Sunday, April 10, 2011

What I learned at 11ntc

General learning

Integrated communications – many are still struggling with how to many the multiple channels we communicate in. The key is to start with a focus and goals, get the content, then work on distribution.


Keynote – Dan Heath author of Switch
·      To make change happen you have to direct the rider, motivate the elephant and shape the path:
o   Direct the Rider – understanding strategy doesn’t mean you know what to do to make it happen. Look for the successes and build off of those. We spend too much time thinking about our failures. In life there will always be a number of need
o   Motivate the Elephant – change is sparked by feeling, not information. We think it goes analyze, think, change but it might be see, feel, change. You need to have the desire to change, not just the idea.
o   Shape the path – Make it easy for change to happen. Remove the barriers and create an environment where failure is part of the process.

Small org doesn’t equal small tech – presented this session, but as always learned things.
  • Importance of getting focus of technology conversation away from technology: tips-get outside views, form advisory board
  • Relying on tech vendors is challenging when you don’t know the technical questions to ask
  • Build vs buy conversation is really less pertinent when there are so many buy options with flexibility to build
  • Not only are we moving from capital tech purchases to operations expense, we have stopped buying only tech (tools) and started buying ways to run our work (solutions).

Segmenting communications – all about how to do predictive versus regression segmenting
  • Sending email to everyone tells an audience that you don’t know anything about them and they stop listening. Messages focused on my interests keep me engaged.
  • Just because an email is free doesn’t mean everyone has to get every email, make it matter to that person.
  • Segment on RFN – Recent time, frequency and amount of donation.
  • Focus on medians when analyzing, not averages. Averages get skewed too easily.
  • Content should be dynamic for everyone.

Network Neutrality Keynote – Not too much to say about this one… Fascinating topic with potential for deep impact.

Storyteller kit – ideas and structure to build storytelling.
  • Create a safe place before starting an interview (put the camera down, ease into it, prepare the person)
  • In a story don’t forget to provide an action
  • Content strategy – purposeful, measurable, sustainable. Steps= prioritize audience, what do THEY want, leverage themes, concise message
  • Get it all out at once. Even if a story is too long to publish, write it all down. Then you can go back and break it up.
  • In stories, write how you would speak
  • Write the stories that you cant wait to tell people
  • Use pen & paper to transcribe, writing gives physical form to thoughts and is easier to transcribe. (and might be less of a distraction than tech)
  • Don’t approach a story as a job, approach it as a chance to really learn about a person through conversation (genuine interest breaks barriers)
  • Attention to detail makes a great story. What captures your attention? Not just another formula story
  • Storytelling is personal. Make it personal. The reason why you write, connection to yourself and audience.

Hyperlocal session:
  • has health issue searches at a hyper local level, cool stuff
  • o   Also allows parents to find each to work on an issue, like school lunches
  • Inform people about what you are doing at the zip code level, makes for a real connection to individuals
  • @myimpact is a pretty cool tool, you can track your own impact and share it

Location Based Systems (LBS)
  • Most are still new, not widely used beyond techies and aren’t ready\well suited for nonprofits.
  • Creative ideas are starting though, like:  Creating scavenger hunts in scvngr, Leaving tips in Foursquare at locations related to your cause, Getting business to donate per checkin, Replacing rewards cards with LBS
  • Facebook places is not well adopted yet, even though it is part of Facebook. Although the panel did recommend looking at combining places with your page if you have a physical location, many of the initial concerns have been addressed, but there are still some sacrifices.
  • It may take two more years before LBS is really mainstream and ready for cause marketing, but it will be better to experiment before then.
  • Mentioned possibility of LBS building ability for a business to add a button to their location checkin page to suggest donating to a related cause.

Failure – session about learning from failure
  • ·      Lots of sharing of failures, which in itself is a learning. Sharing our challenges shows our openness and honesty, and how we recovered shows our strength.
  • ·      Planning for failure means thinking through when failure is ok. Network crashing or database loss are not acceptable failures. But pilots in social media, processes, new web tools, etc should allow for failure at an acceptable checkpoint.
  • ·      A culture has to be built that expects some failure in order to allow experimentation and growth.

-use a separate app to manage personal & professional networks