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Successfully Planning and Promoting Events – Training Workshop

By Advice, Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Government, Presentations, Resources No Comments

Eastern Volunteers is a volunteer resource centre located in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, which assists community organisations in recruiting and training volunteers.

This month I conducted a training session on planning and promoting events; following the success of a similar workshop that I held last year. The half-day workshop covered the following topics:

Developing a marketing approach

Events are a marketing activity and as such they need to align with organisational goals. All forms of interaction, such as attending an event, receiving promotional materials or customer service, results in an impression being formed. It is imperative that these impressions reinforce the key messages that an organisation wishes to communicate.

Events need a clearly defined purpose so that the organisation and participants are aware of the outcomes they wish to be achieve. Clear expectations also assist when evaluating the effectiveness of an event.

Do you wish to raise funds, or are you planning to raise awareness for your organisation? While there may be a crossover between purposes, there will typically be an overriding priority that defines the aim of the event.

Like any form of marketing, there is a need to understand the target market for your event. Who do you wish to attract to the event and why is it is important to reach this target market? Knowing the target market will assist in understanding the best communication tools that can be used to reach these attendees.

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Day Two of GOV49 Communication Delivery and Social Media in the Public Sector

GOV49 Communication Delivery and Social Media in the Public Sector – Day Two

By Advice, Government, Presentations, Resources No Comments
Day Two of GOV49 Communication Delivery and Social Media in the Public Sector

Day Two of GOV49 Communication Delivery and Social Media in the Public Sector

Today is the second day of the GOV49 Communication Delivery and Social Media in the Public Sector conference. Yesterday I chaired the proceedings and delivered a presentation on the use of social media for advocacy campaigns.

Today’s sessions looked at the day-to-day usage of social media, through government programs and in emergency management. Insights included the New Zealand earthquake where social media was used to disseminate information and provide updates on the recovery efforts. The presentation also discussed the importance of keeping backup information, particularly when electricity and computer networks are unavailable.

My presentation looked at the various social media tools and how they can be utilized to assist the public sector in being able to engage the community. I looked at the most prominent tools, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and discussed their strengths and potential usability for the public sector. Like most technologies, social media is increasingly being used across all age demographics, with people aged 5 plus being the fastest growing users of Facebook.

Email still has an essential role in reaching communities and the number of email accounts overshadows the use of social media. Email, like most other tools, can be integrated, providing the option to share content via Facebook, Twitter or other networks.

Integrating these tools saves time by reducing duplication and the need to write multiple content. In addition, the use of sharing assists in promotion by encouraging recipients to distribute content through their networks.

While it is imperative that there are clear guidelines and policies for social media usage, this should not be used to deter its usage within an organisation. There should be the clear identification of official spokespeople and individuals should use social media to support these official roles.

The official spokespeople should be the people that respond to difficult situations and seek to resolve these issues. It is often advisable to resolve situations outside of social media by demonstrating a responsive approach and following up with additional details if required.

Social media can be used effectively by the government and the public sector. Ultimately it is important that the public sector is part of the conversation that occurs on social media so that it can respond and be part of this discussion.

The community will be discussing government and policies and the public sector should be part of this discussion, just as it is within traditional media outlets.

The two-day conference provided several insights and examples of social media within the public sector.

Breakfast with the Lions Club of Vermont

By Advice, Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, News, Presentations, Resources No Comments

Lion Clubs are service based organisations providing members with opportunities for community service.  The Lions Club of Vermont holds regular business events with the aiming of linking these businesses with the Club and its activities.

This morning I was invited to speak to the Lions Club of Vermont, discussing marketing and my experiences in developing marketing strategies and executing campaigns for businesses and not-for-profit organisations.

My presentation covered the fundamentals of marketing, guiding the audience through the initial development of a marketing plan.  I began by discussing the importance of consistent messages and understanding the needs of your customers or stakeholders.

Businesses support community organisations through workplace volunteering programs.

Businesses support community organisations through workplace volunteering programs.

There are common similarities in marketing for businesses or not-for-profit organisations, but there are some differences that make not-for-profits unique.  Businesses will typically have a defined target market, knowing their current and potential customer base.  This is somewhat true for not-for-profit organisations, but often there’s a need to target not just clients, but also volunteers, funding bodies, business partners and other organisations.  The need to cover a wider range of stakeholders provides unique challenges for not-for-profit organisations and it is important that each of these target markets is considered when developing a marketing plan.

Knowing the characteristics of the target market will assist in knowing how best to reach these potential customers and stakeholders.  Customers may respond best to a particular medium and it is important that messages can work across marketing tools.

Marketing tools, regardless as to to whether they are brochures, advertising, websites or social media should have a clearly defined call to action.   The call to action is what you want someone to undertake when they respond to the marketing messages.

Often a combination of tools is required to generate awareness and to prompt someone to recall the messages when they are able to respond to the call to action. This is why major advertisers, such as large retailers, use a combination of TV, radio and print – they want potential customers to think of their store when they are ready to make purchases.

Smaller businesses and many not-for-profit organisations have limited marketing budgets so it is imperative that marketing is utilised as efficiently as possible.  Understanding your target markets and knowing the most effective methods of communication to reach these potential customers is essential.

Use the right tools to reach these target markets and ensure a consistent message to prompt recall and action.  The need for consistency is particularly important when there is a long lead time to generate sales, such as booking holidays or purchasing furniture.

Marketing is an essential activity for any business or not-for-profit organisation.  This is particularly true in difficult economic conditions, where there is a need to foster ongoing customer loyalty.

Questions included a discussion on marketing volunteer opportunities, particularly for service clubs, where I discussed the need to focus on projects and the outcomes that volunteers can achieve through their efforts.

Business Breakfasts help businesses develop networks and gain valuable insights.  It was particularly pleasing to see a large number of businesses participating in today’s breakfast.

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Third Sector Magazine – Developing a Successful Marketing Plan

By Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, News, Presentations No Comments

Third Sector Magazine is a publication designed specifically for Australia’s not-for-profit sector. Syneka Marketing as market leader in providing solutions for the not-for-profit sector has been offered editorial content in the Third Sector Magazine.

This edition we covered the steps required to develop a successful marketing plan, utilising the Rotary Club of Ringwood as a case study, through the formation of its corporate membership program.

An edited version of the article is available from Third Sector Magazine and was included in the August edition of the magazine.

The complete edition of the article Developing a Successful Marketing Plan is available for registered members of the Syneka Marketing website. Registration is free and provides exclusive access to presentations, articles and papers.

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Discussing experiences as a Councillor for the MAV Stand for Council Campaign

By Government, News 2 Comments

Being an elected Councillor requires an ongoing time commitment coupled with an understanding of good governance and the ability to respond to community feedback. Victorian council elections will be held at the end of October in all local councils with the exception of Brimbank City Council.

The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) provides introductory sessions for prospective council candidates to assist in understanding the role and responsibilities of local government. The sessions include an overview from a neighbouring Council Chief Executive Officer and Councillor to discuss the role of council officers and elected representatives.

This evening I was invited to speak at the information session held at Knox City Council to provide an overview of my experiences in local government and advice on conducting council campaigns. The session provided an opportunity for candidates to discuss the operations of a Council and the role that Councillors undertake within the community. In particular I was able to provide an overview of governance structures for Council to assist candidates in understanding how Councillors can deliver results for the community.

I attended a similar information session in 2005 when I first stood for local government in Maroondah and found that the discussion was useful in gaining an insight into councils.   Candidates should be advised to learn about local government and its decision making processes to ensure that they can become effective representatives for their community.