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Community Connections: Three Ways to Customize Your Message and Reach Different Audiences
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Community Connections: Three Ways to Customize Your Message and Reach Different Audiences

Halcyon’s Nicole Weissman speaks to Proof Strategies on the challenges of communicating social impact to various audiences and ways organizations can overcome them.

Starting a new business is no easy task, but one that Nicole Weissman, Halcyon’s director of communications, sees first-hand in her role every day. Halcyon is a nonprofit organization that provides early-stage creators, entrepreneurs and “do-gooders” with the tools and opportunities they need to bring their ideas and ventures to life.

As director of communications, Nicole’s role is to amplify the organization’s message and elevate the transformative work across its programs, including the Halcyon Incubator and Arts Lab – two initiatives that actively invest in community leaders driving social and economic change.

Nicole brings nearly a decade of nonprofit communications experience to her role and pursues the goal of expanding Halcyon’s outreach to audiences interested in making the world a better place. 

From healthcare technology to community investment, Halcyon’s participating innovators are doing work that affects positive social change. 

So, how do you communicate your work and the impact of organizational programming to the right people?

Ahead of her participation in this month’s DC Communicators event, Measuring the Magic: How to Effectively Measure & Communicate Social Impact, we had the chance to sit down with Nicole to discuss how marketers can best answer this question. 

#1 | Always Have an Ask

“It’s imperative to have a clear call to action when sharing your organization’s work. Whether it’s an email marketing or social media campaign, it’s important to emphasize what you want people to do in your messaging. If your team is having trouble landing on what a campaign’s ask is, it may not be a campaign you need to move forward with developing.” 

“You don’t need to send an email just to do it. You need to send an email because you have something to say,” she advises. “The ask doesn’t have to be the same. In fact, it tends to get boring if it is, but it has to exist.”

#2 | Develop Clear Messaging and Use it Consistently

“If your organization’s marketing outreach is constantly evolving, like at Halcyon, consistency in your messaging is key to communicating effectively,” she said.

“If your asks are changing all the time, and you’re challenging people to meet you on a lot of issues and in a lot of places, everything can’t be complicated,” says Nicole. “To that extent, your underlying messaging should be consistent; the visuals should be consistent, and the language should be familiar.”

Nicole is tasked with speaking on a variety of ventures and their respective industries at any given time. Remaining consistent in the language she uses has been integral in successfully sharing Halcyon’s impact to both internal and external stakeholders.

#3 | Leverage Your Data to Tell a Compelling Story

Metrics and other data-driven key performance indicators (KPIs) are important for monitoring performance, gaining insights and measuring the return on investment on any campaign. But the story those metrics tell is even more valuable when reaching your target audiences.

“I’m all about metrics, too, and think they’re a great tool, but metrics don’t have the same impact that stories do,” Nicole says. 

“I always challenge folks by saying, ‘Your numbers are so compelling; don’t miss out on the opportunity to tell a story at the same time because, unfortunately, as compelling as your numbers are, it’s telling a story that’s actually going to motivate behavior.’ ” 

Nicole Weissman, Director of Communications, Halcyon Tweet

As an organization that operates in social enterprise, business, and the arts, Nicole and her team meet the unique challenge of communicating Halcyon’s varied work head-on.

Join us March 12 to learn more about their work and how Nicole leverages the strength of storytelling, transparency, and data to creatively market their impact on Washington, D.C., and communities around the world.

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