18 “Chai” Priority New Year’s Marketer’s Resolutions

As we close out 2008 and look toward 2009 with both hopefulness and a touch of apprehension given all the challenges before us, here are a few resolutions that might just give your Jewish organization’s marketing better focus in the year ahead.

  1. Spend 20 minutes every week in total quiet thinking about one thing you alone can do to improve your message.
  2. Speak with 3 different people weekly who are connected to your organization and ask for their perspective on one marketing idea you have. Be sure to include junior staff and younger volunteers.
  3. Spend time each week trawling the web for out of the box ideas—give one of them a try within 3 months.
  4. Draw (or have someone with some artistic talent do this for you) a picture of your ideal supporter. No, really, do this. Below the drawing, list 6 attributes about this fictional person (lifestyle, marital status, income level, interests, etc.) and then post the drawing above your computer. Name the fictional supporter and speak to him/her every time you or one of your staff writes something targeted to them.
  5. Draw a big circle and around the edge of it, list all the types of people who make up your Jewish community (by ethnic background, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, age, wealth, etc.) Draw a smaller circle inside the larger circle; draw lines from the listed groups on the larger circle pointed to the inner circle that are part of your organization today. Note where there are disconnects and ask yourself if: a) these people should be part of your organization and, b) if so, what you can/should do to engage them.
  6. Review your organizational mission statement with your top leadership team; see if it still resonates and if your communications support it.
  7. In this tough environment, look for 3 things you can do to reduce costs and still maintain or improve communications performance levels. Then communicate your success!
  8. Ask yourself: “What can I measure? How can I measure it? Who can help me measure it? What cannot be measured and why?” Then set up a way to routinely communicate your performance.
  9. Informally survey 10 people in your organization asking them what organizations they most admire and why. Ask them how you stand up next to them. Work to improve your standing.
  10. Instead of emailing someone in your organization about a need, drop by instead and use the opportunity to listen to someone’s point of view.
  11. Look at the Jewish calendar and make sure you have plans to fully leverage your messaging against important and meaningful Jewish moments.
  12. When creating marketing opportunities, remind yourself to think about approaches that engage your target audience through tangential messages that matter to them—like their young children; the environment; human justice issues.
  13. Try something new at least 6 times this year and don’t let someone dissuade you from doing it. Expect some failure. Anticipate some learning. Share it.
  14. Volunteer outside your organization and share the experience with your team.
  15. Remind yourself to routinely look to Israel for inspirational ideas that can inform your work.
  16. Celebrate Jewish food, culture, music, art, dance, and literature within your week and with your colleagues. It will inspire you and your messaging.
  17. Visit with an elderly Jew and ask them to tell you about their life.
  18. Think about what community means in your organization and locale. Find ways to strengthen it.

Gail Hyman is a marketing and communications professional, with deep experience in both the public and private sectors. She currently focuses her practice, Gail Hyman Consulting, on assisting Jewish nonprofit organizations increase their ranks of supporters and better leverage their communications in the Web 2.0 environment. Gail is a regular contributor to eJewish Philanthropy.

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