Is Blogging Right for Your Organization?

Lori Halley 01 May 2009 2 comments

Have you been wondering if your organization needs a blog? In this guest post, Michael Faye of AssociaDirect talks about how blogging can help you to connect more effectively with your community of members, and outlines 5 basic considerations in planning a non-profit blog.

Is Blogging Right for Your Organization?

Practically every customer and potential customer I speak with inevitably brings up social media. “Should we be twittering?” “Should we set up a facebook group?” “Should we be blogging?” And, the answer to all of these questions is that these are just relatively new tools available to us, and if used correctly, can become a valuable asset to your organization, so yes.

Blogging for Associations: Getting
Past the HypeThe next question that I like to ask is: “Why do you want to blog?” or “why do you want to Twitter?” More often than not, the answer is something like “Our Executive Director just really thinks Twitter is cool”; it is never applying the technology toward achieving a goal. This article is focused on blogging because there is a general misunderstanding of how beneficial blogging can be when utilized correctly.

Most of my clients are associations and nonprofit organizations that have a membership. A blog is almost made for this scenario.

A blog allows for the creation of an online community that can help extend your organization’s physical one. Organizations are always trying to better understand what their members are looking for and give them more value. They are always struggling with being relevant and timely. A blog gives members a voice, a direct, unfiltered, loud voice as to what is happening on the front lines. The key to success is that the organization is actually listening to that voice.

When I am advising customers on blogging, I focus on the desired objective and then work backwards. It sounds obvious, but most organizations become so enamored with the buzz and technology that they implement a blog without any clear objective or plan in place. I have outlined, below, the basics in planning a blog for your organization.

1. Identify the objective(s).

Perhaps your organization is struggling with a brand problem where your members feel that you are irrelevant and out of touch. This is a branding objective. A blog creates a dialogue with members to better understand the issues a member faces. Branding, Member Engagement, Recruitment, Revenue Generation and Search Engine Placement are just a few examples of key benefits of blogging.

2. Determine if a blog will work in your organization’s environment.

Even though a blog may offer great benefits, it won’t work if the culture in the office is not ready to accept the commitment of it. For example, criticism needs to be openly accepted without any negativity. Unfiltered, unedited dialogue is a blogging fundamental. Without it, your blog will fail miserably.

3. Develop information architecture that is geared toward your objective.

Information architecture is the process of structuring the content of your organization’s blog in a way that makes it easy to find and well managed. This is a key reason for blogs being successful or failing.

4. Don’t overlook the importance of aesthetics and branding.

The look and feel of your blog gives an immediate indication to your readers about the credibility of your blog. A blog that appears amateurish can weaken your organization’s brand perception and keep it from gaining acceptance.

5. Establish an Editor.

An editor will keep a consistent voice and schedule. This person will be acting as a brand manager, ensuring that articles and posts remain within the best interest of the organization.

I have only scratched the surface here, but if your organization is considering starting a blog or upping its efforts, our team has recently published the white paper “Blogging for Associations: Getting Past the Hype.” Any association or nonprofit professional may download it for free by visiting the resources section of the AssociaDirect website: http://www.associadirect.com/resources/blogging-for-associations/.

Get a Special Report on Simplifying Membership Management

Enter your email and receive this special report in your inbox.
Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Friday, 01 May 2009 at 10:26 PM

Get a Special Report on Simplifying Membership Management

Enter your email and receive this special report in your inbox.

Comments

  • Don’t Wait Up » Blog Archive » International Society for Technology in Education said:

    Monday, 04 May 2009 at 12:05 PM
  • Wild Apricot Blog said:

    Wednesday, 23 September 2009 at 6:10 AM

    Think a blog is just another name for a online journal, not really suitable for a serious non-profit organization? Think again! A blog can be whatever you want it to be. In fact, the main differences between a website and a blog are in the technology

Sorry, this blog post is closed for further comments.