By reflecting on 2022’s emerging trends and best practices, we can look to 2023, and begin crafting communications strategies with purpose.
The communications landscape is constantly changing. This year, we’ve seen the COVID-19 pandemic’s continued impact on news and media outlets, the rise and fall of some of the biggest players in social media, and the diversification of the media landscape with alternate outlets.
Now is the time for not for profits (NFPs) to increase organisational awareness, engagement with their communities, and exercise their impact in their chosen area.
If you’re working within a NFP, there’s some approaches outlined below you should consider when crafting your content strategy for 2023.
Quality > Quantity
When it comes to your NFPs communications activities, channelling your resources into a few high-quality pieces of content is the most effective way to boost your organisation’s presence.
When pitching your organisation’s stories to the media, spend time researching which journalists would be genuinely interested in your organisational mission and stories. Looking over their past articles, or their journalist profile on platforms like Medianet, are great ways to ascertain whether your story will hit the mark when it comes to their usual writing style and preferred topics. Further, creating a targeted pitch email that relates to the journalist’s subject area, column, or a previous piece, will increase your chances of cutting through the hundreds of requests they receive daily.
Particularly for NFPs on social media, it’s much more effective to pick two platforms and spend the time crafting your content to align with them, rather than attempting to tailor to five. Figure out where your audience is, and increase your engagement within that space. Channel your resources to create well-crafted, evidence-based content that adds value to your audience’s experience, even when that means fewer posts.
Transparency and authenticity is back in fashion
2022 taught us that transparency and authenticity is in high demand, particularly seeing a rise in user generated content, and light-hearted, relatable social media presences, humanising organisations and stepping away from the uptight, corporate brand images.
In 2023, your community is excited to see a no-filter, authentic, human-led approach to your organisation’s communications. They want to hear from the people within your community – both those who have experienced the impact of your organisation, or who work within it each day to deliver outcomes.
Consider working with a case study from your organisation, somebody who has been positively impacted by your work, and offer them for interviews to your local newspaper or radio station, using vulnerability, storytelling and empathy to drive publicity within your community.
Support your communications strategy with data
Data is essential to create the most effective and impactful strategic communications strategy, but it can be difficult to know how to intersect creativity and analytics.
The first step is to be clear on the strategy’s desired outcome – it could be driving awareness, increasing engagement, building community relationships, or delivering good quality content with positive sentiment which echoes your key messages.
These goals can be matched with the data which quantifiably measures them:
- Estimated reach (news outlet reach + social media followers)
- Sentiment rating
- Engagement (social media reactions, comments, shares, and saves)
- Repeat stories with the same journalists/publications
- Features in industry publications
Some of this information is available from social media platforms and news outlet websites, although some will require media intelligence tools like Meltwater.
Diversify your outreach
The media landscape is becoming more fragmented, with new platforms and communication outlets rising in popularity each year. In 2022, while traditional platforms like commercial radio and free-to-air TV are becoming less popular, alternative iterations of broadcast and print will become the new way to communicate – like podcasting, newsletters, webinars.
Podcasts are a great way to harness storytelling to reach new audiences – from general news, pop culture and politics pods, to niche shows on the topics disability, youth, health, and education – podcasts are a unique approach to discussion with nuance, and speak directly to your audience.
While emails may seem old school, subscription based newsletters and EDMs have made a comeback in the communications space. With algorithms favouring paid content on social media and Google search, it is becoming increasingly difficult for organic social media and website content to reach your community. Heading back to the trusty email is a great way to give updates, and highlight outcomes to your audience, and boost connectivity.
Webinars rose to popularity in 2020, but have continued to be a meaningful tool in professional education. Webinars are a fantastic way to reach a larger audience spanning nations, facilitating conversations, and speaking to your organisation’s expertise, all from the comfort of your home or the office.
If you need help with strategic communications planning, media outreach, government engagement, or crisis management, including access to state-of-the-art research tools, Fifty Acres can help. We have award-winning expertise and experience in helping not for profits and community-based organisations to tell their stories. We care about what we do, and we do extraordinary things. Get in touch today at fiftyacres.com.au or firstname.lastname@example.org.