Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Case for a Creative Workflow

The Case for a Creative Work Flow

Many smaller nonprofits don’t always have a solid process for the creative workflow. Perhaps the smaller staff size creates the illusion that a process is not needed.

My career has been dependent on developing a solid process for the creative workflow. I have not experienced the push-back you sometimes get at larger organizations, in fact my colleagues like being involved in communications that feature their voice.

Document Your Media Outreach
For an event in which we participated last spring I wrote a Creative Brief, but I called it an Event Brief. This was new and everyone felt it helpful.

It saved me time explaining to partners and colleagues the what, why, when, and how of that outreach event.

A week later I created a Media Brief for a drive-time radio appearance that included our Executive Director and myself. That simple 3-page document gave the station DJ an overview of our organization and its mission, as well as listing talking points for our interview segment. The Executive Director, a dynamic, busy woman, was appreciative that we had a “script” going into the spot.

Be Ready to Pounce When Opportunity Knocks
Two weeks after that another media opportunity occurred. During Baltimore’s unrest in April of 2015 we made a carefully considered decision to suspend meal deliveries for safety’s sake. 

A group of staff and volunteers made their own decision to deliver meals, their commitment to clients trumped personal safety concerns. This was in the neighborhood that saw the most media attention in April’s unrest.

Paul Gessler from Fox45 News in Baltimore, heard about this and wanted to do a news story about the dedication of our volunteers and staff.

A Media Brief was issued in advance, an overview of the delivery route, phone numbers and e-mail addresses of pertinent contacts. That document saved me so much time and was a great way to get people up to speed on the filming effort.

It Takes as Long as Making a Cup of Joe
By creating a written document, you will not only have captured a history of the efforts, your contacts in the media will appreciate the added information. Remember, they are often in a scramble to shoot, interview and edit their piece on the tightest of deadlines.

It is really a team effort, don’t ask—What can this media contact do for us, but what can we accomplish together?

Here is the link to the news piece:

If you would like a copy of the Media Brief, drop me an e-mail at or leave a comment.

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