Every semester I review and grade marketing and communications plans that rely almost exclusively on Facebook and Twitter. A friend in direct marketing tells me that more and more nonprofits are forgoing the use of direct mail. Many retailers are suspending their mail-order catalogs and only selling through their website.
I’ve long felt that paper doesn’t get the respect it deserves. And a recent message from an old friend confirms that view.
Andy Hilt and I worked at the American Diabetes Association in the 1990s. In 1999, we organized a petition drive and collected more than 3.15 million signatures. In recognition of their support, we sent an Advocacy Achievement Award on parchment paper to everyone who submitted 100 or more signatures.
Fast forward to 2011. Andy and his mother were eating lunch at Slack’s Hoagie Shack in Springfield, Pennsylvania a couple weeks ago. And posted on the wall, near the cash register, was a framed copy of the Advocacy Achievement Award we presented to Barbara Fine of East Lansdowne, Pennsylvania. Twelve years later!
Think about the number of times that award has been viewed since it was issued in 1999! If Slack’s Hoagie Shack averages just 100 customers a day, that means the award (and our message about finding a cure) has been seen more than 435,000 times. I’m sorry, but Facebook and Twitter just can’t compete with those numbers.
Of course, I’m not suggesting that marketing plans completely forgo the use of social media and online marketing. But if you’re really interested in organizing an effective marketing campaign, you can’t ignore the power of paper – posters, brochures, notecards and more – to reach your audiences.
Filed under: Advocacy, communications, digital, Grassroots, Marketing, Social Media | Tagged: american diabetes association, andy hilt, barbara fine, cure diabetes, east lansdowne, facebook, Grassroots, joseph lamountain, mimi carter, paper, pennsylvania, petition drive, slack's hoagie shack, social media, springfield, Twitter |