Friday, April 24, 2009

Blogging 101

Twitter is all the rage but blogging is still a very powerful tool for communicating instantly, sharing big ideas and connecting with others in your field. New to blogging or need a refresher? Check it out.

Also, what are you favorite nonprofit blogs/bloggers and why?

I'm partial to The DC Goodwill Fashion Blog because it is fun and unique and is bringing a tired brand to life.

Blogging 101

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Failure is the Path to Success

"I never failed. It just didn't work 10,000 times."
- Thomas Edison on the creation of the light bulb.
I liked this video by Honda so much that I had to share it with you.

Q1: If failure is the path to greatness why do we avoid it so?
Q2: How can we stop fearing failure and instead build risk-taking into the DNA of our communities, personalities and organizations?

Thanks very much to Marc Sirkin for sharing it via his blog.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Make Your Marketing More Soulful

Mission statement: Homes, Health and Hope for Children in Need

Vision statement: "As a faith-based organization, every project we do has a goal of giving needed physical, medical and humanitarian help to orphans at risk and in need, with the ultimate purpose of bringing spiritual life and accompanying hope, faith, strength and direction to all those who are served." (Executive Director Dwyatt Gantt)

Part of the attraction of blogging, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, etc., etc. is that they are spurring a new kind of content. Content that is not slick and lifeless and full of spin but rather content that has life and spirit and gives voice and meaning to the issues people care about.

For example, contrast the two approaches above and I think you'll see what I mean. The first organization - World Vision - uses a wonderful image of an older woman as a metaphor to describe their "vision" of a new world. It also invites a response from me the viewer by asking me to sign up for the e-news.

The second organization - Children's Hope International - leads with a mission and vision statement in plain text to describe what they do. Note that there is no call to action or opportunity for me to engage immediately.

I don't know anything about the work of Children's Hope International and I'm taking license to use them as a straw man but I hope you get my point. Leading with your mission and vision alone is less impactful than using images and stories to share your ideas.

Good writing is about SHOWING, not TELLING. It's also about sharing information that is authentic and real.

Being part of the Connected Age is about more than using the shiniest new tools. It's also about bringing issues, communities and yourself to life. The next time you write copy, create video, or add images to your website, blog or Facebook profile be sure to add soul to the mix by:
  • Sharing human stories;
  • Asking compelling questions;
  • Illustrating your passion for your cause; and
  • Using humor (if appropriate)!
By making your marketing more soulful, you will connect with more people. You'll also connect yourself to you.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

8 Requirements for Your Social Media Hire or Personality Traits That All Stellar Social Marketers Share

This fabulous photo is by Combined Media.

I spend a LOT of time thinking about social media. It's a passion of mine. (Can you tell?)

I love learning about these tools, connecting with people across space and time and sharing my thoughts and ideas. I also enjoy helping others to follow suit. And while I'm usually a glass is half full person, it's becoming clearer to me every day that not all social marketers are created equal. In fact, there are specific qualities that the best social media marketers all share (and others don't).

Looking for a job in social media or looking to hire an online community manager? Here are 8 key characteristics that are required. Missing some attributes from the list? Do not apply.

Stellar Social Marketers:

1) Have a point of view. Let's face it lots of people are nice but most are not memorable. Why? Because they have nothing to say. They won't rock the boat or be controversial. They are milk toast. This is death for a social marketer because no one talks about nothing. If you want to succeed as a social marketer you've got to have an interesting angle, a soap box, a hook - a point!

2) Really like other people. Social media exist to enhance relationships. If you don't like people (you know who you are) with all of their foibles, quirks and comments, you're going to hate it out here.

3) Are curious. The best social marketers are learners. They fly from one idea, case study, research report and tool to the next because they're so damn eager to learn. They want to absorb as many lessons as possible so that they can apply them to their practice.

4) Listen well. If there is one thing that will kill your ability to connect with other folks it's the inability or unwillingness to listen. If you want to be good at social media, take a deep breath, close your mouth and be quiet.

4) Aren't into spin. This is a tactful way of saying that the best social marketers don't lie. This is a corollary to point 1 because having a point of view requires being authentic and true. At a minimum, good social marketers aspire to tell the truth. Because of their candor, they don't crumble in the face of criticism and they don't confuse the community.

5) Are generous. The best social marketers live by this value - "give it away." They believe, rightly so, that what is given will be returned. Generosity is their currency. Social media are all about sharing and sharing requires a generous spirit. That's why it's called the Web.

7) Lead. Social marketers are changing the landscape of marketing, communications, fundraising, advocacy and public relations! They are testing new tools and strategies. Most important they are transforming their organizational cultures. This takes great courage and a willingness to inspire, change and be out front.

8) Are fun. The best social marketers are likable, interesting and fun. They are the life of the party! Again, stellar social marketers really like people. They're good listeners. They're interesting and they know how to make us feel good. In short, if we knew them in person we'd want them as friends.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Last Chance to Register for Evaluating Your Email Marketing for Success!

My company - Triplex Interactive - is hosting Evaluating Your Email Marketing for Success tomorrow (4/2) from 2:00 - 3:00 EST with NTEN. Please join us.

This webinar is the last session in our Step Up Your Email Marketing series. The presenters include Dave Leichtman and Lauren Miller from Blue State Digital. Don’t know BSD? These are the folks that powered Obama for America.

Register today and enter code: emailforimpact and pay only $25!

After the webinar you will know how to:

  • create an evaluation plan, and
  • target, segment and test your email marketing for success.

  • Cheers!