Archive for January 11th, 2008

Free marketing tools non-profits often miss

January 11, 2008

Nancy E. Schwartz, author of the Getting Attention blog, wrote a great post about an often missed marketing opportunity—including your organization’s tag line as part of your switchboard greeting. This is a great example of free branding opportunities that non-profits often overlook.

Nancy writes that she was recently astonished upon calling the American Liver Association when the main switchboard greeted her with the message, “Thanks for calling the American Liver Association, the nation’s leading organization in the fight against liver disease and hepatitis.”

Adding your organization’s tag line to your switchboard greeting is a simple way to reinforce your non-profit’s brand and to build awareness about its work. Of course, as Nancy points out, you first need a succinct, effective tag line. That’s a topic for another post.

Other missed opportunities include standardizing company email signatures. All business email signatures should include the employee’s full name, position title, name of the organization with tag line, contact information and link to the corporate website.

It’s amazing how many companies don’t do this.By not setting clear guidelines about email appearance, many organizations end up with a mishmash of styles, formats and even messages. I’ve even received corporate emails from an employee who created her own flowery “stationary” that did not even remotely resemble the agency’s brand. Not only is this a missed opportunity, it also appears dismally unprofessional.

The same holds true for voice mail messages. Many times, when I get the voice mail for an employee, I am lucky to hear his/her full name. I don’t often hear the organization’s name or the employee’s position title, never mind the tag line for the organization.

One more often overlooked opportunity to promote a non-profit’s brand is the use of professionally designed name tags for senior staff and others who interact with the public on a regular basis. Small tags often have enough room to include the employee’s name, the organization’s name and logo and, if succinct, the tag line.

Staff members should wear the tags whenever the organization hosts public gatherings and when they attend workshops, conferences and other outside business-related events. The tags are inexpensive, especially when purchased in bulk, and silently make others aware of your organization’s presence. If you have any doubts about the power of the name tag, visit Scott Ginsberg’s website, Hello my name is Scott.

Are there other no-or-low-cost ways that an organization can reinforce its brand? Share your ideas by making a comment below.

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