Use the Heart to Keep the Buzz Going

On a bright September afternoon, six strangers glanced about the classroom, made eye contact with five proximal classmates, and serendipitously assembled into a high functioning team.  IMG_1412

All members were engaged and participated in all of our planned meetings.  Our brainstorming sessions were fun and productive, yielding a series of ideas that we prioritized unselfishly and weaved into a plan.  We selected and vetted a reputable charity with a just and noble cause.  Through the creativity of our team, we soon had a logo exempt from DePaul brand restrictions, an attractive T-shirt design, a cleverly assembled cookie mix for sale, and a series of fun events that were sure to attract many participants and donors.  We were excited by our progress – there was no way we could fail in our mission.  We launched our team Facebook page and Making Strides ACS team site, sent out an appeal through email and waited for our buzz to go viral….

Family, work, and school responsibilities have placed me into an extended social media coma.  I’ve rarely checked my Facebook profile, and almost never posted anything for the past four years.  Now, due to this class assignment and our social media communication strategy, I began obsessively checking my site for updates and applying as many “likes” to our posts as possible to promote them to my network.  Did anyone out there in Facebook land “like” my posts or the ones on my team site?  Was our message getting through?  Should we consider paying money for Facebook to “boost” our post?  Do we need to invest more money in advertising to raise more money?

Perhaps it’s not the quantity of communications, but rather their quality that matters most.  A recent blog post from the site npEngage compiled some good, if not obvious, tips that will likely seem familiar to many readers.  Periodically updating team members and our social network about our progress towards our financial goals, describing how funding enables the programs of the American Cancer Society, and personally thanking our individual donors are critical communications that we can’t forget to send out.  Are there any communications that your group has sent out that have been particularly effective in generating responses to your campaign?

During our team’s October 4, 2015 yoga event, I found the instructor’s connection of our project to the yoga session moving.  Mariel Victoria introduced the class to a difficult (for me) pose, “the wheel,” that was selected in the spirit of opening the heart to charity and kindness.  After 75 minutes of physically demanding yoga, Mariel encouraged the class to bring forward any other projects or concerns to share with the group.  Prior to the start of the session, I was prepared to speak to the class with enthusiasm about our events and items for sale.  Afterwards, I knew that my delivery would not have been nearly as effective as Mariel’s for that audience.  Many of the attendees stopped by our area and took information, bought cookie mix, or just donated.  For me, this reemphasized the importance of quality in the communication, and I intend to up my game for the remainder of the “Blue Demons for a Cure” campaign.  How will you adjust your message to optimize your project’s appeal?

6 thoughts on “Use the Heart to Keep the Buzz Going

  1. Great post and awesome t-shirts! Our group is also raising money for the same cause except for a different organization. With October being one of the biggest and most popular months for Cancer initiatives, a challenge we saw immediately was making our charity event stand out next to all the Susan G. Komen walks, races, etc. We found that the best audience was those in our direct social circle which was why social media was our top choice for marketing. We were also able to reach out to local community members and businesses for advertisement. Good luck on your project! The cookie idea is great!

  2. Thank you for sharing the article/blog, it is very much relevant to our projects and their success. I believe the most valid point brought up by the author is thinking about who you are talking to. Our team has shared our message using different platforms-social media (Facebook and Twitter); personal and professional e-mails; letters to local businesses and each time I’m getting ready to hit send, I think twice if I was the reader would the message and the writing style appeal to me, would it make reach for my credit card or show up to an event on a Sunday afternoon. Great read, thank you again for sharing.

  3. Chuck, thank you for reminding me that our project campaigns (within the class) are a personal affair. With all the technology in the world, the best cookie jar and t-shirt sales are still arising from in-person communications. I can see from our team’s results so far that our workplaces, yoga event, and happy hour event allowed us to speak one-on-one with people or groups to share our story, our “why.” So many companies who are successful in managing new product/project releases start with the “why” as well – in other words, they start with the heart of a message. I think of how Apple released the Apple Watch, and they drew a heart to send as a message to another person. We’re most connected at the heart. Fantastic post!

  4. Great blog and post Chuck. And great work as our project manager controlling that all our ideas didn’t get out of scope. Cookie mix, T-Shirts, Pink Drink, Yoga and 5K Walk, sounds like a lot, but we are being able to reach all our goals, and as you state Social media is a very important platform that can help you build awareness and communicate with people interested in helping our cause. And About the post I think we are definitely adding personal touch in our post, even translating them to different languages to have for impact, and always trying to keep things fun, uploading images throughout all our different micro events.

  5. Great Job! Your event sounds like it was a success. I personally could not agree more that communication is the most important part of planning a successful event. Our group did decide to pay for our message to be advertised on Facebook and it has really reached more people than we could have ever accomplished without it. I also agree that communications need to be flexible depending on the audience. I believe this is a crucial part of both project management and overall business. Our social media page has been used to spread awareness and I think I will take your advice to post a thank you to our sponsors and donors. Great tips!

  6. Great article and great insight! Using our distribution channels has helped expand our efforts for our project. Communication is key and is definitely the most important to incorporate for a great project success. I feel that you observed great tips for communication being flexible. Starting with the heart is a great way to share a message which grabs attention. After reading your blog I’m sure your project was a success if you followed this method. Thank you for the informational tips, I will be implementing them in the future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *