Money & Business

Daily Buzz: Make Your Communications More Interactive

By / Oct 28, 2019 (BellPhotography423/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

When members and others can participate in your mission, the results can be remarkable. Also: Heading to space? You might receive the Association of Space Explorers’ new pin.

When your nonprofit communications team is writing day in and day out, it can be easy to fall back on old templates or too often repeat specific turns of phrase. But when that happens, over time, communications become formulaic, predictable, and unengaging.

If you think you might be in a communication rut, take a step back and look at how the team engages with your organization’s mission, says media relations expert Peter Panepento on Nonprofit Marketing Guide.

“You might think you already do that—that the stories you tell and the actions you ask your audiences to take are all supporting your mission,” Panepento says. “This is about involving the people whose lives you’re hoping to help improve with your work in the communications. It’s about making your potential donors and volunteers feel as though they are contributing to a movement.”

So, tweak your storytelling (the fall issue of Associations Now has a deep dive on that subject). Instead of “show, don’t tell,” Panepento suggests a different rule: Don’t just show, involve.

“It’s not enough to simply tell powerful stories,” he says. “The real magic comes when we invite our audiences to help us shape the narrative. It’s about relinquishing some of our power—and inviting our audiences to exercise theirs.”

Now, how your nonprofit decides to involve its audience will depend on its mission. For instance, a social challenge akin to the ALS Association’s Ice Bucket Challenge might align with the story you’re trying to tell—or it might not.

Whatever the solution, the idea is to find new ways to make communications more interactive. “It’s not easy to do,” Panepento says. “But when it happens, it can be transformative.”

Out-of-this-world Recognition

When flight crews fly around the world, they’ve earned their wings. But what if your trip is headed even farther, into suborbital spaceflight?

Well, then you earn a special lapel pin created by the Association of Space Explorers.

Until now, ASE granted recognition only to those who reached orbit. The new pin will be awarded to crew members and passengers who rise above 50 miles in altitude on a suborbital flight with a private company like Virgin Galactic, whose chief astronaut trainer received the first pin last week.

“We look forward to this new demographic of space fliers adding to our own voices in promoting the benefits of human space exploration, greater stewardship of our home planet, and inspiring the next generation,” former NASA astronaut and ASE President Michael Lopez-Alegria said in a news release.

Other Links of Note

Get in the Halloween spirit with nonprofit scary stories, as told by Nonprofit AF.

You’ve heard of TikTok, but these five other social media platforms are also on the rise. The Sachs Marketing Group blog explains why you should keep them on your radar.

Considering a remote work policy? The Bloomerang blog shares how working from home can increase productivity and lower costs.

Sophia Conforti

Sophia Conforti is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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