Raise Your Voice
Spreading the word can mean a lot of different things. It could mean posting a simple link to our website to help build name recognition. It could mean having a one-on-one conversation with a friend or coworker. A good Blog post, status update, tweet, or personal email can show your friends that you are passionate about this cause and inspire them to participate. We need activists doing all of these things in order to meet our fundraising goal. However you choose to participate, make sure you encourage a dialogue and connect back to our website.
- Passion is your best weapon: Excitement is contagious, but most of us have built up a resistance to getting emotionally involved; we might end up looking foolish or feeling betrayed. By making it clear that you are passionate about this cause, you challenge your friends to think critically about what you’re saying.
- Keep it concise: Longwinded posts of any kind are generally considered bad etiquette. You may find it more tractable to highlight one aspect of the project and explain what makes it important to you.
- Fact and Feeling: If you are quoting any of the statistics on this site, add a link to the relevant content page. Preface your opinions with phrases like “I think…” or “I’m convinced that…”
- Open up the dialogue: We use social media in order to have a conversation. The most effective writers encourage and challenge a response.
- Follow Through: Make yourself available and answer any comments you receive. If you receive a question that is out of your depth, refer the interested party to our website or email.
- Know your medium: A tweet tends to be in a different voice than a status update, and a wall post for your facebook friends might not be ideal for linkedin. Be aware of the social platform you’re speaking from.
Write a Blog
Where social media provides you
with a targeted audience, a public blog might turn up in search results anywhere in the world. A well-written blog has tremendous potential for bringing in new activists and donations. Remember, the people who respond to a public blog are not part of your friend circle and have no incentive to be polite. Rest on the facts, and recognize any criticism for what it is, a challenge to prove that VIDA is as worthwhile a cause as you say it is.
- Lead with the Big Picture: Everyone has an interest in international issues. Mexico is facing a nutritional crisis not because it has made different policy and industry decisions than other developing nations, but because it’s the country that made them first. VIDA is on the frontlines of a global fight for better nutritional access.
- Write it like an Editorial: The reason we read blogs is because they are written by real people, not marketing teams. It’s good to present your own opinion and personal experiences. It’s also good to back up your claims with links wherever possible.
- Make it shareable: By using keywords and short phrases, you make your writing easier to share and more readable for those who are simply scanning through your work.
- Don’t get personal: We often make up our mind about someone’s ideas based on how we feel about them as a person. Engaging in a comment-war on your own blog detracts from any content you might be trying to communicate.
Give an Elevator Speech
It helps to have a 10 second summary of the VIDA project ready to go on short notice. A good elevator speech conveys the problem, the solution, and the big picture.
Example to the right...
At this point, you might want to back off, pause for breath, and listen. Be responsive to any concerns you hear, and provide additional facts in your answers.
"VIDA is a project that improves nutritional access in rural Mexico through compact home gardens and dietary counseling. In Mexico 70% of adults are overweight, but because healthy foods aren’t available, many also suffer from malnutrition. Participating VIDA families grow sustainably and earn income on the surplus fruits and vegetables they take to market."