One of the chapters in my new book and a new webinar I’m teaching on messaging are devoted to the Six R’s of Relevant Messaging for nonprofits.
One of those R’s is being “Real Time.” You want your content to feel relevant given the context of everything else that is happening right now, and to always feel fresh, even when it actually isn’t.
How can you make your communications feel more real time and current? Here are seven ideas.
Twitter has become of the real-time news network and the place where people often share what’s new first. Tweet regularly (at least once a day) and pull your Twitter stream on to your website home page to add a more timely feel to your website.
2. Share Photos as You Take Them
Get in the habit of taking lots of photos and share the best one or two from the day on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or whatever social media sites you use the most. You don’t need to include an article with it, just a nice short caption. Again, you can pull your stream on to your home page or other high-traffic pages to give them a boost of “now.”
3. Riff off Something New from Someone Else
Link your content to something new created by someone else, as in “Did you see the new blog post by Jack? Here’s our take on this issue . . .” which allows you to link to something you may have written some time ago. You could also start with something more like “Did you hear what Jane said in this interview?” and link back to your writing.
4. Reintroduce Evergreen Content with Recent Anecdotes
Let’s say you’ve invested a bunch of time into creating solid, timeless, evergreen content on your website. How can you make that core content feel fresher? Add a recent anecdote as the lead paragraph when you reshare that content in your newsletter or blog. “Last week, three people called our office about how to prevent squirrel attacks. Here are our top five tips . . . ”
5. Use Words like “Today,” “Now” and “Urgent” in Headlines
If you are telling a story, what part of that story is happening right now? Pull that aspect of the story out into the headline.
6. Connect Your Content to News Headlines or Memes
What is everyone talking about already? Connect the dots between your content and the latest national or local news headlines or a social media meme.
7. Connect Your Content to the Calendar
Go beyond the usual holidays and special months that everyone uses and look for some of the more obscure or fun opportunities. For example, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game is coming up July 16 – who or what do you need to write about in mid-July that could be considered an All-Star? What do you suggest people do with their “extra” hour when we “fall back” when Daylight Savings ends in November? (Need help with these? Our Monthly Nonprofit Writing Prompts are a great source.)
What else do you do to increase the “real time” feel of your content?