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The not-for-profit (NFP) sector is a unique beast when it comes to communication.

Their audience is broad, ranging from organisation members, volunteers, board members, media, politicians and policymakers. Not to mention the wider public in many cases. Their work is centred towards a cause, with no mind towards profit or personal gain.

The content is continuous, versatile and needs to be engaging, and always leads back to the main underlying message that drives the organisation.

Every NFP will have their own communications and engagement strategy, but there are a few universal truths to consider when developing not-for-profit related content.

Good NFP content is more than just words on the page. Those who subscribe to a not-for-profit cause are often looking for information, resources and benefits that will help their interests and the interests of the industry they support. It’s important to provide that through content which, unlike a media release, can house such opportunities. Online NFP mediums like blogs, newsletters, web pages and even online in-house news pieces should be abundant with images and videos that illustrate a point, as well as links to other websites and attachments (i.e published PDFs) that can provide further reading and scope to the information. By providing this, an NFP exhibits a level of commitment to stakeholders, and shows the content they provide is a one-stop shop for all the information anyone could want on their subject.

Some content ‘receivers’ have other things to worry about. Often an NFP is made up of volunteers and members who have their own lives and businesses outside of the organisation. It can get quite frustrating when a lot of time is spent on developing great content and no one seems to respond. You have to ask yourself, ‘how will this content affect the reader’? NFP content is not usually recognised as randomly generated news pieces and web posts for people to stumble on and say, ‘hmm, that’s interesting’, before going about their day. NFP content has to strike a chord; it has to entice; it has to make people feel personally invested. Using links to useful resources as previously mentioned is great way to start, as well as adopting catchy and insightful headlines and headings, but the next step is to develop content that really hits home.

For example…

Writing a fact sheet to convince businesses to contribute to an NFP cause may include content around the following:

  • What is in it for the business?
  • How will the business be affected?
  • Why is the NFP the right group for the cause? What are their goals and how do those goals translate to the business?

Understanding the audience goes a long way
. More important to content distribution, understanding who the audience is helps to determine how to provide them with content the way they like it. This might sound a little pandering, but, for example, you would not develop an NFP event invitation that looks like spam and then email it to a group of busy executives twice a day for a month. It’s important to know the receiver, understand their communication channels, and interact with them in a way that keeps them on side and receptive to the message. Knowing the audience also helps with the tone of content. Continuing with the ‘busy executives’ as my example group, these individuals may prefer a professional manner from an NFP, rather than a youthful and off-the-cuff conversation tone. Just like travelling to another country and speaking to a local, NFP content is most effective when it is in the right lingo.

NFP content should have something to say. Consider the following paragraphs for a hypothetical media release, written by a hypothetical NFP organisation:

[INSERT NFP ORGANISATION HERE] is in full support of [INSERT INITIATIVE/PLAN/NEW LAW] established by [INSERT SEPERATE ENTITY HERE].

“This is a great step forward and [INSERT NFP ORGANISATION HERE] is excited about what it will mean for the future,” said [INSERT NAME OF NFP HEAD HERE].

This approach is often taken to tell the world that an NFP is aware of a situation, and usually comes off as self-promotion. When creating content, an NFP should consider the benefit of others first, and their interests last. An insightful report of the information and what it means for others should be the first priority. Once readers are made clear of the news and what it means for them and their interest, then an NFP can round out the message with the pledge of support and whatever future actions they may take on the public’s behalf.

Ultimately, it comes down to understanding the definition of a not-for-profit – an organisation that does not operate for their own personal profit and gain. NFP content should reflect that, and be written and distributed with the interests of others in mind.
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The role of Communications Director in both global and local organisations has historically focused on a number of key traditional strategies to drive the brand forward. These roles include managing public image and reputation, distributing media releases, statements and alerts, responding to crises, writing speeches, engaging with stakeholders and managing the corporate website, among other tasks. But now, today’s tech-savvy consumers and the way they seek products calls for a lot more than what the traditional corporate communications executive has previously delivered. Today’s comms landscape brings social media, and with that, social media management, where companies must distribute their narratives proactively, respond almost instantaneously to negative public feedback, all throughout several different social media channels. An alarming statistic that featured in this year’s World PR Report, or ‘The Holmes Report’, revealed that by 2020, only 17 per cent of a communications budget will go towards paid media; that is, advertising. But, the same respondents in the report also said that they expected the biggest budget increase in the future will go toward shared media. Shared media intertwines with ‘owned’ media* – but is still a relatively new concept, and forms only as a result of a brand and customers or fans interacting and mutually creating content. This response doesn’t add up, given that social media postings must be sponsored (paid) and targeted perfectly to achieve any real reach or value on shared media platforms. So what does this tell us? Frankly, it says that many communications professionals don’t fully understand social media. Content creation, video production, engaging and creative ideas will propel the most effective media engagement going forward, with 81 per cent of industry leaders flagging a future driven by content creation. Brand reputation, measurement and evaluation, and traditional media relations also ranked highly. But while the tech side of communications is moving fast, it doesn’t mean the core skills of journalism go anywhere. In fact, they’re more valuable than ever in getting short and sharp content through (in 130 Twitter characters or less!) ‘Writing’ was in fact ranked as more critical than strategic planning (84 per cent), social media expertise (76 per cent), and multimedia content development (76 per cent) according to The Holmes Report. This means that by far, writing is what the public uses to first judge a company: this includes professionalism, value to market and intellect. *Owned media: Includes company-owned websites, blogs, social media accounts etc.
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There’s no better way to fuel your travel plans than to jump online and see what some of the best digital travel influencers are up to.

Whether you’re after specific destination information, general travel advice or simply looking for some dreamy inspiration here are some of our favourite writers and bloggers providing the stuff that memorable travels are made of.

Mark Fitzpatrick

travel influencers

Mark is embarking on a second career, now as a social media influencer and photographer, living in the heart of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef at Mackay.

The ocean is where his heart is and the tropics are his destination of choice. Mark’s photography covers the beaches, islands, marine life and the reef, where he spends his days exploring. He’s perfected the above water/below water shot, which provides for a stunning effect.

His favourite region is the Whitsundays and loves its islands and fringing reefs. The clear water is the perfect place for Mark and his partner @theejpalmer to explore. It helps too that Mark is an ambassador for GoPro – all the better for us to admire his amazing photography.

You can visit Mark’s website at www.markfitz.com.au

 

We didn’t just find Nemo, we found his whole family! 🐟🐠🐟☀🌴 #GoProANZ #GoPro #sandmarc

A photo posted by Mark Fitz (@_markfitz) on


The Global Goddess

christine-restchlagProud Queenslander and avid traveller Christine Retschlag is the Global Goddess, chronicling a single woman’s journey through life mixed in with plenty of destination features combined with colourful imagery.

Whether she’s contemplating hugging a polar bear, taking a shine to a Crocodile Dundee lookalike tour guide in India, or uncovering the hidden gems of Darwin, Christine will both entertain and inform.

The Goddess has a natural knack for describing local characters and letting serendipity make for happy memories and quirky stories.

Christine’s blog is found here: theglobalgoddess.com

Y Travel Blog

ytravel-blog-travel-more-create-better-memories   Caz and Craig Makepeace have made a life for themselves travelling throughout Australia and the world. Their philosophy in life is to accumulate memories, not just possessions. It’s a lesson they’re passing on to their two daughters who may well be two of the most well-travelled young ladies in the world. Y Travel Blog is full of inspiring travel stories and advice to help you get the most out of your travel. It’s first hand advice designed to break down any barriers to getting the best travel and life experiences possible. Their year-long road trip around Australia was widely followed and provided never ending experiences to share. Lauded as being amongst the world’s top travel bloggers, their blog is a must visit resource for anyone wanting sensible travel advice and reviews. Bookmark them now. Read the Y Travel Blog here: www.ytravelblog.com

Little Grey Box

Phoebe Lee and her husband Matt are the forces behind Little Grey Box, one of Australia’s top travel blogs. Phoebe is the chief writer and Matt is the videographer. Their stories and imagery aim to inspire other to live a life they love and get out and have their own big adventures. Phoebe’s list of her 10 favourite travel photographs and the story behind them gives you a sense of what travel means to them. From destination reviews to travel tips including what to pack and where to stay, Phoebe also has lots of great advice to other potential bloggers and runs blog coaching sessions. There’s even a fabulous list of Christmas gift ideas for travel lovers. You can visit Little Grey Box here: littlegreybox.net

Not Quite Nigella

__xl-lorraine-elliott-not-quiSydney’s Lorraine Elliott has been blogging since 2007 after leaving her advertising career. Food, fashion, beauty and travel are her passions. Sign up to receive daily restaurant reviews, recipes and travel stories. From interesting twists to Australia Day recipes, basics made from scratch to the perfect picnic food, Not Quite Nigella features gorgeous photographs (many courtesy of Lorraine’s husband), hotel and airline reviews, and of course, most stories are related to food. If you’re looking for etiquette tips from a royal butler, then not Quite Nigella’s interview with Royal Butler Grant Harrold is most revealing: tea drinking should be a quiet slurp-free zone, and never pass the salt and pepper separately, the two are “married”. Read Not Quite Nigella’s blog here: www.notquitenigella.com
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