When blogging for a nonprofit, we are not just increasing awareness. We are calling people into action.
Communication strategies are not set in stone. Goals, messages and channels are unique to the people and places involved. It is key to highlight the specialized characteristics that make ‘this time,’ ‘this cause’ or ‘this person’ important. Here are some ways that nonprofit bloggers improve participation with their readers. I’d love to hear your ideas and experiences, too!
Storytelling is inclusive
If we see the face, hear the voice and feel the emotions, we naturally insert ourselves into the story. Once there, we inevitably ask ourselves “What can I do about this?” Though sharing is fun and cathartic, the goal is to get people involved.
Self interest is a powerful motivator
It is from within the story that we are affected and, therefore, invested. If we can elevate the experience of the audience from “Sucks to be her” to “That could be me,” then we have a higher probability of altering behavior. Fun drives us more than shame. Don’t guilt anyone into anything – this diminishes trust and replaces action with isolation.
Interact with your readers
Two-way communication invites participants into the fold. Initiate dialogue and foster conversations. An RSS feed and a frequently visited comments section are great ways to explore public opinion. Does your blog ask questions that invite readers to contribute?
Now is compelling
Update publics about what is happening today. We are excited about and more easily engaged with programs in motion. Isn’t it more effective to invite potential donors to sponsor a pet adoption drive happening ‘this weekend’ than it is to ask for contributions to next year’s drive?
Images are persuasive
Visual storytelling invokes emotion and lends credibility. Seeing is believing. And it is important to nonprofits that its publics trust that their support is working. Showing progress through video and photographic images gives a sense of advancement to a cause and its objectives.
Stories are fun
Here is a great example of inclusive, visual storytelling. The SPCA and Mini partnered to make a series of videos that promote both the Mini brand and pet adoption. What makes this a sticky message for you? Enjoy!