Latest Event Updates

Why do we need another social media conference in Boston? 

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I was recently interviewed by Horst von Wendorff for the Venture Cafe Podcast Series, where I could answer this question and explain what is special on the Social Media Days.

In the interview I talk about my own background and why we started the Social Media Days. I explain our unique perspective to social media marketing and the challenges that arise from the two-way interaction with the customer. We talk about tips on how to make authentic connections on social media and also explain the new digital media lab that we just have started.

If you want to know more and have a minute, please listen to the interview

Hope to see you at the next Social Media Day at May 7th


Registration is open – 5th Social Media Day at UMass Boston, May 7th, 2015

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The wait is over. Please save the date for the:

5th Social Media Day at UMass Boston
Integrate Social Media Into Your Business Life

Thursday May 7th, 2015, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Campus Center Ballroom, UMass Boston

Registration is  here

Social Media is everywhere, constantly demanding more of our time and attention.

  • How can you use Social Media successfully without becoming consumed by it?
  • How do you best balance effectiveness and efficiency in the new digital age?

If you want to learn more, do not miss the 5th Social Media Day at UMass Boston. Join us for an innovative conference experience including inspiring keynote speakers and multiple, interactive break-out sessions. Meet and learn from:

 DSC_3317rec2 Werner Kunz – Social Media Scientist and Professor of Marketing at UMass Boston Neal Schaffer – Author of “Maximize Your Social”
  Vala Afshar – CMO of Extreme Networks & author of “The Pursuit of Social Business Excellence”   Lani Voivod – Founder of the A-Ha Summit
  Allen Voivod – Owner of  Epiphanies Inc.  Melanie Melanie Cohn – Founder of Young Women in Digital
  Andrew Krebs-Smith – President of Social Fulcrum   Julia Campbell – Principal of J Campbell Social Marketing
 LinkedIn Photo_6 Robert Bochnak – Assist. Director, Alumni Marketing & Communications at Harvard Business School   Brian Mahony – CEO of Trender Research

… and many more experts!

Please invite your friends and colleagues, and promote the Social Media Day in your channels and circles! Please stay tuned and like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and use our hashtag (#UMBSocial). Please help us get the word out.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. If you are interested in collaboration with the Social Media Nights, please contact me regarding sponsorship opportunities.

We hope to see you at the Social Media Day on May 7th.

Werner Kunz & The Social Media Days Team


Disclaimer: This event is hosted by the digital media lab at UMass Boston and organized by the Digital Media & Marketing Institute Boston. To request disability-related accommodations, including dietary accommodations, visit

Please be advised that photographs will be taken at the event for use on the conference websites, online channels, in the press, marketing materials, and all other university publications. By entering this event, you consent to the event photographing and using your image and likeness.

By registering to the event you verify that you would like to be added to our email list and that you will now allow the event organizer and their partners to send periodic information pertaining to the event or related promotions. Please remember you can unsubscribe at any time by sending an e-mail to or the sending e-mail with “remove” in the subject line or using the unsubscribe button in the mail.

5 Stories Nonprofits Should Be Telling On Social Media

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photo credit: armadillo444 via photopin cc

Storytelling has been receiving a lot of press lately, as a content marketing tool and as an effective way to engage audiences on social media.

Brands and businesses are getting their stories out there – stories about their origins, their values, their customers.

So why are most nonprofits so bad at storytelling?

I think the reason is that many nonprofit staff and volunteers are uncomfortable talking about themselves. They feel icky asking for support, asking for help, patting themselves on the back and sharing the great work they are doing every day.

This needs to change.

Here are 5 stories that your nonprofit should be telling everywhere you do fundraising and marketing – including social media.

1)     Values & Ethics Stories.

In these stories, you depict the values and ethics that are at the core of your organization. Examples of core values can include integrity, excellence, empowerment, respect, embracing diversity.

Good examples of nonprofits who clearly lay out their core values on their websites are the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits and Greenpeace.

Value stories will help people identify with your organization. One main reason that people give to specific charities based on shared values – how can you express your unique values to supporters and potential supporters?

A great example of value storytelling can be found on the Environmental Defense fund website.

EDF was created by a passionate group of conservationists in Long Island who wanted to save the osprey, bald eagle and peregrine falcon. This small dedicated band of people went to court and go DDT banned in Long Island in 1966, and subsequently played a large role in the nationwide ban.

They play up the “strong foundation” and grassroots value, which continues to inform their work today.

Save the Children values authenticity and integrity in it’s executives. They often share photos of their President & CEO in remote areas of the world, on the ground.

By starting a Pinterest board called Carolyn’s Corner, they can document their President & CEO’s travels, work and inspiration and share it with their online community.

Carolyn Miles

Pin caption: Follow our President & CEO Carolyn Miles for an inside look at our work for children in the US and around the world.

2)     Social Proof Stories.

Which influential community members have been moved by your work? Who are your biggest supporters?

The Robin Hood Foundation has a great video front and center on their website. It starts out immediately featuring stories of those impacted by its work and philanthropy. It also intersperses clips of Geoffrey Canada of the Harlem Children’s Zone and the Chairman & CEO Of Goldman Sachs describing why they support the Foundation.

[vimeo 75344002 w=500 h=281]

You may not have nationally know supporters, but I’m willing to bet you could get the mayor, a state senator, a local TV news celebrity or sports figure to explain why they support your nonprofit. (And if they don’t know about you, make them know.)

Offering this kind of social proof makes donors and supporters sit up and take notice – especially if you are a small, community-based nonprofit.

3)     Founder Stories.

In telling your founder story, you need to ask the following questions:

  • Why was your organization started in the first place?
  • Who identified the need?
  • What was that like for them? What were their struggles in the beginning?

A perfect example of telling this story in a compelling way is Billy Starr of the Pan-Mass Challenge. In an inspiring video made by 50 Egs and Babson College, Billy’ s compelling story, and how he created the now multi-million dollar PMC as a tribute to his mother and his childhood.


4)     Continuous Improvement Stories.

Show your supporters that your nonprofit is continually learning and improving.

Did you start our in one direction and then found another, greater need? How have you adapted to the needs of your constituency throughout the years?

An example of this kind of story is The Denver Foundation’s video series, 10 Years 10 Stories.

These videos are stories told from the nonprofits who have been awarded grants. Not all the grants and programs worked out the way they were meant to, but the great part of the story is how the nonprofit leaders discuss what they learn and what they still have to work on.


5)     Impact Stories.

These stories are by far the most important. Donors, volunteers, staff, stakeholders – they all want to know what impact your organization is having on the problem, the cause and the world.

Are you affecting change? Are you pushing the needle in some way? How can you showcase the great work you are doing through those that you have helped?

Charity Water uses Instagram to tell their stories in 15 second chunks – not fancy stages, lighting or narration involved.

UNICEF Canada uses Pinterest to share their successes and the impact of their work.


Pin caption: Children dance in a child-friendly space in Central African Republic. For a little while they can forget the horrors of conflict. Thanks to UNICEF Canada for the photo.

Too few nonprofits share their impact stories. Let’s change that.

For more great examples of nonprofit storytelling using video, check out the winners of the 2013 DoGooder Awards on YouTube.

What stories does your nonprofit tell on social media?

JuliaCampbell01web (1)Guest post by Julia Campbell (originally appeared on the J Campbell Social Marketing blog). Julia Campbell is Principal of J Campbell Social Marketing. Her blog is at and she is active on Twitter at @JuliaCSocial

Meet #umbsocial Speaker – Edward Peters

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Tell us a little about yourself and your background?photo2

First thing to know: I’m a native Californian. That means I HATE New England winters! I still have this [completely rational by the way!] mindset that if you want snow, you drive a few hours into the mountains to get it—and then leave it to go back to the warm comforts of home. That being said, I love it here in Boston – there’s lots of energy, innovation and ideas in the air.

Growing up, I first wanted to be a musician, then later a writer, and then a few years after that a filmmaker. So, it’s insanely awesome that my job writing, producing and scoring videos and documentaries allows me to do all three.

Studied Sociology and Economics in College – I’m sure the interviewer was probably entertained about my earnest, world-changing plan to write the next Das Capital – only this time fully reconciling Marxism and Capitalism into one harmonious whole. Never happened – obviously—I gave up after Chapter 2.

CD coverStarted as a writer, created the revenue department’s first website in 1995, then co-created the video production studio in 2006. Social media soon followed. Started my own production company  –Shadowfisher Productions – in 2008 for both personal and client-based video and music production.

When did you start to work in social media?

I started with social media in 2007, when we created our first YouTube account for our videos. Soon after, Twitter followed, then a blog, Facebook, LinkedIn and, now, Flickr and, soon, Vine.

How does a typical work day of you look like?

I’m not sure I have “typical” days! On any given day, though, there is usually some combination of writing time, studio time (production and post) and administrative time, with a healthy dose of location filming and meetings.  Later on, a lot of my time is spent writing or doing music production in my home studio.

Do you have a role model in social media. Someone who inspires you?

I’m oddly role-model-free in the social media world.

What is the hardest thing about social media?

1. Actually doing it rather than talking about it.

2. Being consistent- both in quantity and quality

3. Finding relevant and useful content to post  – for some reason, it’s like pulling teeth to get anyone in my agency to ante up content.

What do you see as some up-and-coming trend in social media?

Easier-to-use interactive engagement tools that are better integrated with websites; increased use of video social media to create short, high-impact content e.g., Vine; more focus on quality content.

One trend I would love to see is more employee involvement and ownership of social media within their workplace.

Can you name us a brand or company that you admire for their great social media strategy/execution?

Not a company using it in a campaign per se, but, rather, a company creating the toolset to do it – and that’s Google. I’m in awe of Google – what they’ve done with YouTube and how they work to integrate their vast toolset.

Did you make any social media mistakes in the past or is there anything you would avoid in future?

Plenty. Number one was waiting four years to develop a coherent and scalable social media plan.

To be successful in social media, you need to ….?

Think about who your audience is and what their needs are. It’s easy to post self-absorbed stuff that resonates with no one (I should know!)

What is your favorite book and why?

I have two:  The Sun Also Rises and Dharma Bums.

Sun Also Rises was a real eye-opener as a teenager — not only about the Lost Generation in Paris theme, but because it’s a book that made me want to be a traveler, not a tourist, to explore and to live truly well. Every time I read that book it feels so real I feel like I have to wipe Sangria off my chin.

Dharma Bums is a favorite not only because it’s placed in my original backyard – the Bay Area and the Sierras — but because it’s a fabulous book about people – some good, some bad, some crazy – trying to look past the rampant crass commercialism of modern America and find an organic and spiritual way to live. Sounds cliché now maybe, but the book was truly prescient – it was written in the late 1950’s!

What is your favorite quote?

Easy, the opening two stanzas of Whitman’s Song of the Open Road; to wit:
Afoot and light-hearted, I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune—I myself am good fortune;
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,             5
Strong and content, I travel the open road.

 What is your favorite movie and why?

Hmm, let’s see… Breathless?  Godfather?  Citizen Kane?  Nope, better than all those, it’s….  The Outlaw Josey Wales!

OK, y’all done snickering?  I love this movie, it has a fabulous core story about a wronged Civil-War era farmer exacting revenge, but it’s also about love and loss, honor, finding a family in unusual places, not to mention the tragic consequences of war.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?

Sorry Ben Franklin, but it’s Oysters and Chablis that “prove that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

Where can we find more about you and you work?


… and a few other links that should give you a flavor of my agency work:

10 Qualities You Need To Become A Stellar Storyteller

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b75b9e8b438627f929c10647c9d474c2Storytelling is not only a fantastic way to relate to other humans on a personal level, it is also a fantastic marketing and fundraising tool for nonprofits and other companies

When done strategically and in harmony with online channels, storytelling can and will help you raise more money and strengthen relationships with your supporters.

Great nonprofit stories:

  • Convey impact and outcomes;
  • Elicit emotion and compassion;
  • Inspire further action and commitment.

Nonprofits of all sizes need to start thinking of themselves as storytellers and not “development professionals” or “communication coordinators”. A 10-page communications strategy is of no use without the gasoline of good stories to fuel it.

How can you go from Communications Coordinator or Development Director to Stellar Storyteller?

I came up with 10 characteristics of great nonprofit storytellers. Notes that there are few people who will embody every single characteristics – they are simply guidelines to inspire you on your journey to improve the way you craft and share stories.

To be a Stellar Storyteller, you must:

Be a true believer in the cause. They must be an outspoken and passionate advocate – the kind of person whose zeal is infectious.

Be authentic and truthful. We tend to want to listen to others with whom we can see parts of ourselves; people that come from similar backgrounds and have faced similar obstacles.

This is why major donors tend to listen to other major donors, and volunteers are able to recruit other volunteers. They speak each other’s language and understand where they are coming from.

Truly understand what it’s all about. It’s not all about your organization’s agenda and what you want to convey. It’s about your audience.

A great storyteller takes time to understand the audience – what they care about, what they want to hear. Stories should be crafted and delivered with these elements in mind.

Prepare, prepare, prepare. Preparation is key when delivering a great story. However, Stellar Storytellers are able to improvise and are not rigid in their delivery.

Practice being open-minded, enthusiastic and motivated. You want others to feel what you are feeling, and you will always try new methods and new techniques to reach that end.

Remain skeptical. Always be asking yourself the questions that your audience will be asking: “How did that happen? Why did that happen? Why couldn’t something else have happened?”

By looking at your story with a critical eye, you will be able to anticipate the concerns and apprehension of your critics

Remain generous. Stellar Storytellers are generous with their emotions and their willingness to be vulnerable. They often share personal stories of their own struggles and obstacles.

To touch other people’s hearts, you must be willing to expose your own.

Understand the context. Are you telling the story in front of a group of 100 people, at an intimate dinner, or during a Twitter Q&A tweet chat?

Molding the story to fit the context is a huge part of being successful in storytelling.

Don’t think you have to be perfect to be a Stellar Storyteller. Who wants to hear a perfect story from a perfect person? (I know I don’t.)

As long as you are authentic, truthful and passionate about the story you are telling, people will connect with you and be inspired to take action.

Do you have any other storytelling qualities to add to this list?   

JuliaCampbell01web (1)

Guest post by Julia Campbell (originally appeared on the J Campbell Social Marketing blog). Julia Campbell is Principal of J Campbell Social Marketing. Her blog is at and she is active on Twitter at @JuliaCSocial