Brown Blog

Brown Blog

Category: Articles

26 Jul

Communication Plans – Get Started!

Communication plans take on many forms within our businesses and organizations – sticky notes, pop up reminders, spreadsheets, and 30-page manuals, and some, are even invisible – but whatever form your plan takes, is it really working FOR you?

Many of us, who are tasked with creating a communications plan, ask, is the work to develop one really worth it? The answer in short is YES, because it helps to:

  • Set priorities
  • Give your daily work focus
  • Avoid last-minute demands – although, do we ever really ditch those!
  • Provide order and control, so the task at hand is not so overwhelming; and, of course,
  • Give your strategic plan the support it needs!
Creating a plan can be as simple, or as complicated, as you make it; but we suggest the following as a way to kickstart the process:

1.     Write down every way, verbal or written, that you communicate externally (internal communications, like reports to Board, etc can be added in as well).

2.     Now, assign next to each the timing of that communication. Is it daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly?

3.     Taking that list then plot it against an appropriate calendar.

4.     To make things easier, next to each, brainstorm and write down ideas for the communication – tweet topics, resources to share, blog post ideas, announcements.

5.     You have created a plan!

Now, be sure to include ALL avenues of communication! Yes, that time spent on Facebook, is communicating, and social media should most definitely be part of an all-inclusive communications plan.  Meet your constituents where they are, and your plan will begin to work for you!

28 Jun

Top 10 Reasons You Need a New Website

There are several reasons a website could not be exactly the most useful tool in your toolbelt, but it aspires to be, it really does!  Here are the top 10 favorite reasons we hear, when a new website is on the horizon:

10. Your website’s purpose in life, to be your 24-hour ambassador, isn’t that clear. A good, no a great, website, conveys a main message and theme, and whatever that is should be doing so in a clear, concise way.

9. On top of being unclear, your site is navigationally challenged. Do you have a hard time finding information on your site, then think about your visitors’ experience – not good, and making the experience hard on your visitors is a huge deterrent.

8. Your website looks out of date. Your mother used to say “first impressions last a lifetime” and she was right. An out of date website makes your business or organization look unstable or untrustworthy. A fresh, well designed website creates a lasting impression of integrity, stability, and gives visitors a warm fuzzy about your business or organization.

7. You would like to do great things with your website, like communicate, but can’t. If you cannot update your own site, when you want, you need a new site! You should be able to update your site instantly with news about you, your partners, or exciting things happening with your business and organization! You shouldn’t have to wait, the web is instantaneous, and so should be your website!

6. Your website is difficult to find via search engines. Many old, outdated sites, besides not being very pretty, aren’t attractive to search engines. Built structurally sound, a new website that’s updated often attracts attention and will rise in rank!

5. Your website is filled with pages of text! These days, instant gratification, also pertains to reading, we want to know what’s going on within minutes, not hours. With such a short attention span, 150 – 250 words per page is plenty!

4. Your business or organization’s brand has changed. If you have a brand new logo, look, or tagline, its important that your website be singing the same tune!

3. Your website only displays correctly in Internet Explorer. While Microsoft used to have reign of the sandbox, there are other playmates currently in on the action – Safari, Firefox, Chrome. Creating a good experience for all your visitors is important, no matter what browser they use.

2. You never receive a lead from your website. Your website should make contacting you a breeze, or gather information from interested visitors; if you aren’t getting visited, then it is not doing its job.

1. You are embarrassed to give out your web address. Everyone’s given someone the “my contact information is there, just pay no attention, we’re “updating” the site.” If you are making excuses for your site, its time to stop it! Get a new site!

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