Movie Review: Free State of Jones

Movie Review: Free State of Jones

During the American Civil War (1861-1865), a group of men and women banded together to create an independent community in Mississippi. They were farmers, poor people, slaves, runaways, deserters. They recognized that they were fighting “a rich man’s battle, but a poor man’s fight,” in that they were being used as fodder to maintain the socioeconomic system of the slaveholding south at the time.

Free State of Jones (2016), starring Mathew McConaughey, tells the story of Newton Knight, a southern farmer, Confederate deserter, and inspiring leader of the Knight company.

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Movie Review: Sweet Bean

Movie Review: Sweet Bean

Sweet Bean (2015), directed by Naomi Kawase, is one of the most aesthetically pleasing films I’ve seen in the past few years. It’s a slow stroll through cherry blossom season, with each character and storyline finding their own rhythm and pace.

Sentaro (Masatoshi Nagase) opens the movie with a slow, lumbering gait. He practically drags the viewer into work with him. Tokue (Kirin Kirie) hobbles into Sentaro’s pancake shack (more on this later) in a somewhat starstruck manner. She marvels at the trees, the wind, the possibility of working for Sentaro, and the viewer is easily pulled alongside her for the rest of the film. Wakana (Kyara Uchida) is a young teenager who visits the dorayaki shop Sentaro runs and gently brings all of the characters together.

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Movie Review: Thunderheart

Movie Review: Thunderheart

Thunderheart (1992), starring Val Kilmer, Graham Greene (the actor, not the author), and Sam Shepard is an older film which could and should still resonate today. Fred Ward, Sheila Tousey, Ted Thin Elk, and John Trudell also star in the movie, creating an excellent ensemble where allegiances and alliances shift constantly before the viewer’s eyes.

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Using Google Alerts to monitor your cause

Using Google Alerts to monitor your cause

Did you know there’s a way to monitor the web for any and all mentions of your non-profit or small business name? Well, there is and it’s called Google Alerts. And they can monitor much more than the name of your organization: they can be used to monitor everything important to your cause.

In this post, I’ll show you how to set up Google Alerts and then offer suggestions on ways to use them. Keep reading →

Facebook Ads: A Case Study of Promoted Posts vs Carousels

Facebook Ads: A Case Study of Promoted Posts vs Carousels

In a previous position, I was in charge of the social media channels for a non-profit. We received significant feedback from our audiences offline that Facebook was a major way they heard about us. One person mentioned seeing our posts all of the time. Another loved our Meatless Monday recipes. Another person found out about an event through Facebook. Everyone seemed to comment on a facet of our Facebook posts that they loved.

And while I appreciated that feedback, my Facebook data on the website told a slightly different story.

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Inbound marketing ideas for non-profits

Inbound marketing ideas for non-profits

Inbound marketing, as I’ve written about before, is a technique for bringing more fans into your non-profit engagement funnel by providing them with a product, service, or piece of content for which they give you their name, contact info, and permission to contact them in return. It’s an underutilized marketing tool in the non-profit world, but can reap major rewards for the creative organization.

But inbound marketing requires a major shift in thinking for most non-profit staff. First of all, it usually requires a product, like a white paper or ebook, when we’re used to providing services. Second, it requires non-profit staff to think of themselves as authorities when we’re much more used to thinking of ourselves as servant leaders. And third, it requires us to withhold something in return for a name and contact info, something we don’t often do.

So, with these major barriers in mind, this blog post is a starting point for you to think about inbound marketing ideas for non-profits – to get more people involved in your cause.

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Case Study: Coffee Shop Social Media

Case Study: Coffee Shop Social Media

In the fall, I started working with a coffee shop owner who knew he needed to be more active on social media. More than just active, he knew he had a few challenges and opportunities on his hands. First, his customers – and even some of his staff – didn’t know about many of their sustainability practices. For example, they serve organic coffee and recycle all of their coffee grounds with a local composter. The ethos of his coffee shop wasn’t being promoted or even shared.

Also, he wanted to share more local news and more information on the sustainable coffee industry, to supplement posts and shares about his own shops.

This is a case study of how we produced some astounding results in just one month.

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