#OurWork: NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan Marketing Campaign

Social Marketing and Media Relations Campaign

Working under the aegis of the Nonprofit Marketing 360 collaborative, MKCREATIVE and LCG Communications embarked on an ambitious campaign to promote an online silent auction for a client. We used a combination of PR (LCG Communications) and social marketing (MKC). Our client, NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan, sought to raise funds to continue its fight in preventing New York University from embarking on a multi-billion dollar plan to redevelop parts of Greenwich Village in New York City.

[Read more...]

Facebook To Nonprofits: Pay to Play

If you thought Facebook was a no-cost way to reach out to potential supporters, brace yourself for a big disappointment. According to a Facebook sales presentation published by Ad Age, an organization that wants its posts to be seen by its fans had best buy advertising. Julia Campbell, blogger and social media marketing consultant, commented that Facebook marketers have been telling clients “that if you consistently post great photos, videos, questions and other interactive content, you can reach your fans. This is no longer enough.”

Bottom line: Posts that are not sponsored or promoted are currently seen by less than 15% of your followers. Facebook’s new policy will drive that down further.

Oy, Another Year. Who Knew?

Yes, it’s another year. When 2013 began last January, who could have anticipated that, a mere 12 months later, we would be doing this all over again? Not the news media, apparently, judging from the gusher of year-end reviews and new-year predictions filling our eyes and ears.

Can you stand one more? After thoroughly digesting the most important trends of our times, I confidently predict these developments in 2014:

  • 12 new studies will reveal that Facebook is useful for engaging supporters but lousy at raising money.
  • 11 newly launched social media sites will be greeted euphorically as definitely the next big thing.
  • 10 newly social media sites, after their enthusiastic debuts, will be bought out by Facebook or Google.
  • 9 governmental investigations will determine that Americans willingly share personal information with corporations but are shocked! shocked! that details of their private lives can be recorded by the NSA.
  • 8 blogs will observe that direct mail response is declining.
  • 7 blogs will observe that email direct response rates are declining even faster.
  • 6 research reports will discover that a majority of executive directors don’t trust their development directors and vice versa.
  • 5 golden rings!
  • etc. etc.

Public Service Billboard Has A Hidden Message

Here is one brilliant example of audience targeting. To reach abused children, who may be accompanied by an adult who is also their abuser, a Spanish child advocacy nonprofit has created a billboard on the street with a secret message. Adults see a photograph of a cute boy. But children who are less than 4 feet 5 inches tall  see  a photograph of an abused child (above) and the telephone number of a help line.

Is Google Advertising a Waste of Money?

Google Search

Google Search (Photo credit: Steven Combs)

A study by eBay has concluded that buying keywords in Google Search had negligible effect on its search rankings or its results.  Most people find their way to websites through organic search, with or without advertising,  according to the study. Google earned almost $37 billion in online advertising in 2011 in the U.S. alone.

The report did not speculate on the value of advertising for sites that are not household names such as eBay.

#FUNDRAISING: Causevox Improves Online Outreach & Fundraising To 2.0

Widgets to turn on or off

Easy-to-customize donation pages

We have often sung the praises of the online charity-site platform Causevox. And we do so again as the good folks at Causevox have released a significant series of upgrades and integrations in version 2.0. It moved out of beta last week, allowing any charity or nonprofit to take advantage of the expanding toolbox. This is how the programmers put it last week on the company blog:

We found out that the key to success for online fundraising this decade is easy customization, community engagement, and content marketing. Our existing platform couldn’t accommodate that vision, so we scrapped it and developed, from the ground up, a new and improved CauseVox.

CauseVox 2.0 is our first step to revolutionize online fundraising.

[Read more...]

#HOWTO: Tweak Your Organization’s Facebook Site For Graph Search

Facebook's Graph Search

Help your supporters find your organization on Facebook

Last week we talked about what Facebook’s latest feature, Graph Search, is (Namely, a way to combine keywords, categories, and what friends are saying about them within Facebook) and it is not (Namely, a challenger to Google’s search algorithms across the internet). This week we want to help you and your organization make the most of the new feature by prepping the content you post on Facebook.

First and foremost (and this tweak applies to any images you post on your blog or website, much less your Facebook Timeline), tag your images and identify them. Such terms will show up in people’s searches (both Graph & Google). What else?

[Read more...]

#COMMUNICATIONS: Postal Service Rates To Rise on 27 January

US Postal Service Stamp

Forever stamps still good after the 27th.

We have managed to put off the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ for a couple of months, but we can’t avoid the changes in postal rates coming in a couple of weeks. Thanks to our fine business partners at Ecoprint in Silver Spring, Maryland, for the heads-up! The US Postal Service (USPS) has been on hard times over the last 5-7 years due to the overwhelming presence of email, social networks, and e-fax services. Moreover, the semi-private/ public service is carrying a striking burden of compensation packages for its executives that, frankly, seem to outweigh the performance of the venerable institution. Be that as it may, be prepared for upticks to many of the services. What’s coming at the end of the month?

[Read more...]

#HOWTO: Have A Film Screening As A Fundraising Opportunity

Tugg offers movies of your choiceWe at MKCREATIVEmedia wish you a joyous, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

As the year’s projects and fundraisers and festivals start rolling onto your computer’s calendar, you might be looking for an opportunity to host a one-off event that can bring much-wanted PR, good karma, and even some financial support. How about sponsoring a film screening? The chance for your nonprofit or charity to be a movie mogul, at least for a day, has been made possible by the social/cinema site Tugg. Though currently considered ‘beta,’ Tugg could make hosting a screening of a big-name movie, documentary, or short film so easy that you could host a few each season.

[Read more...]

Outrageous Fortune for Marketers

Bow & Arrow

(Photo credit: ganesha.isis)

Those of us in the marketing profession have taken a few slings and arrows in recent days. First a consumer study commissioned by Adobe found that marketers were held in low esteem by the consuming public. How low? Lower than bankers. Lower than lawyers! Even lower than politicians (ouch!).

Then Forbes takes it one step farther with a column entitled “The End of the Expert: Why No One in Marketing Knows What They’re Doing.”  People trained in the classic ways of advertising and marketing are useless as we transition into digital and social marketing, says the chairman of  Razoo, a digital agency which, we must assume, has achieved pre-eminence by not positioning itself as an expert.

Well, I don’t hold telemarketers and late-night-TV pitchmen in high esteem either. And it’s impossible to be truly expert in a field that experiences a major revolution about every 72 hours. But I think the underlying principle of all marketing – that you put the customer, not the product, at the center of your enterprise – remains valid, even in the digital era.

What do you think?

 

#SOCIALNETWORKS: How To Promote Facebook Posts & Why You Might Not Want To

From a personal blog's experment with Promotions

CecilyK on ‘MomCrunch’ blog says ‘No’

This past summer Facebook launched the opportunity to purchase ‘Promoted Posts’ that − for at least a $5 fee − would be promoted across the Facebookiverse. The more you paid, the more broadly the algorithms (aka ‘magic’) circulated the post. It was hailed by many for- and non-profit organizations as an opportunity to push through the background noise endemic in most people’s timelines to get your words and images out to a larger but (broadly) targeted audience.

We want to show you how to promote a post if you are unfamiliar with the easy process, but we also want to call attention to the fact that many power users are not finding the return on investment that Facebook claims. Is it a case of false advertising, or is Facebook still working out the kinks?

[Read more...]

#COMMUNICATIONS: NFC Means More Than Paying By Mobile Phone

Phone as travel card for the subway

Wave-&-Ride to replace Swipe-&-Ride?

Near Field Communication has been around for a few years now, though the most popular mobile device, the iPhone, does not (yet?) carry the necessary transmitters to take advantage of it. The technology requires its own dedicated chip to send and receive data. Thus far, Google’s Android phones have been taking the lead in the US economy, but one of the more pulsating rumors about the iPhone 5 is whether it will contain said chip. The web consensus seems to be ‘probably not yet’, but as people become ever more aware of what NFC can do, then Apple will surely enter the market.

[Read more...]

#MARKETING: Can Nonprofits Take Advantage Of Pinterest’s Open Platform?

Keep Pinboards organized and relevant for your audienceWe talked about Pinterest last week when we discussed the fact that the social-media platform has been opened to the public, who no longer need to wait for an invitation. The incredible growth of the platform, already the fastest growing social network in the brief history of such networks, is likely only to continue over the next few years. The questions for nonprofits and small businesses should focus on how to think about Pinterest as a tool to reach more donors, volunteers, and customers. In order to answer some of those questions − even to ask the right questions − one must appreciate what Pinterest ‘is’ and get a sense of what current users expect of each other and of the sharing that goes on. We’re here to help with just those questions.

[Read more...]

#NONPROFIT: Some Models Of How Charities Use Tumblr

First Book's call to actionWe’ve sung the praises of Tumblr a number of times on this blog, and today we want to present a few examples and ideas of just how nonprofits are using this free platform as a means to spread the word of their great work. One of the many great things about Tumblr is its simplicity of setup. That said, you don’t want to treat your organization’s efforts simplistically.

First off, you might want to consider Tumblr as your calling card to a larger audience, rather than as a venue for in-depth reports to your committed constituents. Tumblr loves images, quotes, and videos, but few go to their accounts to read long analyses. Your nonprofit definitely should have a place for such detail, but Tumblr might not be that place. How have nonprofits used it?

[Read more...]