Citizen Participation/Crowdsourcing

Obama Win Signals Communications Game Change -- Get on BoardUniversal confirmation roots Obama's win in the melding of community organizing and internet-based networking (parlayed into a high-power ground game).

If your organization has poo-pooed social media or simply shied away from it, there's no bigger signal that it's time to step in.

More to come.

P.S. Obama got this simple and heartfelt thank you email out to his network just minutes after his victory was declared. That's immediacy.

Nancy Schwartz on November 5, 2008 in Advocacy, Campaign Marketing Models & Tips, Citizen Participation/Crowdsourcing, Nonprofit Communications, Social Media | 1 comment

Our Public Radio Station Bringing Listeners on Board as Researchers -- Powerful Model of Engaging Your BaseThe famed Brian Lehrer Show, one of the most popular programs on WNYC, our local public radio station has opened its arms to its listeners by asking them to plow through 11,000 pages of just-released Hillary Clinton schedules from the days of Bill’s presidency. Now that’s engaging your base.

Listen to this brief audio clip from Brian Lehrer and WNYC political director Andrea Bernstein on this project), explaining how they’d like listeners to help. They hit just the right note with the invite, explaining that they have more to do than staff on the show, and need help to unwrap this very relevant history. They also guide citizen researchers, asking them to report in on anything they find intriguing, revealing or surprising; asking researchers to keep some very specific questions in mind.

Once signed on, listeners plow into the docs one week at a time, reporting back via the online discussion page. Lots of activity already; with about ten researchers reporting in daily.

Simple, elegant and absolutely engaging. The Brian Lehrer Show fills its programmatic need (research) while providing a satisfying participatory experience to listeners interested in this important story. Success and satisfaction for WYNC’s news and marketing teams alike.

Other examples? Click the "Comments" link below to share them with Getting Attention readers.

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Nancy Schwartz on March 25, 2008 in Case Studies, Citizen Participation/Crowdsourcing, Nonprofit Communications | 0 comments
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Pull Your Base into Your Org for Powerful Marketing (and More) -- Carnival of Nonprofit ConsultantsThis is it. The boiled-down, essential, greatest potential takeaway I have from the Nonprofit Technology Conference
is the value of
imperative for nonprofit marketers to fully involve our bases in our organizations.

It’s not just about Web 2.0, social marketing gewgaws, getting attention, or capitalizing on our constituencies’ (external audiences, partners, boards, colleagues or…) creativity or intellects to create high-impact content. The whole dynamic has shifted, and you have to embrace it.

Here’s confirmation and some exciting models:

  • ServingYouth’s Amy Jussel is passionate about engaging communities in program design and content creation. She points to HopeLab’s global idea competition to get kids exercising as a great example. Contests are definitely a great way to crowdsource (get ideas from the field) and get your audiences involved and excited.
  • I just love this one! Joanne Fritz recommends Peter Shankman’s matchmaking service to connect journalists expert sources like you. Jump onto Shankman’s Help a Reporter today to register for this no-charge, grassroots version of ProfNet.
  • Ashoka intern David Stoker points to the power of an engaged citizen base, as outlined in this great overview from Ahshoka’s Citizen Base Initiative.
    • “…That a nonprofit can engage a community like a church or sports team does is very interesting. Team fans do all sorts of crazy things: sacrifice large amounts of their time and money, and more.  And what they get in return is much more complex than ‘entertainment’.  The idea that a nonprofit can engage its community in a way that satisfies similar needs is exciting, and seeing so many examples [in this paper] of creative ways orgs are already doing so intrigues me,” says Stoker.

I couldn’t have said it better myself, David. Don’t wait till your base goes elsewhere; remember, loyalty is to issues, not to organizations. Open up your arms today.

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Nancy Schwartz on March 24, 2008 in 08NTC, Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants, Citizen Participation/Crowdsourcing, Nonprofit Communications, Strategy, Trends | 0 comments
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Your Org's Base is Most Vital Nonprofit Marketing Power You Have -- Pull Your Peeps In, NowThis is it.

The boiled-down, most essential, most vibrant, most potential (you can sing that) takeaway I have from the NTC Conference is the value of imperative for nonprofit marketers to fully engage our citizen bases, aka crowdsourcing. It’s not just about Web 2.0, social marketing gewgaws, getting attention, or capitalizing on our constituencies (and that can mean external audiences, partners, boards, colleagues or…) their creativity or intellects to create high-impact content.

They are you and you are them, or not (and that’s trouble). The whole dynamic has shifted, and you have to get with it. This is the natural continuum of ceding control of our brands — ala Everybody’s Talking About You–Why Your Nonprofit Needs to Listen, and Listen Hard, and we’ve moved ahead very quickly.  Now it’s clear that proactivity is key to growing and strengthening your org. Don’t wait till you have no other choice.

Read my posts from the 08NTC (Nonprofit Technology Conference) for several inspiring models and hands-on how-tos. Then get to work, today.

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Nancy Schwartz on March 24, 2008 in 08NTC, Branding and Messages, Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants, Citizen Participation/Crowdsourcing, Nonprofit Communications, Social Networking, Trends, Web 2.0 | 0 comments
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