Marketing on Zero Dollars: The Elevator Speech

Kelly picA Fundraiser’s Journey

Kelly Updike for PCNRC

My friends call me a media hog.

Actually, hog is the tame version because the real word is not fit for a G-rated readership.

You can expend no money on marketing and still have robust awareness in the community at large. I’m proud to say this is more accurately called public relations, since that was my college major. I really love PR strategies because they often cost nothing and drill down into people’s awareness.

First is to be mindful that everyone is responsible for public relations. An easy way to do that is to create an elevator speech. That is, what you’ll reply when someone says, “Hey, I hear you work (or volunteer) at X.” TV people call it a sound bite. Print people call it a factoid.

The best elevator speechifier I know is Becky Weimerskirch of Community Transportation Network (CTN) in Fort Wayne. When asked to introduce herself and briefly state what she does for her organization, she always and I mean always has a 10-second update on CTN. Even when not specifically asked about CTN, she will give that update. And it’s always fresh and thus interesting. Way to go, Becky!

You can do that, too. You know what’s going on at your organization. Start by becoming aware of opportunities to share the good news. And provide a few of those bullet points regularly to your board, staffers and volunteers. You could list them at the bottom of the board agenda. That way, they’ll always have something to say when someone asks, “How’s it going?” or “What’ve you been up to?”

The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Embassy or the PCNRC.

One thought on “Marketing on Zero Dollars: The Elevator Speech

  1. So true! The challenge is convincing the staff of the organization they have just as much responsibility for this as the leadership! Good idea to provide a list of topics on agendas of meetings.


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