Want to grow your impact? Collaborate.
Public media at all levels is learning that collaborating within the system will strengthen an effort’s impact and deepen its relevance. One example of such collaboration is Public Media’s Economy Story, a CPB-funded project to help communities during the economic crisis. Twelve public media organizations came together to implement the project.
Public Media’s Economy Story benefited from the partners already knowing each other. “Many of us worked together during the 2008 elections,” explained Amanda Hirsch, project manager of the collaboration, “When we came together again, we had a lot of collective history built up. We already saw each other as allies, not as competitors.”
As allies, the group integrated their messaging to make the most of each organization’s growing social network. Katie Kemple, communications manager of the collaboration, initiated a strategy to “funnel” messages to the group, creating Twitter and Facebook templates that each partner could cut, paste and re-tweet. By last quarter of the project, the collective social media capital of the partner organizations hit 1.4 million.
Hirsch emphasized that the collective impact “was a result of the good will, trust and effort from each of the 12 partners.” While it was work to maintain that atmosphere of awareness and trust necessary in collaborations, both Hirsch and Kemple stressed that it was worth it.
"Our economy content enjoyed greater spread by combining public media networks on Facebook and Twitter," says Rebecca Martin, Senior Producer, Youth Radio/Youth Media International. "For example, Youth Radio's coverage of the California education budget cut protests was promoted by Economy Story partners from PBS NewsHour, Nightly Business Report, PBS Teachers and KQED, providing a bump in online traffic to our coverage."
“The more people in public media look to each other as allies, the more we’re going to see cross-linking between organizations in an organic way,” said Kemple, “And this kind of collaboration will benefit everyone involved.”
As Public Media’s Economy Story demonstrates, there is powerful potential when public media organizations join forces.
Visit EconomyStory.org for more about the collaboration.