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Ice breaking, trust building, show offing

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Brett de Hoedt will act as facilitator of a networking / ice-breaking session at a conference of the Anglicare Australia flock in September at the Hilton on the Park. The session aims to mix and mingle the audience which is gathering from across the far-flung nonprofit’s operations.

Brett has pledged to network the audience and build trust without the aid of laughter therapy or human pyramids. The theme of the day is: “Strength to strength, ideas that transform.”

facilitator in Melbourne conferences

What that 7.7%'s beef?

Brett – who emcees and speaks at such conferences across Australia – will also deliver a 90m session for newer professionals looking at career-building communications skills.

A similar session he recently delivered to young professionals for LG Pro received favourable reviews as measured on the left.

Free to good NFP

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free stuff in melbourne

Free, working order, unfancy but too good for landfill surely.

We have items good to go, in working order and free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pick up from Stonnington location in Melbourne. Call Brett 0414 713 802.

Marketing 101: this post contains nudity and marketing jargon

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marketing advice

Marketing - it takes more than a logo and a style guide.

Definition: “Marketing” is a much-used and often-abused term meaning very different things to different people. For some people, marketing equals little more than a logo. Their idea of a marketing campaign is to ensure all the brochures adhere to the style guide. How quaint. However it’s a lot more than that. For our purposes we’ll define “marketing” as all the ways you communicate to the marketplace about what you are and what you have to offer. If you have difficulty thinking of your clients, participants, donors, prospective staff, policy makers, volunteers and other groups as “markets” you may opt for “audiences”. If neither of those terms ring true to you, you’re in trouble and so is your organisation.

marketing tips for small businesses

Stop and consider these three matters.

Three considerations:

1.Your brand – what you stand for, your position, the reputation you want.

2.Your audiences – who are they and what do they think? What are their perceptions about you and your issues?

3.How to best reach them. (Which marketing and communications options you will choose to execute your marketing.)

 

Cynical about marketing? Here’s why it’s worth the bother

1. It separates you from the pack.

2. Folk won’t care about you, support you or use you if they don’t know you exist.

3. Marketing makes you more than just another service provider.

4. Good marketing is the best revenge – it can level a playing field against opponents with more power and money but less marketing savvy. Well-marketed organisations punch above their weight. How do makers of sweet fizzy drinks become ubiquitous? Marketing. You can all name peer organisations which unfairly occupy more hearts and minds than you. That’s marketing.

5. People important to you will be impressed. Stakeholders, shareholders, suppliers, government, sponsors and staff want to know your organisation counts. They want your brand recognised in your marketplace.

6.Good marketing strengthens organisations by attracting more and better donations, staff, vollies and opportunities. A solid marketing operation puts bums on seats and dollars in coffers with less effort.

7. Marketing makes everything else work more smoothly – recruiting of paid staff and volunteers, filling events or gaining support.

marketing umbrella

Two nude marketers in the desert comparing marketing umbrellas. It happens.

Umbrellas and channels

Marketing types like to talk about the “marketing umbrella” which implies that marketing is an overarching term under which many different marketing options (or “channels”) can be used.

It’s a horrible piece of jargon but under the umbrella are your marketing or communications options including: website and eMarketing, social media signage, media relations, publications and marketing collateral, public displays, lobbying activities such as letter-writing campaigns by your members, public speaking, events – from open days, guest speakers to conferences and yes – advertising. Every channel is a way to communicate; persuade, influence.

And that, dear citizen, is why so few organisations get their marketing right. Each of the elements above is a world unto itself. You could spend a career exploring the possibilities offered by any one of them. There are so many options, so many skills required, so many pitfalls and so few hours in the day that most of us do a patchy job at best. The more complex your cause, the harder it is. Eg: flogging an energy drink is simpler than pushing a safe injecting room. (Pun intended.)

And of course the use of these channels should follow a planning process to decide what you want to achieve and through which means you will accomplish your goal. Not to mention a process of deciding what ‘personality’ your brand will have. (More on that later.)

No wonder marketing campaigns fail to launch, go awry or leave behind exhausted workers and resentful volunteers for little gain.  Oh dear – continuing on regardless – read on.

how to manage a marketing campaign

Dear Boss - listen up.

Note to bosses: Marketing is NOT one thing such as an advertisement or an event. Clients often refer to their “marketing campaign” which amounts to just one thing – a street fair, art auction, launch, publication etc. A new logo!

Such activities are not marketing campaigns in themselves, just single channels through which you market.

If you are a boss ask; “Is this going to make a big impact with our key audiences?” Not, “Have you spell-checked the brochure?”

marketing challenges

Cross the bridge, save the girl, get the Schmacko.

Want to read more on this topic? Read this post about Marketing bridges you need to cross.

And if you have read this far how about sharing the wisdom?

Developing key messages (misunderstood and over-rated)

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Prospective clients often request workshops or training to “develop key messages”.

Often the underlying belief of the clients is that the right words, in the right order will make a world of difference. If that were these case we’d all be out of work.

developing key messages

Well this is one technique...

We sometimes surprise clients by explaining that Hootville is NOT a true believer in key messages per se. Words only carry so much impact. The finding of such a workshop should influence marketing across the board.

Also – we think that developing quality key messages should be based on two prior steps:

1. knowing and defining your brand’s personality,

2. understanding your audience extremely well.

Only then can you develop messages that will cut through. Trying to just get some good-sounding words to be rolled out as slogans or soundbites is plain shabby. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a slogan is a key message, nor that any one message will change the world.

Far more than just words on a page or screen, the messages you develop in a key messaging workshop should influence all your marketing: presentations and speeches, the nature of events you hold, your look and feel, the media coverage you seek.

Tips on creating effective key messages. They should be:

true to the brand’s values and personality. You must be able to deliver on the impression you give via your messages. Don’t claim inclusiveness if you can’t deliver.

specific, not generic. A key message shouldn’t be interchangeable with other key messages about other brands in your category. Everyone claims to be friendly, professional and passionate. How about being maverick, determined or long-term in your approach? (Warning – see the first dot point above.)

pitched at the right tenor – neither too dramatic nor flippant. Eg: don’t attempt to play on people’s patriotism / altruism if this is a step too far. Humans are generally self-centred but many nonprofit sector key messages aim to hit upon audiences’ idealism and community spirit. Here’s a prime example of a messages that are entirely out of synch with the way an audience might see and feel about an issue.

resonant with the specific audience at that specific time about that specific issue. This is hard for many smaller marketing operations wishing to reach as many as possible, as cheaply as possible. This is understandable but a scattergun approach yields less results.

brief and simple;

• aimed to create a certain thoughts, feeling and actions in the audience. (See below)

action-orientated. Attempt to encourage a behaviour - far more achievable than a change of attitude.

• based on more than just reason. Emotions inspire people into action. If logic was enough, many of us would be out of a job.

• addressed what you truly know of the audience including their motivations, anxieties, incentives and the sort of value propositions they like to see.

More on Think…Feel…Do.

We want to develop messages that influence people’s behaviour. If we go along with the broad observation that our thoughts influence our feelings which in turn influence our behaviours we need to start with the right thought.  This is a way to evaluate prospective messages. Will they make people think certain thoughts, create certain emotions and in turn take certain actions.

Think…

…Feel…

…Do

I can do this

Excited

Make a call right now

This is for people like me

Positive

Visit the website

I will be well supported

Empowered

Attend a meeting / event

Not too big an undertaking

Wanted

Refer a friend

This will be fun

Valued

What a great idea

Motivated

I get / understand this idea

Special

Want help with this? Call Brett at Hootville: 03 9017 1062.

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PR tip: 97.9% of journalists lie about influence of PR

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Oh dear- pride is an awful thing. It makes people tell fibs as this recent survey of journalists reported in The Sell-In so ably displays.

pr tips for publicists

Our finding? 97.9% bollocks.

The question: Have you ever been talked into reporting something that you has decided to ignore following a call from a PR person?”

Guess what? 97.9% of journalists said NO. Well that would be that then, for publicists everywhere. Put down the phone and wait to be summoned. Happily that ain’t how it works. Follow-up calls can and do work, every day.

Journalists will tell you: “If I am interested I’ll get back to you.” but journalists are busy people – they forget, other priorities take over, they deal with what is right in front of them at a moment in time.

Brett knows this from experience – he was a busy journalist himself once upon a time.

In all our time as publicists Hootville got exactly zero calls from journalists telling us that after due consideration they had decided not to do a story we pitched them. This is despite 1000 media hits over a decade or so. Of those 1000 hits maybe 300 would not have happened without a follow-up call.

Extra calls do get results for publicists, even if that result is a definite NO. A definite refusal allows you to move on to the next victim. And even a brief phone call allows you to understand the journalist better for the next pitch.

Journalists will always tell you that PR people are nothing but a nuisance; at best a means to information but never – never – the source of a great story but we are – all the time.

Otherwise there’d be no fashion, real estate, food, entertainment, TV, movie and showbiz reviews or celebrity coverage. No interviews with authors, actors, singers. Have we got to half of all media coverage as yet? Let’s say 30%.

Throw in those big serious interviews with overseas politicians, public figures, corporate honchos and thought leaders. Getting closer to half way. Add the “exclusives” that litter television news (“be the first to see details of the new rail line / highway / stadium.”) Now we’re at 50%.

Most sport coverage outside game time is PR-driven as is anything involving a media conference or photo call –  and that means most police and crime reporting. And most big leaks are leaked directly from publicists. That’s close to 6o%.

95% of big social issue stories – that’s what we all push – are entirely PR driven. Equally so for scientific and technology stories.

Don’t let the journalists’ party line dull your desire to make a call and a follow-up. Calls – more than emails and on a par with tweets – get results. Nobody ever says they are influenced by advertising either – but that ain’t true neither.

Tips for getting a successful pitch:

  • Have a well-developed story idea.
  • Sell the talent.
  • Select a relevant journalist and outlet.
  • Pitch well – be succint, down-to-earth, pragmatic. Do not be dumb, ditzy or boring.
  • Never, ever start with: “Just calling to see if you got my email…”

More on the art of pitching stories to media here. And if you pitch but once a year this is a MUST read.

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Jobville launches Facebook page with ASUS tablet giveaway

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ethicaljobs.com.au

It is low self-esteem that drives us to give ourselves away like this? We know - who cares?

Jobville.com.au offers every Australian nonprofit and community sector organisation the opportunity to recruit staff, volunteers, interns and board members for free. Nobody else does this.

Beyond the site, email and Twitter, we’ve now bowed to pressure and established a Facebook page which features every single job we advertise. It also includes some other workplace-related stories.

Like the page before 5pm Sydney time Friday September 20 and you’ll enter the draw for an ASUS Memo Pad tablet.  Simple. Now go and like us.

Exciting nonprofit website developments

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NBN or no NBN, the internet just got bigger courtesy of Hootville which has recently developed four websites for Australian nonprofits working in community health, age services, vocational educational training (VET) and family violence.

family violence website development

Serious issues don't oblige creators to be boring.

First up let’s meet familyviolencehumeregion.com.au which brings together the many agencies and institutions that support people experiencing family violence in Victoria’s Hume region. (Think Shepparton, Benalla, Mansfield.)

The website aims to provide a one-stop shop for professionals or community members in need of assistance – thus the services directory. We aimed for a look that wasn’t dour or depressing – thus the colours and degree of slick. We aimed for a site that could further synchronise the sector – thus the calendar of professional training and development. We did pretty well.

VET RTO website development

Try attracting young students with an old website.

Next we head into the competitive world of VET in which Inner Melbourne VET Cluster competes. It now competes with the aid of a gorgeous new website. Let us be frank – this site is HUGE and complex – lots of different programs requiring explanation, bookings, payments and – oh – there’s a site within the site – but that’s another story.

This is one nonprofit organisation website that dramatically reduces admin time to deal with take bookings and payments. It also goes much further to persuade students, teachers, referrers and employers that IMVC is the right VET provider option.

community health service website development

Striking images dominate the homepage

Finally we head to the cool, gritty, diverse north of Melbourne where Merri Community Health Service lives. This is another large site for a broad-based community health service that aims to be inviting, retailesque and informative. The Merri HR team is also benefitted from a far superior online job application system.  

This site utilises online videos which Hootville produced. The unscripted videos are far more than straight talking heads and are scattered appropriately across the site but also live together here. Could you do with some videos like this? Unlike these videos, yours need not utilise Brett’s acting skills. (Top video 1.45m in – cue Oscar buzz.)

age services website development

The sector needs to recruit and retain like never before.

And then there’s this website campaigning for better aged care funding for client Leading Age Services Australia (LASA). The URL was Brett’s idea – there are three million Australians aged 65yo and older. That’s why the boost to age services is so vital. We also created an election specific tool allowing participants to email their local MPs.

All these sites are built to last – the WordPress content management system (CMS) we use means that these sites could last a decade. WordPress is most likely to be able to ‘play’ with any and all new developments. WordPress is sophisticated enough to be simple to update. We always include training in basic website maintenance. We recommend hosts but take not a penny from them. Post-launch our clients can choose between us and thousands of other WordPress-literate developers.

A bad website costs you more than you can ever calculate: staff, clients, donors, members, partners and influence. If your nonprofit website isn’t up to scratch stop wasting time wondering about how to take the first step and talk to Brett: 03 9017 1062.

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Social media vs email. Can we talk?

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Brett de Hoedt gets asked to train people in social media across Australia and of course he’s happy to oblige. He almost never gets asked to train people in eMarketing but he usually insists on adding it to the curriculum anyway.

Clients ask Brett to train in social media – they should really make a broader request:

“Train us to use whatever means at our disposal to best drive traffic to our website, build relationships with stakeholders, alert and inform people and look important. Most of all we want to convert as many people into taking some form of action with minimal effort.”  That, dear Citizen, would be email.

Social media is new and sexy, eMarketing is old and familiar – but it should be your priority.

Definition: eMarketing is just communicating to people, usually lots of people at a time via email. We use MailChimp to do this; you may use Campaign Monitor, Vision 6 (bad idea) or something similar. Maybe you send mass email via Outlook (God help you.)

 

email vs social media

Email beats search engine optimisation and destroys social media as a way to drive conversion. You all owe email an apology.

The problem is this: in most cases, for most organisations in most situations…email beats the tight hipster jeans off social media. It ain’t even close as this study conducted by Monetate and reviewed by blog Convince and Convert  shows. It is based on 500,000,000 website visits to e-commerce sites! Only .71% of people who came to a site via social media were converted into buyers. Email converted four times more. Only 1.55% of visits to e-commerce sites were delivered via social media. Email accounted for 2.82%. That’s a huge difference – would you like to nearly double your traffic?

The study investigates e-commerce sites but the goal in e-commerce is exactly the same as in the non-profit world: conversion. By “conversion” we mean inspiring people who see your message to take an action such as visiting your site, donating, buying or booking a ticket.

Why email wins?

email vs social media

The further you move from websites and email, the smaller your audience. We made this graphic ourselves. Can you tell?

Potential audience: aside from using the internet to search websites, email is still the second most common use of the WWW. As you move from using websites and email, to Facebook and Twitter your potential audience shrinks dramatically. At the end of this journey is Google +, Pinterest, Instagram and the like. Would you use mail to reach audiences if only 20% of people had addresses? How about if only 5% had addresses? Of course not.

Building your base: want to dramatically boost the size of your database? Of course you do. (If you don’t please resign.) Well that boost is easier said than done for social media which is usually slow to build. There are lots of ways to dramatically increase your email database – from competitions, petitions, to gaining emails from those who participate in your programs or in exchange for resources such as fact sheets and whitepapers.

Response: this is where email destroys the competition. Simply put – nothing beats email for driving traffic your website. A benchmark for the open rate to an email is 25%. 20% or less means that something is horribly wrong. Some Hootville clients have consistently scored 50% open rates. The equivalent to open rates on Facebook is “virality”. If your Facebook posts scored 25% virality you would be on the board of Facebook. A 1.5%-2% virality percentage is typical. Would you call 100 donors if you knew that on average only 2% of people would take your calls?

Segmentation: do you segment your Twitter followers or Facebook friends? With email this is standard operating procedure and a smart and easy move.

Automation: email can be set-up to automatically send emails based on time. Eg: seven days after subscribing you can send a thankyou and a list of seven articles to read. Eg: a year after a course was taken, send out an automated email alerting them to another course. You get the drift.

Portability: email is just as omnipresent as social media on smartphones and tablets.

Social media compared to email marketing

Can you guess? Yep. Email wins again.

At risk of overplay the excellent downloadable Monetate report shows (left) that email-driven visitors spend more time on your site.

In defence of social media:

Social media plays a large part in building your reputation. That reputation may well assist people to act on your emails when they receive them.

Social media is fast, fun and free.

Social media is a far superior way to stay in the minds of politicians and media who devour social media like they once devoured flagons of tariff-protected claret and cartons of Viscount cigarettes. (Ask your parents about this.)

Social media is excellent for keeping hot-to-trot stakeholders informed and outraged. It’s grist for their mills. It keeps your most passionate followers attached to you.

You want to be a leader? Best look like one – get on social media.

Social media should be in most organisations’ marketing mix. Some organisations may be more inclined to benefit from it than most especially:

youth-related causes with youthful audiences;

passionate causes into which people opt-in such as animal  causes, marriage equality, environment and dying with dignity causes. These audiences wants information, they want actions to take, they want grist for their kill.

However many of us are communicating with people who used our services long ago, donated once, are members because it is obligatory or because their loved one uses your service (among many others). These people are less passionate and do not want to follow your every tweet or Instagram image. (Who could blame them?)

They do however use email everyday to conduct their working lives.

using email to boost website traffic

Email needn't be boring.

Could your organisation function tomorrow without social media? What about if you lost email? Exactly.

It’s similar for your audiences – they can and do look at social media but they do and must look at email.

Finally: what brought you here? Email? Social media? Random Google search? Directly typing in our URL? Even with Hootville savvy, social-media literate audience nothing ever beats the ol’ Hootville Lowdown. Bless you email. Your comments welcome.

 

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Reading list June 26 2013

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Do you evaluate your programs? Do you believe in evaluation? Of course you do. Well you should read this piece from the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) which claims that most charities should not bother to evaluate their work.

Heard about Twitter lead generation cards? Now you have. You’re welcome.

Using Slideshare? Perhaps you should – simple, visual, fast-to-consume presentations can work very effectively. Learn more here. Don’t mention it.

What sort of content gets email readers excited and clicking?

A review of PR-supremo memoir Trust Me I’m Lying.

 

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A rollicking MUST READ for charities, fundraisers and regulators.

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Needless to say, we believe every word posted on the Hootville website is a gem to be read and treasured by our citizens. Then of course there are the genuine must-read items. This alarming piece of investigative journalism spotlighting America’s 50 worst charities is such an item and should be consumed by anyone who cares about fundraising and charities, those in the profession, serving on NFP boards or our new regulator the ACNC.

Rating Australian charities

Vital statistics, at donors' fingertips.

Sadly we didn’t write the article – the Tampa Bay Times in Florida did with the assistance of The Centre for Investigative Reporting. The paper has a pugnacious reputation and this multimedia extravaganza of data-driven journalism has award-winner written all over it.

Essentially America’s 50 worst charities have been named and shamed. These are ‘charities’ which raise much but donate little. They purport to represent all the right causes – sick kids, women with breast cancer and of course, this being America, police, fire and the military. Funds raised however, go mainly to the founders ands their kids, sons-in-law and best friends.

One note: when you read “solicitors” think fundraisers soliciting for donations by phone or mail not lawyersAnother note: this article is about downright corrupt, fraudulent charities – not merely the inept, lacklustre or meaningless.

It could never happen here – could it? Of course it could. And it does. The Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission (ACNC) should read this to know how the bad guys operate.

Though this media project is laudable as hell and will have impact (mainly by giving prospective donors reasons to not give) America is already blessed with an ongoing non-profit organisation devoted to breaking down charities’ balance sheets and rating their effectiveness. It’s called Charity Navigator and it is astounding. We’ve raved about it here before.

America's worst charities

James T. Reynolds Sr does not come out of the article looking very good.

Six thousand charities are rated and compared against rigorous criteria: admin costs, debt levels, fundraising costs, CEO salaries. Solid apples-with-apples comparisons. The site trawls the financial returns and annual reports and breaks them down. The information is available quickly and simply 24 hours a day.

Charity Navigator does not just concentrate on weeding out totally dodgy operators – it’s mission is far broader and more valuable than that. It rates 6000 charities showing the mediocre as well as the mendacious. It is all about transparency and effectiveness.

For instance – imagine if we could compare every Australian charity in terms of the CEO’s salary as a percentage of total turnover. What an interesting reads that would make.

We desperately need something just like Charity Navigator here in Australia. Now. It would do more to educate and reassure the giving public and weed out the half-baked and ill-conceived than just about anything else, perhaps even the ACNC.

(Thanks to the ever on-line Roslyn Grundy for alerting us to the article.)

 

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