Tuesday, August 23, 2011

#NexusCafe Twitter Chat at the Indiana State Fair

I started a Twitter chat for digital marketers through my work Twitter account last year as an experiment to highlight some of our partners. I was inspired by some of the Twitter chats that I participate in such as #bfcafe and #healthychild in the mommy-blogger world. I found a kinship with moms even though the chat is only once a week, the hashtag was a great way for people to connect throughout the week. Marketers are a lot like moms. They like to share ideas and learn from each other, so I pitched the idea and my colleagues and manager were really supportive.

Now #NexusCafe Twitter chat is an exciting part of my week! The chat is every Thursday at 11am EST and we discuss different digital marketing topics each week. My role is to moderate the chat via our @ETNexus Twitter account. With my role changing to the user community manager, I'm now integrating the chat in the customer community as a whole. Two weeks ago, we hosted a #NexusCafe chat with an ExactTarget client and my favorite non-profit, the Indiana Mother's Milk Bank. The IMMB supplies donated human milk to hospitals and out-patients for babies in need. The antibodies and highly available nutrition in human milk helps sick and premature babies recover fast and help rehabilitate faster than artificial infant formula.

As a donor mom who has shared 24 gallons of milk, I've had the pleasure to work with the program manager, Dane Nutty (@milkbankguy), who is a gem! He was the mastermind behind their annual initiative to organize three Lactation Stations at the Indiana Sate Fair along with his team of summer interns. The Lactation Station offers a place for a nursing mother and child to take a break from the heat and hustle of the fair. They have cold water and a place to change your baby's diaper. The stations are staffed by lactation consultants, La Leche League leaders, and experienced breastfeeding mothers for moms to ask any questions. They work with local organizations such as La Leche League of Indiana, March of Dimes, Indiana Perinatal Network, and others to help educate the public about breastfeeding. The IMMB is also able to find potential donor mothers by the awareness campaign. They use the ExactTarget application for their program to organize the volunteer network to staffing the Lactation Stations for the 17 days of the fair.

On the day of the #NexusCafe chat, I organized a tweet-up at the Lactation Station. I tweeted with Dane and Sarah from the Indiana Perinatal Network. I had issues getting on the WiFi network so I had to hook up directly to an Internet LAN cable that as dangling from the side of the 4H building, which is why we did the chat sitting on the grass. We sat in the mid-day sunshine which made our computers feel like they were on fire by the end. Even with the ants crawling on my legs, it was still worth it! Our chat was successful and we had great ideas shared and many marketers "show up" on the Twitter hashtag. I'm excited that I could combine my personal passion with my work in a single day.

Check out my #NexusCafe recap blog post about non-profit digital marketing.

Flashback! Last year, Ava and I volunteered at the Lactation Station and here's my post about our experience.

This year, instead of volunteering a shift at the Fair, I hosted the Twitter chat and posed for some nursing pictures which the milk bank used in their main Lactation Station. Some of my friends who were at the fair told me that they recognized me and Ava in the picture hanging at the Lactation Station! Our pictures will be used for breastfeeding education programs throughout the state. I'm so honored!

1 comment:

  1. I volunteered a shift on all 3 Saturdays the fair ran, and I had a great time. I saw your picture in the tent, too! I enjoyed hearing the stories of moms who stopped by, and it was fun to be able to volunteer with my son in tow.