What are your publications for?

Are you producing your charity newsletter, magazine, website and brochures because that’s what charities do?

It’s surprising but true that many organisations spend huge resources and time creating media, marketing materials and publications without asking before they begin:

What is this supposed to do? What do we want this newsletter to achieve? What do we want people to do when they’ve read it? Donate money? Take an action? Be more engaged? Tell a friend?

Ask yourself: what will success for this publication, web page or marketing piece look like?

If you’re clear what your publication is supposed to be doing, you will naturally be more focused about what you include, how you write, the language you use and the actions you ask people to take.

Without a clear aim, your publication risks becoming a free-for-all, where anything goes as long as you or your colleagues think it is interesting.

And if you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve, you will have no way of measuring the success of your publication. That means you can’t improve it, make it more effective or measure its success against other ways of reaching out to your supporters.

What other part of your organisation would get away with not having to prove what you do works?

The more precise you are with your aims, the better your publications will be.

“Raising awareness” is often cited as an aim for charity publications, but challenge yourself to understand what that means.

What’s the point of someone being aware of your organisation, if they don’t do something about it?

So, are you raising awareness so that people donate, take an action, vote in a particular way, change their behaviour, or something else?

These aims might seem implicit, but the more explicitly you state them the more targeted and effective your materials will be.

Need help getting your publications on message? Contact me today.

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