If you were writing the next Great American Novel, you would be in one of two categories.
You would either be a plotter or pantser.
While both of those terms sound vaguely insulting an inappropriate, they both have a lot to do with what you as an environmental organization should be doing.
Plotters are outline people.
They use the lessons we all learned in high school English. Plotters know their writing path from start to finish, and all the checkpoints in between.
Pantsers write with only their creative gut as a guide.
They sit down to a blinking cursor on a blank page, their idea, and charge ahead.
There are pluses and minuses to both, and every writer will tell you their way is clearly the best way.
What does this have to do with your environmental organization?
If you have a green business or environmental organization, you are inherently devoted to communicating your mission to your followers.
While admittedly, you are probably a step or two away from the great American novel, you still choose to either plot or pants it.
A good communications strategy will plot out your major steps through the year and how you’ll use all the tools you have to achieve your goals.
But the copywriter you use to execute those plans will probably utilize elements of both plotting and pantsing.
You see, in green communications, there are elements that are both scientific (speaking to those plotters) and creative (reaching more of your pantsing crowd).
This means you have to be both purposeful and reactionary, both analytical and artistic.
Although, pantser copywrtiters take warning: if you don’t do any sort of plotting you’ll miss a slew of opportunities.
Where do you begin to plot out your year in communications?
Like with a lot of endeavors, there are a thousand and one ways to do this.
But, if you commit to being a plotter, with a sprinkling of panster-type aha moments thrown in throughout the year, the calendar is a great place to start.
Take March, for instance. There are eight calendar days just in March devoted to the environment.
If you’re a general green business or save-the-planet-type nonprofit, you can start with World Wildlife Day on March 3rd and end with World Water Day on March 22nd, focusing on how your organization or business supports these international cause-awareness days.
Or, you can pick one of the environmental calendar days that speaks to your specific organization and plan an entire communications campaign around it.
Emails, Facebook posts, new acquisition funnels, guest blogs, interviews with experts that you then post on your website and all your social media sites, direct mail fundraising letters, photo contests that bring in new visitors… the list goes on.
Wikipedia lists 46 “environmental calendar days,” and those are just the easy pickings. Our year is made up of creative and analytical inspiration at every turn.
Choose one of these days, or a handful of them, and run with it. Call a staff meeting, or put a jar by the communal coffee pot asking for ideas on how to engage your prospects and donors surrounding these days.
Do as I say, not as I do…
I’ll be honest, this blog is a bit of a panster-only strategy. (*Cringe*)
An idea strikes, I see something interesting, I learn something relevant, my personal deadline approaches and I simply point and choose… somehow I get an idea out.
But I’m a freelancer with freedom, a one-person business. Yet even so, my communications methods and messages are consistent.
A green business, environmental nonprofit or organization needs to be a bit more deliberate.
Coordinating communication strategy across all your mediums will bring you the most returns. Your prospects and donors will eventually learn to hear the fine little tune that makes you unique, that makes you rise above the rest. And they’ll reward you for it by being loyal.
There are benefits to being both a plotter and a panster.
But save your spontaneous moments for your personal life, and your business will thank you for it.