We have the pleasure of working with many organization’s communications staff and volunteers. No matter how big or small there is a common thread: you live or die by the effectiveness of your communications team.
That seems like a pretty bold statement doesn’t it?
Of course there are other areas that demand attention, and rightfully so, like development and fundraising come to mind, and of course, your programming.
However, none of those areas are successful without a slam-dunk communications strategy.
Think about it: every single sentence that is written, every solicitation, every mailer is (should be) a communication with your donor/partnerships/community.
To succeed more wholly in all other areas you need to shore up your communications strategy and make sure your team is on board.
Success comes when all your team members: board members, volunteers, staff learn to work outside of their silos and see where all the parts overlap.
All roads lead back to communication!
What does an effective communications committee look like for a small shop without paid staff? Here’s a basic framework that we suggest when we work with organizations that are identifying volunteers to fill these spots. There can be more teams and additional responsibilities but this is a great and thorough place to begin:
Designate one person to head up each of the following areas (and one person could manage more than one area):
- Newsletters (either print or email)
- Social media
- Public relations
- Annual report/donor communications
- Grants and fundraising
Schedule regular meetings to touch base (just a few minutes a week so communication is frequent but brief and time-effective). Find all the ways that these areas of communication overlap, so members of the committee are working smarter together instead of harder and in silos. Each time new content is created, it is likely to be useful across several areas.
How have you found success with your communications team? We’d love to hear.