Musings of a PR Professional


Pepsi Refresh Grant: My experience with social media

For the month of November, I have used my social media networks quite differently than I normally do. As you all know, our class has been working to win Safe Harbor the $25k to revive their shelter.

To promote our project, I have been using my Facebook and Twitter to . However, I haven’t gotten much response from my friends on Facebook or my Twitter followers. Where our professor indicated that a lot of her friends on Facebook took interest in the grant project and “liked” or passed along the information on Facebook, I have not had that experience at all. My peers, as those are the majority of my friends on Facebook, have not responded to it at all. I am assuming that it is because they know little about Safe Harbor. In hindsight, I wish I had done a better job of enabling people to understand what Safe Harbor does and how much they need this grant, rather than just asking them to vote right off the bat. It is hard to motivate people when they don’t have a stake in the cause.

Also, I have been in charge of posting voting reminders on Safe Harbor’s Twitter page. (Follow them and retweet the messages!) I have found that people who follow them are more inclined to retweet the message and bit.ly has indicated that people have been regularly clicking the link that I have been including in Safe Habor’s tweets. So, it seems that those who were previously engaged with Safe Habor are more inclined to put forth the effort to vote and pass the word along.

And please, help us reach our goal. We have been steadily climbing the ranks all month and currently are at 85th! Vote daily at http://www.refresheverything.com/studentsforsafeharbor or text 103648 to 73774 (PEPSI). Thank you for your support!

 

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Safe Harbor Update

Looks like it’s time for another Safe Harbor update! As a class, ee have a number of things in the works at the moment for this organization, and I am involved in two of them. The first is the Pepsi Refresh grant that I blogged about a few weeks ago.

We are working together as a class on winning the $25,000 grant. Last week in class we worked together to create a list of audiences that we will reach out to in order to gain votes for our cause throughout November. We also determined what media channels we would use to reach these different audiences. We decided to use:

  • Email list-servs that we have access to
  • Safe Harbor’s list of emails that they have access to
  • Our own and Safe Harbor’s Facebook and Twitter accounts
  • Our own personal contacts that we can communicate with in person and online
  • News publications in the upstate
  • Clemson’s newspaper The Tiger
  • The Clemson.edu website

Knowing this, we determined what type of press materials we would need to best reach each audience. So, yesterday in class we split up into groups and actually wrote these press materials and are now just waiting until November to tweak these and start sending them out!

The second thing that myself and two other women in my class are working on for Safe Harbor, something I mentioned briefly in a previous post, are two videos for the organization. One video will aim to raise funds for Safe Harbor and the other will attempt to raise awareness about the organization.

We developed a project proposal to outline what we plan to include in each video. The fundraising video will most likely include people talking about how easy and rewarding donating in as well as what different dollar amounts could mean for Safe Harbor. The awareness video will focus on testimony from a victim of domestic violence that has been saved by Safe Harbor. In the proposal we also included how we will dispense these videos to the public. We plan to put the videos on YouTube and market them through Safe Harbor’s blog, Facebook page, and Twitter.

Now, we are just waiting to hear Safe Harbor’s feedback and beginning to get started on outlining story boards so we know exactly what footage and materials we will need for the videos.

So- here we go!


Refresh Safe Harbor, please!

For those of you who don’t know, or aren’t aware of the specifics, PepsiCo. has started an initiative called the Pepsi Refresh Project. Essentially what it is, is each month Pepsi gives away up to a total of $16,500,000 to the top 32 ideas that plan to do something positive for society. The ideas can come from any individual or any organization, but in order to win, the idea has to get the most votes. Anyone can vote, so the contest is really about who can promote their idea the best.

Our plan is to win $25,000 for Safe Harbor so that they can buy 30 new mattresses, re-do their kitchen, and stock it with food for almost one year.

There is A LOT of money up for grabs to do something great with- and we’re going to win. We’re a PR class full of smart and talented women. We got this!

More than anything, this is a social media competition. Whoever has the biggest, most dedicated social network made up of people who are (willing to be) active online will be the winners. So, a large part of our job will be to mobilize the troops. Of course personal relationships will help us, but we can’t simply rest on the hope that our friends and family like us enough to commit themselves to voting regularly.

So, we will not just throw together an application and pump it out to our friends on Facebook and Twitter. We are going to put time and effort into this campaign so that we are sure to win. We want people we know and people we’ve never met before to feel compelled to vote for our cause. As such, our class has chosen to wait until next month to submit our idea. So, over the next few weeks we are going to work hard to come up with compelling descriptions, stories, pictures, videos, slogans, and more to get our cause out there.

I personally think that pictures and videos will be the way to win votes. I firmly believe that the old adage is true, A picture is worth a thousand words. I believe that if we can show voters the women and children that they will be helping as well as the current, rather dire conditions of Safe Harbor’s kitchen and mattresses, we will be very persuasive.

But that’s my opinion. What’s yours? What do you think will help us win the most votes so that Safe Harbor can win funding?

Believe me- we would love to hear from you! We want to be successful and win this money for Safe Harbor and the people they serve.