The times they are a changin'. And we have to change too. Not change the rules of how communication works, but rather look at what tools work best now. Think about it - Covid, a shortage of workers, inflation… you name it — things are different and a challenge.
Invest in your digital assets. If you have an office on Main Street, you can reach folks within 30 miles. But, launch a good website, and your audience is the world. But, don’t stop there — how accessible is it? Does it work well on a cell phone? Is it accessible to all? Does it meet ADA standards? Can you translate the text to other languages? You might build a doorway, but be sure not to lock the door itself.
Then - how clear is your site? Does the text say what you do? Is it clear? Concise? To the point? Is the search engine optimization right? Can Google find you, and get your site out to those who seek it?
And does that site have a clear call to action? Is it just a brochure or place of business? How long will someone stay on your page, and if they stay, what will they do?
This brings us to social media. Is that a black hole or an information expressway? Are you empowering and educating? Is your info being shared? Or does it just sit there? Social media can be controversial. Think of all the arguments being made against Facebook and Instagram right now — some are very disturbing. By being on this platform are we now condoning their actions? Does that conflict with your mission? Is there a better way? Yes, — spend more time blogging — and focus on getting people to your site. Look at digital and Google ads — and make your site work with ads. Do you have a pixel? Is your site built to harvest interest, and get folks to sign up for a newsletter?
Your blogs can be so much more, too. They can be the basis of a newsletter, they can be op-eds and letters to the editor. Blog over social media to engage and connect.
Look at your outreach: Are you doing free webinars using Zoom? Do you track issues that impact your mission and then react via a news statement? Are you empowering members to reach, respond, and educate? Turn your network from one where you inform to one where you are active and motivated.
It really boils-down to staying relevant, being in sync with a movement, and showing leadership and a way forward. Ask - if you say the name of your organization to anyone in the community — what comes to mind first? Do different people get different impressions?
This is your brand, and if people don’t get what your mission is, or why it matters, then you may not be on their priority list.