COM0015 – Assignment #5 – Event Participation

Professional Development with Online Webinars

MoFlow Logo

MoFlow is a content marketing service geared toward not-for-profit organizations. I use information from MoFlow to come up with ideas for Inn From The Cold, where I’m a volunteer board member responsible for advising on marketing and communications. In addition, MoFlow helps me with ideas for writing my own blog and developing my own business.

The event I attended was a webinar presented by Marlene Oliveira called:

3 Steps to Generating Dozens of Nonprofit Blog Post Ideas

I’ve been a subscriber to MoFlow’s blog for a few years but have not been very engaged. I have great respect for Marlene as a content marketer. She does many activities to engage her followers, so I’m glad to have finally participated in one of her webinars.

A screenshot of the event in progress
MoFlow Webinar Attendance

How I interacted

I’d like to see a blog start on the Inn From The Cold’s website. So I asked the moderator how to find qualified volunteer bloggers to co-author so this task would not fall on the shoulders of just one person (probably me). She acknowledged that this can be tricky because you have to decide their level of involvement: Would they just write whatever they want (could be problematic), or would I become an editor, laying out their topics, deadlines and guidelines, plus editing the writing. This was a valid point. I hadn’t thought it may be just as much work supervising someone as it would be to write it myself.

In terms of actually finding a qualified person, she advised to always be open to people’s skills. Do they have good writing skills but need ideas? Or do they have lots of good ideas, but can’t write well? The best person, she advised, would have a combination of both skills.

She also recommended relationship building as the first step. She said, “Keep a lens on it” as you go about your business making contacts, and if you have a good, well-organized blog set up, most people will be flattered to be invited to co-author.

My best take aways

When starting a non-profit blog, participants were reminded to to ask themselves if they had defined 4 things first:

  • The purpose of the blog
  • The goals of the blog
  • The audience
  • The contributors

I often wonder how to find out more about the characteristics of a target audience. We have details from Facebook. But for a lot of personal descriptions, aren’t we just guessing? One of the best take aways from this webinar was a checklist for creating an audience persona. This came with the additional tip to choose someone you know in your target audience and interview them. For example, interview a volunteer to find a goldmine of information, such as their education, employment, religion, family status, likes/dislikes, hobbies, favourite topics, concerns and interests. After this, create an ideal reader in your mind.

Then go to work on another segment of your target audience, and build another persona – say, a major donor. In fact, we can accomplish building a persona while interviewing these people to write personality profiles as a blog posts.

A Quotable Quote

The moderator was answering a question about recycling content you already have in order to come up with blog ideas. She said,

“I recommend going back to the well.”

She said to look for the most popular topics, we could check our blog or web analytics to find out which links are clicked on the most and which web pages are most often visited. As for printed materials, look at specific pieces that are in demand and need frequent reprints. Good content is found all around each organization. It’s just a matter of pulling it out and repurposing it.

Future plans for similar events

I do occasionally participate in free webinars and I’m registered for a different one later this week. Some are very good like the one I attended today. Others I’ve found to be a waste of time. I will definitely register for another one of MoFlow’s webinars because the content is extremely useful to me and so there’s good value for the time I spend. If you are a communicator working at a not-for-profit organization, I’d highly recommend MoFlow’s blog.

COM0014 – Target Audiences

One of our goals at Inn From The Cold in Newmarket, Ontario, is to increase the number of volunteers and donors supporting the organization. The Board Chair and I have been providing a PowerPoint presentation to community service groups over the last few months and have been well-received.

IFTC PPT Image

 

Hopefully these presentations will translate into the support we need. However, it’s hard to find groups that will have us. I’d like to know more about how to approach similar groups in a way that will make them welcome us as presenters.

 

So my target audience is charitable community service groups in York Region, Ontario, usually consisting of tight knit groups of people. People in these groups are individuals with an interest in:

  • giving back
  • community development
  • social activism

Reflecting on this group and incorporating what I know about our existing volunteer and donor base, as well as the attendees at previous presentations, I expect this group to have the following demographic characteristics:

  • married
  • middle class
  • even split of male/female
  • 40 to 70 years old, may be retired and have grandchildren
  • member of a Christian faith

In researching the target audience, I checked a few platforms. A search for homelessness on WordPress reveals that there is a huge interest in the topic. I had my eyes opened while searching because of this blog, which provides some insight about a specific audience I hadn’t previously thought of – the LGBT community.

Further insights came from Facebook pages: The Homeless Hub (an Education Website) and Raising the Roof (a non-profit organization). Either of these sites could be a good place to become engaged to increase our presence on social media and reach the target audience.

Homeless for 10 yrs

Raising the Roof has conducted a successful online campaign to create an awareness about homelessness. One of their YouTube videos, in which homeless people read mean tweets, currently has over 1.3 million views. There is a great deal of engagement in the comments, so this may be a good place to begin an effective conversation as well.