Nonprofits get a grip!!

Posted on January 18, 2010. Filed under: Advertising, Inbound Marketing, Jazz, Public Relations Marketing, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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I’m about to write a check to the Special Olympics. The organization sent me a sweet little card with sports icons all over the envelope and a simple request to support their efforts.

I will not be sending checks to a number of other well-known charitable organizations because I question their judgment in sending me elaborate packets of ‘free gifts’ to maybe make me feel obligated to contribute to their cause.

In addition to ubiquitous address labels – I’ll never send enough snail mails in my lifetime to use them all – I receive note cards, four-color full-size calendars, key chains and combinations of the above in solicitations from nonprofits that I have or have not contributed to.

 As a donor in a tough economy – and as a PR professional and marketer – I say, what are these people thinking? If they can afford to send these expensive mailings, do they really need my donation? As a Baby Boomer I’ve learned that I’ve never had a unique thought in life. If I’m thinking it, I’m part of peer group-think. In other words, I can’t possibly be the only one turned off by this trend in nonprofit marketing.

 As bad as it gets in recessionary times, I give. But I give to organizations of my choice based on my own societal concerns or to organizations that make their case while demonstrating their sense of responsibility in both their missions and their marketing.

 My PR Marketing practice has always included nonprofits. The kinds of mailings I receive almost daily are diametrically opposed to the advice I would give any not for profit client of mine on how to build support.

 How has nonprofit marketing affected your giving inclinations?

There’s only one tune that can accompany this post – Billie Holiday’s God Bless the Child. I’m offering you the bluesy and soulful rendition of the late British phenom Eva Cassidy.

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Tiger Woods: A Social Media Perspective

Posted on November 30, 2009. Filed under: Crisis Response, Inbound Marketing, Jazz, Public Relations Marketing, Social Media, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

https://newprwordsandmusic.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/03-ill-wind1.mp3

It’s been pretty widely trumpeted that Tiger Woods’ handling of his accident over the weekend has been lame in terms of accepted PR/crisis response best practices. Page one of the Sunday New York Times sports section proclaimed it — and so did many other media and blogs. But how can we think about his relative silence – except for yesterday’s statement on his website – in social media terms?

 Tiger Woods is known as a very private personality who seeks out media attention rarely and on his own terms as much as possible. So in a sense, his reaction to the current situation is consistent with his public persona. In other words, he’s being authentic Tiger Woods as we’ve known him.

Putting out a statement on his website is consistent with other important statements he’s made about his personal life – including his engagement to his wife. It implies that he cares most about his fans. If you read the language of the statement carefully, it appears that he sat and wrote it out himself without excessive input from handlers or minute wordsmithing by pros. Very personal.

The wisdom of this move is evident when sampling some of the thousands of comments from fans and other site visitors. The comments for the most part are hugely supportive. A commenter who gives credence to the tabloid reports fueling controversy in this incident gets slapped down by fans in subsequent posts. In their opinions, it’s the media and the police who are out of line. Tiger’s entitled to privacy and, ‘leave their man alone’!! Tiger’s core community is coming to his rescue.

However, when you get into the Twittersphere and other social venues not monopolized by fans, support is overcome by other sentiment. Negative speculation about Woods’ marital fidelity from individuals and blogs abounds. For example, one much-re-tweeted link celebrates his ‘downfall’ with schadenfreude and raises the idea that Woods’ private approach and concern for his brand are only about protecting endorsement deals.

This afternoon legal commentators on cable news have opined that there is little legal fallout that could come out of this, however the media fire storm rages on. It will likely grow for awhile, fueled further by Tiger’s doubling down on privacy and pulling out of his charity golf tournament later this week.

So what else could he do to remain true to his chosen course of public action – or inaction – that would dampen down the flames?

Hopefully Woods and his team are measuring sentiment pro and con – throughout the traditional and social media worlds. And I imagine they are working behind the scenes on his business relationships with sponsors and the brands he endorses. Should unfavorable opinion grow to a level that might shake those relationships, it seems to me that he could further acknowledge the trust he has in his fans by asking them to share with these companies what’s really important to them about Tiger. I’ll bet that the people who cared enough to post on his official website would be happy to post on a brand or product’s fan page on his behalf.

What do you think? It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out from a social media point of view.

I chose Harold Arlen’s Ill Wind (You’re blowin’ me no good) sung by the incomparable Billie Holiday as the musical companion to this post. Think it’s an appropriate theme. It runs 6:14 and I know you’ll read the post faster than that. So maybe you’ll use the extra time to post your comment – or just relax and listen for a couple of minutes. Billie is amazing and the other musicians are so superb…Harry “Sweets” Edison on trumpet, Ben Webster on tenor sax, Jimmy Rowles on piano, Barney Kessel on guitar, Joe Mondragon on bass and Alvin Stoller on drums.

Enjoy and see you soon!

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