Marketing and Visibility at Boston Area Gleaners
Marketing and Visibility
All public-facing and promotional materials released should be consistent and intentionally designed. Having a consistent identity helps build a reliable impression of the organization in the eyes of the public and all supporters. To facilitate this, the Boston Area Gleaners Style Guide features a rundown of brand fonts, colors, logos, and layouts that should be used. BAG shares all branding resources, including fonts and logos, in the shared organizational drive for easy access.
The glossary is an internal documentation, intended to be used by staff and board members to communicate with BAG programs and work externally. The words included in the glossary are ones commonly used when speaking about BAG, such as “local,” “sustainable,” and “accessible” to name a few. This is a working document that was started by the second-year AmeriCorps member to help with public facing materials, and also help facilitate conversations about the mission and organizational clarity with internal staff.
FLYERS AND PHYSICAL MARKETING
Flyers can be a great way to get physical visibility out in the community. Current and past flyers are stored in the shared “Outreach and Communications” folder on the BAG server, and new ones can be designed in the offseason. (See “Volunteer Relations” for more information on flyering and physical marketing).
The Boston Area Gleaners website is one of the first ways that much of the public interacts with the organization. Many volunteers, donors, and prospective collaborators will discover the organization through web searches and links from other sites. As such, the website aims to tell the most current story of the organization’s work in a high-level, introductory manner, and should easily route folks to the ways that they can take action—donating, volunteering, participating in fundraisers, and following on social media.
Social media is the most frequent communication medium BAG uses. Canva is an extremely useful tool for creating quick graphics for social media—particularly infographics and promotional material. Social media is also used at times for short-term promoting of volunteer projects.
NEWSLETTER AND BLOG
BAG’s blog and newsletter are mediums where more long-form posts, stories, and engagement can happen. The blog is updated regularly—at least monthly. It might include reflections penned by staff, volunteers, and board members, partner spotlights, or shorter more fun content like recipes, poems, and photography. The newsletter is sent out to constituents once a month and will link to these blog posts, as well as include a number of other features about current events at BAG. Mainly, it is intended to tell the story of what was achieved together this past month, and what ways can supporters can take action in the coming month. A short opening narrative and brief, digestible statistics on produce recovered might lead, followed by promotions for fundraisers and events, pictures, and other resources to share.
CREDITING PARTNERS AND SUPPORTERS
Using communications channels to thank collaborators and supporters is an important way to maintain and strengthen partnerships in the community. Collaborating local farms, agencies, volunteers, donors, and funders are all putting their energy towards enacting BAG’s mission, so give them credit for the impacts that they made possible. Rather than saying “Thank you for helping us rescue or distribute x pounds,” keep the focus on them: “Your generous support enabled x pounds of produce to be distributed to the community!” A good partnership goes both ways, and telling a partner’s story is also a great way to properly recognize them individually and thank them for all the work they do in the community—not just the work they do directly with BAG. We also want to be careful, however, of using excessive passive language in external communications.
Forms of partner recognition through communications channels can include:
- Spotlights on social media & blog posts: For top volunteers, new and old partner farmers & agencies, and funders (with a focus on the direct impact of their funds). Be sure to tag any group with the proper social media handle so that followers can visit their account.
- Instagram stories. This format can be used to recognize other groups’ shout-outs to BAG. When an agency or farm posts about a collaboration with the Gleaners, an IG story is a great way to repost that and thank them back for their partnership. We also keep a list of partners/peers on our Instagram page as a highlight, to be accessed at any time.
- Monthly featured funder on newsletter. Every month, one of BAG’s larger funders is recognized at the end of the newsletter with a personalized ‘thank you.’
- Listings on BAG website. BAG keeps a running list of partner farms, partner agencies, and contributing funders on the website, with appropriate links.
For more information on external communications, see “Creating a Communications Plan.”