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Engaging NFP Audiences with Authentic Conversation: CU11 Day Two


Thursday, 2nd June 2011 at 3:23 pm
Staff Reporter
Not for Profit staff need to break free from organisational thinking if they are to be authentic and engaging, Canadian comedian and conversationalist Heather Gold has told the Connecting Up Conference in Melbourne.


Thursday, 2nd June 2011
at 3:23 pm
Staff Reporter


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Engaging NFP Audiences with Authentic Conversation: CU11 Day Two
Thursday, 2nd June 2011 at 3:23 pm
Above: Delegates at the CU11 getting to know one another at a networking session.

Not for Profit staff need to break free from organisational thinking if they are to be authentic and engaging, Canadian comedian and conversationalist Heather Gold has told the Connecting Up Conference in Melbourne.

Canadian keynote speaker Heather Gold gave an entertaining presentation on building Not for Profit communities through conversation, authenticity and emotional and social engagement.

Gold says that too often, people working for Not for Profit organisations are caught up with organisational thinking – and they need to break free of this to be authentic and engaging.

She says social media has made everyone into performers, and so its important that hierarchical structures and concerns about what should be said, and how it should be said, should not stop staff from being authentic and honest when engaging in conversation.

Gold says engagement doesn’t work when people speak in abstract – such as delivering an address with bland powerpoint slides.

Despite Not for Profits speaking a lot about engaging their audience in conversation – Gold says that unless they are honest – such as someone being able to say they are full of shit, they are creating a situation of passivity and aren't actually having a conversation.

Gold says organisations need to get away from the mindset that just using social media, and signing an organisation up to twitter and facebook, means they are creating a conversation with their supporters.

She says to engage its audience on social media, an organisation needs to have a person regularly using it over time, to ensure that people are responded to. She says if someone isn’t being responded to by a human (not a machine), then they aren’t being engaged.

She says the less that things are in a hierarchical structure, the more quickly and freely things can move – especially in NFPs. She says the beauty of technology is that it can get rid of some of the 'top-down stuff'.

For more information on Heather Gold, including tips on how to get the conversation going and engage with an audience, visit www.unpresenting.com

The second day of the Connecting Up Conference in Melbourne also heard from Mia Garlick from the Dept of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, who addressed the conference on the Federal Government's digital inclusion initiatives.

The Minister for Broadband, Communication and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy this week announced that the Government's goal by 2020, is that Australia will be one of the world's leading digital economies.

As part of roll-out of the NBN, Conroy announced a $12.4 million investment over three years to assist and train small to medium enterprises and Not for Profit organisations (including local cultural organisations) in the initial 40 communities to get the NBN, to help them fully utilise the new broadband network.

Mia Garlick says social inclusion is a major public policy objective of the government, however as more of people's daily lives moves into the online space, it is important to ensure that digital inclusion is forms parts of this.

She says the government needs to ensure that the Not for Profit sector is effectively using digital technologies, so that these social inclusion objectives can be achieved.

Garlick says however there is data that community services organisations aren't as digitally proficient as they should be, and 26% of Australians over the age of 15 don’t connect to the internet.

Pro Bono Australia is the official media partner of the Connecting Up 2011 Conference, and our News team is reporting live from the conference. Follow all the conference news at https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/connectingup and join in the conversation on twitter by using the hashtag #CU11.

The Connecting Up 2011 is on at the Crown Exhibition Centre, June 1-3. 



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