Truth be told, Beth Kanter pushed us.
Like a pool we saw inviting, but our brains cramping with excuses.
John Kenyon, Dan Cohen, Ann-Marie Harrington, friends at the Communications Network, CommA and you keep us going.
Plus our own nagging inner voices, hey, you wanna be the last community foundation on the block using an Etch-A-Sketch to connect?
Wandering Lost or Searching?
In 2010, we looked for something easy.
Ok, Flickr . . . that was a failure.
Maybe it works for you, but not for us.
We didn't have a plan, we just thought, yea, photos are fun.
Friends and Colleagues to the Rescue
Lance Linares, our CEO, saw our future tied to a different kind of communications.
He wasn't thinking specifics or how social media fit in, but he provided leadership and trusted us to move it forward.
Same time Beth arrived at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation as scholar-in-residence. We got invites from Linda Baker and other to connect.
Beth said, Crawl, We Crawled
This time we started with a plan.
Nonprofits, one of our audiences (along with donors and professional advisors), were the low-hanging fruit we guessed most using Facebook.
We needed to know for sure.
A research volunteer after a week found over 100 on it.
Beth said, listen, We listened
We began reading posts, how often and how they wrote.
We pulled together a cross-department communications team and a simple social media policy, just in case we got serious.
We started with Facebook, then YouTube, LinkedIn, a blog and Twitter.
With Beth's help we found free tools to map and measure. Like iGoogle, SocialMention, Google Alerts and those at Socialbrite, Idealware and NTEN.
We adapted a content curation calendar, shared by Craig Van Koorlar on TopNonprofits.org, and brought to our attention by Zan McColloch-Lussier, a connection thanks to Beth.
Going Forward We See the Game is Tennis, not Golf
Rebecca Leet posted on Nancy Schwartz's Getting Attention blog communications today is tennis, not golf.
It's a two-way exchange.
We invited local nonprofits to share the learning and will again.
We ask for help.
Like Embolden that shed our antiquated website for a modern, mobile friendly version. They're always there for questions about Google Analytics, content writing and social media.
Sure, it takes time. Yes, we had more flops.
To use Beth's Crawl, Walk, Run, Fly model, some days we're still stumbling on our knees.
We're All In Now
It can't be a one person operation.
Kim East helps move us forward. Lance blogs and tweets. Randy Balogh, philanthropic services director, started blogging and writes Philanthropy Connect, enews for professional advisors.
Even Christina Cuevas, our program director dipped her toes in the water with Twitter.
Other staff have gotten into the fun, a blog post or comment on Facebook.
We have no more excuses.
Luis Chabolla is the communications officer at Community Foundation Santa Cruz County and determined to prove you can teach an old dog new tricks.