- Social Media
- Active Citizenship
- Good Giving
- Corporate Responsibility
- Be Fearless
THE DATE IS SET, BUT WHO’S GONNA SHOW UP?
Once you have selected a date and a topic conducive to a virtual convening, it's time to spread the word. Given that participants will not be concerned with booking travel in advance to cut costs, we found they are also not so interested in registering for the conference far in advance. In an effort to quickly get some early excitement and begin building an audience, we deployed a few different tactics to build participation.
- Create a “Blogging Team”: Identify a core group of inﬂuential bloggers interested in the topic and have wide readership. We invited several prominent bloggers (Katya Andresen, Beth Kanter, Kivi Miller, Amy Sample Ward and Nathan Hand) in our space to form a special “MDS11 blogging team,” and offered each of them free registrations to give to their readers through social media contests during the weeks leading up to the Summit. We also were able to utilize the SocialCitizens.org platform and the MillennialDonors.com site as central repositories for guest blog posts on related subjects, resource lists, Twitter feeds, exclusive video interviews and more.
- Identify anchor partners and provide discounts to their networks. In exchange for spreading the word, we offered our partners discount codes for their members if they registered by a certain date. In our case, we partnered with relevant groups we thought would have interested constituents such as Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP), the HandsOn Network and the Council on Foundations (COF) to promote the conference. This technique not only offered a special benefit to our partners, but also provided much needed awareness and publicity for the event to new markets. We ended up keeping those discounts available until the day of the Summit to further encourage our partners’ continued promotion.
- Partner with a media outlet and ﬁnd creative ways to leverage their audience and reach. We were able to secure a partnership with The Chronicle of Philanthropy, which highlighted the conference in its publication leading up to the Summit. In addition, MDS11 organizers worked with them to host an online chat the week before with two of our featured speakers. Employing this tactic was another way to build interest in the conversation and create “buzz” among our target audience on and offline. Lastly, we created a targeted media list and promoted the Summit to more than one hundred media outlets in the hope they would either cover the Summit itself, and/or promote the Summit to their own readers.