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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Outreach Strategy for New Media Conferences/Trainings

Having worked on the convening of several conferences involving new media, I've been asked  by a few people who are also convening new media trainings and conferences to provide them with some tips.  Here is a simple three pronged strategy that I recommend.

Strategy #1: Engage community leaders in the recruitment process
  • Debrief with folks who have helped to organize this kind of training before, key stakeholders and past participants to get feedback (what worked/what didn't) and get buy in.  Form a host/convening committee comprised of leaders from each of the targeted communities.  Each member of the host/convening committee could be responsible for a certain target/# of individuals to do outreach to (the assumption here being that a certain percentage would respond in the affirmative to the outreach.)  Manage this by way of a shared Google Excel spreadsheet on which each of the conveners can track their progress - name of contact, actions, status, etc. 
Strategy #2: Use earned and paid media to create awareness and generate momentum
  • Advertise on relevant blogs.
  • Assign someone from the convening team the responsibility of interfacing with traditional media, i.e., radio, television, print.  Produce a press strategy in partnership with them, inclusive of a series of advisories and press releases for traditional and new media.  This would include producing a one pager on the event which summarizes the event and all of its benefits.
  • Conduct a series of press interviews (radio, print, blogs, vlogs, podcasts) where you  can discuss the training/conference.  Ask the convening committee members if they would be willing/interested in doing the same.
  • Add the training/conference onto all of the appropriate community calendars and blast it to all of the community list serves that you and the convening committee belonged to.
Strategy #3: Leverage social media and other networks to create a community of interest around the event
  • Find partner organizations who may be willing to send a blast out to their lists (to grow the reach of our candidate pool).  Post updates on/ask these partners to post updates on their FB/Twitter/My Space pages regarding the training/conference.
  • Organize twitter parties/twitter chats spearheaded by tweeps who are considered leaders on twitter in their respective communities.
  • Hold tweet ups/happy hours in a few key locations (perhaps where the conveners are) pre-training/conference to continue to build momentum and woo through community those who are considering participating.
  • Convene a group of bloggers/experts in new media who have buy in on the training/conference - perhaps invite them to participate for free or offer them the opportunity to train/speak or in some way provide value to them.  Ask them to help to  publicize through their blog posts, tweets, FB updates, etc.
  • Ensure a presence on the big social networks, i.e., Facebook, Twitter, My Space.  That presence will provide visibility for the organization and the event.  On Twitter, also  create a hashtag and ask the early adopters and leading tweeps to immediately use it to help to build momentum.
How about you?  Are there any other tips that you would recommend?   

Sunday, January 10, 2010

O'Reilly Media Conference Diversity Statement

O'Reilly Media has gone live with their Conference Diversity statement:

Conference Diversity
O'Reilly Media believes in spreading the knowledge of innovators. We believe that innovation is enhanced by a variety of perspectives, and our goal is to create an inclusive, respectful conference environment that invites participation from people of all races, ethnicities, genders, ages, abilities, religions, and sexual orientation.
We're actively seeking to increase the diversity of our attendees, speakers, and sponsors through our calls for proposals, other open submission processes, and through dialogue with the larger communities we serve.
This is an ongoing process. We are talking to our program chairs, program committees, and various innovators, experts, and organizations about this goal and about ways they can help us achieve it.
Here are some ways you can help us build a more diverse conference experience:
  • Recommend appropriate speakers and/or program committee members to the conference chairs (see individual O'Reilly conference sites for program information; you may also send an email to
  • Forward our call for proposals to relevant affinity groups with the message that we are looking for a diverse speaker roster
  • Suggest to potential speakers that they submit a proposal during our Call for Participation conference phase (see individual O'Reilly conference sites for details)
  • Organize community-based public speaking trainings and practice events (Ignite is one popular format)
  • Suggest ways that the onsite conference experience can be more welcoming and supportive, free from intimidation and marginalization (send an email
  • Share your ideas and best practices for how we can realize our vision (send an email to
  • We value diversity in the communities we bring together, and we welcome your contributions to bringing balanced representation of the richness of our collective human experience.

I posted this on the Twitterverse earlier this week and here are some of the responses I have seen to date:

Green4Kids RT @LearnSpanishOL: @KetyE tired of all those conferences with lack of diversity. Poor & limited point of view Looking at #BlissDom :( > Yes about 20 hours ago from Seesmic

jenmyronuk Action statement re: O'Reilly conference diversity via @ginablaber incorporates feedback from @digitalsista + @KetyE about 20 hours ago from web

LearnSpanishOL @KetyE That's great! tired of all those conferences with lack of diversity. Such poor & limited point of view. Looking at #BlissDom :( about 21 hours ago

digitalsista r.t @ginablaber: Many thanks to @digitalsista@KetyE 4 feedback on the O'Reilly conferences diversity statement & more 7:47 PM Jan 8th from Seesmic

bestwebstrategy Congratulations to O'Reilly Media for encouraging Conference Diversity: #LATism #p2#marketing #entrepreneur RT @KetyE 5:24 PM Jan 8th from web

LearnSpanishOL RT @KetyE: @timoreilly Thank you 4 producing this statement on O'Reilly media Conference Diversity! #Latinos #LatISM 5:02 PM Jan 8th from Seesmic

Personally, I think this a fundamental step in the right direction by O'Reilly Media leadership to diversify their speaker base.  I was shocked to learn at the last Web 2.0 that @Baratunde was the first black speaker  O'Reilly Media had ever had at Web 2.0 (in 2009). Per one of my earlier post, this is something that all conferences have been tackling.  I believe that O'Reilly is working to be as proactive on this as possible and create change.

What are your thoughts?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Top 10 Recommendations from a New Media Manager

For the last year and half I have been working as the New Media Manager for a large national nonprofit in DC.  During that time, I have been invited to consult for several other non-profits who have seen my work and who have asked me to contribute to their operations.  Today I'd like to share with you the top ten list I have often shared with them.

1.   If you are going to invest in New Media do it well.
2.   Make sure that you have a senior member of your staff who is leading the effort.
3.   Acknowledge any cultural differences that may exist as you begin your foray into this new world.
4.   Ensure that the CEO/President/Executive Director believes in and will champion the effort (publicly and privately).
5.   Identify where the other senior members of the team are as it relates to this effort and determine how you will get buy in.
6.   Dream big.  Start small.
7.   Build relationships with experts in the New Media world: bloggers, social media experts, etc.
8.   Provide access to the work your organization is doing to those in New Media.
9.   Engage your staff in the work of new media.
10. Commit to investing in this space for the long haul.  This is the future.  New Media will continue to grow and expand whether or not you decide to play.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My 20+ reasons to blog (building on 111)

Today my friend turned 37.  For her birthday she asked her friends to share their reasons to blog.  Below are my 20+ reasons to blog (building on the 111 reasons other friends had already listed.)  My 20+ reasons to blog- 

112. To change the world.
113. To create new conversations.
114. To shift old ways of thinking and old paradigms.
115. To innovate.
116. To dream the impossible dream.
117. To inspire others to dream with you.
118. To show (yourself and) others why it’s not only good for the world but why it makes practical sense and how there is an ROI to dream.
119. To break it down into the how to.
120. To share solutions – not just challenges.
121. To confront injustice.
122. To break stories.
123. To get others talking about what isn’t being talked about in Main Stream Media.
124. To get Main Stream Media talking about what needs to be spoken to.
125. To build a grassroots movement.
126. To build power.
127. To change policy.
128. To live your faith.
129. To live your promise for the world.
130. To give a platform to multiple communities.
131. To give your granito de arena.
132. To share your poetry.
133. To share your music.
134. To share your story.
135. To share the first few chapters of your book. ;-)
136. To live out the next (retired) phase of your life (like my dad).
137. To connect with the world (w/ a few strokes of the keyboard).

Read the other 111 reasons.