This is #2 of the multiple article series: Marketing Communications – From Strategy to Deliverable – by Sue Moylan


Previously… Our client “X”, a nonprofit, suffered from disjointed publications. Before starting on a new project, we recommended a re-assessment of their communications strategy through a SWOT analysis.


Let’s assume you had a chance to give a speech at a local networking group. Before you did, you would probably ask who will be in attendance, find a topic appealing to them, ensure you are ready to speak to it with authority, write out your speech, figure support materials, and plan what you are going to wear… yes? The most eloquent speech would be lost if you wore a suit in Silicon Valley or shorts for NY bankers. In the same way, when you present yourself online or in print, you need to ensure that the quality of your materials and their content project the proper information, sophistication, approach, and inspire a response.

Our SWOT analysis

Here is an example of our analysis for Client X, meant to provide direction for their future communications. Use this as an example for analyzing your own organization’s materials…

·   Amazing community reputation

·   Meets unique needs/wants

·   Established name recognition – Searchable

·   Experienced staff

·   Great and broad reach

·   Associated with strong cultural and environmental principles

·   Appeals to affluent groups / good in fundraising

·   A strong brand and purpose perceived by public

·   A well organized website in place

·   Their disjointed/confusing publications could become a threat to the brand and mission

·   Inconsistent and distracting elements –Lack of basic brand elements (poor print quality, no style structure, visual inconsistencies)

·   Unclear message, intent, and/or call to action

·   Lack of sophistication, inconsistent with brand

·   Despairing identities between Marketing and Development

·   Not taking full advantage of online platforms for engagement

·   Improve the visual brand

·   Cater to the staff’s design and software capabilities and provide them with consistent tools

·   Develop a plan, strategy, and some templates that all communications can fall within

·   Develop strict and consistent content

·   Expand online relationships with 3rd parties for backlinks

·   Expand online presence and engagement

·   Review marketing niches and consider new ones

·   Review relationship between Marketing and Development for the improvement of both

·   Social media and reviews (Yelp, etc.) allows third parties to do the talking for the organization

·   Lack of clarity/consistent message allows for the public’s own interpretation of their purpose

·   Possible lost funds by not having clear offerings

·   Amateur fundraising publications may be interpreted as lack of ability/professionalism to manage funds raised

·   Minimized sales due to underutilized exposure

·   Standard market declines

·   Seen as passive


Are your objectives clear? Are you communicating these clearly to others?

Are your materials speaking to the right audience? (Do you have an established audience?)

What do you really want them to know/understand about you?

What do you want them to do?

Are your materials “dressed for success,” or not well suited for the audience (no pun intended…)


Our next article will address Developing your Marketing Communications Content. Stay tuned!