“Getting Going With Mobile!” Workshop

Philanthropy411 is currently covering the Communications Network Fall 2013 Annual Conference conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by  Chris Wolz, President/CEO at Forum One Communications.  Follow Chris on Twitter – @cwolz.

Chris Wolz2Helping nurses better serve teenage first-time mothers; providing veterans with access to better supportive services; and improving the quality of grant applications. These were some of the “use cases” or situations that attendees brought to the workshop Nam-ho Park and I ran Wednesday on “Getting Going with Mobile!

Mobile is an increasingly important way to reach and engage audiences in the US and abroad, given the fast growth in mobile adoption. The statistics are impressive:

  • The number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the world’s population in 2013 (Source)
  • 56% of American adults have a smartphone, and 34% own a tablet computer. (Source)
  • “Cell-mostly internet users”: One third (34%) of cell phone internet users say that they mostly go online with their cell phone rather than some other device such as a desktop or laptop computer (Source)

We reviewed trends and technologies in the session – but spent a lot of time having attendees sketch out the scenarios for how and why they would engage with audiences via mobile.  We had participants sketch out who would be the key audience they wanted to reach via mobile, what would be the key “high value” content or service, and what was the “use case” for mobile.

Some of the use cases that attendees sketched out, shown in these images, were:

  • “Providing nurses who are doing home visits with first-time  pregnant teenagers with information and tools to manage visit schedules, patient communication, and to provide vetted information to the young moms-to-me.”
  • “Making the experience of attending our major event better by allowing attendees to engage with us – and each other-  before, during and after the event.”
  • “Reaching high net worth individuals who are doing research into giving options, to engage them in partnering with our foundation.”
  • “Providing (boy) teens coming to our Visitors Center (akin to a museum/culture center) with a richer experience through mobile apps.”
  • “Allowing potential grantees to quickly learn what we’ll fund, and how to apply.”
  • “Providing veterans in our locale with easy access to the services available for them, and a way for them to rate those services to benefit others.”
  • “Connecting with students while they are still in college and continuing that  engagement while they are graduates (alumni) to foster their support of the college.”

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There are a wide range of ways to get going with mobile — making smarter use of mobile-friendly email, building a “responsive design” website, building a dedicated mobile website, developing a “native mobile app”, and making expanded use of third party services (e.g. social media).

These use case sketches are a great way for any organization to get started in thinking about what approach and technologies will make sense for their needs. The sketching forces an organization to take a strong audience focus – and exploration of the motivations, the context and the content for a target user group.

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