Ways to Implement UWSF: Marketing

Steps in the Process

  1. Identify your Communications Objectives.These are 2-3 tangible, measurable communications outcomes you want to achieve over the planning time (usually a year).
    • Be concise. State your objectives in a sentence or two.

  2. Target Audience.Identify the primary audience you’re after. These are the people that help you meet your objectives. Audience analysis is the comprehensive breaking down of your target audience. It includes the who, what, where, when, why, and how questions. If there is a secondary audience, make a note of it, but spend most of your time on your primary audience. These questions will help you get started:
    • Who is your audience? Really stretch yourself to answer this question by looking at the demographics (age, gender, income, etc.), cultural and socio-economic background, their existing knowledge base and how they will work for or benefit from your program, and any preconceived notions they might hold regarding your topic and organization.
    • Do they come to this with reticence or concern, and why? How can you address that concern?
    • What do you want them to do? What are the challenges or opportunities here?
    • How will they do it (funding, methods, etc.)?
    • Where will you reach out to them, meet with them, put them to work?

  3. Key Messages.Know what you want to tell your audience and tell them in their language, from their perspective, about things they care about.  Keep it simple.
    • Identify the problem and back it up with proof.
    • Position UWSF as part of the solution by demonstrating what it does well.
    • Have a clear call to action.

  4. Strategic Approach.Are there a few overarching strategies that can direct the path forward–besides “getting the word out?”. Some strategies that work for non-profits or government agencies include:
    • Define yourself (which could include re-introducing yourself)
    • Be the expert. Be the one they turn to for information on this topic.
    • Court the media. Make sure the media knows who you are and what you do and
    • Put a face on the problem.
    • Social media might be a way to reach your audience. But its usefulness depends on your community and how actively they engage in social media.

  5. Budget.What’s the estimated cost of each activity? Take into account all aspects of development, design, staff time, cost of obtaining private imagery, printing, and mailing, etc.
  6. Key to Success

      Answering these questions can help you identify ways to reduce costs. Can it be done in-kind? Are there sponsors or partners who can underwrite the costs?

  7. Who’s Responsible? Present the final plan to staff–and your board (if applicable)–to get feedback. Each component of a communications plan depends on someone to provide information, data, or process support. The plan must have an “owner” but everyone in the organization should be accountable for supporting it.
  8. Determine your Timeline. It’s a good idea to start with your delivery date and count backward to decide when each step must be completed. Plan for staff time, print time, design time, and development time. Chart out what activity needs to happen what month, or week.
  9. Keys to Success

    • Development will almost always require more time than you think it will in the beginning, so plan a cushion into your development dates and account for any time needed for others to review your content.
    • Identifying anything that is already on the calendar that can be leveraged might help relieve some pressure if time constraints are too much.
  10. Evaluation. Evaluating your marketing and public relations initiatives involves ongoing assessment. Focus on what you can measure and track, such as media coverage, number of participants, number of downloads or time spent on a website. Listen to all feedback, both quantitative and qualitative and don’t’ be hesitant to adjust your approach midstream if your expectations aren’t being met.
  11. Key to Success

    • Prior to a marketing task know how you are going to measure the level of success, i.e., What’s your system to track media coverage?
    • When tracking website activity the number of downloads or length of visits is better than the number of hits to tell you how much use your materials are receiving.


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