3. Strengthen Your Team
A rollout is a chance to re-align and re-invigorate your staff and leadership. It’s a time when you can be both reflective and forward looking. Acknowledge everyone’s hard work and get them on the same page about the ‘why’ mentioned above. Be clear about the benefits and upsides of the changes and how it helps accomplish your mission.
A rollout lets you recalibrate internal expectations and reset goals and priorities. It can be an effective campaign to rally around, reinforce your team culture, and get everyone pushing in the same direction.
Remember, your team is passionate about your cause. Help them be as enthused about the changes and pumped about sharing the rollout with their wider circles.
4. Deepen Commitment From the Board
Likely, your board approved the project that you’re rolling out. They want to see the results and know how the choices they make propel your mission.
Your rollout can be a place where the board can be more engaged without having to get involved in day-to-day operations. You might even hold a preview event where you walk the board through the strategic goals and the benefits of the new assets.
Get your board involved in planning the rollout. It should feel like an event that board members resonate with. They should be proud to promote this aspect of your work.
5. Provide ROI for Funders
Nonprofits often use non-restricted funds from generous organizations such as foundations and family offices as well as individual large donors. We’ve often worked with organizations that specifically asked funders to support their rebrand and website redesign.
Whether or not your funders contributed to the digital hub or rebrand, involving them in the rollout gives you a chance to present tangible results. The rollout is an opportunity to demonstrate how funding helps you reach your goals and create impact. Remind your funders of the ‘why’ behind the rollout and remember to ask them to promote your rollout as part of your awareness campaign.
If your action center is designed to create and activate a community of grassroots supporters that you couldn’t previously connect with, your funders will want to know. If it allows supporters to deepen their advocacy efforts on your behalf, your funders are going to be interested. Your accomplishments are their return on investment.
A Rare Opportunity to Toot Your Own Horn
We understand that it can feel awkward to self-promote. Most organizations prefer to focus on the causes, people, and communities they serve, rather than themselves. That humility usually makes sense. But a rollout is an exception.
A rollout shouldn’t scream, “Look at us!”. Instead, it should say, “Look at what we created to further our cause!”. Your digital hub and even your brand has inherent value. It expresses your mission, communicates your cause, and highlights your solutions. Let everyone know how your new assets move your mission forward and drive the results you want to create.
Below are some strategies to employ to make your rollout awareness campaign as effective as possible.
Meet People Where They Are
If your target audience members are diehard email-openers, build your entire campaign launch over that channel. If you’re promoting your rollout more broadly, you might want to plan successive pushes across email, newsletters, blog posts, phone calls, and social media over the course of three to four weeks.
Include as many audiences as possible to have the greatest effect. This is one time where overcommunication can be a good thing.
Reach out to alternative audiences that you might not typically consider during an awareness campaign. Your local Economic Development agency and business organizations you belong to might be interested in posting a short article about your rollout.
These are places where you couldn’t normally promote your company or organization, but an announcement in their newsletter or on their blog could be an exception that shines a light on you and attracts new people to your cause.
You might have the Founder or CEO reach out directly with a “letter from the CEO” style email. You could produce a short video about what’s next for your organization. Or, set up a series of calls or a video conference with partner organizations and talk them through how your new tools can help accomplish the goals you’re collectively working to reach.
Grab the Opportunity and Run With It
Your rollout is a chance to build momentum. Hopefully, you don’t rebrand, launch a new website, or activate an action center very often. Plan how you’re going to promote it, how to get everyone involved, and what message you want to convey.
Make sure there’s a blog post and/or accessible newsletter about the change so that future partners and supporters can read about your strategy well after the rollout.
How you structure your rollout campaign is up to you. Just be sure to make a big splash and capitalize on the effort it took to make important and significant changes in your organization.
Cross Your T’s and Dot Your I’s
Remember to audit your digital presence across all platforms and external-facing materials and make sure they’re up to date prior to the rollout. It can be jarring for people to find an old logo on your LinkedIn page because you forgot to change it.
You signal the importance of this change by making sure everything – and we mean everything – that could be updated with your new visual brand does so. Be sure to take these steps.
Make a list of all places – digital and physical – that your former brand appears
Plan to change these two to three days before launch
Update your bio across any and all social media platforms
Change out any new messaging or taglines
Take Advantage of Analytics
It’s easy to forget about website performance. You want to know how your new site or action center is performing. Be sure to set up and review that data. Remember to capture the data for six to twelve months prior to the launch.
If you don’t have analytics connected to your site, do so the minute you start your rebrand or redesign project. That will at least give you a recent snapshot of activity to compare against.
You should wait four to six weeks to feel comfortable identifying patterns in user behavior following your campaign launch, and expect to see a more reliable plateau of user experience after two to three months.
You only get one shot at making this new impression. Make it grand.
Remember, your rollout isn’t really about the shiny new brand, or the cool interactions on the website or action center — though those things are fun and worth mentioning for the sheer joy of them. It’s about how these things are going to help grow sales, scale your impact, and make change.
Create a big splash and seize the moment. That’s how you can transform a quiet launch into a motivational campaign that galvanizes your entire ecosystem and kicks off an expansive new chapter for your organization.