Perhaps you’ve already noticed: most articles about communication are written for businesses. They use a business vocabulary. The writers assume you’re looking to make a profit. A nonprofit professional reading these articles can feel like a deaf person attending an event with no interpreters.
Good new: with a little practice, you can be your own interpreter.
For practice, let’s take a look at an article that American Express recently published. It’s entitled “5 Common Brand Messaging Mistakes Marketers Make.” That may be a puzzle already.
- What’s a nonprofit’s “brand”? Your brand is not your logo: it’s the overall impression people have of your organization before and after they’ve met you. Think “reputation, public awareness, visibility.”
- “Messaging” is not just anything you say. It’s your deliberate attempt to shape your reputation.
- “Marketers”: that means you! Marketing really just means communications with a purpose. If you put out a newsletter, send an email, or give a talk and you’re trying to win support for your agency, you’re marketing!
So, for a nonprofit audience, the title of this article could be “5 Ways of Communicating that Don’t Work (and What You Can Do Instead).” Now, doesn’t that make you more likely to read it?
Please do read the article and comment about it here. When you get beyond the title, what makes sense from a nonprofit perspective and what needs interpretation? We can puzzle it out together.