11 Ways to Promote Literacy in 2011

It’s 2011 and to celebrate, I’m sharing 11 of my top tips to market and promote literacy! These tips are for literacy organizations, programs and other non-profits who focus on literacy.

1. Tweet! – Don’t have a Twitter account yet? Get one – and learn how to use it. Follow other literacy programs. Ask your members to follow you. Don’t just ask for donations in tweets. (In fact, I’d say never ask for donations via Twitter, but that’s just me.) Interact, retweet, have fun.

2. Get a Facebook page – Ask your members to like your page. Post notes, learner success stories, policy news and other tidbits of interest for those who are fans of what you’re doing.

3. Get business cards for your staff – Cards have been used for both personal and business use for over a century now. I am amazed how many literacy programs don’t have cards for their staff. Really, you can’t afford not to have business cards for the people who work for you.

4. Update your website – Are you still using a website that you can’t update yourself? You want a crisp, clean looking site that uses a content management system that allows you to update your site yourself. Remember to use your logo and “brand” your website.

5. Get a YouTube Channel – Post slideshows, “how to” videos, learner success stories and testimonials. Video is part of 21st century marketing. YouTube has an excellent program for nonprofits that’s worth checking out.

6. Collect stories and testimonials – Get learners to share their success stories using audio or video. Use their stories on your website and YouTube channel. Collect one learner testimonial per month and by the end of the year you will have a dozen success stories that will help you promote the good work you do.

7. Set marketing goals – If you can collect one testimonial per month, by the end of the year, you have twelve. What else can you do every month to promote literacy? Set specific, measurable and realistic goals, share them, post them and refer back to them throughout the year.

8. Accept donations and membership fees on line – If you’re not already accepting donations using PayPal or some other online method, now is the time to set it up. Have links from your website. People should be able to join your organization or make a donation with the click of the button. Build it and they will come.

9. Connect with local authors to promote literacy. Collaborate with local authors / bookstores for reading events. At least every other month have the event in your space to get people through your door. Authors can do book signings and read from their books. Sell books and share the revenue.

10. Plan a celebration of learning and literacy – Showcase the success of your learners. Invite funders, members and supporters of your organization and local politicians who champion literacy. Send out press releases and get it catered.

11. Take an asset-based approach to marketing – Focus on the good work you’re doing, the positive impact your work is making and the resources you have. Find creative ways to highlight your successes.


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If you are interested in booking me (Sarah Eaton) for a presentation, keynote or workshop (either live or via webinar) contact me at sarahelaineeaton (at) gmail.com. Please visit my speaking page, too.

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