Photo of handshake and quote: Helping organizations better define who they are, what they do, how they do it, and why anyone should care!

Branding Bytes Archives

Issue 35:
Thoughts On Using Social Media

Issue 34:
Reigning in Public-Private Partnerships

Issue 33:
Seven Ways to Avoid Toxicity In the Workplace

Issue 32:
A Few Bad Apples Bruise the Brand

Issue 31:
Branding Beyond the Logo

Issue 30:
The Yin and Yang of Celebrity Leadership

Issue 29:
Want to Raise More Funds? SPEAK UP!

Issue 28:
Government Funding Cuts: Act!

Issue 27:
"We Are Sorry":
Your Brand is Your Behavior

Issue 26:
Tell Your Story

Issue 25:
Good Leaders

Issue 24:
Think "People,"
Not "Organization"

Issue 23:
What's in a Name?
Just about Everything!

Issue 22:
Is Your Mission
Getting Creepy?

Issue 21:
Welcome to the Age
of the New Normal

Issue 20:
"Receptionist" vs Director of First Brand Impressions

Issue 19:
It's Not About How Your Message is Delivered

Issue 18:
When it Comes to Your Brand, Details Matter

Issue 17:
A Good Brand Requires TLC: Just Ask My Wife!

Issue 16:
Toxic-Work-Environment Syndrome Can Tarnish Your Brand

Issue 15:
Adjusting to the
New Face of Need

Issue 14:
Tired of all the Doom and Gloom? This is Your Time!

Issue 13:
A New Year's Resolution: Don't Cut Off Your Nose

Issue 12:
What You Do Is
About All of Us

Issue 11:
Ethical Standards
and Your Organization

Issue 10:
Leadership: Whose Journey is it, Anyway?

Issue 9:
Giving Circles
and Branding

Issue 8:
The World's Richest Men
— and Philanthropy

Issue 7:
What is an External
Brand Audit?

Issue 6:
Keeping Everyone
on Brand Message

Issue 5:
What is an Internal
Brand Audit?

Issue 4:
Turn Board Members into Better Brand Ambassadors

Issue 3:
Leadership, Vision
— and Branding

Issue 2:
What's 1st—Organization or Brand? / Govt. Cuts?—Branding Helps

Issue 1:
Branding Myths

Issue 13, Winter 2009

Don't cut off your nose

Last year was a tough year, and 2009 may be even tougher. Nonprofits are hunkering down trying to weather the economic storm that is dramatically reducing their revenues yet increasing demand for their services. Often one of the first functions to go is communications.

Despite the awful economic conditions, this is no time to pare back on getting your messages out to the public. In fact it's more important now than ever before to let people know how and why you exist.

Here are some cost-effective ways to get your name and mission out to people during these tough times. Make them your 2009 New Year Resolutions:

1. Create brand ambassadors.

Turn everyone affiliated with your organization — employees, board members, volunteers and clients — into effective brand ambassadors.

Prepare them well. At the very least develop and distribute to them the messages you want them to deliver about your organization to people they come in contact with during the course of an ordinary day, including friends, family members, co-workers at other jobs they may have, people they meet while traveling, etc.

Those messages should clearly and concisely tell people: Who you are, what you do, how you do it — and why they should care enough to support you.

2. Make a special effort to speak to groups in your community.

As a leader of your organization make appointments to speak in front of civic organizations, including your local Chamber of Commerce, Lions and Kiwanis clubs, church congregations, school PTAs, and anywhere else you can find an interested audience.

When speaking about what your organization does, broaden your message so that it goes beyond the services you provide to your direct client base. In a compelling, yet sensitive manner, explain how what you do effects and reflects on the entire community.

3. If you haven't already, make friends with your local media.

The media are always looking for "experts" to quote in their stories. Make your organization one of those reliable sources of expert information that the media can count on — especially when they are on tight deadlines. You'll make friends forever.

And don't overlook the smaller media outlets. Even the biggest cities have dozens of neighborhood publications and local cable outlets that are hungry for good human interest stories.

4. Update your website.

Revisit your website to ensure it reflects the environment in which you are currently working, including the increased demand for your services, how that demand is being — or not being — met, how people can help, and the specific outcomes they can expect from their donations. Be as transparent and accountable as possible.

Also, it's wise to include testimonials on your website — as well as on your printed materials, including brochures, flyers and annual reports. Personal testimonials carry powerful messages. It's always more impressive when someone other than an organization representative speaks positively about you.

5. Create points of entry.

Invite prospective donors, community leaders, media representatives and others to your organization so they can see first-hand what it is you do, as well as get answers to any questions they might have about your organization.

Despite the economic chill, don't bite off your nose. Instead, get your face out there!

As always, I look forward to receiving your feedback, questions, success stories and branding challenges. Also, if you are in need of a motivational speaker, trainer, branding consultant/coach, or management consultant who can help you answer the questions: Who are we? What do we do? How do we do it? And should anyone care? I invite you to for more information.

In the meantime, good luck with your branding! — Larry

About Branding Bytes

Branding Bytes is a FREE quarterly e-newsletter courtesy of Larry Checco of Checco Communications. Please feel free to forward Branding Bytes on to others. However, Branding Bytes is copyrighted and may not be reprinted or reproduced without attributing Larry Checco of Checco Communications as its source and providing the following website address: Thank you.


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