What is "New Media"?
New media is a broad term generally applied to delivering information in a manner that utilizes modern technology. Today's technology allows for us to accomplish this in some exciting and efficient ways. Here are a few common examples:
- Putting a product announcement on YouTube
- Creating a Facebook page to interact with customers
- Developing a web site to promote a new book
Everyday, new ideas and technologies are being developed to take these concepts to the next level. Here are a few innovative ideas being used by organizations like yours today:
- Enabling supporters to share their own personal reasons for donating to your organization with their friends in the places and ways they already use to communicate
- Allowing clients to send a text message from their mobile phone to find HIV/AIDS testing locations near them
- Educating members of your community in free forums they can access from anywhere and invest in personally with content, time, talent and resources
- Hearing directly from people utilizing what your organization has to offer in real-time and using interactive tools they'll actually want to use
- Transforming the way we collect survey data at events - moving it away from the constrictive tables and into the crowd
Why should you care?
Everyone has a story to tell. Whether it's what your organization does to help people, how your company improves the productivity of your customers or why others should care about what you're doing. How you deliver that message to others matters - especially when you're trying to motivate them to do something like donate or buy your product. Utilizing new media allows you to deliver your story in an innovative and interactive way that an ever-growing audience responds to.
You've probably heard the staggering numbers about online and mobile tools. Facebook now has over 500 million users - which means that there are more people on Facebook than the total population of North America. While sheer mass is a good foundation - actual behavior is more important. Here are some statistics from a 2010 study that indicate why these massive foundations should have an impact on how you do business:
- Thirty-two percent of respondents have recommended a product/service/brand to friends via a social networking site
- Thirty-seven percent learned about a new product or service from a social networking site
- Thirty-two percent of Twitter users re-tweet content provided by a company or product
- Mobile texting has increased more than 450% over the past few years
- Text message based donations are expected to reach $15 billion
When I started my company over fifteen years ago, I began by convincing small organizations they could benefit from using personal computers and office networks. After that it was selling them on the importance of creating a web presence. Today, both of those ideas are second nature in running an organization of almost any size. In a similar way, the notion of using new media tools like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and mobile phones seems to resonate more and more with people. However, many people hesitate because they're not exactly what sure "it" is and can't imagine using it. That's where I can help...
How I can help your organization
I've worked with organizations that have a budget of $15,000 develop a new media strategy that helped them achieve many of the same goals as the plans for $1M+ organizations I've worked with. In many cases - adopting a new media strategy proved more effective and less resource consuming than previous efforts to reach young people. Plus, many of these same strategies helped increase their credibility with other demographics responding to other outreach efforts.
Here are some ideas we can discuss and develop together:
- Utilizing volunteers to maintain a presence on Twitter that educates followers
- Creating a Facebook Page that integrates with your current online communications
- Figuring how to better unify your existing social media efforts - many of which may have been created at different times and now lack a consistent "look and feel" that helps build your brand
- Launching a new campaign to raise awareness or funds utilizing new media, perhaps in addition to already established best practices for your organization
- Developing an internal document, that is easy to understand, to help your volunteers, staff and board understand how to use all these new tools