Thursday, March 24, 2011

Persuasion in Three Questions

Image via NRC.nl


Ross Guberman writes books to help lawyers get past the heretofore and whereas in their writing, making it “punchier.” In this interview with Nell Minow on BNet, he discusses some of these techniques, many of which have made it into blog posts here. But once piece of advice, cited at the end of the article, really caught my eye. Guberman says, “’What three things do I want the reader to do, believe, or understand by the end of this letter or document?’ Then list those three things up front.”

It’s All Persuasive

All of the writing you do for your small nonprofit – regardless of vehicle (print or social media, blog or brochure) is for the purpose of persuasion.

In other posts, I’ve mentioned that you should always have your goal in mind – the action you want the reader to take – when putting your written piece (and editing it) together. But Guberman’s idea of listing the three things you want the reader to do, believe or understand goes me one better. All of these things are important when you are communicating for the purpose of persuading people to support your mission.

In order to effect an action, readers must understand what you are trying to do and come to believe that your choice of action is a good one and then support that choice with an action (donating, volunteering, petitioning, etc.).

Let’s See It

Next post we’ll take a look at an actual letter I’ve received and see how it:
  • Helps us understand the situation/problem
  • Asks us to believe in the choice of action
  • Requests us to take the action


Social Media Tool of the Week: Google Tools for NonProfits

By now, most of you are aware that a nonprofit can save money by doing some or most of its office work “in the cloud” (using applications available through the internet rather than on the nonprofit’s own computer system). In many cases, those tools and applications will be powered by Google (gmail, google docs, etc.). You're probably using some of these already. But did you know that Google has a small number of offerings that are exclusive to nonprofits? And do you know how to take advantage of that or some of the lesser-known cloud applications available to the public?

The Influential Marketing Blog provides some helpful information about Google’s apps for nonprofits in this article.

And you can learn about all of Google’s offerings to Nonprofits from Google itself here.

No comments: