“Silly question, I’d love to!”
My commitment to special events is well known. I encourage all nonprofits to integrate special events into their development plans. Seen this way events are part of a holistic development effort that integrates into everything you do as an organization to raise money. And, it is strategic – the events are focused on the mission. At each level of your giving paradigm you will find distinct events for distinct goals.
Stu, Long Overdue was an exciting yet challenging event to promote. Ambassador Eizenstat has a long active relationship with the presenting organization, Ahavath Achim Synagogue. The Eizenstat Family Memorial Lecture is a gift to the synagogue and the community at large, and features high profile speakers from the United States and Israel.
Members of the congregation were the primary marketing target for this special event fundraiser. On the other hand, Tovah Feldshuh, a well-known Broadway star opened opportunities to outreach to the whole community, especially those interested in seeing a special performance of her award winning one-woman cabaret Tovah: Out of Her Mind!
To start we developed a press release, fact sheet and visuals that integrated messages for those interested in attending the event to honor Eizenstat and people who would attend to see Tovah Feldshuh up front and personal.
We identified the paths to promote the event, which included traditional and new media elements.
- Stu, Long Overdue page on the synagogue’s website. The website did not have enough bandwidth to create a Press Center. The print quality JPEG files and documents were housed off-site.
- Foundation press release, fact sheet, flyers and posters, which we housed in the Press Center.
- Personalized direct mail
- Email blasts
- Placements on all the relevant event calendars within the metro area
- Identified organizational partners to help distribute html email and flyers to their constituents
- Geographically our target market was in metro Atlanta. We chose the Atlanta Daybook. I love using the Atlanta Daybook for local news releases. They have direct reach into the newsrooms, corporate headquarters and nonprofits in my target market.
- Personal outreach through twitter and email to press and bloggers
- Creation of Stu, Long Overdue Facebook page
- Event hashtag #Stulongoverdue
The Daybook helped create the event’s digital ripple through their distribution channels. A digital ripple provides actionable insights into how campaign strategies and tactics worked.
Insights from Stu Long Overdue, A Salute to Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat Story Traction Report:
- The total digital impressions from each placement ranged from 8,385 to 17,593, which was the last placement 4 days before the event.
- Total campaign digital impressions – 54,176
- Average time on the page ranged from 3:34 to 8:51
- Twitter Daybook Followers – 7,724. When a placement had just 2 re-tweets, the reach increased to 8,965
- Facebook – 528
- Google+ – 299
We saw increased activity on the event website including donations and ticket purchases related to Daybook placements, blog posts and off and on-line articles.
Why else are these metrics important?
We live in an age of metrics. These benchmarks are necessary to ensure that the nonprofit is spending its resources properly and that they are accountable and transparent.
I feel it is particularly important when it comes to special events and promotional initiatives since both are always under attack for not having and/or meeting measurable goals.
And, the story lives! The digital ripple created by this event will continue to raise awareness, inspire to purchase tickets to other events and even foster donations. It also established the organization as a knowledge center.
Three interesting posts that discuss ways to incorporate social media in your special events:
- 15 Ways to Bring Social Media to Events
- 18 Ways to Use Social Media for Events
- Special Events Social Media
If you’re interested in a more thorough post on the importance of metrics for nonprofits, please let me know!