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Monday, December 19, 2011

DC SCORES and media: Our increasing impact both socially and traditionally

This morning, DC SCORES gained a milestone of sorts.

We reached 1,000 Twitter followers.

On the surface, the number means close to nothing. It’s just a number. It doesn’t create funds for our poet-athletes or allow us to expand into 20 additional schools, as is our goal within the next five years.

However, it does mean something. It’s significant in that it demonstrates how popular our name and our brand have become. Between Twitter (1,000 followers), Facebook (1,355 fans) and this blog (which receives over 200 unique visitors weekly), we reach a fairly large online community.

Through this online community, people unfamiliar with our work are able to quickly learn what we do, what foundations, corporations and other nonprofits we communicate with — in essence, who “retweets” and “likes” our stuff and vice versa — and how to get involved with the organization.

It doesn’t hurt our image, either, when people can coast over to our Flickr page to see hundreds of pictures of kids smiling or visit our YouTube page to watch poetry performances by 8-year-olds.

But the numbers do matter.

When people see 1,000 or 1,355, they instantly recognize that our brand is popular, that whatever we’re doing is attracting attention. Then they see the dozens of retweets by popular entities such as The Century Council and DC Public Schools and the dozens of likes of our Facebook statuses.

And partnerships are created, et cetera.

This spike in our social media attention — as is the case for many nonprofits and companies — is fairly recent. In fact, if you rewind just 28 months, we didn’t have a blog; didn’t have a Twitter account; and had a Facebook page with less than 200 fans on which we posted maybe once a week.

Since then, we’ve gone crazy about social media, but we also recognize the importance of being featured by the mainstream media. After all, you can only toot your horn so many times.

So as the year winds down, here is a recap of where DC SCORES has been featured since the fall season began in September:

In early October, FoxDC.com and FamousDC.com ran articles about skateboarding legend Tony Hawk visiting our poet-athletes at Shaw Middle School.

Also in October, the Washington Informer and East of the River publications gave coverage to our partnership with the American Beverage Association, which allowed us to expand to Garfield and Moten elementary schools in Ward 8.

In November, the Shaw poet-athletes were featured once again — this time in MIDCITY DC (page 3) for taking part in the ASCAP Songwriter Residency @ America SCORES.

Our 14th Annual DC SCORES Poetry Slam! was posted on a plethora of calendars and websites. And — stay tuned — the Slam! will be featured in the January editions of East of the River and MIDCITY DC, with a pair of poet-athletes likely to perform their poetry live on NBC soon.

It’s not easy to measure or quantify, but all this coverage matters.


It’s simple, really. The more people know about the impact DC SCORES is having, the more they want to get involved or help however they can.

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