Archived from the We Are Media Workshop

Original Post Feb. 2009 as part of the We Are Media Workshop from NTEN


Having just been given the opportunity to serve Operation Smile as “Social Media Strategist” it is so serendipitous that I found this amazing workshop. In true “new media” fashion I discovered the workshop from Twitter as Beth Kanter Tweeted about her preparations for the 2 days.
I am sitting here, reading Groundswell, with my Tweetdeck up and chirping and preparing for my (first) trip to San Francisco to kick off this new role and what I hope will be an incredible new era for Operation Smile!

So on to the official questions posed in our pre-workshop assignment:

How is your organization currently using social media? Operation Smile has a great Web/It Director who has worked hard over the last 2+ years to refocus our online presence. We’ve signed on with Convio, started testing m-give for SMS texting and have worked on upgrading the look and feel of our Myspace page. My first order of business as Social Media Strategy was to get busy on Twitter both as a personal endeavor and to start the conversation about cleft lip/palate deformities and get people in the Twitterverse familiar with Operation Smile’s mission!

Here is where you can find us on the web:

What is your personal experience using social media? In 2000-ish I was living in Atlanta and the music and arts community was buzzing about this new way to promote your music and art projects. That’s when I discovered MySpace yet no sooner had I discovered it others were telling me about Friendster. Obviously Friendster never hit the magnitude that MySpace reached. I have used MySpace ever since to promote my various projects, help businesses get their message out and of course stay in touch with what is happening in the music and arts scene with all of my friends and colleagues. Ironically in 2002 I thought, “wouldn’t it be great if an advertising company hired me just to do this kind of thing for their clients-they are really missing an opportunity here.” Little did I know practically a decade later I would be combining my desire to serve a worthy cause with my addiction for communicating using these new mediums!

What do you hope to learn from the workshop? I am so excited about this workshop! Coming from a marketing, donor relations and development background I am not as technology based as many people starting out in roles such as “New Media Strategist”. However I feel like understanding how to use the technology doesn’t matter if you can’t have the personality and interactions that engage and inspire supporters, fans and donors. I am hoping to be able to come away with the tools I need to turn my well-meaning energy, passion and ideas into a solid plan to help elevate Operation Smile’s online presence and create a legion of people ready to help raise awareness and funds to provide new smiles to children around the world!

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