All-org Messengers

Flickr: OpenUniversity

How often have you banged your head against the wall because you just can’t squeeze any more from your existing team and budget? When you know what you could do, if……

There IS a way to move past this seemingly insurmountable barrier, and that’s enlisting your colleagues (start with staff, then expand to your board members, donors, volunteers, and program participants) as effective messengers.

Bingo—expand reach and depth without any extra expenditure.

Bonus too! Colleagues thank most communicators who launch them as messengers; they are relieved and proud to be able to spread the word about the work to which they dedicate so many waking hours.

Take these five steps to motivate your colleague messengers, while boosting their confidence and impact:

1) SELECT a small group of messengers
Select a small group of folks most likely to succeed as your first team of messengers—they may have a particular public-facing role, work in a top-priority program, have a strong network inside and outside your organization, or just have the attitude and habits you think will supercharge their messenger-ing!

These messengers are your guinea pigs—Be straight about that and thank them for being guinea pigs. Don’t forget to make it fun.

2) ASK for their help
Nothing’s more annoying than being taken for granted.

Explain to your hand picks the value of this program, and why you’d appreciate their help. As always, stress the WIIFM (what they’re going to get out of it), ranging from honing their speaking skills to being recognized by leadership for their help, or feeling more self-assured in telling others about their work.

3) TRAIN them to do it right
You don’t just want your messengers to talk about your org’s impact and value. You want to make it easy for them to discuss your org to build engagement and motivate action while building on each one’s individuality. It’s that personal flavor that makes a difference. Train them to blend those elements and deliver them short and sweet, and they’ll shine.

4) SUPPORT them along the way
Training messengers (or anything!) doesn’t stop with the kickoff. It’s just as important to support your messengers as real-life challenges and questions arise! Establish an easy way for your messengers to get the guidance they need with little effort or delay. And make sure you build an accessible FAQ so others can learn from their peers’ experiences.

In time, you may want to ask those who excel at or adore serving as messengers to mentor new team members.

5) THANK them
Everyone likes to be appreciated. That goes double when folks step out of their comfort zone or job description. Make your appreciation known in ways that are meaningful to your messengers. What’s meaningful depends on their personal preferences and your organizational culture. Options range from a mention at a board meeting to a gift card or bonus.

Take these five steps to launch your all-org team of powerful messengers. Can’t wait to hear how it goes.

Fuel your launch by learning more about the dos, don’ts and experiences from organizations like yours!
Register here for my webinar on Monday, August 1 at 1pm EDT: Recruit, Train, & Launch Your Team of Confident Messengers

Published On: July 27, 2016|Categories: Nonprofit Communications, Nonprofit Communications Team|

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