New Media for a Cause- A Call to Action

I started working with the United States of Hope (USOH) this past summer video taping the groups involvement in the Missoula Marathon. They were raising money and awareness for Vets and all those impacted by war. I had met Samuel Redfern, (President of USOH), a couple years back and was familiar with his cause. It seemed like a worthy endeavor and I was up to the challenge. What started out as simply donating a couple hours of taping the event and some brief interviews has now blossomed into an incredible partnership and a bond of unifying purpose.

This October, Samuel offered me the position of Director of New Media Broadcast with USOH. I was thrilled and honored and accepted without hesitation. This was new territory for me as well as USOH. In fact, I had never heard of a Director of New Media Broadcast before then! The landscape for none profit organizations has gone through a dramatic sea change ever since the social media revolution broke out in 2007. The way in which NPOs reach out, tap their donors, launch campaigns and communicate their vision has been completely revolutionized.

What is “New Media”? Let me first explain what New Media is by relating it to it’s converse which is Old Media. Old Media is the traditional forms of communications like, print, radio, and television. New Media is a reformation of those older medias into the online space. What was traditionally print is now web pages, blogs, IM, and social media sites. Podcasting is the new radio. Online video is the new TV. New Media is generally self publishing and sharing focused with an eye towards two way conversations. Old Media is one way conversational with a point A to point to a multi point B broadcast approach. New Media breaks that barrier and puts media content into a myriad of interwoven networks composed of micro broadcasters like you and I.

I’m asking all of my media friends to think about how you can help a NPO in your area. What can you do to make a difference and use your talents to help those in need? There are so many opportunities out there! Many NPOs need training and advice on how to work with the new technologies. They need people with great communications skills who know their tools and can effectively reach targeted audiences with well crafted messages. Not sure where to start? Here is a list of some popular NPOs. The time is now!

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