@FoodDayMA Media Group Recipe for Collaboration

The Mass Innovation Nights annual “Foodie” Product Launch Party is a wildly popular event and I attended a “Food Day MA” planning meeting in May with the intention to offer them free exposure at the event for Food Day on October 24th in the spirit of communal support in the food circles. 

Inspired by the anecdotes of communities’ success in the 2011 inaugural year I raised my hand and started dispensing advice on how the momentum could be captured statewide if someone would only orchestrate the efforts, realizing in the same breath that I was volunteering my services to captain the Food Day MA Media Group.  Here are the steps you might take to glean from the way we cobbled together our efforts with no budget and lots of enthusiasm from many.

  1. Pull together a core team who volunteer to manage a social media tool that they are good at and let them be the lead to post, Tweet, Pin, etc.  We were Twitter-centric, used facebook and dabbled in Pinterest.  I wish we had Pinned more considering that platform’s growth at the time.  New social media channels will crop up in the future, embrace the ones with momentum and critical mass.
  2. Create a gmail account with your group’s affinity name as a master email account that you will use to build a WordPress site and enroll in social media platforms.  If a facebook or Twitter account already exists don’t worry about it – as long as the owner of that account is on your core team.
  3. Create a Dropbox account using your new gmail account where you will keep a Master Schedule of guest bloggers, store logos, photos/images, a contact list and other necessary assets.  You can invite members to join the Dropbox and that’s where they can claim their date to post on the Master Schedule.  I stored the text of a an email that I sent to every new guest blogger with instructions on claiming a date to post along with a heads-up that they’d be receiving two following emails inviting them to the Dropbox and the WordPress site.  This made the recruitment of guest bloggers pretty easy once I set up the system.
  4. Build your social media tools using the gmail account you created – Twitter, facebook, Pinterest.
  5. Build a WordPress site using the gmail account you created.  Add widgets for the social media accounts you created.  When I built the Food Day MA website there was no easy widget to plug in a Pinterest button.  Many thanks to betweenheandshe.com, I found a VERY good post that taught me how to add a Pinterest button.
  6. Write your first post and publish it.  Double check that your post automatically cross-promoted on your social media channels.
  7. Send an email to your core group that explains the guest blogging process. 
  8. [this is what I sent]    First THANK YOU.    You should have received an invitation to www.fooddayma.wordpress.com with Author status and an invitation to the FoodDayMA Dropbox folder.  If you’re not a current Dropbox user and install it on your desktop we earn more storage space.  You can always uninstall it.  There’s a word document in the Dropbox named “FDMA blogging schedule”.   Add the information on the date you plan to post the blog and the other information and SAVE your changes.  Write and post your blog or schedule it to publish on the date you chose.  Promote your blog on the social media platforms you frequent.  If you Tweet about it please include @FoodDayMA in the Tweet to notify us to call out the birds!  Post it on facebook, pin it on your Pinterest account, etc.  We’re here to help you with anything you need.  If you’re not comfortable with WordPress and can at least provide text and images we can tee it up for you.  Tim Stansky
  9. Use your Dropbox account to build and store your Press/Media Contact list, Media Advisories and Press Releases.  Sending your releases from the gmail account you created allows you to manage your efforts.
  10. Now you have become your organization’s “Tom Sawyer” and it’s time to recruit guest bloggers, showing them how easy it is to be part of your bigger effort and that many hands make for light work.
  11. We’re still tallying the collective tide of exposure that we created through the blogging site and social media.  It’s clear that the WordPress site was a powerful anchor point.
  12. Our highest traffic day for the site was the day The Boston Globe wrote about Food Day.

We had a fantastic team and props to everyone involved.

Good luck and pay it forward.


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