Lessons from Mardi Gras? Yes, Mardi Gras

By David Hylton,
Public Relations Specialist

It would be easy to jump to the conclusion based on the headline that Mardi Gras and ChildFund International have nothing in common. That’s pretty much true, but taking the lessons learned from a Twitter experiment from Tom Martin, a 15-year veteran of the marketing industry, I hope we can let you know more about ChildFund International.

Tom was a speaker this past weekend at Social South, a social media conference I attended in Birmingham, Ala. Earlier this year Tom was on a mission to change people’s perceptions of Mardi Gras. Many people think of Mardi Gras as a place to drink, throw beads and do a lot of other non-family friendly things. There’s a whole other side to Mardi Gras though, and in a five-day span Tom posted 185 tweets on Twitter to help spread the message that the event can be for families, too. In the end, his experiment was successful. For the full details on his experience, click here to read how the experiment started and here for the results. I was amazed.

So how does this tie in to ChildFund? In October we’re planning to bring you a series of blogs that highlight our programs in each of the 31 countries where we work. Right now we’re calling it “31 in 31” – 31 countries in 31 days. While listening to Tom speak over the weekend I realized that our plan needs your input before we start.

We know what we want to say about many of the countries we work in, but what will you get out of it? We know about ChildFund and you know about ChildFund, but do the perceptions match? We want “31 in 31” to be an experience – a virtual tour of sorts of the ChildFund International world. But what do you want to see? Blogs from youth? Lots of photos? In the next few days, we’d love to hear from you to give you what you want to see. And if you have a better name than “31 in 31” we’d like to hear that, too.

Click here to visit the “Places” section of our Web site that has information about each of our countries. Visit that page to shape your questions, comments and suggestions and then come back to this blog and leave your thoughts. Then in October check back for “31 in 31” to learn more!

8 responses to “Lessons from Mardi Gras? Yes, Mardi Gras

  1. It’s noble cause for every one to helping those kids.

  2. Nothing is more rewarding than helping these children. I did this several years ago and even went and visited the child that I was helping. I will never forget it. I got to a point that I could no longer afford to send the monthly payment but it was a great experience while it lasted.

  3. Natalie Birindelli

    It would be great to gain insight about each country and its struggles while also highlighting a child who has benefitted from the work of Childfund. Not only would we benefit from a little education about worldly issues, but we would see how your work positively impacts the lives of the children you serve.

  4. I’d like to see answers from the children to “What are your dreams?” In this way, much of what is needed on deeper levels can be revealed for the assistance to helping children achieve those dreams.

    Thanx to Dee above for summing up everything else I was thinking of saying!

  5. ChildFund International

    Thanks for the comments. Keep them coming!

  6. I’d love to get a ‘feel’ for the various countries! I’d love to have some interactive pages with local music, some traditional recipes we can cook and get the sense of what the culture is like in each country.

  7. Sorry – one more…

    How about follow-up stories on kids your organization helped years ago – what are they doing now? How did childfund make a difference in their lives and help them to grow, learn, succeed and become an integral and vital part of their communities?


  8. This is in response to your post on FB for ideas for blog articles.

    1) Personal stories – from a spiritual/human standpoint, personal stories of children and families you have helped or are helping are always welcomed and well-received. We want to see what our dollars are doing – in *real* people’s lives. From a marketing standpoint, human interest remains one of the most popular forms of media which nearly always garners the most attention.

    2) do you have heroes? Are there volunteers, websites, individuals, sponsors who go above and beyond the ‘call of duty’ to help your organization to provide much-needed help to children and families in need? Who are they? What are their names? Do they have kids? Why are they doing this? What impact have they had? Again, personal and human interest and it helps who support your organization see the real people behind the real work carried on with the help of our dollars.

    3) What do you need? **Specifically** what do you need to help your organization carry on its mission and work? We all know that money enables the work to continue, but there are many out here who are struggling to make ends meet. These same people have talents and skills – be it marketing, social media, web design, holistic/allopathic healing skills, PR, or one of a hundred other skills that maybe your organization could use to help better our world. Telling us additional ways we can help which are not monetary would allow those of us hurting financially do to our part in helping you make this world a better place. It could be as simple as re-tweeting your url and your mission – posting on our blogs about childfund, telling our friends, doing phone or neighborhood canvassing, fundraising car washes and bake sales – the list is virtually endless. But we need to know what you need, want and would allow.

    4) have a designated person and means of contacting you if we want to volunteer time, effort and skills. We need to know the best way to offer our help.

    5) Show us your staff – in your series – both in words and in pictures – introduce us to the folks who run childfund.org. We’d like to ‘meet’ them.

    Most importantly to me – is let me help. I want to make a difference but I need to know what is needed – and I know I speak for an awful lot of us out here who have the will and desire but do not know the path.

    Thank you for asking us – and sorry this comment is so long! 🙂

    Many blessings,