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Shaping the Narrative

Only you can shape the story of your company. Consultants, like myself, are hired by organizations to help them direct their thinking and carry out projects that support a theme, a campaign, or an initiative. But my work doesn't go anywhere unless the narrative is clear. That's something an organization needs to have, first and foremost. What are we doing, what's the background, and what's the narrative? From there, we can go in any number of directions. But it starts with organizations knowing who they are.

Entertainment

Think outside your lens, when it comes to entertainment. What feels right for the venue? What feels right for the theme of the night? I did an event for a hospital gala and the theme was “Answering the Call.” I found a band that was comprised of veterans from our armed forces. To me, this made perfect sense. Who better to answer the call than our soldiers? Plus, they could sing and play instruments. The client loved this idea.  That’s an example of thinking deeper about entertainment and letting it jive with the theme. This is how you make people stand out.

There are so many entertainment acts you can choose from. Dancers, wall walkers, people on stilts. These are all amazing artists, but do they fit your event? If you’re doing a casino event, and you want glitz and spectacle, then sure, throw in everything and the kitchen sink. But don’t bring a dancer on if It doesn’t make sense. Everything needs a purpose.

What's your strategy?

For businesses, the stories you tell about your business are essential components of getting eyes on your product and customers to open their wallets. Stories of your employees, stories of your brand, stories of how your company came to be, stories of your product. There are so many ways to bring customers into your unique identity.

What we do at Glitter Corps is a little different. It's more than just a video. It's more than just a tweet or a Facebook post. What we do is create a full-fledged messaging strategy that sets the tone for your materials. Videos, tweets, posts, likes - those are all just tactics that should, at all times, refer back to your strategy. Your strategy guides you. It's your compass. It points you in the right direction and it influences all of your content. Well, it should. You would be surprised how many businesses go into the market without a clearly defined strategy. Sometimes, they still succeed. But by doing this, by going forward without a plan, a business risks losing revenue and not reaching the vast audience that a strategy brings.

What are you saying? Why are you saying it? How are you saying it? What rationale do you have for what you are doing? What's the big idea? What's the focus? Everything you do should come back to the strategy, the purpose, the reason, the message, the rationale. And this should find itself beyond the digital. Your mailing campaigns should align to your strategy. If you are an event company, your banners and displays should all speak to the strategy. Your strategy defines your theme, your messaging, the feeling of your campaign. It's what makes the impact.

Strategy: it all starts there. Drops us a line and let's figure out yours.

 

What Universities Can Do

These are uncertain times. We all recognize this. And nowhere is this sentiment stronger than in the university system. Students worrying about what's going to happen next, students of color wondering how the nation will respond, undocumented students scared they may be deported. Staff who fear they may lose their rights. Veterans who feel pulled in a number of directions. There are many questions. And it's up to universities to be a light out of the darkness.

How can we ease people's worries? How can you bring your university together? This is going to be an ongoing discussion, but here are a few things to consider:

Create content that makes a difference: Hold program discussions with your leadership teams. Create banners that show your are committed to diversity and inclusion. Create videos that show the many voices of your campus community. Offer new programs that make faculty of color feel appreciated. Reach out to your community via social media.

Align your messaging: What are you saying to these students? How are you easing the pain of your staff? How are you creating avenues where your faculty can speak up? What are you doing that will make a difference? Think about you want to say, how you want to say it, and who it is being directed towards. You have to have clearly defined goals and objectives.

Bring people together: It may sound strange, but you will need a strategy to respond to changing times. And that means more than just surveys and tweets. It means getting out there, listening to your community, understanding their concerns, and creating materials that engage them, activate them, and inspire them. Anyone can start a rally. But it takes long-term planning to ensure your message continues to resonate. 

Share Your Stories: What divides us, many times, is that we don't know much about the other person. We see divisions when we should see common ground. We see polar opposites when we are really more alike than we realize. To ease the fears of your students, get them talking to each other. Create forums where students can meet and engage. Branch out into the community outside your campus. Learn what is going on with them. Connect your faculty across departments. Show them that they are not alone in their concerns.

The road ahead is uncertain. But by bringing our voices and experiences together, we can find a way through the changing times. That's what we do, here at Glitter Corps, and we are ready to help.

Universities - Getting the word out

More and more, universities are seeing how necessary it is to have a thriving diversity and inclusion program. But universities must dig deeper, too. They must create communications that show how welcoming they are. They must speak to everyone, not just the students. They must show that they are a university for all, not just a select few.

Faculty

How are you talking to them? How are you creating programming for them? How are you showing them that you're committed to creating a safe, open, and welcoming place for them? What materials are you building that show you are committed to diversity? If I'm looking at your university, and I'm a professor, how do I know yours is a university that will welcome me?

Staff

Your custodial staff, your administration, your behind-the-scenes people -- they deserve to have their stories told. They deserve to know that you have them in mind. You must make them feel part of the community. Heard, valued, and represented. Why? Because they make your university run. because this is what keeps them there. This is what makes them feel passionate about coming to work each day. You want to decrease turnover, then you have to talk to them. You want a dedicated staff? This is how you do it.

Students

Students are the voice of your university. Are you really listening to them? Are you creating materials that speak to their individual needs and identities? And let's go even further. What are you doing about the divides you're seeing? How are you having the tough conversations? What programs are you putting in place? Do they feel like their story is being told? How are you celebrating every group? Veterans, students of color, religious groups, LGBT groups. When we have our stories told, when we try to open the lines of communication, then we succeed.

Alumni

Do they know what you're doing on campus? Do they know you just opened that LGBTQ Center? Do they know what programs you offer? Engage them. Reach out to them. Celebrate their achievements as much as you do your own. Tell their story, too. The result: a lifelong donor. Stories lead to engagement. Engagement leads to connection. Connection leads to increased giving.

Connecting with these four groups will go a long way in building community, increasing donor dollars, bringing kids to your school, and keeping your staff happy. Want to know more? Talk to us.