How can nonprofit marketers and communicators work effectively with internal clients – team members in other departments with marketing communications projects and needs? What should we consider or address in our processes to make the most of these internal relationships? This is the topic of the October 2015 #NPMC Twitter chat.

Building and nurturing relationships

Relationships with internal clients are very important. In a blog post about communication and planning, consultant Ann Green reminds readers that, “It’s important to remember that you are all working for the same mission. If you distance yourself from each other, you are not doing what’s best for your organization.”

In order to create positive relationships that benefit the organization, nonprofit marketers and communicators should:

  • Show interest in the client’s unique insights
  • Know and understand the client’s position in the organization, including capabilities and limits
  • Share information about their own position
  • Be respectful

In what other ways can nonprofit marketers and communicators build and nurture relationships with internal clients?

Setting expectations

It is extremely important to set expectations when working with internal clients. All parties should have a realistic understanding of what can and will be accomplished, including:

  • Scope of the project and project demands
  • Project timeline
  • Who is involved, who is in charge and who gives final approval
  • Budget
  • Frequency and duration of meetings

One way to set expectations is by writing a creative brief. It covers all aspects of the project and creates a clear picture of the client’s needs.

What other tools can nonprofit marketers and communicators use to set expectations?

Maintaining brand

No matter the size of the organization, it can be a challenge to balance overall brand requirements with the needs and visions of internal clients. Before agreeing to a project, nonprofit marketers and communicators should ask the following questions:  

  • What level of understanding does the client have when it comes to the organization’s brand?
  • How does the project support the organization’s mission, vision and goals?
  • Is the client familiar with the organization’s brand guidelines?

Depending on the answers, it may be necessary to give the client an overview of the organization’s brand and expectations for following it.

What else should be considered to maintain an organization’s brand when working with internal clients?

Let’s talk about working with internal clients at #NPMC chat

What challenges do you encounter when working with internal clients? What can you do to work more effectively and improve the experience? Join the conversation! Share your input during the next  #NPMC Twitter chat Thursday, October 29 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Follow the #NPMC hashtag on Twitter.

Kelly Rembold

Kelly Rembold

Marketing Specialist at Lark Enterprises, Inc.
Kelly Rembold is a nonprofit marketing and communications professional with a passion for storytelling. She is the sales and communication director at Kon-O-Kwee Spencer YMCA, a year-round YMCA camp in Fombell, PA, that offers summer programs, group retreats, and environmental education. Kelly has a background in journalism, and has previously worked as a reporter and editorial assistant for newspapers in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Kelly Rembold