What do you think about when you hear the words “self-care?” For me, I think about taking time out of my super busy work life to rest my brain and refresh my spirit. Going for a long walk with my friends, treating myself to a nice meal (or at least some ice cream), and reading a book instead of a million urgent emails.
Unfortunately, while I’m reading Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban cover-to-cover for the 20th time, those urgent emails are still sitting in my inbox and just getting more urgent with every passing hour. And coming back to a hectic office can very easily undo any good I created during my self-care time. Welcome back! Here’s a dozen fires for you to put out before lunch.
So how can you carve out room for self-care in your life, and not spend that time walking with your friends or eating ice cream thinking about everything you’re supposed to be getting done at your nonprofit?
By creating a strong, effective strategy.
See3 Communications recently sent a survey to our audiences to see how strategy factors into their daily digital communications work. We found that many of the respondents actually don’t have digital strategies; they just, as one respondent so aptly put it, “throw pasta at the wall and hope something sticks.”
Lots of other departments come at them with content that needs to go online ASAP, without time to consider stuff like audiences, budget, or creativity. The tough timelines and lack of empowerment result in negative feelings like stress, job dissatisfaction, and frustration. It’s incredibly hard to decompress and commit to self-care, when you’re already on the verge of boiling over 24/7. Right?
And this is indeed something we’ve seen a lot during our 11 years in business-- nonprofit communication teams of all shapes and sizes come to us when they’ve run out of energy and ideas for throwing around, and want to move their organization forward in a more intentional, less stressful manner. And See3 is there to help by creating effective, comprehensive strategies built around organizational alignment. Here’s an example of how we did that with the BUILD Initiative.
A strong, effective digital strategy helps set up a digital team’s goals, establishes lines of communication and responsibilities between departments, and creates consistency between projects. You’re not reinventing the wheel for every campaign.
Creating a solid digital communications strategy is incredibly hard. It requires buy-in from multiple departments and higher-ups, a strong commitment to implementation, and an understanding from everyone that your team isn’t the fire department -- you can’t be responsible for putting out every single fire. But ultimately it’s worth it. Digital strategies set the parameters for deciding what’s important, and what can wait until the end of this chapter in the book you're reading. Ultimately, a strong digital strategy sets your team up for success, and allows you to enjoy some self-care without worrying about consequences.