Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, charity: water, Events, Internet, Marketing | Posted on 27-09-2012
Here is the full 15 minute panel:
In particular awesome to sit next to Scott Heiferman, one of the smartest internet entrepreneurs out there and one of the only people in the world who has built a web platform to unite people in the real world.
Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, Current Affairs, Internet, Marketing | Posted on 09-08-2012
I had a striking experience this week seeing old and new marketing clash head on in a battle between two of the world’s largest companies: Visa and American Express.
I’m at Heathrow Airport waiting for my flight back to the States after watching my mate Ben St Lawrence run for Australia in the 10,000 meters final at the Olympics. With some time to kill before my flight, I decide to buy a Tshirt from the Olympic store to mark the occasion. I line up for 15 minutes, get to the counter… and can’t pay. The Olympics only accept Visa.
I only have a few coins left in my wallet, so have to trudge around the airport, pull out 20 quid from an ATM (with a foreign penalty) and go back to the Olympic store to buy my shirt. I curse Visa under my breath the entire flight home.
Every Monday a few of my mates get together for a steak night. I check in on Foursquare, as is my habit. Immediately I’m notified that American Express has a $5 off deal in the restaurant, because I’ve signed up for Amex Sync.
I tell all my friends about the deal, they check in and get a discount too. We all pull out our American Express cards instead of cash to pay the bill. American Express save us $20, and we have a positive conversation about their brand as we walk home.
I tweet about the #steakscore, and when I wake up I see a tweet @ me from Amex:
— American Express (@AmericanExpress) August 7, 2012
American Express bought me a steak and made me smile. Visa made me walk around an airport and frown.
If you want people to like you, give them something. If you want people to hate you, take something away from them.
Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, charity: water, Internet, Marketing | Posted on 07-08-2012
Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, charity: water, Internet, Marketing | Posted on 25-06-2012
Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, charity: water, Events, Marketing | Posted on 07-03-2012
I’m heading to Austin, Texas, this weekend for my third consecutive SXSW. It’s a huge few days, and while tiring, an event I always look forward to for a chance to connect with many friends and build new relationships.
If you’ll be there please leave a comment or tweet me; if you’re reading this I’d love to see you.
Without further ado, here are the three main conversations I’ll be having in Texas:
1. What are you up to that’s cool?
You’ll never find as many smart digital people in one place as these few days in Austin. I’m looking forward to learning new things and getting inspired by other peoples work.
Big new ideas often pop at SXSW: Twitter got a huge boost there early on, Foursquare launched there, and this year I’m tipping Highlight will get people chatting – it’s the most interesting app I’ve found for some time.
2. charity: water is hiring – know anyone?
charity: water is hiring across the board this year and we need great people to help us change the world. We’re looking for a range of tech people, project managers, fundraisers and more.
In particular, I’m personally hiring two roles and it’s likely the right people for them will be at SXSW:
- Director of Corporate Partnerships: an authentic, strategic, digitally-savvy biz dev person who can raise $5 million from corporates this year while building a plan to do $30 million in 2015.
- Marketing Analyst: a data person who will be responsible for building a personal automated email program for us and will work on defining and measuring our marketing efforts.
3. Can you or your brand help charity: water this year?
We’re aiming to raise $25 million this year, 100% will directly fund clean water projects. We’ve got a bunch of exciting campaigns launching throughout the year and many ways individuals or brands can get involved. I’ll be looking to recruit more great partners to help them make our story their story and bring the water crisis to more people.
In particular, I’ll be trying to marshall support for a huge online campaign we’re launching for World Water Day on March 22. If you’re interested in learning more about it – ping me!
Will you be at SXSW? If so I’d love to see you!
Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, charity: water, Internet, Marketing, Uncategorized | Posted on 15-02-2012
I’m approaching my two year anniversary at charity: water. In those 2 years we’ve raised over $27 million, 100% of which has directly funded clean water projects. And we’ve raised over 75% of those funds through digital channels.
Here are my top 5 things I’ve learned from my first two years at charity: water.
- Be Positive
Inspiration is the most important part of our digital strategy. We inspire people through stories that help them see how they can change the world.
We think about building long-term relationships with every supporter, and in order to build strong relationships we want to give them regular positive feelings by inspiring them, thanking them, educating them and recognizing them. We don’t make people feel sad or guilty.
To bring this to life I juxtaposed the ASPCA’s tear-jerking overwraught commercials, with Helen’s Story, a beautiful piece written by Becky Straw telling the story of Helen Apio in Uganda and how access to clean water, for the first time in her life, made her feel beautiful.
The ASPCA ads have reportedly raised over $30 million. I wouldn’t take $30 million this year if I had to make all of America feel terrible in order to get there.
- Don’t ask for money
This learning could also be phrased as ‘tell stories’. In my two years at charity: water we’ve never asked for money on Facebook or Twitter, nor in our email marketing.
People know we’re a charity. They know the biggest assistance they can give is financial support. We don’t need to ask them for money every time we connect with them, because we’re focused on relationships with people, not their wallets.
Our year end email (when every American non-profit makes a very direct fundraising appeal) simply shared an upbeat two minute video.
- Do It Wrong Quickly
This is a catchphrase I’ve adopted from my friend and mentor Mike Moran. Do it wrong quickly doesn’t mean go out there and break everything. It means experiment, measure deeply, trial real use cases as quickly as you can and do more of what works.
Don’t come up with a beautiful strategy in 400 Powerpoint slides and roll it out a year later after dozens of meetings, presentations and approvals. Find the smallest test case you can use, ship it, measure it, and if it works in the market expand it.
We’re taking this approach with the new product WaterForward. An experiment in giving, we’re trying a lot of things to see if we can make WaterForward explode virally, but even if it doesn’t the experience from trying will boost us.
- Be personal
Seth Godin said it well: familiarity (like using my first name in a mass email) isn’t personal – personal is one-to-one and MUST be authentic.
Authentic personal interaction always takes time. The payoff though, can be huge.
Think about the last brand that really took the time to personally interact with you. I’m willing to bet you have a very positive memory.
An example of how we do this is the 250 thank you videos we prepared and sent to individual donors on our 5th birthday in September last year. This took weeks of effort, time from all our staff and even more from a small army of vounteers. The goal was to make 250 people feel special — in the end we look at these videos as one of our biggest successes of 2011.
- Help them see their impact
Informed by Simon Sinek’s ‘golden circle’ we’ve realized that the most important thing we can do at charity: water is bring people closer to the impact they can make by supporting us.
People are essentially good, and if they see how they can make a change in the world, they’ll do amazing things. We are focusing a great deal of time, energy and effort on helping this happen for all our supporters, the key example being the most exciting project we’ve launched, Dollars to Projects.
If you’d like to hear me chat about this stuff, here is a recording of a webinar I did recently with Artez Online touching on general charity: water info and the five learnings.
(Note: My slides didn’t convert to Powerpoint properly so sorry for some in the video being ugly! The better slides are embedded as Slideshare above).
Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, charity: water, Events, Internet, Marketing | Posted on 17-01-2012
Last year I was honored to be invited to record a session for the Smart CMO Virtual Forum, an innovative online event providing top-notch content to a remote audience.
The Smart CMO team just shared a video of my session to share with all of you, check it out to hear about all the work we’re doing in marketing at charity: water:
The next Smart CMO virtual forum is scheduled for March 1 2012 – sign up to see more content like the above, from even better speakers than yours truly, such as the CMOs for both the NFL and SAP.
Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, Current Affairs, Internet, Life | Posted on 09-01-2012
This morning just before I headed to work this tweet from Clay Shirky pointed me to an incredibly interesting podcast from This American Life:
Mike Daisey’s extraordinary look at the people who made your iPhone, now as a ‘This American Life’ episode: bit.ly/xmoLhB
— Clay Shirky (@cshirky) January 9, 2012
Like many of us, I spend most of my waking hours touching an Apple product. First thing in the morning I fire up my iPhone to check overnight notifactions. For my full workday I bang on my MacBook Pro. When I get home I’m liable to unwind with some Fifa 12 on my iPad. Apple products and electronics surround my life, but I rarely stop to think about where they come from.
After listening to this podcast, no longer.
Like Mr Daisey the narrator, I always assumed a high tech factory used robots to construct my products with some human oversight. I didn’t think about an army of workers assembling my products painstakingly by hand while they barely made a living.
Thought provoking. Especially the analysis afterwards – are sweatshops like this a fact of life in developing countries that lead to growth despite our western sensibilities? Or do we as consumers, and more importantly Apple, Dell and their ilk who make massive profits from the labor, have a responsibility here?
Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Business, charity: water, Current Affairs, Humour, Internet, Life, Marketing | Posted on 28-11-2011
Humblebrag (urban dictionary): Subtly letting others now about how fantastic your life is while undercutting it with a bit of self-effacing humor or “woe is me” gloss.
Somehow winded up in the Wall St Journal twice today.
First was for work, quoted in an article on the new trends in online philanthropy. 18 words made the quote, 2 of them “Justin” and “Bieber”.
Like some other nonprofits, charity: water, a New York-based organization dedicated to providing clean drinking water to people in developing nations, uses traditional and nontraditional fund-raising methods for separate purposes. Big gifts from private and corporate donors fund the charity’s operations, from staff salaries to ink for the printers. That allows 100% of donations from alternative channels, such as social media and the organization’s various websites, to directly fund water projects—an assurance meant to appeal to potential small donors concerned about where their money will go.
Seventy percent of donations to charity:water come from digital channels, mainly from individuals donating on its main website, by pressing the “donate” button, or going to mycharitywater.org, where anyone can set up a fund-raising campaign and ask friends to donate.
Mycharitywater.org has raised $11.5 million since August 2009. Individual fund-raisers have done everything from running marathons to setting up lemonade stands. The average campaign has raised $1,000, says Paull Young, director of digital engagement at charity: water. “Justin Bieber had people donate for his birthday,” he says. “Little girls have friends donate $7 for their seventh birthday.”
charity: water is experimenting with a new site, waterforward.org, that also relies on people’s social connections to expand the charity’s reach, but in a different way. The site maintains what it calls a “book”—a compilation of photos of people who have had a $10 donation to the site made in their name by someone they know. Once a person is in the book, he or she can bring in any number of other people by making a $10 contribution for each of them. Those people can then do the same, and so on. In effect, every donor becomes a fund-raiser.
The site is designed to make donating fun and engaging, and to allow donors to see that their contribution goes beyond the amount they can give, since each donation can lead to so many more donations, says Michael Birch, a major fund-raiser and contributor to charity: water who has helped the organization build its websites.
The second was more amusing. For 4th of July this year I embarked on a Texas trip with a bunch of rugby mates. For the occasion, I was in search of a stars’n'stripes Speedo… a surprisingly difficult item to acquire.
I turned to Zaarly, an awesome iPhone app turning commerce on its head, and a few hours and $50 was delivered a US flag speedo by a very confused personal shopper.
That same confused personal shopper appeared in a WSJ video today talking about his experience with Zaarly… his most awkward moment (you guessed it), my speedo.