Monthly Archives: October 2010

Favorite Links: October 2010

We’re always in search of fresh thinking on issues that affect nonprofit marketing. Here’s some recent favorites:

If It Won’t Fit On A Post-It, It Won’t Fit In Your Day
The 99 Percent

What Does a Campus CEO Need to Know about Social Media?
CASE Social Media

The Future of Publishing
Dorling Kindersley (UK)

It Takes All Types

By Dan Woychick

Unless you’re a hermit – and analytics indicate they’re not big fans of the blog – chances are you work with others to conceive and implement your organization’s marketing. Adapting to workplace dynamics and navigating a complex media environment makes it difficult to gain traction in a typically busy day.

As a public service, I present a field guide of the most common types of workers. This completely unscientific study is meant to increase understanding of your colleagues while pointing the way toward more productive behavior.

Short Order Cooks are really good at getting things done, and consequently valuable team members. They are prone to keeping their heads down, and can miss the big picture. Often so overloaded that they have little incentive, time, or authority to act on original ideas or insights. They are guided by short-term, tactical thinking.

Hobbyists are generally competent, but not outstanding in any particular area – a jack-of-all-trades. They like to help, but can be easily distracted. This lack of focus spurs them to seek activities that “sound like fun,” whether or not the task falls within their actual job description. Without strong direction, they can become busybodies.

Backseat Drivers have excellent hindsight vision. They seek more autonomy or the ability to take charge. Happiest when giving advice and opinions, even in areas where they have little experience. If disengaged, they can become toxic snipers or naysayers. May be a frustrated Short Order Cook.

Blowhards never let the facts get in the way of a strongly held belief. They have a tendency to speak loudly, act decisively, and step on others’ toes. Naturally gravitate to big picture thinking, with little patience for details. When in a leadership role, they tend to be more interested in exercising authority than unearthing innovation.

Connectors are adept at integrating information and team members to solve problems. They make natural collaborators, and are good at getting to the heart of the matter. If introverted, they may need encouragement to share their ideas and move to action. Connectors are key players in any work environment.

Whether it’s cobbling together a project team, attracting funding partners, or shaping disparate bits of information into a clear direction, the skill of “connecting the dots” is increasingly valuable and necessary. But can this trait be taught or facilitated? The future of your marketing efforts depends on it.

Every type of worker has something to contribute. The key to a happier and more productive workplace is establishing a culture that is open to ideas, and a structure that gives team members the responsibility and support necessary to perform.

Is your work environment plagued with impenetrable silos? Have you witnessed other types of workers in their native environment? Share your stories.

Related Content:

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

What Not to Spend Time On

Top 10 Characteristics of Great Project Managers

Navigating Brand Success

by Dan Woychick

Launching a new product or service is not an undertaking for the faint of heart. Launching a brand is an even more perilous proposition requiring ample doses of skill, planning, and the coordinated efforts of an entire organization.

Why does one effort fail and another succeed? Though good fortune can never be underestimated, successful branding is not a game of chance. As the architect Mies van der Rohe once said, “God is in the details.”

Get support from the top.
Visible endorsement and budget commitment from the boss is essential. The director of marketing or communications cannot successfully launch a brand without it. Everyone in the organization needs to understand that branding is a priority.

Process matters as much as product.
The success of any branding effort depends as much on internal adoption as any new logo or tagline. Listen to your staff and existing customers, not to water down recommendations, but to understand how this change will affect them.

Include the right people at the right time.
Gathering broad input is valuable early in the process and disastrous late. But it’s not enough to be inclusive, you have to ask the right kinds of questions. Don’t ask loaded, open-ended questions such as: Do you like this? Frame your inquiry around well-defined project goals, for example: Which option better captures our brand position?

Centralize control.
As Charles Kettering warned, “If you want to kill any idea in the world, get a committee working on it.” Democracy is a wonderful thing, but everyone’s opinion cannot be treated equally here. Project leaders need the authority to lead – and permission to use it.

Branding is a marathon, not a sprint.
The brand is launched! Everyone’s excited! Now what? Guide expectations with regular updates and results so internal audiences understand that effective brand execution is an ongoing effort – and the day-to-day delivery of that brand will determine its success.

Have you seen – or launched – a successful nonprofit brand campaign? What were the keys to its success?

Related Content:

Cautionary Tales
Gap Scraps New Logo
Drake’s D+
Tropicana Packaging Blunder

Brand Success Stories
William & Mary Mascot Search
American University: The American Wonk
North Dakota: RU Legendary?