by: Chris Troksa

Strategic Communications Consultant Joins the Board

We have an exciting new addition to our advisory board. Meet Faigy Gilder:

Connect with Faigy either on her website or via LinkedIn where she is very active.
Look to join her on upcoming Product Community events.

Who are you and what do you do?

Hi! I’m Faigy Gilder, a nonprofit communications consultant. I’ve been doing this work at a number of places in the nonprofit sector for about a decade now. I also have a Master of Public Administration. Most recently, I was the communications director for more than four years at a national association for disability representatives. It was a really great experience and now I’m branching out on my own. I have my own small business working primarily for small staff organizations and local businesses. I help places with small staffs and small budgets communicate their impact effectively and achieve their goals.

Here’s a recent example: I  volunteer my skills in my town with our community relations advisory committee. We had our first annual Pride event this past summer, and the committee really wasn’t sure how to get started. We started talking about it in March, and I developed a plan alongside other committee members. I helped develop a plan, which started with finding the right sponsors. It’s important not to put the cart before the horse. You really need to have the right sponsors because part of what you’re giving them is exposure when you start rolling out the event.

I researched email options for the committee, and I found a really good email platform for them. It allowed us to get people to sign up for the event online and capture those emails. The committee wasn’t doing any email capture before this – and now our email list includes more than 600 people! For context, when I joined the committee, sharing the event on their Facebook page was a key part of event promotion.

I’m very strategic in my work. I help everyone take a step back. If you want to reach people locally, Facebook pages are not great for reach without putting money into it. I helped the committee refocus its efforts. I said ‘Let’s get on Instagram. Let’s build our email list. Let’s work on getting sponsors first and tap into that network.’

At the end of June, we had our big, now-annual Pride event and there were over 500 people there! We got press coverage. We got photographers. There was even a big protest happening that day for reproductive rights, and they chose to do it outside the Pride event because they knew half the town was going to be there.

It was just amazing, and it was really cool to see it all come together. After the event, the organizing committee did a debrief, and they were really blown away by the power of communicating effectively and thinking beyond the Facebook page

I was just listening to someone the other day talk about owned media versus rented media. Your website and your email list are what you own. What you rent are platforms and your profiles on the platforms. So, a part of being strategic is often thinking more deeply about what you own.

This is the first part of our interview with Faigy. Check back tomorrow for part 2.

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