Having an Integrated Marketing Communication (ITC) approach means that the values of an organization are reflected in their marketing and communication efforts and throughout all of the work they do. Learning about this concept in my Human Services & Social Justice: Nonprofit Management class came at the perfect time since I’ve had the wonderful privilege of being Feedback Labs’ Marketing and Communication intern for the Fall 2022 semester. I believe that Feedback Labs embodies Integrated Marketing Communication, and I’ve learned how to incorporate its core beliefs and see social media as feedback in and of itself.
Prior to interning at Feedback Labs, I had experience with creating and managing social media content for other organizations; however, the online feedback community has proven to be much more collaborative and interactive. Two of Feedback Labs’ values are to 1) Listen first. Adapt second. Include always. And 2) Be overly collaborative. I feel that I’ve embraced these values throughout this semester when writing and creating social media content, understanding that at Feedback Labs, our online presence and marketing and communication efforts goes beyond highlighting our own work and events.
For example, leading up to the American Evaluation Association’s 2022 conference, Feedback Labs collaborated with other organizations to put on AEA 365 week. Throughout this week, a daily blog post written by leaders in the feedback field and community was published. Leading up to AEA 365 Week, I would read each blog post and generate tweets to highlight our excitement, the most salient points of the post, and express gratitude to the writers. During this time, I learned a lot about the work feedback practitioners and leaders were engaging in and the importance of being aware of what others in the community are working on. In particular, I read great blog posts about evaluation and disability as well as indigenizing evaluation and was excited to see others supporting them on social media too through likes and retweets.
Our ability to listen, include, and be collaborative is diminished if we are not actively engaged with our own feedback practices and that of others in the field too. Celebrating and diving into the work of others has been a great way for me to enhance my knowledge of feedback and is necessary to create purposeful content for social media.
Along with learning more about the overall values and work of those advancing feedback and equity, I’ve gained creative skills and learned more about social media and online engagement in hopes of incorporating the values held by the team at Feedback Labs and spark interest among our followers and the feedback community. As mentioned earlier, my past experiences with creating graphics and social media content were centered around the specific things the organization was doing, rather than making engagement with others the priority. Since learning more about Feedback Labs’ social media goals and beliefs, it’s been eye-opening to witness what works well and what can be improved upon.
For instance, it makes such a difference when we tag other organizations and individual people in our tweets, receiving many more views, likes, and retweets, or when we use photos to add an extra level of interest. Furthermore, testing out features like directly linking blogs, registration sites, and fundraising sites on an Instagram story, rather than sending viewers to the link in our bio makes things easier, accessible, and more direct for users, increasing the likelihood that we’ll get the ‘click’ we want. Take a look at the difference in visual styles between the two posts below + the increased support Feedback Labs received from tagging and using hashtags in a November tweet!
Another way that our commitment to listening, adapting, including, and collaborating with others is shown is through consistency and transparency in social media, marketing, and communication. Throughout this semester at Feedback Labs the idea that collecting and responding to feedback should be a regular part of an organization’s process of evaluation has been reiterated. This demonstrates not only their commitment to listening, but illustrates to the community they are serving what they can expect and that their voice is valuable and will continue to be viewed as valuable. Having a consistent posting schedule on our social media has allowed me to stay organized and consistent while trying out new ways to be creative and keep the content refreshing. I hope that our viewers feel that they can rely on us for information about the happenings and things that we’re doing at Feedback Labs, staying up to date on the work of others in the feedback community, and that we appreciate and value the time they take to view our content, utilizing their likes, comments, and interactions as feedback in and of itself.
In a time when having an online presence is essential, it’s gratifying to know that there are ways to embed an organization’s values into their social media, marketing, and communication strategies. Social media is a great way to learn and be cognizant of the projects those in your community are working tirelessly on and promote equity by giving people alternative ways of receiving information. I’m ending this semester at Feedback Labs with a wealth of knowledge about feedback practices and the growing feedback community, best social media practices, newfound creative skills, and how to prioritize good listening, communication, and collaboration throughout.
Lily Kirschner is the Fall 2022 Marketing and Communications intern at Feedback Labs. She is responsible for managing Feedback Labs’ social media content and supports with other promotional and communication efforts. She is a senior at George Washington University majoring in Human Services & Social Justice and Psychology with a minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Previously, Lily has interned with Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, Oregon Post Resource Adoption Center, Under 3 DC, and Catalyst Foundation.
Lily is interested in nonprofit work, especially development and fundraising. She is passionate about social justice work and uplifting marginalized and underserved communities.