Thursday, September 23, 2010

Return on Every Dollar You Spend

What do a group of marketing specialists have to share with nonprofit leaders about how to make their limited advertising dollars count?

Plenty, it turns out.

The following condenses down five 8 x 11 pages of notes from today’s one-hour presentation with experts J. Clifford Curley, Jane Bennett, Rue Ann Porter, Carrie Rasmussen and Gayle Williams during the 2010 Nonprofit PR and Marketing Forum.

In your ads and marketing materials:
• J. Clifford Curley suggests we use donor centric communications or “people talk.”
• Jane Bennett gave four rules of thumb for preparing winning ads: attention (draw eye), interest (you have seconds), desire (I want to be involved) and action (call for response). Knowing your vision, mission, strategy, business goals, marketing plan, target audience, etc., comes before designing ads or other materials.
• Gayle Williams shares that social media is a game changer—yes, but it also not a game changer. Social media is another tool or tactic for your nonprofit but it needs to fit within your overall strategy (not a game changer). Yes, social media is a game changer. It provides platforms that allow you to speak directly to your audience.
• Rue Ann Porter reminds us that PR and paid ads can work very well together. She suggests you consider your key prospect in both quantitative and personal aspects. What is their age and demographics about them? But, also what is their day like?
• When you look for media partners, Carrie Rasmussen recommends that you know what you want and what you want to achieve. She encourages you to be aware of the benefits you offer to the community and to your media partner. Collaboration is a powerful tool to help you “stand out.”

Overall, how can you take advantage of limited advertising dollars? Much planning and some work. Find your content in a quality strategic plan. Develop a PR and Marketing plan that includes the messages you want to share in the next few months. Then, work the plan.

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