Last week, we participated in our annual Tri-Adathon event. Tri-Adathon is a partnership between Catral Doyle creative co., Welke Group, and Clear Verve in which all three agencies shut down for an entire day to provide pro-bono work for Southeastern Wisconsin charities. The result was an amazing assortment of invitations, posters, logos, tag lines, radio spots, and marketing/PR plans. And, although we were EXTREMELY tired after getting only a couple of hours of sleep on Friday morning, it is definitely worth it when we present the work to a group of organizations that do so much good for our community.
At Clear Verve, we selected a lot of marketing plan and PR plan projects and did less design work this year. One comment we kept hearing as we presented our finished work was that it was good for the organizations to get a fresh perspective. We all get into habits, and sometimes it is hard to generate new ideas when you are trying to solve the same problems over and over again. Sometimes, our suggestions seemed pretty simple and we wondered if our ideas would be rejected as “too obvious” when they were presented. Instead, we found that the nonprofit usually had a “V-8″ moment. You know, one of those moments where you realize something and feel like you should have seen it before.
So, how can you avoid this trap? One of the best things to do is get an outside persepective. We know many nonprofits can’t afford to hire an outside agency, even with a nonprofit discount. That’s why we participate in Tri-Adathon. Unfortunately, not everyone can benefit from Tri-Adathon. This year, we received about 120 applications, and selected 32 nonprofits between the three agencies. If your organization can’t afford to hire someone to get an outside perspective, and can’t benefit from Tri-Adathon, here are some ways you can get new ideas:
- Ask a family member or friend look at your materials. Don’t tell them what you’re trying to communicate. Older kids are great for this.
- Put together a marketing committee or group of volunteers who can review projects for you
- Approach a local university and inquire if there is small business/organization resource center, internship program or class that could be approached to provide an outside perspective
- Ask yourself how every project ties back to your mission
- Keep things simple. Don’t try to communicate too much with your copy points and visuals. You have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention so keeping messages simple will help you get a cross what you need more effectively.
We are working on a video highlighting our Tri-Adathon experience and will share it soon. Thank you to all involved in this year’s Tri-Adathon!