To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing here.
I have never worked for a non-profit before, and while my brother works for one in Detroit, I don’t really have any understanding of non-profit management, organization, or issues. Most of my work experience is in political campaigns, where, along with spending countless hours knocking on doors and making phone calls, annoying every registered voter in my congressional district, I have managed social media for candidates.
That being said however, my knowledge of the rapidly expanding and dynamic world of new media is quite limited. When you are the young intern on a cash-strapped and overworked campaign staff, sometimes you become automatically designated as the “social media guy” without any real bona fides. Sure I have a facebook and a twitter, but to actually effectively engage audiences and use new media as a platform for advocacy is an entirely different thing, and I wouldn’t even know where to begin.
And this is where my interests and this class converge. While there are certainly differences, political campaigns and non-profits essentially have to address the same question when considering their communication: how do we not only gain an audience to listen to our message, but also use it to motivate action for social change. Effective social media practices can attract donors, volunteers, and coalitions of support. I’m taking this class because I want to learn these strategies and tactics. I want to learn how social media professionals use these mediums to support their organizations.
My career goal is to become someone who can advise political campaigns, elected officials, and other organizations that I believe in how to use social media to create social good. In this way, this class is perhaps exactly where I need to be.
I am immensely excited for the rest of this semester and can not wait to get started learning and doing. This blog will be where I write down my successes, failures, and general musings on new and social media, the non-profit sector, and their intersection. I am not entirely sure what non-profit I will be interning for this semester, but I’m sure once I find out and start working, this blog will change dramatically. I guess this is where I begin…