Category Archives: Newsletters

Get inspiration and practical tips for your own communications by subscribing to this monthly newsletter, with examples of recent successes for clients.

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What’s in Your LinkedIn Profile’s Background?

Instead of the default LinkedIn blue background, make it True Blue You. Get the LinkedIn background format for the DIY-er. Open a free account on Canva; there is a LinkedIn background template, plus there are formats for other social media platforms. Experiment with different text, fonts, colors and images. When you are ready, save the file; then have a design professional review and polish your work for viewing on a computer and on a tablet.

WII-FM? Why Should a Dentist, Landlord or Supermarket Clerk Care About Your Nonprofit or Business?

Look at the bigger picture from the perspective of a dentist, landlord and supermarket clerk. What is their desire or need in the community? For themselves? For their business? Which are the most pressing issues for them regarding time and money? Invite a dentist, landlord or clerk for a coffee chat, ask these questions and listen as you put yourself in her shoes.

Use the Calendar to Set (and Re-Set) Communication Goals

Make an appointment with yourself to address one of the seven Communication goal questions each day for the next week. As a reminder, when setting a Communication goal, the acronym S M A R T guides you to successful completion of the goal: Specific, Meaningful, Action Oriented, Realistic and Timely.

As You Like It, Please Say Why

When you agree with and like another’s LinkedIn post, make this opportunity work for you. Take the time to respond to the person and the discussion, as you like it. COMMENT to indicate: what you agree or disagree with; how this confirms or disproves the trend; what the discussion overlooks; how this relates to another topic or lesson learned; why this is or is not a best practice; or any other interesting aspect.

Improve Your Networking: Pre-event Marketing (2 of 3)

One week before you attend a networking event sponsored by a membership organization, contact key officers and committee chairs to apprise them of your interest in the group. The Program Chair, Membership Chair and Communications Chair, as well as the chairs of any committee that aligns with your profession, will be eager to meet you. At the event, ask them to introduce you to the President of the association, which enhances their stature and helps you join the inner circle of leaders.

Improve Your Networking: Attitude (1 of 3)

Networking is not about ME; it is about YOU, the other person. These are the reasons to attend Networking events: Be seen as a connector/Recruit resources. Make introductions. Maintain contacts. Learn from the speaker. Stay up to date informally. When you are seen as knowledgeable and trustworthy, you will attract clients and prospects.

Send a Better Holiday Card

Like other marketing activities, this holiday card is not about you, personally. It is about the you on the other side of the table, the person who is opening the envelope. Keep the image and discourse neutral. The United States has many faith groups. Respect them; you cannot be sure another person shares your beliefs about a seasonal holiday and may take umbrage.

Do You Lead Workshops for Free?

Speaking at events is one of the top five ways to attract new clients. Where can you find speaking opportunities? Try: Networking group, Classes taught by colleagues, Professional membership associations, Business associations, Local merchant associations, Chambers of Commerce, Municipal public library, City and county small business services agency, City and county economic development corporation, Associations of nonprofit organizations and United Way, Center for management training.

Your Garden of Media Relations

Media Relations activity is like gardening. You clear, plant and cultivate. Then distribute. It’s up to you to propagate the news story you’ve placed by sharing it everywhere you can. Don’t trust that the wind (social media) will carry the seedlings (news coverage) of its own accord. As the gardener, you have to play an active role. Root around for ideas and find fertile ground to plant them.

Time to Improve Your Marketing RBI

Five key marketing activities are Networking, Speaking, Writing, Trade Association and Digital Presence. Consider which approaches are most comfortable for you and which will be most effective in reaching your target market. Set goals for participating in these marketing activities monthly.

Keep Your Recent Conference Current

Your business or nonprofit group held a conference. Considerable effort went into preparing the event; once over, strategize so that the conference still remains relevant. Undoubtedly, the issues addressed will persist. Treat the conference as a launch pad or a way-station in the extended conversation and cultivate future exchanges for fruitful follow-up and action.

Close-up of Your Digital Portrait

When someone you met at a conference searches for you online, what will she find? What you say about yourself?

Or is there a blank or incomplete space?

You have the positive obligation to shape your digital presence and tell your story through multiple channels. As a business or nonprofit professional, place yourself in the most favorable light.

Create Your Own Traveling Classroom

To lead a workshop that will attract new clients, look beyond the membership of a professional organization and the four walls of a classroom. Develop an interactive session and offer it to your connections for their professional development and that of their peers. At this contact’s office, you’ll collect their colleagues’ cards and their appreciation.

Grasp the Hidden Power in Your Networking Group

Tap into your network for advice and your own brain-stretching. Networking meetings are not only about individuals and their presentations. It’s the collection of multi-disciplinary perspective each one brings to the table. Informally advising your colleague will help you exercise your brainstorming muscles, build trust among contacts and garner ideas to develop your own business.

COPE: How Writing Can Re-Broadcast Your Audio

What is COPE?: Create Once, Publish Everywhere.
Clients, prospects and supporters are looking for resources and information across multiple platforms: online, newspapers, magazines, newsletters and video. Whenever you create content, take steps to share and promote your insights. Whenever you are the subject of media coverage or another’s blog, you can respect copyright and reference the media outlet.

Vote for Email and NOT for Social Media

Email is here to stay.
Email has a larger reach; there are THREE times more email accounts than Facebook & Twitter combined.
Email delivers to the recipient 90% of the time; only 2% of Facebook fans see posts.
Email converts with a 3% click-through rate vs .5% click-through on Twitter.
YOU control the distribution of email, not Facebook or Twitter algorithms.

Take Your Own Advice

You probably love to give advice to others. We all have insights on (un)usual business issues and strained relationships, plus tips for gardening, exercise and travel.

Ever get that AHA moment when you realize the suggestions you offered work for your own situation?

It’s Business. Not Personal.

Consider: “It’s not business, it’s personal.”

Or “It’s personal.” (meaning It’s not business)

These slogans were designed to reference a close, even intimate, working relationship. Some clients prefer to be reassured and reminded, on a frequent basis, that a vendor or partner has their interests top of mind at all times.

Consider that what is personal from a client’s perspective may not be reciprocal. Many clients think primarily of themselves and may have a limited interest in the individual private lives of their contacts.

How Are You the Opposite?

Consumer goods are well known for flaunting their other-ness. Apple urged customers to Think different. In the beverage industry, 7-Up was the Un-cola. For cars, one manufacturer nearly denied its heritage: This is Not Your Father’s Oldsmobile. Consider the attributes of your cohort to see where you might be most different and distinctive.

Take Your Idea for a Test Drive

Who might be your sounding board? Members of networking groups. Former clients and former co-workers. Set up a phone chat with a social networking contact whose thoughtful blog posts and comments exhibit insights. The retired executives who serve as coaches at SCORE counsel business owners for free; ask to be paired with someone who worked in your industry.

Wake up your sleepy email signature

Your email signature is a fundamental component of your brand, as are your logo, website and business card.  Every team member should have an identical signature, to reinforce the organization’s positioning and messages. After a revised email signature template is developed, provide the model and instructions for an update to all personnel, along with a two-day deadline for implementation.

Make the most of your event photos

Make a list of photos to be taken at an event, as if you plan a wedding. Prepare to stage photos with the management team, Boardmembers, key staff and special guests. Hover near the principals, with the photographer ready to aim and shoot. Keep groups to a maximum of five people. Note the name of anyone who is not immediately familiar, to identify the person for a caption and perhaps share the photo with the attendee later.

Listen to Aretha: RESPECT

Do your colleagues treat your clients and prospects with respect? It’s polite to begin an email with Sidney, or Dear Leslie,. These forms of address acknowledge the virtual distance between the writer and the recipient and do not overstep the bounds the way that Hey Nicky, does. Write complete and grammatically correct sentences. Use restraint in tone, limit exclamation points and avoid emoticons. Finally, consider that the email might be forwarded to the CEO or another senior executive who has the final say-so on the buy decision.

You and your colleague worked very hard to get the reader’s attention; don’t let your email be discarded because it was disrespectful.

Orient Your Newsletter

Take the reader by the hand. Start with the end in mind, i.e., what you want the reader to do, and write clearly. Include the necessary details (event date, time, location and fee), as well as phone number to request additional information. Make your newsletter easy to read with headings and subheads. Use bold and bold italic font for emphasis. Proofread by reading aloud every word in the sentence, from the period backward.

Radio Interview + Digital Links = Infinite Audience

Make the most of your radio appearance. While the live segment is being edited in digital format, you can prepare to start the redistribution process. The more platforms where the radio interview appears (email signature, website, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, as appropriate), the broader your reach, far beyond the listening area of the radio station.

Make Your Pro Bono Client Newsworthy

Why should a board member or volunteer care about news? The president of a foundation once remarked, “I give money to nonprofit groups that I’ve heard of. One way I hear about your organization is in the news.”

Because many nonprofits with a budget of less than $2 million do not have a professional to manage contact with the press, it is the responsibility of the board — and an opportunity for volunteers — to support the organization in its media outreach. Otherwise, multiple opportunities for fundraising, promotion and collaboration might be missed, as discussed in When Nonprofits Fail to Communicate.

Are You Find-able Online?

Do you have to list your company’s or nonprofit’s website in your profile? Of course not. On the other hand, why ignore the free real estate on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook where you can reference your professional successes? Even a cursory mention may invite someone to visit your organization’s website or click through to your business or nonprofit’s page on LinkedIn or Facebook. The potential for a prospect or referral to learn more about you should not be overlooked.

Playing Politics. Telling Your Story.

How might you get a politician’s attention? Put your business or organization (and yourself) on the leader’s radar screen BEFORE you ask for any assistance. Attend a program the elected official is hosting or look for her or him at a community gathering. At the event, speak to an aide about a shared interest or concern, then ask to be introduced to the politician. Write a letter commending her for introducing legislation. Offer positive feedback on his stance on an issue in the community. As with any sales outreach, it’s best to have interacted with the individual prior to making the pitch.

Save Time. Save Money. Make More Money.

Save Time, Save Money or Get More JOY Out of Life.  A restaurant and a museum offer a less tangible service. They create a transformative experience and people are willing to spend their time and money to capture an elusive mood, engage their senses or master content. Compared to the quantitative terms like time and money, these moments where participants get more JOY out of life are best described as a before and after. Even those who are not patrons or supporters can recognize the possible uniqueness of being connected to such an experience.

Why Your TV News Interview Never Aired

Sometimes stations butcher a news story. In industry lingo, the news story was bumped, cut or killed. Those are the terms that reporters (and Public Relations professionals) use to describe the assault on the fruits of their labors. Typically, a television reporter visits an event, conducts an interview with the principal organizer of the program […]

The Three R’s of Crisis Communication

A similar approach uses the acronym STEEP. Speed, you must make a public statement quickly. Transparency, you must be available and accessible at all times during the crisis. Empathy, show your concern for those affected. Expertise, engage a respected consultant to analyze the situation and make recommendations. Pledge, that you will do everything possible to prevent recurrence. Professor Peter Horowitz of Baruch College follows this approach.

Why You? Why Now?

Reporters call the people that they know, so introduce yourself in a professional way. But, when you receive a call from a reporter to whom you have not been introduced, be on your guard. Consider whether the reporter knows something that you do not — or that you are not prepared to talk about right then. Let’s strategize now, before you get that call, so you’ll be prepared.

Do The Right Thing

Who do you know that could use a helping hand? Look at your list of former clients to identify someone who might value a thoughtful introduction. She or he might benefit from a connection to a vendor, prospective customer, employee or donor. Plant the seed with an e-introduction that describes the two parties succinctly and their shared interest. Then step back to watch the relationship bloom.

Networking Towards the King

Who do you know who knows Someone Special? You probably abhor name-droppers, yet someone you know has a contact who might refer you on to the next person whom you’re eager to meet. LinkedIn offers various ways to approach this issue, via searches among connections and by companies. Best of all, locating a person among its 300 million members will yield the names of the intermediary contacts who will put you on her or his radar screen. Everyone knows someone worth knowing. You don’t know who that person is until you ask.

How Derek Jeter Managed the Media

Do you have to answer the tough question? Yes and no. It’s always best to respond to a reporter’s question, whether nasty or nice, to prove you are open and trustworthy when dealing with others. When your answer to a tough question is a statement that does not merit repeating, the question evaporates. You are not cited as unavailable for comment, which may give the appearance of not being forthright.

Is Your Website Pre- or Post-2011?

A traditional website layout may make your business appear out of step. A pre-2011 design could fall short of visitor expectations. Compare your site to those of your competitors and see if you are on, ahead of or behind the curve. Then budget accordingly for an update — and also for the next one three years later.

The Tao of How

It’s not always who or why — but HOW. Be sure you highlight the HOW of the product or service to show your impact on people and organizations. For ULTRA Testing, their HOW means that clients receive better outcomes and exceptional people get jobs. That’s a clear win-win and readers see the benefits for everyone

Would You Rather Be Lucky or Good – A News Story Replay

Why you? And why now? That’s what reporters will ask. Introduce yourself, your organization, your event, etc., to journalists at appropriate publications in a memorable way. Reporters call the people they know and they do not call people who wait for the phone to ring. Find a reason to put your name in front of the press as an authoritative source on a timely matter.