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Having worked on the 'inside' for many years, and now as the external 'expert,' I totally get the frustration consultants can experience. The idea of having one staff point person is sound. However, I believe that volunteers should not be directly involved in organizational operations. 

They should be advising and consulting on big picture issues. And, when they are more hands on, planning and coordinating events or special projects, the staff liaison must establish the roles and responsibilities clearly. That´s called good leadership. 

Volunteers are the lifeblood of the nonprofit sector, but they come and go. It's up to professional staff to lead, show them appreciation, and work with them. Ultimately, the staff hold fiduciary and strategic accountability to the board, and not to ad hoc committees. 

1 year, 11 months ago on Cause-Related Marketing: When Doing Good Goes Bad


Here's one more, Rebekah...not responding to those who comment on your blog. BTW, I noticed how well you do this. :)

2 years ago on 12 Most Simple Social Media Mistakes We All Make


I totally agree, Lisa, that lightening up can work with some missions. Everyone thought I was crazy for suggesting that we produce comical PSAs with (the late actor) Leslie Nielsen to capitalize on his acting "shtick." This was for a nonprofit focused on physical disabilities. Even he was unsure.


But, eventually, we did it and the campaign was very successful. As one of the disabled actresses said to Nielsen at the time: "People with disabilities have senses of humor, you know." :)

2 years, 5 months ago on How to Motivate Behavior With The Right Emotions


Congrats, Margie! Let me know when it's available on Kindle!

2 years, 10 months ago on The ABCs of Marketing Myths – A New E-Book


Great article, Sarah! As a Go Daddy customer who lives in Phoenix (Go Daddy's HQ), I look forward to seeing what fellow Canuck, Warren Adelman will do. He is NOT Bob Parsons and his style and vision will surely be different.


I agree with many of the comments here as I have experienced them myself. A confusing admin panel, upselling whenever I call for support, and totally sexist advertising campaigns that are, in my opinion, plain stupid. Not all Go Daddy customers are male. 


However, in their favor is decent customer service, a strong reputation for corporate philanthropy, and an employee-focus that consistently earns it one of "The Best Places to Work" awards. We have to give credit where it's due.


Congrats, Warren. Go get 'em!




2 years, 11 months ago on No More Breasts, Elephants, or SOPA: How Warren Adelman Is Saving Go Daddy’s Soul


It's so impossible to keep up anyway, Doug. What happens too frequently is marketers getting fixated on the next shiny object, without integrating new tactics with their marketing strategy.

3 years, 1 month ago on Shiny Object Syndrome Hurts Us All


@ginidietrich Gini, most 501(c)(3) organizations operate with volunteer boards who ideally make all decisions related to strategy, budgets, and finances. They oversee the executive director/CEO, hold him/her accountable to performance expectations, and have the right to hire and fire that person.The executive director/CEO oversees the senior management team, and together, they are responsible for all operations.

It is a fine balancing act that requires mutual respect and a shared belief for the mission. A nonprofit executive who makes major decisions single-handedly = an unhealthy situation. Similarly, a board that micro-manages operations = an unhealthy organization, unless the organization is very small or in start-up mode.

Corporate boards, in which members receive a stipend, have an obligation to the company for that money. There are expectations about being available for board meetings and performing their duties. Nonprofits have similar expectations of board members, but because they are volunteers, whose jobs and families come first, their participation and time commitment may not always be ideal. In fact, many nonprofits have well-known people on their boards for their "names" and do not always expect them to be engaged. They do expect them to raise money from their friends and use their influence.

Another interesting point... many nonprofits have a financial expectation of their board members to make a donation. Some require members to "give or get" a specific dollar amount. So, they don't get paid - they pay for the privilege to serve the nonprofit.

Hope that clarifies the difference between nonprofit and corporate boards.

3 years, 2 months ago on Komen Provides Excellent Crisis Management Case Study


Gini, I'm so glad I saw this post today. As a specialist in nonprofit marketing and communications, I've been following the story closely. But, this new information about Komen's board making the decision against the advice of its senior management team is very disturbing.

Nonprofit boards of director are here today and gone tomorrow. They usually serve finite terms, volunteering their time. Some meet monthly; some quarterly, but it is the senior management team that must manage operations on a daily basis.

Even though the board had the right to make the decision they did, they acted irresponsibly - in a vacuum. If each member had thorough training in public relations and branding, then the board could have made the decision based on sound experience and expertise. But, boards are typically comprised of diverse groups of people. To do what they did without adequate consultation and guidance was short-sighted and foolish. The Komen brand will be feeling the fallout for a long time. The board should resign.

3 years, 2 months ago on Komen Provides Excellent Crisis Management Case Study


One thing I don't miss about living in Toronto, Martin, is Boxing Day traffic. Come to think of it, I don't miss Toronto traffic on any day! :) Happy New Year, eh?

3 years, 3 months ago on Boxing Day: No Rest for the Social


Gini, I love #5, but is it too Utopian?

3 years, 4 months ago on Six Skills Every PR Pro Needs


@JayBaer Maybe it's because they don't know any better, Jay. And, even if they do, it's like trying to turn an aircraft carrier around in a river. What I wish many would do is to bring in those of us who can help them do it. It's often an outsider that can make the difference with change management.

Have a wonderful holiday!

3 years, 4 months ago on Social Business Is About Actions Not Words


Great story, Jay! I agree... it's about empowering employees.

3 years, 4 months ago on Social Business Is About Actions Not Words


I agree with what Mack said, Margie, that social media can be a blessing AND a curse. If we equate our newfound ability to publish - without going through the usual filters and hoops that traditional media previously set - then, we are essentially acting as our own "newspapers" or "book publishers."

Solopreneurs and small business owners, who participate in social media for business development purposes, are doing similar work to the editorial departments of the past. PLUS, building online relationships simultaneously. Even with the best strategy and measurement tools, it is a time-consuming endeavor, especially if one is networking in person, marketing, managing operations, and delivering products and services.

Perhaps that's why so many are permanently connected to their mobile devices. No one wants to fall behind. So, the question now becomes... fall behind what? Where's the contest and the finish line?

3 years, 4 months ago on Are You Passionate About Social Media, Or Obsessed?


Good post, Ed. These myths continue to perpetuate, especially the first one.

3 years, 4 months ago on 10 Confounding Branding Myths


I think this depends on the individual and the type of job one has. In marketing project management, for example, deadlines loom and much rests on responses from clients, staff, and vendors. When you get a reply that allows you to move to the next step of the project, you often have to drop everything and keep things going.That's multi-tasking to the max.

Elaine Fogel

3 years, 5 months ago on Are You a Monotasker?