Ministries have more marketing channels and tools available to them than ever before. With all of these options, it is important to make sure your brand is communicated consistently across all of those channels. Whether it is a television series, press releases, donor direct mail appeals, newsletters, or on-line advertising, it is important to package your brand with a true, relevant, and believable look and message that resonates with your audience, regardless of the point of engagement.
Where should you start? First and foremost you want to make sure the visuals and graphics used in brand communications are instantly recognizable and consistent. If your message is one of a compassionate and giving organization, make sure your logo, colors and other visual representations reflect that image. Develop and document the guidelines for visual representation of your brand and ensure that everyone in your organization (brand champions) receives and understands these guidelines.
Once you have developed the visual representation and guidelines, it’s time to define your voice. This is where you create the personality of your brand and define how to communicate with your audience, stakeholders, employees, etc. Whether you want to take a smart/professional, a kind/compassionate, or another approach, pick a strategic direction that truly reflects the organizational objectives and goals. Once developed, you may even want to do some quantitative or qualitative research to validate the message with your audiences. Again, make sure your brand champions clearly know the messaging and stick to it.
Lastly, select the media mix that most closely aligns with your audience. With so many tactical options available today and the need to manage marketing budgets in terms of return-on-investment (ROI), make sure you are using an effective mix of media and have metrics in place that measure results. This allows you to monitor your plan based, on pre-determined success metrics, and adjust the execution based on those metrics.
By standardizing and documenting guidelines for your brand, and carefully selecting the vehicles to communicate to your audience, your organization will be able to build and maintain lasting relationships. Most importantly, you will build and maintain trust with your audiences. Clear, concise communications about who you are, what you do, and why it’s important, will allow you to stand out in today’s noisy marketplace.