Down with jargon & the general public

Here are key take-aways from the bevy of convos I’ve had this month about messaging and the Nonprofit Messaging Roadmap, including at yesterday’s Tune-Up Tuesday:

  • There’s still a lot of jumping to the how and what of your work. Say it with me: “Why first. Then what and how.” If you’re on a mission to eradicate adult illiteracy (for instance), you’ve got to share that first. Then you can move on to the fact that you’re doing this by mobilizing a cadre of passionate literacy advocates, etc. etc. etc. Frame it up before you serve it up.
  • Jargon. Egads, do we ever love jargon. Even if you think your audience knows what ‘wrap-around services’ or ‘field-tested diagnostics’ are, there’s still probably a more straight-forward way of saying it. Say it that way.
  • Everyone and the general public still aren’t target audiences. Sorry. Your nonprofit doesn’t have the resources to market to ‘people’. You have the resources to market to your best supporters, your believers. Who are they? If you don’t know, figure it out.
  • Messaging should reflect your organizational goals and strategy. Check out this great post on the Getting Attention blog for some food for thought on this.

Since identifying and engaging target audiences is still such a significant roadblock for many nonprofits, March’s theme will be (you guessed it!): Identify Target Audiences. Here are some of the things you can look forward to:

  1. Writing Target Audience Personas (no more than 3).
  2. Building an Editorial Calendar based on the experience of one of your ‘Personas’.
  3. Organizing a Communications Advisory Committee made up of your best supporters who fit your ‘Personas’.

We’ll have templates and how-to’s so as long as you read the March newsletter and blog posts, you’ll be all set.

If you’d like some in-person support, we’d love to have you join us on March 15th for our next Tune-Up Tuesday at the Hearing, Speech and Deafness Center in Seattle.

Any other lessons learned or thoughts to share on all this?