October 2013
Communications & public relations advice for nonprofits                                                                                                                                                                                                

  Brought to you by your friends at Anat Gerstein Inc.  

Staff photo
New look.
Same great advice.

For all of you who read this newsletter on your cell phones - and we know there are lots of you - we've changed the layout to make it easier for you.  For everyone else, we've still got the same content.  At the bottom of this email you'll find our Pitching Notes column, with advice from NYNP's Fred Scaglione.  Directly below is some food for thought to feed your social media appetite.

Speaking of food, we wish you a very happy Thanksgelting (the
New York Times calls it Thanksgivukah, but we think our name sounds better).

All the best,
The Anat Gerstein Inc. Team

Rethink Social Media


One problem we've noticed is that organizations too often see social media as a task that needs to simply be checked off the to-do list.  Posts and tweets are too often about what happened yesterday or today or what is happening tomorrow, with an occasional shout-out to a partner organization or link to a news article.


To combat this to-do mentality and help nonprofits dial up their social media engagement, we often recommend to organizations that they look at their social media activity as campaigns. 


Here are a few examples we recently executed on behalf of clients - and the impact they had on the organizations.



Use Twitter to Generate Buzz for New Data


We recently represented the International Downtown Association, managing press and social media for their 59th Annual Meeting in New York City.  One of our tasks was to promote a report that was going to be released at the meeting.


In addition to pitching media outlets to generate stories, we used Twitter to create online buzz.  Over the course of three days, we sent out dozens of tailored tweets on report data and information that would appeal to specific media outlets - television, print, radio, blogs - and we tagged those outlets in the tweets.


Here's one example from October 7, 2013: "USA's 231 major downtown areas contain 18.7 million jobs - 14.4% of all US employment. #IDANYC http://www.definingdowntown.org @Reuters" This post had 39x normal reach!


We also tagged organizations that could be impacted by the report's findings.


The result: social media was the driving force promoting the new report, which was downloaded 36,350 times in the first 3 days following its release.



Create Excitement for an Old Story


The Museum of the City of New York had an exhibition, Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers, that was scheduled to close in September and they asked us to drum up some excitement - and attendance - in the final weeks of the exhibition's run.


We came up with the idea of generating buzz by having various people spend 24-hour periods living in the micro-apartment exhibition and using social media to talk about their experience.


For example, a group of reporters from Curbed live blogged throughout their stay. Their blogs were shared nearly 700 times.  There were roughly 50 comments and 80 tweets of the blog. Several of their posts and vlogs (video blogs) were downright funny.  You can see it all here: http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/08/14/liveblogging_24_hours_in_a_325squarefoot_apartment.php


The result: attendance at the Museum rose 57% over the weekend and 25% during the two-week period that followed the stays.



Our three tips for a new social media strategy:


1.     Think in Small Bites. If you need to ramp up your social media efforts, consider engaging via campaigns, instead of a long-term, daily commitment to social media.  Come up with one manageable idea, execute it and assess its impact.  Use lessons learned to develop your next campaign. Create hashtags for Twitter so you can follow activity. And pay close attention to interactions on Facebook, responding to people's posts to get them more engaged.


2.    Get Your Friends, Colleagues and Peers Involved. Social media is all about being.... social.  Get people you know involved by tagging them in posts and tweets, emailing them to get involved in your campaign, following their social media activity and engaging with them on the things they care about too.


3.     Social Media is Here to Stay. It's true that there seems to be a new platform out each month that's billed as the next great social media channel.  Keeping up with it all is a job on its own.  But, one thing is certain: social media is here to say.  If you're not using it smartly, you're missing out on engaging your stakeholders and getting new people involved with your work.  


Pitching Notes

Fred Scaglione                                   

Editor, New York Nonprofit Press


I edit New York Nonprofit Press and the daily NYNP E-Newsletter.  I started NYNP in 2002 after a career that included experience in government, nonprofits and journalism.  Spent 17 years in NYC government, culminating as Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Finance and Personnel at the Child Welfare Administration.   Also was a writer both on staff and as a freelancer for a variety of trade magazines. Was CFO at a statewide nonprofit agency operating child welfare and juvenile justice programs.         


I consider stories on issues and activities involving or impacting nonprofit human service provider agencies in NYS and the people who work in them, e.g. new programs, contracts, grants, key staff appointments, budgetary and regulatory issues, fundraising activity and events, etc.


The story should be of interest to people who work in the field of human services, i.e. child care, senior services, mental health, substance abuse treatment, youth development/afterschool programs, developmental disabilities services, employment programs, etc.  We do not cover the arts, medical research, higher education, or any programmatic activities or services outside of NYS.   Since we are writing for a professional audience, we are light on "human interest" and heavy on funding sources, regulations, program models, staffing issues, etc.


How to contact me: email me at editor@nynp.biz


anat gerstein inc.

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Connecting people to causes.
Building brand recognition and reputation.


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