Working Effectively with Digital Staff by Alex Bea

By at December 8, 2012 | 12:52 pm | Print

Working Effectively with Digital Staff by Alex Bea

Alex Bea EchoDitto

Email blasts are one of the best ways to reach volunteers, supporters, and organizers locally or across the country. When these blasts are planned weeks or even days in advanced, everything can go quite smoothly. When things get last minute, though, things can get hairy.

It takes time to put an email blast together. They need to be written, copy-checked, loaded, targeted, tested, and fixed if necessary. If you add in more than basic formatting, you’re talking a few hours. Here are a few ideas to help your online team help you build for events, urgent calls to action, or other time-sensitive information.

  1. Proactivity wins the day. The biggest thing you can do as an organizer or program staff is give plenty of notice. Set up a regular time every week to review the upcoming seven to ten days. Check for anything in your area that might warrant an email. Is a vote coming up? A festival, a protest, or a rally? Give your online staff notice of this ASAP, even if you might not need an email.
  1. Gather all info at once. There may be lots of info your online team needs for the email blast (e.g., a politician’s office address, event time and location, photos to be included). Get as much of that together and send it over together. Double check to see if there’s anything not there that you’d want included.
  1. Be available to review. As an online organizer I always wanted program staff to review blasts before sending. Date checking and copy editing are one thing, but tone, wording, and additional important information are another, and there might be things the online team doesn’t know about.
  1. Be nice. Last minute email blast requests are the new version of dropping a pile of paper on someone’s desk and asking them to “take care of this right now.” Online staff are often in a support role to help the rest of the team

Alex Bea is a Project Manager at EchoDitto, which specializes in designing and building participatory campaigns and web platforms for positive social change with organizations and social enterprises.

EchoDitto     1126 16th Street, NW, Suite 302      Washington, DC 20036        202.285.9455    twitter alexbea


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