When will my avatar show, who I am, outside.

Developing my avatar, or my online persona, has been weighing heavily on my mind recently after already submitting to and continuing the search for summer internships. As an English major with a minor in PR and Advertising, I have applied to a broad spectrum of positions, all which center arounMulanReflection1d the focus on a strong social media presence and understanding as well as a demonstrated portfolio of online work. I want to focus on writing more material as the semester finishes out in hopes to
further develop my avatar, as well as focus on how I write on my blog, versus for other assignments or genres. Often I become too picky about what I am writing about, or do not want to ruffle any feathers, resulting in nothing being written at all. I need to gain the confidence I want to support my avatar, including writing more online versus for myself, in order to see that online persona grow and develop.

Another item on my list recently has been working with nonprofits, especially Service Dogs for America, the nonprofit I am working on with my teammate. They too are looking to solidify their online avatar and persona by increasing the exposure they have on Facebook as well as keeping up with their blog on their website and creating an Instagram in order to showcase the clients they work with as well as the other amazing services they support. One idea stuck out to me from The Networked Nonprofit that I believe perfectly explains the goal of our organization, but also a goal I hope to achieve personally, wherever I may end up in the future. The idea is that an organization which engages and ignites passion in their participants, will in return reap the benefits of a committed participant community who is willing to go out of their way to share an organization they love. This idea is a main focus for our client and us because we all share the desire to share SDA’s mission, and can do so through a blog which connects past and future clients as well as accessibility to all the amazing services and deeds SDA is involved in, further reaching the community at large. The blog would give exclusive insight into any events which are or will be held and the impact donations will have for that event, and also highlight stories of past clients and the success they have achieved through working with SDA. This will help deepen those community bonds out client hopes to make more transparent in order to make future clients feel right at home.

As a free agent for SDA, I want to provide them with the tools and resources necessary in order to continue their mission. One goal our client wishes to work on is increasing overall social media savviness, something as a young free agent, both my teammate and I believe we can help with. Our client even made a suggestion that if we were digital media savvy, she would consider looking at a design we came up with and possibly working together in the future. Although I have no experience with it, this opportunity proves that reaching out to people and making connections, providing them with any skills or resources you can offer, helps build your own persona by helping others. Content Strategy makes good points about not having too many platforms, and in order to build that community aspect we are striving for, the book suggest having the organizations clients/participants be able to generate their own content on the organization’s platforms. To support this, we intend to create an Instagram account for SDA, while at the same time deleting their Twitter, a platform they have had little success with. Instagram would give SDA the exposure they need while still allowing clients/participants have the capability to tag pictures or videos in support of the organization, including at events or pictures of their dog aiding in their day-to-day lives.

Although I spoke a lot of SDA, they are helping build my avatar online. As I get more involved with the nonprofit world and talk to people, like Shelley, the Development Director for SDA, who is passionate about their work and willing to engage with random strangers giving advice, makes me want to build my online persona to fit the passionate person I am outside of the internet. I get so caught up on what people will think that I disregard the fact that I can get people to think. And if that is through my own writing, or sharing the work/mission of nonprofits, they both will enhance my avatar development.


Midterm Paper 2

Dom Sagolla’s 140 Characters: A Style Guide for the Short Form focuses on the impact of Twitter, especially important information for non-profits to employ. Each chapter focuses on a facet of Twitter which needs to be properly executed in order to have a successful Twitter campaign. In this paper I will be discussing the use of the short form in relation to my team assignment’s non-profit, Service Dogs for America. SDA does not have an Instagram account but after speaking with them, they do have interest in getting an account. They currently do have a Twitter account but do not use it frequently and shared interest in possibly deleting the account. For this discussion I will focus on Instagram, and my “client’s” future with using the short form. For Instagram, it is important that the client first determine if that is the best option for them. After some research, I discovered that similar organizations were using Instagram with much success. Their success, I believe, is attributed to their use of simplification, their reach, their repetition of posts, their use of mentions or links leading visitors to sister-site and also the organizations ability to branch out, expanding on what’s worked and reaching to deepen their online exposure. I will use these attributes and discuss how SDA can use these skills to help their own organization.

Service Dogs of America already has a lot of good information that they can use for promotional material, the problem I noticed, specifically during Giving Hearts Day, was they have too much information presented, but not executed well. Their graphics contain a lot of material which is often hard to read and are very wordy. They have videos which receive good view counts but do not make the impact they were hoping for. I believe this is attributed to the amount of information presented, and the way it was presented. A viewer must watch the entire video, which were often people just standing and talking, reciting information, with no graphics or titles for people to place a “brand to word” image with. I believe SDA could benefit from learning how to condense their information in a way which would allow people easily digestible information, while still giving them the opportunity to follow a link to another platform which could give people seeking more in-depth info the proper location they would want to be. They expressed their wish to increase their blogging presese, and while it is important that SDA be good story tellers, they must also be wary of Sagolla’s view that the “first line [of a book] is the most memorable identity of the text to a reader” (16). If SDA can focus their information and storytelling for videos and graphics, I think they could be very successful with using Instagram.

The current marketing coordinator for SDA wants to broaden their reach because they are the only certified service dog program in the state. By using the correct social media platforms and revamping the ones they currently use, SDA could reach the expanded audience they desire. She definitely wanted to expand their shares and likes on posts overall, with a commitment to engage more with the community at large.

Another skill SDA could benefit from using is the repetition of attention-getting posts. They recently ended a #sharethelove Sunday post which featured the hashtag and information of a puppy-in-training. The campaign was a perfect example of an image they could use on Instagram but instead shared it on FB with little engagement of their audience. This repetition, as demonstrated successfully on similar Instagram accounts, is an important practice SDA keeps up with in order to create a consistent and growing audience.

Although they are two differently identified attributes, I combined mentions and links in the same discussion as important skills for SDA to adopt. During GHD, I only noticed a few mentions to other local businesses which helped achieved SDA’s goal. These mentions would help SDA expand their reach by connecting with local partnership’s audiences as well. Also, adding links to their own blog pages or donors links would increase the desired exposure.

Finally, by branching out of their currently implemented practices and revamping what they already have, they will have the ability to continue that branching. Sagolla describes branching as “keeping the essence of what you do, but adding one more activity that adds depth to the experience” (116). Right now, SDA is proud of the work they have done, and rightly so, but SDA also recognizes the need to branch out and reach a wider audience to continue the amazing work they do.


Midterm Essay 1

The non-profit I will be working with is Service Dogs for America. I followed this organization through Giving Hearts Day and was very impressed by their success and important mission that I wanted to continue to follow them, and work with them to gain valuable insight. Also, after reviewing their social media presence throughout GHD, I do have some feedback that I wanted to share as a student who is taking a Public Relations class. After reading Heather Mansfield’s Social Media for Social Good, I have learned many good practices to use when working with a non-profit. The use of social media and the internet in general is such a common practice by people, it is necessary for non-profits, similarly for-profits, to market themselves well in order to gain a continually growing following.  For Service Dogs for America, I want to find out why they believe their campaign was so successful and what they did in order to do so well. I want to communicate to them my belief that their videos could have been better executed, possibly resulting in more views, and also ask if it would be possible for them to incorporate an Instagram into their campaign, something I believe they would benefit from as demonstrated by similar organizations. While the addition of Instagram would be important, the continual upkeep of their current platforms is just as important and could benefit from

One objective SMSG outlines is that it is important for an organization to reach out to other programs similar to your own. I believe this is an important point for SDA to connect with other local organizations, for example, Cat’s Cradle, in order to promote in the Fargo area. In order to continue to reach their target audience, I also want to discuss the importance of SDA choosing the correct social media platforms to represent themselves. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are stated to be “The Big 3” (55) with a dedication of at least 15 hours a week between all three. These “Big Three” are SDA’s biggest marketing tools, but I believe all three could use improvement. They have two FB names, causing confusion, and they rarely use Twitter. As stated previously, their videos are poor production but receive many views. If they spent more time working on these three, with the addition of an Instagram account, that would help expose SDA to their target audience and receive more attention for their organization. They already have a blog set up on their website but I do not believe it is used too frequently. There is a message stating that they recently assigned two trainers to blog on their site, but that was the last post they had. This is an important element for the organization that I believe they could really help potential adopters and donors to read about the organizations work. SMSG emphasizes the importance of “diversifying your brand online” (69), an important thought to focus on when looking at SDA. They need to promote themselves to a wide yet focused group of people, and in order to do so they need to focus their efforts into a few important platforms in varying ways, satisfying the conventions of each platform in order to reach their audience.

Primarily focusing on their FB page, I want to stress the importance of them solidifying their image by choosing one name and closing the other account. Their FB and their main website appear to be their two most active pages, so it is important that their FB reiterate the professional appearance of their website, which I do not believe it does. One example is their FB cover photo, which is a blurry, unprofessional quality photo. Their webpage contains many well taken photos and good graphics which are missing from their FB. This example is similar to Mansfield’s example that an organization would not put a half-cropped logo in their emails, so why would they put that on their FB? Same principle here, their webpage is well done but their FB is comparably sub-par. Their Twitter account is only used during time of promotion, with little upkeep in between. This drops off many possibilities they have for promoting themselves across the state and abroad. Similarly, if they set up an Instagram account, they would be able to connect the two, leaving their FB for more business purposes and their Twitter and Instagram as platforms to connect with the community.


GHD Nonprofits Analysis

Electronic Communication @ NDSU

The three nonprofits I followed before, during and after Giving Hearts Day (GHD) are: Ronald McDonald House Charity (RMHC), American Gold Gymnastics (AGG), and Service Dogs of America, also known as Great Plains Assistance Dogs Foundation.

Last week’s vlog focused on still and moving imagery and their role in promoting nonprofits on social media. With this in mind I wanted to focus my attention on my nonprofit’s Instagram and YouTube account. All three of my nonprofits had low video posts so for this discussion I will talk about my nonprofits’ use of Instagram to promote themselves during GHD.

The most successful group of my campaign didn’t even utilize Instagram but I still wanted to see what kind of impact having an Instagram would create for Service Dogs of America. I searched for a similar organization, and noticed the amount amount of likes on their photos was in the hundreds. Their…

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