Choosing what not to do.
“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.” I read the tweet above the other day and thought “YES. Something we could all do with remembering more often.”
Now, I’m not sure whether I agree that choosing what not to do is the true essence of strategy (I could debate geekily for hours about what the true essence of strategy is), but I do agree that choosing what not to do is essential to solid strategy.
With all things nonprofit communications (and beyond), the more things you choose to do, the less effective you end up being.
A few examples…
- When you try to explain absolutely everything your organization does the first time someone asks about it, and she walks away from the conversation more confused than when she first asked (or worse, wishing she hadn’t asked).
- Trying to find a tagline that says everything about your organization (rather than just the most important bits, like your positioning and personality), and ending up with something long, confusing, and forgettable.
- Using your donation form to show donors every possible way to give to your organization, and as a result overwhelming and scaring off a significant number of potential donors.
- The more social media channels you get involved in, the less time you have to dedicate to the ones that really matter.
- The more audiences you try to reach, the less success you have in reaching and engaging the ones that really matter.
Prioritizing what’s the single most important goal, audience, action, channel, story, or message for your communications (or, put another way, deciding what isn’t the most important) is one of the most effective ways your can make your nonprofit’s communications more effective. It’s not easy. But it is essential.