A couple of weeks ago, Mary Meeker delivered her annual review on technology trends
at the All Things Digital D11 conference in California. That same week, on Katya's nonprofit marketing blog
, there was a review of Meeker's presentation with a number of "takeaways" for nonprofits to "engage and inspire their supporters" online, with the implication that we can all reach a broader audience with technology.
While the takeaways offered were useful, I'm wondering how lasting these technological advances are for most nonprofits. Again and again we've seen instances where organizations try a new approach or tactic online to reach a larger audience. When someone finally breaks through with something innovative, their success is often short lived. One of the disadvantages with any technological success is that it is readily replicated, and in a short time becomes merely average. It doesn't matter if it's a mobile application or a social media initiative, anything can be readily copied.
Where organizations can truly differentiate themselves is in telling their unique, authentic story. In Bernadette Jiwa's blog, the Story of Telling, she provides amazingly simple advice on how to hone your story and make your message spread. Further, in one of her recent posts, Narrow and Deep Vs. the Market of Everyone, she suggests that reaching the masses may not get you where you want to be. In her words, "significance trumps recognition."
Jiwa would ask us to tell a compelling story to those that are interested in our cause, rather than trying to appeal to the masses. She acknowledges it can be scary to ignore the crowd. If we choose to pass some of the latest technology tools, we may not reach the widest audience possible. At the same time, there can be excitement, and great reward in engaging your few, passionate followers...
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