Monthly Archives: May 2011

Share the small things

QUICK POST for the weekend:

Over the past week, I posted three photographs on camp’s Facebook page. Nothing speculator, just small bits of news. The fans loved it.

If you’ve got a fan page, post often, share the small things, and reply to comments.

Wa-la! Instant conversation, and a way to engage your fans. Here are the three quick photos I shared. All in all they’ve generated 4,376 impressions, and created great buzz about summer.

Just got a new projector for movie night! Landry is trying it out with his favorite movie.

Carpetball? Oh, yeah we've got that. Every division this summer will have it's own table.

Art supplies? How about 2,000 pounds of it? Let the sorting begin!


The time has come to market in a whole new way

This morning at 10am I held our weekly marketing and communications meeting. It is regularly attended by:

Wheaton, The Exec – The Final Yes or No.
Chris, The Associate Exec – The Muscle.
Jenny, Camp Registrar – The Mom, The Heart.
Leanne, HR – The Historian (what did we do and when).
Susan, Business Manager – The Numbers
Me, Communications Coordinator – The Glue.

This meeting was like no other meeting we’ve had in the past. This was the meeting where we finally went from talking about how nice it would be to sell out, to ACTUALLY selling out of certain sessions.

The conversation that happened next was a bit clumsy. We’ve never had the opportunity to discuss how to leverage sold out sessions.

After some debate, I convinced the group that this news wasn’t something we should sit on, but something we should be proud to shout from the roof tops. We’ve been waiting for this moment for years!

We have a quality product parents want, and now it’s so popular it’s becoming hard to get. Sign up now, don’t be left out! OK, those are definitely not the words we’ll use, but this is what I was yelling and laughing as I jumped around the room cheering (in my head of course).

Stay tuned as we navigate these new waters, and we roll out new messaging.

Three years ago I married my best friend

Feeling lucky today. Have a great one!

Check out this great TED talk by Ron Gutman. It will make you smile.

Study of Facebook campaign

I currently admin New York YMCA Camp’s Facebook Page. Our strategy is to engage campers, staff, and parents through photographs, video, and captions about camp happenings. I keep the tone friendly and personal. Fans posting on our wall know they are talking with a human not a computer.

This past week we rolled out our first ever campaign that was conceived, written, and targeted toward our Facebook fan base. Since the beginning, Facebook has always supported camp’s marketing campaign, but this was the first time we developed a campaign strictly for Facebook.

Campaign Notes
Teen campers on Facebook

4 Posts, Tuesday – Friday afternoon after school lets out

Overall Message Indirectly Conveyed
Each year we look to improve camp. We’ve listened to your feedback. Here are four changes you can expect to see this summer.

Four Messages We Wanted to Convey

  1. Longer activity periods. Learn more about the activities you are interested in. Have more time to make friends. Spend more time with your staff mentors. Don’t feel rushed like school.
  2. You want more teen water activities? This summer the teen village will have a teen Wibit with a 10 foot high action tower to climb, jump, and hangout on.
  3. A large majority of campers said breakfast was too early and it felt too much like school. Well that’s no fun. We’ve pushed back breakfast 45 minutes later!
  4. Snack Shack will be a time to enjoy time with your cabin and teens your own age. You’ll be able to come together during the afternoon, hangout, share about your day, and get ready for evening programs. No rushing involved.

The Four Facebook Posts and Analytics

  1. ANNOUNCEMENT! We’ve made morning periods longer, so you can spend more time with friends at the activities you love. It’s summer, no need to rush things.
    • Posted May 10 at 2:06pm
    • Received 2,230 Impressions
    • 0.54% Feedback
    • 7 Likes, 5 Comments
  2. This isn’t an 8 year old’s Wibit. Our friends in Germany built us a Wibit just for teens. It has a 10 foot action tower. Yes, I said 10 foot high action tower. Calum Ware are you pumped?
    • Posted May 11 at 2:11pm
    • Received 2,353 Impressions
    • 1.49% Feedback
    • 19 Likes, 15 Comments
  3. Let’s leave the morning rush for school. This summer breakfast is going to be 45 minutes later! Time to sleep in a bit and catch up on some zzz…
    • Posted May 12 at 3:50pm
    • Received 1,764 Impressions
    • 1.25% Feedback
    • 15 Likes, 7 Comments
  4. mmm… Snack Shack. Take some time this, chill with your division. Snack shouldn’t be a race, it should be enjoyed. :) Have a great weekend!
    • Posted May 12 at 3:50pm
    • Received 1,817 Impressions
    • 0.33% Feedback
    • 4 Likes, 2 Comments

What I learned

Timing is key. Posting announcements earlier in the afternoon, around 2pm, leads to greater results. I believe this is because it gives our international staff in Europe time in their evening to like/comment on it. This then boosts it farther up our campers’ news feed as they get out of school around 2:30 – 3pm.

Photos are key. The Wibit post was the only post with an actual photo and it received the greatest return. People just love their photos. They tell a story in a way words cannot.

Replying to all comments, builds conversation and more impressions. Oh, wait that’s a given. 

Most importantly, targeted messages will lead to a return in higher enrollment. We talk to teens, they like what they hear. They bug mom to send them to camp. Can’t argue with the enrollment data.

This campaign was a lot of fun to put together, and run. I’ll definitely be doing more of these in the future.

What are purposeful ways you are leveraging Facebook?

The art of change

Taking a photograph in NYC gallery.

The art of change is,
not can be,

The unknowns are clouds that block my judgement.
Outside of my mind others see this change as exciting,
something they wish they could do.

Just get up and go,
where ever they wanted.
I now know why they don’t.

Because it’s terrifying.

Actually, pause.
Thinking of it,
I’m now doing and facing many things I’ve never done before.
Finding a job,
a place to live,
a place to call my own.

This journey then is not terrifying it’s growth.

I now remember growing up and having aches and pains as my body grew and stretched beyond it’s current comfort zone.
“Growing pains,” my mom would say.

This journey is not terrifying,
it’s growth,
and these,
are just growing pains.

Excerpts from my portfolio are up

Today I will present the 2010-2011 Marketing and Communications Portfolio to the board of directors. I’ve taken a few examples from the document and posted them on two new pages.

Hope you enjoy!

Portfolio – Print Pieces

Portfolio – Online Media

A Bit About Print Pieces
Below are five examples of print material I have used in campaigns over the past year. Each project supports a specific campaign with language that targets individual populations.

A majority of our marketing material is printed to target much of our population who prefers to receive traditional marketing pieces. Over the past year, I have begun to shrink our print material, relying more on postcards. In the next few years, I believe we will see a more balanced approach between print and online marketing material.

A Bit About My Graphic Designer
I’ve been lucky to work with a talented graphic designer, Valentina Savio, who has helped shape our message and develop our look. The success of these projects wouldn’t have been possible without her.

A Bit About Online Media
Below are two information sheets on the development of camp’s website and Facebook presence. I currently manage camp’s online presence including a website, email service, Facebook page, Twitter handle, and YouTube channel

Excerpts from New York YMCA Camp’s 2010 – 2011 Marketing and Communications Portfolio. Please email me to schedule a full review that includes all print media, digital media, social media, photography, and media placements.

How Five Guys Burgers won my heart

Driving back from VT on Sunday, Ashley and I made our first visit to a Five Guys Burgers and Fries. During our short visit, I noticed how enchanted customers were. When we left there was a line out the door and cars backed up in the parking lot waiting for spots! Here’s how Five Guys won my heart:

They keep things simple. The menu is no frills, combo meals, or fancy accessories. Burger, dog, fries, drink, toppings. Their packaging is a brown bag, paper cup, and tinfoil for the burger. No fuss.

They rewarded me with FREE. Everyone is instantly rewarded with free toppings. 16 choices and you can have them all for free.

They are polite under pressure. You could tell the kids behind the counter were exhausted, but they were always polite. The guy who handed me my bag, first handed it to me, didn’t drop it on the counter, then with direct eye contact thanked me for coming. That’s not the norm at the places local to me.

They build anticipation. While you stand and drool for your meal, everyone’s orders are lined up directly in front of you. First with the toppings then with the meat. It made receiving my meal that much greater.

Have you ever been to a Five Guys? What other eateries enchant you?