Best of Beth Dunn

For several years now, I have written about nonprofits, small businesses, and artists.

As a former Director of Communications and Technology at the regional arts agency for Cape Cod and, prior to that, Director of Communications at the premier family theater on Cape Cod, I know first-hand about the challenges faced by small, medium, and large businesses and organizations when trying to market themselves, build their audiences, and achieve their goals.

It’s not easy. But there are tools and resources that can help.  I try to cover them here.

I’ve also worked one-on-one and in small groups with individual artists, helping them acquire the business skills and personal confidence they need to support themselves as artists.  Often, I find that the tools offered by the world of “social media,” or “new media,” provides businesses, nonprofits, and artists with a solid foundation of effective, creative, and low-cost marketing and community-building tools.

I’ve created and presented courses on these topics, and have coordinated speaker series that bring experts on these topics directly to local business owners and artists, helping them make these tools work for them in their daily lives.

What follows are some of the posts that people tell me are the most helpful to them on these topics.  If you’re looking for something in particular, let me know at [at] gmail [dot] com.

Good Things from Google for Nonprofits

A summary of the many useful tools Google offers that can help nonprofits get work done. All the products are free, or mostly-free, and technologically simple to use and administer.

A Wrench for Every Nut

A guide to orienting your nonprofit’s social media efforts toward solving the most pressing needs of your organization, so that social media makes your life easier, not harder.

Blogging to Advance Your Core Mission

A quick list of five reasons your organization might want to maintain a blog.  Links to other excellent discussions of the pros and cons of blogging.

Donor Acquisition and the Human Element

A discussion of the ways in which social media is replacing and improving on direct mail as a way of building lasting, human relationships with donors.

Blogging for the Hearts of Donors

An overview of the findings of a recent report by Dr. Nora Barnes at the Center for Marketing Research at UMASS Dartmouth, including how nonprofits are outpacing Fortune 500 companies in the effective use of social media tools such as blogs, podcasts, and social networks like Facebook and Twitter.  Links to an outstanding interview of Dr. Barnes by author and technologist Shel Israel.

Artists Break Rules

On how artists and cultural organizations can succeed by bending and sometimes breaking the “rules” of PR and marketing.

Microsoft Office Live Small Business for Artists

One way that artists can create a highly functional website — complete with online shopping — using simple, user-friendly tools from Microsoft.

What Artists Really Want

Syllabus for a class I have taught on PR, marketing, and new media for artists. Includes traditional topics like How to Write an Artist’s Bio and How to Write an Effective Press Release, as well as more advanced topics like blogging, virtual worlds, and podcasting. To see the class blog for the most recent versions of this class, click here or here.

An Artyr for the Cause

Coverage of the reaction to the Boston Foundation’s controversial report on the state of the cultural community in Massachusetts. Also includes my summary and analysis of the report.

Missing your favorite post? Wish I would create a post on a certain topic? Let me know at [at] gmail [dot] com.