Churches, ministries, and nonprofits: Never forget that outside God of course, your congregation and/or donors are your source – and your media platforms and outreaches are your lifeline to that source. A few years ago a couple of national media ministries cut as many as 1/3 of their TV stations to save money – without realizing they were cutting 1/3 of their donor contact. Now, years later, they still have yet to recover. It’s important to constantly evaluate results, make changes, and tweak, but be very careful about drastic media changes just to save money. Your most vital links to your donors are your media – radio & TV, website, social media, direct mail, etc. And be sure you understand the relationship.
Radio & TV is about perception, social media is about conversation, and direct mail is about results.
One national media leader described it like this: “Because of radio and TV people know who we are, social media engages them, and because of direct mail, they support us.” TV won’t generate much income by itself, and you can’t expand your audience and donors with just mail. Working together is the key. One can’t work effectively without the other. The only exception is at a local level, where a website or mail may be your only options. In that case, focus your message, target the audience, and be as original and efficient as possible.
And remember that with social networking, the goal isn’t just to have Facebook friends or Twitter followers. If you don’t have a strategy for moving those “friends” toward becoming donors and supporters, then you’re wasting your social media capital. Having a lot of “fans” or “friends” might help your ego, but does very little for your cause. Always think about how to move your social media relationships along the journey toward being more involved with your organization.
Have you ever worked with an organization that cut back on media, only to discover they had cut off their source?