Tuesday, June 21, 2011

This blog has moved....

Yep, the time has come to move.

As you know I recently set up flat earth direct.

With the site live I'll now be blogging from here.

That's www.flatearthdirect.com/blog

For subscribers to this address, no need to do anything. You’ll continue to receive email alerts.

For any new subscribers, there’ll be a sign up service available tomorrow on the newly created blog for you to register your details and be kept up to speed.

This site will be kept open so you can access all of the content on it.

It's been a blast. Thanks for your support.

I look forward to seeing you over at www.flatearthdirect.com/blog


Friday, June 17, 2011

More great examples of saying thank you

The subject of great thank you's has been covered a lot in this blog. A few months back I posed this great example from Médecins Sans Frontières Canada.

Earlier this week preparing for a workshop with a client I went searching for some recent examples of simple, but effective thank you communications.

I stumbled across the following two.

The first here is from Operation Smile in the US. I love it because it does all of the things a sincere thank you should do. Says the words thank you, makes the link between you, the donor, and the impact they're having, shares the love from both staff and benefactors, and is truly authentic.

I particularly love the fact that it doesn't feel too fabricated, it's a little raw. And that's more endearing.

Take a peek.

The second one is from an organisation called the Aspinall Foundation, a conservation group in the UK.

Their's is a little quirky and fun, but also hits the nail on the head. They show you the work you're helping to make happen, they make a direct link, and it's also really warm and you can't help but like the guys presenting.

Check it out below.

You could do worse than replicating what these two org's have done here.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fundraising resolutions: mid year update

Almost 6 months ago I challenged myself with a list of resolutions for 2011. As we approach the midway point of the year, I thought it was time to take stock of how I'm doing, with a frank and honest self assessment.

- Increase my thirst for knowledge. I reckon I've succeeded with this one, so far at least. I've cast the net a little wider, and have stumbled across some terrific resources, most notably Mitch Joel's blog Six Pixels of Separation. I've also been more active on twitter, and as a result finding some real gold dust along the way. And I've become a LinkedIn junkie, spending more time on this platform than any other social outlet.

But, I can always do more.

- Stop putting things off. Again, happy that I've made stuff happen and haven't procrastinated. I took a leap of faith and set up my own business. I think that qualifies.

- Listen more. To those who I agree with, to those who think differently. Yes and no. There are times I do consciously stop and listen to something or someone I wouldn't naturally agree with. But I can definitely see why this is so important and reflecting on the last 6 months I can recall times where doing that has led to a really positive outcome, fuelling ideas I would not have otherwise found.

- Be tenacious about testing. Challenge conventional thinking, test more than ever. Failing at the half way mark. Trying, but failing. Must keep at it.

- Look outside. Not just outside the walls of the agency, but outside the sector. I rank this in line with the first point, and note again some of the people I now look to for constant inspiration. Running my own agency has meant reaching out to people I hadn't met in the past which is very cool.

- Empower others to do even better. There is always going to be a watching brief on this one, because it's what I do. I can see where I've made progress here, through the training and workshops I deliver, but there's no time for back slapping. Whenever you feel comfortable with what you've done, remind yourself of the words of the great creative thinker of our time Edward De Bono who says, "excellent, but not good enough".

- Get the balance right between learning from what worked and learning from what didn't. No doubt I learnt more in the past few months from stuff that didn't work that stuff that did. The things that didn't work force you to reassess everything and ask the tough questions. The things that do merely tell you at least one thing was right, whilst potentially masking mediocrity.

What about you? How are your resolutions looking?


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cool and clever stuff only works if also clear and easy. So what about Blippar?

It doesn't seem that long ago that QR codes were all the rage. In fact it was less than 3 months ago I write about QR codes being cool, but pointless unless used properly.

That still rings true, and I suspect the same for newer kids on the block, including Blippar. For those not aware of this new technology, read this insightful piece entitled Can Blippar make QR codes redundant?

Blippar which is just about to launch, is an augmented reality mobile app which sets about making it easier for mobile users to interact with offline advertising. It uses image recognition to launch interactive content on the user's phone, which is easily triggered by a logo or image on an ad.

I go back to the point of my earlier post. Very cool, if used properly.

People talk about low take up rates of QR code apps and the like. That doesn't bother me so much. Enough people have used them/are using them to make use of them.

But from a charitable perspective, while this stuff excites me, I'm skeptical. Not because I can't see ways to use them, but the take-up on this kind of stuff (I.e. QR codes) has been minimal, if even noticeable. So what's to say we'll release the risk shackles and dive head first into something like Blippar?

I hope we do, the possibilities are endless. Imagine you're an environmental org and want to highlight to print readers the destruction of forests. An image of some trees doesn't really cut it, but a quick snap of the ad and a 30 second "walk" through said forest just might do. The clip finishes with you posting a video message or attaching your name to a petition that's being blasted directly to the Environment Minister.

This would work because it's powerful, good content that uses a 'less' engaging media to bring home an important message. Backed up with a direct action request.

It wouldn't work if it was simply clever and cool.

And that's the point with any new piece of technology out there. Don't be dazzled simply by the bright lights. Think about real, easy ways to bring your content to life, aimed at the right people, armed with an end goal in mind and delivered to enhance other media simultaneously.