1. Spend no less than three hours a week listening online to what’s going on in your field and what’s being said about your organization. This is how you stay in front of the curve. (Be sure to include couple of good tech news blogs in your listening…NTEN, ReadWriteWeb, TheNextWeb.)
2. Spend five hours in January scanning the web and social media sites of your organization’s main competitors and peers. You need to know what they’re doing.
3. Attend at least two professional development activities a year in the field of communications, and at least one that will provide a deeper context for the work of your organization. Tune into one free communications webinar a month to keep your skills sharp.
4. Learn how to use one new free online communications tool (with possible applications to your job) every month.
5. Earmark serious time in the first quarter to 1) research and understand the needs and desires of your key audiences, and 2) improve your database.
6. Draft a set of realistic, meaningful, and measurable communications outcomes for 2011. Create a baseline to measure those outcomes against by Jan. 1, 2011.
7. Every time someone suggests (demands) a new publication, think strategically about other communications channels that might be more effective and cheaper before committing.
8. Regularly review analytics for all your organization’s enewsletters, social media platforms, and websites to better understand what users value and what deserves more investment.
9. Design an intentional, one-year “stairway” of communications and activities that lead each of your 2-3 key audiences from initial awareness closer to engagement, loyalty, and support.
10. Thank people with sincerity at every opportunity, both inside and outside the organization. Don’t forget reporters. Talk in person to every key partner inside your organization once a week.
11. Learn all you can about mobile—study what other nonprofits are doing in terms of optimization, apps, marketing, etc. (Also keep your eye on how consumer marketers are using it.)
12. Embody the values of your organization in every human interaction you have on the job. (actions=brand)
And most of all—while you’re doing all these things—remember your life is bigger than your job. Be kind and have fun!
If you’d like to contribute a resolution for nonprofit communicators, please add it in comments below.
CC photo credit/alykat