterate Ivo basically means seeing your planning work and seeing the work that you’re doing is happening in discrete chunks of time or cycles. So maybe your cycle is weekly right now. I would recommend it should be at this time. And that means that every week you should meet with the core team who are the decision making team around. Let’s say fundraising or communications or your organizational work, and every week you talk about what? What are this week’s priorities? How are you going to stay on track with those bigger goals? But what needs to adapt or change? Given what’s actually happening right now, I think we’re all at risk of, um, throwing the baby out with the bath water right now, we’re either so working so hard to adapt to this current environment that we’re losing sight of the bigger picture of what we’re building towards or we’re so focused on the bigger picture. We’re not necessarily communicating in ways that feel appropriate for what’s happening this week. So you have to strike a balance between those two things and and thinking of it is an illiterate Ivo exercises is I think, the

[00:14:37.55] spk_5:
practice that helps us get there.

[00:14:51.74] spk_1:
You mentioned, you know, phase one, phase two. Um, what what’s phase three is? Phase three. Can we start talking about some of our need on dhe? How you might be able you again talking the same audience, you know, committed loyal donors? Um, how you might be ableto help us if if you’re able. Is that is that then?

[00:15:01.37] spk_4:
Absolutely, absolutely. I think it’s very appropriate to start talking about the need. Um, if you could do so authentically. There are many organizations that, you know, I spoke to an executive director on Monday who told me that they anticipate there appeared appear fundraising season is gonna drop significantly and they’re already seeing a 30% decline in in in other donations. I think it’s perfectly appropriate if you’re seeing the writing on the wall and things are already happening. Or, for instance, you’re in arts and culture organization and your theater has gone dark or your museum is closed. Absolutely. It’s appropriate to start talking about that.

[00:15:39.24] spk_1:
It’s home to know when that starts, though. When? When? That When? When it feels OK to do that.

[00:16:14.64] spk_4:
Yeah, well, that’s where I think Iterating becomes important to. I mean, if you if you read The New York Times, you might recall, about a week ago there was an article about the Metropolitan Museum of Art closing until July and the expected, um, financial impact of that. I believe it was something like $100 million they anticipate as the financial impact of closing their doors for this period of time. So, you know, if you’re an organization that’s taking steps like that, I think you can really you know what the numbers are Or Amy. Simple words. She knows what the numbers are, you know, from canceling the NTC. Not every organization knows yet, but I do think a lot of organizations know the impact of their community when you know they’re soup. Kitchen is closed, you know, or people are not able to come in for vital service is so, um, yeah, I think you need to be out there talking about it, but it don’t think you can talk about it in a conclusive way yet because it’s still ongoing.

[00:16:43.95] spk_1:
When you do get to that stage and how do you balance the messaging between your need and compassion for what your donors air feeling

[00:16:52.72] spk_2:
on Aah! Financial financial footing. I

[00:18:03.91] spk_4:
think it’s definitely an art, not a science. And, um and actually, the session I was gonna lead at the NTC about creating kick ass major donor communications had a whole segment about writing. I think you know, this really comes down to how you how you write, what kind of tone and style you strike and how you balance helping your donors envision a brighter tomorrow with the reality of today, you know, there there is a sort of a narrative arc that sometimes great speeches have sometimes great fundraising communications have where you you have to kind of vassal eight between envisioning a stronger, brighter tomorrow and contrast ing that with the reality of today because we don’t want to lose our hope. And and that’s actually one of the pieces of advice that I’ve been giving people is that, you know, there is actually an opportunity right now, especially if you have staff people who are stuck at home not doing what they normally d’oh. And the opportunities to plant the seed for a stronger tomorrow, You know? So so as you it raid. What is that? What is that stronger tomorrow? Look like what? How does your organization want to emerge from this crisis? And, you know, how can you help bring your donors on that journey to?

[00:18:21.94] spk_1:
Yeah, an art, not a science. Um, and you don’t want a misstep, you know, and appear tone deaf or insensitive.

[00:18:25.51] spk_2:
Uh, you know, on

[00:18:56.94] spk_1:
the same by the same took. And you have your needs that you’re trying to convey its, um you know, if I think, you know, if you keep your humanity, that’s a ground. Glad it’s one of your principles. No, um, you know, uh, right from the heart, um, Maybe share, share your message with maybe a board member may be tested with board members, maybe even close major donors. Who’s gonna be the audience? Um, you know not. You know, this is a time where I think it’s especially valuable to get outside opinion

[00:19:02.96] spk_2:
on Ah, some

[00:19:04.38] spk_1:
of these key key key communications.

[00:19:19.93] spk_4:
I think it can be 11 of the other questions we’ve been getting a lot that I think is useful to share to under the under the topic of being human is where and when and how to use humor. Because we’ve seen some examples where humor right now has been really welcome or really, really inappropriate. Eso a place where it’s welcome, for instance, and maybe this isn’t humor, but it’s definitely charming. Is, um, there’s a zoo in Chicago that had that video that is on YouTube, where they let the Penguins out of their exhibit of Under the Aquarium, right? So that’s not outright funny. But it’s very charming, and it makes you laugh. And that kind of humor is very, very welcome right now. And I think that’s one of the reasons we saw that video spread the way it did. Um, where humor I think it’s inappropriate is when it has anything to do with the virus or what people are experiencing right now. I think people are experiencing enormous hardship and challenge, and there’s nothing funny about that. So I think you have to be very strategic, how you use humor if you’re going to do it. And again that often comes down to great great writing and being being creative. You know that that example of the Penguins is one of many of of a team, really, you know, thinking about what? This what this moment presents as an opportunity, as opposed to just as a challenge. And that’s hard to do. But when you get it right, it’s really powerful.

[00:20:54.26] spk_1:
Um, we still have some time left. What? What? What else do you want to share with our listeners and maybe your listeners? Oh, I want to shout out your podcast. Smart, smart communications podcast, non profit radio listeners. You’re you’re already podcast listeners. Sarah is the host of ah smart communications podcast.

[00:22:41.14] spk_4:
Thanks, tony. Yeah, that podcast is mostly interviews with people very short, all designed to help nonprofits get better and smarter at their communications. There’s a really topics there, you know. There I think this is from a communications point of view. This is a really good time to take stock. And, um, and one of the one of the questions that I think is coming up increasingly is Should I be cutting communications? Should I be cutting marketing? Um, we’re how did how to spend with that? And it’s been interesting. I started Big Duck 25 or six years ago, and there have been periods of time recessions or 9 11 where people did cut communications in more recent years. People actually are leaning in to communications. In my experience, we have found we found in 2008 and 2009 that we were busier. Then, ah, then we had ever been, um Now, that’s not to say you necessarily have to spend money, more money or different money. But if you have in House communications people, I would encourage you, hang on to them and give them new new roles and new responsibilities right now, don’t cut them because those are the people who do help you with with the writing, with the design, with the things you’re gonna need to weather this storm and when communications gets cut. You really I think short circuit. Your potential to to come out of this better. Um, you know, the other organizations that are leaning into communications, they’re going to capture that mindshare. And that’s gonna That’s not necessarily gonna set you up for a stronger tomorrow in the long run. So it’s tricky time.

[00:24:01.84] spk_1:
Yeah, now, But you want to keep that long term view? Uh, you know, it’s the if you follow my stock advice, you buy high and sell low. But people who are much barter brighter about investing and long term is, you know, hold what? Hold what you’ve got, you know don’t sell. So it’s the same, you know, it’s the same because you’re in for the long term, right? So people like me need advice like that. So you know the analogy to your to your communications staff to your fundraising staff as well. You know, you you have a long term view. You’ve still got a a mission that you’re trying to accomplish goals you want to achieve. You know, this six month or even yearlong. Uh, I don’t think we’re gonna be in our homes for a year, but the lingering effects. It’s hard to know how long that’s gonna be, but even if it’s a year, it’s just a year. You’ve got a much longer term view and you want to emerge as strong or stronger. And you know you’re absolutely right. The you know, others they’re gonna fill that space around. You’re around your mission if you’re If you’re not communicating at at at a time when it’s, you know you can show your relevance, you become irrelevant. If you stopped communicating now, people gonna lose sight of you. And the trust is the trust between you and governor is gonna be lost.

[00:24:06.34] spk_4:
Yeah, I totally agree. I think that’s well said. And you know, I’m hearing about a lot of organizations right now who are putting together a sort of a crisis management team. You

[00:24:16.17] spk_5:
know, they’ll have ah board staff

[00:24:18.66] spk_4:
leadership team who are meeting regularly to make decisions

[00:24:23.54] spk_5:
as as this crisis unfolds.

[00:24:26.34] spk_4:
You know, one thing that I would like to see more of is I’d like to see more organizations putting together the kind of the long term or the seed planting team, too, because if you’ve got certain people on your team who are managing the crisis. There may be other people on your team, particularly if you work in a mid size or larger organization who can actually start to work ahead and to think about where do you want to be in a year when this is over, or six months or whenever it ISS? And what are the seeds you can plant now? What are they? What are the appeals? You can write the case for support. You can write the you know the Web Web site plans you can create whatever it is, whatever the thing is that you wish you had that you normally don’t have time to d’oh in your daily life, put a team together of staff people who are under utilized right now and let them to an assignment and work ahead. Those are the kinds of things that you know might not be appropriate to release now. But when the timing is right, you’ll be so glad that you laid the foundation on. And it’s just gonna help the recovery, you know, come faster for your organization.

[00:25:31.90] spk_1:
Yeah, that’s a great place to end, Sarah, and that’s you know what? That’s capitalizing on something you said earlier, which is finding opportunity in ah, in the midst of confusion and crisis

[00:25:43.23] spk_2:
s so I’m not

[00:25:44.30] spk_1:
gonna not gonna deigned to rephrase what you just said. You said it beautifully. Uh, look, you know, you’re north of the city. I’m south of the city. I look forward to getting together in the city for a drink, and hugging you is you’re a gem gem. And thanks for what you’re doing.

[00:25:59.06] spk_4:
I’ll toast to you of your listeners from Massachusetts. I hope you and everybody

[00:26:05.64] spk_5:
else is Well,

[00:26:28.99] spk_1:
thanks, Sarah on Dhe. Same for you. Stay safe up there. And I look forward to seeing you in the city. Close with it with a big hug. Um, Sarah Durum, CEO of Big Duck And add dramatic and thank you for being with us 20 martignetti non profit radio coverage of what was intended to be 20 ntc. But as I said, I’m releasing this. A special episode responsive by Cougar Mountain Software Denali Fund. Is there complete accounting solution made for nonprofits. Tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Mountain for 3 60 day trial. Thanks so much for being with us