Dealing with an organization that handles serious matters such as homeless, drunk driving, runaways, spousal abuse, and others is not easy. When promoting these types of services, for the most part, we use a tone that is calm and serious. Even though it is a serious matter, it does not have to be addressed this way all the time. I worked for a company that owned funeral homes. If you want a serious matter, there you have it. My job was to attract clients. Believe it or not, at the end of the day, that was my job. I was hired to help raise the number of services. So, I know a thing or two about dealing with subject matters that definitely are not about fun. I knew that I was never going to get air time by handling it the same obligatory way. So, the first thing I did was find a way to package my information. Your services must always be packaged effectively, if you plan to get air time. Now, usually many organizations wait until it is “their turn” to get air time. This happens, for instance, if the organization has a national pledge where everyone participates in it. Best example is breast cancer and the pink ribbon. This is a problem that is heavily addressed once a year with a pink ribbon. If your organization does not have a visual angle like this one, chances are you will have to find other creative ways to get media attention to raise awareness for your organization. #2. The package must have a title. Then, you must have a positive objective that will provide a positive outcome for your services. Since I probably lost you half way through this, I will give you an example. (That’s ok. I’m famous for driving people crazy). EXAMPLE: One of the programs that I used to package my services was The Texas Family Care Program. This is what I used for my title. I wanted something strong. The objective was to help families who had lost a loved one and qualified under the state of Texas’ victim of crime program. The state of Texas provides financial assistance under these circumstances. Families that do not have enough money to take care of a loved one, depend on this money to take care of funeral services and cemetery services. It was rumored that some funeral homes made this a part of their business, charging clients most of the money received. I could tell you some stories. Our objective was simple: We pledged to charge 30% less than what we normally charged for a funeral service. Not only would it give clients enough money to pay for their service, but it would give them the chance to pay for the cemetery services. The outcome was to give families the chance to focus on their loved on, instead of funeral expenses. Now, was that not fun! Of course not! The fact that I had packaged this product this way gave me the chance to get on television. This allowed the tv host to face the topic with a lighter tone. I managed to get us some great television exposure, free. People called our 1 800 number for more details. At the end, I realized that no one had written the official book on funeral homes, yet. When it comes to promoting services, the same goes for non-profit organizations. Many organizations tend to repeat what other organizations have already done. Sometimes that is good because it gives us a solid point-of-reference, but others times it makes things very repetitive and boring.If your organization deals with serious subject matters, the concept of “packaging your product” is not meant to make fun or to have fun with it. I called this the Language of Fun because that is the drive, to make things lighter from time to time. At the end, you want your organization to be approachable. I have seen how tv producers and newspaper writers don’t want to come anywhere near serious subject matters like the ones mentioned, unless there is a theme or an annual event behind it. You don’t want your organization to be “waiting in line” until it is time to talk about your needs and the type of services your organization offers. Review:
- Package your program
- Give a title to your package
- Give it a solid and simple, one-line, objective
- Give it a solid and simple outcome
When you package your services, you have the opportunity to give it a lighter tone.