Have you heard about “A Quiet Place” yet? If not, where ya been? It’s only one of this year’s top-grossing films, earning more than $50 million in its first weekend and even garnering some Oscar buzz. The premise of this thriller: a family in a post-apocalyptic world must live in silence to avoid being attacked by aliens with super-sensitive hearing. Yes, silence will literally save their lives. Which got me thinking about times when it’s better for nonprofits, or any organization for that matter, to use silence to their advantage. Here are three times when silence is golden:
1. When you have nothing to say
It’s ok not to have an opinion on a popular/trending issue. Fight the urge to conjure up something just to be a part of the conversation. It’s perfectly fine, and preferable, to sit back and be contemplative rather than risk being seen as exploitative or ignorant. Authenticity and humility are hard to fake!
2. When someone else is more qualified to speak
We take this advice to heart. That’s why we build our brand equity through Nonprofit Nuggets which feature other experts in the industry. Providing their insight adds value and communicates that we care enough about our audience to bring them relevant content.
3. When it’s time to listen
I’m regularly reminded to listen twice as much as I speak. Sometimes this is true for organizations too. Nonprofits need to listen to their donors, service recipients and community. Are you building in a feedback loop via surveys, interviews, focus groups or regular check-ins? If not, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to learn your audience’s communication preferences, topics of interest and service preferences. I gave a few tips to creating surveys in a previous blog post you can find here.
So, even in today’s world where everyone has something to say about everything, there’s still room for silence. Though it may not save you from aliens (like my Yorkie, Max), it may save you time, heartache and face with your supporters, prospective donors and even the masses. Shhhhhh! Silence is golden!
Of course, we’d love to HEAR from you. Let us know how we can be of service.
– David Chatham, Senior Marketing Consultant