Ask Me Anything: Austin AMA Vice President of Events Lauren Evans

Austin AMA Board Member Lauren EvansIn this series of blog posts titled “Ask Me Anything”, Evans, who has previously volunteered as part of the AMA Events team as Luncheon Logistics Coordinator and works as as marketing and outreach specialist for Whole Foods’ Whole Planet Foundation, talks Austin AMA network building and trends in non-profit marketing.

Q: What prompted you to first volunteer for AMA?

A: When I moved back to Austin three years ago, I wanted to build a community for myself outside of work. I joined five organizations, and the Austin AMA is the only one that really resonated with me. I am so proud to be a part of this great organization.

Q: What have been some of the greatest takeaways you have from volunteering for AMA?

A: I have made some life-long friends and have also built up a solid network of marketing professionals I would not have had access to otherwise. I have also benefited from the learning opportunities offered – through resources from our national chapter, through our members and their areas of expertise and from our programming.

Q: What would you like to see happen this year in regards to your volunteer position?

A: This year, I hope to recruit more volunteers to participate on the Events team in hopes of having the support to build an impactful programming strategy. I want the Austin AMA to be the buzz in Austin as the organization with the best events!

Q: What’s an AMA member benefit that many may not know about?

A: This year, we have started hosting members-only Marketing Executive Panels. The Marketing Executive Panel’s mission is to foster an environment of collaboration, professional support and continuous education for the marketing communications professionals of the greater Austin, Texas area. Very few people have the opportunity to interact on a personal level with these CMO-level marketing leaders.

Q: What do you hope members take away from their interaction with AMA?

A: I have learned so much in the Austin AMA that has benefited me professionally and personally. In addition to building a marketing community for themselves, I hope that all members are able to learn about areas of marketing they would not have had the opportunity to learn about without their AMA membership and that they will benefit them in their current and future professional endeavors. If member are interested in volunteering and joining the Board, the Austin AMA is a great place to build leadership skills.

Q: What are important trends for non-profit marketing?

A: Deliver quality content. As non-profits, content fuels our relationship building in-person, across platforms and devices. It’s vital for lead generation and for motivating action. We as non-profits must provide the highest quality and most relevant information that our audiences want. The message needs to be simple, clear and easily digestible so that our audiences take action.

B: SEO. In the non-profit world, we need to integrate top keywords in all of your content on every platform. Earlier this year, we applied for a $10,000 grant from Google AdWords to support our SEO, and it has created a HUGE impact in driving traffic and creating impact. You can learn more about these special grants by visiting http://www.google.com/grants.

C: Social media and mobile are mandatory! Many non-profits feel they don’t have the resources or structure in place to maintain a presence in social media or on mobile, and creating an integrated social media and mobile strategy as part of the overall marketing plan is a MUST for all non-profits. And for social media, it’s not just Facebook…you must dig deeper.

Q: What’s the best advice you ever got (marketing or otherwise)?

A: “Don’t tell the customer where to go—tell them why they need to be there.”

Connect with Lauren through email, Facebook and LinkedIn.