Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

What Digital Strategists Say About #DigitalStrategy

October 07, 2012

How do you use digital tools to further your organization's mission?

This was the topic of a “Digital & Audience” convening we hosted last week in Seattle for some of our grantees and partners. 

Throughout the day, we addressed questions like, how do you get your core message right? How do you use digital tools to direct that message at your core constituencies? How do you then get those constituencies to become actively engaged and stay engaged in what you do? And finally, how do you measure the impact you’re having?

In the room, were some of the top digital thinkers from the social sector, including representatives of international organizations like the UN Foundation, UNICEF, and the Global Fund; large non-profits like Donors Choose, Global Poverty Project, and Malaria No More; and local organizations like YWCA.

As the day was winding down, we asked some of the participants for their key takeaways. This is what they said:

  Erin Murphy, YWCA:

 "...a key takeaway for me is that social media and digital strategy is ultimately about   people. It’s not about tools. It’s not about platforms. It’s about people and relationships."

 

 Michelle Keith, Malaria No More:

 "My key takeaway from today’s session is really to embrace the madness. As much as we like to  control and strategize, there’s a lot that comes out of learning from mistakes and really testing out new tools, talking to contemporaries and seeing what’s working for them."

 

 Sean Hewens, IDEO.org:

 "I think my key takeaway is the idea of impact and you can get people talking online, but where the rubber truly hits the road is the action that you get them to do offline."



 David Kobia, Ushahidi:

 "...My main takeaway is the fact that, whereas not as many people participated in social media years ago, everyone is in now, and I guess the main problem now is how do we make it useful, because there is such a deluge of information."

David Kobia, Michelle Keith and a few others presented case studies of digital campaigns they have helped to run. You can watch their presentations and more great content from the convening here. And look out for the next Inside the Gates Foundation podcast, where you’ll hear more about the convening and other events happening at the foundation.

 
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