Free Facebook advice part one

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Facebook is a curious beast. Most of us use it for personal purposes and fall into the trap of thinking that there’s not much difference between personal use and campaigning / promoting via Facebook.  

Here’s one difference – as a mature, well rounded adult, you aren’t concerned with endlessly building a bigger presence, gathering Fans, increasing the number of comments and deepening interaction. (We sure hope.) 

However as an organisational Facebooker you should be. So how do we do that?   

We’ll be posting some Facebook advice and information for organisations aiming to get more from this medium which commonly fails to live up to expectations. 

Facebook use revealed
That’s strange. Facebook peak useage coincides with working hours. Slackers!

This graph comes from a three year study by company Vitrue of useage habits. We first found it on

One conclusion we draw from it is that we should post early in the day, before the tsunami of content comes in.

Remember – it’s all about appearing in the other people’s newsfeeds. This is counted as the number of ‘impressions’ your content receives. And NO everything you post does not appear in all your Fans’ newsfeeds. More on this shortly.

Next up: Does the day of the week or the quarter hour during which you post content have an effect on the number of impressions you receive? Clue: yes.

Coming soon: the Facebooks pages getting the most interaction from readers and why. Clue: you’ll be surprised.

Don’t forget, you can always post a comment right here.

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Australian non profit internet awards.

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Internet awards for non profits

Like the Logies but for websites.


Isn’t it time your genius was recognised? The Australia New Zealand Internet Awards 2011 has categories for non profits which are doing smart things on the interweb.

Register your interest and the giant, oversized novelty cheque could be yours.

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PR campaign takes Lycra option.

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Number Woman

Have you met Number Woman?

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) is surely headed to an award for this bold, brassy, figure-hugging campaign.

Who’d have thunk campaigning over the cost of 1300 and 1800 numbers could be so fun? ACCAN, that’s who.

It’s reassuring to see non profits utilising marketing lesson #3. Get your audience’s attention.  

Number Woman makes public appearances and yes she tweets. While an invisible plane may not be in the ACCAN budget she does have a catchcry: “Fair calls for all.” Kudos ACCAN!

Check out the campaign website now.

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$600 In the Neighbourhood Special discount: Queensland. Eh.

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Discounted media training

$600 off for four days. Grab it, why don't you?

Brett is saddling up, heading north and delivering training to the good folk of Danby and Chinchilla in Queensland, Wednesday June 8, eh. 

If any Queensland organisations wish to turn this rather long day trip into a road trip, Monday June 6, Tuesday June 7, Thursday June 9 and Friday June 10 are available for training workshops, eh. 

A $600 In the Neighbourhood discount  applies. Call Brett today on 03 9017 1062, eh.

PR advice: lose the track changes people. Editing tips within.

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Oh dear. It’s too easy to make a mockery of this, so we won’t. Fairfax has sent out a memo to its soon-to-be-significantly-redundant editorial workforce in draft form with track changes visible. Read about the memo here. And yes, you can see the actual memo.

Suffice to say that it’s a PR blooper of significant proportions for Fairfax’s CEO Greg Hywood and PR supremo Sue Cato at a time of extreme sensitivity. (Journos get testy when being made redundant.) 

Of course, frankly, it could happen to any one of us; so don’t get cocky kids. 

Frankly the greatest lesson for the rest of us is to show how utterly valueless 90% of all re-writing is. Few if any of the changes were worth the time spent making them. We think is true of NFPs as well. Re-writing / editing is seen as a box to be ticked, a way to show authority by those in charge; not to improve the copy. We see this daily.

We suggest these copywriting / editing rules. The editor must only make changes to:

  • correct errors;
  • shorten length;
  • clarify or simplify;
  • boost interest or persuasiveness to reader.

Otherwise; bugger off.

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Fundraising appeal benefits from personal appeal

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This banner outperformed all others.

Fundraisers and campaigners take note of this analysis of various banners. All had the same intention – raise money for Wikipedia but one iteration stood out above all others. That was the appeal that came from the top – specifically a person at the top who readers recognised. Think about this the next time you send out an appeal letter, eNewsletter, invitation or direct mail. Make it from one person – not from your organisation. Start creating your own Jimmy Wales now. (Close cropped beard optional.)

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RSPCA falls at last hurdle

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Missed opportunity for RSPCA Victoria
Simple online technology was required.

Few Australian non profit organisations can buy full page newspaper advertisements to fuel their campaigns. Usually, such big purchases are used to generate funds – fair enough too.

That’s why we smiled over our breakfasts at RSPCA Victoria’s splurge on this spot in Melbourne’s Saturday’s Age. It’s all to drive an advocacy campaign  which is great. However…

What’s wrong with this picture? Besides a noble beast falling to its death to enable humans a chance to gamble, that is.

Look closely at the copy: it includes email addresses for Victorian Premier Baillieu and the Racing Minister, asking readers to directly send an email. Supporters are directed to send their email via the RSPCA website. So how will RSPCA measure the response? More importantly how will the RSPCA capture the email addresses of sympathetic people for future installments of this campaign?  They can’t. If you were running a campaign would you like an extra 15,000 supportive email addresses? Oh dear.

No wonder Squiggle threw down his smoked salmon bagel in frustration.

RSPCA Victoria decided to spend its money and political capital to directly challenge a new government and a powerful lobby – bravo. Opportunities like this don’t come round often – it’s a shame not to make the most of them.

Save the Children shows PR nouse; gains global coverage

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Save the Children has displayed its PR smarts by using Mother’s Day as an opportune time to release a global index ranking the best and worst countries to be a mother. Australia is #2 by the way, so stop complaining.

Lesson #1 Every event on the calendar – from state and federal budgets to Groundhog Day – can be leveraged by non profit PR people to highlight their chosen issues. The connection doesn’t need to be obvious and you don’t need to ‘own’ the event.

Lesson #2 Creating an index or ranking means many more media opportunities as each audience being compared is interested in how it compared to others. This is true of nations as it is of local government areas or football teams. In this case a global story suddenly becomes relevant to each individual country.

A smaller-scale example of this is NRMA’s annual release of data comparing each locality for car theft. Every state media outlet wants to know how its state compares and how each locality within the state compared. Local papers jump on the story each year because the publicists have mined the data to provide a local angle.

We’ve done this with foster care. Instead of getting one statewide story about the shortage of foster carers across the state, we broke it down into regions giving the shortfall for each. Suddenly we made a state-based story relevant to endless local papers. It took some work to get the data but it was worth it.

Indexes can be repeated each year, providing something else media loves – trends, comparisons, change.

Less words = more better = duh

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Ask people for their golden rules of copywriting and they all say the right thing: less = best. In reality though, most copy is still overlong and underinteresting. This scientific analysis by the nerds at Marketing Experiments Blog provides some hard data to back up the received wisdom. Roll it out next time a colleague asks you to squeeze “just one more thing” into your lovingly crafted copy.

Bad start to the weekend

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Listened to Radio National Breakfast last Saturday? And why not? Oh really. Shame on you. Anyhoo you missed one of the more disappointing NFP media performances we’ve heard in a while.

Have a listen and you’ll hear an inexact, jargon-rich, unenlightening interview to an audience that would be largely left none the wiser about a critical social issue – disability employment. This; despite 14 minutes of national airtime and a supportive interviewer.
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