608.279.1324 chris@visuality.com
MYTH:  Success in online Tribal PR | Marketing | Advocacy is all about technology.


FACT: Content, not technology, is the key. In other words…


Tell your story!


It doesn’t matter if it’s Web-based communications, public relations, advertising, or any other online strategy: technology is just a tool.

Content is king.

And Native Tribes and Tribal business have such wonderful stories to tell!

Over the course of the past 25 years, we’ve worked with many Tribal governments, Tribal businesses, and Native non-profits to help them tell their stories.

Stories of their amazing history and rich culture.

Stories of their massive economic impact on local communities and states where they’re located.

Stories of their generous contributions to friends and neighbors.

Stories of the important work they do for their own people and others.

And so many more!

Whether you are trying to educate, motivate, or activate your Tribal members or neighbors, content—or how you tell your story—will be the primary driver of success or failure. Anyone who tells you it’s all about technology is just spreading myths!

What do we mean, though, when we talk about content?

Content can be anything that you use to populate your Website, social media platforms, or Web-based communications, including:

  • Website copy and pictures
  • Blog posts
  • Tweets
  • Online videos
  • Web animation
  • Marketing emails
  • Ads
  • Online learning courses
  • Calls to action

And those are, of course, just a handful of examples.

Each of them, though, starts with a core message: who you are and what you do.

That core message fundamentally communicates the key points you want to make when you reach out to your audience.

And message and content go hand-in-hand.

When developing content, we recommend the following basic approach:

     –  Define and prioritize your audience(s). Who are you trying to reach with a particular piece of content? What are their needs? How does this content relate to them?  And if your starting point is “This is for everyone”…then it really is for nobody.

     –  Determine outcomes. Is this content simply meant to educate or inform?  Are you trying to impact your audience’s opinion?  Are you trying to get them to take some sort of action?

     –  Identify motivators. Reason?  Emotion? Rewards? Consequences?  If you know your audience, you will know what motivates them.  Use that, no matter what your desired outcome.

     –  Evaluate creative. What is the best way to deliver this content? Should you be funny or serious? Direct or indirect? First, second, or third person?  The subject, the message, your audience, and your own personality (either as an individual or as a Tribe) all go into this evaluation and the ultimate tone of and approach to your content.

     –  Quality counts. Last but not least, is your copy clean, spelled right, and grammatically correct? Does your media look well-produced or uninspired?  The quality of your content is critical, so do not try to be quick or cheap at the expense of that quality.

That topic of quality deserves a bit more attention.

Not everyone has the same abilities and capacities for communication, whether it be writing, speaking, graphic design, media development, etc.  When an organization brings in outside help developing content, it does not mean that their internal team is failing or needs to be replaced!  Not everyone is an expert at everything, so there is no reason to expect them to be.

In our decades of developing strategies, messaging, and content of all kinds for associations, advocacy groups, and Tribal entities, we have come across every kind of organization with widely varying degrees of internal capacity for content development.  But every organization we have ever worked with—from those with a one-person communications shop to those that boast dozens of staff in the areas of PR | Marketing | Advocacy—have all gotten great value from bringing in outside help from time to time

Some advantages of turning to outside consultants or professionals now and then include:

–  Leveraging skills or expertise that you do not have on your immediate team;

–  Getting an outside perspective on your members or issues;

–  Accessing new strategies or tactics that have been successfully implemented for others like you;

–  Allowing your internal team to focus on their strengths or on their day-to-day responsibilities while having outside help to develop and implement a special project or campaign; and/or

–  Obtaining an objective, independent audit or evaluation of your team or your full communications or member engagement program.

In our experience, however, it is critically important that—even if you bring in outside help on a project, campaign, or even on an ongoing basis—you ensure that your outside team maintain good communication with your internal team, that they take advantage of the internal experience and understanding of the organization, and that you partner with people who respect and make an effort to engage your internal team.  That approach will bear the most fruit for you, your organization, and your mission in both the short-term and in the long-term, as well.

Can we tell you more?

Contact us at chris@visuality.com, and we will be happy to speak with you about how our ideas and approach might help you achieve your goals! Or follow us on Facebook for updates, ideas, new, and more!