#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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