Kerri Qunell, Non-Profit PR: Using Social Media to Spread the Message
Video by Lindsey Schroeder
Kerri Qunell, Vice President of Communications at Capital Area Food Bank, was skeptical about social media in the workplace. That is until she activated a Facebook account to support a local event. More than 80 people immediately befriended her, something that without the networking site would have been near impossible to do.
After learning the potential of Facebok, Kerri began promoting the CAFB on her own Facebook page, mixing her personal life with business.
Such social media interfaces such as Facebook and Myspace are great for networking; however, Kerri and the people at CAFB needed to have the capability to produce and consume instant communication.
A friend introduced Kerri to Twitter, an online networking source that is similar to micro-blogging. Twitter gives you the ability to have instant communication, in 140 characters or less, to anybody associated with Twitter at any place and time.
With the use of two major social media networking sites, Kerri’s message to help raise awareness throughout the community was being heard.
During September, CAFB started the HAM-Up Tweet Up. This gave Kerri and co-workers a chance to put a face with a tweet. The plan was to encourage the community to follow them on Twitter and to bring donations to the food bank. Though the project was halted due to Hurricane Ike, it was considered an instant success due to the community’s involvement and support on Twitter.
The folks at Tyson heard about the CAFB’s HAM-Up and contacted Kerri and the CAFB via Twitter. Tyson then proposed a challenge to the CAFB stating that if the CAFB community posted 600 comments on their website, then they would receive a donation of a truckload of Tyson products to the food bank.
The challenge only lasted 3 hours!
Now understanding the influential power of social media, the CAFB is building a new foundation for communications in non-profit organizations.
“We don’t know what we’re doing. We are trying something different!”
Obviously, Kerri and the people at CAFB are doing something right. Kerri’s passion allows her to create something from nothing with just a few keystrokes!