Nathalie Kylander and Christopher Stone, writing in the spring 2012 issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, offer a fresh look at the strategic role of branding in the nonprofit sector. They introduce a compelling conceptual framework called Nonprofit Brand IDEA and illustrate how nonprofit leaders can build and manage a strong brand. They make a persuasive case for why branding should be a core strategic focus at nonprofit organizations, and not solely a communications consideration. And, they address common points of skepticism around nonprofit branding as well as highlight nonprofit leaders’ insights on its unique value.
It’ll be no surprise here that our team sees strong branding as a vital part of successful nonprofit organizations. Strong brands position organizations to communicate who they are, what they do, and why it matters – in authentic, emotionally relevant and meaningful terms – and yield increased capacity to achieve organizational outcomes, such as mobilizing advocates, enlisting new allies or generating broader support from the corporate sector. Strong brands can guide and inform organizational decision-making.
A strong brand can also create a virtuous circle, or what Kylander and Stone call the “Role of Brand Cycle,” where a strong brand leads to enhanced capacity, which leads to stronger outcomes, which in turn strengthens the brand.
The Nonprofit Brand IDEA framework is grounded in four principles: integrity, democracy, ethics and affinity.
Brand integrity refers to how an organization’s internal identity aligns with outside perceptions.
Brand democracy refers to the idea that internal and external stakeholders are empowered to express the brand.
Brand ethics means that the brand truly represents the organization’s core values.
Brand affinity means that the brand cooperates and coexists with partners and allies.
Above all, the model prompts thoughtful questions and synthesizes great advice and counsel in one comprehensive article – a perfect starting point for nonprofits grappling with the role of branding in their organization’s work.
Last week, my colleagues Greg McCarthy and Crystal Benton put together a list of must-reads on defense news sources. This week, I’d like to share my favorite sources of international news across various mediums.
READ the beyondbrics blog written by Financial Times reporters around the world. It’s great for short news items on economic, investment and business trends in emerging markets. You can sign up to have it delivered to your e-mail every morning.
FOLLOW Foreign Policy’s blogs, The Cable and Passport. The Cable’s Josh Rogin provides timely insights into U.S. foreign policy and national security issues, while FP’s editors offer commentary on a variety of international political, economic and security issues.
SUBSCRIBE to Stratfor, a subscription-based global intelligence service, with real-time analysis of events around the world, excellent special reports, and founder George Friedman’s thoughtful Geopolitical Weekly column. You can customize how much or how little analysis you want to receive (and pay for) daily.
SIGN-UP to get excellent economic and business global forecasting from The Economist Intelligence Unit. A good source for regional and country data, as well as trade, commodities, global risk and exchange rates forecasts.
WATCH Fareed Zakaria’s Global Public Square program on CNN, which features interviews with newsmakers on current international issues. It’s now available for download on iTunes if you miss the Sunday broadcast.
Some decades ago, Sports Illustrated ran a small advertisement for itself and for magazines in general. As an aspiring journalist (I told you it was some decades ago), I kept the glossy page of text in my wallet for a long time. I don't remember the exact words, and the page is long gone from my wallet. But it began something like this:
"Woody Johnson, WoodyJohnson, woodyjohnson. Do you remember the first time you saw your name in print and how it made you feel?"
The magazine was making a simple point about seeing your name in a publication – written down in permanent printed recognition of accomplishment or achievement.
I think about the ad often these days because of the success of the new media and what it portends for the future of communications. Truth to tell, I have no idea what it portends about our future. But I know what it says about us.
All people have opinions about pretty much everything. Until recently, we voiced [sic] those ideas to each other almost always individually. And once we spoke [sic] our piece, it was gone; lost in the atmosphere.
Today, thanks to social media, we can communicate simultaneously to dozens, hundreds or maybe even thousands of our friends and followers. How we communicate is vastly different from the ways we have done in the past.
But what we communicate through the new media is the same. Words. In writing. It’s why so many people get into trouble these days for carelessly flopping around their half-baked thoughts and shoot-from-the-lip musings. Because words matter and writing them down – even in pixilated form – gives them the permanence missing from the spoken word.
Digital media may be taking over the world. And not all words stay written down for ever. (Thank god for small favors.) But it’s good to remember that many, if not most, words live on after they are typed or dictated. To be looked at, laughed at, respected or ridiculed.
Do you remember the first time you saw your name in print?
As many of you know, Powell Tate is hosting several sessions for this year’s Social Media Week, and our session on Innovations in Social Media in the Developing World featured a speaker from the Knight Foundation’s International Journalism Fellowships, who told us about the many ways technology is transforming lives and creating better futures for millions of people around the world.
The Knight Foundation is well-known for advancing ideas that promote journalism and innovation in media, and we’d like to continue the conversation we started at social media week by telling you about an annual grant program funded by Knight that supports experiments and ideas that could revolutionize tomorrow’s newsrooms.
Last year, the Knight News Challenge awarded $4.7 million for 16 project ideas developed by organizations standing at the intersection of journalism, innovation, and technology - some of which are the biggest names in their industries (Associated Press, Chicago Tribune, Ushahidi, universities like MIT and UVA) - that have the potential to shape the future of media.
Together these organizations are collaborating, competing, and driving a major transformation that will ultimately shape the way news is reported. Here are a few of the grantees that we thought you should know about:
iWitness by Adaptive Path
Ten years ago, reporters were the only people at an event with the capability to broadcast the news live – today – it’s just about everybody. When an outlet sends a camera and a reporter to cover a political uprising, it’s actually a very narrow scope of what else is being transmitted from the ground – where virtually every active participant, protestor, and observer is live-tweeting, live-streaming, facebooking and twitpic’ing the events as they unfold. The iWitness Initiative may be the key to channeling these individual broadcasts – tweets, photos, videos – so that the voice of an event is no longer the single voice of a reporter speaking on its behalf, but the true and collective voices of every person experiencing it directly.
A lack of communication can be a major barrier for non-profits and other organizations working in developing countries. FrontlineSMS is the first text messaging system created exclusively with this problem in mind – facilitating dialogues between individuals and organizations without the need for the internet. By leveraging basic tools already available to most NGOs — computers and mobile phones — FrontlineSMS enables instantaneous two-way communication on a large scale. The software platform will be expanded through its grant project with Knight to work with community radio stations and other rural journalists to further innovate how underserved countries access and distribute information.
Swiftriver, by Ushahidi
As news events unfold, mobile phones and the Internet are flooded with unfiltered information. One of the greatest challenges especially in times of crisis is figuring out how to determine the good information from the bad, the relevant from the irrelevant, the urgent from the non-urgent. Through a new platform called SwiftRiver, Ushahidi aims to verify information by parsing it and evaluating sources to make such floods of information more useful and actionable to those who need it. Working across email, Twitter, web feeds and text messages, the platform will use a combination of techniques to identify trends and evaluate information likely to be credible based on its source. The project builds on Ushahidi’s past efforts to verify the crowdsourced information collected in global crisis scenarios like the Kenyan election crisis in 2008 and the earthquakes in Haiti and Japan.
We encourage you to take a look at each of the grantees on the Knight Foundation’s website, because chances are, you’ll be seeing them soon enough.
[Also authored by Crystal Benton]
With the ever-changing landscape of the defense industry, keeping up on the important news is more challenging than ever. To help you focus, here are the top defense industry news sources we recommend following to keep informed of the latest developments.
1. Subscribe – Morning Defense Email (Politico): By 7:00 AM Politico’s Charles Hoskinson sends an email to your inbox providing a summary of the top news on defense issues, including the most important industry related news and the stories to watch that day.
2. Follow – Marjorie Censer on Twitter (Washington Post): While you should always read her stories, following her on Twitter is a must to keep up with breaking industry news throughout the day. Plus, we love her Twitter handle: @CommonCenser
3. Watch – “This Week in Defense News with Vago Muradian” on TV: As the website says, each week Vago Muradian, editor of Defense News, “probes the minds of some of the best thinkers in the defense industry.” Set your TIVO to record this show to get keen insights on what is happening in the defense industry or go to the website and watch past episodes. Don’t miss “Vago’s Notebook” for Muradian’s very knowledgeable, weekly analysis of issues impacting the defense industry.
4. Read – Print Edition of Defense News: If you want to know what are (or will be) the hot issues to the defense industry, take the time to flip through Defense News in print each week and pay close attention to who is buying ad space and what the message is. It provides great insights into who has skin in the game.
5. Support – Facebook and Twitter Platforms of Members of Congress Connected to Your Issues: Members of Congress are always important sources of news. Connecting through social media is an easy way to make yourself part of the discussion. Members and their staff appreciate new followers on their social media platforms and you can help them spread their news and they may help you spread yours. Check out the lists of Twitter handles for members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees we created for our client the Aircraft Carrier Industrial Base Coalition (ACIBC).
Greg McCarthy served Director of Communications to U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), a Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Seapower. Crystal Benton served as Press Secretary to U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and as Deputy Communications Director to his 2008 presidential campaign.
Powell Tate is proud to be hosting four events during Social Media Week.
Today, I want to tell you about two of them in particular that will be held Feb. 14:
Social Politics: How Technology Has Helped Campaigns
The social media landscape has changed drastically since 2008. We'll hear directly from panelists from Google, Twitter and Facebook as they delve into the tools and innovations that candidates and campaigns have utilized as the 2012 campaign heats up.
This discussion will feature:
Rob Saliterman - Google
Peter Greenberger - Twitter
Adam Conner - Facebook
Alex Howard - Government 2.0 Correspondent for O’Reilly Media (moderator)
Politics and technology: the media's role in the changing landscape
Digital platforms have changed the media landscape forever, but how has it changed the way the media covers politics? We'll ask a panel from Gannet, National Journal, ABC News and Politico as they discuss 2012 election coverage.
This discussion will feature:
Laura Cochran - Gannett
Rick Klein - ABC News
Keach Hagey - Politico
Alex Howard - Government 2.0 Correspondent for O’Reilly Media. (moderator)
We're really excited to be hosting these events and hope to see you there.
Executive Vice President and Senior Global Corporate Strategist
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