January 2015

A SUMMER OF TRAINING WORKSHOPS FOR NONPROFITS

Summer’s here and what a better time to for your nonprofit organisation or association to take stock of its training needs in media relations, social media, and lobbying.  With school back, new demands on donors, members and supporters, is your message set out from all the rest?  With this in mind, Action Strategies is launching a number of Toronto training workshops.

The schedule for these sessions are as follows:

  1. Toronto: Social Media for nonprofit organisations and associations. August 23, 2011
  2. Toronto: Media relations for nonprofit organisations and associations. August 24, 2011
  3. Toronto: Grassroots advocacy and lobbying for nonprofit organisations and associations. August 25, 2011

In essence, this summer’s training series is a new venture.  Making a break into Toronto, we’re offering a three day series of seminars in the basic elements of public affairs for NGOs.  Register today for one, two, or three days of intensive training that will magnify your nonprofit or association’s message! Summer is over and it’s time to capitalize on the return back from vacations.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY 2012

Mark Buzan’s PR and Public Affairs Spot on the Web: December 24, 2011 – It’s been a while since I have posted and as such, I hope this message reaches you in time for Christmas and for the coming New Year.

2011 turned out to be a very prosperous year and for that, I thank you – my followers and clients.  May this be a very Merry Christmas for you, your family, and loved ones.  I truly hope the coming New Year of 2012 will provide you with magnifying opportunities!

In the spirit of continuing last year’s tradition of a special video from my wife, Carolina and I, please view this year’s special greeting to you.

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MOBILE MARKETING IS WHERE NONPROFIT COMMUNICATIONS IS GOING NEXT

In 2011 over 85 percent of new handsets will be able to access the mobile Web. Today in the US and Western Europe, 90 percent of mobile subscribers have an Internet-ready phone.  Currently, almost one in five people globally accessing the net have access to fast mobile Internet (3G or better) services.

Clearly, mobile SMS marketing is where nonprofit communications, charity fundraising, and nonprofit association membership recruitment and retention campaigns are going in the years to come.  If you refer back to a mobile text marketing blog post I published a few years ago, you’ll note that the possibilities for getting a nonprofit organisation message out is quite extensive.

Among the common possibilities most experimented with, SMS (short message service) or text messaging and multimedia messaging is becoming popular to accomplish a number of objectives:

  • SMS advertising,
  • SMS competitions,
  • SMS polls,
  • Product/service branding,
  • Promotion of specials and offers,
  • Customer loyalty initiatives
  • Chat engines to encourage immediate feedback on a recent company initiative
  • Bulk distribution of SMS messages to your existing lists

Mobile marketing has the potential to provide associations and especially charities the opportunity to engage nonprofit association members and recruit charitable donors with a reminder or incentive anytime, anywhere. More often than not, people engage with mobile marketing calls to action in an instantaneous way because they can do so from anywhere. This allows NGOs the opportunity to fundraise for charities or engage association members in advocacy campaigns all on the go or in an impulsive way.

Text messaging is a very targeted, private medium. Because a cell phone number is a unique identification number associated with an individual person, marketers must be respectful of the privacy and preferences of users. In essence, when a person gives someone their cell phone number they are providing an opportunity to be contacted on a device that is carried in a purse or pocket, which makes for a very direct, personal communication channel.

There are a number of ways that mobile marketing is set to take off and strategies I recommend in mysocial media training series for nonprofit organisations but I would welcome your input.  Where do you think mobile marketing is going in the public relations or marketing sphere for associations, charities and NGOs?

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As demands for non-profit organizations to stand out from the crowd grow, so to will the need for NGO communications strategy need to become more sophisticated. Social media strategy requirements are forcing non-profits to look to the internet as more than a place where they build a static website.

Media relations in a social media world is changing as well. On a recent webinar I facilitated on association branding, I was amazed at the concern professional associations and trade association executives showed for how they can keep their brand relevant and fresh to Generation Y. The list goes on.

From this process of reflection that I am undertaking with fellow training partners in social marketing in the development of training programs and in particular, a year long webinar series on marketing, I would like to know what challenges you are facing.

What areas of training do you feel your non-profit association could benefit from most?

In what marketing communications challenges do you feel your non-profit association most needs training in 2011?

  • Understanding social media strategy
  • Building more robust and prominent press coverage
  • Recruiting and retaining members and supporters
  • Revising a new brand/ improving the organization’s brand
  • Developing new revenue strategies/ streams through better marketing
  • Developing a robust and regular contact system with members or supporters
  • Mobilizing members and supporters in your awareness campaigns
  • Marketing your message to government to become a better lobbying organization
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RECONNECTING WITH MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT AND POLITICAL CONTACTS

 I attended a good ‘ole fashioned political rally on January 23, 2011 in Ottawa, Ontario held by the Conservative Party of Canada marking their 5th year in office.  Those who follow Canadian politics know that the possibility of a federal election is a very great probability.  With the Conservatives anxious to take on a majority government moving away from the minority they have in parliament, they feel more emboldened than ever with poll numbers which have at times put them in striking range of reaching that objective.

The event was a great opportunity to reconnect with old colleagues, friends and acquaintances from my days when I was a Legislative Assistant on Parliament Hill for Jason Kenney, MP – now the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Mixing my ongoing efforts to build bridging and relationships with Members of Parliament, Senators and other policy makers for the benefit of non profit organizations and associations along with my expertise in social media; I recently launched my Flickr account where you can view some of the photos taken.  Enjoy!

If your association or non-profit organisation is looking to build awareness and relationships with MPs, Senators or influential policy makers, drop me a line.

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MORE CHANGES TO FACEBOOK CAUSES = MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHARITIES

Additional changes to Facebook Causes are making engagement in social media all the more critical for charitable organizations (and even for causes looking to advance their advocacy initiatives).  I recently received the below email from Facebook Causes.  What do you think?

Hi Cause Creators and Administrators –

We’re reaching out to give you an update on an important change coming to Causes in the next few days. In the past, many cause creators have told us they would like to have a relationship with the nonprofit they chose to fundraise for and many nonprofits have told us they are eager to work closer with the causes you’ve created.

We want to facilitate that closer relationship, so we’re making it easier for the nonprofit you picked to share content with your cause. The nonprofit you chose will now be able to add fundraising projectsand petitions to the cause, and send bulletins to members. As the cause creator, you’ll keep the ability to change or remove the nonprofit your cause supports at any time.

If you would like to talk with someone from the nonprofit, feel free to click on the nonprofit’s name from your cause and send an email to the contact listed on their profile.

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RECONNECTING WITH MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT AND POLITICAL CONTACTS

I attended a good ‘ole fashioned political rally on January 23, 2011 in Ottawa, Ontario held by the Conservative Party of Canada marking their 5th year in office.  Those who follow Canadian politics know that the possibility of a federal election is a very great probability.  With the Conservatives anxious to take on a majority government moving away from the minority they have in parliament, they feel more emboldened than ever with poll numbers which have at times put them in striking range of reaching that objective.

The event was a great opportunity to reconnect with old colleagues, friends and acquaintances from my days when I was a Legislative Assistant on Parliament Hill for Jason Kenney, MP – now the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Mixing my ongoing efforts to build bridging and relationships with Members of Parliament, Senators and other policy makers for the benefit of non profit organizations and associations along with my expertise in social media; I recently launched my Flickr account where you can view some of the photos taken.  Enjoy!

If your association or non-profit organisation is looking to build awareness and relationships with MPs, Senators or influential policy makers, drop me a line.

Read More