“Activating GR” Program Recap – September 20, 2012

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On September 20, 2012, WMPRSA hosted a panel of four speakers, Derek DeVries from Grand Rapids Community College, Rick Jensen from Davenport University, Adrienne Wallace from 834 Design and Marketing and Cheryl Schuch from Family Promise.

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The panel discussed the program “Activating Grand Rapids” and was moderated by Paul Jendrasiak, CEO and Founder of SpamBully.com. Each of the panel members spoke about their experiences with non-profits and Toyota Cars For Good program.

Both Wallace and DeVries worked with Kids Food Basket to help the organization win the truck from Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good program in 2011, so when Family Promise wanted to enter the competition this year, they were more than willing to share their expertise.

All four described their experience with such an event and gave tips on how they successfully completed the competition two years in a row and how they did so with the help of the West Michigan community.

When trying to get the community involved and assist your non-profit organization in completing it’s goal, Schuch, Jensen and DeVries suggested:

  • Contact individuals not only invested in your company, but also personal connections…have confidence, just ask!
  • A personal ask is more effective than a mass email, make it worth their time
  • Make messages creative and tailor them to your different audiences
  • Know your audience; are they involved in social media? What are they capable of?

When deciding whether or not to be involved in something similar to Toyota 100 Cars For Good, Wallace gave these tips:

  • Fulfill who you are as an organization
  • Do not alienate your audience
  • Weigh the pros and cons

About Derek DeVries

A communications / public relations / social media pro in West Michigan trying to get past the beta version of his life cycle.
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