All this week, we are taking a look at what it means to be a CALM Communications Director (Collaborative, Agile, Logical, and Methodical).
Today, let’s talk about being Agile.
If you work in nonprofits, things are always in a state of flux. Same for marketing. To be successful, it pays to be good on your feet, and to bend so you don’t break.
Problems That Arise When You Aren’t Agile
Rigid communications planning and locked-down-tight marketing management fail every time and drive everyone around you crazy. Here are a few common problems that arise when nonprofit marketing is too rigid, and not agile:
- Your communications are boring and stale because they don’t reflect what is really happening today, on the ground, now.
- You miss great opportunities left and right because you are too slow to capitalize on them.
- You work too hard and burn yourself out because being a rigid marketer (control freak) is actually a lot harder than being an agile one in the long run.
Three Ways to Be More Agile
1. Expect the unexpected.
I recommend a rule of thirds for editorial calendar planning: one third original content, one third repurposed content, and one third left open for all the stuff you will need to merge in later. Stuff will come up. Stop letting it sidetrack you! This goes for good things (nice opportunities) and bad things (the crisis du jour). Either way, if you expect the unexpected, you won’t get derailed.
2. Create content that is agile too.
If you can’t use content that you create (words, images, etc.) in at least three different ways or places, odds are, it is not worth your time. Like I just said, you need to build content repurposing into your editorial calendar, and remix your content into different formats and different communications channels all the time. If you aren’t repurposing all the time, you are working too hard and diluting your own messaging.
3. Have clear lines of authority, delegation, and communication.
Being agile includes moving quickly. If a manager needs to approve every tweet, you are not an agile organization. Openly talk about who has authority to do what. Come up with a variety of scenarios, if you have to, to work through those decisions on who gets to make what decisions and who needs to see what. In those gray areas, be clear about what needs to be communicated to whom before a decision can be made, and the expectations for turn-around times.
Tomorrow we’ll look at being Logical.
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