How to be Mindful of your Grant Funds while using a Marketing Agency
For organizations affecting positive change in the public sphere, especially those in behavioral and public health (we call them community health organizations), grants are vital to success. Partnering with marketing professionals who know the tips, tricks, and tools to successfully marketing your services is always a worthy use of grant dollars. And, at the same time, it’s also important to be mindful of every grant dollar you have.
You already know the significance of working with an agency that can amplify your work and words with the utmost care and attention. Now let’s dive into how to practice money mindfulness with your grant dollars.
The first step to being mindful about your marketing budget is to stay thoughtful about what projects you send your marketing agency’s way. Even if it doesn’t seem like you have a lot of marketing projects, consider that for every program you offer there’s a piece of information to share. That information then makes the journey from website to social media, to flyers, to posters, to postcards –– and it adds up. Marketers call these individual pieces “collateral.”
While it may be tempting to export all your projects, it’s best to decide what can stay in-house and what you need help with. Focus on the heavy hitters or the big pieces that your agency can create and then provide you with material to repurpose throughout the year. For example, a great project for a marketing agency is building a new website or refreshing your current website. Both of these types of projects produce a ton of material that can be used for multiple pieces of collateral, like social media or even a flyer. Another would be a large brochure containing program information or information on your organization’s mission. Your agency can do the legwork to create a piece that you can break down into smaller bits and use elsewhere.
When working on a project with your marketing agency, collect all feedback on your end before providing it back to the agency. Most marketing agencies bill on an hourly basis. The more times a piece is sent back and forth, the more amount of time will be billed to your organization. Having all necessary conversations with key stakeholders before providing feedback to your marketing agency will save time and money in the long run. Streamlining feedback and revisions will save a tremendous amount of grant funds in the end.
When you’re talking to your marketing agency, consider what you want to do for the year so that you can save funding for those key pieces. An annual event or program that needs to reach as many people as possible is worth reserving some funds for your marketing agency’s help.
Similarly, a little bit of generalized reserve funding for your marketing agency is a good idea too. Given the current climate, we’ve learned it’s impossible to know when or what public or behavioral health issue might need attention. Having a reserve for your agency ensures that you have the power to get this information in front of people.
Discover the Why
Anytime you do start a project with your marketing agency, make sure to consider the “why” behind each marketing piece.
Let’s say that you’re doing a brochure about a key program. Ask, why do you have that program? Why does it exist? Who is it impacting? Who is it helping? Consider these questions before going to your marketing agency so that you can come to the table with a plan. This will help them make the best use of their time so they can hit the ground running.
To recap, the benefit of working with a marketing agency is hiring someone to craft your message and provide a professional, reputable look to your materials. Helping align the way that you talk about yourself helps people trust what you have to say –– and what you have to say is important!
Turning community health messages into movements is our bread and butter. We know the nuances of community health marketing and are always at the ready to help build positive change through creative strategies that are mindful of your budget constraints. Contact us to get the ball rolling.