Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
All you have to do is listen to the radio or television or read a paper and you see very quickly that many not for profits are struggling to bring in the donors — and the dollars — they have in the past. There seem to be more charities and more causes that are seeking contributions from the community at large.
How can you, as a shelter or rescue operator capture and build share of mind & heart for your rescue. That is what speaker Sybil Sterschic will be sharing information about at the BlogPaws Conference. Her Thursday session, entitled, “Be The Change” Workshop: Fundamentals of Nonprofit Marketing: Building Share of Mind & Heart for Your Rescue/Shelter” is a must-attend for individuals who run shelters or rescues, volunteers that work at these facilities, or anyone who wants to find a way to give back to the pet shelter or rescue in the community in which they live.
Sybil and I caught up recently and talked about her session, what it’s about and who should attend. If you’re curious and making your plans on which sessions to sit in on, read on:
She begins by sharing, “When you work at a shelter or rescue you need to be marketing on a daily basis – in fact marketing is being done on the shelter’s behalf by your volunteers, pet parents, would-be pet parents and anyone who calls into the shelter.”
BlogPaws asks: Who is this session for?
Sybil answers: Anyone who is new to marketing or anyone who runs an established shelter or rescue who wants to up their game. I’ll share information on what’s involved in marketing planning and the attendees will walk away with a template to put the information into practice.
BlogPaws asks: Will social media strategies be covered?
Sybil answers: Social media is only a part of the big picture of how to market a shelter and Sybil said she will be helping to demystify marketing for the shelter and rescue professional.
BlogPaws asks: Running a shelter or a rescue is likely a time-consuming task in and of itself, how can the individuals there possibly take on marketing tasks as well?
Sybil answers: “You may feel you don’t have time to do marketing, but if you don’t you can rest assured that your competition is and if you aren’t marketing the competition and the market will do it for you.” She adds that, “In today’s marketplace the competition for donor dollars is fierce especially among rescues and shelters. You can’t afford to have your shelter be a well-kept secret.”
BlogPaws asks: What information will the attendees walk away with?
Sybil answers: The individuals in the session will learn how to engage and involve everyone who works at the shelter or rescue – from the volunteer who cleans to the person who answers the phones to the board members – your shelter markets, whether you realize it or not, with every interaction you have with those outside of your organization. You need to make sure those interactions put your shelter in the best possible light.
Back to the “who has time to market,” conversation Sybil explains that, “Everyone needs to know that marketing is not in the ‘other duties as assigned’ and that marketing doesn’t have to be overwhelming.” She has a way to demystify it and attendees will walk away knowing not only how to market but how to find time to market. “Attendees in the session will receive a simplified marketing template and I urge them to take that back, talk to the volunteers, staff and board of directors and sketch out a simple plan. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming or involve a weekend retreat or dozens of hours to implement.”
Sybil says: “Marketing needs to be consistent and intentional.”
BlogPaws asks: If I operate a shelter that has been, and continues to be, successful in its marketing, should I attend?
Sybil says: “Of course! Everyone can always learn something new even if you’re marketing on a daily basis. The reason I encourage more seasoned shelter or rescue operators to come is as a refresher – if you have been doing something for a long time you tend to lose sight of the big picture.” It’s easy to go on autopilot with day-to-day tasks and taking the time to step back and invest the time to refresh your knowledge or even to involve new staff or volunteers can only benefit the shelter or rescue.
Who is Sybil? She is a career marketer. Her background is not in marketing but in social psychology. She learned marketing on the job – which, she says, is one of the best ways to do it. Her business, Quality Service Marketing was founded in 1988. She specializes in helping service-based organizations strengthen employee and customer engagement. She is the author of two books.
What is Sybil’s connection to BlogPaws and does she have any pets? “I absolutely love pets, and am partial to cats. I don’t own any pets right now so I love coming to BlogPaws so I can get my fix of petting and playing with the pets that are there.”
BlogPaws asks: Why should you come to the BlogPaws 2014 Conference?
Sybil says: “The quality of the content of the shared learning and passion of the community are two factors. Even as a non-pet owner, I felt so welcomed and that is impressive. Also, I’m a business blogger so when I am not speaking, I will be sitting in on the other sessions and taking away the knowledge the experts are sharing.”
If you’re a shelter or rescue operator you do not want to miss this session, especially if you find yourself having a more difficult time bringing in donations. Volunteers at rescues or shelters should also plan to attend. If you haven’t yet registered for the BlogPaws 2014 Conference there is still time, but act quickly — we have sold out every year!
Session overview and speaker bio:
“Marketing? Who’s got time to do marketing?” Regardless of size and time constraints, your rescue/shelter is marketed on a daily basis by your employees and volunteers, adopting pet parents, would-be adoptive pet parents, and the news media. Learn how to better manage your brand with an understanding of what marketing is and what it means to your organization’s success.
This hands-on session is designed for shelter/rescue staff and volunteers who are new to marketing, those who want a refresher, and those from established shelters/rescues that need to up their game. Key points:
- Understanding your “customers” and competition
- Positioning your brand in a crowded market
- Applying the marketing mix
- What’s involved in marketing planning. All participants will take away a simplified template they can use to develop a practical marketing plan for their rescue/shelter.
Speaker bio: Sybil Stershic, president of Quality Service Marketing, is an accomplished business professional who helps service-based organizations strengthen employee-customer engagement. A graduate of Lehigh University, she began her career in bank marketing; however, the banks she worked for merged into oblivion. She founded Quality Service Marketing in 1988, specializing in internal marketing, marketing training, and planning facilitation. In addition to her client work, she teaches marketing workshops nationwide for nonprofit and corporate managers.
Sybil is a respected thought leader and blogger on engaging employees and volunteers through internal marketing. Her latest book, Share of Mind, Share of Heart – Marketing Tools of Engagement for Nonprofits, was honored with a 2013 Small Business Book Award in Marketing. Active in leadership and professional development, Sybil is a past Chairman of the American Marketing Association (AMA). Besides her continued involvement with AMA, she serves on the Advisory Council of Global Facilitators Serving Communities and is a member of BoardSource and the International Association of Facilitators.