Danielle Brigida, NWF Social Media Outreach Coordinator (@starfocus on Twitter)
Note from Beth: In the coming weeks, we're peeking over the shoulder of nonprofit social media practitioners to learn about their work flow and techniques. We know that success in social media depends on deep engagement as Charlene Li's research has uncovered. For nonprofits, that means moving from the transactional to the constant relationships. Further, we also know that to scale, it requires all staff to include social media.
As we discovered last week from looking at movement building, relationship building skills are really important. As Valera Maltoni wrote in her post about ten tips for building movements, “make advocates feel like rock stars - give people your attention. Period. That is what they crave and appreciate the most. Being heard, counting, being recognized. Ordinary people can and do have extraordinary stories and ideas to share.” I asked Tom Subak, VP of Online Services at Planned Parenthood, during our conversation, what does that look like on the ground? His answer, "There are many ways, but we do spend a great deal of time sending virtual birthday cards to folks."
I got curious ... what does this type of relationship building look like in the weeds? What's it like behind the firewall facilitating everyone in the organization to embrace social media?
If you work for a nonprofit and are responsible for some or all of the social media implementation and would like to share "A Day in the Life of" post about your work flow, how you build relationships with stakeholders, how your organization embraces social media, please sign up for a guest post here.
A Day in the Life of @Starfocus At Work by Michael Sola
Who is this social butterfly? At barely a quarter of a century this remarkable dare I say trend setting young woman has become a role model, an example of how to connect and interact with legions of people in all walks of life. But who is she really? What is the toll of such devotion to cause, to mission, to sharing her passion? What is a day in the life of Danielle Brigida, Social Media Outreach Coordinator at the National Wildlife Federation, all about?
I have had the rare and distinct honor of riding shot gun with @Starfocus, as she is known in the social media world, on a 3 city “Good Tech Tour 09” ( #GTT09 ) to some of National Wildlife Federations larger field offices. During the past 8 days the two of us have wandered this great land of ours, bouncing around from Reston Va, to Ann Arbor Mi, a stop in Boulder Co, a quick hop over the Rocky’s to Seattle Wa and finally coming home to Washington DC. It was an exhausting trip but one that would not have been possible if not for the energy and spunk that Danielle brings to her everyday approach to spreading the joy that Social Networking can be.
The day started first flying from Dulles Virginia where it was necessary to tranquilize Danielle – let’s get that out there, she quite simply does not fly well. This is rather amusing as she is in such demand to speak at so many conferences regarding the Social Networking program at NWF. This past year alone she has been a presenter at NTEN's NTC (in San Francisco), Blackbaud User Conference in Charleston, SxSw in Austin, the list goes on.
Upon arrival at our first stop it was clear the level of excitement to engage, train and actually consult with staff far out weighed any fears of travel and within an hour of being on the ground we were visiting with staff at our Ann Arbor office.
When Danielle speaks about social networking it’s clear the passion and desire to communicate her love of nature and wildlife with vast amounts of like minded people comes shining through. When Danielle speaks it’s from the heart. As we wrapped up our session at our second stop with the NWF office staff we went for a quick trip up to one of the impressive peaks that loomed over Boulder. We weren’t in the car for more than 20 min on the climb up when she got all excited, made me pull over and like a lioness stalking its prey bolted from the car and went off into this field to film a family of deer, a doe and two tiny fawns that had worked their way past this wooded ravine into a hip high pasture.
She was like a little kid in a candy store snapping pictures, then turning to her iPhone and Tweeting about how she spotted Wildlife with the #NWF hash tag to share with the Wildlife Watch program what she had seen. The girl is a nut when it comes to using technology to connect people with wildlife and the importance in protecting it.
When Danielle isn’t running after deer up in the Rocky Mountains she is typically up till 2am answering Tweets, sharing links, responding to messages, and connecting with some of the 7,500 followers she has on her personal Twitter account, the 13,000 that follow NWF Twitter programs because of her efforts, the 1,200 friends she has on Facebook.
I have to share that Danielle does have one failing, she is addicted to caffeine, to get through a typical day coffee appears to be a vice. I’ve seen her start off her day calm, quiet, reserved – on the first day of our #GTT09 I would ask: “do you want breakfast”, “no” she replies, “can we stop and get Starbucks?” she asks – I tell her “coffee doesn’t count as breakfast”. She looks at me with this most intense stare, her eyes boring into me and says with a little more force, “Starbucks, please” – hard to say no after that stare.
What I really enjoyed watching throughout a typical “Danielle day” during our tour was how she not only would take great glee in showing the staff who were hungry to know and learn how to use these marketing / networking tools but how she approached those staff who were afraid to learn. How she would slowly bring them around as if she had some Jedi mind power that convinced them using Social Networking was good.
One such convert who swore she would never use Facebook, that it had “no purpose” and had “no time” was singing her praises when we hit Colorado. Within a few short months of Danielle convincing, cajoling and finally helping her set up a page, she not only was finding ways to grow a network of followers but was using the service to track and keep a record of news posts, stories, comments and events. Learning from Danielle ended up enhancing and streamlining the workload of a fellow staff member in spreading the love for Wildlife and this made Danielle’s day.
Danielle truly walks the walk. The world is a better place because of @Starfocus and I am proud, indeed honored to call her my friend. Rock on sister! and for the love of God, please find some time to sleep!
Michael Sola is a 20+ year technology vet having started in the hospitality industry. He has a mix of "for" and "non profit" experience with ten years at the mid-Atlantic environmental advocates Chesapeake Bay Foundation while recently moving into the role of Senior Technologist with the National Wildlife Federation, who have become leaders in implementing social networking strategies. He is an active blogger, Twitterer and speaker at conferences and workshops related to the non profit tech environment. He is a member of the national CIO 4 Good and Green IT Consortium Groups in DC.
If you work for a nonprofit and are
responsible for some or all of the social media implementation and
would like to share "A Day in the Life of" post about your work flow,
how you build relationships with stakeholders, how your organization
embraces social media, please sign up for a guest post here or let us know in the comments.