I recently had a conversation with a frustrated non-profit founder…the kind of frustration where you’re stuck and don’t know what to do next and what went wrong. This non-profit was frustrated because their big, great idea for a cause campaign was failing big time — failing to pick up traction and buy-in from the media, donors, partners, and community at large.
At the same time, I picked up a cute little book (that at first glance appears to be just that but is potent for your good) written by marketing genius, Seth Godin. Like the all time favorite children’s book “The Little Engine That Could,’ this book, “The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches Us When to Quit and When to Stick,” was a little book on quitting…quitting the right thing at the right time.
Going back to the frustrated non-profit, there’s a profound statement in the book that says, “If you pick the right thing and do it all the way, that’s the easiest way to be the best in the world.” This statement is in reference to how the #1 top spot gets ten times the benefit of the #10 and 100 times the benefit of #100.
The same applies for non-profits who are at a crossroads whether it’s with their current organizational structure, a cause campaign, donor engagement, brand awareness, etc. My advice to the frustrated non-profit was that sometimes you have to know when to quit and move on.
You’ve written what you believe to be the perfect appeal letter or email targeted to your donors. You’re sure that this time around your call to action will drive an influx of new donations and inspire passive donors to contribute to a specific giving campaign. So the letter is good to go and ready to be sent. You hit send and await the donations to start to pouring in…but nothing happens or at least no significant donations have been made.
So what went wrong?
Meanwhile you see other organizations like Tweetsgiving and charity:Water use the power of Twitter to raise $20,000 or more in just a matter of days, but your cause fails to get that type of buzz.
Travel brands will have to rely more on mobile and digital marketing than on traditional marketing programs according to this infographic. Our always connected society means that travelers are relying more on mobile and social networks to make their travel decisions. This means that travel and destination brands not well positioned to take advantage of these trends will suffer in visibility, tourist visitation, and online branding.
A previous post shows how socially connected tourism brands are gaining the lion’s share of online audiences (Lessons From the Top Tourism Agencies on Twitter).
How is your destination brand leveraging mobile and social media to increase tourist attraction?
I recently received an RFP for a Caribbean tourist board seeking an agency to design and manage high visibility tourism programs. Obviously the objective is to competitively position their destination against competitors so that it’s top of mind to travelers. After reviewing the scope of work, it led me to think about how travelers choose one destination over another and how well (or not) tourist boards are doing to position their destinations to align with traveler’s motivating factors.
Of course, the destination’s appeal, features, and attractions are big deciding factors for travelers, but how does that really come into play for regional destinations?
Within the Caribbean itself, for example, what would make a traveler decide to leisurely travel to Antigua vs Bermuda, Barbados, Anguilla, or any of the Caribbean destinations?
I’ve seen it all the time…failed attempts at marketing to multicultural consumer segments with mass efforts using general market insights. These marketers seem to think that if you stick a Hispanic or African-American face in the messaging or ad that it’s a home run when the truth is that penetrating these demographic segments means so much more than “looking” like them. Take it from Michael Steele and his attempts to reinvent the GOP with a Hip Hop and pop culture makeover– it’s an epic fail.
What multicultural consumers want most from a brand or organization is to believe that their lifestyle and culture is understood. They want to know that you’ve invested enough time and resources into understanding what matters most to them and that there’s genuine interest in them as a consumer. The worst way to lose multicultural consumers is to blatantly show that you don’t get them or their cultural nuances.
Burger King learned the hard truth when their attempt to be hip and cool by featuring 9x Grammy award winner R&B artist Mary J. Blige in an ad signing “The Crispy Chicken Song” came off as somewhat racist and stereotypical and offended African-Americans.
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I admit. Social media can get quite cumbersome and overwhelming at the same time, especially for a non-profit who is already severely understaffed, overworked, and probably overlooked.
And now you can add Pin It to your to do list.
The new kid on the block is Pinterest, which everyone is buzzing about, but not every non-profit has jumped on the bandwagon…but should. With the fastest growing social media community and an audience of 90% women, non-profits should get to pinning, and do so ASAP. Just like with all of the other platforms, Pinterest allows you another opportunity to connect with and engage your audience on their terms.
The end of the first quarter marks a time when non-profits begin to realize a noticeable decline in donations as many donors tend to give at the end of the year during the holidays. By March, non-profits start to feel pinched by their budgets and must depend on successive appeals to current donors while engaging and attracting new donors.
So it’s during this time of year when crafting well strategized tactical communication pieces such as fundraising letters, email campaigns, advocacy appeals, and social media engagement is most important to a year-round fundraising strategy.
The infographic below was recently released as part of the 6th annual eNonprofit Benchmarks Study and highlights the types of communications strategies that are most effective in digital and online fundraising.
If you’re a big brand like Skittles, Arizona Ice Tea, or even a manufacturer of hoodies, how do you respond when your brand is thrust in the media spotlight in the wake of the Trayvon Martin tragedy? Do you sit back as your brand sort of becomes this iconic symbol and watch as your brand be broadcasted across national media outlets or do you allow corporate social responsibility to take over and do something, perhaps, publicly show sympathy for the grieving family?
That’s what Skittles did.
There’s a new kid on the block named Pinterest. This new platform is all the rave these days and for good reasons. Since May 2011, traffic to Pinterest has increased by 2,702% and counting. Not to mention that Pinterest has become top traffic driver for retailers.
So what does all of this mean for your brand’s PR strategy?
A well executed PR strategy crafts compelling messages for a brand. Similarly, Pinterest is all about storytelling, which makes it a very effective tool for a digital PR strategy. Unlike Facebook, Twitter, and the other platforms, Pinterest is less promotional and more about connecting audiences with the brand’s lifestyle through photos and visual content. So if your brand is visual or can convey its messages and lifestyle through imagery, then Pinterest should be added as another tool to engage and communicate with your audience.
However, there is a huge BUT about Pinterest, and brands should take notice. Nearly 90% of Pinners (users who pin on Pinterest boards) are women, leaving out an entire demographic of men.
PR is usually seen as a sling shot approach to generating more awareness and ultimately more sales (or customers)…and the measurement tool used is usually based on how many media hits or feature story placements are secured. When that doesn’t happen, it’s back to the drawing board…but the truth is that PR is much more than securing media coverage, and it’s definitely much more than press releases.
Media is just one component of a well thought out PR strategy. Public relations is essentially about crafting and managing the public perception of your brand. It’s about deploying a combination of communications tactics to continually shape and influence the public.