Check your brand barometer.

Often non-profits (and I’ll bet a business or two) have offered programs so long that they haven’t checked against a brand barometer to determine if the program information is doing its job. And whether or not employees at every level are consistently considering their materials and programs to show whether or not these efforts are doing the public relations work they are intended. It’s not enough to offer a great program that participants find tremendous value in. From a public relations perspective, it would be important to check the brand (values of the company) against the materials that reach the public, whether through recruitment or evaluation, through the program content and experience.

Some questions to ask: Do the recruitment forms have a logo, indicate the company’s positions, and represent in overall theme and appearance what the company stands for? Do the evaluation materials live up to the standards of the caliber of the program itself? Are employees who generate new forms or evaluation tools consistent in applying the look and brand management of the company? Do they know what they are? Can each and every one of your employees articulate the brand? I’m not talking about saying the employees can recite “Just do it” and know a Nike symbol. Can employees “just do it” to solve problems in customer relations; can they be active or encourage others to be active—even on their off time? ­­­­­­­­ Do they walk the talk and does the material walk it?

And then what? Is it enough to have a tremendous program, but only participants know about it? Any evaluation from the instructors? Any public relations shared with donors/investors? Any public relations shared through the collateral to encourage new prospects? Takes consistency to keep a public relations eye to ask the questions: who needs to know what we are doing and why do they need to know? What strategy are we fulfilling, or not, by taking on this action?

Don’t let a good program down; don’t just offer the stellar program/service, but make sure in every aspect of your marketing materials that employees know that strategy and how it relates to the brand and that you know how to maximize the success of the program to relate it to key audiences.

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