Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Magic Bullet

I know a secret. It can make a lot of money. It can radically transform your non-profit communications. The results are absolutely amazing. And it’s so simple anyone can do it. It’s the magic bullet you’ve been waiting for.

Before I tell you what it is, let’s look at why non-profits are so interested in magic bullets. There is a hunger out there for the simple, single solution that will do it all. That’s why so many agencies are pushing things like social media and fancy logos. Their magic bullets range from Facebook and Pinterest to Twitter to online advertising to shiny new brands. Their ads and their sales people claim they have the solution that will change everything.

The reason why these pitches are appealing is because non-profits realize that things are changing. They can see that marketing and communications is being transformed by the new online reality. They are afraid they will be left behind if they don’t act. And the great thing about some of the magic bullets that are being pushed on them is that they are easy to start. They can take action immediately, and that sometimes makes it appear that the challenge is being addressed.

But the truth of the matter is that most non-profits don’t know what they are doing. Many have ignored their marketing and communications for a long time. They’ve hired coordinators instead of managers to run it. They’ve underfunded it. They’ve not demanded results and many don’t even measure the impact of their efforts at all. The level of their sophistication is quite low. When you don’t know anything about personal finance, a pyramid scheme looks inviting. When you don’t know much about health, snake-oil seems like a sure-fire cure. So, when you don’t know anything about marketing and communications, the social-media-can-make-you-millions pitch looks equally inviting.

It all boils down to want non-profit leaders think about marketing and communications. They see it as about tools, not strategies. They see it as a today issue, not a tomorrow one. They see the problem as a handyman would see a broken stair on the back porch. They assemble the hammer, the nails, the screwdriver and the replacement wood and they get to work tinkering with it until something is resolved. They don’t think whether the stair is the symptom of a more serious problem of rotting wood. They didn’t think to put ongoing maintenance into the porch before the stair came loose. And they don’t think that maybe they need an entirely new porch. They see a problem and they react without much thought at all. And that’s the problem.

So, when these leaders see social media they see a get-rich-quick solution instead of a new, vibrant communications channel. The results speak for themselves. They pour time and money into Facebook without a lot to show for it.

And that brings us back to my magic bullet.

Is it a new way to do social media? Is it a new website? Is it a new smart phone app?


My magic bullet is called a long-term strategic commitment to creating the best possible non-profit marketing and communication.

It will make you money.

It will transform your organization.

The results will be amazing.

Yes, anyone can do it.

The only difference between my magic bullet and all the rest is that mine will take time and effort, and there’s won’t.