Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Expecting a crisis? Don’t wait another minute...

Expecting a crisis? Don’t wait another minute to strategize and plan. Get ahead of the storm.

Unfortunately, too many organizations wait until the very last minute to try to achieve the best outcome in the face of adversity – on a matter they may have known about for months. American companies are famous for trying to dig themselves out of a ditch at the point of crisis and not doing very well for themselves or their stakeholders.

One of the most important lessons for organizations to take to heart is to get ahead of a storm, leaving enough time to plan and develop strategies that can lead to the most positive outcome. Planning may not be a silver bullet, but it can save a company a lot of grief and prolonged consequences that translate into lost productivity and a dented reputation.

More crisis communications tips coming soon….

Friday, March 12, 2010

And you bought those Girl Scout cookies how...? ...and why?

Now even the Girl Scouts are online, working Facebook and Twitter to sell those incredible cookies for an even greater ROI (ref. http://bit.ly/csu4AK). Their campaign has just started, but it brings hope to those of us who aren’t on cookie routes and love those Tagalongs and Thin Mints. Look on Facebook for “Girl Scout Cookies’ – there’s even an app that leads you to choose the cookies you want to order, enter your zip to identify the Girl Scout Council nearest you, enter your email address and/or phone number and wait for the Council to contact you to complete the sale. How easy is that...and yummy to boot.

They’re big on tweeting too – imagine having a tweet up just to buy cookies. Sounds like a good reason to me.

The Girl Scouts generally have been smart and strategic about their fundraising approach over the years. They’re selling an iconic item of a valued brand and manage to keep it in tune with the times. Plus they’ve added double cause marketing to the equation. You now have the option of donating the cookies you buy to a specified charity. This allows you to feel good about supporting not only the Girl Scouts, but one other good cause and you don’t have to gain weight in the process! It speaks clearly to our modern lifestyle, and it’s especially relevant to women and girls, who are both the sellers and buyers in this instance.

A tweaked version of that marketing change is the “Project Cookies 4 Troops” campaign. For every $3.50 donated online to the Project, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta will send one box of Girl Scout Cookies overseas with a message from area girl scouts. How good does that feel? Now you get to not gain weight and thank the troops at the same time. That’s a double whammy of feel good marketing, and a terrific example of staying relevant and maximizing sales opportunities. It all leads to the bottom line of course and on the Girl Scouts’ books, that tallies to more than $700 million in cookie money just for online sales. No small change that.

There are lots of nonprofits, big and small, that could learn from the Girl Scouts.

What do you think? Do you have a better example?