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The Non-Profit Communicator

Advice & information on using communications to achieve your organizational goals

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From CIty Hall News Editor Adam Lisberg 

City Hall New and its sister publication The Capitol are dedicated to covering the worlds of government and politics in New York City and New York state.
Our newspapers and websites focus on the many ways that New York businesses, nonprofits, unions, interest groups and advocates are affected by government, and how they try to influence that process in the halls of government as well as the ballot box.

More than anything else, we want to learn news and bring it to our readers. In a city full of worthy programs, simply writing a feature story about your group isn't enough. Neither is the annual springtime dance about city budget cuts.
I want to hear new ideas about how groups are working creatively to manage their financial burdens. I want to know whether the city's technical assistance for nonprofits has made any difference. I want to know who is challenging the status quo, who is getting involved politically for the first time, and what else is right around the corner.

We pay more attention to the nuts and bolts of how government works than any other publication in New York, which is why every player in New York government and politics follows what we write.
Contact me with real news, and I'll put it in front of that audience.

Email Adam Lisberg at

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My communications workshops cover everything from creating effective promotional content, to generating media coverage, to creating effective social networks.  For more information, check out one of my presentations here or email me .

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Issue: 5 July 2011


To stand out among competitors and get noticed, nonprofits have to use multiple channels to tell their story. For advice on telling your organization's story via video, see Making the Video below.

Using social networking effectively is another great way to tell your story. To that end, Google+ just launched. Below I have a short review and a few links to information.

My next newsletter will feature basic tips on good design.  If you have related questions you'd like me to address, please email me.

As always, I welcome other questions, and any suggestions and comments. 

Enjoy the summer.


 Making the Video
O.K., it's not the MTV version, but a nonprofit can make an interesting and engaging video quickly, easily, and inexpensively. Here are some simple steps to get you started:
1.  Develop the idea: What are you trying to convey? Why? Who is the most convincing "character" to tell your story? Think about what will persuade your target audience and get them to take the action you want.
2.  Write out the story line:  What will your characters say and do? Sometimes it's a good idea to script your characters, other times it's not (but that doesn't mean you shouldn't provide message points). Where will they be? What's the background? What other footage will you need to tell the story? Do you need text or voiceover to enhance the story?
3. Record it:  Be prepared to do several takes and shoot from different angles to get the best light. I shot 35 minutes of video for the 2-minute video below.
4.  Edit it: I'm not a Mac user, but Apple's i-Movie software is very easy to use (I'm a recovering luddite and it took me only 90 minutes to learn to use the main features.) Before I start editing, I usually review all the footage several times, identifying the best content from a message and visual perspective.
5.  Pull together the story: Add type, slides, graphics, or whatever you need to tell a cohesive story.
6.  Add music: Whether you pay for it or get it free, I highly recommend adding music to your video.
7.  Market it: After all, the point is to get your target audience to watch the video.
Here's a video I recently created for Coro New York Leadership Center.  From start to finish it took me about 8 hours.
Apply to Leadership New York
Apply to Leadership New York
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or email me questions or comments.  


I'm sure all the hype around the Google+ launch played a large part in my excitement, but when I was invited to join Google's newest social media platform by my friend and sometime business partner Rose Yu, I was psyched (it's how I spent my Friday night!).


Advantage, at First Glance 

I'm still figuring it out, but so far I love the Cirlces feature.  It's a great step up from Facebook.  Although you can create different groups on FB, Google+ makes it much easier. 


What this means for nonprofits is that you can have a group each for your board, funders, clients, and other stakeholders and only send the information that would be of interest to each group.  It's essentially a cheap, fast, target marketing tool.


Advice for nonprofits

Subscribe to Google+ and check it out as individuals and see what the adoption is like (and waiting until organizational accounts are available), before jumping in with both feet.


Useful Links 

Here are a few links to reviews and information by nonprofit social media experts:

Beth's Blog

John Haydon - this is a really useful "how to" video

Philanthropy - very good article with additional links


Did you find this useful? 
or email me questions or comments.