|Leslie Clay, Chief Development Officer|
at Hope Cottage
Having to constantly create editorial content for your nonprofit can be hard. See our past post about it here.
To get some new ideas, I sat down with Leslie Clay, Chief Development Officer and communications extraordinaire at Hope Cottage Pregnancy and Adoption Center, to hear her top tips and techniques.
Leslie’s top tips:
- Don’t be afraid to recycle content. Your bog posts can become a newsletter article. If something’s really good I’ll pull it out and re-post it or link to the original post. I linked to last year’s Mothers Day post to coincide with this year’s Mothers Day.
Our waiting to adopt lists turn over pretty quickly, on average every 9 months. This means I have a new group of readers for our monthly newsletters for families who are waiting to adopt from our agency a couple of times a year.
- Set a regular schedule and stick to it. I blog once a week unless there’s something I need to get out quickly. It helps for people to know when to expect your posts. A regular schedule will also mean that you will regularly publish which is one part of SEO.
- Write a “meet the staff” post each month. If you have 12 staff, then that’s a year’s worth of posts right there. Include information about their educational and employment background, what they like to do in their spare time, what drew them to your agency. I also always include a lesser known fact about them to keep it interesting – perfect attendance all the way through school, they like to mountain climb on vacation, they once worked on a movie with Elizabeth Taylor.
- Same for “meet the board.” Include details on where they went to school, why they choose your organization, what do they do in their spare time, etc.
- Consider a post entitled “A Day in the life of an intern.” Make your life easy by recruiting your interns to write for you!
- Highlight a supporter. This can be a monetary donor or a volunteer. Have them share why they have a heart for your agency’s mission.
- Share the best of Twitter. I find articles on Twitter that would be of interest to our families (there are a billion of them) and literally just write a lead-in and included the hyper-link.
- Start with the end product in mind and work backwards. See how you can populate your e-newsletter with content that can also be used on blog posts. You may find that you only have very little ‘new’ content to come up with.
- Write about your programs. That is what is going to interest people most. Your audience wants to know the work your agency does. Make sure you get to know your organization’s programming staff. You may drive them crazy at first, but they’re the ones who have the good stories! Assure them that you’ll protect people’s privacy and not be invasive. It’s so important get those client stories out there.
- Set-up Google alerts with phrases and words that pertain to your organization’s mission. I get alerts for adoption agencies in Texas, Foster adoption, teen pregnancy, embryo adoption, etc. I get links to news articles that include those words once daily from Google. Trending topics make for great blog/newsletter ideas.
- Set-up streams in Hootsuite to look for key words. This helps me keep track of what people are talking about and ensures that our content is relevant. (Hootsuite is a free social media dashboard to help you manage and measure your social networks – www.hootsuitecom)
- Follow other social service organizations that do the same work you do. Check out what they’re doing on Facebook, read their blogs, follow them on Twitter and subscribe to their newsletter. Make sure you’re in on the conversation.
- Follow and read up on the other social service organizations in town who serve your same clients. Many agencies have cross-over clients. Knowing what is going on with them can help you collaborate.
- How do you know if something’s interesting? If it’s interesting to you, then it’s probably interesting to others. If something gets a lot of comments, Likes, shares or click-thrus, then it’s probably interesting.
- Try using a paper desktop calendar to track everything for the month. I have tried several different methods to organize and schedule content publication and have found nothing beats a paper calendar. I happen to use the large desk blotter size one. I can spread three months out at a time on a conference table or tack it to the wall and plan accordingly. I also use this same calendar to schedule any large mailings, special event timelines and fundraising campaigns. Keeps me from scheduling too many things during one day or week.
Hope Cottage Pregnancy and Adoption Center is the oldest non-profit, non-sectarian adoption center in Dallas. Since 1918, have been building families through education, counseling and adoption services.
Katy Spicer, CNM Director of Sales and Marketing, in conversation with Leslie Clay, Chief Development Officer at Hope Cottage Pregnancy and Adoption Center.