@Midwest received many interesting entries in our “Share Your Story” contest. After deliberating the committee selected the three entries below as winners. Congratulations to Wendy Parish, Matt Drat, and Julie Hancock-House! You will each be receiving a free ticket to @Midwest. Check out their stories below and see how they used the power of social media to create major impacts for their clients/constituents. Thank you to all who submitted!
One Tweet results in national coverage
As a result of social media, I was able to secure a CNBC story for one of my clients, a small business in the Midwest. Companies like my client often get overlooked in the media because of their size. For whatever reason, bigger gets more attention, even if what the company is doing is quite interesting.
I follow journalists on Twitter that I think could have value for my client. One of those journalists was a producer at CNBC. She posted a Tweet that was timely and relevant to a press release my client has just issued. Without the thought of it turning into a story idea, I just sent her a link to the release because I knew she might find value in it. She immediately responded and said she would love to talk to this company and asked if I could put her in touch.
From there, we scheduled an interview and the company, with less than 300 hundred employees at the time, was in a full feature on CNBC’s website.
If I had tried to email pitch this reporter, the story would have likely been lost in a junk folder, but social media gave me direct access.
Connections made on social media help feed the hungry
Home Sweet Home has been working to extend its reach to the community via social media. During a recent shortage of basic food stuffs in our pantry, a post was placed on Facebook. It outlined the need and its urgency. A simple message with a specific call to action. Within the first 24 hours we received over one ton of food that was distributed to families in our community. That however, wasn’t the most interesting result of the outreach message. A husband and wife who are longtime supporters who were originally from the area but now live in Pilot Point Alaska became aware of our need (posts, shared posts, etc.) As they are in wilderness of Alaska with no access to stores or roads for that matter, they used the power of the web (namely Amazon) to order a dozen different items and had them shipped to us. They food arrived quickly and was used in the food pantry that very day. This story is an amazing example of using social media to make connections that can extend far beyond the confines of our community. We here at Home Sweet Home Ministries call that “Local Touch. Global Reach.”
A well placed campaign benefits the children of St. Jude
The 2013 St. Jude Dream Home is one the largest projects St. Jude puts on to obtain a great deal of money for this Memphis Hospital that saves a child’s life every day. Peoria was on the verge of losing the honor of building this home due to the fact that the previous Dream Homes were not showing the numbers that made it work. After Dean Custom Builders made their pitch and convinced the “major leaguers” of St. Jude that we were the right crew to do this, they gave us a shot. From that day forward we did it all.
We worked hand in hand with St. Jude to make sure marketing this campaign was going to insure a sellout. From radio to TV we still weren’t there. However our Facebook page did it for us. While our likes were low, our attention was high. I created the campaign “My Dream” which was taken to a nationwide level on the Dream Home Circuit. People needed to be reminded of the cause. The “My Dream” campaign was taking this entire oversized project back to the basics. Focus on what works….the children. We simply asked all donors to ask themselves what their dreams were for the children of St. Jude. When people started seeing these dreams posted, it didn’t just help the Dream Home, it helped every subcontractor involved. It also directed them to our website and we saw an instant 800% spike in hits.
While I believe marketing needs to be creative and resourceful, there is something to be said about keeping it short sweet and to the point. Why? Answer that question. In this situation it was tug at the heart strings and success will come your way. Facebook led people to www.deancustombuilders.com where local people viewed a slideshow that showcased not just the subcontractors but the kids. Add a touch of music….presto the tickets started selling. St. Jude did give our page a push with paid advertising on Facebook which of course did nothing but help. At the end of the entire campaign we not only sold out for the first time in seven years, we had people donating just to help the kids. Our story ended with a fabulous sell out, over 600K raised, and ultimately the St. Jude Dream Home will be back in Peoria yet again in 2014.