How to Develop Meaning in Your Marketing Messages

Why sharing the story of your community impact is important

Authored by:

iClick2Learn Team

When you think about key messages, when you think about, particularly, digital engagement, there are four ways that you can increase audience engagement. Have key messages that connect them with your purpose, that connect them as a donor with the outcome. Have key messages that delight them, that say thank you, individually, to them for giving you funding, that help entertain them and entertaining them, that’s the funnies, of course. For some, you might call them the cat or the dog videos. 

But how can you actually entertain them? Entertaining them, what this is about is connecting with them emotively. It’s either a, “Oh my gosh, that has really hit home. “That’s amazing, that homeless person “and the relationship they have with their dog.” Or it could be through laughter. Okay, so think about the different ways to entertain them on an emotive level. And then, of course, helping them belong and helping them belong is making them feel like they’re part of that solution that you’re offering or they’re part of the team that’s going go along and support this group or this event.

So I’ll give you an example of how we can actually improve an impact statement. Actually, I’ll give you two. One example is a rotary club, and every year, they do what we call a chocolate wheel, which are those chocolate wheels, and you see them usually in the supermarkets or malls, and it’s usually to win a ham or win a chook in the lead-up to Christmas. Don’t know where the chocolate goes, even though they call it a chocolate wheel. But one of the things that tends to happen is these members will go out, and they’ll actually sell tickets. 

So they’ll say, look, we’re running a raffle, and it’s five dollars a ticket, and you might win a ham. But that doesn’t tell us much about what they do, does it? So when you think about impact statements, let’s look at, where does that money go? Now, if we said, instead, we’re contributing to the community for Christmas this year, and we’re actually supporting the children’s ward at the local hospital, we’re raising some funds, and they all go directly to the children who are going to miss out on Christmas at home, and who are sick in hospital, and we’d like to ask you for your support. 

As a thank you, we’ll enter you into a raffle, and, you never know, you may win a ham. See the difference? Now, one rotary club did this, and they actually increased the amount of money that people were giving to them from around $38 per hour, per volunteer, to $55, or, it’s a little bit over 55, but $55 per hour, per volunteer. That’s a huge jump. And not only was it that people were buying more tickets, and it was a lot easier to actually sell those tickets, which is great, but they were also getting a lot more in donations, because they were talking about the impact.

Another example I’ll give you is one I use in Grant Running training. Instead of saying hi, my name’s Natalie Bramble and I write grants, I assess grants and I’m going to help you today find out things that you need to know in order to become successful, what I would say is hi, my name is Natalie Bramble. Isn’t it frustrating when you get knocked back with grant applications? And look, I know exactly what it was like. I was once there, and the great thing is that I’m going to share with you some tips and strategies that are going to help you get better and achieve more success, not just with grant writing. 

This covers everything, tender writing as well, because they’re very similar foundational principles and I’ve got a 97% success rate, and I’m going to help you improve yours and I’ll give you an example of how just three hours with me is going to help you do that. Val from Home start National was knocked back nine times, so nine grants she’d applied for. We all know what it’s like. Blood, sweat and tears goes into this. 

The amount of time that goes into it and thinking that goes into grant applications, and poor Val was at her wit’s end, knocked back nine times, going “what am I doing wrong?” She spent three and a half hours with me, and this was a basic level grant writing session she attended. 10 weeks later, she rang me and said, “I’ve just won $100,000!” So isn’t that the kind of success you’d like? And that’s what today’s about. Again, can you see the difference? Impact statements are really, really important.

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