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What We Learned in 2015

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What We Learned in 2015

What We Learned in 2016 -- WhyWhisper Collective

2015 was an exciting year! We worked to expand access to integrative healthcare for communities in need, designed programs to support new mothers, expanded awareness of clean energy initiatives in New York, and so much more. We connected with inspiring individuals who are working to change the world every day. We made big internal changes (that we’re excited to share with you in 2016!). And, perhaps most importantly, we learned a lot.

Along the way, we’ve been sure to share many of our takeaways with you via our blog. As 2015 comes to a close and you’re kicking of 2016, be sure to check out the posts below to find insights on the subjects (both personal and professional) that are most relevant to you!

Start with Yourself

This year, we learned a lot about the importance of taking time for self-care and self-improvement. The positive effects of taking care of yourself extend to all areas of your life -- from mental health to workplace effectiveness. Self-improvement looks different for each individual, and can encompass anything from taking time off, to making more responsible purchasing decisions, to educating yourself about things that matter to you. To help you get started, here’s some of what we’ve learned:

 

Learn from the Experts

We believe one of the best ways to learn about social impact is by example. This year, we’ve been lucky enough to connect with and learn from innovative and effective leaders from nonprofits, social enterprises, and corporations. Here’s a bit of what we’ve learned:

 

Share Your Message

One of our focus areas at WhyWhisper is helping nonprofits and socially conscious businesses spread the word about their work. From developing voice and messaging guidelines to implementing an effective social media strategy and beyond, there are so many ways you can ensure that people know about the impact you’re making. If you’re looking for tips, start here:

 

Think About Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

The concept of building social impact into existing business models is on the rise, and we couldn’t be more excited about it. Businesses and corporations can make significant headway in addressing social issues, and we look forward to seeing (and helping) more of you follow suit next year. If you’re interested in learning more about CSR, here’s some of what we’ve shared this past year:

 

Increase Your Impact

We’re constantly exploring ways that organizations and businesses can make internal changes that have a positive effect on their workplaces and on the world. Here’s some of what we’ve learned:

 

Take Action

We’re also always looking for ways to help our community bridge the gap between caring about a particular issue and actually taking action. When you’re short on resources, or don’t really know where to get started, it can be tough to make moves. We’ve put together a number of posts about how you can take action around different issues – and some are as easy as talking about the issues online! Check them out:

 

Words of Wisdom for Freelancers

At WhyWhisper, we set out to build a different kind of work structure. As such, our team is comprised of consultants who work remotely and independently, taking on projects that are personally meaningful with teammates who support and inspire. But freelancing has its own challenges, and we’ve learned a lot along the way:

What’s your biggest learning from 2015? We’d love to hear about it, and share with our community. Here’s how to get in touch:

Happy New Year to our incredible community! We’re so lucky to learn from you every day, and can’t wait for all that we’ll do together this year. Feel free to connect with us anytime – we love to hear from you.

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6 Resources for Staying Informed About CSR

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6 Resources for Staying Informed About CSR

by Kate Vandeveld

The corporate social responsibility (CSR) landscape is constantly evolving and expanding. Just when you think you have some kind of grasp on what’s happening in the space, a new idea arises or a new program launches that changes the game, even if just slightly. It’s amazing to watch the space grow, knowing that impact is being made with each new idea or program.

If you’re as into learning about CSR as we are, you may be looking for resources that will help you stay in the loop as the space evolves. Here are some of our favorites: 

Websites / Blogs / Reports

B Corps

B Corporations, generally known as B Corps, are for-profit companies that have been certified as meeting certain standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. With over 1,400 businesses certified, to date, the B Corps website acts as a great resource for finding businesses with a substantive focus on CSR. The B Corps blog provides information about individual businesses and their leaders, as well as tips and advice, covering topics like how to be the best boss in the world and how top-performing B Corps improve their impact. B Corps also offers annual reports on their status and progress, which are great resources for monitoring B Corps impact.  

CSRWire

The Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire, or CSRWire, is a great resource on the latest news, views and reports in corporate social responsibility. The CSRWire blog is a collaborative effort, featuring posts by CSR experts and thought leaders that go live every few days. The topics are varied and interesting, ranging from the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the importance of involving youth in the conversation around social and environmental impact. They also provide reports on social responsibility from a variety of sources, so you can get a comprehensive look at the status of the space.

Business for Social Responsibility

Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) is a non-profit business network and consultancy that is dedicated to sustainability, and working with businesses to create a just and sustainable world. Their blog, case studies, and reports all act as valuable resources for those who are interested in CSR. They also organize an annual conference in which people and businesses from all over the world come together to share ideas and expertise on social responsibility in business. This year’s is coming up next week in San Francisco

 

Twitter Chats

#CSRchat

#CSRchats are bi-weekly Twitter conversations centered around various CSR-related topics. These conversations were started by Susan McPherson, founder of McPherson Strategies, a communications consultancy focused on the intersection of brands and social good. Each discussion features a special guest from an organization involved in CSR. These chats aim to increase awareness of different CSR initiatives and foster discussion around relevant issues. Find out about the next one and be sure to mark your calendar!

Triple Pundit

Triple Pundit is an online publication (and certified B Corps!) that focuses on the connection between people, planet, and profit. Their website is a valuable CSR resource, and their Twitter chats cover a wealth of related topics and issues. To stay current, follow them on Twitter and contribute to conversations. We also recommend that you subscribe to their newsletter!

 

Podcasts

The Corporate Social Responsibility Podcast

In this podcast, David Yosifon, a corporate law scholar who focuses on CSR, examines different elements of social responsibility through interviews and discussions with experts and thought leaders in the field.  With seventeen episodes available, to date, the podcast covers topics like human rights and corporate tax ethics. If you’re into podcasts and CSR, be sure to check this one out.

 

Do you have a resource that you use to stay up-to-date on CSR? Share with us! Let’s help each other stay in the loop and make progress. Here’s how you can share:

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How to Implement an Effective Content Strategy

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How to Implement an Effective Content Strategy

by Kate Vandeveld

As marketers, we’re all about developing and implementing effective content strategies. While we agree with Bill Gates that “content is king,” we also know that great content is nothing without a great strategy to promote it.

How to Implement an Effective Content Strategy -- WhyWhisper Collective

Effective content strategies vary based on a number of elements – a business or organization’s mission, audience, and goals, to name a few. Critical components typically include, but are not limited to: a website, social media, a newsletter, and a blog.

But no matter what your content strategy looks like, there are certain things you can and should do to ensure its effectiveness. Here are our tips: 

Know Your Audience

When you’re developing your brand’s content strategy, it’s crucial to know your audience. And we’re not just talking basic demographics – take the time to look into their interests, the types of media they most frequently engage with, and their purchasing habits. The more you know about your target audience, the better you can tailor your content to their interests and needs.

Establish Goals

Before you get started, think about what you’re trying to accomplish.  Do you want to grow your following? Are you hoping to increase engagement? Looking to boost sales? When you take the time to establish your goals from the start, you can build your content strategy around them.

Develop a Voice

We’ve talked about the importance of honing in on your brand’s voice before developing and sharing social media content, but this advice really applies across the board. If you want to create a brand personality that your target audience can relate to, take the time to think through how you want to speak to them. Is your brand’s voice informal and colloquial? More professional? What kinds of words and phrases do you want to use, and which do you want to avoid? Think it through – it will make a noticeable difference.

Be Consistent

When it comes to content strategy, consistency is key. Come up with a schedule for each element of your strategy, so you can be sure to deliver content at regular intervals. Messaging consistency is equally as important. When you put out a blog post, share it on social media and in your newsletter, if possible. If you update your website to reflect a change in brand positioning, do the same across all platforms.

Monitor & Adjust Accordingly

Once you’ve put the time into getting to know your audience, setting goals, developing a voice, and coming up with a plan for consistency, it’s time to monitor your strategy. Look at metrics and pay attention to engagement across all elements of your strategy. Then comes the most important part: Use what you learn to make adjustments to your strategy. Change messaging or timing, share more or less frequently. Try new tactics and pay attention to the response. Use the first few months after implementing a new strategy as a testing period – your strategy will be stronger for it.


No matter what your brand or organization, if you take the time to do these things when you’re developing and implementing your brand’s content strategy, it will be well worth it.

What are your personal tips and tricks for content strategy? Share with us! Let’s help each other be the best we can be. Here’s how you can share:

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5 Reasons Why You Should Be Blogging

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5 Reasons Why You Should Be Blogging

by Kate Vandeveld

For many individuals, blogging is a hobby – an outlet for sharing their activities, insights, and passions with the world. But for businesses and organizations, blogs are valuable marketing tools that can make a big difference in terms of brand awareness and credibility. We know it’s a little bit meta to blog about the importance of blogging, but we want to make sure you know why it’s so crucial.

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Blogging via WhyWhisper Collective

Here are five reasons why your business or organization should consider developing a blog:

Blogging improves SEO

When you strategize around your business or organization’s website, search engine optimization (SEO) is likely top of mind. And when it comes to SEO, blogging can make a huge difference in your results. Here’s why: The more often your website is updated with fresh content, the more likely it is to be picked up by search engines. For most businesses and organizations, basic website content isn’t very dynamic, as most elements (your mission, team, and contact information, for example) don’t change often. Developing a blog will give you the opportunity to continually create and share new content, which will improve your search rankings. The inclusion of relevant (i.e. your mission and services) will also help you to get picked up by search engines. Again, without this dynamic content, keyword integration opportunities are limited, and your search engine results may remain stagnant.

 

Blogging gives you a platform for sharing important information

Social media is a great outlet for sharing your organization’s updates and news. But on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, conciseness is key (if not necessary), and content is fleeting. Blogs, on the other hand, give you a place where you can talk about what your business or organization is working on in greater detail. Whether you’re sharing information about an upcoming event, expert advice on a topic relevant to your industry, or the results of a recent project or campaign, you can provide your followers with important information that will keep them coming back. Plus, if you share content that will be useful indefinitely, you can refer back to the blog post repeatedly. 

 

Blogging provides fodder for engagement & relationship-building

Is there an organization or individual in your industry with whom you would like to connect, but you don’t have a warm lead? Blog about them! Or at the very least, share with them one of your posts that you think they would find interesting. Reaching out to someone you don’t know without a reason is daunting, and often unsuccessful. By sharing relevant information with them, you’ll not only make the connection you’re hoping for – you’ll also prove your value as a partner. And if you really admire their work, you can use your blog to share information about them with your own following, which is even more valuable.

Blogging also gives your brand a voice, and encourages individuals to get to know you on a deeper, more personal level. By creating that additional connection, you will set yourself apart from other similar brands, and turn your followers into customers or brand ambassadors.

 

Blogging allows you to establish thought leadership

When deciding whether or not to engage with your brand, other businesses and individuals want to be sure that you are a credible expert in your field. One of the best ways to do that is simply by sharing your knowledge and expertise on subjects that are relevant to your industry. Think of topics that you would want to know about if you weren’t already an expert, and share the insights that you’ve gained through your own experiences and research. A blog is the perfect platform for establishing yourself or your business as a thought leader in your space.

 

Blogging drives traffic to your website

Because you’ll be using your blog to share exciting news and expert knowledge about topics relevant to your industry, your content will probably be a very popular element of your digital offering. When you blog, you can supplement links to the stagnant information available on your website, which people will only click on once or twice to get the information that they need. As a result, sharing your dynamic blog content will likely lead to an increase in click-throughs and subsequent website traffic. People want to click on information that is both new and valuable to them, and blogging opens up countless opportunities for you to provide it.

 

So if you haven’t already started a blog, it might be time to consider it. No matter your organizational goals, blogging can serve as a valuable element of your marketing strategy.

Already have a blog? What does your organization blog about? Share with us, and we’ll pass it along to our followers! Here’s how:

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