By Laura Iancu, PR Specialist at 123ContactForm

In this fast moving world, relationships with customers, donors or investors are often superficial and shallow. Providing information and finding ways to attract people around your organization is hardly enough if you want to succeed and last in the long run.

It is mandatory to have people to rely on if you wish to be successful and have an efficient communication strategy. Because things go beyond having a good message, you need to actually have a conversation with your stakeholders.

The perfect scenario is a two-way communication with actual interactions and feedback from your audience. Adapting along the way and hearing what they have to say about your organization is a big boost that will bring you closer to your dream.

Of course it is difficult to achieve this and it sounds easier than it actually is, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. If you take a look at a few examples of organizations like Malaria No More with an audience above 200,000 on both Twitter and Facebook, it seems easy to handle such a community in an engaging manner. Or simply take a look at an older organization such as Greenpeace which is known to adapt to modern times and always seems to find the right path toward their audience. We have enough proof that this kind of communication is not only achievable but very favorable for an organization.

It goes beyond saying that your presence on social media is non debatable, you know that. So besides actually being out there on every channel and platform where your audience is, here are a few approaches toward communication to encourage this environment of interaction.

1. Build Personas

Adapting your message is only one of the keys to get your audience talking. So in order to know exactly what to say, you can build a persona. This is an imaginary person with a clear set of characteristics. You have to make it as real as possible, with name, habits, status and any other details you can think of. With this persona in mind, you can think of a more conversational message which has a higher possibility to reach your audience and generate a reaction from them. Give it a try, or even better, build several personas to test multiples instances of your communication and try to anticipate what a person would think of your message filtered by different personalities. It’s fun and effective.

2. Research Your Audience

This is a part that many skip in their process of communicating with their public. You can’t just assume whom you are talking to, you need to have some direction. And, in many instances, raw data is your best friend. Apply surveys, polls or conduct complex market research with a versatile tool and analyze the results. From demographics to opinions and specific choices, each detail is important in crafting a message, especially if you want to receive an answer. Surveys are a good way to find relevant data for your organization. If you use them wisely, you might gain new perspectives to grow and adapt your communication strategy.

3. Post Updates

Sometimes you are successful in attracting new donors but fail to keep them close. Of course, there is no magical recipe for satisfied donors. But giving them details with the outcome of your campaign and keeping them in the loop with all the latest details can be a major topic of discussion which will keep them around. Target your communication and let the donors feel like you were talking to them, it surely raises your odds of starting a great conversation. Use your blog to start stewarding your donors and talk to them through it, but think of it as a discussion, not as a free pass for self-promotion.

4. Request Feedback

Well, if you try so hard and really want to talk with all your stakeholders it is only desirable to give them the opportunity to say something back. You can either use an online feedback form and disseminate it through email or address them directly. And think big; include volunteers, partners and all those involved in your organization. Also make sure you request feedback on each event you organize. This is a classic approach towards that two-way communication we all want and it’s beneficial for your organization.

5. Have Solid Community Management

Be sure you have someone available to answer all the issues that might appear. If it’s through your contact form, your email or social media you must treat all messages seriously. But a higher priority usually gets specific requests or potential complaints. Take immediate action and offer guidance. Maybe they want to donate money for your nonprofit but can’t figure if their credit card is eligible for this; you definitely want someone there to explain how things are done. In addition, this kind of conversation usually makes them feel closer to your organization and perceive you in a personal manner and that’s the kind of relation you seek.

Is your communication interactive? What is your secret to start a conversation with your stakeholders?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

From time to time, a guest blogger will appear on npENGAGE. Guest bloggers are industry experts contributing useful, relevant content to the conversation on npENGAGE. If you are interested in being a guest blogger, contact the editor.

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