For my team teaching presentation for COM 400: Social Media U Need 2 Know (#NewhouseSM4), I worked with three other girls on a project about social media for non-profit organizations. For the last two months, we have been interviewing, transcribing, writing, researching, editing, planning and rehearsing, all leading up to today—the presentation.
Around 2:45 p.m. my group and I presented our PowerPoint presentation to the class. We showed them how to use an app called “Catalista,” which allows you to find volunteer opportunities in your area and share them with your friends and followers on social media. We also talked about the new launch of the “Pay it Forward” option on Facebook Gifts where users can send a donation in someone’s name to one of the 11 supported non-profit organizations. We then dove into our three case studies with The United Way of CNY (@uwcny), Home HeadQuarters (@homehq) and The American Red Cross (@RedCross). Above all of this however, our classmates were most interested in our sponsored hashtag #NH4NP (Newhouse for Non-profits). The idea was for every tweet that mentioned #NH4NP, 5 cents would be donated to The American Red Cross for #SandyRelief.
The idea came from one of my group members following Superstorm Sandy a couple of weeks ago. When the idea was proposed to the group, we all said ‘yes’ and started trying to get funding from a department within the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications (@NewhouseSU). We went to dean after dean, office after office and sat around during open office hours for weeks. We were constantly being told to talk to someone else about receiving funding. Yesterday, the day before our presentation, was the most hope we had to receive funding. The chair of the communications department said there was no funding for the project at first, but then thought deeper and said he would get back to us in the evening. Guess what? He didn’t.
We knew this was an important part to our presentation and we were all pretty set on pursuing the idea. A group member wrote in our Facebook group this morning and mentioned that we could fund the project ourselves, capping the donation off at $100—a generous donation from a group of four college girls, in my opinion. We all agreed to pay a maximum of $25 a person and just like that, the hashtag was funded!
We announced the fundraiser to our classmates at the beginning of the presentation. When we finished up around 3:10 p.m., we had already generated 200 tweets reaching over 100,000 impressions. With a little input from our professor (@DR4WARD), we decided to extend the hashtracking period to 11:59 p.m. From 2:45—11:59 p.m., we are trying to get the hashtag #NH4NP mentioned 2,000 times to raise our goal of $100 for #SandyRelief. I think this aspect of our project truly embodies using social media to “do good”—the main theme of our project. Out of a classroom of roughly 30 students, that has no windows, we’re trying to push out a message to all of our cumulative thousands of followers for a good cause.