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#1 What’s this

about? 1
Copyright © Betsey Merkel
Connecting for Birds

How We’re All Going to Grow with a


COAC Platform
By Betsey Merkel, March 4, 2018
This presentation is by Betsey Merkel, Consultant,

Connecting
and is shared under a Creative Commons license,
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC
BY-NC-SA which means you can share and adapt

for Birds materials with attribution, for non-commercial


purposes, and distribute under share-alike
How We’re All Going to licensing.

Grow with a COAC Platform

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#2 The situation 4
Copyright © Betsey Merkel
2006 2017
60% 30%
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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
“Houston, we
have a problem.”
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Perfect Storm

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1. Loss of Audubonners

● 30% in 2017

● No new chapters in
the last 20 years.
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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
2. Loss of the Middle Class

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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
● Wind Turbine Farms in the Great Lakes by Kathy Murphy

● Beach strewn with plastic debris USFWS

● Aging 65-year-old oil pipeline “Line 5” by Dave Schwab

3. Political-Environmental
Threats 10
Copyright © Betsey Merkel
4. Technology Disruption
Unprecedented Monopolizing the
Growth of mobile attention of 18-44
traffic starts in 2006... year olds

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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
Photo: Even Corridor by Alice Merkel.
#EpicFail
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Adapt or Die.

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How can we use technology to
become a united front for birds
and habitat conservation again? 14
Photo: Flock by D. Dibenski (images.fws.gov ([1])) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.jpg
#3 COAC
Platform Value
Proposition 15
What’s a platform?
How does it work?
What will it do for us? 16
Platforms conduct business
online
● Library

● Operations
“Platforms deliver hosted services over the
Internet.” - Wikipedia ● Collaboration

● Publishing

● Marketing

● Ecommerce

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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
What will a Platform for COAC do?
● Share ideas and practices ● Grow memberships

● Develop relationships ● Raise funds

● Foster communications ● Connect people to policy issues

● Interact with other organizations ● Deepen member involvement

● Support remote collaborations ● Grow conservation projects

● Recruit volunteers ● Expedite network learning

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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
“Chapters and other organizations
dedicated to bird conservation need a
resource to communicate. There is no
mechanism for chapters and others to
have an open discussion of issues. The
Facebook groups are dedicated to
birding and not conservation.” - Jeff
Harvey, Audubon Society of Mahoning
Valley
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A Platform is COAC’s Tool Box

3/3/2015 8:07:58-5/19/2015 4:17:47 PM


1,000 Clicks Recorded

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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
#1 Organize

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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
#2 Brand

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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
#3 Libraries

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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
#4 Content Environment
Birds

Native Insects

Facilities

Panoramas Native Plants


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#5 Social Media

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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
Content Analytics

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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
Content analytics tell us who is reading
our content and what they like

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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
#6 Services

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#7 Ecommerce

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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
Dashboards

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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
How is a platform
different from a
website? 31
Static vs Dynamic
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Unless you’re publishing and posting to your
website and social media every day you’ll only be
found by those who know you’re there (#12)...

...and in fact, search engines penalize static


activity decreasing search result visibility.

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If you’re publishing and posting to your
website and social media every day search
engines will elevate your content so it will be
seen by the crowd...

...people from anywhere who you don’t know,


but who are looking for information about the
things you’re connected to (#100,000’s).
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What will a
platform do for
us? 35
A COAC platform and it’s content
marketing will connect Ohio
Audubon Chapters to new people
and be found in search results

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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
WCAS Content Marketing efforts yielded a 61% increase in subscribers in 1 year.

61%
Subscribers

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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
WCAS Content Marketing efforts yielded a 30% increase in program participants in 2 years.

30% Program
Participants

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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
A COAC
Platform
includes
Collaborative
Technologies
● Share documents with others
● Add comments
● Resolve comments
● Chat in real time as you write
● Never lose a revision

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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
Centralize
COAC

Akron Audu
bon
Communications
COAC CALE
NDAR

udubon
Columbus A

AMV
ASMV
ASGC CGAS
CAS
FAS BAS
AMV
ubon
Dayton Aud BRAS

ASO
DAS

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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
Connects
Audubonners
on advocacy &
policy issues
for a united
front

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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
A COAC
Platform will
grow
Connectivity 42
Copyright © Betsey Merkel
So that Ohio Audubon
Chapters become a force
for birds and a valued
NAS connection

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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
BHAGs
(Big Hairy
Audacious
Goals)

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COAC nk 2018
aker Ba
C OAC Spe

Locations
: Tri-Mora
in e , Ca n t on, ASGC
Speaker
Bank
Mohican
CA S , Columbus,
Locations: W

mi Valley
r a ine , A kron, Mia
: Tri-Mo
Locations 45
Copyright © Betsey Merkel
“The COAC Speaker Bank would be
valuable to connect to local and remote
Audubon networks. There would be a
creative outreach component because
we could recruit local volunteers and
match them with local research projects
and with long distance research sites
and Audubon chapters” - Dr. Ann Wiley,
University of Akron
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Volunteer
ion
COAC tch to C onservat
lu nteer Ma
COAC Vo 9
201
Projects

Match for
M oraine,
t io n s : ASGC, Tri-
o ca
Project L
Canton

Conservation
oc a t io n s : M ohican, A
kron, Projects
Project L bus
le v e la n d, Colum
C
, Akron, Miami
i-M o r a in e
oca tions: Tr
Project L
Valley
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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
#4 Underlying
Magic 48
Underlying Magic

DATA STORIES COMMUNICATIONS

Copyright © Betsey Merkel


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Added Value AUDUBON
CHAPTER

secondary networks

BIRD
CLUBS

AUDUBON
COAC
CHAPTER

ORNITHOLOGICAL
ORGANIZATIONS,
COLLEGE AND
UNIVERSITY
RESEARCH
DEPARTMENTS

Copyright © Betsey Merkel


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Exponential Value
Streaming
Broadcast
Communications

Copyright © Betsey Merkel


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#5 Business
Model 52
Business Model
● Memberships ● Campaigns

● Donations ● Collaborations

● Programs and services ● Grants

● Sponsors ● Chapter fees, sliding


scale
● Store ticketing, sales,
coupons
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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
#6 Go-to-Market
Plan 54
Go-To-Market Plan

Chapter
#1 Data #2 Website #3 Library #4 Forums #5 Content Marketing
Google COAC.org ● YouTube ● Website ● Facebook
● Twitter
Activities Drive ●

Blog
News


Vimeo
Flickr


LinkedIn
Medium ● Google+
● Research ● SoundCloud ● Facebook ● LinkedIn
● Store ● Scribd ● Other ● Email
● SlideShare ● Campaigns

Copyright © Betsey Merkel


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#7 Competitive
Analysis 56
Competitive Analysis
● Enterprise platforms are common in
for-profit industries but not in areas of
citizen science and environmental
conservation.

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#8 Management 58
Project Manager and Developer
Betsey Merkel is an experienced professional ● Orchestrate events and campaigns
platform developer who builds and manages
platforms and the services they offer. A website ● Publish and market content on social
doesn’t have these services. media

What I do: ● Manage contributed chapter stories,


media, activities, events, articles, reports
● Produce creative digital media
● Build relationships online and face to face
● Analyze content metrics to understand
audiences and identify opportunities ● Guide collaborations

● Advise leadership informed by content ● Coach, mentor, and train users


metrics results

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#9 Financial
Projections and
Key Metrics 60
Key Metrics for WCAS
Growth of,

● Content marketing metrics


● Memberships
● Store sales
● Campaign ticket sales
● Donations
● Program attendance
● Contributors
● Number of volunteers
● Number of activities
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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
In 21 months, WCAS content marketing on Twitter grew substantial online audiences.

Number of Twitter audience


impressions UP 293%

Number of Twitter Twitter New Twitter


Tweets Profile visits Mentions Followers
UP 18.9% UP 11% UP 189% UP 352%

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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
Financial Projections (based on
WCAudubon.org prototype)
● Technology fixed expenses
○ $300.00 per year
● Skilled labor services
○ $6,000.00 per year
● Website financial worth:
○ 2017-First Year based on 12 months of operation: website valued at $2,500.00
○ 2018-Second Year based on 2 months of operation: website valued at $25,000.00
○ 2019-Third Year ??

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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
Growth Metrics for COAC
● Number of chapters served
● Number of contributors
● Number of collaborating partners
● Number of calls, workshops, events
● Content marketing metrics
● Number of collaborative conservation projects
● Memberships, donations and store sales.

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Copyright © Betsey Merkel
#10 Current Status,
Accomplishments to Date,
Timeline, and Use of Funds 65
Status
● COAC has a long history of serving Audubon Chapter growth in Ohio
● It has been dormant for many years
● The decline of Audubon Chapters in Ohio points to the need to revitalize
COAC services
● Funds have been used for an initial restart schedule:
● COAC Conference Call Mon Jan 29, 2018, at 7 - 8 PM EDT

● COAC Conference Call Mon Feb 12, 2018, at 7 - 8 PM EDT

● COAC Workshop March 4, 2018, at 1 PM EDT

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What’s your
BHAG? 67
Questions
● How would you use a platform?
● What big ideas do you have?
● What do you need?

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Thank you!

Betsey Merkel, Consultant

Connecting Platforms, Digital Strategy, Multimedia

for Birds Producer, Social Network Developer

Email: betseymerkel@gmail.com
How We’re All Going to
Grow with a COAC Platform Phone: 216-246-2447

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● Alice Merkel
● Chuck Slusarczyk Jr.
Thank You ● David Lewis
● Penny O’Connor
Photographers

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