This is it! We have made to the last R of the 6 Rs of Relevant Messaging: refreshing.
Let’s review the first five:
- Rewarding. The benefits of following through on the call to action in the message are clear.
- Realistic. Following through on the message is doable, because any obvious barriers are addressed.
- Real Time. The message feels timely and works within the context of current events and other influences.
- Responsive. The message proves that you are listening, and taking people’s concerns and ideas into account.
- Revealing. New information or perspectives are shared, or you are telling a dramatic, engaging story that unfolds over time (in other words, you get us hooked).
- Refreshing. The message is delivered with personality — with an interesting, authentic style.
Think about any viral social media moment.
- Salt Bae
- Ice Bucket Challenge
- The Dress
- 10 Year Challenge
- Kombucha Girl
- Tim from the National Cowboy Museum
- Love Wins
What did they all have in common? They were unexpected and/or very clever. Several of them weren’t even a designed campaign. They were just people being themselves.
In other words, they were refreshing.
But being refreshing isn’t just for viral social media posts. You should consider adding these ideas to all of your content in some way.
Ideas to Make Your Messaging REFRESHING:
Have an opinion! So much of nonprofit communications is so boring, because nonprofits are trying desperately not to offend anyone. But passionate people have opinions, and they want to know that the groups they support share their values. If you have values, you have opinions about the way things should be. Share those!
Try humor. Making someone laugh is the quickest way to connect on an emotional level. Nonprofit humor isn’t easy, but when it works, it’s gold! Give funny a try.
Do something other nonprofits don’t (even if they should). Instead of calling people to ask for money, what about calling previous donors just to say thank you? Getting thanks instead of a solicitation is so unexpected that it’s refreshing and people notice and remember!
Admit your screw ups and fears. Nobody likes perfect people and know-it-alls. Admitting some of your mistakes or fears and what you’ve learned at your low points will reveal some of the humanity and humility within your organization, which many people will find refreshing.
Let your staff speak as themselves. Consider ways that you can have staff speak in their own voices as representatives of your cause, rather than having “official” spokespeople all the time.