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DC Ag Communicators - Social Media for Agriculture


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This is a deck that I put together with a colleague of mine at New Media Strategies, Alex Redmond, to present to the DC Ag Communicators -- a group of professional communicators who work on behalf of various agriculture organizations in Washington, DC.

The content is a combination of my personal experience as a digital strategist executing dozens of social media campaigns, as well as my specific experience using social media with my family and their vineyard in Oregon (Bradshaw Vineyards | Willamette Valley, OR).

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DC Ag Communicators - Social Media for Agriculture

  1. 1. © 2009 | New Media Strategies <br />Alex Redmond Leslie Bradshaw <br />Business Development, Mid-Atlantic June 23, 2009 Communications Manager, Public Affairs<br />DC Ag Communicators – Social Media Overview<br />
  2. 2. Making Sense of Social Media: 7 Areas to Focus On<br />Emerging Platforms<br />Wikipedia<br />Blogs<br />Cloud Computing<br />Twitter<br />Media Sharing<br />Social Networks<br />2<br />
  3. 3. Blogs<br />Not “just a blog” – many considerations:<br />Your organization’s blog<br />Influencer blogs<br />Employee blogs<br />Coalition / member blogs<br />Competitor / adversary blogs<br />Permanent, but imperfect – many decisions:<br />Software<br />Engagement strategy<br />Message and positioning<br />Intelligence and tracking<br /> © 2009 | New Media Strategies <br />
  4. 4. Blog Reading Habits of Capitol Hill<br />70%<br />Chiefs of Staff/Deputy Chiefs of Staff/Directors<br />68%<br />Communications Directors/ Press Secretaries<br />47%<br />Legislative Directors/Senior Policy Advisors/Counsel<br />47%<br />Legislative Assistants<br />Legislative Correspondents/Other<br />42%<br />Blogs<br />* Source: National Journal Group, Washington in the Information Age<br />
  5. 5. Local and National Blog Consumption<br />Local Blogs<br />Wonkette<br />42%<br />49%<br />Red State<br />Hotline On Call<br />35%<br />42%<br />Townhall<br />Daily Kos<br />29%<br />39%<br />Local Blogs<br />The Corner<br />24%<br />32%<br />Hotline On Call<br />21%<br />29%<br />Talking Points Memo<br />* Source: National Journal Group, Washington in the Information Age<br />Blogs<br />The Note<br />M. Malkin<br />20%<br />23%<br />
  6. 6. States Have Vibrant Blogospheres, Too<br />Blogs<br />
  7. 7. Logistics<br />
  8. 8. The 6 Steps to Planning and Executing a Digital Campaign<br />Set goals<br />Establish team roles<br />Brand and integrate campaign elements<br />Scope, research, understand task at hand<br />Evaluate and select platforms<br />Document everything<br />
  9. 9. #1 – What Does a Win Look Like?<br />Basic metrics<br />Video views, comments and subscriptions<br />Facebook fans, Wall posts<br />Visitors and link-backs to your site and/or blog<br />Blog and Twitter buzz – quantity and impressions<br />Tonal reaction (positive/negative)<br />Benchmark reports (beginning/end; weekly/monthly)<br />How engaged, lasting, meaningful was the experience? (qual.)<br />Campaign-dependent metrics<br />Units sold<br />Actions taken (e.g., petition, contesting, etc.)<br />Voters, constituents, consumers, students or decision makers influenced<br />Lasting, Google-able resources<br />Launching point for future efforts<br />
  10. 10. photo<br />NMS METHODOLOGY: This is How We Do It<br />AGGREGATE<br />social <br />websites<br />bookmarking<br />ANALYZE<br />blogs<br />message<br />FILTER<br />boards<br />social <br />networks<br />emerging<br />ACTIONABLE INTELLIGENCE<br />platforms<br />video<br />
  11. 11. #2 – Establish Team Roles<br />Team: Community / Communications Management<br />Role: Communicates on behalf of the campaign, under their own name, everywhere online (think: touchy-feely spokesperson); Ensures that message and aesthetics are consistent across entire campaign (on and offline); supports Community & Profile team <br />Involvement: 2 – 3 people <br />Team: Profile Management<br />Role: Populates profiles with content; works with / as Community Managers; maintains and interacts continuously<br />Involvement: 2 – 3 people<br />Team: Metrics, Reporting, Tracking, Innovating<br />Role: Ensures that goals are being set and met; makes recommendations to recalibrate based on results, emerging platforms and new goals<br />Involvement: 3 – 4 people<br />
  12. 12. CHALLENGE: Digital and Geographic Divides<br />Solution: Communications Team<br />Tactic: Point people in DC manage and solicit content from Farmers<br />Solution: Profile Management Team<br />Tactic: Meet with Farmers once a quarter to scope out an approved set of messages and topics; adjust and update as needed<br />Solution: Editorial Calendar<br />Tactic: Create a master calendar for posting to platforms (e.g., blog post, tweets, etc.); receive posts from Farmers via Communications team (need only be emailed; “photo attached” would be great, too); post for / as approved Farmers<br />Solution: Digital Press Events<br />Tactic: Invite bloggers to the farm; encourage photo and video creation; create universal tag so content can be aggregated<br />
  13. 13. 6 Tips: Social Media for Agriculture<br />ON THE FARM CASE STUDY: Leslie’s Family’s Farm<br /> © 2009 | New Media Strategies <br />
  14. 14. DIGITAL PRESS EVENT CASE STUDY: Intel<br />Worked with Intel to invite influential bloggers and media makers onsite to ISEF, resulting in:<br />776 photos on Flickr<br />160 blog posts and tweets <br />Production of nearly 40 YouTube videos <br />20 audio recordings of interviews with attendees<br />Helped manage and organize interested online communities, facilitating new connections<br />Reached over 1.5 million viewers<br />Created lasting online resources and relationships<br />Shifted previous perceptions about Intel and its dedication to education<br />
  15. 15. Specific Platforms<br />
  16. 16. Twitter<br /> © 2009 | New Media Strategies <br /><ul><li>What is it?
  17. 17. Permanency of blogging
  18. 18. Utility of emailing
  19. 19. Sociality of Facebook
  20. 20. Agility of text / IMing
  21. 21. Why join?
  22. 22. Disseminate information
  23. 23. Converse and share
  24. 24. Build a network
  25. 25. Gain insights
  26. 26. Who uses it?
  27. 27. The media
  28. 28. Politicians
  29. 29. C-level executives; decision makers
  30. 30. Brands and organizations
  31. 31. Online influentials</li></li></ul><li>In Fact, Twitter Has Its Own Ecosystem & Economy<br />
  32. 32. Organic Interest:<br /><ul><li> Media & Blog Stories: 7,000+
  33. 33. Twitter Posts: 10,000+</li></ul>Results:<br /><ul><li> 3.8 million Impressions
  34. 34. 55,000 Facebook users
  35. 35. 10,000+ Pledges
  36. 36. 16,000 video views
  37. 37. 100+ blog posts
  38. 38. 1,200 Tweets </li></ul>“The president made an offhand remark making fun of his own bowling that was in no way intended to disparage the Special Olympics.” <br />- Spokesman Bill Burton <br />High-Profile <br />Twitter Placements:<br /><ul><li> John Mayer
  39. 39. Rosalind Wiseman
  40. 40. Chicago Tribune
  41. 41. Fox5 (lead to on-air)</li></ul>“I bowled a 129. … It’s like – it was like Special Olympics, or something.” <br />- President Obama<br />March 19<br />Jay Leno Show<br />March 20<br />Story explodes<br />March 31<br />Special Olympics <br />launches social media campaign with help from NMS<br />TWITTER CASE STUDY: The Special Olympics<br />April 1 - Today<br />Conversation continues…<br />
  42. 42. Social Networks<br /> © 2009 | New Media Strategies <br /><ul><li>What is out there?
  43. 43. Facebook – friends
  44. 44. Twitter – communications
  45. 45. Ning – organizations
  46. 46. LinkedIn – colleagues
  47. 47. MySpace – A & E
  48. 48. MeetUp – offline
  49. 49. So I have a page, now what?
  50. 50. Upload your contacts
  51. 51. Relax the reins
  52. 52. Spark two-way conversations
  53. 53. It’s a garden: plant, water, weed, maintain; repeat.</li></li></ul><li>News Updates<br />Targeted Ads<br />Thousands of Click-Thrus<br />Shared Links<br />Dozens of Wall Posts<br />2,200+ Members<br />Donation Motivation:<br />1 Twitter follower = 100 liters of water<br />1 Facebook member = 100 liters of water<br />FACEBOOK CASE STUDY: ACC / Drinking Water<br />
  54. 54. Media Sharing<br /> © 2009 | New Media Strategies <br />Video – what is out there?<br />YouTube – massive reach<br />Vimeo – customizable<br />Viddler – interactive<br />Photo – what is out there?<br />Flickr – open network<br />SmugMug – closed network<br />Twitter applications – Twitpic, Utterli<br />Why you need it:<br />A picture is worth…<br />Tell your story; create a lasting resource<br />Make it compelling; short and something you’d pass on <br />Create assets to share with on and offline media outlets <br />
  55. 55. “ALL CYLINDERS” CASE STUDY: C-SPAN<br /><ul><li>Transformed their image in the eyes of online influencers and tech communities
  56. 56. Reengaged their core political audience through embeddable video and blogger link-backs
  57. 57. Exchanged their limited advertising budget for social capital, search engine optimization (SEO), brand awareness and historical, lasting resources
  58. 58. 300+ blog placements; 600+ inbound links; millions of online views</li></ul>Blogs<br />Social Networks<br />Twitter<br /> Media Sharing<br />22<br />
  59. 59. Wikipedia<br /> © 2009 | New Media Strategies <br /><ul><li>What are wikis?
  60. 60. Collaborative resource
  61. 61. Relies on “wisdom of the crowds”
  62. 62. Not always accurate, buuuuut…
  63. 63. Read: Here Comes Everybody (Clay Shirky)
  64. 64. Why you need them:
  65. 65. Define the debate at point of research: Wikipedia
  66. 66. Replace internal intranets
  67. 67. Create a puzzle-piece mentality that encourages more participation and knowledge-sharing
  68. 68. Enable easy access
  69. 69. Document evolution and keep definitions dynamic (e.g., of your issue / organization)</li></li></ul><li> © 2009 | New Media Strategies <br />What tools are available?<br />Google Docs <br />Google Reader / RSS<br />Slideshare<br />Delicious<br />YouSendIt<br />TinyURLs (recommended:<br />“Share This”<br />Why you need them:<br />Cost effective ($0)<br />Accessible anywhere<br />Time-saving<br />Searchable; can make public<br />Cloud Computing<br />
  70. 70. <ul><li>What to watch for?
  71. 71. Aggregation (FriendFeed)
  72. 72. Portability (Facebook Connect)
  73. 73. Authentication (OpenID)
  74. 74. Integration (Google Connect)
  75. 75. Mobile (iPhone and BlackBerry apps)
  76. 76. “Life streaming” (Qik, USTREAM)
  77. 77. Status-o-sphere (Facebook, Twitter)
  78. 78. Blogosphere segmentation (state level, interest based)
  79. 79. What will continue to evolve?
  80. 80. Boundaries: Personal / Private / Professional / Organizational
  81. 81. Sharing: Anonymity / Transparency / Intimacy / Translucency
  82. 82. Connectivity: Portable / Integrated / Aggregated / Authenticated</li></ul> © 2009 | New Media Strategies <br />Emerging Platforms<br />
  83. 83. Closing<br />
  84. 84. 5 Things You Can Do Immediately<br /><ul><li>Share content, but not over email. Instead, use a single account on Delicious to store, share and tag relevant stories.
  85. 85. Tips: These can be public or private (just click the “do not share” box). </li></ul> Add unlimited # of tags to help build context. Detailed repository.<br /><ul><li>URL: (also: most stories have multiple “share this” functions)
  86. 86. Build a blogger media list; create an engagement strategy. Identify bloggers most interested in your issues and include them early and often on breaking news, surrogate interviews and other initiatives.
  87. 87. Tips: Treat bloggers like journalists, but don’t expect them to always perform like non-biased reporters. Consider having your surrogate’s blogs link back to the blogs on your list. Reciprocity rules.
  88. 88. URLs: (more results) and (includes authority)
  89. 89. Monitor Twitter. The most instant and social conversations going on about your issues are on Twitter. Blogs lag. Facebook is closed, sometimes blocked.
  90. 90. Tips: On Twitter, you can take immediate action. For key conversers, investigate the Twitterer’s # of followers and if they have a blog. Have a strategy to engage / respond if needed.
  91. 91. URLs: (basic search) & (up to 9 terms at once) </li></li></ul><li>5 Things You Can Do Immediately (cont’d)<br /><ul><li>Place digital Op-Eds with influential blogs. Facing a limited “real estate” issue? Editorial Board uninterested? You can be just as effective by placing a guest post on state and / or national blogs. Once place, pivot back to MSM.
  92. 92. Tips: Have surrogates pen for the web – links, photos and embedded videos are excepted.
  93. 93. Sample sites:Huffington Post, Medical News Today, Health Bolt, My Family Doctor
  94. 94. Have Farmers maintain a daily / weekly “diary.” Basically a blog, but in established communities with lots of activity. More efficient; good workaround.
  95. 95. Tips: If your content is consistent and strong, and you’ve made contacts with the site administrator’s, you can get “front paged” (i.e., have your content featured on the homepage). To build credibility: make sure to comment on posts by others.
  96. 96. URLs for top diary sites: and (right-of-center);, and (left-of-center); (state level and left-of-center)</li></li></ul><li>6 Closing Thoughts<br />Authenticity and transparency rule the day. When you are transparent, you are credible. When you are credible, you maximize your results.<br />Try to workaround, not eliminate. Stuck on Twitter? Try a disclaimer: ‘Tweets from our friends do not necessarily represent the views of’ Unable to access actual site? Use search engines.<br />You get out what you put in. Social media is a like a pet, not furniture. Nurture, don’t walk away.<br />The marketplace is now a conversation.Are you listening, do you have a voice? And like with any conversation, listening is key.<br />It’s a relationship, are you committed? The true value of participating online is in the ability to build lasting, meaningful ties. <br />To make it work in the long run, you need infrastructure. In order to circulate your content and maximize what social media has to offer, you need to have a plan and multiple pathways. Start slow, integrate and don’t over-commit.<br />
  97. 97. © 2009 | New Media Strategies <br />Thank you. Questions?<br />Leslie Bradshaw<br />Blog:<br />LinkedIn:<br />Twitter:<br />Email:<br />Phone: 703-253-0050 x 187<br />Alex Redmond<br />NMS Blog:<br />LinkedIn:<br />Twitter:<br />Email:<br />Phone: 703-253-0050 x 195<br />