Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Identify Barriers (Give staff a voice! Part 7 of 10)

There is a fine line between excuses and barriers. Often our role is to know the difference without pointing fingers.

Sometimes the reasons staff give about why they can't use the technology are very real, other times they are just perception or defense mechanisms.  It is easy to sit back and say "I don't know how", "I am too busy" or "That isn't my job." 

These barriers are real to them though, so you need to address them either way. The difference is what you will change. People are quick to blame the tools, but we need to pay attention to the culture, policies, procedures, knowledge, priorities and experience that surrounds our digital content.

So what are the barriers between your program staff and content creation?

Time was the most common barrier that I heard in the form of "I am too busy" or "that isn't my job." But what I usually heard under that was:
"Content won't be a part of my review, so why bother."
"I really don't see the value in creating that content, why does it matter to me?"
"My supervisor doesn't seem to think this is too important either...."
"I don't want to learn another new tool, don't I already do enough around here."
And many others.

But you need to cut through the perception and excuses to find the real barriers and start to break them down.

I would not start with asking everyone what the barriers are. This may encourage them to dig in their heels and stick to their excuses.

I would look to do a content channel inventory, author\owner org chart,  tool catalog and content creation process map before getting opinions.

Content Channel Inventory - First gather a list of all of the different channels of content that need to be maintained. (Website, Blog, Email blast, Newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, Intranet, etc.)

Author\Owner Org Chart - For each of the channels above you should document who the primary owner is and list all of the authors that have access.

Tool Catalog - Create a list of all of the tools that are used to manage, create and share the content.

Content Creation Process Map - Break down the steps, authors and tools that are needed to manage each channel and then try to give the all of the channels some sort of overall structure.

This is just a beginning to the type of inventory and process map that you should have, but it is a good start to help you identify what the real barriers are.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Set Expectations (Give staff a voice! Part 6 of 10)

Training staff isn't enough.

Just because someone knows how to do something, doesn't mean they will do it.

People need to know what is expected of them, what is in it for them and what success looks like. Training people on the steps and process does not help with this.

I have often heard it said that kids will live up to their expected potential, not their actual potential. I think the same holds true with staff and technology.

If we treat them with kiddie gloves and expect only minor activity, then that is what we will get. But if we set clear, reasonable expectations, remove barriers, reward behavior and document success, then we can help them achieve their actual potential.

Technology and soon digital content, will be a part of a majority of jobs. We are doing our staff a diservice if we ignore this and shield them from this responsibility.

As a part of our effort to enable digital efforts we worked to set expectations of:

  • Posting to the website weekly as a team as a minimum
  • Posting to Facebook 2-3 times a week as a minimum, prefer daily
  • Update website information regularly (hours, staff, schedules, etc)
  • Sending a monthly email blast that contains more than just promotion
  • Balance all content (third=promotion, third=sharing stories, third=informative)
  • Monitor comments and reply daily
  • Reply to all contact us and tour requests from our website
  • Manage any new functionality or apps added to Facebook pages
  • Keep 2 staff trained as authors for digital channels for each center
And we had more. But the key isn't making a list of rules and regulations. Rather the key is to provide insight on WHY these are important and how they impact their job, plus make it easy for them to meet these expectations.

Also make it very clear what support they can get from IT, Marketing and other management resources. This has to be a shared responsibility.

Beyond listing the tasks they are responsible for, you should set the tone for behavior.  Most places have an employee policy that lists all of the things that staff can NOT do.  But do you have a list for your digital content of what they SHOULD do?

You can look over our manual and policies which attempted to balance these different things. But we used regular emails, metrics, reports and trainings to keep these expectations clear and in the front of the conversation.

Anyway, the point is we can't just train and give a set of rules. We need expectations to be set.

Small Org Digital Content Starter

What does your 

Online Brand Presence look like?

Word of Mouth has always been the best way for people to find out about the Y!

However, Word of Mouth has changed, people often share online instead of in-person. Do you have an online presence that allows, no scratch that, encourages online Word of Mouth about your Y?

Get a Jump Start!
It is hard to find the time to get started and learn to use the tools.  I can help. I will walk you through how to create and manage your presence. Once we are done, you will know how to use these tools for your organization.

Google Places – Claim your Google+ Place to ensure you are found with the correct information in Google search. I will also show you the same process in Bing and Yahoo.

Google Analytics – Configure Google Analytics to track your website traffic and teach you the basics on how to monitor it.

Google AdWords Grants – If you qualify, I can help you apply and setup your FREE Google AdWords to improve your

Facebook Page – Create a page for your locations, learn the different settings and how to manage them. I will also give some content and posting advice to get engagement.

Twitter – Establish and learn to use a Twitter account for your org.

LinkedIn Company Page – Great way to attract staff and volunteers, but also a good way to build connections to find donors.
YouTube Channel – nonprofits can apply for a free YouTube channel to have access to deeper functionality and more exposure. I will show you that process.

Email Blast System – If you have an existing email blast solution I will review your use of the tool and provide some advice. If you don’t have an email blast solution, I can help provide some choices (including free ones) and help you get started.
Website – If you have an existing website I will provide a review and some tips to improve your content, messaging, structure and design. If given access I can also review your website analytics to provide some insight. If you do not have a website, I can install and configure a WordPress blog to get you started and teach you to maintain it. Or if you are looking for something more comprehensive and pre-built, I have some options for you to choose from.


One Price. We will work together on all of this for one price established before we begin. There will be overages or additional hours, we work till we are done. The price depends on how many options you choose and the size of your org, but starts at $500.

Hourly. I charge an hourly rate of $40-75 an hour. This makes the one price package above very attractive.