marketing

Program Development and Outreach

Organization: 
Appalshop
VISTA Name: 
Julia Taylor
Program Start: 
7/2008
Program End: 
7/2009
Project Description: 

Julia works in various capacities at Appalshop/Thousand Kites Project. She manages “StoryLine,” our online story-gathering project, for which she uploads audio to the content management system, and writes the copy for the website. She also responds to communication via our social networking sites and writes emailblasts. She works with community members (locally and nationally) to gather their stories about the criminal justice system and post them to the website. She also is currently creating a plan for a google map to document these stories using new technology. She also co-produces our campaigns. For our most recent campaign, Calls From Home, Julia coordinated the targeted outreach to radio station managers, prison chaplains, and prisoners and their families. She does the background research for the campaigns and organizes content. Including partnerships with other non-profits for viral marketing support. Julia works with community members (stakeholders) to identify community needs to inform future campaigns and communication strategies. Julia also produces our weekly radio show, Holler to the Hood, which broadcast online, as well supporting workshops that train community members and stake-holders in radio/online production.

Project Outcome: 

When Julia arrived at Appalshop, she spent the first couple of months working with staff to revamp the project’s website, making it media rich, clean, and efficient. We now have an direct model for people to call in their stories and a way to share them on the web. At the same time, Julia aided in the creation of a Facilition Guide, which helps Thousand Kites be a model for communities to take action. This document makes our work process more efficient because we can now direct people to the guide, instead of having to talk through all the details with each individual community. It is available in print and online and has greatly increased our capacity to train and garner participants. Julia has taken the lead on developing our database, updating contacts, and training staff on a system for long-term use. Overall Julia has worked at all levels of the organization to build our communication, online, and digital capacity.

Julia is able to identify key opportunities, and run with them. While looking through old email to learn more about the project’s correspondence, she found an unanswered email from a poet who was willing to volunteer his time to the project. Julia contacted him about possible connections, and now his network of poets has become a tremendous source of capacity in our project. His online community of writers has generated hundreds of audio samples for our website. Another example of this was when we received an email from a woman in the Virgin Islands who is dealing with the prisoners from her community being shipped up to prisons in our region. Julia saw this as an opportunity to really immerse in a community’s issue and help them find ways they could take action locally. The group has since produced their own radio program and hosted multiple film screenings using the Kites tools.

Impact Quote: 

Without our VISTA we would not have gotten several projects off the ground or reached the level of capacity that we have. Julia greatly expanded outreach and participation in our program by local, regional, and national communitiy members through building our communication backbone, developing a model for web-site content production, and building tools to lower the threshold of working with our program. It has simply impacted the entire organization to have someone focused on capacity building and research.

Marketing and Outreach

Organization: 
Community Partners
VISTA Name: 
Edward Gonzales
Program Start: 
7/2008
Program End: 
7/2009
Project Description: 

Edward has worked with members of the California Community Technology Policy Group (CCTPG) to engage underserved communities in discussion regarding the usage and impact of emerging technologies in their communities. Specific activities have included: Developing online tools to track data, policies, and reseach on technology access and use in low-income communities; Developing communications tools and systems to disseminate policy updates and action alerts; Disseminating the results of CCTPG research to community leaders for use in local negotiations on access to emerging technologies.

Project Outcome: 

- Edward has been key in revamping the communication strategies of CCTPG by helping develop the website and manage the Action Alerts and Newsletter communications to members.
- Edward has help in the research and production of Wired for Wireless? a report on Digital Inclusion and government-led wireless networks.
- Edward has developed new content for the CCTPG website – the content has addressed key issues related to community technology.
- Edward has been key in CCTPG’s outreach efforts by identifying new members and developing relationships with them.

CCTPG is a project within Community Partners. Community Partners has undergone a reassessment of the public relations and communications strategy. During this process, Edward has been key helping incorporate online tools to enhanse the public relations and communications strategy.

Marketing and UI Design

Organization: 
MicroMentor
VISTA Name: 
Mary Chant
Program Start: 
7/2008
Program End: 
7/2009
Project Description: 

Mary Chant has been working with us across three primary areas:

1) Marketing Strategy and Capacity Building: Mary’s primary duty has been to establish MicroMentor’s marketing operations from the ground up. She has produced an extensive Marketing Plan, helped us establish our core value proposition and messaging, identified mechanism for distributing our message and compelling participants to join MicroMentor, and she is setting up key systems and processes for planning, managing, and evaluating our marketing efforts. These systems include Google AdWords, Google Analytics, and Salesforce.com (including the integration of third-party applications such as AdWords for Salesforce, Vertical Response, and DreamTeam). She also leads our weekly Marketing Meeting and manages our Marketing Calendar.

2. Developing and Executing Marketing Campaigns: In addition to leading our marketing strategy and planning, Mary also leads the execution of this strategy. This primarily involves producing and rolling-out individual marketing campaigns, aligned with either specific events (e.g., National Mentoring Month, National Entrepreneurship Week, etc.), or a specific target population (e.g., women entrepreneurs, skilled business volunteers, etc.). Each campaign is multi-faceted, usually included a mix of web content development, Google Adwords, posts on relevant external sites (e.g., usaservice.org), outreach to relevant organizations (e.g., Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education/National Entrepreneurship Week), and social media outlets (e.g., Facebook, Digg, etc.). Mary also coordinates ad hoc marketing opportunities, ensuring that we are disseminating a consistent message across a variety of web sites and media outlets.

3. Product Development: Mary has lent her deep experience in usability and interaction design to our major web application development project: MicroMentor 2.0. She has advised MicroMentor management on best practice and has analyzed and made recommendation at key decision points during the process. She has helped us conduct usability testing and analyze the results. All of this has greatly enhanced our product development process and has substantially improved the quality and usability of MicroMentor 2.0, which we will be releasing in late March 2009.

Project Outcome: 

Mary has made many valuable contributions over the first half of her VISTA term. A few of her more major accomplishments during this period include: a) Developing a Marketing Plan: Mary surveyed our existing (and admittedly disorganized) market research, marketing materials, web content, etc. and performed research and analysis (including interviewing key staff and partners) to produce a comprehensive Marketing Plan, This plan includes market research, competitive analysis, positioning/branding, internet marketing strategies, offline/traditional advertising strategies, marketing goals, and evaluation mechanisms. The Marketing Plan is key piece of our strategic planning work, and has guided the development of our marketing efforts. b) Overhauling the MicroMentor Website: Mary gave the MicroMentor website a badly needed makeover, re-arranging the navigation and content to make key sections easier to find, changing the layout of our homepage to increase the conversation rate of first time visitors, and adding keywords to improve our search engine optimization (SEO), and adding content to improve our SEO and better support our participants. She has continued to improve the website throughout her tenure, and we will be migrating many of these changes to our new website when it launches in late March. c) Implementing Key Systems and Processes: Mary has set up key systems for the MicroMentor team, including Google AdWords, Google Analytics, Salesforce.com, and several Salesforce applications, such as Vertical Response, and DreamTeam (a project management application). She has also established a marketing campaign planning process and a website and marketing material change control process for us. These key systems and processes have greatly increased our program capacity and will remain in use long after the end of Mary’s VISTA term. d) Leading Usability Testing and Analysis for MicroMentor 2.0: Mary helped us significantly enhance the usability of our new mentoring platform–MicroMentor 2.0–by leading a user testing and analysis project. She provided usability training to our staff, planned our user testing process, oversaw the tests, reviewed the results, and made recommendations for modifications to our application design. This project was particularly challenging as we had to perform the tests and deliver the results in a very short timeframe, and Mary worked long hours and significant overtime to help us meet our goals.

The impact of Mary’s contributions is readily apparent in our quantitative and qualitative program feedback. First off, her marketing efforts have spurred tremendous growth in our program. Our participant enrollment during the first half of her VISTA period (7/1/08 - 12/31/08) jumped from 236 to 684, a 190% increase, compared to the same period a year ago. Additionally, when comparing the first half of Mary’s VISTA period to the same period a year ago, visits to the MicroMentor website have increased 180%, the average time spent on the site has increased 39%, and our bounce rate (the number of people visiting the site and immediately leaving) has decreased by 11%. All of this indicates that more people are learning about the MicroMentor program and that our website is more compelling and useful to visitors.

Marketing and Design

VISTA Name: 
Derek Maxwell
Program Start: 
1/2007
Program End: 
1/2008
Project Description: 

The VISTA member provided and assited with an array of services and programs, including direct training to youth participants, development of training manuals and materials, website design and development, community outreach and recruitment, development of program materials including brochures, posters, and mailers, as well as other administrative duties.

Project Outcome: 

Our VISTA member compiled a catalogue of past and present programs and descriptions, helped move our website to a new design based on open source Drupal software, helped set up web hosting with other non-profits, developed training manuals and materials, and taught a graphic design course to youth, which we had never done before here at PCTV.

Website Development and Asset Mapping

VISTA Name: 
Kevin Bulger
Program Start: 
1/2007
Program End: 
1/2008
Project Description: 

1) Update and maintain CTC asset mapping database.
2) Participate in providing technical support to the South Florida Regional Equitable Connection project.
3) Research on sustainable best practices relevant to community technology the South Florida region and written report.
4) Provide technical assistance to CTC’s in the region.
5) Conduct focus groups in low-income neighborhoods.
6) Assist with policy research activities.
7) Participate in other capacity and consensus building activities.

Project Outcome: 

Kevin Bulger was responsible for very successfully assisting the technical and organizational development of the South Florida Regional Equity website with the co-supervision of a Collins Center staff. He assisted with the asset mapping of some 212 South Florida region community technology programs and access locations. He was also involved in policy and planning initiatives related to community efforts such as Wireless Miami Beach. Kevin assisted in writing grants for CTI and researched available grants. When Victoria Edwards began her service, additional grants were written and the asset mapping of agencies continued with the two VISTA’s working together on these projects. Meetings with agencies led to the development of the concept of creating memberships and co-op services to CTC’s and access projects in the region. Meetings have taken place with a number of community organizations to assist in securing and deploying volunteers as an element of co-op services. A conference event for 30 CTC’s and related organizations was organized in January 2008. Both VISTA’s have come up with some excellent and innovative ideas and concepts for the project, which would often be integrated into grants, or service concepts that have been incorporated into the co-op plan for CTC’s. It was decided to eliminate the work on focus groups to instead center efforts around working with provider agencies on the co-op services concept.

Kevin’s diverse organizational skills allowed him not only to help develop a web portal for equity resources (www.sflregionalequity.org), but encouraged the project director to involve him in a series of follow-up activities including newsletter and conference development. Following his service (ending late Jan.), his value is demonstrated by his being hired for part-time work by another hosted initiative operating under the Collins Center. While not all objectives were accomplished in the program year, Kevin’s ethic and value are further confirmed by his continuing part-time volunteerism on the project after his service has ended.

Marketing and Curriculum Development

VISTA Name: 
Rich Beckermeyer
Program Start: 
7/2009
Program End: 
7/2010
Project Outcome: 

Richard Beckermeyer led efforts to develop media curriculum and marketing materials for CMC’s California Voices program. This included the updating of an 80-page curriculum focused on digital storytelling and civic engagement in the after-school environment. Richard collaborated with about a half dozen staff in two regions to make the required changes and update the graphical appeal of the new curriculum. Richard was also helpful in troubleshooting technology and equipment problems in our Sacramento office and training staff in new programs.

Program Outreach and Development

VISTA Name: 
Elizabeth Cavano
Program Start: 
10/2000
Program End: 
10/2001
Project Description: 

SCAT currently has two computer stations that will soon be linked to the Internet, and will be dedicated solely to community members, and we hope to have a high speed cable modem connection soon. The VISTA volunteer’s work would revolve around helping move SCAT into the “digital age” without leaving behind anyone in the Somerville communities SCAT has been serving for over 25 years: at risk youth, immigrant communities, low- and middle-income people, and organizations who feel ignored by the “mainstream” media, and seniors looking for a way to make their voices and concerns heard. The concrete activities would include but not be limited to the following:

Planning and policy work: Research how other public access stations have “crossed the digital divide” and implemented computer center programs, as well as programs related to the new digital video technologies. Make recommendations to SCAT staff and Board of Directors, and help implement the plan, which would include the purchase of some equipment.

Outreach: Collaboration on the development of messages and programming for the public access channel aimed at making people aware of the new resources and programs at SCAT; development of printed outreach material personal outreach work, such as visiting service agencies, youth groups, community associations, etc., with a translator where necessary.

Training programs: Design and implementation of a creative program of training on the computer stations, especially related to the internet and to the multimedia possibilities offered by the WWW; collaboration with SCAT staff who work with the non-linear editing system in the design and implementation of new multimedia training courses design and implementation of an advanced training program related to web site design, video streaming, etc.

Impact: It is hoped that this new facet of SCAT’s work will have many different impacts for low-income youth and adults, from both the English-speaking, and the non-English -speaking communities, including but not limited to: concrete, career-related training, increased accessing of the resources available through the internet; a dynamic new addition to SCAT television programming; the development of a dynamic multimedia program, where teh assets and opportunities of public access television and the internet are combined and made accessible to all.

Marketing and Outreach

Organization: 
Grassroots.org
VISTA Name: 
Molly Fergus
Program Start: 
9/2009
Program End: 
5/2010
Project Description: 

We determined the need for the marketing/member recruitment project based on the positive reaction Grassroots.org received from publicity on Reddit.com, Mashable.com, The MIVA Ad Network and Monster.com at the end of 2008. Being featured on all of these websites generated significant traffic to Grassroots.org and both our membership and new volunteers increased as a result. Knowing what a little publicity can do for a nonprofit like Grassroots.org made it clear that a stronger online marketing and member recruitment campaign will be essential to us.

The VISTA will inform more nonprofits about Grassroots.org and expand our client base, increasing the number of people we serve. Last year Grassroots.org began a campaign to reach out through many social networking sites and create monthly press releases. Findings were that neither of these methods brought in significant members. What did attract major traffic to our site was free online advertising Grassroots.org received in addition to outreach to bloggers. This year a Grassroots.org VISTA would build upon what we have found will achieve success: focusing on membership by reaching out to umbrella organizations, continuing to network with bloggers, and pinpointing the social networking sites best suited to Grassroots.org.

Working in cooperation with the Executive Director and Director of Outreach & Development, the Communications Coordinator responsibilities would be to:

-Develop, plan and execute an online fundraising campaign, reach out to potential partners

-Develop and execute a strategic marketing/member recruitment campaign. The marketing/member recruitment campaign will allow us to reach as many potential nonprofit organizations as possible, increasing our capacity to serve. In addition, the campaign will increase our financial capacity as an organization as warranted attention attracts the attention of potential donor and partner organizations.

Project Outcome: 

Shortly after coming to Grassroots.org, Molly created a Public Relations/Marketing plan for us and has been implementing the plan for the past 3 months. Molly created a format for writing and sending out press releases and created a network for us to distribute our media materials to (including local news outlets and nonprofit technology blogs). She launched our first public relations campaign, which landed coverage in PC Magazine, Ode Magazine and the Philanthropy Journal. Molly regularly edits and contributes to the Grassroots.org website, notably our press page and frequent blog posts. Molly has been instrumental in engaging our nonprofit membership by recruiting members to contribute to the newsletter, annual report and blog.

Molly has accomplished an incredible amount for us in the past 6 months and has been a wonderful addition to Grassroots.org. Molly’s press efforts have undoubtedly played a large part of the huge membership growth Grassroots experienced in the last year. In addition to helping us gain new members, Molly has also reengaged older members by reaching out to them for blog contributions. These engagement efforts are so important to us because the best way for us to gain new members is my word of mouth. So far, Molly has launched a “Member of the Month” series that allows us to feature one Grassroots member every month and give our other members advice on what makes a good nonprofit website. The monthly release has been standardized and will be very easy to continue to publish for other staff. In addition, Molly created our “Tool of the week” series. This feature presents reviews from Grassroots.org staff of technology tools that we think would benefit our members. This series has been extremely popular. Molly not only created the format for the series, but also came up with an extensive list of tools that we will be able to continue to feature on a weekly basis.

In addition to the annual report (which came about because Molly was self-motivated and thought that it would benefit our organization immensely), Molly has greatly extended the reach of our organization through her work in developing our social networking reach; namely our Twitter account. Although we had a Twitter account that was managed by me (Laura Benack) when Molly came on board, she completely changed the way we were using this outlet. In addition to getting all recent Grassroots.org news pushed out on Twitter, Molly also started to thoughtfully share useful articles and resources with our Twitter followers and interacting daily with other users in the nonprofit and technology fields. Molly has grown our follower list to just under 3,000 in just a few months. We will now be able to leverage this community of followers in the future and continue her methods of Twitter engagement.

Marketing and Outreach

Organization: 
Pro Bono Net
VISTA Name: 
Stephanie Lin
Program Start: 
7/2009
Program End: 
7/2010
Project Description: 

A VISTA member would work with Pro Bono Net staff to define short and long-term strategic outcomes for immigrants’ rights initiatives, create a project plan, and support Pro Bono Net and its partners in achieving outcomes defined in the project plan. Each of these initiatives uses technology to benefit low-income immigrants.

Goal 1: To provide strategic guidance and technical support for Pro Bono Net’s immigrants’ rights initiatives
Goal 2: Work with Pro Bono Net staff and partners to develop a training curriculum and toolkit to support the nonprofit immigrants’ rights sector
Goal 3: Research, implement and support new technology projects

Project Outcome: 

Stephanie’s primary focus was to develop a marketing database and other technology tools to expand our membership. In the year that Stephanie spent with us we increased our membership by approximately 1/3.

Stephanie’s efforts lead to a significant increase in membership as well as developed a robust marketing and outreach database that will continue to be a valuable tool for our project.

Stephanie took on a number of ad hoc research and other projects based on her interest in immigration law and policy. She also helped to support our social networking initiatives and overall content management.

Online Marketing and Outreach Development

VISTA Name: 
Joseph Crugnale
Program Start: 
7/2009
Program End: 
7/2010
Project Description: 

We would like to host a VISTA member who will develop effective social media communication that will support and complement A-VOYCE’s existing communications and outreach structure. The VISTA member will primarily be responsible developing our use of social media tools such as, but not limited to, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, blogs, wikis, for publicity, marketing, and fundraising purposes. The VISTA will develop training material for youth and staff on blogging, podcasting, digital and social media. ACDC needs to capitalize on social networking media and build our organizational capacity through increased use of technology-enabled venues.

Goal: To create and implement a web-based marketing and outreach strategy for ACDC and A-VOYCE youth development program in order to maximize the program’s outreach and fundraising capacity

Project Outcome: 

One of my main tasks is putting together our Annual Report. One of the more interesting elements of the report has been coordinating Chinese translations that accurately capture our programs; luckily there are staff members here who are able to help out with this.

The power of Facebook, Twitter, and many other forms of social media continue to fascinate me. We have some really innovative urban planning, human development, and youth-based programs which I think have great potential to be marketed using social media. It will be a good experiment to see just what is possible using these up and coming tools.

I have been able to apply my IST monies towards an accounting class. While at first glace an accounting class may not seem relevant to my marketing and communications work, it has been beneficial as I am gaining a greater understanding of how my organization operates. Additionally, it has helped me draft the important financial sections of our annual report, and compile content for charity rating websites which closely examine non-profit finances.

Transmission Project