Message is the Medium


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Slides from "The Message is the Medium" workshop for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Slides based on Beth Kanter's work for NTEN's We Are Media.

Game cards and scenarios from the workshop can be found at:

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  • Ask yourself What you want to accomplish with social media. Describe how your social media objective supports or links to a goal in your organization’s communications plan. Set objectives based on a clear understanding of how social media changes the feedback loop between your organization and stakeholders. The key thing that is different with setting a social media objective is that it is not about reaching a mass audience and blasting your message out, it is more about reaching the influencers, developing relationships, having a conversation, and getting insights.
  • Example of specific goal that meets the SMART test.
  • What social media tools are they currently using? If they congregate in certain online locales, what are they talking about in relation to your brand/goals/issues/competitors? Describe these things based on secondary research, direct observation, or primary research. What additional research do you need to do to learn about your target audience’s online social behavior or their understanding/perceptions about your organization or issues? As with any marketing effort, the first step to success is identifying who your organization wants to reach and find out how they are using social media. There is more and more audience research for users of particular social media tools and a lot of it is free. It pays to spend a few hours reviewing the demographic or “technographic” details (what people are doing online). While secondary research may help inform what general direction you may want to go in, there is no substitute for primary research. And while surveys, focus groups and other services can give you an analysis of what your current audience is doing online, direct observation works best. For instance, if you are considering a Facebook profile, before you set up an organizational presence - spend some time searching to see if anyone has set up a Fan Page or Group to talk about your organization or issue area. Or, if you are considering a blog, find out who the key bloggers are in your topic area. This will allow you to observe what your audience is saying in their natural environment. Some social media strategists call this step “listening” and it is essential first step in developing your social media strategy. Resources Beth Kanter, “ Ten Free Resources for Social Media Audience Research for Nonprofits Jeremiah Owyang, Social Network Sites Use Analysis - Compilation of Research Facts Josh Bernhoff, Social Technographics 2008
  • Technograpics This is a chart from Forrester research – where they look at what people do on the social web – across different age categories . As you can see the tools we’re going to look at today appeal to different age categories And, it may surprise you but the demographics of social networking sites is aging – and not all kids are using all tools. What's interesting is why some people don't use social networks.  The study respondents said their main problems were: privacy, time and just not seeing the point.  These stats are older than the slide we showed previously noting growth in boomer participation in the last year. It’s important to keep in mind - you don’t want to invest time in networks if your audience is not there. But you also don’t want to be scrambling to catch up when they do get there.
  • 10K responses in the first day – in 2006! But it wasn’t JUST an ad campaign in the tube.
  • When you participate in social media, include the goal of driving people back to your website. Why? Because you want them to *do* something – you are cultivating a ladder of engagement. Be sure and drive them to the specific page on your website where they can take an action, such as signing up for your e-newsletter or donating, or learning something you want them to know. If your website or blog is not of the quality you want it to be, you need to focus on that before launching a social media campaign. You can start listening and network building right away, but don’t try to drive massive traffic to your website if there’s not much to see or do there.
  • Engaging in social media requires a shift in perspective from talk to conversation. As you begin to think about a social media strategy, you need to understand that although it will compiment your overall marketing and communication strategy, it needs to be different because of the conversational dynamic.
  • Those of you who run Senior Corps programs should be interested in this. The orange shows 2008, the blue shows 2009. For each online activity there is a slight increase among the Gen Y population, but a very large increase among the so-called Baby Boomer population.
  • Now that are computers and data can be connected via the Internet, we are witnessing a social layer – and it is challenging our assumptions of everything and here’s why
  • [1] [2]
  • Two parts to the campaign: Tweet something you are thankful for and include the tag #tweetsgiving in your post. Give $10. WHY IT WORKED (From Avi Simple. The Epic Cause mission is actually kind of convoluted. It takes 4 bullet points to explain on their site. Epic Change - you donate, they aggregate and loan the money to orgs that want to make community change. They work with the orgs to create repayment structures, and then reinvest. But the ask was wicked simple. Give $10 and by a brick to build a school in Tanzania. Important for two reasons - it made it easy for people to give, and it made it easy for them to spread the word. “Have you given your brick yet?” Relevance The Thankskigivng tie-in really worked to make it timely and urgent, without seeming doom and gloom. It was also a very short campaign - just 2 days. So folks knew it wouldn’t last forever. Evangelists They recruited a few folks to act as evangelists ahead of time, but it happened pretty organically. Things REALLY took off when Chris Brogan tweeted about the campaign. Twitter Part of their success is rooted in the enthusiasm of Twitter uers. People who LOVE Twitter, REALLY LOVE Twitter. I would suspect that there were moany folks evangelizing as much because they wanted to see Twitter succeed as a fudnraising tool as they were invested in the campaign. Recognition This is a key part to social media. Unlike other communications tools, it’s VERY conversational. So when someone does something nice for you, they expect, nay deserve an immediate thank you. Just like if they handed you $5 on the street. The Tweetsgiving staff worked really hard to thank donors, give them special recognition on their site, etc. WHY IT WORKED (From my observation) Authenticity The folks who started tweeting this, especially the tweet from Chris Brogan, really meant it! And the campaign was designed to let people express real, personal feelings. This whole campaign was rooted in FEELINGS, which you can’t fake. CHALLENGES Recognition This was a challenge - thanking 364 donors is one thing, but engaging with over 3,000 people tweeting their thanks, encouraging others to give, etc. was really hard. Also - they wanted a way to recognize donors at different levels, etc., which they did not do because they had not planned ahead. Data Collection The campaign drew in lots of first time donors to the organization. But the Chip In Widget they used did not collect a lot of data. They just threw it up without thinking it through enough. “For Tweetsgiving I’d have liked to collect name, twitter username, url, email, address, recopied gratitude tweet if the donation was $10 or more, what you want displayed in the Top Turkey section as your name if you are giving $100 or more, and a checkbox for Epic Change newsletter subscription.” Automation There are lots of things that the campaign could have automated - reciprocal tweets to followers, posting of donors to their web site. The challenge in the next iteration will be automating what they can without losing their authenticity, personalization.
  • It’s like the cocktail party analogy. You don’t just walk up to someone and make a pitch. But you might make sure they have your contact info and they know what your passion is before the conversation breaks up. You show genuine interest in them. You can be authentic and be strategic at the same time. You are not going to abandon your existing marketing and communications plan, strategy, and tactics. Instead you want to enhance it with this new method of engaging your stakeholders, clients, and potential clients.
  • Holly Listening: Knowing what is being said online about your organization and the field you work in. You can listen with google alerts, technorati, twitter, and RSS readers. Key skill is pattern analysis. Link listening and analysis to decisions or actions. About 5 hours a week once you learn how to use the tools and make listening a daily habit.  (5 hours per week) Participate: Is joining the conversation with your audience. By making a human connection with people online, you can influence their perception of your brand and help them find meaningful, relevant ways to support your mission. Tools to help you participate are Twitter and Co-Comment.  You can also participate vicariously through bloggers by encouraging them to write about your organization.  (10 hours per week - also includes listening tasks as they go hand-in-hand) Generate Buzz: Your raising your organizations profile and spreading awareness of your organization's programs or campaigns. What happens is that you share your message with enthusiastic supporters and they in turn may choose to pass it to others with a similar a interest in your organization or campaign. But first, you have to build trust, credibility and -- most importantly -- a relationship with those who might interact with your posted content.  Buzz tools include FriendFeed, Twitter, StumbleUpon, and Digg - and of course you add many others to this category.  (10-15 hours per week - also includes some listening tasks) Share Your Story: You share the impact of your organization's programs through blogging, podcasting, sharing photos on Flickr, or YouTube or other video sharing site.  Once you have content created through these methods, it can be easily shared using the buzz tools above through social networks.   But even better is getting your constituents to share their stories about your organization with others (which takes more time) (15-20 per week depending on the type of content, number of different ways you're creating it, and skill) Community Building and Social Networking: You build relationships online community, engage people and inspire them to take an action, or raise money using social networks and apps. If you want to build an online community for knowledge or skill sharing, using social network tools like Ning or LinkedIN will help you get there. If you're looking to engage and inspire new supporters, setting up an organizational presence on one of the larger social networks like Facebook or MySpace is the best step. Finally, consider how you can mix in fundraising.  (20 plus hours a week)
  • Is joining the conversation with your audience. By making a human connection with people online, you can influence their perception of your brand and help them find meaningful, relevant ways to support your mission. Tools to help you participate are Twitter and Co-Comment.  You can also participate vicariously through bloggers by encouraging them to write about your organization.  (10 hours per week - also includes listening tasks as they go hand-in-hand)
  • Message is the Medium

    1. 1. Message and the Medium: How We Tell Our Story and Get it Heard
    2. 2. <ul><li>Mission first. Set goals that you can tie to your mission. </li></ul><ul><li>There is no such thing as “the public.” Focus on target audiences.  </li></ul><ul><li>Self-interest drives action.  Put it out the way they will take it in. </li></ul><ul><li>Research, research, research.  Evaluate and adjust. </li></ul><ul><li>The new rules of Social Media . Talk less, listen more. </li></ul>Objectives
    3. 3. <ul><li>Mission  Organizational Goals  Communications Goals </li></ul><ul><li>The communications department must work with all other areas of the organization to best serve the mission. </li></ul> Mission
    4. 4. <ul><li>What do you want to accomplish with your campaign? </li></ul><ul><li>Describe how your objective supports or links to a specific goal from your organization’s communications plan </li></ul> Objective
    5. 5. Goal Setting IQ Test
    6. 6. To draw political attention to ongoing genocide in Darfur by delivering 1 million postcards to be sent to Obama within his first 100 days in office
    7. 7. <ul><li>Who must you reach with your communications efforts to meet your objective? Why this target group? </li></ul><ul><li>Is this a target group identified in your organization’s communications plan? </li></ul><ul><li>What do they know or believe about your organization or issue? What will resonate with them? </li></ul><ul><li>What key points do you want to make with your audience? </li></ul> Audience
    8. 8. <ul><li>How do you best motivate your audience…. </li></ul><ul><li>Where you’ve reached them? </li></ul> Self Interest
    9. 9. What are they doing online? Offline?
    10. 10. <ul><li>Is our message simple? </li></ul><ul><li>Are we breaking patterns of thought? </li></ul><ul><li>Do we become trapped in the Curse of Knowledge? </li></ul><ul><li>Are we credible? </li></ul><ul><li>Do we utilize emotions effectively? </li></ul><ul><li>Will our stories move people to act? </li></ul>The Right Message
    11. 11. The right message in the right place at the right time.
    12. 12. Audience Objective One Way Email Direct Mail Ads Social Listening Conversation Connecting Homebase Web Site It All Works Together
    13. 13. What is Social Media? Using the Internet to instantly collaborate, share information, and have a conversation about ideas and causes we care about. What is Social Media?
    14. 14. Powered by ..
    15. 15. It is a conversation between people
    16. 16. Supporters
    17. 17. Clients
    18. 18. Audiences
    19. 19. Donors
    20. 20. And those donors too!
    21. 21. Brand in control One way / Delivering a message Repeating the message Focused on the brand Educating Organization creates content Audience in control Two way / Being a part of a conversation Adapting the message/ beta Focused on the audience / Adding value Influencing, involving User created content / Co-creation TALK CONVERSATIONS Source: Slide 10 from &quot; What's Next In Media ?&quot; by Neil Perkin Some Differences in Tactics
    22. 22. Not Controlled
    23. 23. Not Organized
    24. 24. Not On Message
    25. 25. 184 million bloggers 73% of active online users have read a blog 45% have started their own blog 57% have joined a social network 55% have uploaded photos 83% have watched video clips 39% subscribe to an RSS feed Source : Universal McCann Comparative Study on Social Media Trends April 2008
    26. 26. Not everyone is a social media user
    27. 28. Broadly speaking, the top 1,000 media sites fall into two categories Online Media Publisher Media Social Media
    28. 29. <ul><li>Social Media took the lion’s share of the 2.1 trillion page views made at the top 1k media sites last year, nearly doubling 2007 PV volume </li></ul>Share of all page views at the Top 1,000 Media sites, December 2007 – 2008 2008 Page View Share Publisher Media Social Media
    29. 30. Welcome to the Social World
    30. 34. <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>$10,000 </li></ul><ul><li>48 hours </li></ul><ul><li>364 donations </li></ul><ul><li>3,000 gratitude tweets </li></ul><ul><li>40% from twitter + 30% direct visits + 9% search + 6% Facebook and StumbleUpon = 85% of all visits </li></ul>Case Study in Buzz
    31. 35. How do we balance conversation and talk?
    32. 36. Build Buzz Share Your Story Listen & Participate Build Community Tactical Approaches
    33. 37. Listening is knowing what is being said online about your organization and your field.
    34. 38. Listening leads to participation
    35. 39. <ul><li>Who is empowered to respond and in what circumstances? </li></ul><ul><li>How will you address negative comments or perceptions? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the goal of your participation? </li></ul>Participation
    36. 40. <ul><li>They’ve paid you a compliment </li></ul><ul><li>Valid client complaint </li></ul><ul><li>If information is incorrect </li></ul><ul><li>If you have something of value to offer </li></ul><ul><li>Trolls </li></ul><ul><li>Competitors </li></ul><ul><li>Not you </li></ul>Less about tools, more about technique Respond Don’t Respond
    37. 41. <ul><li>Acceptable Use </li></ul><ul><li>Business Voice and Personal Voice </li></ul><ul><li>Coordination with communications, HR, legal, and IT </li></ul><ul><li>Management tolerance, participation, endorsement </li></ul><ul><li>Safe zones for experimentation </li></ul><ul><li>Balance &quot;quick and candid&quot; with &quot;thoughtful and professional” </li></ul>Organizational Development Concerns
    38. 42. We Are Media Project: The Social Media Starter Kit for Nonprofits Visit the WeAreMedia wiki for additional resources and to connect with other nonprofit social media practitioners via Funded by the Surdna Foundation