Now that the frenetics of launching the annual ClearMark Awards are over, the Center for Plain Language had a chance to chat with two leaders from a great social media advisor/aide: Circuit Media, based in Denver, CO.
By the way, for those of you who don’t know, ClearMark honors go to companies in numerous areas–e.g., health, legal, government, and tech–that have taken info and put it into lingo that their target audience(s) can truly understand, in a variety of formats. (We’ll give you links later as to where you can find out more.)
Anyway, Circuit Media’s leader and founder, Rebecca Askew, Esq. and marketing specialist, Jessica Smith, talked to me about working with the Center in general and of course being the instant messenger for our event’s tweets this year.
Q. Give folks some general info on how this collaboration started.
Rebecca: It was about five years ago. One of the Center’s leaders moved to Colorado and a mutual friend suggested that we had a lot in common. And we did; as we got connected it became apparent to me that Circuit Media’s expertise and the Center for Plain Language’s interests really align.
Q. How so?
Rebecca: We were already in communications but hadn’t yet spent a lot of time concentrating on plain language. It became apparent that the Center provides so much value nationally as well as internationally, so I sat on the Board, did some fundraising, and handled corporate governance.
Jessica: And as far as running the Center’s social media accounts, we’ve been doing that for about a year now.
Q. Explain how Circuit Media helped as the Center was getting ready for the ClearMark Awards.
Jessica: Day-to-day we create content and manage the Center’s Twitter, LI, and Facebook pages. This was the first year that the ClearMark Awards were in an online format; in the past it was an in-person awards ceremony. Due to the change in format and our existing involvement with the Center’s social channels, we were asked to live tweet the event. Our goal in live tweeting was to create content for people to retweet and [even] create value for people who weren’t watching.
Q. What do you think the challenges are when deciding what to be tweeting about constantly, like during a live event?
Jessica: The main challenge in live tweeting is that the information is coming at you so quickly and you need to get it out as quickly and accurately as possible. The key to successfully tweeting a live event is preparing as much as possible ahead of time, such as establishing the hashtags you’ll be using and creating templates for the tweets.
Q. How did you decide what to tweet?
Jessica: The main tweets were about the winners in each category. Those tweets received a lot of likes and of course, the winners were retweeting. We also tweeted some quotes from the Center’s leaders about the progress the Center has made this past year and what it’s looking to do in the future.
Q. What are some of the challenges everyone should know for enhancing their own small business’ recognition or helping clients who are lesser known and often on tight budgets?
Jessica: Social media is a great marketing option, even for those on a tight budget. It’s not completely free (when you factor in time and resources), but it’s a great way to start a conversation with your audience. I’d advise that people looking to get more involved with social media block out time to engage online on their calendar every week and make it a priority.
I think the main thing people need to keep in mind when they’re managing social media pages is to always think back to your audience and provide what they want to see and hear and learn about on social media, and not necessarily what you like or want to sell them. I think constantly reminding yourself about the importance of providing value the audience will help you in every way on social media. Keep them in mind and your engagements and likes (and hopefully sales/donations) will increase.
Amy Hasselkus, Executive Director of the Center for Plain Language, added insights about why this has been a great relationship. “Circuit Media has done an amazing job managing the Center’s social media outlets. They recently started some interactive posts asking others to clear up confusing language, which is great!
“They not only post information about the Center and our activities, but also find articles and other information that supports the Center’s mission to promote plain language,” Hasselkus concludes.
WHO WE ARE: The Center for Plain Language is a 501(c)(3) organization with the goal of helping government agencies and businesses write so clearly that their intended audience understands what they are saying the first time they read or hear it. The Center’s mission is to champion clear communication so people and organizations can thrive.
Denver-based Circuit Media is a multi-million dollar provider of design, communications, staffing, and logistics, especially to government and law clients in Colorado and surrounding areas.
Media Contact: Wendy Meyeroff, Communications Director firstname.lastname@example.org