Optimising communications for charity brand management

Abstract

Human relationships are founded on communication. It is through communications that people establish common meaning and understanding (Duncan, 2002). A brand is fundamentally a mental phenomenon and a result of communication. Thus a brand is indissoluble from communication and each interaction of the brand with an individual also constitutes an act of communication (Jenkinson, 2000). Consistent, coherent and congruent messages have positive effects, while mixed, contradictory or confused messages are dysfunctional, diluting the message or creating negative ideas about the brand. The paper outlines an empirically derived enhanced planning method to achieve the positive effects. The purpose of marketing communication is to add value that benefits both the ‘customers’ and the brand (Yeshin,1998; Duncan, 2002; Fill, 2002). (In this paper, ‘customer’ refers to donors, members and other parties who gain value from the support without being employed by the charity.) The paper draws on research from both the nonprofit/NGO and commercial sectors and explores the practice of communication as a contribution to brand and mission-building within the context of Integrated Marketing, for which a model will be presented. It will therefore explicitly examine communication from a broad perspective, for example, the importance of employee communication and the relation of organisational identity to brand identity. Given the importance of communication, it will then argue that the communications planning and management process needs to operate on a ‘channel neutral’ and ‘integrated’ basis, and that this is so frequently not the case that significant opportunities for improvement exist for most organisations including charities. Indeed our research suggests probable gains in the range of 10–25% performance enhancement. (Despite the fact that charities have become increasingly professional in their marketing, they appear to share most of the problems noted in other sectors.) Indeed, important components in the current canon of marketing practice need significant updating. An outline of an enhanced communications planning method for charity (and other) brand management will then be given, in the context of a model for Integrated Marketing management. For charities, with their special ————— *Correspondence to: Angus Jenkinson, Centre for Integrated Marketing, Luton Business School, Putteridge Bury, Hitchin Road, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU2 8LE, UK. E-mail: angus.jenkinson@luton.ac.uk

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Jenkinson2005OptimisingCF, title={Optimising communications for charity brand management}, author={Angus Jenkinson and Branko Sain and Kevin Bishop}, year={2005} }