Communications fundamentals: boring basics or radical approach?

Feb 1, 2024

Last week, a VP of marketing and communications at a large charity called my work “radical,” and I was honestly quite surprised.

I just celebrated my 16th business anniversary on Sunday. For 16 years, I’ve been providing nonprofit marketing communications consulting through a business I think of as very straightforward. I’ve specialized in messaging and content since day one, and while I have gradually evolved my approach, I haven’t made any significant, flashy shifts or pivots over the years.

Nonprofit marketing communications consulting with a focus on the basics

Here are a few recent examples of projects I wrapped up in December and January:

  • A communications audit for a tiny virtual museum
  • A communications audit for a complex multi-site local social services organization
  • A storytelling strategy for a large national health charity

For each project, I helped my clients evaluate their current practices and then prioritize and streamline their approaches. I always aim to deliver quality work, but if anything, I expect it to be described as strategic, logical, or thoughtful – not radical!

So what happened last week? I was presenting the storytelling strategy, recommending ways for the organization to narrow down goals and audience decisions based on top priorities. The marcom executive in the room was surprisingly excited and enthusiastic about my first few recommendations, calling them “radical,” and expressing her gratitude for my help with cutting through the clutter.

No pivots for me in 2024!

The reaction surprised me at the time, but upon further reflection, it confirmed what I already knew. Many nonprofit communicators and leaders continue to struggle with focus, strategic alignment, and maintaining solid content foundations. Dedicating time and energy to getting communications fundamentals in order in a hectic and demanding environment can be difficult, and as a result, it can feel radical.

This experience affirmed a recent decision I made (during my annual business review) to stay the course. In 2024, I’ll keep providing strategy and copywriting support in the areas of brand messaging, website content, and storytelling. So, if you need help staying grounded in the basics, then stick with me.

Note: If you’re wondering why my core suite of services doesn’t include the storytelling strategy development I mentioned above, stay tuned. I’ll be sharing more information about this new service soon – and if you need to know more now, just ask.

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