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Re-framing Events as the Beginning of the Relationship with Michael Akin- ECEO043



Re-framing Events as the Beginning of the Relationship with Michael Akin- ECEO043

Re-framing Events as the Beginning of the Relationship — ECEO043

Michael Akin, President of Link Strategic Partners

Too often, organizations see their annual signature event as a finish line. Traditional nonprofits spend a significant portion of their year planning for a big gala, for example, and tend to view the event as a culmination of their efforts. But what if we shifted the way we think about these events and started viewing them as a starting point? What if we found ways to keep people engaged the in the days, weeks and months following the big night? What if we re-framed these events as the beginning of an ongoing relationship, rather than the end?

Michael Akin is the President of LINK Strategic Partners, a national strategic communications and stakeholder engagement firm based in Washington, DC. LINK works to understand and respect the communities in which they operate, helping clients apply the right strategies to generate hyperlocal success. Michael is a seasoned communications and community relations expert with 14 years of experience building relationships and earning community, government, and business buy-in for proposed projects and initiatives.

Today Michael joins Rebecca Linder to discuss LINK’s hyper-local focus on community engagement and strategic communication. He shares his view of events as the beginning of a relationship and his preference for experiential events that include the people the organization serves. Michael explains how to tie an authentic emotional appeal to a fundraising ask without being exploitative, how nonprofits can use events to teach millennials about philanthropy, and how to build an event that meets the funding priorities of a particular foundation or corporate sponsor. Listen in for Michael’s insight around evaluating success through post-event surveys and learn the value in bringing on vendor-partners to produce an experiential event that serves as the ‘starting point for what’s next.’

Topics include:

  • LINK’s focus on community engagement and strategic communication
  • How LINK leverages events to form and maintain authentic relationships
  • Michael’s view of the event as a ‘starting point for what’s next’
  • How to boost social media engagement during and after an event
  • The strategic brain trust Michael employs to ensure alignment with partners
  • How to build an authentic emotional appeal without being exploitative
  • Michael’s preference for experiential events that include the people being served
  • How nonprofits can use events to teach millennials about philanthropy
  • The significance of providing opportunities to serve beyond making a donation
  • Why LINK donates its services to certain nonprofits as a marketing expense
  • How to build an event that meets funding priorities
  • The funders’ interest in how much of their donation goes to the clients served
  • The value in hiring LINK for a year-long cycle to help accomplish larger goals
  • Michael’s insight on the best approach to a post-event survey
  • How nonprofits can utilize vendor-partners in event production

Mentioned in this podcast:

Organizations:

LINK Strategic Partners

Washington Area Women’s Foundation

Trust for the National Mall

National Cherry Blossom Festival Pink Tie Party

Greater Washington Urban League

Citi Open Tennis Tournament

 

People:

Michael Akin

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Michael Akin

Michael Akin is president of LINK Strategic Partners, a full service social impact firm with a focus on strategic communications and community engagement. Michael founded LINK to help clients connect with their communities authentically, leveraging both high-tech and high-touch approaches to provide a broad array of engagement options for people from all walks of life. LINK uses a hyperlocal lens to carefully understand the communities in which it operates, working with a variety of clients ranging from school districts to chambers of commerce and charitable foundations to hospital systems to craft meaningful messages and cultivate engaged audiences.

 

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