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Similarities between For-Profit and Not-For-Profit Communications

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Recently, I was on-site with two different companies: one for-profit and one not-for-profit. I was working with both companies to help improve their communications. There are numerous similarities between for-profit and not-for-profit. In fact, I often think that people don’t realize how similar they are and tend to approach business differently when they are not-for-profit.  In some instances, this absolutely makes sense; however, when strategizing communication plans it helps to consider what both organizations are doing.

Although your markets may be different, people are people. Generally speaking, people use the same platforms, communicate via similar methods, and desire the same outcomes from organizations. People want to be satisfied with the process with a company; they want to have an enjoyable experience with the company, and they want to know what to expect. Knowing these standards makes it easier to approach your communication efforts. Although you may communicate different things based on your organization’s end goal, you still need to build a relationship, stay consistent, and position yourself advantageously. Strong purposed communication does this.

Build Relationships

Building strong relationships with your audience helps build your brand. This is built through communication on social platforms, email marketing, print marketing, etc. The avenues you reach your audience may vary dependent on your brand’s mission, but the communication efforts are the same. Meet your audience where they are at and stay in their minds as much as you can.

Consistency

Audiences need to know what to expect from your overall brand. Providing consistent communication, voice, color schemes, etc. helps to establish a trust between company and audience. No matter the mission of your company – you have to make sure that you audience understands you and knows what to expect from your company.

Positioning

Whether or not your business works for profit, you have to use the marketing strategies that work. Positioning yourself within the marketplace in a place of optimal visibility to your specific environments is essential. Building a strong reputation and cultivating an image of authority within your field is important for the for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Being present in the media platforms that your audience is on is a great place to start. It’s hard to reach people if you’re not even in the right place.

Take a look at your communication efforts. Always maintain the mindset of improving. It’s dangerous to become stagnant in your processes and trust that what has worked still works. Be willing to adapt to the ever-changing world and improve your communication strategies. Don’t be afraid to try new things. It may work; it may not, but you will never know until you try.

Stefani David