There are so many worthy causes to support. If you scroll through your social media feed or turn on the television during a commercial break then you’ll probably see many organizations trying to raise money or awareness. How do you make yours stand out?
We work with numerous clients to enhance their communication strategies to best tell their story of impact (see our client work here). Not only do you need to showcase your incredible stories of impact publicly, but also consider timing. One project that our team managed was the Indiana Heart Gallery for the Indiana Department of Child Services. The Heart Gallery is a traveling photo exhibit featuring children in foster care who are available for adoption. (You can learn more in this past blog post).
The goal of the Heart Gallery was to help match children in foster care with their forever families, but we also worked hard to promote foster adoption. Yes, this is an important message year-round, but we really worked to generate buzz when there was already a conversation around some of these messages. For example, November is National Adoption Month – a perfect time to ramp up our communication strategies. While this cause may be different from your organization’s, the methods we used to raise awareness can still be applied!
1. Host a Press Conference
Get ahead of the message by hosting a press conference to communicate your efforts. For the Heart Gallery, we kicked off National Adoption Month with an early press conference. We were able to use this platform to set the stage for a month long campaign. We invited partners with similar goals to join us and highlighted their efforts as well. We also brought in influential speakers, like the Indiana Department of Child Services Director and a Supreme Court judge, to add credibility to our presentation and attract attention. This press conference allowed us to educate the public on National Adoption Month as a whole, communicate the goal of the Indiana Heart Gallery, and promote upcoming events.
2. Throw an Event
Occasionally, you have to do things differently. Offer your supporters (or potential supporters) a fun night out or a unique opportunity to get involved.
While the Indiana Heart Gallery traveled to different venues every month, it was usually a standalone exhibit. This structure worked great for achieving our month-to-month goals, but occasionally we needed to mix things up and offer a different way to engage the public in our project.
We did this by hosting Family Fun Events. During these events, we have adoption staff on-hand to answer specific questions about the foster to adopt process and usually have fun freebies to entice families to come!
For example, we hosted a Family Night at both the Memorial HealthWorks! Kids Museum in South Bend and the Children’s Museum of Evansville. We covered the entry into the museum, refreshments, prizes, photo booth, and then featured the Indiana Heart Gallery. We shared personal stories of adoption and connected families to local resources. The goal was to engage people who didn’t know much about foster adoption and provide an informal setting for them to learn more.
3. Amp up Social Media
Even if you’re already very active on social media, don’t be afraid to try new things. Especially during your awareness building campaigns (check out some simple social media tips here). Facebook ads are a great, low-cost option to enhance your campaigns and reach a new audience. For our Heart Gallery campaign, we utilized minimal dollars to set specific targets and reached nearly 2,000 new people across the state to share our message.
We also did a strategic email blast to supporters and partners alerting them of events happening in their area and sharing information about National Adoption Month. Think differently about leveraging the communication tools you have available to promote your cause.
4. Send Compelling Press Releases
We shared tips for writing press releases in this blog. Press releases are a great way to communicate your cause. For the Indiana Heart Gallery, we often used press releases to highlight events, but they can also be used to share information or statistics about your cause. Send them strategically during your campaign and remember to always follow up with calls, emails, or additional information!
Our TCG team worked hard to pull together all the above (and more!) to make November a success for our client and ultimately the children waiting for a family to call their own. If you’re specifically working to enhance your communication strategies, then check out our Marketing 101 blog series. Want to learn more about how we can partner on your next big project or campaign? Contact us today!