Last week we explored the myth of “truthful hyperbole” and I made three distinctions about content that passes the smell test. As a review, it should be based on:
- internal research of my business and non-profit
- statistics, other facts and opinions of reputable, and cited, sources
- fairness and contextualization (Am I comparing apples to apples or applies to garden hoses?)
Let’s look more closely at the first item, internal research.
Those in public relations and marketing, as well as grant writers, are internal customers of business owners, key employees, CEOs, boards of directors and others. Our ads, press releases, billboards, videos, grant proposals, and social media posts are only as good as the data we are provided by an organization’s leaders.
Keeping track of the cost of your advertising and other marketing activities and calculating your return on that investment is vital, but that is a blog post for another day. I’m asking that you instead focus on data that you use in those advertising and marketing endeavors.
Rather than looking at data collection for public relations and marketing as a task separate from other necessary bookkeeping and record-keeping, look at the data you keep track of in the natural course of your work or mission.
For non-profits, the information on your IRS Form 990 can be a great source of positive statistics, if those facts are in line with characteristics sought most often by discerning donors. What are those? This article from Charity Navigator shares several, such as: “What is the percentage of every dollar donated that is spent on fundraising,” and, “How much does the CEO make annually?”
For small businesses, the approach is a little different. Are you tracking customer satisfaction through surveys, follow-up emails and phone calls? If you have a high percentage of your customers expressing enthusiastic satisfaction with their experience at your business, that’s a statistic worth sharing often and to a great many people.
Is your small business a major employer in your community? Are you recommended by the Better Business Bureau? If so, for how many years? What about positive ratings or accolades from the local Chamber of Commerce? Do you hire a significant number of military veterans, or perhaps individuals with disabilities? What other positive contributions do you make to your community through philanthropy, partnerships, and other initiatives?
Maybe you’re so busy running your small business you aren’t sure exactly where you stand? Here are a couple of articles that might help you gain perspective:
How To Know When It’s Time to Expand Your Business, from Value One
But Am I Making Any Money? from The Balance
Sharing positive, specific, and credible facts about your organization or business is a must for an effective communications strategy. Think of these facts as credible, reliable evidence submitted to the court of public opinion.
If you are ready to explore this or other marketing and communications issues for your business or non-profit, give me a call. I’d love to help.
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