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Alex delivering marketing and social media essentials at Third Sector Expo 2013

Social Media Essentials at the 2013 Third Sector Expo

By | Advice, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Presentations, Resources | 2 Comments

The Third Sector Expo is an annual conference and exhibition dedicated to the not-for-profit sector.

Syneka Marketing has received regular coverage in Third Sector Magazine, providing editorial content over the past year. We were invited to speak at the 2013 Third Sector Expo.

Alex speaking at the 2013 Third Sector Exhibition and Conference

Alex speaking at the 2013 Third Sector Exhibition and Conference

I discussed social media and marketing, outlining how an organisation needs to use the right tools to reach its target markets. Social media is a marketing activity, and should be linked to the actions identified in a marketing plan.

Every not-for-profit organisation needs a marketing plan to support its organisational or corporate strategies. A corporate plan will often identify what an organisation wants to achieve and a marketing plan looks at how to achieve these outcomes.

Marketing plans need to consider the tools that are available to achieve these goals, including communication methods such as social media. Following this approach means you will be able to communicate your key messages through an online community using social media tools.

Websites and social media are only effective if they are regularly updated. This ensures that visitors are aware of your organisation’s activities. In addition, the frequency of updates is one of the metrics Google uses for search engine rankings.

Fortunately social media can be integrated with a website, ensuring consistent messages that can be published once and replicated through tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Integration saves time by ensuring consistency, while also providing a base level of engagement. Using this approach provides the ability to foster online communities, by encouraging committee, staff, volunteers and members to interact with the discussion.

Social media should be treated like other forms of media and covered by a communications policy. The policy should outline acceptable use of social media and identify the spokespeople who provide official comments on your organisation’s social media accounts. Guidelines should be clearly published, including on the About page on Facebook, and visible within Twitter and other social media tools.

There are several social media tools, each of which are designed for different purposes. Facebook is good for building online communities and for promoting events. Twitter is great for quick announcements, and can be linked with Facebook to provide an integrated approach. Pinterest is effective through its use of photographs, and Youtube can host video content that can promote an organisation.

Social media is increasingly prevalent across all demographics. For example, over half of Australia’s population has a Facebook account. People aged 55 plus are now the fastest growing segment of new accounts. While social media has extensive reach, email still has almost universal coverage and should be included as an online form of communication. The ability to share email content should be incorporated within newsletters to encourage recipients to forward messages through social media.

The 2013 Third Sector Expo

The 2013 Third Sector Expo

Policies should distinguish between negativity and offensiveness. Offensive comments, that denigrate, or are inflammatory should be immediately removed. Negative comments, however should be managed by seeking to engage the person that wrote the content. Try and engage the person outside of social media to prevent other comments. In particular, it is best to try and resolve the complaint in person or via the phone to remove the anonymity that social media provides. Resolving a complaint outside of social media will often lead to better outcomes and enable you to demonstrate the steps you undertook to reach a resolution.

Social media can deliver positive outcomes for an organisation, if it is linked to marketing objectives.

For example, if your goal is to raise donations, ensure that messages target prospective donors and that you encourage the sharing of content to reach their extended networks. If you are aiming to raise awareness, then promote stories that creative a narrative, outlining how your organisation achieves positive social or environmental outcomes.

Audio equipment was kindly provided by ConnectingUp. A version of the presentation with audio and slides is available through Youtube:

Or view the slides delivered to the 2013 Third Sector Expo

Thank you to the many participants who attended our presentation and for the discussion on Twitter.  A transcript of the Twitter conversation is available via Storify.

Third Sector Magazine: Activate your community through social media

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

Third Sector Magazine has published our advice on engaging communities through social media. Alex will be discussing social media as a speaker at the Third Sector Expo on Monday the 15th of April, for details please visit www.thirdsectorevents.com.au.

The website Humanities 21 which is integrated with Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools

The website Humanities 21 which is integrated with Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools

Activate your community through social media

Is your organisation considering social media, but not sure where to start? Or has it recently created a Facebook page and Twitter feed only to be underwhelmed by the results? Syneka Marketing provides seven tips to help your organisation strengthen its social media presence and re-engage its communities online.

Know where to start

Social media is the collective name for a range of tools that enhance interactivity and discussion, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. Each of these tools has a slightly different purpose and audience, but they are all designed to encourage participation.

Know what you want to achieve

Success begins with strategy and this is no different for social media. Decide the specific outcomes you want to achieve from your social media efforts, such as:

  • Raising awareness
  • Encouraging volunteers
  • Increasing donations.

Once you know what you want to achieve, you can consider the messages and tools that can be used to promote these objectives.

Develop a social media policy

Social media policies help to identify the people who will have access to social media accounts and will be authorised to provide official announcements. Other individuals can respond to comments and interact, as well as support the authorised spokespeople.

Policies should enable board members, staff and volunteers to support the organisation’s social media presence.

Each social media tool has its own audience and key strengths.

Each social media tool has its own audience and key strengths.

Engage and interact

When creating a new social media account, encourage your members or supporters to follow your organisation. In addition, promote your social media presence through your website, newsletter and other communication tools. Undertaking initial promotion will ensure that you can build a network of followers that will assist in promoting your organisation. Follow similar organisations and encourage them to follow you.

Handle negativity

Negative comments should hopefully be kept to a minimum, but it’s important to have clear guidelines to manage any adverse commentary.

Make a clear distinction between negative and offensive comments and respond accordingly. Aim to engage directly with someone that has written a negative comment and suggest that you would like to follow up further. Try and engage the person through offline forms of contact, such as the telephone, so that you can discuss their concerns directly. Attempting to resolve the issue outside of the public realm will enable a more in-depth discussion.

If a comment is deemed to be offensive, it should be removed immediately as per your media and communications policy.

Integrate online tools

One of the great aspects of the web and social media is that messages can be integrated. You can automatically post updates from your website through to Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools. Integration ensures a consistent message while saving time by replicating content across your networks.

Integrating social media means you’ll have more time to foster and develop your community by providing a base level of communications.

Share content

Re-tweeting or sharing posts on Facebook indicates that the person supports your organisation and messages. The sharing of content is the online equivalent of word of mouth advertising and is a great way to extend your organisation’s networks.

Social media, like a website, needs to be kept up-to-date. An inactive presence is worse than having no presence, as the first question someone will ask is whether the organisation still exists.

Case Study: Turn challenges into opportunities with a marketing plan

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

Third Sector Magazine is a quarterly publication designed for not-for-profit organisations. The February edition featured content relevant to marketing and communications and we included our recent case study on the rebranding of Wimmera Volunteers into Volunteering Western Victoria.

Syneka Marketing explains how it helped Wimmera Volunteers to identify new opportunities by developing a marketing plan that better positioned the organisation as a regional peak body.

Successful marketing begins with finding the right strategy. A marketing plan sets your organisation up for ongoing success by considering the context of the organisation, identifying goals and suggesting actions to achieve these outcomes.

The former logo of Wimmera Volunteers

The former logo and identity of Wimmera Volunteers

Case Study: Wimmera Volunteers

Wimmera Volunteers is a volunteer resource centre that works with other organisations to promote and recruit volunteers, creating opportunities and social inclusion. Wimmera Volunteers also offers transport services, including programs for learner drivers and mobility for older residents, promoting social inclusion across a diverse region.

The problem

The organisation was at the crossroads. The Federal Government was proposing significant funding changes, which was making the future of volunteer resource centres uncertain.

The organisation aimed to service the entire Wimmera region but its services were heavily concentrated within the town of Horsham and its slogan of ‘helping communities help themselves’ was seen as patronising despite its good intent.

The opportunity

Wimmera Volunteers was rebranded into Volunteering Western Victoria, supported by the tagline Empowering Communities, Supporting Volunteers

Wimmera Volunteers was rebranded into Volunteering Western Victoria, supported by the tagline Empowering Communities, Supporting Volunteers

Rather than cave to challenges, Wimmera Volunteers commissioned Syneka Marketing to work with board members, staff, volunteers and other stakeholders to develop a marketing plan that reflected the needs of the organisation.

One new opportunity related to the region’s distance from Melbourne. Many of the organisations serviced by Wimmera Volunteers indicated that they wanted professional development but were unable to devote the time required for travelling or lacked the resources to deliver their own internal training.

It was important to align the marketing plan with the Government’s national volunteering strategy and ensure that Wimmera Volunteers could demonstrate the ability to implement the priorities outlined by the Federal Government.

There was also the need to better connect across the Wimmera and Mallee regions and to foster relationships with the business community.

The marketing plan identified the need to rebrand Wimmera Volunteers to better position the organisation as a regional peak body and to reflect its commitment across a diverse region. Rebranding workshops identified that Wimmera Volunteers wanted a new name that was functional and retained its commitment to volunteering.

Outcomes

Syneka Marketing successfully rebranded Wimmera Volunteers in just six weeks, coordinating new style guides, logos, design templates, websites and social media. The new brand was successfully unveiled at the organisation’s annual general meeting, resulting in strong attendance from stakeholders and the wider community.

The new name, Volunteering Western Victoria, enabled the organisation to develop comprehensive membership packages, including training and mentoring to other organisations. In addition, the organisation is no longer bound by geography and is able to work with a number of councils and organisations within the Wimmera and Mallee regions.

The new tagline ‘Empowering Communities, Supporting Volunteers’ identifies the purpose of Volunteering Western Victoria through a positive and forward-looking statement, reinforcing its role within communities and encouraging volunteering.

The organisation is now positioned to become a regional peak body, complementing its traditional services with new offerings. In addition, the new name enables Volunteering Western Victoria to implement further actions from the marketing plan, including regional offices, workplace volunteering and the development of comprehensive community advocacy and training services.

Many sectors are experiencing uncertainty over government funding and a marketing plan can provide the vision and actions required to turn these challenges into opportunities.

Third Sector Magazine is released on a quarterly basis. Our article can be seen at www.thirdsectormagazine.com.au.

Syneka Marketing

Welcome to 2013!

By | Advice, Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Government, News | No Comments

Welcome to 2013! We hope you had a well deserved break and are ready for the upcoming year ahead.

The previous twelve months were a busy time for us, as we consolidated our position as market leaders in the not-for-profit sector. We were featured several times in Third Sector Magazine and maintained regular speaking commitments. Our expertise was also recognized by businesses, where we secured several local and international clients.

Many of our clients requested a full range of marketing services. As a result we have expanded our creative marketing division, providing a full range of print and digital design services. We are pleased to complement our strategic marketing approach with creativity and design flair.

Outsourced marketing and implementation is another area that has often been requested by our clients. We will be offering a range of outsourced marketing packages and details will be released in early 2013. These packages will assist businesses and community organisations with day-to-day marketing activities, underpinned by our focus on strategic direction.

Thank you for your support over the past twelve months, we look forward to working with you in 2013 and beyond.

Promotion needs to be considered when planning an event

How to successfully market your next event – Third Sector Magazine

By | Advice, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Resources | No Comments

Third Sector Magazine is a quarterly publication that contains news and content for Australian not-for-profit organisations.  Syneka Marketing was featured in the November edition where we provided advice on promoting events.

Hosting an event is a great way for your organisation to promote its mission and achieve its goals. 

Alex Makin, Managing Director of Syneka Marketing provides tips on helping your organisation improve its marketing strategy and ensure your next event is a success.

Promotion needs to be considered when planning an event

Promotion needs to be considered when planning an event

Define event goals

In order to properly prepare for an event, you need to know exactly what target markets you want your event to reach. For example, how many attendees are you hoping to attract or what is the desired fundraising target?

Having clearly defined event goals will enable you to stay on track and motivate your organisation to push hard to achieve these goals and host a successful event.

Elect an events committee

If your organisation doesn’t have designated event roles then it is a good idea to elect an events committee that consists of stakeholders and organisation members from different teams.

An events committee provides a formalised structure for people across the organisation to work together on identified outcomes. Committee members need to have an understanding of the goals and milestones of the event, as well as clearly defined responsibilities.

Send Invites Early

Sending invitations is often left until the very end of event coordination. To get the best outcomes, give ample notice to desired event attendees. This gives you time to follow up if you don’t receive an immediate response.

Ensure email Invitations Stand Out

Sending invitations via email is becoming increasingly popular as it saves time and money. If your organisation chooses this method, make sure your message stands out from other emails by providing the essential event information – such as the date, time, venue and purpose – in the subject line, and repeating key information in the body of the email.

Avoid sending attachments in your email invitation as recipients are unlikely to open them. However, if you do wish to include an attachment, make sure you mention key points in the body of the email to ensure those who don’t open the attachment don’t miss important information. In addition, attachments should be sent PDF format as this ensures that the content will be readable on most devices.

Use email merges so you can take the name of each recipient and enter it into a personalised greeting, Not only can email merge save considerable time, it will increase the likelihood that your message will be read by the recipient as it doesn’t look like a mass email. It should be used in preference to sending a mass email by attaching many recipients to the CC or BCC fields as emails sent this way are can get caught in spam filters.

Ensure that there is sufficient time to consider media releases and promotion for your event.

Ensure that there is sufficient time to consider media releases and media coverage of your event.

Involve the media

Sending media releases is a great way to raise awareness of the event and generate pre-event publicity.

To ensure your message is successfully received by your target market, it is important to send releases to the right media outlets. In order to determine which media outlet would be best suited to your event, think about the demographic of your target market and pitch your media releases to the types of media outlets frequented by your demographic.

It is a good idea to follow up your media release with a call to ensure it has been received, and to encourage the journalist to run the story.

Media releases should also be distributed to sponsors to demonstrate the publicity you are undertaking for the event and included on your website.

Third Sector Magazine is released on a quarterly basis, our article can be seen at www.thirdsectormagazine.com.au.

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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