So it has been a while since my last blog...due to my agency's biggest fundraiser of the year - our annual reception - taking all of my time for more than a month (including weekends). Such is the life of a development director in a small non profit.
I promised I would be sharing our agency's communications planning process with you. By way of a recap: I returned from the 2010 AFP International Conference in a bit of a panic about how far behind my agency is with regard to social media. I convinced my executive director to bring in an outside social media/communications strategy consultant to conduct an agency communications assessment and help us develop a plan for effectively incorporating social media into our communications processes, given our extremely limited resources (both people and money). I simply don't have the time to do this...and he finally capitulated after three years of pushing. Persistence prevails once again!
The consultant interviewed/gathered information from key staff, presented a Powerpoint presentation to all staff on the importance of storytelling to our constituents and setting up the need for all staff to begin developing draft content, and conducted an online presence assessment for our agency. An executive summary and detailed plan draft has been submitted, and is now being reviewed by key staffers in advance of a meeting next week where we'll get questions answered and provide input to the draft plan. Then the plan will be finalized, and the implementation phase will begin before year-end.
Clearly, in order for our agency to have any chance of effectively using social media, we need all of us to be drafting assets/content that demonstrates not only our activities, but the impact our agency is having on the lives of our clients and in the community. In essence, we are attempting to implement a full-scale culture change at our non profit where all of us are responsible for getting our stories told (or at least drafted), with just a few of us becoming responsible for physically getting the stories into the various communication channels. More on this next time...
The gold nugget I want to share with you about this process, at least so far, is this: Gathering input
from ALL the folks who will be responsible for communications content
development and implementation is proving to be critical to this
process, as is having someone from outside (a new voice) communicate
the importance of telling our stories and the impact social media can
have on our clients, donors and yes, our staff.
I am excited that our little agency will soon behaving every staff person create story content at least monthly (success stories, presentation recaps, activity updates, etc). While I will be responsible for getting this content out to the various channels like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (with a little help from some of our 'younger' volunteers), I'll only have to edit what is in front of me instead of having to write everything in addition to sending it out to multiple communications channels. This seems much more doable, and is sorely needed.
Time will tell...