Miss A Columnist

Amanda Ivarra is a graduate of Texas A&M University. After graduating with a degree in Health, she moved to Austin and started working for a national non-profit organization. She spent 5 years coordinating community events and programs. After leaving the organization, she started to focus on her creative pursuits. Currently, she is working on developing her own jewelry line. Writing has always been a hobby for Amanda. For most of her life, she’s kept journals. It wasn’t until recently that she decided to take her writing public and began blogging and guest blogging. The one thing this girl can’t live without is music. Not really one to sing or play an instrument, she just loves music. Perhaps, it’s the songwriting that she admires so much or a good beat that she can dance to. Whether she’s attending a concert with friends, hanging out with the guys watching sports, volunteering in the community, hiking or visiting the newest places in town, Amanda lives to enjoy life. But, nothing brings more joy to her than being able to make someone smile or laugh!

Recap: SXSW Interactive Day 5

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.

Beverly Robertson, March of Dimes (Photo Credit: Amanda Ivarra)

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.

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