Welcome to Suasion’s Blog

Thank you for taking a moment to check out our agency’s blog.  We are committed to blogging about subjects and topics related to marketing communications that will be timely, pertinent and helpful to you and your organization.

We have rallied our team of professionals who will use this blog to share individual perspectives and expertise in areas from media relations and social media, to strategic planning and advertising.  The information we share will have you in mind, the professional of a nonprofit, health care or disability-related organization.  We’ll provide insight, tips and advice that will give you food for thought and hopefully ideas and direction on how you can use communications to move your mission further.

Check back regularly!  We will be blogging often, so don’t forget to visit us each week to view our latest article.  And, don’t forget, if you want to make a greater impact, just give us a call!  We bet you will not find another firm more committed to helping you reach your goals than Suasion.

Planning Events for All People to Enjoy—Including People with Disabilities

A picture of an accessibility ramp. The ramp has a accessible parking sign on it.

With years of experience working for the disability community, the Suasionators like to consider ourselves “experts” on accessible communications, events, and advocating for equality and inclusion for people with disabilities. However, we also consider ourselves “life-long learners,” who are humble enough to recognize that we NEVER know all of the answers. One of our most […]

Competence is not the only key to building a strong team

A picture of a pen, checking off empty boxes.

You find a candidate for your job opening who has exceptional technical skills and extensive experience. Do you shout for joy and hire that person before someone else does? Or is there more to it? Oftentimes, organizations will hire for competence and fire for character. If you’re hiring someone who will be in a leadership […]

Why Your Website Should be Accessible

A picture of a woman sitting in front of a laptop, smiling.

“Unable to display webpage.” “Poor network connection, try again later.” Do these statements sound familiar? Do they conjure up feelings of anger and frustration? The kind of frustration that could compel someone to throw their computer across a room? Trust us, we’ve been there. We know there are few things more frustrating than being unable […]

The Power of Charismatic Charm

Okay, truth is, we all want to be liked.  Yes, even YOU!!!  We may easily accept the moments that we are not liked, but deep down, we all possess this desire to some degree.  Charisma is defined by dictionary.com as a divinely conferred gift or a spiritual power that allows for influence.  So I guess […]

As Communicators, We Have a Responsibility

Nonprofit organizations tend to serve a diverse group of consumers including people with disabilities.  If you handle any of the communications for your organization, you probably do a lot of writing in terms of developing press releases, case studies and pitches for the media.  In these materials, do you ever write about people with disabilities?  […]

The Leadership Answer

Who doesn’t want to be part of or lead a high-performing team that produces results and enables a culture that empowers its people?  Doesn’t everyone want to wake up and be excited to go to work in the morning? Supervisors and managers approach me all the time wondering why their direct reports don’t want to […]

News Releases…Dead or Alive?

News Media - ddpavumba @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There is no denying that the birth of social media and advancements in technology are responsible for an evolution of the public relations trade.  In less than two decades, we went from snail mailing journalists news releases with headshot prints, to Tweeting our story ideas to the press.  It’s hard to believe that at the […]

Is your team a true community?

Standing People In Heart Shape - pixtawan @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Last week, our Director of Integrated Marketing wrote a blog about having the best job in the world; so, I thought it would be appropriate to follow that with why I have the best team in the world! In our almost 6 years of existence, Suasion has been blessed with committed people who work well […]

What’s the Best Job in the World?

Hands

At networking and social events, your place of employment is often a popular topic of conversation.  Some people share what they do with great joy and excitement, while others tend to shy away from the specifics. How do I explain my job to others? In a sentence – I have the best job in the […]

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!!!

Child wearing a Santa hat and crying.

That’s right, I said it!  Let it snow!!!  Everywhere you turn people are upset that more cold and more ice and more snow is coming.  Even churches are getting in on the action posting signs stating, “Whoever is praying for snow, please stop!”  Even the weather forecasters can’t seem to announce the weather without getting […]

A Snow Storm of Communication Activities Doesn’t Guarantee Results

Snowstorm

Brochures, press releases and Tweets, oh my!  Is your organization one that thinks a flurry of communications activities will get the job done?  “I must keep updating, posting, disseminating, circulating, emailing, publishing, etc.”  And, at the end of the day, you just aren’t seeing results.  Why? As I mentioned in my last blog, many organizations […]

What Your Organization, the Super Bowl & Punxsutawney Phil Have in Common

Groundhog Day

Last weekend was likely a big weekend for you.  If you’re like me, I spent hours searching for the perfect #SuperBowl appetizers and was devastated to learn that #PunxsutawneyPhil predicted 6 more weeks of winter. But whether your team won or lost the biggest game of the season, or you were wishing that spring was […]

Take two of these and call me in the morning!

Doctor

Seems that something is wrong or could be better within your organization.  What do you do now?  Any detriment to the mission needs an immediate reaction.  You start looking for the problem, and it is sitting outside your office.  Right???  It’s time to take action; time to operate!  You think, let’s get them some training, […]

Why Less is More

Simple

When dreaming about a new website, it’s likely that you’ll design a site packed full of content, copy and photos.  We often think that the more detail we share will encourage engagement, drive donations and convince readers that our causes are worthy. The truth?  The saying is right.  Too much of a good thing is […]

Make A Solid Strategy Your Strategy for 2014

Strategy Flowchart

The presents have been opened, the holiday food has been devoured and the New Year has been rung in.  It’s 2014 and, as of today, you have 356 days before reflecting on all that you and your organization has accomplished this year.  So, what is your strategy to achieve all your goals and objectives?  How […]

Getting new board members on board quickly

Woman at train station.

Let’s imagine for a moment that you are the president or executive director of an organization and you have just hired four new people who report directly to you. You show them to their desks, tell them when to show up each day, hand them a manual full of policies and walk away. Six months […]

Are there any followers in the house?!?

Follow or lead decision

We are all supposed to be effective leaders, right?  You sit in that job interview and explain your leadership skills.  You might even want to google leadership before you leave the house.  It’s the buzz word on everyone’s minds and tongues.  As the leadership “expert” I better agree that this is important, and I do, […]

Is 2014 the Year to Hire a Marketing Firm?

Handshake

It’s that time of year when we begin looking back on what we’ve accomplished, and start planning for the future.  After all the turkey, cookies and eggnog are digested, it will be time to ponder and digest one more thing…is this the year to hire a marketing communications firm? If your nonprofit organization or small […]

Your differential benefit should be . . . . well, different.

Burger

Differentiation is one of the core principles of effective marketing.  Doesn’t everyone know that?  Apparently not.  Last week, Burger King introduced their Big K Burger which is a copycat of McDonald’s Big Mac.  In fact, upon further investigation, much of what Burger King is doing these days resembles that of its competitor – the revamped […]

What Does Your Color Say About You?

Color Swatches by Naypong @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

90 seconds – that’s about all you have. Research shows that people make up their minds about a product or service in about 90 seconds and between 62-90 percent of their opinion is based on color alone. The colors you choose say a lot about you. When selecting a color palette for your brand, consider […]

Your paycheck is ENOUGH to make you smile!

Little girl making a face.

Everyone wants a trophy and everyone gets one, right?  Not exactly.  Appreciation can be difficult and is often a topic laden with strong opinions.  Question being, are you appreciated enough?  At work, at home, in your social networks?  Probably not.  Now, are you GIVING enough appreciation?  I’ve heard many reasons why we don’t give as […]

What Does Your Brand Say About Your Organization?

Global vision and mission flow chart concept.

Did you know some of the most successful companies, organizations and businesses in the world have attributed their success to spending time, resources and unbelievable effort on establishing, building and sustaining their brand?  From McDonald’s and Apple, to the American Red Cross and The John Hopkins Hospital, all of these entities have never underestimated the […]

Here’s What You Need to Know About E-Newsletters

Two women looking at a laptop together.

To be a nonprofit that sends an email newsletter, or not to be, that is the question. Here’s the answer: email newsletters provide too many positives to ignore. Newsletters can be a great way to connect with your audience, educate them about your organization and build support. In fact, according to an Email Newsletter Usability […]

Leaning Into Who You Are

Woman leaning and smiling.

At any social function, the first question you are likely asked after introducing yourself is, “What do you do?”  Your response probably begins with a job title followed by some semblance of your job description.  When we consider our role within our organization, it’s the box we understand best.  But if what you “do” is […]

Transparency, is It Necessary?

Public relations word cloud

In a time of crisis, your organization may rush to Facebook, Twitter, the local newspaper or news station, whatever is the most accessible medium.  I wonder, are messages in moments of crisis thoroughly developed?  Often the good intent of letting your publics know what’s happening is washed away by the lack of transparency in a […]

What Digital Communicators Have in Common with PR Pros

Microphones in front of a RSS feed icon.

Just a few years ago, public relations and advertising used to be on two very different sides of the marketing communication’s house.  With the new focus on content marketing, however, these marketing experts now work hand in hand. Reporters are thankful for well-developed story ideas that come laced with photos, videos and hashtags.  And, from […]

RFPs: Here’s What Marketing Professionals Are Thinking

RFP Tips Folder

Is your nonprofit organization in need of marketing communications services to create a website, develop a strategic plan, implement a public awareness campaign, etc.? Are you required to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) to formally solicit services and allow a wide range of agencies to respond with their best approaches and pricing? If so, […]

Fall Cleaning

Mop and bucket

There is a sense of renewal that occurs every September. Students begin a new school year; football season kicks off; and having vacations in the rear-view mirror, the work force is back to being fully engaged. Then, there is the fall cleaning. For whatever reason, we feel compelled to tidy up our homes and clean […]

They’re Coming. Are You Ready?

ABC27 WHTM Coverage Of The Living Well With A Disability 2013 Conference & Expo

Working with broadcast journalists is one of my favorite responsibilities for my clients.  Nothing compares to watching the local news crew approach your event, knowing that your client’s incredible mission and hard work will now have the opportunity to reach even more people. But, it also means, it’s go time.  By the time the reporters […]

A Weekend of Accessible Success

Living Well With A Disability Conference & Expo Brochure

Last weekend, we were thrilled to join with our client Living Well With A Disability℠ Conference & Expo to mark the inaugural event in Lancaster, Pa. The Conference & Expo invited people with disabilities and their families throughout central Pennsylvania to visit one location to get all of the resources and tools to “live well” – […]

Confessions of a Public Relations Practitioner

Martha Rougeux

I have to confess; one of the most rewarding aspects of my job is reading or watching a positive, well-covered story about one of our clients, especially if the story showcases the mission of the organization and the good work that is being done. I must also confess that helping to obtain that coverage is usually not an easy task as there are thousands of registered non-profit organizations across the state, and probably just as many story ideas being pitched to the media on a regular basis. However, I have found over the years, that there are several tried and true techniques that can help secure great coverage.

Accessible Events

Accessible Events

You’ve just decided to hold an event and your mind becomes flooded with the countless to dos to make the event happen. You’re wondering where to begin and what to do next. When planning events that are open to the public, make sure that your organization’s events are accessible for everyone including people with disabilities. […]

Facebook Launches New Photo Comments

Caption This...

If they say that a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s the worth of a photo comment on Facebook?* Facebook recently enabled users to comment with photos on friends’ posts as well as brand Facebook pages. As you may have guessed, this is just another reason why capturing visual content, and encouraging your audience […]

How to Build a Brand Bible & Visual Style Guide

Business Meeting Reviewing Guidelines

Does your organization have a “Brand bible,” commonly known as a Brand Identity Guide? Your organization should create and utilize one so that employees and vendors can assist you in developing consistent communication pieces. The guide should include everything from the rules for using logos, colors and fonts to the appropriate writing style and social […]

Is PR Important to Achieving Your Mission?

Key

I have three answers to this question: yes, yes and yes.  Okay, I know what you’re thinking.  My nonprofit organization has minimal resources, a tight budget, a small staff and very little time.  But, for all these reasons, I would tell you that you MUST have a public relations program in place.  By definition, public […]

Engaging Board Members

Board Meeting

Having sat on a number of boards and counseled many more, one of the most common problems I’ve seen is lack of board member engagement. It appears as absenteeism from organization events or even board meetings, high turnover of board membership, missed deadlines and low productivity. Or in its most insidious form, it may be […]

What is Your Body Language Saying?

Man with arms folded.

If you’ve met me, you would probably agree that I’m quite famous for talking with my hands. So needless to say, I’m a big advocate for using non-verbal communication…but in the right way. Non-verbal communication plays a big part in others’ perceptions of you. In fact, 90 percent of communication is non-verbal (aka body language). […]

#Facebook

While at a recent wedding, I was joking with public relations industry friends about how social media has altered the way we capture big events and even how we speak. For example, we no longer need to hand out disposable cameras at weddings to capture guest interactions. Instead, we use Pinterest to gather ideas to […]

Smile for the Camera!

Camera

Did you know that 90 percent of information entering the brain is visual? This proves why photography is so important for your organization. Photography is a great way to communicate your mission and share the impact you’re making in the community and people’s lives. So, what should you consider when taking a photo? Here are […]

What Kind of Relationship Do You Want to Build with Reporters?

Suasion coordinated interview with WGAL and Executive Director of CILCP, Theo Braddy.

There is a lot of research out there regarding what kind of relationship public relations (PR) practitioners want to build with reporters.  Some research junkies say keep it professional while others conclude that a personal relationship is most advantageous for your organization.  But, will inviting reporters to lunch and learning their pets’ names really win […]

Building a High Functioning Team

James Hunter, Megan and Victoria

I am a strong believer in the principles of servant leadership. So you can imagine my excitement when I had the opportunity last week to spend some time with James C. Hunter, best-selling author of The Servant: A Simple Story About the True Essence of Leadership and The World’s Most Powerful Leadership Principle: How to […]

Are Your Communications in Check?

Check List

You have a newsletter; you have a brochure; you have stationery; you have a website; and heck, you even have social media channels for your organization! But…are your communications effective? Hopefully you’re nodding your head yes, but if you’re the slightest bit unsure, or shaking your head no, perhaps it’s time for a communications audit. […]

5 Twitter Tips to Tweet Like a Pro

Smart Phone

We admit it – staying up to date on all things Twitter can be a bit daunting. The good news? There are many new and evolving Twitter tools and tricks to help make your job in social media and public relations much more effective. Whether you’re a Twitter newbie or looking to freshen your skills, […]

Driving Your Message Home with a Great Billboard

WFM Billboard

They are big; they are bold; and they are designed to grab our attention as we buzz down the highway. Billboards are the most common form of outdoor or “out of home” advertising. Companies, organizations and marketing firms continue to utilize this popular method of advertising because, if done correctly, it can be an effective […]

Making Your News More Newsworthy

Man holding a newspaper.

So, you are sitting at your desk and a story idea pops in your head.  You’re thinking, “I need to pitch this to the press or write a news release.”  But, before you pick up the phone or start typing away, have you really considered whether your “news” is truly newsworthy?  The biggest mistake you […]

Culture Happens

Teamwork: All hands in!

Whether it is formalized or not, all organizations possess some type of culture that helps to define what the organization is all about. Your culture affects employee turnover, productivity, employee engagement and customer service. We often hear people talk about how to create the right kind of culture. But, I believe you don’t “create” a […]

Is Your Website Accessible for All Users?

AF4Q Home page design

Take a moment and look at your website. Does it have good color contrast? What size is the font? While there are many things to think about when designing an accessible website, I’ve included a few of my top recommendations for every organization. Provide Options for Font SizeFont size can vary depending on the font […]

5 Steps for Working with Bloggers

Woman blogging on her laptop.

Customized. Personalized. Targeted. With the evolution of social media and online news sources, we as consumers have developed an appetite for news and updates that are tailor made for us. We now directly “subscribe to” or “follow” experts in our areas of interest, and look to our peers across the country to know which cause […]

The Art of Designing a Brochure that Pops

New Hope Ministries Brochure

A brochure is an excellent tool for telling the story of your nonprofit.  If done properly, it can help position an organization with many of its audiences including customers, volunteers, donors, stakeholders, etc.  But, how do you make your brochure standout from others?  How do you cut through the clutter and create a piece that […]

If a Crisis Strikes, Is Your Nonprofit Prepared?

Stressed Businessman

A crisis situation can occur at any time with little or no warning. You may think only businesses and large corporations need to be prepared, but nonprofit organizations are also vulnerable. Consider some of these situations that could have a very negative impact on your organization: Legal dispute Disgruntled employee Upset customer or client Mismanagement […]

Building Your Brand from the Inside Out

Probably one of the least understood and most overlooked aspect of branding is the idea of creating brand ambassadors in your workforce.  And yet, this is a crucial part of achieving your mission. The experience your audience has with your employees will either build the brand or compromise it.  Additionally, employees can extend your brand’s […]

Two Heads are Better than One

…and ten are even better! Focus groups are an invaluable part of market research that is often overlooked. But, what exactly are focus groups? A selected group of eight to ten individuals with various backgrounds who offer their perspectives on a product, brand, service or program. A moderator leads the conversation and keeps the discussion […]

3 Reasons You Can’t Afford to Be Unsocial

500 million – that’s the number of tweets sent each day on Twitter.  More than seven hours – that’s the time Americans spend on Facebook each month.  While consumers once received most of their news via newspapers and television advertisements, building a relationship with a brand has become an increasingly social experience. With new platforms […]

A 2013 Priority: Making Your Website Mobile Friendly

Well, being that you are reading this blog, you probably have found your way to our new website!  Months in the making, Suasion.us is finally here, but not without much thought, planning, designing and input from our entire team.  After all, we design and develop websites for many nonprofits and other organizations, so it is […]

10 Tips on What to Look For When Hiring a Communications Firm

Has your organization recognized the need for marketing communications support, but are unsure whether to hire a person or a communications firm?  It is important to consider and understand the benefits an agency can offer. If you partner with a firm, your organization will get a team of experts specializing in a variety of areas […]