Promoting Your Organisation
Whether your organisation survives or thrives could come down to the effectiveness of your communications.
Whether that’s communicating with people about a service that could improve lives in your community, or with potential donors about how they could support you, whether it’s with regulators and the public about your good practice or with the media about a crisis that’s occurring in your organisation - strong communication is at the heart of achieving your strategic goals.
In order to promote your organisation’s cause, work and impact effectively you need to think clearly and creatively at every step. In communications it pays to be proactive rather than reactive.
Do you have a strategy for regular and effective communication with your stakeholders?
(Stakeholders are the people who would have a particular interest in your organisation, everyone from the people who use your service, to the bodies that fund you, to your volunteers, staff and local community.)
If not, consider drawing one up.
Here are some pointers to consider as you develop your plan:
- Always link your Communications Strategy to your organisation's overall vision & mission, and to your overall strategic plan.
- Think first about what high-level, broad goals you'd like to achieve through your organisation's communications.
- Think about your organisation's various stakeholder groups - consider them as separate target audiences for your various communications.
- What key messages do you need to convey to each of these target audiences?
- What are the best channels to use to reach these separate target audiences?
- Consider how you can reach your high-level goals over the next 12 months? What actions will you plan to take and how can you measure their success?
Think carefully about the image you wish to portray. Your image need not be overly glossy; in fact spending a disproportionate amount of money on publicity materials can be off-putting for those who fund you and may misfire. Your image does, however, need to be professional, and you can begin to set the right tone by having proper stationery and using a standard logo on all materials.
The reputation of your organisation is one of your biggest assets and needs to be safeguarded. This should be an important part of your overall risk management strategy. One of the ways of reducing the risk of damage to your organisation’s reputation is to have an external communications and publishing policy in place.
You must communicate with your stakeholders in a meaningful way. As your stakeholders are so varied, you may need to gather and present similar information in different formats. There are a number of communication methods, however, that are useful across the board. If any of these seem daunting, consider finding a suitably qualified person to help you – either a volunteer or, if you can afford it, a consultant.
How Can We Help?
In this section we will soon be publishing helpful How To guides to help you build your organisation's communications know-how.