In Susan Ellis’s Hot Topic for July “Media Blitz vs. Media Noise: What Are We Trying to Accomplish?”, she took a look at the recent attempt by the Entertain Industry Foundation to promote volunteering. I see more value in general awareness advertising that Susan but her article speaks to more than that and her views are worth a read.
Below are a few of my thoughts on the matter having read Susan’article.
Was this whole campaign a swing and a miss? It certainly appears so. But I want to commend the entertainment industry for getting up to bat in the first place.
Having not had the opportunity to watch television over the past week I cannot comment on the usefulness of the messaging but the implementation of the technology was clearly a contributor to the lack of results. Greg Balwin (president of Volunteer Match) was openly and honestly apologetic to the members of Volunteer Match but I think he was shouldering more than his share of the blame. The various lists of volunteer opportunities from which iparticipate.org draws, such as Volunteer Match, had many more opportunities than were to be found on the iparticipate site.
I was very happy to see that some of the responses to Greg Balwin’s article focused on the future and trying again. From one respondent, “…we all have learned from this and the next effort will be better,” and from another“…hopefully this turns into a yearly event. I’m betting in the long-term picture”.
Let’s look toward next year and work toward a strategy in the messaging that is consistent with the needs of the sector and best practices in building a movement along with better testing in advance from the technology partners. The discussions of where things broke down in this year’s attempt can help the next time (and I hope there’s a next time) the IEF steps up to bat.