When I was working on my English degree at Mississippi State, I quickly learned the importance of editing and multiple drafts. It always perturbed me when my professors would hand me a paper covered in red marks and tell me to try again. But as one professor told me, “Your first draft will always suck.” You never know how people will respond to what you’ve written until you have someone else read it. It wasn’t until I became a copywriter that I realized how much that statement applied to writing nonprofit blogs.
Have you ever been in a meeting where everyone gets all excited about doing something? Maybe it’s about making a change in software or holding a big event. Whatever the “something” is, everyone is excited. Then you leave and a month later you get back together, get excited again but nothing ever gets done. Pretty soon you’re just phoning it in for those pep rallies because you know you’ll never actually see anything happen.
Last year, our agency was contacted by a medical clinic with some concerns about their online presence, specifically how they appeared on Google. If we’re truly honest with ourselves, we’re all a little obsessed about how we appear on this major search engine. We cannot control some of the ways we appear due to the mysterious algorithm that changes every so often. While we can’t control the algorithms, there are other pieces we can control.
The number one objection we hear from people about opening social media accounts is "what if someone posts negative online reviews?". At this point, your customers, clients, supporters or patients are online, and they are talking about you. The real question is "are you listening?".
Receiving that first bad review stings, I won't lie to you. Try as you may, neither you and I will please all our customers all the time. We are human, and we just plain mess it up sometimes. If we get lucky, we have a chance to fix it.
Last year a local church asked us to help them create a marketing plan and some marketing pieces to promote an upcoming revival service. Later, we also helped them create some graphic elements to help tie together and promote a long range plan.
My brother-in-law is a minister and I mentioned to him how really bad a lot of the available church graphic design is and he agreed. Many of the templates available for churches are either poor quality, cheesy or looked like a concert poster. It's time for Christians, churches and nonprofits to stop believing graphics have to be bad or subquality just because they are Christian or charity related.
Like many non profits, churches often get caught in the fear of spending money on promotions because it’s not a part of their service. Couldn’t those dollars be better spent feeding the poor, caring for orphans or buying Bibles for a 3rd world country? After all, Jesus’ ministry wasn’t ever pretty.
It’s a hard line to walk. So let’s start with the basics.