by just being kids, and particularly the consequences of having these undetected concussions, he had now identified a vast and motivated audience for his solution: parents, youth leaders and pediatricians. Now the idea could rise above the noise to succeed or, better still, expand the attention around sports concussions into an even bigger and more important arena. His corporation, Brains Worldwide, and foundation, the Brains Worldwide Foundation, are both going strong. In another case with a less ideal ending, Starbucks launched its #RaceTogether campaign in early 2015, printing a #RaceTogether message on its cups to encourage discussions about race and diversity. Except Starbucks employees were not trained or prepared to facilitate these kinds of conversations successfully, and the agenda didn’t ring true for customers. The campaign quickly backfired as a blatant effort by a corporation to cash in on a diversity trend. Not only did the campaign fail, it created anger among the company’s customers. One of the world’s most successful crowd- funders, documentary filmmaker Jeff Hays, makes the effort to identify a large group of aligned and motivated supporters before he begins a project. For example, parents aligned around immunizations, or a community of people who fight diabetes will be natural pro- ponents of his documentaries and programs on those topics. By determining who they are in advance and compiling a strong list, he can ensure robust momentum from the moment his projects begin. He’s achieved six con- secutive winning campaigns so far that have raised $1.5 million to address his causes. How clear is your message? Will the value proposition be clear to your audience? Will they understand exactly what they need to do and by when in order to participate? If it’s an ongoing need or program, like annually recycling old toys or sponsoring a water buffalo for a poor family, do you have a means to keep your audience informed and involved? What means do you provide

for them to share their participation, to help them feel good about what they’ve done, as well as to enrich the accomplishment even further by inviting others? Think these messages through in advance. What’s the motivation for your selected au- dience to respond? Although a program may inspire interest and devotion among listeners, what will inspire and motivate them to get on board and respond? For example, a campaign to raise funds for long-term education may be unspecific enough to be an uphill climb for a crowdfunding campaign, but it will work better if there is an urgent and compelling reason for a targeted audience to respond. A program called DLYTE is succeeding by allowing participants to contribute to causes that they choose while making purchases they were already planning at their accustomed businesses and stores. In other cases, campaigns succeed because the need is sufficiently specific and urgent (emergency medical care that could succeed in saving a life, for example) that respondents realize the need to act quickly. What’s your plan for execution? How will the program play out over time? And how will you communicate the outcome to participants? In a crowdfund campaign, consider the crowdfund page as a permanent record that you can continue to update with the program’s status and progress, even after your campaign has ended. Or, in some cases, successful campaigners have created program URLs that allow them to segue naturally from one campaign to another, to align and continue the energy from each campaign and to ensure that anyone who’s missed the initial campaign can still join in later on as they reach the tipping point and are ready to engage. Remember, in any sales process it often takes multiple touch points. Social selling experts talk about six contacts before a recipient acts, but for some businesses it may take as many as 27 touches before an audience member is ready to get up and engage. You can shorten the cycle by being very targeted, testing your own motivations, communicating very clearly, and providing sufficient urgency and motivation for respondents to join. By paying careful attention to each of these five principles, you will significantly increase the chances that your campaign will succeed. Cheryl Snapp Conner is founder of SnappConner PR, developer of the Content University program for helping entrepreneurs and executives learn to excel in thought leadership. Content University’s first online sessions began January 2016.

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