This past week I had the wonderful opportunity to head on up to Portland and present to Tillamook Cheese’s PR and marketing department. For a class assignment, a group of three other ladies (Megan Russell, Carly Fortunato, and Jessica Hamel) and I completed a social media audit and conversation analysis for the company. had so much fun working with the three other girls on the project and we had an incredible time at the Tillamook offices. They were so warm and welcoming, and really seemed to value our input and suggestions. The presentation was a great way to end the term. Now that finals are over, I’m looking forward to a week of rest, relaxation and rebooting for another term.
For a recent class assignment, we needed to create a captivating infographic. Ever since the infographic craze hit, I’ve been a big fan. I think they are great ways of creating buzz about a cause or informing your audience of something. With my recent interest in nonprofit PR, I set my sights on making an infographic on the global water crisis, which devastatingly affects one in eight people worldwide. I wanted it to be bright and enlightening. The goal was to compel the audience to donate by presenting the startling facts. To create this infographic, I followed a few tips and I’d like to share them with you:
- Keep it simple: Don’t try to make it complicated and too colorful. Keep the colors and fonts simple, and make sure you don’t have more than three selections for each. Also, keep plenty of “white space” to keep the infographic looking clean and professional.
- Keep it important: Don’t drown the reader in a million facts and statistics. Gather your research and choose the most important facts and figures. They will speak for themselves.
- Keep it positive: Add in statistics about the good that can come from donations. Including optimistic data is much more affective than just heart-wrenching facts.
These are some of the tips I used, and I hope they will help you too! Have fun and make sure to focus on something that you are passionate about!
Do nonprofits benefit from using social media sites like Twitter? To find out, I read this academic study:
Smiko, K. (2005). Donor engagement through Twitter. Public Relations Review, 38(4), 633-635. doi: 10.1016/j.pubrev.2012.05.012
Researchers examined the Twitter accounts of two nonprofits and one for-profit. The study was designed to see if nonprofits could use Twitter to strengthen their relationships with donors. Several persuasive strategies and theories emerged from the data.
Researchers used discourse analysis to examine tweets from the nonprofits Care2 and United Way of Toronto, and one for-profit, Ford Motor Company. They observed tweets through a rhetorical framework that perceived the social linguistics and construction of each tweet.
Researchers examined tweets by all three organizations, as well as “@” responses. The sample of tweets was taken on Feb. 18, 2011, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Overall, 300 tweets were collected and examined.
By examining the tweets through the rhetorical framework, numerous strategies of persuasion were present.
- Ethos (credibility of character)
- Pathos (emotional appeal)
- Logos (logical reasoning)
- Eucharistia (thanking)
- Communicatio (direct communication)
More than 90 percent of tweets featured an element of a persuasive appeal. The most popular persuasive element was ethos, with logos being second. 60 percent of @care2’s tweets and 40 percent of @ford’s tweets used ethos as a persuasive element. In contrast, @unitedwayto rarely used persuasive appeal in tweets, with only logos being evident occasionally.
Along with the persuasive strategies, the researchers identified two theories as relevant to the research.
1) Social Network Theory
The social network theory involves the persuasive strategies of communicatio and eucharistia. Rather than by characteristics of individuals, this theory is based on the expectation that knowledge structures are developed by relationships among actions, events and people. Ford in particular exhibited signs of the social network theory through its users that were having numerous two-way conversations about actions, events and people.
The social network theory also suggests that relationships have nodes (a tweeter) and ties (relationships that stem from the tweeter’s use of “@” mentions). The social network theory suggests that relationships built within networks can lead to the increase of social capital, which is defined as trusted relationships within social networks. Twitter users create their own networks from following others, and this theory suggests they can build relationships of trust from these relationships.
2) Social-Judgment Theory
The social-judgment theory appeared within the strategy of persuasion. This theory examines the way individuals make decisions and judgments based on statements they hear or see. According to the social-judgment theory, when companies construct tweets they refer to their credibility of character (ethos), which could persuade wary Twitter users. This theory also suggests that individuals make judgments based on the specific topic of the message, which is seen through the decision to retweet certain things.
- The study was limited to collecting data from only one day
- Organizations differed in the number of Twitter accounts they had
It is easy to see from the results and theories that Twitter is a smart and effective resource for nonprofits to use. I know that if I go into nonprofit PR, Twitter will be one of the main platforms I will use to increase public knowledge, popularity and donations.