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60-SECOND DIGITAL MEDIA HACK #3: Three Bites of the Apple

Three Bites of the Apple[image: stock photo of young woman smiling holding an apple]

NOTE: I usually find introductions to be annoying, so rather than explaining the title here, I’m putting this post’s intro at the end.

Any time you or your organization do any thing at all, any time, you get three bites of the apple on social media.

Post #1:

We’re going to to this cool thing and it’s going to be really cool. Here’s a photo of us getting ready, excitedly (or resolutely, or whatever, as appropriate).

Post #2:

This is happening now. It’s beautiful. Just look at it.

Post #3:

That thing we did? Amazing. Thanks so much to all of you who made it happen. You rock so hard!

The underlying principle is that on social media, more is more.* Some people will say, “don’t post more than X times per day on Snapface,” or something like that. They are lost in fear and chaos. It’s okay. Reach out to them and tell them it’s okay to post as often as you have something to post. I mean, space things out a bit, but still…

POST ALL THE THINGS.

Introduction:

Why “three bites of the apple?” It doesn’t really matter. You’re at the end of the post, anyway. Tweet at me if you want to talk about it.

*MOAR

Top 10 Facebook Posts for LA-Area Nonprofits, Labor & Advocacy for March 1 – March 7

We decided to take a look a the top ten over-performing Facebook posts for LA-area organizations for the past week. “Over-performing,” for those not familiar with the term, means performing better than average for posts by a particular Page.

A post may overperform by generating ten likes and one share, if the average post by that particular page gets, say, five likes and no shares. Whereas a post with 100 likes, 35 comments and 13 shares may be considered to under-perform, if the page in question tends to post hyper-engaging content that typically generates more engagement.

So, this data is not intended to rank Facebook posts by their overall “quality” or “virality” (yikes – did we really just use that word?). One take-away that can be generalized from these posts is that their respective pages did something right, relative to the status quo for their post overall.

If you manage a page or are in any way involved with the social media presence for one of these organizations, you might get an idea what kind of material your audience finds engaging.

Right now, we’re tracking over 300 pages for organizations, invidivuals, public officials, and campaigns in the LA area. If you want to make sure your page is in the mix for future comparisons, simply email us at hello@vsbly.org or tweet at our chief overall thing-doer @newlinla.

And we’d be remiss to not give a shout-out to Crowdtangle, the tool we use to analyze pages & posts.

Without further ado, here are the posts that dominated the internet in the LA social justice world this past week, ranked by the factor by which they over-performed.

Post #1: Heal the Bay (Overperformed by 21.7x.) Inspiration + creativity FTW.

Weekend inspo via Ocean Reality

Posted by Heal the Bay on Saturday, March 5, 2016

Post #2: Labor 411 (Overperformed by 19x). From the It’s About Time, You Others Better Get in Line dept.

Another reason that I choose Costco every time over the Sam’s Clubs of the world.Posted by Labor 411 on Friday, March 4, 2016

Post #3: Center for Community Change (Overperformed by 13.7x). The post is doing great, so if you’re applying for this job, it looks like you’ve got some serious shoes to fill.

Are you ready to create social change? Check out some of our open positions including a Digital Campaigner and Web Developer. We are looking for smart and passionate people to join our team!Posted by The Center for Community Change on Thursday, March 3, 2016

Post #4: Los Angeles LGBT Center (Overperformed by 12.0x). Celebrity + timeliness (the Oscars) + one of the most pressing issues in LA right now overall + how that issue affects the page’s key audience.

When Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne toured our youth center, he was shocked to learn that an astounding 40% of the youth…Posted by Los Angeles LGBT Center on Monday, February 29, 2016

Post #5: Labor 411, again (Overperformed by 10.1x) Blatant injustice + a call to action.

Tell Mondelēz International to keep the Chicago Nabisco plant open: http://go.aflcio.org/OreoPosted by Labor 411 on Friday, March 4, 2016

Post #6: The California Endowment (Overperformed by 9.3x) Triumph over adversity = 100% inspiration (and a challenge to conventional wisdom).
(Note: we skipped the actual 6th-place post because it dealt with a very personal tragedy within an organization’s close-knit community.)

The story of Johns Hopkins’ Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa who went from being an undocumented farm worker outside of…Posted by The California Endowment on Monday, March 7, 2016

Post #7: Homeboy Industries (Oveperformed by 8.5x). Again, inspiration.

This is a great story about the solar panel event that took place today at Homeboy.Posted by Homeboy Industries on Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Post #8: Anti-Defamation League (Overperformed by 8.5x). Useful resources for Women’s History Month.

March marks the beginning of Women’s History Month, so we have compiled all of our Women’s History Month educational…Posted by ADL’s A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute on Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Post #9: Power my Learning (Overperformed by 7.8x). An infographic about reading that is, well, not easy to read. (Let’s talk about design ?)

30 minutes a day.Posted by PowerMyLearning on Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Post #10: Youth Justice Coalition (Overperformed by 7.3x). Injustice + a compassionate call-to-action & a chance to help.

FYI Fundraiser for protester who was stabbed at Anaheim KKK Rally.Posted by Youth Justice Coalition on Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Overall, we think uplifting messages and inspiration won the week. By the way, our digital strategy clients can get access to our Crowdtangle dashboard for an even deeper look at Facebook content performance metrics. Feel free to say hi!

We like this grassroots campaign website we developed.

[IMAGE] Hero image from www.peopleforbernie.com

Website banner for www.peopleforbernie.com. Credit: The People for Bernie Sanders.

Note: originally published on LinkedIn.

We like this campaign website we made for The People for Bernie Sanders. Here’s a little bit of the story behind it.

 First, some credit

The digital media monsters at People for Bernie created the header graphic, along with our team member Zelda Lin.

Second, The People for Bernie Sanders is a network of volunteers not affiliated with the official campaign. You might know  them as the collective of Facebook and Twitter accounts that are basically running the internet right now.

Now, to the site itself

Our friends wanted something with a DIY aesthetic. My mind first went to “homemade”-looking sites, a la the 1990s. Kind of like this. It took about two seconds to realize that was wrong.

But a campaign website that looked too “professional” and stuffy wouldn’t cut it, either. So we (*cough* Zelda) created a design that borrowed elements of the actual did-it-yourself cultural artifacts of Occupy and other contemporary movements. We made heavy use of the kind of slanted lines you’d see on hand-cut, hand-lettered signs, the kind that this guy might make:

[image] Occupy Wall Street Protester with hand-made sign, reading "SHIT IS FUCKED UP AND BULLSHIT," a la the style of the campaign website.

Of course, the site’s use of the Occupy font is a key element of that look and feel.

The email signup call-to-action is front and center because the campaign website needs to be a communication and organizing tool, not a passive, inert plot of real estate on the internet.

And then you hit the social wall.

People for Bernie *is* the non-stop currents of social sharing across multiple channels, 24/7. They’re like the day traders of democracy. So we just had to put the lifeblood of the movement front and center.

Onward.

It was a fun project, and we’re proud to have contributed something to the massive grassroots movement for people power. A technical note: the campaign website was built on the NationBuilder platform, which we know very well.

Go check it out, and sign up. See you on the internets.

#FeelTheBern

Nonprofit App Development: 10 Things We Learned from the ACLU

Do you like mobile? Do you like justice? Do you like awkward, inscrutable queries? Then follow me to nonprofit app development paradise, my friend.

As a co-organizer of the LA Tech for Good meetup, I was privileged to hear all about the development process behind the ACLU’s Mobile Justice app.  We were particularly interested in the lessons for other nonprofits that could be applied to their digital aspirations. Here’s the write-up we sent to the poor souls who missed out on the event. In the interest of radical transparency, I left a typo in.

We here at LA Tech for Good tend to geek out on technical details, so we thought you’d also be into these ten details about the development of ACLU’s Mobile Justice app that we learned at the last LA Tech for Good meetup.Also, RSVP right now for the March 9 social shindig soiree get-together at Angel City Brewing, so you remember to be one of the first 20 arrivals & get a free beer!

Back to the wrap-up of the very informative and quite exciting presentation on January 13. Many thanks to Marcus Benigno, new media strategist at the ACLU of Southern California.

Warning: this is going to give you some serious FOMO for the upcoming meetups.

  • The ACLU of Southern California produced this video for $100 (two zeros!).
  • But setting up the back end, including data storage (see, you have to think about this kind of stuff when you create an app) cost $12,000 (three zeros!)
  • ACLU had to create different versions of the Mobile Justice app state-by-state, because the laws governing observation & recording of police activity vary state-by-state.
  • ACLU straight-up cold-called celebrities & other social media influencers to get them on board with promoting the app, and partly because of that…
  • They got 13,000,000 (six zeros!) Thunderclap impressions.
  • They jettisoned a Gmail-based reporting system because of privacy concerns, but…
  • Further development of the app will be funded by a Google grant.
  • You can do only two things with the app: learn about your rights, and exercise your rights. You can’t even donate to the organization.
  • Some of their outreach & publicity successes followed unfortunate events. Events in Ferguson and Baltimore, especially the smashing of a witness’ phone, provoked more interest in the app.
  • Next step: into the stream. There’s currently a 3-minute lag time for uploads, but they plan to implement streaming soon.

We look forward to seeing you March 9 at Angel City Brewing!

silly gif

Okay, so that last part, about the March 9 meetup, is not germane to the subject of nonprofit app development and is pretty much a transparent excuse to include the gif from the original email.

Anyway, you can come to that too.

Since you asked: 6 tips on the LA 2050 Grants Challenge

 

I’ve had a few1 organizations reach out to me for advice on how to come out ahead in this year’s LA 2050 Grants Challenge. They seemed to find my advice helpful, so I thought I’d share it with the rest of you lovely people.

Granted, you’re in the home stretch and there isn’t much time to implement, and maybe the middle of the event isn’t the optimal time to begin strategizing (more on this in the thrilling conclusion).

And with time running out you probably feel like this:

[action gif illustrating the pressure of last-minute digital strategizing]

But better late than never. Probably.

I’m starting the list with #2, because the #1 most important thing is not necessarily the most urgent thing, and I decided to save it for last.

You’ll see what I mean. (Also, I’m the dessert-first type.)

2. Keep on emailing your list.

You’re already doing it, obvs. Don’t be shy about it, because anyone who’s on a few nonprofit/innovation/social justice/whatever lists is already primed to receive frequent LA 2050 vote appeals. You can get a few more out in the next week without alienating your list members too much.2

3. Cross-check your email list and your social media audiences.

Hopefully your CRM can do this. What you want to do is look for the most engaged members of your community. For example, if someone is on your email list, and follows you on Twitter, and has liked your Facebook posts, then they are really into you. Make a list of these super-fans and reach out to them directly to ask them to share your posts and to ask their friends & followers to vote for your project. You may want to look at people who connect to any two “nodes”: e.g. follow on Twitter & liked a post on Facebook; subscribe to email list and follow on Twitter; etc. You get the idea.

4. Enlist your allies.

This might prove to be challenging because we’ve all got friends & allies in competing organizations. (Someone – the source is murky – called the Grants Challenge the Hunger Games of Los Angeles nonprofits). But if you can, reach out to influential individuals & organizations who can amplify your message. Make a simple, specific request that they either share one of your social media posts, or create their own post asking their friends & followers to vote for your project. If you’re doing the latter, make it as easy as possible for your influencer and have a sample post written, along with an image, before you make the ask. If they agree, great! Now, send them the link or the content immediately so that they don’t forget, and so you don’t have to worry about whether to make that awkward follow-up request. Do the same for the super-supporters you identified in the second step. And by second step, of course, I mean step #3.

5. Quick-and-dirty Facebook ads.

The organizations that reached out to me didn’t have much in the way of social media ad budgets. They aren’t going to get into the numbers of impressions where they would get meaningful data on content performance nor would they likely see the performance indicators move much in response to content or targeting tweaks, so I kept my advice as simple as possible.

  1. Export your email list as a .csv file and format it so that it contains only a single column of email addresses.
  2. Create a Custom Audience by uploading your list.
  3. You can then create a campaign that targets this custom audience.

The way it works is that if someone has subscribed to your list with the same email address they used to register their Facebook account, Facebook will place their profile in the Custom Audience. This won’t be everyone on your list. For example, I registered my Facebook account with an email address that I have never used for anything else, ever, so even if I’m on your email list, Facebook won’t find a profile associated with the email address you have on file for me. But this will work with a certain percentage of your list. And you don’t get charged for ads that aren’t served, so it’s worth a shot. The reason this is worthwhile is that these are people who have already shown an interest in your organization’s work, and we know that not everybody opens your email or clicks on the links, so this is a second shot at some of your supporters.

There’s one more step: create a look-alike audience based on the Custom Audience you just created from your uploaded list of email addresses.

Since Facebook knows everything about us3, they have algorithms that can identify profiles that are similar in interests and behavior to the profiles of your supporters.

These are the simplest way to serve ads to people who are likely to vote for your proposal.

We haven’t touched on content, but there isn’t a whole lot of time to perfect your posts. I did give one content tip, which I’ll share below.

6. Make the most of any video (preferably) or photos (fallback option) of your organization in action.

Ideally, you want media depicting people doing whatever it is your project will facilitate/enable/create, and showing people what your organization makes possible. Obviously, if you haven’t done anything in line with your proposal, and that’s why you joined the challenge in the first place, you won’t have this kind of media.

But if you can do the following, right now, I would: contact someone who would benefit from the project you’re trying to get funded; go and record a video interview with them talking about what your project would mean to them personally; try to get them to keep it under 30 seconds (or edit it later). Post this today with the link to vote for your project and make it the subject of any paid social media campaigns.

Finally, we come to the beginning.

1. Start last year.

I know, I know, that’s not 100% helpful. Aaaaaaaand it’s 40% obnoxious.

But really, the best strategy (for pretty much any and all things) is prepared well ahead-of-time. I don’t have a magic MAKE IT VIRAL button. Nor do I broker deals with the devil (but I know a guy who knows a guy, so…).

Where this advice becomes less annoying and more practical is when we think ahead to the possibility of another Grants Challenge next year, or any fundraising campaign, advocacy push, any time you’re going to ask someone to do something.

Start now by working on this (inexhaustive) list:

  1. Build your email list
  2. Reach out to influencers
  3. Build relationships with bloggers & other journalists
  4. Curate/collect/create ZOMG AMAZING content

Work on those consistently and you’ll be much better situated for any future online outreach effort.

Good luck!

maytheforcebewithyou

I think three is the minimum number that qualifies as “a few.”

Not a guarantee.

3 I have mixed feelings about this. If anyone wants to talk about it, let’s have that conversation!

60-SECOND DIGITAL MEDIA HACK #2: ADD A FIELD FOR SOCIAL MEDIA HANDLES TO YOUR UNION MEMBERSHIP FORM

This series provides ideas you can implement immediately to add to your organization’s bag of digital tricks.

IMAGE: GIF 60-second digital media hack

You read the title, you know what to do. And now you’re emailing your union’s membership department to instruct them to make the change. Hold up! You still have some decisions to make.

  1. Do you leave it open for your members to list any channels they use and their handles, or do you help them out with spaces for a few defined networks?
    You might want to include prompts for Instagram handles, Pinterest profiles, and Twitter handles, but leave a blank space for “Other.” You could be surprised. Maybe your members are Snapchatting more than you would have guessed. In any case, it basically costs you nothing to add a few lines and see what you can learn about your members.
  2. Define a clear path from the point of collection to whomever is handling your social media accounts.
    Collecting the information is one thing, using it is another. It’s somebody’s job to make sure your members’ contact information ends up in the right hands.
  3. Create a plan for integrating your members into the digital life of the organization.
    This is where your digital strategy comes in. You may already have a “ladder of engagement” organizing your members step-by-step to be digital media advocates for your organization. In that case, you might want to considering upgrading your ladder to a matrix. The Matrix of Engagement doesn’t assume that the path from passive membership to active online advocacy is a straight line. Just like in any kind of community organizing, online organizing depends on meeting your members where they are. Where they are influences where you can go with them next. And you can only go there with your members if you avoid a rigid, one-size-fits-all digital strategy, and build in some flexibility.

Whatever the state of your digital strategy, at a minimum do this: collect members’ social media handles, and do something  – anything – with them. You’re already ahead of where you were.

Optimize Your Digital Habits for Advocacy

[IMAGE: cool animated GIF]

NTEN invited me to write a guest blog post on coping with Inbox 1000. Is this small-ball? No way. I want you to spend more time on changing the world and less time on tedious mouse-clicking. (Unless you are evil. In which case, you MUST organize your email! Twice!)

Whether it’s maintaining your concentration while deflecting incoming email like an aikido master, or monitoring your social media channels, none of your digital tools are ends in and of themselves. It’s important to keep on top of your digital media without falling into a bottomless click hole so you can focus on your mission.

Read the original post here:

Inbox Zero? Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That

60-second Digital Media Hack #1: Customize a Single URL Multiple Times Using bit.ly

This series provides ideas you can implement immediately to add to your organization’s bag of digital tricks.

IMAGE: GIF 60-second digital media hack

We ran into a digital roadblock recently, and thought others might benefit from our solution.

Here’s the problem: you have a URL on your site that you plan to share through various channels – maybe individualized emails to friends and colleagues, Twitter, Facebook, wherever.

And let’s say you want to A) create a compact, interesting shortlink that ends in something interesting – something more like “kittens4evah” and less like “yw8bH,” and B) you’re curious how far each of these sources sends your little link out into the world until it returns as a click on your URL.

You can enter your long URL into bit.ly, and customize your short URL. But when you do this a second time, hoping to create a different customized short URL, you find that bit.ly will only let you shorten a link once per bit.ly account – no multiple shortlinks to the same URL.

The 60-second hack solution: add different UTM codes for each iteration of the URL you want to track.

UTM codes (don’t ask why – this is a 60-second hack) are text strings you add to the end of your URL, starting with a question mark.

For example:

http://vsbly.org/impact-stories/

becomes

http://vsbly.org/impact-stories/?anything-you-want-1234

or simply

http://vsbly.org/impact-stories/?1

Try it now by adding “?” plus literally anything to a page on your own site – or any URL – in any browser.

It works.

Now bit.ly will treat each URL with a customized UTM code as a new URL, and you can customize and track your links in as many different variations as you want.

If this helps somebody, please let us know, because it would make us feel very good about ourselves.

Red Cross Responds to Accusations of PR Focus with PR Fail

If the Red Cross wants to prove the nonprofit is not prioritizing PR over its operations, its own damage control message might be the best evidence yet.

Yesterday, NPR and ProPublica published a damning report alleging that the Red Cross not only botched its responses to hurricanes Sandy and Isaac, but that the organization’s leadership diverted resources from disaster relief for PR purposes.

It looks bad. Really bad. And it’s not the first time the nonprofit organization has come under fire for mismanagement.

So, what should a nonprofit organization do when it finds itself in a communications crisis like this?

In short, NOT WHAT THE RED CROSS DID TODAY.

Defensive? Check!

First off, the “Myth vs. Fact” format is about the worst you can choose.

The format sets up the content of your message to have a shrill tone. Kind of like shouting, “did not!”

It’s defensive. And what kind of people (or organizations) are defensive? Guilty ones.

So it almost doesn’t matter what arguments you make if you’ve already chosen a template that says, “Oh, and by the way, we screwed up.”

To put it in terms the Red Cross itself might understand:

How does one respond to a natural disaster? Suit up and rush in to the point of greatest need and take on the challenge head-on. You don’t try to claim there was never a hurricane in the first place.

And especially today, when audiences have become attuned to the smartphone Panopticon, deleted tweets that haunt their writers from the grave, tan suits, and FAILs of all manner and proportion, people expect that anyone will screw up eventually, and they expect you to own up to it with class. If you don’t, you invite another kind of storm.

Amplify the accusation? Check!

They list the “myths” they wish to dispel in short, bite-sized, messages in bold red text, and their “facts” in long, dense and wordy paragraphs, so that the “myths” grab the reader’s attention.

If you want to diminish a message, don’t make eye candy out of it.

Inadequate? Check!

The Red Cross might be lacking wheelchairs for survivors with physical needs, but one type of tool they have in abundance is shovels with which to dig themselves deeper.

The first “Fact” they list is not, in fact, a fact: “Our mission is to alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies, and that alone is what guided our service delivery decisions during Sandy and during every emergency.” Readers know, more or less, what the organization’s stated aims are. Starting off a response to a detailed report with a vague mission statement sounds like you’re trying to change the subject.

This vagueness and evasion kills the response elsewhere, too. “They chose not to include our response,” the Red Cross writes. Well, what was your response to NPR and ProPublica’s accusations? Where is a link? The Red Cross chose not to include it.

We’re not trying to bash the Red Cross. We’re not here to defend them, either. We’re not confident that any broad conclusion can be gleaned about one very large organization with hundreds of chapters based on one investigative report and one apparently hastily-written rebuttal.

But they could have done better.

How should a nonprofit organization like Red Cross respond?

  1. Create a response strategy

    To avoid compounding your nonprofit’s problems, don’t respond reactively. Respond purposefully according to a carefully-thought-out communications plan that includes language that is clear, concise, and – this is key for nonprofit communications (or, for that matter, everybody always) – authentic.

  2. Create an honest message

    No corporate-speak. No deflecting. No “Our mission is to…” Acknowledge the problem and take responsibility. You can admit you’re not perfect, and still be proud. (There might even be a useful soundbite in there.)

    Faced with the leak of internal documents in which Red Cross staff detail “multiple system failures,” there can be no denial.

    But there can be a re-framing of the message. For example:

    “Of course, there were failures among the many successes. You’re seeing these reports because we took it upon ourselves to evaluate our efforts, and ask, ‘how can we do better next time? How can we bring more aid, comfort more people, and possible save more lives?’”

    “If we weren’t self-critical and self-improving, there wouldn’t be this report in the first place. When you see these internal documents that we ourselves prepared, you’re seeing us asking ourselves, ‘what can we learn so that we serve the public better and use our resources more effectively next time.”

    The key is to respond in real language like real people use. And speaking of real people…

  3. Put a face on it

    A nonprofit organization can’t look a person in the eye, connect, and convince. Only a person can do that. Get a spokesperson out there, and the higher up the better. A personal response can show leadership. An organizational response looks like the responsible individuals are avoiding public scrutiny.

    Suzy DeFrancis, the chief public affairs officer for the American Red Cross, was interviewed on NPR today.

    Wrong Face.

    CEO Gail McGovern should be out in front of a story of this size.

  4. Own the conversation

    This story is so hot right now, that if McGovern were made available, her message would be everywhere immediately.

    A talking head video on YouTube would likely crowd out the negative messages on social media, or at the very least give them stiff competition for attention.

  5. Leverage your community

    This is our answer to literally everything (figuratively, but also, probably, literally). And it applies here.

    Let’s assume for the sake of argument that the Red Cross is not rotten to the core and that they have touched people’s lives in powerful, positive ways. Right there is their army of spokespeople: volunteers, disaster survivors, and partners.

    If they see the organization acting shady they might be reluctant to carry its message. But if they see the organization being classy, showing leadership and taking responsibility, community members can be encouraged to share their own positive experiences with the nonprofit’s work.

What do you think?

Let’s talk on Twitter. or talk to us here:

Be In Touch

Observations on the LA2050 Grants Challenge and Community Engagement in Los Angeles

NOTE: vsbly.org provided digital strategy consulting services to one competitor, Move LA, who was awarded the Jury Prize in the CONNECT category. We have relationships with a few other applicants but did not participate in their campaigns.

Congratulations to the ten winners of the LA2050 2014 Grants Challenge! I will definitely watch the winning projects unfold in the upcoming months.

And I also hope to see the other applicants continue to seek funding and realize their projects. Some of my friends and colleagues who participated are already moving ahead with their ideas regardless of whether they’re currently funded, and I admire their dedication and vision.

I have a few observations after geeking out over the whole process:

There were 267 project proposal submissions across all five goal categories.

Is that a lot of ideas? No, that’s not a lot of ideas. It’s TOO MANY IDEAS. Seriously, though, that’s a high-class problem for Los Angeles to have – too many good ideas.

IMAGE: LA2050 review AWESOME vsbly.org

And just like with California ballot propositions I may not have read each submission thoroughly before voting. But voting did require a painful choice in some cases. I was torn between mixed loyalties and, honestly, sometimes the relative awesomeness of two awesome ideas is hard to quantify. (I have heard unconfirmed reports of people creating multiple accounts so they could vote more than once, presumably to assuage such internal contradictions, but good luck getting anyone to admit to that.)

There were only five goals.

So we’ve been invited to participate in envisioning LA as a place to LIVE, CONNECT, CREATE, LEARN, and PLAY.

Where is WORK?

We all like to LIVE, CONNECT, CREATE, LEARN and PLAY. But most of us spend our time at WORK.

IMAGE_los_angeles_labor_animated_gif

We’re talking about jobs: Are they available? What kind? Can you live on your wages or salary? Will you retire before you die? What rights do you have in the workplace? Those are questions I have about LA in the year 2050, and those are questions that many in LA are actively working on.

Granted, some of this year’s entries deal directly with jobs. The Downtown Women’s Center won the jury award in the CREATE category for a project to integrate homeless women in the workforce. That’s a beautiful mission and I don’t mean to diminish it, nor other submissions that deal with employment, such as PortTech LAWould Works and, probably, others. (I’m sure I missed some. There were 267 submissions!)

But I would like to see organized labor participating in the conversation. LAANE, a frequent worker advocate, held a vibrant LA2050-branded Twitter Party to talk about income and employment back in 2013. But the original eight “indicators,” which included “Income and Employment,” got subsumed within the five “goals,” and work, somehow, lost focus.

Not everyone played fair

The 2014 Grants Challenge was clearly open to nonprofit and for-profit organizations. But at least one submission came from a for-profit company masquerading as a nonprofit. They checked the “nonprofit” box on their LA2050 submission, and they claim to be a nonprofit on their Facebook page. But after doing a little digging I verified that they are registered with the state of California as a for-profit corporation. Could appearing to be a nonprofit have helped their chances to garner support in the crowdsourced voting? Perhaps. In any case, they didn’t win and there’s no point in calling them out by name.

Some of the winners of the online voting were predictable before the voting started

In the one category that I tracked closely because of my client’s participation, I used a Facebook page post performance analysis tool to watch trending and overperforming posts from the Facebook pages of every organization in the category.IMAGE_social-media-los-angeles

IMAGE_social-media-conversation

The top three vote-getters settled into place more or less within the first day of voting. And they also had the highest-performing Facebook posts the day before voting began.

Email lists were essential

Certain email campaigns sent by the client and their allies produced marked jumps in their ranking in the online voting. After noticing a similar jump in the ranking of a friend’s organization, I confirmed after the voting period that they had recruited an allied group to send an email to their list.

IMAGE_email-gif-los-angeles-marketingIMAGE_email-gif-los-angeles-marketing

So if you want to increase your social media reach, your digital strategy should probably place a high priority on building your email list.

What did you notice, or what did I miss?

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