Shelley Feist

Buzz Killers – 5 Mundane Disruptions that can Push You to Abandon Your Content Strategy

It seems everyone is fond of saying it lately – “these are not ordinary times.” 

So, as I sit typing this — NOT in an office thanks to the Omicron variant — perhaps I am just nostalgic for the “before times” – even for the mundane distractions and annoyances that challenged me in my work leading a nonprofit organization.

We’ve learned it isn’t always possible to be prepared for some forms of disruption (like a worldwide pandemic!) But we can think through the likelihood of more ordinary disruptions and plan to make sure they do not throw us off our game.

If your organization has put in the work to develop a solid content strategy, you know that results only come when you stick to it.  

As a small nonprofit, how will you stay the course on your inspired 2022 content strategy when disruptions come up?   

1. Staff Departure

The departure of a key staff member doesn’t have to take down your organization’s content strategy – even if that departure was from your communications function.

What can you do to avoid having a staff departure derail you? Frequently shore up your team’s commitment with strategy check-in conversations.

Rather than grounding conversations around near-term content creation and channels, make sure your team has opportunities to touch back to the intended outcomes of your content strategy.

When you have a staff departure, you may find it easier to modify content development plans in the short term while continuing to make progress toward your plan outcomes.

2. Bright Shiny Objects

New technology and digital marketing tools are constantly coming!

Take care not to pretzel your content strategy just so you can onboard a new tool.  

New tools are great if they serve your strategy and your staff.  However, for most small nonprofits, introducing a new tool requires more than just paying for a subscription and downloading an app. 

Convening quarterly team discussions on potential new useful tools (and staying on top of new capabilities now offered by your current tools) can help ensure technology is serving your strategic goals.

3. Impatience

Remember that you developed a content strategy because you desire to move your chosen audience toward greater levels of engagement with your cause.

Moving them through steps to greater engagement takes time.  It takes persistence.

If you have the thought that your content strategy “isn’t working,” then it is not the time for actions, but for questions.  

Ask yourself:           

  • How far into the strategy are we at this time?
  • Where did we think we would be by this time?
  • What are the signs that commitment to our strategy is paying off?
  • What are the costs of making a shift in strategy now?  Is it worth doing that now?

4. Calendar Drag

Content strategy focuses on the planning, creation, delivery and governance of content ( source)

Your content calendar is an important tool for executing your strategy. 

If something happens to throw you off your content schedule (maybe a staff departure!), remember to right the ship with your team in a way that doesn’t trash your underlying strategy.

The important thing is for your team to be prepared when a calendar hiccup occurs, and to not let it throw you further off schedule.

Correct and move forward.

5. FOA – Fear of Asking

Fear of surveying or interviewing people from your chosen audience can prevent you from building a sound content strategy.  You’ll be sunk before you even get started.

Web and email analytics provide only so much information about your audience.

Your sound content strategy is built around the needs, expectations and experiences of the people you want to draw closer to your cause.   

Discussions with even a handful of your followers can refresh and focus your thinking about content and about what it means to build a base of support for your nonprofit.

Asking can be magic, so do more of it in the year ahead.

Remember, don’t let mundane disruptors throw you off your content strategy!  

P.S.  This 2022 Content Clarity Quiz for Nonprofits will give you a read on your readiness to draw more people to your cause!

P.S.S. More art to lift the nonprofit executive spirit!

Take a break and spray paint! 

Drop in here and find no barriers to playing with color, brush types, and shapes. 

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