Posts by: eric martinez

3 tips for VIP visits to your nonprofit

MediaDeskNMEric J. Martinez086

Photo: Eric Martinez

Last week Jane Chu, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts visited Albuquerque and spent some time with Members of Tiaso Artist Cooperative at Valle Encantado’s Five Points Farm in Atrisco. The gathering was important for a couple of reasons: It positioned Tiaso as a key player in Albuquerque’s art space, it exposed a national partner to another innovative and effective organization in New Mexico, and it provided several storytelling opportunities that help leverage Tiaso’s already incredible reputation. Tiaso successfully capitalized on this visit by recognizing that the visit was an opportunity create a unique and memorable experience for everyone involved.  Additionally, they put to use new resources in order to capture the experience so that it could be recreated in future marketing efforts.

Here are 3 tips on how Tiaso capitalized on their visit, and you can too:

1.) Create Audible Memories.

As Chairman Chu and the Tiaso artists talked, they were extemporaneously producing highly effective messages and organic exchanges that could be valuable marketing material.  It can be very difficult to take notes or to memorize talking points from conversations during the visit, but it’s easy enough to switch on a recording device. Devices like a high-end voice recorder or even an iPhone can capture every exchange to generate quotable material for news articles or social media posts, and are great way to showcase an important person’s opinion of your brand.

2.) Dedicate a photographer. Capture moments; not just poses.  

Videos and images of VIPs engaging in your work are priceless. Utilizing your own designated camera person allows your brand to have total control of how and when the images are shared. If you rely on the VIP’s staff for media, you could end up playing the waiting game, and if they don’t send the media when you expect it (or worse – not at all), you’ll end up missing the important opportunity to share timely and relatable content. Tiaso was able to not only share their media prior to Chairman Chu’s incredibly busy team, but they were also able to share the media as the event was happening through their phones. Tiaso made sure to capture candid moments between everyone involved, as opposed to just the stanged “grip and grin” that VIPs are so used to.

3.) Orchestrate as much of your brand identity and values into the visit as possible.

Don’t be afraid to leave powerpoints and conference rooms behind. Your big day could end up feeling like Groundhog Day for on-the-go guests that endure visit after visit. It’s important to ask yourself: “How is our organization different?” and “What can we do to stand out?” And use that momentum to create an engaging space that represents who you are. Tiaso chose to host their visit at Valle Encantado’s Five Points Farm. The setting showcased the nonprofit’s community focus by inviting the NEA chair into their community. Instead of Tiaso leaders telling the stories of Tiaso artists, they had the artists share their stories in their own words, and invited her to participate in the process by sharing her story. These personal, first-hand connections resonated with Chairmen Chu and she was easily able to recall the details of every speaker at the end of the event.

Looking for more information? Check out our blog on Op-Eds and Public Opinion.

Instagram Stories? Three Things You Should Consider.

instablog                                                                                           photo courtesy of the official Instagram Blog

Earlier this week Instagram launched Instagram Stories, a new feature that’s a direct competitor to Snapchat. Like Snapchat, the new Instagram feature makes it possible to share multiple 10-second videos and photos that will disappear after a 24 hour period.  The organic and off-the-cuff nature of these short video gives users a new way to spend more time directly viewing your brand, and allows your followers to pull back the curtain and get a more nuanced view of who you are and what you do.

There are some things to keep in mind  if you are considering using Instagram Stories to promote your organization:

1.) The user base varies between Instagram and Snapchat:

Demographically, Snapchat and Instagram differ widely. Snapchat has a monopoly on younger users from 13-24 years of age. Instagram has a more diverse age range and over 500 million users worldwide. On Snapchat users typically follow friends and acquaintances–which has made it challenging for companies and organizations to gain followers. On Instagram users are already accustomed to following brands with large companies and celebrities making up the top 20 most followed accounts on Instagram.

2.) Be cautious: The story format might not be for everyone:

Keep in mind that when sharing stories, you are sharing experiences rather than recording a polished message. Recording an experience can generate a larger reach than traditional Instagram posts and endear your audience to your day-to-day experiences, but be cautious about highlighting them at the expense of you brand. It may seem  attractive to record every moment, but that should not outweigh the value of strategic messaging. Your Instagram Stories should fit into a marketing and messaging strategy that contributes directly to your mission. So be sure to ask yourself . . .

3.) Does this fit my brand?

As we mentioned in last week’s blog post 5 Tips For Non-Profits on Instagram; “The best Instagram accounts post consistent content that matches with the brand’s identity.  It’s easy to lose sight of your goals when you have complete control of your content. Although you might have various content creators and admins, you must ensure that the content has a consistent voice. A great strategy is to categorize the type of posts that you make and limit yourself to only 2-3 categories.” This goes for stories, as well. Your social media strategy should tie back to specific goals for your organization. If you don’t have a clear-cut plan for how a story can contribute to your organization’s goals, chances are you shouldn’t be doing it.

Instagram Stories are an exciting new addition to the platform. Acquiring followers on Snapchat can be tough due to its incredibly minimal design, but now, with Instagram Stories, your Instagram followers can have automatic access to a similar style of ephemeral, real-life posts without having to seek it out. Instagram is becoming a one-stop platform for polished marketing and off-the-cuff and organic posts. With thoughtfulness, planning and consistency your organization can capitalize on the opportunity to tell your story in a way that resonates with a new audience. 

Looking for more information? Check out our blog on Albuquerque Living Cities Integration Initiative – Stories of Entrepreneurship


5 Tips For Non-Profits on Instagram



With over 500 million users worldwide, Instagram is a hard tool to ignore.  It’s a  great place to follow your favorite celebrity, friends or corporate brand, but at its heart the platform is about sharing stories. The photos along with their messages can showcase your brand’s impact in a tangible way that is clear, concise and delivered with a lot less noise than their social media platforms. As we launch our very own Instagram account, here are some things to consider before getting started or as you maintain your account:

1.) Learn how to cross-post effectively

While it’s a good idea to market your Instagram page using your website and other social media pages, it’s important to learn to do it effectively. Facebook and Instagram usually work together seamlessly, but the formatting doesn’t always work well on other platforms. If you are sharing the same piece of content, always ensure that the content and message is appropriate for the platform. Experiment to see what works best for you and your followers.

2.) Does the media reflect your brand?

The best Instagram accounts post consistent content that matches with the brand’s identity.  It’s easy to lose sight of your goals when you have complete control of your content. Although you might have various content creators and admins , you must ensure that the content has a consistent voice. A great strategy is to categorize the type of posts that you make and limit yourself to only 2-3 categories.

3.)  Know your audience

Your Instagram account, like all other pieces of your communications strategy, should be tied to specific goals. What do you want to accomplish? Who do you need to reach to accomplish it? That group of people is your audience. Remember, your audience should be a specific group – not just a vague demographic.

Knowing your brand’s audience is important so you can tailor posts and better target who’s important 53% of Instagram’s users are  18-29 years old and female users have a slight majority. The best feeds combine their brand identity with a familiarity of their audience’s needs. Again, the best strategy is to identify, categorize and limit the types of posts you make to have a concise feed for you users to better appreciate.

4.) Limit calls-to-action.

Instagram and other social media platforms are a great place to motivate users to join your cause, but  that should not be all that you use it for. Calls-to-action should be very strategic and limited. Show how and why it is imperative that they participate in your work and why they should care about the cause you are asking them to take part in. When you do use the platform to reach out to your users, ask them to help share your story at  your events.

5.) Commit to posting regularly

It is sometimes better to have no representation on a platform than a dated or poorly executed account. With a clear direction you can reasonably post a couple times a week, if not everyday. You can also identify events for live posting and share content generated by your fans. If you create the account, commit to keeping up with regular posting. Determine a frequency and stick to it.

Looking for more information? Check out our blog on Mention and Replies.




Video As A Powerful Engagement Tool


The 1st iPhone was released over nine years ago. At the time it was an entirely revolutionary piece of technology; it provided the ability to access the internet in the palm of your hand. The ever-improving mobile technologies of today enable us to interact socially with a wide variety of content online. And as users adapt and tech companies respond, we have observed a trend in preference for video content. According to  Brainshark, “33% of tablet owners watch one hour of video per day on their device” and “52% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI”.

We launched our latest video, Mind Open, this month, which provides a window into the Entrepreneurial Mindset program that has been highly successful in municipal government and now is being piloted within Albuquerque’s Public School District.  (more…)

Three Tips You Need To Navigate Facebook’s Algorithm Changes



Last Week Facebook announced a new round of algorithmic tweaks that will change the experience for every user. The algorithmic tweaks are intended to change feeds to put friends and family first, which means that for small publishers and organizations with Pages, this shift will change the way posts get delivered to followers. 

Here are a tips for navigating the changes for organizational Facebook Pages:

1.) Create content that people want to share – as individuals

While you are in total control of what and when you post, Facebook still controls how the user sees it – and with the new changes to Facebook’s algorithm, they will be delivering your cool posts less often, UNLESS! Individuals directly share them on their personal accounts. Create posts and share things that your followers will want to share from their personal pages.

2.) Experiment with using Facebook Live (live video, learn more here)

Facebook is really pushing live feeds. These largely unscripted events generate organic and authentic media that connects people, which is what Facebook is going for. This feature is an attempt to take some (more…)

140 Characters is Just Too Short for A Good Message


Sharing clear and concise messages with your followers through microblogging platforms – like Twitter – can limit the depth and breadth of your message. Microblogging requires messaging that is a lot like a sales pitch; it is carefully crafted to reach a target audience, and it is designed to get them to take an action (like click a link or share the post). After all, you only get 140 characters. More than anything, microblogging brings attention to your brand, but it certainly comes with constraints.

The New Mexico Center for School Leadership uses their well-made, functional website‘s integrated Blog to circumnavigate microblogging restraints.  As they communicate on Twitter, they direct traffic to more meaningful messaging and fill in any details that might be missed in 140 characters by driving traffic from Twitter to a full-fledged blog on their website. (more…)

Siembra’s Website Lays a Strong Foundation for Their Brand

Siembra Leadership High School

Last week Siembra Leadership High School signed the lease on their new location in the heart of Downtown Albuquerque. The swell of media attention following the announcement directed new and unique visitors to Siembra’s website.

This moment demonstrated the value of a well-made, functional website, offering Siembra a priceless tool for its digital audience to interact with 24/7.  The traffic driven by traditional news media made the website the first place people interacted with the school. It allowed visitors to learn about its mission and goals, and provided Siembra with a digital platform on which to tell its story. (more…)

Was that a Mention or a Reply?

Constantly evolving jargon creates a barrier for even seasoned marketing or social media managers. As you track the effectiveness of your digital storytelling efforts, keep our roundup of the latest and most relevant social media reporting terms on hand.  

Facebook Analytics: (Source: Nate Smith, Simply Measured)

Total Reach: The number of users who were saw at least one impression of your content through their News Feed, Timeline or an ad.

Impressions: The number of times your content was shown on News Feed, Ticker, Timeline or an ad. One unique user can be shown multiple impressions.

Organic Reach: The number of unique users who were served at least one impression of your content via News Feed, Timeline without advertising.

Paid Reach: The number of unique users who were served at least one impression of your content via News Feed, Ticker or Timeline with an ad.

Total Impressions: The number of times your content was shown on News Feed, Ticker, Timeline or an ad. One unique user can be shown multiple impressions.

Organic Impressions: The number of times your content was shown on News Feed, Ticker or Timeline without advertising.

Paid Impressions: The number of times your content was shown on News Feed, Ticker or Timeline with an ad.

Engaged Users: The number of unique users who clicked anywhere on your content, whether it resulted in a story or not. (more…)