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.

 

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