Whether it’s planning next year’s strategy, thinking about next weekend’s schedule, or exploring the next breakthrough technology, it seems that the pace at which we’re moving forward leaves little time to look to the past. Meanwhile, we each leave in our wake an absurd footprint of information–photos, videos, emails, text messages, voicemails, tweets, blog comments, product reviews, transaction histories, GPS coordinates, grumpy passive-aggressive notes to neighbors, and so on. Will these tidbits of tedium mixed with occasional moments of brilliance become our legacies? more
Character is at your core, image & brand are what you project to others, and reputation is how others perceive you. While you can control the first two, you cannot control the third.
The human mind is continually seeking to identify discrepancies between what others say they are and what they actually are. If the image you project is different than your character, the gap between the two will buckle and collapse under scrutiny.
The single most important asset of any non-profit organization is its relationships with its volunteers, donors, and other stakeholders. If you treat these relationships like sacred data collections instead of an engaged community, you are at risk of becoming irrelevant.
A More Detailed Exploration:
I spend a good portion of my time traveling across the country to attend conferences and meet with clients and prospective clients. Even in this digital era, the custom of exchanging printed business cards is alive and well. As you can see from the photo to the right, I have quite the collection.
But don’t confuse that collection of cards for a robust network of strong relationships. Getting the card is just like adding a new person to your organization’s database. If you do nothing to build the relationship, that business card becomes an artifact proving very little other than that you once had contact with the person.
The Historical Role of the Database
Common wisdom says that you can measure an organization by the number of people who are in its database. Historically, a central staff maintained this database and treated it like a sacred collection of artifacts. In an era when information didn’t flow so easily and it was very difficult to connect with people you’d never met, protecting that collection of records at all costs was a self-evident truth. After all, these records had taken a great deal of work to assemble and represented the lifeblood of your organization.
Last week, I had the pleasure of presenting a half-day workshop entitled “Social Media for Cause Marketers” at the 2009 Cause Marketing Forum. We had a full house partake in this fast moving, high energy workshop. I was very pleased with the audience participation and the solid exchange of ideas.
The highlight of the program was the lively breakdown of five case studies, which starts on slide 99. The final one (starting on slide 115) was a behind-the-scenes view of www.pledgetoendhunger.com, which includes various analytics and measurements.
All of the slides I presented are included here. The remaining slides were from the four companies sponsoring the workshop and can be found via www.causemarketingforum.com.
Telligent was one of the campaign’s Corporate Champions and played an important role in making sure Texas was one of the top three states in terms of number of people signing the Pledge. As active bloggers and Twitter users, George and Lawrence Liu brought great energy and enthusiasm to the team
While George and I were together, George broke out his Kodak video camera and shot this interview of me. It’s probably the most detailed back story to date of how everything came together. Hope you enjoy it and learn something useful from it.
We have four great sponsors who not only are making the workshop very affordable but also will be sharing their expertise and ideas. Much thanks to Steve Croth from Better the World, Carol Schrader from GiveZooks!, Michael Hoffman from See3 Communications, and Beth Eisenberg from iugo. I’m looking forward to our explorations!
In addition to all this great content, I’m looking forward to giving everyone a very inside look at the recent www.pledgetoendhunger.com campaign. With the help of the my co-architect, Mitch Maxson, we’ll consider the strategy, tactics, results, lessons learned, and other relevant insights. We baked a lot of analytics into our campaign and will share some surprising results with you – this will be our first public presentation of these findings.
If you are anywhere near Chicago that day, it’ll be worth the modest $125 registration. You can register here. Be sure to let me know if you plan to attend! I’d love to hear from you.
Two Things You Need to Learn From This Post:
1. We will see more and more cause marketing campaigns use social media (for better and for worse).
2. The successful ones will put the cause first and the brand a distant second.
I am in Ottawa, Ontario, this week working with the Canadian War Museum. It’s been an interesting first twelve hours, as I have been engaged non-stop since my arrival.
After leading a workshop with the staff from the War Museum, I caught a taxi to my hotel down from Parliament Hill. Blocking my path was a large protest of Tamil Canadians who have converged to demand action by the Canadian government to establish a cease-fire in the war between the Sri Lankan army and the Tamil Tigers.
Between checking into my hotel and meeting friends for dinner, I walked up the hill and mingled with the protesters. It’s a peaceful demonstration with police redirecting traffic around the melange of ages, gender, and economic standing. With my iPhone camera and my Flip MinoHD, I captured sights and sounds of the daytime activities. After dinner, I returned for more and this time interviewed one of the student leaders involved.
Using the footage I took, I’ve pulled together this video to approximate my experience inside the protest:
In talking with the protesters, I was given the following website addresses. I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information contained on them. In fact, I cannot even vouch for the facts and events the protesters shared with me about the current situation inside Sri Lanka. I can just share what was shared with me, including these websites they wanted the world to visit:
As I burn the midnight oil to write this post, I am preparing my final thoughts for the lunch keynote I’m presenting in about 11 hours. It’s entitled “The Battle for the Human Mind: Hosting the Great Debates of History Online” and will be part of a day long historical conference. As the only non-professional historian presenting, I get to explore digital and social media’s role in historical understanding.
A major issue I will be exploring is the tension between Experts and Amateurs. Now that we walk around with mobile devices, cameras, and video cameras in our pocket, we all can become citizen journalists and can use the bright, shiny light of the Internet to bring awareness to specific events and causes.
This has great implications. As I prepare for the historical conference, I wonder about many things. Specifically, I wonder where is the line between reporting on news events and interpreting that news as history? How will this affect our perceptions of history? Can everyone become historians?