Pioneers Post
the business
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  • user warning: UPDATE command denied to user '408302_semagad'@'10.40.200.50' for table 'cache_filter' query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<h4><strong>THE CHALLENGE</strong></h4>\n<p>Trading for social return - being a social enterprise - has certainly become fashionable as politicians and government rally to the cause. But the words and the good intentions are obscured by confusion of what social enterprise is and the limited understanding of the diverse ways in which they operate. This means you may have an even harder job of promoting your organisation\'s work. As opposed to traditional businesses, you are probably operating in a field where there are many interested parties in what you do. In other words people who benefit from your projects - potential funders, local authorities and customers who purchase your products. So how can you promote yourself efficiently to such a diverse audience in an environment still prone to confusion?</p>\n<h4><strong>AM I A LABEL?</strong></h4>\n<p>I have worked closely in the social enterprise community for a long time, and regularly meet people in the position of being able to support these entrepreneurs as an extension of what they do. This includes bankers, council staff, business advisers, funders and a whole host of other people. My heart drops when, almost without exception, these people greet me with the question, \'What exactly is a social enterprise?\'</p>\n<p>Instead of answering, I ask them to tell me what they think it is. My worry is that often their perception is that social enterprises are worthy though inefficient, well meaning but impractical, and not clear about what it is they are actually trying to achieve.</p>\n<p>Keep in mind these people may be influential to the success of your social enterprise. It is vital you help break this cycle of misunderstanding, by moving away from the abstract concept of social enterprise. Instead, focus on articulating your social contribution to people\'s lives, the environment and so forth.</p>\n<p>The most successful social enterprises are known for what social transformation they have contributed to, not who they are as an organisation.</p>\n<h4><strong>SO HOW DO I DO IT?</strong></h4>\n<p>Keep it simple, keep it short, and make it powerful. Take your marketing seriously and allocate appropriate budget when possible. You need to be clear about who you are targeting. For example, a client of mine wanted to attract young people to attend their support programmes and I advised them to focus their messages on what the benefits to their lives would be. However, when the same client was trying to get a local authority to commission their training programme they were required to also develop new messages about how they met local youth strategies and priorities.</p>\n<p>Long, convoluted messages on your website about what you are trying to achieve as an organisation and what kind of social enterprise you are will not be as relevant to your customers and potential supporters as \'what\'s in it for them\'.</p>\n', created = 1511252908, expire = 1511339308, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:ccc5ccc10a9c6788fc0378e5b5f92ca7' in /mnt/stor2-wc1-dfw1/408302/www.socialenterpriselive.com/web/content/includes/cache.inc on line 109.
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Business surgery: Marketing

21 December 2009

Dealing with confusion, ensuring influential people understand you and being clear and simple with language - they're all about getting the message across, says Tamara Pekelman, business adviser at Business Link in London

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