Seth Godin: “Make your annual report cheap and boring”


I read Seth’s blog regularly [in a feed reader!]. Many of his posts affect me like a jolt of caffeine–scratch that–like a good nap, after which I feel refreshed and ready to have good ideas. He just finished up an online chat with the Chronicle:

Question from Alison, large education nonprofit:
    Hi – Any suggestions for an Annual Report as a piece of the marketing picture? What’s a must-do? What mistakes to be avoided?

Seth Godin:
    I would make your annual report boring and cheap and post it online. Then I’d create a storytelling document that is aimed at the vernacular of the people you need to read it [emph added]. Turn it into a pdf and a piece that’s easy to share. Test it and make it spread. No need to conflate the two.

Question from Ashley, Large social-service nonprofit:
    Is there anything no one asked, that you’re shocked we didn’t ask? Or that should have been a top question?

Seth Godin:
    I’m not surprised but disappointed that a lot of the questions were “my boss won’t let me” type questions.

The work you’re doing is so important, so vital and so urgent that to let politics get into the way of spreading your message is just a shame.

My best guess is that this is partly the boss’s fault and partly the culture. In other words, if you go do stuff, small stuff, cheap stuff, storytelling stuff and testing stuff, you not only won’t get in trouble, you’ll get rewarded. hurry!