In January 2011, we launched a program called New Media Mentors over at Netroots Foundation. Our theory is that we could build the progressive movement by focusing on improving the new media capacity for existing organizations. We wanted to bring strategic thinking, our own expertise and expertise from the rich community of practitioners who attend Netroots Nation each year to other organizations.
Today we’re wrapping up the pilot year of that program. We’ve had the opportunity to work with some really great groups so far: Green Corps, Pesticide Action Network, Californians for Justice, Mujeres Unidas Y Activas, California Immigrant Policy Center, International Development Exchange and Chinese for Affirmative Action. We believe that we’ve made an impact, but we’ve also learned a lot in the process.
We’re fortunate to have Melissa Foley’s (a must follow on Twitter: @melfoley) talent and energy on our team to help us deliver this program. For the last several months, she’s been sharing some of these lessons on our Wining the Internet blog. We ran a series this week covering some of the high points.
- Focus on ROI, not new toys
The world of social media can be exciting, with new tools and toys popping up almost daily. Should you invest time and money in the latest and greatest tool? Only if it makes sense strategically and from an ROI standpoint.
- Creating a killer new media program takes hard work
If you want to create a killer new media program, you’ve got to be willing to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. Creating a successful program requires strategic thinking, appreciation for messaging, an eye for opportunities, commitment to timeliness, regular measurement and analysis.
- Change is possible—with the support of your organization
What is needed to truly shift an organization’s culture towards new media? The support of the organization is key.
There are also a few other collections of posts directly related to this work that you may have missed. They’re worth checking out as we look back on the year.
- Strategic thinking for beginners
Think about the last time you posted something on Facebook for your organization or cause. Did that post get you any closer to achieving your organization’s goals? If you’re having trouble answering that question, this post is for you! If you’d like to work more strategically, this exercise could be a big help.
- Strategic campaign planning: A how-to guide
This post goes a step further with strategic thinking and focuses on planning advocacy campaigns. There’s no better time to practice strategic planning than right before a campaign launch. This will help you check that your tactics have sound reasoning behind them and make sure you’re on the path to success.
- Google Grants: A guide to AdWords for non-profit organizations
Are you trying to figure out how to get Google Grants up and running for your non-profit organization? Do you currently have an account, but want to learn how to optimize it and spend more of your $10,000 a month budget? Check out these four posts for tips on doing just that.
- Using the sales funnel with Green Corps
Green Corps is one of the organizations we’re working with as part of the New Media Mentors program. Each mentorship is tailored to the organization, and for Green Corps we’re taking an interesting approach—using the for-profit sales funnel to systematically work through how they use new media to recruit new organizers.
- Building a solid social media program
The New Media Mentors program is built on a foundation of core beliefs. Here’s a quick recap in case you missed them. We believe that these principles are at the core of any solid social media or new media program.
We’re about to make the selections for our third cohort of this program and are looking forward to the next year of work and seeing what else we might learn.