Think + Do » an exploration of nonprofit marketing and design

Favorite Links: September 2011

We’re always in search of fresh thinking on issues that affect nonprofit marketing. Here’s some recent favorites:

Are We Measuring The Wrong Factors in Social-Media Marketing?
Ad Age

Three Self-Delusions That Influence Your Decisions And Productivity
Fast Company

Think Quarterly: The Innovation Issue
Google UK

What If The Secret To Success Is Failure?
New York Times

Favorite Links: October 2010

We’re always in search of fresh thinking on issues that affect nonprofit marketing. Here’s some recent favorites:

If It Won’t Fit On A Post-It, It Won’t Fit In Your Day
The 99 Percent

What Does a Campus CEO Need to Know about Social Media?
CASE Social Media

The Future of Publishing
Dorling Kindersley (UK)

Churn Baby Churn

A communications specialist at a Midwest university told me recently, “We’re putting out fires on a daily basis. Our department has six people to serve 15,000 students and we have no time to think strategically.” Sound familiar?

While too many organizations chase after the latest communications trends, adding ever more tasks to overworked staff, precious few seem inclined to ask: Why are we doing this? Or, better yet, should we be doing this?

Plan to make choices

Marketing should not be viewed as an all-you-can-eat buffet. If some is good, more must be better. It takes considerable discipline to take a step back and evaluate what is working and which activities are just distractions.

Practicing restraint requires having a plan – a communications strategy that defines objectives and target audiences, and sets priorities for the key messages and media channels used to reach them.

Economy of time

If time is currency, you don’t want to spend yours – or worse, your audience’s – foolishly.

In Kristina Halvorson’s excellent essay on The Discipline of Content Strategy, she writes: “Until we commit to treating content as a critical asset worthy of strategic planning and meaningful investment, we’ll continue to churn out worthless content in reaction to unmeasured requests.”

Do fewer things well

The benefit of taking time for strategy is that it encourages action with a purpose. It also allows staffers to shed activities that have been less effective, freeing up time to handle more promising ventures. The only downside to business as usual? Occasionally having to say “no” to colleagues. Or bosses.

By measuring your marketing efforts through a communications strategy, you’re more likely to provide valuable content that your audience cares about. And you can let the fire department handle the fires.

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3 ways in which low quality content can damage your business