Shelley Feist

High Trust Content Marketing – Straight Talk and Respect

photo Shelley Feist

In his article, How the Best Leaders Build Trust, Stephen M.R. Covey talks about how it is the job of a leader to go first, to extend trust first.

He says the best leaders recognize that trust undergirds and affects the quality of every relationship, every communication, every work project, every business venture, every effort in which we are engaged.

I’ve built a Content Clarity process for nonprofit organizations that includes a framework for including Covey’s 13 Behaviors of a High Trust Leader. 

In Content Clarity the 13 items become tags for content types, providing a guide for your nonprofit to recognize how posting specific content helps you build trust with your chosen audience. 

I’ll be writing more about the Content Clarity process in the future, but for now and over the next few weeks let’s look at the 13 “trust tags” based on the Covey list.

This post focuses on the first two

1. Talk Straight

2.  Demonstrate Respect

Trust tag #1 – Content marketing that talks straight

Talking straight to your audience starts with being prepared and eager to communicate:

  • What your organization stands for – your mission.
  • Why you do what you do – your vision.
  • What others can do to support your vision and mission.

Speaking truthfully is key here, as is avoiding exaggeration or trying to sound like something you are not.

If you have a legitimate brag – go ahead and brag! 

You might also find that the clients or community members you have helped are eager to brag about their experience with you.

Testimonials are an authentic way to talk straight about your organization’s work.

Finally, use clear language to enhance understanding.  

In developing content in my last role, I utilized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Clear Communications Index.  

Check out the CDC Clear Communications Index. It’s not just for health communications.  You can begin using it immediately in developing, reviewing and editing your content.  

Content types for Straight Talk

  • Client Quotes
  • Client Photos
  • Video Testimonials
  • Client Experiences
  • Case Studies
  • Vision posts – the future you are trying to create
  • Mission posts – why you do what you do

Trust Tag #2 – Content marketing to demonstrate respect

Demonstrating respect means you start from a place of identifying your audience — knowing what they need and want.  

Any thoughtful content strategy will definitely start from this point of being clear about the progress your audience is trying to make.

Respect your readers by communicating one main message that is, ideally, reinforced with effective visual cues. 

A clear call to action is important, too, even if the message is intended to inform.  

Review your posts for bias-free language.  The American Psychological Association (APA) Style Website includes free tools for bias-free language and other ways to talk to people with inclusivity and respect.

Content types to demonstrate respect:

  • Polls/ Reader input
  • “Thanks to You” posts – how their support helped you reach a goal
  • Outcomes – posts providing real stats and outcomes of your events and programming
  • Inspiring stories

Content Clarity Trust Tags for Content Marketing

Talk StraightYour mission
Your vision
What others can do to support
Legitimate brags
Clear language
·  Client Quotes
·  Client Photos
·  Video Testimonials
·  Client Experiences
·  Case Studies
·  Vision posts – the future you are trying to create
·   Mission posts – why you do what you do
Demonstrate RespectKnow your audience – what they want
Communicate one main message
Use effective visual cues
Clear call to action
Bias-free language
Inclusive language
·  Polls/ Reader input
·  “Thanks to You” posts
·  Outcomes
·  Inspiring stories
Content Clarity Trust Tags for Content Marketing

P.S.  Is your content strategy sound?  Take the 2022 Content Clarity Quiz for Nonprofits.

P.P.S.  – Art to lift the nonprofit executive spirit!  Female creatives rising.

Contemporary women artists have become a major presence.  Here are 9 recent monographs of major women artists. 

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