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Digital Disruption Places Premium on Owning Your Platform

With the proliferation of digital and video platforms, the opportunities to engage directly with customers, donors and others via their mobile phones, tablets and laptop and desktop computers are seemingly endless.

But too often, these exchanges require using someone else’s real estate — Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, etc. — to communicate. The recent changes in Facebook’s logarithms have dealt a serious setback to those who relied heavily on Facebook to reach their audiences. We can no longer be certain our Facebook posts will appear in someone’s Facebook feed. Further disruption can be expected in the digital world, making owning your communications platforms vital to ensuring you can continue to communicate with your target audiences.

Printed publications are still at a premium, particularly for nonprofit organizations seeking to raise money, communicate with members and attract new members. They have a greater cost because they require design, printing and distribution. But those costs have caused others to abandon print publications — meaning your printed publication can stand out in a mailbox or as a leave-behind after a meeting with a potential donor.

We recently completed another magazine for our client, the Catalina Island Conservancy, which it uses to attract new members, inform current members and donors and seek new ones. This publication is a benefit of membership, so it is mailed to all the nonprofit organization’s members. It is distributed to hotels on Catalina Island so island visitors can see it and consider membership. It is handed out at fundraising events and provided to large donors with a personalized note. This issue reminded readers of the new trails and reported back to donors on the completion of a major capital project and the other capital projects still underway. Here’s the magazine:

Amid the digital disruption, enewsletters also remain effective tools, when they provide content the recipient will want to read. For instance, Kendall Brill & Kelly law firm, one of our clients, had nearly three times the usual readership on its enewsletter because it opened with an article that told recipients — most of them lawyers — which state is better for filing their litigation: New York or California. It was written by a lawyer who had recently joined the firm from New York, so they were interested to read what he had to say. To see that enewsletter, please click here.

Considering these and other platforms that you own and can control will ensure your messages get to the audiences you wish to see your messages at a time when they are looking for those messages.

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