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  • Gilbert Kruidenier

Change the World on a Monday

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the very first Melbourne edition of Change The World, organised by Hancock Creative from WA. This event was all about social media marketing specifically targeting Not For Profit organisations. Based on previous experiences and my initial response (eye-roll + groan) my expectations were very low. It was a free event at a non-CBD location and none of my network were talking about it, so how good could it be. Jeez, was I wrong!

This outfit proves that you can put on a free event, attract great speakers, have no tea breaks, send people off to buy their own lunch and still have more people come back after lunch and stay until the last minute! In previous cities they got 30% of registrations to attend, Melbourne treated them to a 60% attendance, on a Monday! If that’s not a sign that the market is hungry, I don’t know what is. Oh, and we beat Sydney by trending on twitter by 10.30am, just saying. And did I mention the terrible seats? It didn’t matter because the content was so good.

The NFP sector is not yet used to being spoken to as businesses and with so much action-oriented

energy, practical tips and lived experiences being shared, I thought the room would be half full after lunch. Wrong again. Good thing they’re doing a bigger event later this year. You’ll want to be there.

Here’s my summary and take-aways

  • Richard Bell (venture investor and excellent MC) made many good points, but the one that stuck with me was that everyone now relying on a system of grants and subsidies should hurry, because in 5-10 years, that money is gone and not coming back. I agree that the changing demographics will unfortunately make it unaffordable and it’s no way to run a sustainable business anyway.

  • Kylie Wallace of Polished Man told an honest story of hard work and good luck, landing Chris Hemsworth, thinking on your feet and holding on for dear life as social media catapulted her campaign across the world and into the spotlight.

  • Catherine Hughes of Light for Riley had a good story on how to have a plan for social and how to engage when things get a bit less pleasant because it’s not all fun and games on the internet. Always have a plan and stay friendly, even if others are not, love it.

  • Alecia Hancock delivered in spades with so much free and good advice on campaigns, fundraising, sticking to your guns when times get hard and backing your ambitions. Then she just kept it going by explaining how their Gain & Retain program has been helping businesses help themselves in marketing and fundraising for the past 5 years and by unlocking $1.3mio in grants. The money will find you if you have a cause people can connect to and allow them to get involved on their terms.

  • Jordana Borensztanj ‘s live social experience was some next level entertainment. I am still not sure if people could keep up but she was the personification of the thrill ride that social is today and I loved it. Look her up, you can thank me later.

  • Anna Hill brought the room back to earth with effective and simple tools and tricks on how to communicate with images and make them look great. Insta, Snapchat, Twitter and even LinkedIn engagement is 3-9x higher if you have imagery that supports your message and with apps nowadays, it was never easier to make your cause look good.

  • Stephen Griffiths of ‘Who gives a crap’ made us laugh with his toilet humour (risk of the trade, I guess) but his 10 lessons from building a $5mio start-up through social were insightful and nothing to laugh at. It really is all about transparency, humour, integrity and admitting mistakes early. And toilet paper, lots and lots of correctly cut toilet paper.

  • Gareth Kidd brought it home by emphasizing that there really is safety in numbers and every business that’s serious about social should have metrics that are meaningful and aligned to the goals you’ve set yourselves, not just coughing up your Google analytics, no one wants to see that.

I left full of impressions, in love with the throwable microphones and with renewed confidence that what I’d been telling my For Profit and Not For profit clients is still true. No, actually more true than it was last year. The only real difference between them is the cause, it’s not even about money anymore. The need for good comms people in NFP with a solid understanding of how to promote a cause has never been higher and I’d argue that it easily outpaces the need for good change managers. See you there next time?

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