In today's digital world, communication is a powerful tool for mobilizing individuals towards a mission. It's not just about connecting communities to a cause; it's also about letting the cause connect with the community.
This insightful concept was discussed in a recent Good Marketing Unplugged podcast interview with Jazmín Chávez, the VP of Innovation, Equity, and Communications at Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP). Let’s dive into how you can build, fund, and fuel equitable communication for your cause or organization based on the wisdom shared by Jazmín.
How To Make Nonprofit Communications Equitable
1) Pause and Listen
The foundation of equitable communication lies in truly understanding the communities you serve. Don't make assumptions about their experiences, but instead, take the time to meet directly with impacted individuals and listen to their stories. Ensure your narrative aligns with their lived experiences to avoid causing unintended harm.
2) Design Stories to Be Shared
A powerful story isn't just something heard; it's something designed to be shared. Craft narratives that resonate with your audience, focusing on shared values and experiences that create empathy. Encourage your community to be part of the storytelling process.
3) Be Inclusive
Break free from white-dominant narratives and heteronormative frameworks. Reflect on your language, imagery, and terminology to ensure it's inclusive of all the communities you engage with. Diverse representation in your campaigns, both in terms of people and stories, is crucial.
4) Center Community
Shift your focus from a centralized, top-down approach to a community-centered one. Involve the community in the story-building process. What story do they want to tell? How do they wish to be represented? By co-creating narratives, you empower the community and ensure your communication is authentic.
5) Consider Intersectionality
Understand that various issues intersect, and a holistic approach can create more significant impact. Connect with different movements, organizations, or communities that share common values. Collaborative storytelling can amplify your message and reach broader audiences.
6) Embrace Innovation and Creativity
Constantly learn, adapt, and be open to new strategies. Test different approaches, whether they involve multilingual campaigns, leveraging new technologies, or finding inspiration from different sources, including international trends.
7) Explore Physical and Online Activations
Blend the lines between online and offline experiences. Sometimes, the physical world can inspire your digital campaigns and vice versa. Engage in both virtual and real-world events, marches, and collaborations to create a powerful presence.
8) Look for Synergy
Jazmín shared her lived experience with us and how she has been able to employ her unique background and interest in law to inform her communications efforts. Consider ways to open up conversations surrounding important issues through innovative connections to your own experience or the experience of those in your organization. You may be surprised at the synergy you find.
9) Mobilize Community
Encourage your community not just to get involved but to be part of the marketing. Design campaigns that scale empathy, focusing on human-centered experiences that connect people across different backgrounds.
10) Question Assumptions
Lastly, don't be afraid to question assumptions and the status quo in your industry. Continuously ask questions, learn, and adjust your campaigns based on your findings. It's better to ask for guidance from the community than to make assumptions that may inadvertently harm them.
By building, funding, and fueling equitable communication, you can create a powerful platform for your cause and inspire others to join your mission. Through authentic storytelling, community involvement, and a commitment to diversity and inclusion, you can make a meaningful impact in an increasingly interconnected world.