The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Why You Need to Launch Your Staff Messenger Team Today

Editor’s note: Planning a peer-to-peer campaign to round out your December fundraising strategy? Want to understand what you need to do now to tap into your supporters’ networks in 2016 and beyond? This week’s Nonprofit 911 webinar features peer fundraising expert Jeff Shuck from Plenty Consulting who will show you how to incorporate P2P in your development plan, identify the most effective personal fundraisers for your organization, and create campaigns that raise more. Register now to save your seat!

Another way to extend your outreach this year? Create a team of messengers from your staff.

employee and company social stats

We all have an incredible communications resource right in front of us: our colleagues. But most of us look right past them.

Here are four compelling reasons—backed up by the kind of research findings nonprofit decision makers adore—to launch your team of staff messengers ASAP.

  1. There’s never enough time, talent, or budget to do what we need to do.

Whether you’re the solo marketer or fundraiser in your organization, or it’s just part of your job, or you’re one of a team of five or even 10, you tell me the same thing. You know what you need to do but can’t get beyond limits of time, skill, expertise, and budget.

  1. Your colleagues are talking about your organization—a lot.

Like you and me, your colleagues work long and hard: an average of 47 hours per week, according to PR firm Weber-Shandwick’s research report on employee messengers.

Since work represents such a big chunk of our waking hours, it’s no surprise that we talk about our workplaces and our days there. But I was amazed to learn just how frequently employees discuss their employers on social media. According to the report:

  • 50% post messages, pictures, or videos.
  • 39% have shared praise or positive comments.
  • 16% have shared criticism or negative comments.
  • 14% have posted something about their employer that they regret.
  1. But 42% of them can’t accurately describe what your organization does.

Your colleagues are spreading the word, but many of them are sharing the wrong word—incorrect or inconsistent information about your organization and its work and impact—according to the Weber-Shandwick study.

That’s disastrous, because…

  1. Incorrect or inconsistent messages diminish trust, create doubt, and thoroughly confuse the people you’re striving to engage and activate.

It’s all too easy to dismiss such mis-messaging as neutral or a one-off. Please don’t.

We live in a stressful, uncertain era that feeds skepticism and defensiveness. On top of that, we’re pummeled by messages 24/7, requiring us to filter content out of sheer survival. As a result, the only way to connect is to make it easy for people to “get” our organizations’ value and impact quickly and memorably.

So now, more than ever, inconsistent and incorrect messages are damaging. They’re confusing to those who know your organization but are hearing conflicting information, and they’re unlikely to engage prospects’ interest and support, because errors and inconsistency diminish trust and breed doubt. Add social media channels with exponentially boosted reach and amplification, and that’s trouble.

Chances are this is your organization’s status quo, and it may seem overwhelming. But there is a doable solution that’s far more than a fix.

I urge you to launch—ask, train, support, and appreciate—your team of employee messengers. Join me here for future posts as I share the benefits for your organization and your messengers, and then guide you step-by-step through launching your team.

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About This Blog

Linda Lombardi

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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