Posts tagged ‘Social Media’

Shifting from Campaign to Cause

“The detached Don Drapers of the marketing world cannot simply rely on creating deep and lofty brand awareness campaigns any longer,” says cofounder and CEO of HubSpot Brian Halligan. He’s right. This mantra not only applies to Madison Avenue, but also within the ivory towers of public health creatives as well.

There’s more.

“Marketing campaigns are not about winning awards for creative, building the flashiest websites, gaming Google for higher rankings, generating mounds of media coverage, or negotiating the lowest cost per thousand (CPM) in order to interrupt the largest audience. The job of a marketing agency is to produce results that impact the bottom line.” This from Paul Roetzer of PR20/20 in his new book, The Marketing Agency Blueprint.

Can we get an amen?

Serving the Bottom Line

Though both gentlemen talk more so about agencies serving the private sector, parallels to the public sector are easily made. Instead of being satisfied with awareness measures of reach and impressions, let’s aim for game changing results and talk about how our efforts result in:

  • connections created
  • behavior changed
  • knowledge increased
  • attitude influenced
  • policy adjusted

To do so, we need to evolve the traditional mass media campaign model into one that serves the bottom line. Because even once you reach someone with your campaign, then what?

Broadcast on Blast

Building a bridge between awareness and action has been an ongoing pain point in public health and social change efforts. Using the mass media model, we’re really good at broadcasting our messages to reach people–often talking at them instead of with them. Yet even once reached, we stop the conversation.

At the CDC conference in August, some of my favorite brainiacs came together (shout out to Andre Blackman, Doug Weinbrenner, Nedra Weinreich, Jay Bernhardt and Mike Newton-Ward). We got into a conversation about “dosage.” Sure, that has to do with making an impact. But we also need to help voices be heard, information be shared and communities be built. For fellow theory-loving junkies, it’s about taking into consideration the whole social-ecological model.

Getting Our Hands Dirty

Traditional mass media models that follow TV PSAs, direct mail, radio announcements and the like allow us to safely distance ourselves from the nitty-gritty hard work of transforming our world. It puts us a hands distance from actually interacting with and serving our people. It’s time to roll up our sleeves.

Our work is no longer about building a one-and-done campaign, but about creating shared experiences and building movements. To build bridges, we have to walk side-by-side with those we want to not only reach, but truly engage.

Shifting Evidence

When you look at data such as knowing that 80% of U.S. adults look for health information online, 50% own smartphones, 20% or more own tablet devices and 10% have already downloaded a health app, you see a shift is occurring in how people are finding, using and sharing information. This demands that we too much shift our approach.

In May, I presented to the Metropolitan Washington Public Health Association on how new patterns and trends in communication offer new opportunities in engaging people in public health efforts. This shift isn’t about technology, but about people. People, empowered by digital media, can help evolve a campaign into a cause.

The presentation below presents three examples of how social media in particular can evolve a campaign into cause. Since I presented during National Women’s Health Week, this presentation focuses more so on this particular population.

The Social Media Shift: From Campaign to Cause from Alex Bornkessel

During the presentation, I shared additional data points on how positioning a public health effort as a cause when working with women can be especially effective. If you’re interested in this additional information, send an email to


Facebook Face Off: Military vs. Health

Source: DK Web Consulting

Twice as many fans engage on Military Facebook pages than pages from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) according to new reports from DK Web Consulting. Surprised? Let’s explore.

Key Findings

To benchmark government Facebook use, DK Web Consulting looked at 16 Military and 66 HHS agency Facebook pages to provide insight on how social media efforts compare across government.

Military Agencies:

  • Military pages average between 3 to 4 posts per day (3.9), roughly 19 posts per week including weekends when 92.9% of pages posted content.
  • The most commonly used content among all military agencies is photos. The U.S. Air Force often posts photos and asks fans to caption the image, a strategy that has proved successful. A recent photo-caption post generated as much as 120 shares, 1,480 “likes” and 2,602 comments.
  • Nearly 4% of fans are “Talking About” each military page, the highest rate among all government segments, and twice as high as the average for HHS pages.

Health Agencies:

  • Content creation varies as 16 of the 66 pages (24%) did not have a single post during the 7 day evaluation time frame.  Of the other 50 pages that did post during that 7 day period, the quantity ranged between 1 and 15 posts per week, with 0.7 posts per day being the average. The percentage of posts-per-day drops significantly on the weekends, as only 6% of HHS pages published content on either Saturday or Sunday.
  • 26 of the 66 (39%) HHS agencies don’t allow fans to post on their Facebook walls.
  • The average HHS page post receives 24 engagements (likes, comments, or shares).
  • The average number of custom tabs used among all 66 pages was 3.4, ranging from 0 to 11. The most commonly used Facebook tab was one for videos.

What This Means for You

Automated vs. Manual Updates

In both the military and the health pages, the third-party tool most used to manage the page was Hootsuite. Military pages were also more likely to use a third-party tool than health pages and military pages tend to have more fans and overall engagement. Coincidence? Maybe/Maybe not.

Before you register for Hootsuite know this: Hubspot and others have found that the use of third-party tools can actually make your posts have a lower Edgerank in Facebook, meaning less people see them. Pages using Hootsuite probably showed stronger in the benchmarking study due to having a savvier, more informed and collaborative team working on the effort–not necessarily due to the use of Hootsuite itself. Success is due to thinking beyond the tool.

Talking About This vs. Engagement Per Post

The study found that military pages had twice the number of people engaged in their overall page. However, it also found that health pages had more engagement per post. So which metric do you measure? Both (if resources allow since one is automatically reported by Facebook and the other collected manually).

What matters–is that you algin both metrics to the right goals and objectives. For example, with’s Facebook page, we looked at “talking about this” as an overall engagement metric. For us, we tended to have 7% of fans talking about the page which is five percentage points higher than the average HHS Facebook page (1.9%) which extended the exposure and influence of our messages. We also looked at engagement per post because sometimes it correlated directly to participation in’s weekly health challenge. The challenge with its individual posts helped us gauge attitudes, knowledge and intentions around certain preventive health behaviors. Engagement per post would also matter if you posed a poll and wanted to gauge responses, asked fans a particular question, used promoted posts or want to illicit a specific action. As your college professor would say, “it depends.”

During the Week vs. Weekend Posts

The Military pages had more engagement overall and more of their pages posted on the weekends. While bitly advises not to post on Facebook during the weekend, there could be a correlation to explore here (as peak times for posting on social media often conflict by source).


Social Media Is Not a Marketing Strategy

There, I said it. Social media in and of itself is not a strategy (gasp). It does not replace a solid marketing approach or even a communications plan. To be successful, it must be integrated into a larger strategic framework. This applies to organizations as well as programs, initiatives and (my dreaded word) campaigns.

Harvard Business Review recently published an article titled “Separate Social Media From Marketing:”

…we need to break out social media and talk about more than marketing and technology. Instead, we need to talk about what social media enables: the ability to collaborate in new ways — which is particularly important for business leaders interested in creating more collaborative, innovative, and engaging organizations. […]

The use of these platforms can truly transform a business by moving beyond brand marketing. Social media has enabled business leaders to think differently about how they engage and interact with both customers and employees. But just because you’ve opened the door doesn’t mean you’ve crossed the threshold into a new way of working, managing, and leading.

Your marketing team might have the best handle on social media, but what about other departments in your organization? When you change the focus from the technology to more about what the technology enables and what you want to achieve, then you change the conversation. You start to be strategic.

An Opportunity for Social Marketers

Craig Lefebvre on Twitter the other day shared an article on Paramount and how they are changing their approach to mobile from brand awareness to driving a behavioral outcome (buying a movie ticket). How we use social media should also evolve. In fact, how we view marketing and communications in general needs to evolve. Marketing isn’t something you think about “later,” it’s about so much more than communications and it doesn’t live within just one team. It’s integral to your success now and everyone plays a role.

I’ve written before about the “Word of the Year.” As December nears, I’m starting time for reflection early and designating all of December a time to ponder on the past, step back from the present and imagine tomorrow. My first thought? 2012’s”Word of the Year” might just be integration.

Facebook, Health and the Pursuit of Happiness

Facebook has become just about as integrated into American culture as apple pie. We all know apple pie tastes amazing–but when taken to the extreme and eaten on a consistent basis, it’s not exactly the healthiest food. This applies to Facebook as well. Facebook can offer a number of benefits–but it also has some potential drawbacks. And despite our shared love for Facebook, it’s important to be aware of its possible drawbacks. This post looks at a number of different research studies published in the past year that include some interesting findings.

Does Facebook help us feel more connected—or alone?

A recent set of studies found a paradox in Facebook psychology. The studies looked to answer the question: Does using Facebook help us feel more connected, or not? The results may surprise you.

The research was actually conducted through four different yet connected studies. The first study found that frequent Facebook usage relates to both increased connection–as well as increased feelings of disconnection. The second study found that disconnection motivates greater Facebook usage as a coping strategy as greater usage leads to greater connection (yes, this seems odd given the first study’s results).

The third study deprived participants of Facebook use for 48 hours. While feelings of connection decreased, the feeling of disconnection was unaffected. However, those who felt more disconnected actually engaged in increased Facebook use during a second 48-hour period.

In the fourth study, participants set a goal to reduce their use of Facebook. In setting this goal and working to achieve it, greater disconnection was felt. Those that had this feeling performed worse in achieving their goal.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Who has the best self esteem of them all?

Another study conducted by researchers at Cornell found that Facebook usage actually leads to increased self-esteem. “Facebook can show a positive version of ourselves,” associate professor Jeffrey Hancock told CNN. “We’re not saying that it’s a deceptive version of self, but it’s a positive one.”

Hancock is the co-author of a report titled, “Mirror, Mirror On My Facebook Wall: Effects of Exposure to Facebook on Self-Esteem” that was published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking. The study put 63 students in a university computer lab. Some computers were turned off with a mirror in front of it—while others were turned on showing the student’s Facebook page.

For three minutes, participants either stared at themselves in a mirror or reviewed their Facebook profile. When time was up, students were given a questionnaire to measure their self-esteem. The students who had been reviewing their Facebook profile gave more positive feedback than the others. The participants that edited their Facebook profile actually gave themselves the highest marks.

“For many people, there’s an automatic assumption that the internet is bad,” Hancock is quoted saying in an article published by CNN. “This is one of the first studies to show that there’s a psychological benefit of Facebook.”

Is the grass really greener?

Another study supports this finding as it found that those who like themselves tend to share more of themselves through social networks. And, that those more active on social networks tend to think more highly of themselves.

At the same time, another set of research published this past January, found that Facebook reinforces the idea that “the grass is always greener” and that everyone else is happier and better off than you. This research “suggests that people may think they are more alone in their emotional difficulties than they really are.” Not exactly a recipe for great self-esteem…

What does this mean for us?

Given the mixed results already discussed, we know research has also found that Facebook and social networking can help increase connectedness among certain communities–especially when it comes to our health. This post is in no way meant to be a down-with-Facebook rant. More so, here’s the take-away for us: Have a self-awareness of the good and the bad impact Facebook may have on you, to your community and in your work. Knowing and understanding the positive impact technology can have as well as its potentially harmful effects is a part of digital literacy. For those working in public Health, it’s an awareness we need to consider.

BONUS: BJ Fogg’s Psychology of Facebook class is on my need-to-do list. 

Do you know of additional research that looks into the psychology of Facebook? Please share!

flickr credit: Jason A. Samfield

Crossing the Double Divide, Two Million Dollar Questions

Earlier this month, Susannah Fox discussed a health Information divide based on a recent report. This divide was also confirmed in a recent literature review on the effectiveness of social media in public health–cited as a double divide:

“A common concern raised in the published literature (38, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70) relates to the populations with limited online access, poor literacy skills, and disabilities that impair access to social media platforms: “…health scientists exploring the issue of the digital divide have found evidence of a double divide. Specifically, those without internet access (a large portion of whom may be without adequate health care access) are prevented from gaining health information available on the Internet” (38).

Though this double divide exists, it does not mean that we should disregard the Internet and social media as a tool in our health communications and social marketing work. There are bright spots of the Internet and social media’s impact in public health and in impacting the health of vulnerable populations. As, the literature review goes on to share that some researchers suggest that social media platforms can actually “augment poor health literacy of basic literacy skills” and “that digital penetration into marginalized groups actually improves access to some specific demographics.”  And this is where the importance of the National Broadband Plan comes into play.

Why? Because of the National Broadband plan not only outlines how to increase access to the Internet across the United States. But, it also includes key recommendations for increasing digital literacy. One of the recommendations that caught my attention most was the call to create a Digital Literacy Corps with the objective of mobilizing thousands of Americans across the United States to improve digital literacy. Compound that with last year’s release of the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy and the objectives set out in Healthy People 2020, and we’re on our way to crossing this double divide.

But what do we do until then?

The literature review offers the following recommendations on using social media to improve effectiveness for public health:

  1. Establish clear objectives.
  2. Know your target audiences.
  3. Design campaigns for longevity and/or have exit strategies and clear archiving processes.
  4. Determine resource needs.
  5. Determine agency content-clearance processes and/or prepare pre-approved messaging scripts.
  6. Listen to online health discourse.
  7. Encourage or sponsor research.
  8. Encourage coordination.

These are great recommendations, and number 7 is especially important. But value is gained from having a critical eye. So when data like this from Pew’s Health Topics report is shared, how can we be sure to reach the people who need our attention:

…fewer than half of adults in the following groups in the U.S. look online for health information:

  • African Americans
  • Latinos
  • Adults living with a disability
  • Adults age 65 and older
  • Adults with a high school education or less

As I write and work to use social technologies for social good, I know their potential and understand the benefits they can offer. So I don’t necessarily need “convincing.” Instead, I’m on the lookout for case studies–from the local level and up.

A Case in Point

For example, in St. Louis, the St. Louis County Library and the physicians of Saint Louis University have teamed up on a series of free community health literacy programs, referred to as “60-Minute Health Check-Ups.” The check-ups are” designed to provide information and resources to help attendees learn more about health-related issues. Each program features health information presented by a SLUCare professional, followed by health literacy tips from a St. Louis County Library reference librarian and free health screenings.”

This might not seem wildly innovative–but it’s a strong example of the place “P” in social marketing. And, when you add these stats from the 2010 U.S. IMPACT Public Library study into the mix (borrowed from a comment made by Luke Rosenburger on Susannah’s Health Information Divide post)–you can see the opportunity increased digital literacy could provide for better health:

Research has shown that libraries are a very important nexus for this kind of connection. The “US IMPACT” study, released April 2010 by the University of Washington Information School and underwritten by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, reveals that nearly one in three Americans age 14 or older — 32% or roughly 77 million people — used a library computer or wireless network to access the Internet in the previous year. Among people living in households whose income was less than 200% of federal poverty guidelines ($44,000 a year for a family of four), 44% used library computers and Internet access.

Thirty-seven percent of library computer users, an estimated 28 million people, focused on health and wellness issues, including learning about medical conditions, finding health care providers, and assessing health insurance options. In one particular group — seniors (65 and older) living in poverty — a full 54% used library computers for health or wellness needs.

The study also suggests that library computer use leads to positive action on health and wellness: roughly half of the people who used a public library computer to find doctors or health care providers reported that they made follow-up appointments. Among those who reported researching diet and nutrition issues online at the library, 83% decided to change their diet; among visitors who searched for exercise and fitness information, 84% decided to change their exercise habits. The benefits also reach beyond just the individuals who come into the library: nearly two-thirds of library computer users (63%) logged on to help others; 56% reported helping friends or family with health matters specifically.

So are libraries the answer? From the information provided and from knowing some smart and savvy librarians, I’d say yes! But, I feel like they are just part of the answer.

The Million Dollar Questions

One:  What are people doing to cross this double divide and what results are they seeing? Show us the case studies and share the lessons learned!

Two:  In what ways can we reach people on the side of the divide without health information and without digital literacy skills–and bridge the gap in terms of health disparities and health information, services and products? (And before you answer “MySpace” or “mobile” –show me the evidence. As, I feel more and more strongly, to cross the divide, we need a markets-based approach to health that addresses changes regarding the social determinants of health. No?)

BONUS: CDC’s January 2011 Health Disparities and Inequalities Report (CHDIR) — The information in this report is astounding and eye-opening.

flickr credit: kcryder

Quote of the Week: Impersonal Engagement

This week’s quote comes from Joseph Yoo of Step by Step–a blogger I discovered through Andrew Conrad. Yoo talks about a time when he was in seminary and worked at the Korean United Methodist Church of Greater Washington. In his post, Yoo shares a story with us about a small significant moment that I think is significant still today and outside the walls of the church.

On this particular day, Yoo was helping out with the church’s youth ministry  where the youth would go out to the parks of DC and hand out sandwiches to the less fortunate. On this day though, there were more people than there were sack lunches available and the following interaction occurred:

As the kids were getting in the car, one of the homeless men came up to the passenger window of the van. Thinking he needed a sandwich, the pastor said, “Sorry, we don’t have any more sandwiches. But Jesus loves you.” The man started yelling back, “I know Jesus loves me! But what about you?”

Impersonal Engagement

Yoo goes on to say how the pastor just kept repeating the same thing: Jesus loves you. And the guy kept asking the same thing: Yes, but what about you? until the car drove off. I won’t do it justice, but Yoo goes on to talk about how impersonal things get sometimes–even when you have good intentions. And that sometimes, to truly make a difference and show you care, you have to get engaged and this may mean you have to roll-up your sleeves, get your hands dirty and get involved.

Your Challenge

Does this sound familiar? I find Yoo’s story relevant because in the world of social media–it gets easy to thank someone for a RT. It gets easy to post a photo. It gets easy to give a #followfriday shout out. It gets easy to ask them for feedback or respond to an inquiry. It’s gets easy…and impersonal. So, here’s your challenge:

Take Five Steps Back

  1. Review your communications. Look through your Twitter feed and Facebook postings. Count the number of times you have an authentic interaction with a customer versus the number of promotional postings or generic responses.
  2. Review the conversations you’ve had with customers. Have you taken the conversation to the next level? Did you answer their question?
  3. Talk to outsiders. For example, call local media–not to pitch a story. But just to ask them what they think about your organization or cause.
  4. Know your competition. Look at your competitor’s website, Twitter, Facebook, blog, etc. How are they engaging people? What can you learn from them? What gaps exist?
  5. Get outside your comfort zone. Talk to people that don’t work in your department or function within your organization. Showing people you care inside the organization will build an attitude of caring.

What else? How can we make sure we are authentically engaging people and building relationships?

Like they say: If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Don’t be everyone. Be unique–this is how you will offer true value to your customers.

flickr credit: Matthew Yaktine

Twitter Promotes Social Good

There’s been a development with Twitter (surprise). But this time, it’s for social good. A little link found itself on the Twitter homepage, and with it, Twitter has entered a more formal “Twitter for Social Good” status. See the screen shot below.

If you click on that little link, you are directed to “” with a personal note from @ev and @biz, the founders of Twitter. They share that in this space, they will highlight social movements that deserve our attention. Currently, the site features Haiti efforts and efforts for World Malaria Day. A stream called the “Ecosystem of Hope” also provides tweets provided by nonprofits. On individual cause pages, Twitter provides a variety of action-oriented ways to get involved:

  • Highlights tweets from related organizations working towards the cause,
  • Highlights tweets from around the world about the cause,
  • Provides sponsors names,
  • Provides actionable retweets for fund-raising efforts using,
  • Offers real-time fund-raising results,
  • Promote mobile fund-raising efforts,
  • Suggested Twitter accounts to follow,
  • Tips on how to best use Twitter to support a specific cause,
  • and more.

It’ll be interesting to see how this space evolves–how Twitter will choose what to highlight and how nonprofits react. In a way, it reminds me of BlogCatalog’s “BloggersUnite” initiative. For those wanting to be featured, Twitter refers you to its case studies to learn best practices. To be officially considered for what Twitter is calling its “Twitter for Good” program, they provide a contact form.

What are your thoughts–how should Twitter use its leverage for good?

The Social Round-Up

You all seemed to like this last time, so here we go again. I want to make sure I provide the best links for you–links that I feel deserve your time and attention. So, this won’t be every week. It may be every other week…or every month.



Social Change

  • Stories of Change–20/20 Predictions: For’s third Stories of Change eBook series, Ashoka asked its social entrepreneurs to think about what the world would look like in 2020. And to follow-up that question, Ashoka asked them what each would do in the next year to move us closer to their vision.
  • A Wiki of Experts: The WeAreMedia project put together this “Expertise Map,” offering a long list of people who are passionate about doing good. If you are looking to connect with good people, this could be a good starting point.
  • The Other City: This film sets out to explore DC–the other side of DC, the side with an HIV/AIDS rate equal to Africa. If you are in DC, be on the lookout as I’m thinking we should get a group together to go to the screening once its announced.

Social Marketing

  • The Dragons of Behavior Change: If you read my “Awareness Fever” post, then you will want to read Craig Lefebvre’s follow-up post. In this post, Craig takes the conversation to the next level. Say, everyone around the table agrees to focus not on awareness–but on behavior outcomes, then what? Enter the land of the dragons. You are going to need to prepped with the right tools, resources and questions to ask. Craig’s post can help get you started on the right foot for the journey.
  • Healthy People and Social Marketing: Mike Newton-Ward share with us the update regarding adding a social marketing objectives to Healthy People 2020 saying, “This is proving to be quite the year for social marketing! Just today I learned that social marketing is in the preliminary Healthy People 2020 Health Objectives for the nation!” This is a big step for social marketing. BIG.
  • MINDSPACE: Influencing Behavior through Public Policy: This document comes out of the UK’s Cabinet Office and the Institute for Government. The fact that this type of report was even written–let alone by such two high profile organizations gives me great hope. The document aims to use behavior change theory to move policy makers to better address some of our worlds greatest problems. The document’s announcement includes the words: “Today’s policy makers are in the business of influencing behavior.” If only more people not only realized that–but were equipped with the rights tools–social marketing–to make an impact. Caveat:  I just found the resource and printed it out for myself, so I can’t yet speak to it in its entirety–but a huge thanks to Craig for his post that brought this resource to my attention.
  • Journal of Social Marketing: Until now, the only social marketing journal was the Social Marketing Quarterly. In 2011, this will no longer be true as the first issue of the Journal of Social Marketing will be published. Currently, the journal is recruiting work for publication.

Social Media and Communications

  • Twitter Your Own Adventure: Remember those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books? Welcome to the Twitter edition. I share this because as the use of social media becomes more sophisticated–storytelling is becoming ever more crucial. How can you be creative in how you tell a story?
  • Open for Business–The Google Apps Marketplace: With over 2M businesses having used Google applications over the last three years, Google has recently announced its Google Apps Marketplace. The marketplate is a “new online store for integrated business applications. The Google Apps Marketplace allows Google Apps customers to easily discover, deploy and manage cloud applications that integrate with Google Apps.” Already, more than 50 companies are now selling their business applications within the marketplace. This is a big development that we will be sure to watch as App stores similiar to Apple’s and continue to emerge and evolve.
  • 10 Steps for Optimizing the Brand for Social Search: Brian Solis provides a jam-packed post full of helpful information and next steps.
  • Top 10 Best Practices for Federal Government Web Sites from Whether you are a newbie or a veteran, this site offers something for everyone. If not this Web page, all of is a great resource and helpful guide.

What about you? What good info have you read lately? Please provide the link in the comments so we can all check it out. Also–if you’re in love with your Google Reader like me, here’s my public profile. Let’s connect.

flickr credit: Benimoto

Behind the Scenes of NBC’s Parenthood Project

In the midst of reflecting on Pepsi Refresh, Disney and other CSR efforts, I received an email about another project with a social message–NBC’s Parenthood Project that worked in conjunction with the Boys and Girls Club. Curious–I responded to the email asking if I could interview someone behind the campaign to learn about the inter-workings of business doing good.

Enter Cathy Goldman, NBC Vice President, Promotion & Brand Management. Cathy was kind enough to answer my questions. And while NBC didn’t answer all my questions, I find the answers fascinating. What I take away from both the Web site and Cathy’s answers is how integrated each facet of the project is–from the TV series, to leveraging social media through video, photos and text, to the universal concept of parenthood–all the way to identifying a non-profit that has a strong family strengthening initiative–it’s smart. Read for yourself and share your thoughts below:

SB:  Where did the idea for the Parenthood Project originate and how did it evolve?

CG:  Using our campaign strategy as inspiration, we wanted to give viewers an opportunity to participate in the dialogue that we began about what parenthood means to them. Considering this very relate-able topic, we thought tying in a charity component would resonate strongly not only with consumers but with talent. The talent participation has exceeded our expectations as they were all willing to share in the cause.

SB:  What are the goals of the Parenthood Project–What is NBC hoping to achieve?

CG:  There were a few goals, including: to elevate the conversation on what parenthood means; establish a dialogue with our viewers to make them feel involved with this highly relate-able topic; raise funds for a valuable charity that closely aligns with the show content, and tap into our talent to raise this topic into cultural relevance.

SB:  How did the Boys and Girls Club get involved?

CG:  We wanted to partner with a charity that had a national footprint, and after doing some research, we found that The Boys and Girls Club had a powerful family program (Family Strengthening Initiative) that provides viable resources for families

SB:  How did you decide to involve people through social media–and how did you choose which social media to include?

CG:  In all of our marketing communications, we look for ways to utilize and leverage social media tools. Since the main underpinnings of social media are meant to break down walls between people and their circle of friends and influencers, we concluded it was an important tactic that would elevate and amplify the messaging of this important project.

SB:  More and more, we’re seeing an increase in social media for social good–especially in the arena of corporate social responsibility. Why do you think that is? How can we continue to improve upon past success?

CG:  The heart of social media is the idea that people have their own online communities–and what better way to maximize those new connections for people than to incorporate a pro-social message.

The Social Round-Up

I’ve called these round-ups by different names, but the concept is the same–share some of the recent links, resources and info I’ve been reading about social change, social marketing and social media. Now that I’ve finally switched my RSS reader from Bloglines to Google Reader, I find myself there a lot more–even more so than Twitter (gasp). Thus, let’s get on with the show.


Social Change

  • Industry Forecast: Philanthropy and Social Investing: Blueprint 2010–The great Lucy Bernholz, through her company Blueprint Research & Design and in partnership with Stanford’s Social Innovation Review, recently released “the first ever independent annual industry analysis for philanthropy and social investing.” According to readers, the forecast is full of insights and revelations regarding the business of giving.
  • What the World Needs Now–This is a bit of a softer piece, but Mitch Joel of Six Pixels Apart does a great job of inspiring by listing eight areas we should be focusing on and thinking about as we work to change our world for the better. Note: The first item he mentions is that the world needs a “mindshift” — and then points to the happenings in behavioral economics for added insight.
  • 5 Ideas Worth Spreading from TED–Nathaniel Whittemore of’s Social Entrepreneurship Blog is the envy of us all as he got to attend the TED 2010 Conference. If you want to do social change, look at what some of the top thinkers of our time are doing, why they are doing it and how it may influence your own work. From this list, the one that stood out to me was the idea that we need to change our relationship with food. Another, was how Nathaniel describes the moment when Bill Gates spent 18 full minutes publicly sharing his views on climate change.

Social Marketing

  • Design Thinking and Behavior Change: The term “design thinking” is everywhere–is anyone else noticing this? So, it comes to no surprise that design thinking meets behavior change thanks to social marketeer Craig Lefebvre who recently put together this helpful 17-slide presentation. Skimming through it alone will get the juices flowing about how disciplines can criss-cross, leading to effective change.
  • Authenticity in Corporate Social Responsibility–I know, you’re thinking “CSR is not social marketing.” And you’re right–Social marketing is bigger. However, I include it here because I see CSR as a rising opportunity for social marketing, and Geoff touches on the reason why–authenticity. More companies want to be more intentional and take CSR from something to throw money at to a sustainable, organization-centric value that has impact. Yes, I know “it depends,” but we’ve been keeping the treasures of social marketing in the realms of “just health” for too long. Why couldn’t we take the framework of social marketing and the lessons we’ve learned and apply it to CSR? We can. If it helps, don’t call it CSR. Instead, think of it as more people wanting to do business better.

Social Media and Communications

  • 5 Terms that Signify the Future of Mobile Marketing–Ogilvy PR’s Rohit Bhargava shares the five concepts that he thinks will move mobile forward in 2010.
  • Buzz vs. Facebook vs. MySpace vs Twitter–Jeremiah Owyang does it again and offers a strong breakdown of these four platforms. It’s the perfect chart that you can pass along to colleagues who want quick yet extensive information on how these platforms relate.
  • Can E-Readers and Tablets Save the News?–Not only does this article feature a Missouri J-School Professor (woot-woot!), but the article is deeper than the title suggests. At the heart of it, it talks about online content and digital publishing. Being an e-book reader myself and seeing the expanding number of communication platforms (hello Google Buzz), this article is worth the time to take in and meditate on the value of content and the future role of content vetting and control (via consumers, publishers or media producers).

What about you? What good info have you read lately? Please provide the link in the comments so we can all check it out. Also–if you’re in love with your Google Reader like me, here’s my public profile. Let’s connect.

flickr credit: Benimoto