EnRoute to Norfolk — Spreading the Word re: Putting Social Media to Work to Strengthen Connections & Build Community

EnRoute to Norfolk -- Spreading the Word re Putting Social Media to Work to Strengthen Connections & Build CommunityTraveling down to Norfolk, VA today to deliver tomorrow’s all-day boot camp on social media for nonprofits, hosted
by the Academy for Nonprofit Excellence at Tidewater Community College.

First I heard of the Academy was when I was invited down by director guru Lillian Bailey nearly a year ago.  It’s a fantastic resource for area organizations and one that many larger cities can’t boast, funded largely by The Norfolk Foundation, the region’s community foundation.

But prepping for this gig has been a huge adventure.  Particularly because I was somewhat daunted by the task (since I can barely absorb a full-day workshop as a participant, and all-day is a lot of attention to engage), the prep presented as a real opportunity for my own learning.

Here’s some of the fun I’ve had already:

  • Created a first-time podcast, interviewing guest speaker and social media marketing maven Dave Evans.  I was motivated to find ways to integrate other
    • speakers – even if not on the spot – into the day.
    • Just did it and even though it’s not perfect (you’ll see, I’ll publish it here next week) it works fine, and I learned how to make it better next time.
  • Inventoried social media use among nonprofitsin the Norfolk area, a valid sampler of the cross section of nonprofits in other regions.
    • Several are taking the first step social-media wise (most with Facebook) as an experiment – exactly the right
      approach.
  • Surveyed participantsvia SurveyMonkey to get a sense of where they are social media wise and their burning questions.
    • Participants represent a typically-broad range or orgs in terms of issue focus and staff and budget size.
    • IDd two great case studies among participants and will be interviewing them during the workshop, establishing them as local social media mentors.
  • Kick-started learning and community building among workshop participants
    • Knew that to get the intention and focus I needed to keep momentum up for an entire day, we had to start off running.
    • Crafted a pre-req assignment introducing folks to social media tools (most were not using them professionally, a few were personally).
    • Combo of intro to social media tools videos from CommonCraft and asking folks to set up personal LinkedIn and Facebook accounts, connecting with me in both venues and joining the LinkedIn group I set up.
    • Discussion is already flowing, and I’ve gotten to know some of the delightful idiosyncrasies about participants that provide the basis for conversation and perhaps relationships.

Next time you’re up against something daunting, see what you can learn from it starting with step one. Makes it a lot more fun and took the edge off for me!

P.S. The right messaging is critical to the success of every communication, and the tagline lies at its very core!Download the free Nonprofit Tagline Report for must-dos, don’t dos, case studies and 1,000+ nonprofit tagline examples!

Nancy Schwartz on March 23, 2009 in Nonprofit Communications, Professional Development, Social Media, Web 2.0 | 1 comment
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  • This is all really helpful, Nancy, and I think can even be applied to shorter webinar style trainings. Although a different world than in-person sessions, there is still that challenge to keep folks excited and engaged. Your podcast experience sparked an idea to include brief video & audio in our introductory type trainings to break up the monotony and to offer additional expertise.

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