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January 8, 2009 1:57 PM Age: 11 yrs

Branding Bytes - Winter 2009

Category: Larry Checco
Source:  Larry Checco

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Branding Bytes is a FREE quarterly e-newsletter courtesy of Larry Checco of Checco Communications (please refer below to our privacy policy and how to subscribe/unsubscribe).   Past issues are archived on my website (www.checcocomm.net).  Simply click Branding Bytes on the website homepage menu to access them.   NOTE:   Branding Bytes is copyrighted and may not be reprinted or reproduced without attributing Larry Checco of Checco Communications as its source and providing the website address above.  Thank you.

In this issue:

  • A New Year's Resolution: Don't cut off your nose 
  • Bits & Bytes
  • What clients say
  • Speaking schedule  

A New Year's Resolution: 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!

Bits & Bytes:

  • My thanks to GuideStar (www.guidestar.org),About.com (www.nonprofit.about.com/) and Contributions magazine for reprinting many of my Branding Byte articles.  All three are wonderful resources for anyone affiliated with the nonprofit sector.  I recommend them highly. 

What Clients Say: 

  • "Since taking Larry's class I have expanded in a way I never thought I could. The class gave me so many tools, ideas and information to launch a comprehensive branding strategy. I even had my Executive Director and the President of the Board eating up the ideas
    I brought to the table."--Jennifer Jonassaint, Homeowners Rehab Inc., Cambridge, MA
  • "Larry's class was an excellent learning experience. Not only did I learn about branding, I  learned about the new way in which businesses and non-profits manage their employees, structure their staffing and present a unique, successful brand to the outside world.  I strongly  recommend it for people who want to learn more than how to build and maintain a
    successful brand."--Joan Coyle, Northern Virginia

 My Latest Speaking Schedule:

  • Alvord Baker Associates, Staff Retreat, January 24, Cambridge, MD
  • EEI Communications (one-day training course), Feb. 6, Alexandria, VA.  For more information, contact Joe Robinson at 703-683-7453 or log onto www.eeicom.com/training
  • NeighborWorks Training Institute, Atlanta, GA, Feb. 19-20
  • Assistance League Regional Chapter Networking Event, March 3, Charlotte, NC
  • National Community Reinvestment Coalition, National Annual Conference, March 11-13, Washington, DC
  • Assistance League Regional Chapter Networking Events:
  •      --April 27, Santa Monica, CA
  •      --April 28, Long Beach, CA
  •      --April 29, Los Gatos, CA
  •      --April 30, Portland, OR 
  • Assistance League Leadership Conference, May 13, Los Angeles, CA
  • Weinberg Fellowship Program, July 14, Baltimore, MD 
  • NeighborWorks Training Institute, Chicago, IL Aug. 20-21  

My book, Branding for Success can be ordered on line at my website (www.checcocomm.net), as well as through www.amazon.comwww.trafford.com, and the websites of numerous organizations.      

 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 or branding consultant/coach, I invite you to contact me or log onto my website for more information.

In the meantime, good luck with your branding!

Larry

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