Tag Archives: MySpace

Why Nonprofits Should Use Social Media

When it comes to marketing, nonprofits – like many companies – tend to go for the familiar. What do we know? What have we done in the past? Direct mail? Check. A print newsletter? Check. A fundraising event? Check.

Whether or not these tactics have actually been successful in the past, they tend to be the typical course of action. Even if they are not cost effective or time efficient, more often than not, everyone at an organization can at least agree on the statement “that’s the way we’ve always done it.”

business team standing

Unfortunately, today’s funders and constituents are no longer consuming their information in the same ways. Today’s marketing tactics are not familiar. So how does a nonprofit with limited capacity get up to speed?

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I Heart PitchEngine

I’ve been using PitchEngine as part of integrated social media campaigns for my clients. We’re all still ramping up to have the multiple elements required for an effective social media release, however, here are some early examples of SMRs I’m working on:

Pick. Click. Give. – http://pitch.pe/2592

Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Awards – http://pitch.pe/2507

I feel like the SMRs are a living, breathing organism as we continue to gather the multimedia components and set up the social network and microblog presences to truly make it more effective.

Earlier this year, I wrote about PitchEngine for Web Worker Daily. Here are some excerpts. You can read the entire review as well.

Two years ago, a company called Shift Communications introduced the concept of social media releases that incorporated social networks, microblogs, audio and video elements into text releases. A year later, they expanded their concept to include social media newsrooms, spiffing up the traditional text-heavy online newsroom with more multimedia bells and whistles. PitchEngine is a freemium Web app and hosting service that helps non-techies – and even non-PR-types – to build their own social media releases and social media newsrooms.

PitchEngine is first and foremost for the person who wants to build a social media release but doesn’t have the technical skills. You can create as many brand accounts as you want for free. Brands represent you or your clients and projects.

Building a social media release includes integrating a company’s Twitter account, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., as well as easily embedding audio and video. The finished product has all the links and elements easily accessible in and around the main press release text. The release is hosted for free for 30 days and then expires and is no longer available which is a suitable duration for an effective PR campaign, however, also an incentive to purchase a subscription for a more permanent social media newsroom.

Sure, the biggie PR wire services will probably step up as competitors to PitchEngine in the near future but they won’t be able to be as social media savvy, nimble nor as affordable as Kintzler’s venture. There has also been a recent backlash regarding using social media for marketing and public relations as there is bound to be with the adoption of any social platform for commercial purposes. The conversation about social media marketing has only just begun.

Are you using social media releases for your campaigns, particularly for social causes? If so, how and where? We’d love to see examples!

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What is a Social Media Marketing Campaign, Really?

pcggreen1I’ve been working in the Last Frontier (Alaska, of course!) using social media to stay connected to my industry (Internet) as well as friends and colleagues in the Lower 48 and worldwide. My company’s latest project is testing the power of social media marketing campaigns to reach highly-targeted audiences.

So what is social media marketing?

I define social media marketing as using online-enabled sites, applications and tools in an integrated way to empower others to share your message. So this could mean everything from uploading videos that others can pass along to having pages on social networks where others can not only “friend” your organization but also encourage their friends to connect.

While a campaign is usually carried out for a set period of time, the reality of the Internet is that once you upload anything, it tends to live on whether you want it to or not. A social media marketing campaign can leave a larger and longer-term footprint than you might think.

Getting Social in Alaska

The campaign I’m working on in Alaska is called Pick. Click. Give. (http://www.pickclickgive.org) and is very region-specific. The call to action is for Alaskans to consider giving to an Alaska nonprofit when they sign up for their Permanent Fund Dividend (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Permanent_Fund) in 2009. In case you hadn’t heard while Sarah Palin was on the campaign trail, every Alaskan receives an annual check from the profits of the Alaska oil and gas industry.

Many Alaskans use their PFD to pay bills or to put toward a major purchase such as a new car. The Pick. Click. Give. campaign is trying to not only build awareness of a new way Alaskans can donate while applying for their PFD online but to encourage Alaskans to engage in individual giving.

Will having Pick. Click. Give. on YouTube, mDialog, CauseCast, MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networking and sharing sites reach the right audience? That remains to be seen.

But by carefully selecting the social media sites, applications and tools for rolling out a campaign online and immediately engaging some of our target audience to participate, we should be able to reach the right people. And all of their friends. And their friends…

What social media campaigns are you working on or do you support?

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