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The easiest thing to do with Rachel, Joel, and Kelley is to simply drop them into the ongoing communication stream you send to everyone every month—to treat them as a mere silhouette, someone who looks just like nearly everyone else on file, not as a face with some unique identifying features.

A far better approach is to follow up their overtures of interest by initiating a few, simple communication pieces that can be highly tailored to the persona, and leveraged across everyone else who shares the same characteristic.

For example, if you were sitting down for coffee with Rachel, and she told you she had just heard about your organization but didn’t know much more than you present on your website, what would you tell her? What would be so important that you risk repeating? What would be essential for her to know beyond what the website presents?

If your path crossed with Joel’s, a recent “customer” of your organization, what would be valuable for him to know as a customer and prospective donor? Did he feel his experience was appreciated? What would have made it better? And wouldn’t you want him to know that he isn’t alone—that many others are experiencing a similar benefit?

If Kelley turned out to be a personal friend, what would you tell her the next time you met? Would you ask her a question about the content she downloaded? Perhaps you would invite her to an upcoming event where she could learn more about her area of interest.

It doesn’t take much effort to identify a handful of core personas—people who share a common relationship or experience with your organization. Those relationships and experiences offer a foundation for focused conversation—a welcome packet, an email exchange, a survey and follow-up, a video message, a phone call, or any number of other vehicles you could use to invite further engagement.

It’s hard to initiate meaningful dialogue when everyone looks like a shadow. But shine a little light on the subject, and shadows become faces with identifying features…and soon you recognize them as people who have reached out for a meaningful connection with you.

What personas are represented across your organization? Left alone, they will inevitably remain a name and address in the shadows. But with a little effort, you may discover that silhouette a lot to offer . They have a heart for what you do and are waiting to be invited into a deeper level of relationship and involvement.

A silhouette in the shadows? Or a face you recognize and appreciate—who soon becomes a friend and supporter? It’s your choice.

Contact us to learn about your organizations personas.