If ever there was an organization that did exceptional grassroots marketing, including social networking, it would be the Fresh Air Fund. The Fresh Air Fund is an independent, not-for-profit agency, which has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. Vermont is one of the places where many of these children come to experience fresh air in the summer. Right now they are looking for local college age kids to serve as counselors for this upcoming summer. More info is available here - http://freshairfundcounselors.smnr.us/.
As a marketer, if you click the above link, you will be treated to one of the best uses of social media based public relations I have come across. The release offers embedded codes for bloggers like me to share the video:
It has online applications for camp counselors (which is what they are looking for with this particular release). It has embedded codes for banners, logos and tons of others stuff:
It has the background info (templated paragraph for my clients who read this!) and all media contact info. And my favorite - it has all the social media tags so you can Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube the heck out of it - if you want.
Besides having their technology in the tip top position, they have the staff dedicated to the time it takes to effectively manage a public relations campaign. The PR folks running this campaign sure did their research in their target markets (one being Vermont) and finding ways that people in these target markets get their information (local blogs being one). Because of my popular Vermont Vibes Blog, I was contacted last summer and asked to help find some family hosts via my blog. Coincidence or not, there were definitely some families in Charlotte who signed up to be host families who hadn't been before. And it didn't end there - I am contacted on a regular basis to write on my blog again. Can that be annoying? Sure! But one of the unfortunate side effects of being a PR person is you have to be skilled at being annoying! Otherwise I would never be writing this blog on behalf of the Fresh Air Fund, because without the follow-up, I would never remember!
I do hope they use the Fresh Air Fund as a case study in those books I had to use to teach the PR classes at Champlain College. Definitely a better example of current PR than say, the Tylenol one (PR pros, I know you know that one!).
So, if you are reading this and know how to get information to college age kids - please get them this link! http://freshairfundcounselors.smnr.us/