It’s been a while since I’ve posted a “Feel-Good Marketing Friday” blog, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to spread some positive energy on this cold Friday morning. As you know, the CIK Marketing Feel-Good Friday posts are all about companies giving back to their community through their support of charitable organizations or causes. This week, I’d like to tip my hat to all of the businesses involved in the upcoming Wallaceburg Minor Lacrosse Fundraising Gala.
Late last year, news broke that the Wallaceburg Minor Lacrosse Association had fallen more than $70,000 in debt due to fraudulent bookkeeping. And while stealing is bad, there’s something infinitely worse about stealing from a program that’s designed to provide kids with a fun recreational activity. Since this unforeseen circumstance came to light, the executives at Wallaceburg Minor Lacrosse have been doing everything they can to keep the various teams afloat and save the upcoming lacrosse season for dozens of local youth. It’s been tough I’m sure, but thankfully, local businesses have stepped up to the plate to help out this worthy cause.
Gala of Hope
If you live in or around Chatham-Kent, make sure you head to the Oaks Inn on Saturday, February 19th. The Wallaceburg Minor Lacrosse Association, in partnership with a number of local business (CIK Marketing included), will be hosting a fundraising gala that evening, beginning at 5:30 pm. Tickets to the event cost $50 and include a a delicious dinner and silent auction. The speaker for the night includes Brad MacArthur, a graduate of the Wallaceburg Lacrosse system who has played professional lacrosse for the Toronto Rock, Calgary Roughnecks, and Rochester Knighthawks. Rumours are also circulating that Sean Pollock, another Wallaceburg Lacrosse alumni, will be speaking via Internet web cam connection as he has a game that night with the Minnesota Swarm of the National Lacrosse League.
A silent auction and live auction will take place throughout the night. I know I’ve got my eyes set on the insane grand prize package sports getaway: two tickets to a Minnesota Wild game, two tickets to a Minnesota Swarm game, two night accommodations in St. Paul and return flights from Detroit to Minnesota. CIK Marketing was happy to donate an item to the auction, and members of our company will be in attendance at the event. I encourage you to come out and enjoy the evening and support the kids who’ve been affected by this unfortunate event.
I had the opportunity to meet a few of the younger lacrosse players a couple of weeks ago, at which time the below picture was taken. They’re good kids and kids that deserve a chance to play the sport they love.
So, a big Feel-Good Friday thanks to CKXS FM for helping MC the event, and to all of the businesses who have donated items to help generate funds. If you’re interested in supporting this local cause, please contact the President of the Wallaceburg Minor Association, Todd Shepley, at 519-627-1923. You can also learn more about the event by visiting the Fundraising Gala page on the official Wallaceburg Minor Lacrosse website.
Hope to see you all at the event!
Have you heard of Jumo? Created by Facebook co-founder, Chris Hughes, this new platform is designed to connect “individuals and organizations working to change the world.” A social network with a soul, Jumo is already attracting some major attention. But what set’s this new venture apart from previous philanthropic sites, like Change.org and is it enough to capture both the hearts and wallets of social networkers the world over?
What is Jumo?
Hughes described Jumo as a platform that combines “philanthropy, volunteerism, and social networking” all in one place. The company’s name itself translates to “together in concert” in the African language of Yoruba. And while the site is currently just a few pages (and links to the company’s Facebook page and Twitter account, of course), there are already high expectations for the budding venture. A recent article in the Huffington Post noted that Jumo currently employs three people and has already raised more than $2 million.
Will it Succeed?
I hope so, and with Hughes at the head, it likely will. While Hughes is best known for his fo-founding role with Facebook, he was also the architect behind My.BarackObama.com, which has been toted as building the most successful network of volunteers that any American presidential campaign has ever seen. The man knows his networks, and you can bet he’ll build Jumo in a way that makes global development cool and technologically-hip.
Once the site launches in the Fall, people can expect to find a hub of giving – a place where charitable organizations and individuals can connect and create a stronger future. From animal activism to environmental issues, the scope of causes represented on Jumo will likely be expansive. If the site is built correctly, it will become the base camp for disaster response, providing people with a central location to get information on developing stories and safely donate funds. The true test of the site’s success will be it’s ability to keep causes fresh in people’s minds – and the money flowing continuously.
Get Involved Now
Even though Jumo hasn’t launched yet, it’s already looking for user feedback. If you’re interested in learning more about Jumo, check out their Facebook page. Fans can recommend causes that should be included in the Jumo launch (and receive a cool $5,000 if their recommendation is accepted).
Do you think Jumo will be a success? Why or why not? Leave a comment and let us know!
If you’ve been following the CIK Marketing Blog you may remember a personal post that I wrote a few months back concerning the Detroit Red Wings National Hockey Team and a certain former captain. Well, today I would like to formally recognize the Detroit Red Wings for their outstanding customer service and highlight their use of social media for brand management and fan outreach.
The Back Story
A few months ago, I wrote an open letter to Steve Yzerman (my fiancée’s all-time favorite hockey player and role model) inviting him to attend our wedding in late June. Instead of mailing the letter to some obscure post office box or general mailing address, I simply posted the letter to my blog and various other social media outlets in the hopes that my letter would somehow make it into the right hands (or inbox). Low and behold, some eight hours after posting the initial message, I received an email from the Community Relations Coordinator for the Detroit Red Wings. Sadly, Stevie couldn’t attend our wedding due to prior commitments. That being said, the Red Wings organization insisted on sending something to my fiancée and I to commemorate our special day. So, on June 26th, after numerous glasses of wine, I presented my new husband with a signed and personalized photograph from Steve Yzerman’s jersey retirement night at the Joe Louis Arena. Of course, if you follow hockey, you’ll know that Steve Yzerman recently signed on as the General Manager for the Tampa Bay Lightning, ending an illustrious 27 year career with the team… making the memento all the more impressive.
What You Can Learn From This Story
I sent this letter out for two reasons:
- Because my husband really loves Steve Yzerman and wanted to invite him to our wedding
- Because I wanted to test social media’s abilities at connecting people.
Sure enough, social media proved itself worthy of the challenge, but only because the Red Wings organization was actively participating in their online community. It’s worth noting that the Social Networking Coordinator with the Red Wings was the first person to stumble cross my posting – yes, you heard right, the team has a position dedicated entirely to monitoring and interacting with fans on social networks…. does your business do the same thing? The Red Wings organization is leveraging social media perfectly, reaching out and connecting to real people on a personal level. Because of this, my husband is more in love with Hockeytown than ever before, and you can bet he’s told all of his friends, colleagues, and perfect strangers, about his unique gift.
Had the Red Wings ignored social media, they would have missed the opportunity to reach out to a lifelong fan, potentially tarnishing their reputation in my husband’s eyes forever. Did the team have to send us the photo? Of course not. But the fact that they took the time and effort to make a personal connection with just one fan speaks volumes about the company and their values. Your company can (and should!) be doing the exact same thing. Now, I’m not saying you need to send every single contact a personalized gift; all I want you to do is start interacting. I was blown away when I received the email from the team’s Community Relations department – everything after that was icing on the cake.
Kudos to the Red Wings for their outstanding customer service and community involvement, and thanks again to Mr. Yzerman for taking the time to send us a personal gift. Even though you weren’t able to physically make it to the wedding, we saved a special seat for you at the reception.
The following are a few pictures from our hockey themed wedding reception and the unveiling of the autographed Yzerman photo. They were shot by our photographers, Julie and Megan Nowicki – check them out, they do amazing work!