By Karen Nilsen
Digital strategy insights and tips for not for profits focused on people and relationships. The author, Karen Nilsen, has helped several advocacy organisations solve digital challenges. She built the digital strategy and the team that has taken Animals Australia’s online
presence from humble beginnings to a supporter base of millions.
The introduction and contents are included here and you can download the full book at https://www.digital-advocacy.com/ebook/
Tap into the power that exists when communication, design, and tech meet empathy, respect, and a supporter-centric mindset.
It’s about people.
We tend to think of our online supporter base as this one precious ‘thing’. An asset. But we don’t have ‘one relationship’ with 50,000 supporters. We have 50,000 relationships. Each precious. Each with a unique backstory. Each giving and gaining in a dance towards a shared vision.
Digital strategy is as much about meeting our supporters’ needs as it is our own. It’s about trust. Mutual respect. Empathy. Digital power can’t be ‘bought’. It doesn’t come in the form of a software license. It stems from an outlook — a foundation that enables us to cultivate and nurture relationships at scale.
Digital power is the sum total of these individual relationships in their capacity to fuel and sustain our mission.
Who this guidebook is for
This book is written for fellow online communicators and strategists. Ours is the job to ‘reach hearts and minds’ within a vast ocean of digital noise and waning attention spans. If we’re lucky — someone tossed us a life vest before throwing us overboard.
If you’ve googled “digital strategy” you could be forgiven for thinking the key to success lies in having a “content marketing strategy” and enough funds to buy your way to a sizeable e-mail list. Not a bad place to start if your only aim is to sell stuff. But this common advice misses what makes purpose-driven organisations unique; it fails to harness our greatest competitive advantage. As a result, much of the digital advice for non-profits feels like a case of jamming round (and expensive) pegs into square holes. This book is a compliment to the readily-available theory, with one key difference. This is the missing square peg.
Whether you send emails to 10 people or 10,000; whether you have fancy software or are just starting out — you can take advantage of universal concepts that will help you gain (and retain) deeper levels of support online. The ideas that follow are expressed through the lens of animal protection, but they can easily be applied to other forms of advocacy. Just use your imagination with the examples!
- 1 introduction
- 6 visualising your digital ecosystem
- Digital comms strategy
- 8 the importance of earning attention
- 11 adorable photo of pigs kissing
- 12 ‘why’ 16 articulate your theory of change
- 21 less is more
- 25 be understood
- 31 strategic formatting
- 36 checklist
- Email broadcasts
- 38 the basics
- 41 make it personal
- 47 know the destination
- 48 anatomy of an action email
- 54 subject lines
- 66 email frequency
- 71 handling stuff ups like a pro
- 73 checklist
- Action page strategy
- 76 the basics
- 79 what am I doing here?
- 81 write headlines you’d actually click on
- 85 make it easy
- 89 videos
- 92 say thanks (and mean it)
- 96 checklist
- List building & segmentation
- 99 list building basics
- 105 segmentation basics
- 112 behaviour vs intentions
- 116 combatting supporter fatigue
- 124 segmenting for high & low engagement
- Pro tips
- 130 finding common ground
- 137 analytics & testing
- 150 GDPhuh?
- 155 profiling & pipelines
- 165 value adding
- 173 automated supporter journeys
- 180 break the rules
- 184 next-level digital comms