#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.

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Social Media Make Inroads in All Age Groups

Want to reach somebody under 30? The latest Pew Internet and American Life Project says 83% of them are using social media. While this may not shock you,  it may surprise you that two-thirds of all adult Internet users are partaking of social media – including 52% in ages 50-64 and nearly one-third of the age 55+ cohort. Facebook continues to be the 800-pound gorilla, with 67% of all users, followed by Twitter (16%), Pinterest (15%),Instagram (13%) and Tumblr (6%). The study also breaks out the demographics for each social medium’s users.

Big Bird Soars to Social Media Victory

Big Bird
Big Bird (Photo credit: LR_PTY)

While we wait for the final vote count, a clear early winner of the 2012 campaign season is Big Bird. When Republican candidate Mitt Romney promised to “fire” the friendly Muppet by cutting off funding to PBS, Twitter exploded with messages of support for the bird. It was a communications crisis – and opportunity – for Sesame Workshop, who played it perfectly and in character with an initial response the following day.

Big Bird: My bed time is usually 7:45, but I was really tired yesterday and fell asleep at 7! Did I miss anything last night?

Sesame Workshops subsequent responses make n excellent case study for successful  “newsjacking.” Blogger Christina Sirabian extracts three lessons for social media marketers.

#HOWTO: Customize & Brand Your Twitter Account

MKCREATIVEmedia's Twitter account
Don't simply accept Twitter's defaults

Twitter is perhaps the go-to social-networking site for anyone looking to share interesting information, tawdry gossip, breaking news, or knee-jerk reactions. Nonprofits should not only be using Twitter to broadcast their own pertinent information about their current successes and their upcoming events but also to share similar information about the efforts of their peers. Even more so than Facebook, Twitter can turn a pithy announcement into a viral retweet.

Content is certainly king, so don’t simply slap down the occasional message just to keep your tweet stream trickling. That said, your organization’s tweets are competing against 400 million others every day. How are you going to stand out from the crowd? For one thing, don’t simply accept the generic colors and designs that Twitter offers its members. Let’s see how to brand your Twitter account with your colors and logo.

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#SOCIALNETWORKS: Twitter Continues To Expand Through Mobile Devices

Mobile phones and Twitter go great togetherThe Pew Internet and American Life Project has brought us valuable statistics and reported notable trends in internet use over the years, and a recent report focused on the growing use of Twitter as a means of social networking. Twitter could be described as a social networking platform that punches above its weight class. Twitter turned six this past March, and by its own accounts has some 140 million users sending some 340 million tweets a day. For the sake of comparison, Facebook has over 900 million.

Yet Twitter’s political and cultural impact is almost equivalent, even if it has only 15.5% as many users. Note the ‘Arab Spring’ as a ‘Twitter Revolution.’ How does Twitter have such an oversized geopolitical impact? The same reason local nonprofits should be developing a presence on the social network.

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#INTERVIEW: Chris Forbes, Co-Author of Guerrilla Marketing for Nonprofits, Offers Great Advice to Groups

Chris Forbes Guerilla Marketing PhotoChris Forbes is the co-author of Guerrilla Marketing for Nonprofits and a certified guerrilla-marketing coach. His varied background in marketing includes experience in the faith sector and work on five continents, and he has pioneered several media initiatives in public relations, television, radio and the Internet. The interview was conducted by Don Akchin, a principal of Nonprofit Marketing 360 and a frequent contributor to the MKCREATIVE blog.

NPM360: What drew you to the marketing field?

CHRIS: I grew up in a marketing family. My mom had a product-administration service and worked with grocery stores and established networks with, say, free samples of food. When I was 14, she wanted me to dress up as Twinkie the Kid in a big foam-rubber costume to pass out Twinkies. When I was 15, she wanted me to dress up as Freddy the Fresh Guy from Wonder Bread. Then at 16, she asked me to be the Planter’s Peanut guy, but you have to wear leotards for that costume. I drew the line there.

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#HOWTO: Time Those Tweets To Test And Build Impact

Schedule your social-media posts for maximum effectEarlier this week we introduced and reviewed a few social-media dashboards to help tame your organization’s streams of updates pouring in. Many platforms (like Hootsuite, TweetDeck, and SproutSocial) also offer the ability to schedule a series of tweets to go out over days, weeks, or months. This feature is obviously handy if your charity has a similar message or link that it wants to send on a regular basis (enter it once, schedule it for Tuesdays over the next month, done!).

But how does that timing feature work, and how could your nonprofit use it to your advantage?

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#SM4NP: Beware Not Of SM But Of SM Snake Oil & Silver Bullets

Getting hyped by the social media juggernaut
Should you? Must you?

If we aren’t careful, we might be entranced to believe social-media networking platforms have been around for quite a while. I mean, if Facebook is valued at $5 billion in its Initial Public Auction, then surely it’s a tried-and-true company that still has room to grow. Right?

Before you jump over to your E*Trade account, you might ask yourself “What has Facebook (or Twitter, for that matter) done for me?” That query, if you are a nonprofit or a small business, can be tricky to answer, unless you started with a plan and with some measurable goals that can be stood next to what you have in fact done. And sometimes, what you want done can get a nice push from social media but social media won’t necessarily do the heavy hauling. And that’s ok!

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#Inteview: Amy Eisenstein, Fundraising Consultant and Author of 50 Asks in 50 Weeks

Amy Eisenstein PhotoAmy Eisenstein is a “no nonsense” fundraising consultant for local and national nonprofits. She is the author of 50 Asks in 50 Weeks: A Guide to Better Fundraising for Your Small Development Shop. The interview was conducted by Don Akchin, a principal of Nonprofit Marketing 360 and a frequent contributor to the MKCREATIVE blog.

NPM360: Your book is targeted specifically to small shops. Is that because you have a particular affinity for them, or they need more help?

AMY: The big shops invest in training, in all sorts of specialists and consultants, so even though they’re often struggling as well, they have more resources to put into development. But I have to say that most nonprofits in this country are operating with small shops, with very few exceptions. The universities, hospitals and a few national nonprofits have more than three development staff members, but a large majority of the nonprofits in our country and around the world have sometimes no paid development professionals, and usually one, or maybe two if they’re lucky. So yes, that’s why I targeted small shops. They need a lot of help.

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#Interview: Nicole Harrison is the founder of SocialNicole.com and host of #nptalk

Nicole Harrison is the founder of SocialNicole, a Minneapolis agency that provides online and social media communications services for businesses and nonprofits. She is also the host of a weekly Twitter chat about nonprofits, #NPTalk. The interview was conducted by Don Akchin, a principal of Nonprofit Marketing 360 and a frequent contributor to the MKCREATIVE blog.

NPM360: Does your agency provide only online services?

NICOLE: Actually, no. What you see on our website is pretty much geared towards online, but we’re actually doing some strategic on-the-ground fundraising help for small nonprofits, such as sponsorships and building their base. A lot of clients come for social media but they need all these other pieces as well. We try to offer solutions and help them see how these different pieces tie together.

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#Communications: Fine Tune Twitter Use To Enrich Outreach

The Twitter Bird Offers A Profitable ROIThe idea of using Twitter can overwhelm some, and how to use it as a smart tool for strategic engagement seems downright contradictory to many. Yet as the social-networking platform matures – Rather, as the people who use it explore that myriad ways to make it work for them – an ever growing number of provable strategies are being developed. A significant part of what can bring success to your nonprofit or small business is not simply the adoption of the platform, but the honing of the strategy that makes that makes it work for you.

One of the leaders of  the use of social media in the business and nonprofit world is Brian Solis, whose most recent book is Engage! Revised and Updated: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web. Brian has also shared some of his most successful tactics in a recent article in FastCompany magazine – and we want you to be aware of some of them.

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#Interview: Mike Kujawski, VP at CEPSM, Blogger & Speaker on Social Media

Mike Kujawski is Vice President of Strategic Marketing & Digital Engagement at the Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing (CEPSM). Mike blogs at Public Sector Marketing 2.0, speaks frequently on social media and serves public sector and non-profit clients internationally. The interview was conducted by Don Akchin, a principal of Nonprofit Marketing 360 and a frequent contributor to the MKCREATIVEnonprofit blog.

NPM360: I noticed that you deal not only with nonprofits but the public sector. Do they have the same kind of problems?

MIKE: No, definitely different, but there is this common theme of wanting to do social good – not pushing a product or service down people’s throats with the sole aim of making money. There’s a difference between a nonprofit of five people, with one person wearing multiple hats, and a government organization with multi-million dollar budgets, of course. It’s like night and day. But when you look at the individuals, the actual people involved in running the programs and services, there is much less difference.

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#SocialMedia: Turns Out, Twitter Can Start Revolutions Mr. Gladwell

What a difference a year can make – not always for the better, mind you. But in today’s post we see grounds for optimism when it comes to the development of social networks and of social movements through those networks as they force political and economic change.

Last fall we wrote about the incisive and incendiary thesis of Malcom Gladwell, who wrote in The New Yorker magazine that social media gives us an inflated sense of social and political engagement when, in fact, little changes. His argument was that though social networks are critical for social change those networks must be personal, not virtual, and the ‘friends’ must be willing to put themselves in a high-risk situation – something that a retweet does not require. He contrasted the revolutions of Moldova and Iran in 2009 (and largely unsuccessful) with the civil-rights movement that began at a Woolworths lunch counter in Greensboro, NC in 1960.

But what about now that dictators have fallen in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and perhaps Syria – and the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement has gone global this past weekend?

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#Interview: Michael Stein, Author, Blogger, & Veteran Nonprofit Technology Strategist

Michael Stein, Senior Account Executive for Donordigital, is a veteran nonprofit technology strategist whose areas of expertise include online fundraising, email messaging, email list growth, blogging, website content, mobile messaging, and social media. With Nick Allen and Mal Warwick, Michael wrote the groundbreaking 1997 book Fundraising on the Internet: Recruiting and Renewing Donors Online.

The interview was conducted by Don Akchin, a principal of Nonprofit Marketing 360 and a frequent contributor to the MKCREATIVEnonprofit blog.

NPM360: How did you get into this field?

Michael: About 20 years ago, I was working for an environmental group just as the Internet started to emerge. I got in on the ground floor, building bulletin board systems for Greenpeace activists and others tracking toxic chemical emissions around the U.S. I helped build the pioneering Internet provider called IGC.org that trained nonprofits to use the Internet, which then morphed into the first experiments in online fundraising on the Web for Rainforest Action Network. In the mid-1990s, I hooked up with legendary direct mail fundraisers Mal Warwick and Nick Allen, and we started to think about what the future of fundraising might look like with the evolving Internet. Together we wrote the first book about fundraising online.

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#SocialMedia: Turns Out, Twitter Can Start Revolutions Mr. Gladwell

What a difference a year can make – not always for the better, mind you. But in today’s post we see grounds for optimism when it comes to the development of social networks and of social movements forcing political and economic change.

Last fall we wrote about the incisive and incendiary thesis of Malcom Gladwell, who wrote in The New Yorker magazine that social media gives us an inflated sense of social and political engagement when, in fact, little changes. His argument was that though social networks are critical for social change those networks must be personal, not virtual, and the ‘friends’ must be willing to put themselves in a high-risk situation – something that a retweet does not require. He contrasted the revolutions of Moldova and Iran in 2009 (and largely unsuccessful) with the civil-rights movement that began at a Woolworths lunch counter in Greensboro, NC in 1960.

But what about now that dictators have fallen in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and perhaps Syria – and the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement has gone global this past weekend?

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#SocialMedia: How Can You Improve Your Tweet Stream?

A Call To 'Follow Me' on Twitter
Follow MKCREATIVETeam!

The statistics of Twitter’s growth since 2006 are staggering, and Twitter has every right to brag about the numbers. Although research shows that most people use Twitter to follow, not to post, that statistic should be encouraging, not discouraging, nonprofits to sharpen their skills and beef up their presence on the social-media platform. Let us suggest a few things to help. Perhaps the first thing to appreciate if you are a neophyte to Twitter is that no one tweet is likely to break your reputation (Well, there are exceptions). Many folks are learning the medium, and the atmosphere is pretty cordial. In fact, the bigger danger might be playing things so safely that your voice simply gets lost among the millions of daily tweets.

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#Interview: Marc Pitman, Owner of the “Fundraising Coach” Blog, Author, and Fundraising Consultant

Marc Pittman PhotoMarc A. Pitman writes the Fundraising Coach blog, in addition to writing books, giving seminars, engaging in social media and consulting with clients. His own fundraising career began at a small New England liberal arts college, but by 1999 he found the consulting life fulfilled his desire to teach and help people. Marc was interviewed from his home in rural Maine by Don Akchin, a principal of Nonprofit Marketing 360 and a frequent contributor to the MKCREATIVE blog.

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Resources For Issues Concerning Older Americans

Online planning for elder careNumerous resources are available online and in print for information about elder care, aging, homes for older Americans, etc. We would like simply to touch on a few that we think are quite valuable, and which we hope you will as well. We would love to hear from you if you have some favorites that are not yet on our radar as well.

We begin with a few online networks, blogs, and resources. The first is the LifeSpan Network based in Columbia, Maryland. The network consists of over 300 affiliated organizations, nursing homes, and health-care providers in the Maryland/DC/Northern Virginia region. The website offers information on products and services (including reviews), a jobs-posting page focusing on work in the health/elder-care economy, and on numerous conferences and events as well. The network has its own annual conference coming up this October 30 – November 2 in Ocean City, MD, for those who want to hear directly from the good people who are a part of it.

But wait, there’s more.

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First Advertising Tweets Go Out Today And Await Your Clickthrough

A cautiously-pro response about "Promoted Tweets"Twitter launches a new feature to create a revenue stream for the microblogging site. ‘Promoted tweets‘ will come through your Tweet stream, but instead of moving along that stream along with every other 140-odd character announcement, these will sit at the source of your stream for a while – unless you click through them.

Indeed, Twitter stressed the fact that you can dismiss them with a click without dealing directly with the linked content of the advertisements. Moreover, the initial launch will only push ‘promoted tweets’ of companies you are already following. The point of Twitter, though, is to expand networks of information, so we imagine it won’t take long before we all have a few of them in our streams.

Whether they flow as pollutants or as a fair opportunity to spawn some income for Twitter is already being debated.

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Free Resources

A heap of useful books are being published online and offered for free. Here are this month’s best:

Each download requires a registration, which will put you on a company mailing list, but the material is probably worth that price.

#Social Media: Can Google’s Expanding Social Networking Distort Your Ranking? Maybe.

Google's Search Engine Optimization Takes On Social MediaGoogle’s credentials have traditionally been built up by scouring the web for key words and web links that human browsers then wanted to find via the search box. As more and more of those searchers clicked a particular listing established by Google, that listing moved up through the tens to millions of sites that had a particular set of words or links. Getting your nonprofit or charity in the Top 10 pretty much ensured that when someone searched for a keyword that also was on your site, the searcher – any searcher – would see you.

In recent months, though, Google has been drawing on many of its searchers’ social networks to adjust the rankings according to each person’s own connections. Randfish has posted a debate-provoking story on SEOmoz.org about how rankings of sites he writes for can instantly rise or fall depending on how he has set up his Google account. Will Google no longer be accepted as an unbiased arbiter of the internet?

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#HowTo: Organizing Your Twitter Account With Lists Makes Mobile Use Easier Still

Twitter has become the go-to social-media portal for sharing tidbits of breaking news, personal thoughts, and serendipitous discoveries. Most people access their Twitter feeds – postings from those they follow – via portable devices, especially smartphones. Concurrently, smartphones are the devices that conveniently allow people to send tweets from conferences, crises, field work, and sporting events. The numbers of smartphones and the amount of data moved to and from them continue to explode, and Twitter is the major driver of those numbers.

But Twitter can easily overwhelm: follow a dozen people, and some of their followers’ posts will come to you as well, and the next thing you know you’ve quit using it because you don’t want to scroll through hundreds of tweets to find something that might be specifically relevant to your organization’s efforts. Thankfully, a bit of tweaking of your Twitter account and you’ll have lists to sort topics or hash tags (#) or particular people. Then you can tackle each list when time and interest permit. See how:

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Social Networks: Apple Integrates Twitter In Operating System-Whither Facebook?

An Apple Logo With Twitter BirdFor the Apple-centric, Apple-desirers, and Apple-nutcases, a Steve Jobs keynote at the WWDC (World Wide Developers’ Conference) is worth two offered by mere mortals – even those on Cupertino’s payroll. This past week in California, Apple announced a number of features that focused on a ‘post-pc’ world (not a world without personal computers, but a world in which the personal computer is but one device among various access points to ‘the cloud’).

The features were all a part of new operating systems – iOS 5 for iPhones and iPads and OS X, Lion, for the computers. For our chat today, though, we want to focus on one aspect of iOS that is getting some attention for how it might skew social networks come September: Apple integrated Twitter access throughout its iOS 5 package.

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