making a difference with social marketing
by Nedra Kline Weinreich

This week's Tip Jar is full of bicentennial quarters and an occasional $2 bill:
  • I've been playing around with Facebook lately, though I think LinkedIn is much more useful as a grown-up. If you want to learn more on what all the fuss is about, take a look at the Beginner's Guide to Facebook. Wondering whether your audience is more likely on Facebook or MySpace? Danah Boyd discusses how class plays into self-selection onto the various social networking sites: Facebook attracts the popular, "good kid" crowd, while MySpacers are more likely to be the socially ostracized kids who don't quite fit into the popular cliques. As Anastasia says, it sounds like the makings of a John Hughes movie ("Pretty in Pink Flashing Pixels"?)
  • Oxfam's online advocacy campaign to help the Ethiopian farmers who grow coffee for Starbucks was a success, with 96,000 people participating in various ways. This campaign is a great case study for how to recruit and engage supporters via social media and email. I first learned of it through the Flickr petition in which people posted pictures of themselves holding a sign that said "I support Ethiopian coffee farmers." But they also used YouTube, blogs, email networks, and more traditional methods like faxes, phone calls, postcards, an on-site protest and in-person visits to Starbucks. The resulting agreement will ensure that Ethiopian farmers get a fair share of the profits for their coffee.
  • From the Communication Initiative comes an announcement of what sounds like a fascinating workshop called Sensing on Everyday Mobile Phones in Support of Participatory Research. The workshop will "focus on how mobile phones and other everyday devices can be employed as networkconnected, location-aware, human-in-the-loop sensors that enable participatory data collection, geotagged documentation, mapping and other case-making capabilities." If anyone wants to send me to Sydney, I'd be happy to liveblog the session for you.
  • If you are story-impaired like I am, you may be interested in the Center for Digital Storytelling's Digital Storytelling Cookbook. The book helps people who want to mine stories from their own and others' lives and personal media archives. You can download the first five chapters, which introduce how to find stories and tell them in a meaningful way. The rest of the book focuses on the technical aspects of digital media. Using stories to illustrate your points can be so effective, but the process of developing those stories is not always obvious. (via the same CommInit email as above)
  • A new study found that teens engaging in web-based multi-player role-playing games are reaping benefits from opportunities to explore the world around them, albeit virtually. They can have conversations with people of different nationalities and races they would not normally come in contact with, they can become entrepreneurs with online businesses, they can experiment with their identities (aren't virtual noserings so much better than the real thing?) and venture into interactions with members of the opposite sex. Sounds good, as long as the online time isn't replacing hang-out time with real-life friends. (via MarketingVOX)
  • A recent campaign from New South Wales Roads and Traffic Authority in Australia takes a refreshing departure from the usual fear appeals to try to keep young men from speeding. It hits the perpetrators below the belt, with the tag line, "Speeding - No One Thinks Big of You" and hot girls wagging their pinkies in a gesture clearly meant to suggest that the speeders are trying to compensate for other inadequacies. I haven't seen anyone here making this gesture before, so I wonder if it's an Aussie-American cultural difference or a new thing. Watch the spot and tell me if you know.
  • Speaking of fear appeals, Seth Godin writes about how some marketers use fear to sell their products. He gives social marketers a pass, saying that some items, like seatbelts, can't be marketed without fear. I agree that fear appeals can be powerful when done right (though more often than not they backfire) but there are many other powerful values that could be tapped into to motivate safety-related behaviors (see item above).
  • Knowing that the media would create a massive frenzy around the launch of the iPhone, a savvy nonprofit called Keep a Child Alive found a way to transfer some of that major media coverage to their own cause. Someone from the organization staked out the first spot in line at the Apple Store in Manhattan, thereby ensuring interviews with every media outlet around, and an open mic for their message. While they initially intended to auction just the iPhone to raise money for their organization, as a result of their widespread exposure they received a slew of additional items to auction off from celebrities and companies. This serves as a reminder to keep your eyes open for random opportunities to get your message out, which may net you more exposure than the rest of the marketing activities you've been planning for months.
  • Happily, Sadly, Ironically, the CDC's wonderful Verb yellowball campaign to get 9 to 13 year olds physically active, which was discontinued by Congress last year, took several top honors at the Cannes Lions advertising awards. Arc Worldwide, who created the campaign, won Gold for "Best Integrated Direct Campaign," Silver for "Best Direct - Charities, Public Health & Safety and Public Awareness Messages" and Bronze for "Best Media - Charities, Public Health & Safety and Public Awareness Messages." The campaign also won a Clio this year. It was a well-done campaign, and found to be effective in bringing about behavior change, so of course the obvious thing to do was to get rid of it. Bring back Verb!!!
I wish a very happy and safe 4th of July to my American readers, and a great Wednesday to everyone else.

Photo Credit: Tip Jar Dan
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Anonymous Soha El-Borno said...
Hi Nedra,

Here are two other resources to learn more about Facebook

Promote your cause on Facebook in five easy steps

A beginner's guide to Facebook for non-profits

Blogger Nedra Weinreich said...

Thanks so much for those great additional resources!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Thanks for the update on the Oxfam coffee campaign. I have to brag a bit and add that they also utilized Care2 to generate petitions and supporters. :)

Check out for other examples of online activism like this... oh, and you can upload a version of The Petition Site on your facebook page as well.

Great ideas in the tip jar as always! Thanks for keeping us all informed.

Anonymous Andre Blackman said...
Definitely great resources Nedra! A few weeks ago I found an interesting document on storytelling through Andy Goodman's website. Check it out:

Anonymous Derek Burress said...
I played around with facebook this past week. Did not like it very much so got rid of it. Basically I could not figure out how to search for friends other than those I went to high school with as it seemed somewhat impossible to search outside networks on there.

I have played on myspace and liked it but I soon got rid of that as well since I was spending too much time on there.

As for linkin, I have it but again, do not know what I am doing on there. Then again I only have two friends on that thing and one is you!

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