Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

United Way Marketing Team Received Global Awards, Speaks at Conference


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As you know the United Way Marketing Team here in Cedar Rapids usually works behind the scenes, but some work has recently been recognized more publicly.

The 810,000-member Internet Marketing Association held its annual meeting in Las Vegas Sept. 25-27, 2013, had  invited us to speak about how to strive in the social media jungle through storytelling – an important strategy that has been implemented by the team here.

In addition, the IMA honored the team for launching the first volunteer app and for a successful strategic email campaign that helped the Young Leaders Society grow membership. Both projects received Impact 13 Awards, which are global marketing awards .   Other recent highlights:

• Our Website won the Content Management System Expo’s WordPress site of the year award for our implementation of temporary micro sites.

• Designer Justin Fletcher won an American Graphic Design award for his Day of Caring T-Shirts.

• Communications VP Christoph Trappe was named one of the Creative Corridor’s Forty under 40 last year and helped participants at the American Marketing Association Nonprofit Annual Meeting with social media.

• The Creative Corridor Project has called the team “one of the nation’s most forward thinking nonprofits.”

• The team was one of the first in the area to use augmented reality in print pieces.

• The team also launched the first United Way volunteer app for Apple devices.

Related: Internet convention to bring together top minds in technology

Leaders in Volunteerism

We gave a similar presentation to Leaders in Volunteerism on Oct. 8, 2013. It focused more on volunteering, however, and how volunteer content can connect and engage communities.
Attendees who filled out a survey afterward on average ranked the session a 4.3 on a 5-point scale, with 5 being the best. All attendees said that Christoph knows this topic well.

Attendees mentioned these point as their key takeaways:

  • Create a plan for how to use social media
  • Use authentic stories
  • Where to look for good stories
  • Although we think we know how to use social media there’s a lot more to know/learn
  • Don’t just set up social media accounts. Set up to engage and tell/share organization’s story
  • Authentic stories! How to cultivate this in an organization
  • Need to get our stories out there as they are happening
  • Stories and sharing
  • Prioritize authenticity
  • Document and distribute information
  • Strategies and tools available to help manage social media
  • Handout for story development
  • Authentic voice when writing
  • Stories should be shared on a regular basis
  • Make sure social media is current
  • A framework for thinking about social media

The slides are below.

Note: This was first published on the United Way of East Central Iowa Marketing Blog and is published here under Creative Commons.



Disclaimers: The information provided in articles is for informational purposes only and not personalized advice. It's accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time it's published. Enjoy and best of luck telling the best stories in your organization and life!

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