March 29, 2017

What the *bleep* is raising awareness?


I hear the term ‘raising awareness’ time and time again – but what are you really doing?

If you’re being honest, is it an excuse? If you’re being really honest, is it a term you use to feel better when you realise resources have been inefficiently applied?

In my experience, raising awareness is often used as a catch-all for every kind of public facing activity. An event, a stand at an open day, a flurry of leaflets and posters… lots of people running around doing things with no real objective or proper assessment.

Raising awareness is actually Marketing.

If you are going to deliver a marketing campaign, then let’s be smart about it and use our resources well.

  • Have a clear objective. What do you want to do exactly and why? Do you want to attract more service users? Do you want to attract donors? Do you want to the community to fundraise for you? Do you want to increase your influence with local stakeholders? Have a clear goal for your campaign.
  • Choose the best method. What is the best way to achieve your goal? Is it an event? Is it networking? Is it a presence in the local media? Is it a leaflet/poster campaign? And if so, do you know the best places to distribute these to best effect?
  • Research and plan carefully. You have chosen an objective and a method for delivery. How do you know this is the best approach? Can you deliver this effectively within your resources? Plan every detail, check resources are properly allocated and try to find faults so they don’t come back to find you later!
  • Measure the outcome. How will you know that your campaign has been successful? What are your outcomes? Have you gathered your baseline data? How will you measure success? And who will be responsible for tracking the activity and reporting back? What will you do next?
  • Review, adjust, repeat, delete. Always honestly review the activity before, during and after. If it didn’t work, that’s ok – but learn from it and try something different.

And by the way, if you have planned and delivered a fundraising event but raised no money – it hasn’t worked. Please don’t say “but it’s OK, we raised awareness”!

Stop ‘raising awareness’ – start running successful campaigns!

I offer a range of services to help organisations to plan and deliver this kind of activity successfully. If you would like to stop ‘raising awareness’ and start running successful campaigns then contact me today and let’s get started!

Categories: Marketing