The following is draft material for my next book, Welcome to the Fifth Estate (the follow up to Now Is Gone, which is almost out of print). Comments may be used in the final edition. You can download the first drafted chapter of the new edition — Welcome to the Fifth Estate — for free.
Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of an outreach effort and results are lagging. Those measurable outcomes – the ones based on your original objectives before your strategy was created – seem unattainable. The desert of organic community development turns into the Sahara, and fear begins to develop.
That’s when you consider a course correction. Does a course correction represent a failure?
Maybe, and maybe not yet. Almost every online effort experiences some tweaks and optimization. For organizations that are newer to online communities, this may be a result of not fully understanding how the Fifth Estate views the issue, or perhaps simply a question of fine-tuning an application so it’s easier to use. In the worst cases, a strategic choice is off base such as a misunderstandings about the value an organization offers its stakeholders.
I look at the issues that arose over KFC’s recent offering of pink fried chicken buckets to benefit Komen’s fight against breast cancer as a classic example of this kind of disconnect. Obesity is often a pre-condition of breast cancer amongst older women, according to research linked to on the Komen web site. The end result was a bit of a disconnect with the nonprofit blogging community who saw the partnership as hypocritical.
What is clear is that monitoring measurement (discussed in depth in the next chapter) during outreach should tune you in to possible failures and opportunities for optimization before they happen. When these issues are identified, not making a course correction would be the worst failure of all.
The benefit — to be promoted by Gulf Coast Benefit — will help fishing families find a new, more sustainable future by providing education resources for their children. Catholic Charities of New Orleans is the beneficiary of all CitizenGulf National Day of Action donations. Citizen Effect will send 100% of donations, less credit card fees, directly to Catholic Charities to support education programs for fishing families.
Your Event Means a Summer Night of Jazz, Blues, Zydeco, and More
If you want to host an event, we are suggesting a meet-up at places that can accommodate the following: People, hurricanes, New Orleans themed music (i.e. jazz, blues, zydeco) and a local green or environmental expert who can say a few things about the oil spill’s impact on the marine environment and the Gulf Coast economies associated with it. Registration will be $10.
The CitizenGulf team will set up your event page to ensure all proceeds go directly to the charities, with no worries about pass through fees. To sign up for your own event click here. We hope your Social Media Club will join us in time for a national roll-out of host cities on August 1.