It was an early morning after a late night. I know I’ve talked mostly about the sessions and workshops I’ve attended, but there are also the SXSW parties that one will want and should attend. Get out, meet some new people, embrace the SXSW vibe, enjoy some live music and have some fun! Some of the parties feature some A-listers, and sometimes they just pop in unannounced. If one’s lucky, one might have a celebrity sighting. Sadly, I’m still looking for Ryan Gosling.
Anyhow, there was one last session that I attended at this year’s conference, How to Raise Awareness Through Blogger Outreach. This session focused on how bloggers can help raise awareness about a cause. They can also use their voices to help raise funds for a cause.
This panel discussion was led by Beverly Robertson of the March of Dimes. Highly vested in social media, she works with mommy bloggers Debbie Bookstaber of Bloganthropy.org, Katherine Stone of PostPartum Progress and Kristine Brite McCormick of Cora’s Story Inc. to spread her organization’s message.
Non-profit organizations should value their relationships with bloggers just like they would with any other partnership. They should research and identify bloggers that are extremely passionate about their cause. They should take the time to get to know that blogger by connecting with them on Twitter, following their blog, fully understanding the blogger’s purpose, asking the blogger if he/she can send over his/her blog’s stats, etc.
Once a connection is made, non-profits should empower bloggers to be unique. Because bloggers have a personal connection to the cause and to their readers, they can effectively motivate and engage readers in a way that is genuine to them. They’ll go beyond a banner ad or a simple post. They might share the organization’s message on other social media sites and conduct their own online fundraising campaign.
One thing non-profit organizations might want to remember is that bloggers travel in packs. If a blogger feels that their relationship with a non-profit organization is merely one-sided, then they will let the other bloggers now. On the flip side, play nicely with a blogger and he/she can spread your message through guest posts and blog link ups.