What's in a Name?
"I think when you're a 70-year-old organization, you can get maybe a little messy and be inconsistent in how you message things," she says. "So this is a much more consistent look to our organization. We've really adopted the color green as part of our identity, so it's really a crisper look and it tells our story in a crisper way."
Though each affiliate handles its own fundraising in its own country, the organization now has a branding manual that all 12 follow within the context of their countries that outlines the scope and use of the brand.
The organization also launched a new Web site on July 1 that introduced the new brand and offers a lot more functionality to involve supporters in its work. For instance, sponsors who visit the site are invited to share their stories and connect with other supporters. The organization also created Twitter and Facebook pages, and is taking a much more integrated approach to its marketing, doing its media buying now through an integrated agency.
"I don't think this organization realized how to leverage the online channel—even something like [search engine optimization (SEO)]," says Pressendo, who joined the organization in September 2008, having previously led the marketing and branding initiatives at the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America. "Our old Web site was not optimized for search. To me, that's probably one of the most elemental, basic things that you need to do to be effective at online marketing.
"For whatever reason, historically, we did not promote our URL in our television advertising," he adds. "Now we do. Historically, I think 20 [percent] to 23 percent of our sponsorships came through the online channel. Now it's up to about 50 percent."
Since its beginnings as China's Children Fund, the primary way individuals have supported the ?organization is through sponsorship of individual children, many times from birth through young adulthood. The organization's major acquisition channel is DRTV, but this year it's planning on changing its media mix. Historically, ?the online channel accounted for 3 percent of its media mix, and it intends to increase that to around 20 percent, including search, SEO, display advertising and social media.