Jackie lives by the credo “nothing ventured nothing gained” and brings this can-do approach to her work as a senior digital strategist at Weber Shandwick. Jackie has developed digital corporate social responsibility campaigns for major consumer brands, managed public-private partnerships and designed sustainability communication plans for B2B organizations. This work and the people she has met along the way inspires her every day. Jackie completed her undergraduate education at the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC where she received a B.A. in communications and an introduction to southern hospitality. After graduation, Jackie returned to D.C. for work and to pursue her Master’s degree in communications from Georgetown University. As a native to the D.C. area, you can always count on her to be rooting for one of the D.C. teams (go Skins, Caps and Nats!), and while she contemplates trying out for “So You Think You Can Dance!” she continues to live vicariously through the contestants.
Follow Jackie on Twitter: @jtitus
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Last night we had the pleasure of hosting a great line-up of panelists from the DC Sports community to discuss the role of social media across the industry and the influence it has had on social impact issues. Our team member Mark Wysocki put together a full recap below:
As DC sports are on the rise (Redskins, Nationals, DC United and maybe the Wizards after Tuesday’s win over reigning champion, Miami Heat), the conversation around sports influence and social impact has become increasingly relevant. The past five years have witnessed the growth of social media which has only heightened these dialogues. Our team decided to host a panel featuring thought leaders in the space to explore sports influence, social media and social impact.
Sports. Social media. Social impact.
Matt Winkler, Associate Dean of the Georgetown University Sports Industry Management Program moderated our #SportsImpact panel which showcased the following experts:
• Chad Williamson, Director of Philanthropy for Dhani Jones & CEO, BowTie Cause
• Mike Donnelly, Senior Communications Manager, Head of Social, NFLPA
• Chad Kurz, Director of New Media, Washington Nationals
• Joe Briggs, Public Policy Counsel, NFLPA
The event welcomed 50+ attendees observing and participating in the dynamic discussion. The agenda was broken down into three segments; 1) how leagues/teams are active and regulate social media, 2) how fans are engaging and interacting over social media, and 3) how social platforms are being used and can be used to facilitate social impact. The audience challenged panelists with questions that sparked debate around past, present and future opportunities to better capture sports influence in the social impact space. We hope this panel will be the first of many to bring awareness to this apparent gap in the industry.
Top Ten Takeaways from #SportsImpact Panel:
10. Players with a long term view can create and leverage an online audience to make a difference after football yet many do not. Chad Johnson, ex-NFL star, has near 4 million Twitter followers but has not taken advantage of his influence.
9. If you don’t control your message, somebody else will.
8. Players with huge potential in social impact space include RGIII, Arian Foster & international soccer stars such as Ronaldo, due to likeability, influence and leadership.
7. Not all leagues have the same approach in regulating social media. Rules and sanctions vary across leagues/teams. Operationally, the MLB is unique in which each team must work with the interactive online branch of the league, MLB Advanced Media, to update their respective websites.
6. ROI = Return on Influence/Impact
5. Implementing an integrated approach across channels to deliver a uniform message in vital. As the NFL lockout was nearing, the NFLPA bought nfllockout.com and properties on Facebook and Twitter to be the initial online point of contact and frame their message accordingly.
4. Social media is effective for connecting and spreading influence but traditional marketing tactics are still essential in building a brand and communicating effectively.
3. Players/leagues/teams/entities receive requests for retweets and mentions all the time. You don’t have to respond! It’s essential to keep accounts authentic and organic or else fans can tell.
1. Most athletes aren’t having the right conversation. Give back, social impact. Be a better person. A great deal of CSR opportunities exist across professional sports with thousands of present and past players that hold influence.
Sports. Social media. Social impact.
10.11.12 marks the first-ever International Day of The Girl; a day sanctioned by the United Nations that is all about adolescent girls. It is a day where the global development community, global girl leaders, and girl champions will pause to celebrate the potential of adolescent girls and show the world what girls are capable of.
And while Day of The Girl is an inspiring first, it is also a moment to recognize all that still stands in her way.
- Of over 600 million adolescent girls around the world, more than 250 million live in poverty. That means they are living on less than $2 USD a day.
- One-third of adolescent girls in the developing world are married before they turn 18 and medical complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death among girls between the ages of 15-19.
In light of recent current events and the story of Malala Yousafzai, there is not better time to dedicate a day to recognize that girls need focused attention and support of the development community.
Our client, Nike Foundation, a champion of the Girl Effect, has made adolescent girls its exclusive focus because of a core belief that when you invest in girls' potential you break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.
In honor of the day, the Girl Effect launched a page on girleffect.org to curate all the activities taking place on behalf of the Girl Effect community. You can keep up with the conversation at: http://youthinkyouknowme.girleffect.org/
And if you want to share your Girl Power inspiration, join in using #DayOfTheGirl on Twitter.
The 2012 Grammys aired last night and fulfilled on its promise for musical mash-ups, Adele’s much-anticipated comeback, and a tribute to Whitney Houston.
It was also a big night for Chipotle. Last night the fast-food chain aired its first-ever national television commercial with its digital short “Back to the Start”. The piece was first released earlier in the summer on Chipotle’s YouTube channel and received a warm reception from the Sustainability and Advertising communities for its compelling message and creative execution. The fact that Chipotle is paying for TV airtime, several months after it originally aired is interesting for a few reasons:
1. Sign of the times: It is impressive and unique to see a company make its national television debut with a message focused on Sustainability.
2. Value of Storytelling: The original and ongoing success of this video is largely due to how effectively Chipotle took a complex topic and making it relevant to the consumer. Based on its own market research, Chipotle knew that 75 percent of its 800,000 daily customers came for the taste, value and convenience of its food. In order for a video focused on sustainability to receive 700M views on Chipotle’s YouTube channel, let alone receive national TV exposure, it had to transcend corporate speak and reach the burrito-loving consumer through a relatable and compelling story.
3. Today Brands = Media: Chipotle first leveraged its own branded digital platforms to release the video, followed by releasing it in 10,000 movie theatres, and ultimately, on national television. This underscores the growing trend we see where brands leverage owned media channels before moving to a broader network.
While monitoring Twitter and Facebook during and immediately after the commercial aired it was clear that awareness of this issue ranged from support to complete confusion as to why Chipotle was talking about Sustainable Farming.
For Chipotle’s marketing team I would view this as a strategic win. The TV Ad spot reached a consumer base that until now was unaware of what Chipotle stood for (outside of delicious burritos) and began a conversation they can build on over time.
Last week’s NYT iEconomy series has ignited a discussion around one of the most recognized and arguably loved brands of our time. The first article looks at why manufacturing jobs at Apple have gone overseas and are likely to stay there. The second reports on labor conditions inside Foxconn, one of Apple’s primary manufacturing partners.
As I read the second article about reported working conditions for the individuals who made the device I was holding, I began to consider:
What should Apple do?
To be fair, this issue is in no way limited to Apple. Foxconn is a manufacturing partner for several electronics companies bearing household names. However, Apple is a recognized leader in manufacturing and has significant influence. It raises the question of whether Apple has a strategic opportunity to leverage its influence and demand a dramatic change in working conditions.
We are familiar with the transition Wal-Mart has made from a villain to a pioneer in corporate sustainability, and the standards it has implemented among its suppliers. A reasonable argument is that Apple can and should do the same, but it’s more complicated than that.
At the end of the day, we know Apple is running a business, and arguably the best around at doing just that. In Q1 2012 they sold 37.04M iPhones. This exceeded industry expectations and if the numbers are accurate, @LukeW shared a staggering statistic with the Twittersphere:
“There are more iPhones sold per day (402k) than people born in the world per day (300k)”
With a demand like that, as a business, Apple must supply it. Which leads to my next question…
What should consumers do?
The role of the empowered consumer was one of most exciting things to watch in 2011 and will continue to be in 2012. The rapid adaptation and influence of social platforms continues to grow and the voice of consumers is getting louder. So, what is the tipping point at which consumers will tell Apple (and the industry at large) that they need to address labor conditions in the supply chain, and move from awareness to action?
Are consumers willing to accept that dramatic changes in manufacturing standards will likely impact availability (slower to market) and cost (likely to increase), and once that happens (assuming quality and service remain the same) are they willing to stick around?
The Social Good Summit is chock-full of amazing content, influential leaders, and motivated do-gooders. If you are lucky enough to attend for even one day (like I did) it’s hard to absorb it all.
After reviewing my flurry of notes, I reflected on a point that a majority of the speakers discussed: The power of our youth -- specifically, their ability to harness emerging platforms and create paradigm shifts.
“The intersection of youth + technology = magic.” - Erin Schrode, One Young World Ambassador said during her presentation.
Flickr Creative Commons photo by BenSpark
While presenters approached this theme from a different experience or purpose, it all hinged on the belief that empowering youth with a voice and a platform has limitless potential. The next challenge is putting physical action (however small the action) behind it. We can’t underestimate the giant step between awareness into action, but I was intrigued by the following programs that either promote of personify how we may tackle that next step:
Learn By Giving: Howard W. Buffett announced a $5M endowment made by his Aunt Doris Buffet to Learning By Giving - a program dedicated to partnering with Universities to promote the study of philanthropy and empower students to become problem solvers in their own community. Learn more abut the announcement here.
Operation Cup of Tea: We First author Simon Mainwaring shared with the group a story about Sam Pepper, who in response to the London riots created an event on Facebook encouraging people to “Stay In And Drink Tea.” The event has over 300,000 "attending," and the page grew into a website and charitable foundation with proceeds benefitting those impacted by the riots. Sam took to his social networks to have a voice and create a movement.
Teens Turning Green: Founder Erin Schrode created Teens Turning Green at the age of 13 as a platform to engage her peers in adopting a more sustainable lifestyle. The focus of her mission is to turn education (via social media in this case) into actualization. Erin has created this platform to pursue her “movement to end apathy.”
The concept of empowering youth may not be new to most of us, but I am left feeling energized at the sophistication of these programs. It should remind all of us that kids are smart and when equipped with tools, they can most definitely be a tour de force for good.
It’s safe to say Warren Buffett’s New York Times op-ed caused some chatter yesterday. This first became apparent when a few of my colleagues and I noticed the amount of people in our own peer networks passing the article over Facebook and Twitter. It has clearly raised opinions both in support and against Buffett’s proposal to congress. Living in the world of digital strategy, as we do, we decided to do a quick poll on PoliPulse (a project created by our team at Powell Tate, a division of Weber Shandwick) to understand the conversation and see what people are saying.
The initial analysis shows the article received a healthy amount of traction across social platforms, indicating that a high volume of people view it as “shareable content”, but I am left to wonder: Is this just another piece of content that reached trending status and is gone tomorrow? While close to 60% of Tweets and Facebook posts on the subject favored Buffett’s proposal, with some even calling for Buffett to run for president, only about a fifth of posts actually called on Congress to take action in light of Buffett’s words.
We are often challenged to answer the question: Can social media really be a vehicle for social change? Critics of social media activism argue that this sort of faux civic engagement is all the Internet provides us. In his much discussed New Yorker article Small Change, Malcom Gladwell argued that social media "makes it easier for activists to express themselves, and harder for that expression to have an impact."
We believe the Internet is a powerful tool for organizing and not just spreading news and opinion. As we saw during the Arab Spring, the Internet provides useful tools for action — but it requires people to step up and organize their networks. Mass expression on social media provides an atmosphere for change but it requires a catalyst to move from words to actions. While Buffett has the profile to speak directly to policy makers through the media he could have taken it beyond just a conversation and sparked a movement had he included a call to action.
Today I learned that in 2010, Americans spent on average $340 billion on clothing and shoes, and according to the American Apparel and Footwear Association, virtually all of it is sourced elsewhere. The second fact probably isn’t too surprising; we are rather familiar with seeing a “Made in XYZ country” clothing tag. But, even if we are accustomed to the fact that many of our favorite products are manufactured elsewhere, we are not familiar with the way in which those products are produced.
Enter the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, a recently announced collaboration among retailers, clothing manufacturers, environmental groups and academics brought together to give every garment a sustainability score. This is an important and ambitious undertaking for the clothing and apparel industry. It is also timely given the growing conversation around sustainable sourcing and production. As CSR initiatives evolve, companies are being asked to answer beyond the “where” question and also address the “how” question.
- Where was this product made?
- How is it getting from supply chain to store front?
While this is a massive project for the coalition, they are wisely tackling it in a phased approach with three important elements:
- Collaborative knowledge-sharing: The 30 member coalition comprised of retail companies (Patagonia, Wal-Mart) environmental groups (EPA, EDF) and academics (Duke University) is putting together a comprehensive database of the environmental impact of every manufacturer, component and process in apparel production.
- Uniform measurement: Using the detailed database, the coalition will assign a score to the production of every element from dyes and fabrics to zippers, buttons, and grommets.
- Consumer focus: The end goal is to produce a label that would share a consumable version of the products sustainability score: where and how the product was made, and the environmental impact the creation of that clothing has on both the people and the planet.
I am most excited to see how the coalition will communicate the importance of the forthcoming sustainability index. Beyond producing a label, how would you propose educating and motivating consumers to pay attention to the sustainability score of a piece of clothing, and, would a negative score impact your purchasing decision?
Here on the blog we talk a lot about the powerful role social media can play in driving advocacy efforts. Most recently, we discussed the role it played in Egypt and its impact on a global scale. Over the weekend, a piece in the New York Times: A Life on the Streets, Captured on Twitter caught our attention, which focused on a unique approach to using social media to bring about social change.
Underheard In New York is the brainchild of three interns: Rosemary, Willy, and Robert who were given the challenge to “Do something good, famously,” by the advertising firm BBH where the recent college graduates currently intern. The project follows four homeless men: Danny, Carlos, Derrick, and Albert – each have been given prepaid cell phones and Twitter accounts that collectively boast a following of 15,905 (as of 9am Monday).
The mission is bold: “Fighting Homelessness 140 characters at a time,” but certainly a sign of the times for the evolving world of communications. The project’s creators wanted to connect those impacted by homelessness with the global community and for that they turned to social media.
Underheard in New York is currently in progress and the long-term impact for Danny, Carlos, Derrick, and Albert remains to be seen, (you’ll have to follow along for yourself).
Regardless of the scale of change, the social nature of this project has provided a unique experience that was not possible just a few years ago:
- Access: In its purest form, Twitter allows users to have a peak into a life or experience that is not their own. This project provides the opportunity to follow four men in real time, and the chance to interact and lend support.
- Community: The men participating in the project have benefitted from the support of a global following. Each of them actively responds to words of encouragement, which for Derrick “help him avoid a spiral into dejection,” he says.
- Visibility and Voice: While the tools provided to these men are simply that – tools used to communicate a message – they make it possible to engage with an audience that could not previously be reached. These tools have given Danny, Carlos, Derrick and Albert a voice.
In addition to the opportunity of real time access and engagement with the project, the team behind Underheard in New York has done a great job of updating the community about successes thus far. In fact, the same New York Times piece that inspired this post also inspired New York Giants wide receiver Steve Smith to reach out to Derrick directly to offer support. As an added bonus, we were all able to watch it all unfold on Twitter.
Be sure to check out the project and let us know what you think. Does the social nature of the project impact your interest or involvement?
The latest survey from Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project takes a look at the impact technology has had in the way civic and social groups behave and engage in their communities. For our team, this is the kind of research we read, strategize and sometimes obsess about on a daily basis as we deliver smart work for our clients. While the research is worth a full read, here are my three big takeaways.
1. Individuals who are active online are more likely to engage with an organization and join a group.
- 80 percent of Internet users participate in groups,(ranging from church or spiritual groups to fan groups) , compared with 56 percent of non-Internet users. Moreover, social media users are even more likely to be active: 82 percent of social network users and 85 percent of Twitter users are group participants.
2. Contrary to Malcom Gladwell’s argument that social media creates loose ties, Internet users are also more likely to translate their online involvement to offline engagement.
- In the 30 days prior to the survey, Internet users report higher rates of charitable donations, volunteering, attending meetings and events and taking leadership roles.
3. From mobilization to activation, Internet activities are increasingly inherent to a group’s communications platform.
- 57 percent of all Internet users say they have been invited online and through e-mail to join a social, civic, professional or religious group. Beyond receiving an invitation, 38 percent of the online Americans who are active in groups say that they have used the Internet or email to invite others to join groups.
While online and social media activities should never be a stand-alone tactic, a strategic, committed and engaging online presence is key to fostering an ongoing dialogue with your community of friends, followers and supporters.
What was your biggest takeaway from the Pew report? Let us know in the comments.
What We're reading
- A. Fine Blog
- Beth’s Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media
- Bits Blog (New York Times)
- BSR - The Business of a Better World
- Charity Navigator Blog
- David Coethica's Blog
- Dot Earth
- Foreign Policy Blogs
- Give & Take (Chronicle of Philanthropy - General)
- Global Health Policy
- Global Health Report
- Global Voices
- Huffington Post (Media)
- Inside Philanthropy (Philanthropy Journal)
- Passport (Foreign Policy)
- PhilanTopic (Philanthropy News Digest)
- Prospecting (Chronicle of Philanthropy) - Fundraising
- Realizing Your Worth
- Selfish Gving
- Tactical Philanthropy
- TechCrunch (Washington Post)
- The White House Blog
- @afine (A. Fine Blog)
- @cpreston (Chronicle of Philanthropy, Give & Take Blog)
- @eclawson (Chronicle of Philanthropy)
- @ianwilhelm (Chronicle of Philanthropy, Give & Take Blog)
- @phijo (Philanthropy Journal)
- @philanthropy (Chronicle of Philanthropy)
- @pndblog (Philanthropy News Digest)
- @tactphil (Tactical Philanthropy Blog)
Daily E-mail Digests
- Breaking News (Council on Foundations) – To subscribe, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Philanthropy Today (Chronicle of Philanthropy)
- Nonprofit Times
- Philanthropy Journal
- Philanthropy News Digest
- Real Clear World
- Standford Social Innovation Review