Our work with the American Red Cross started in an interesting way. We met through an annual weekend-long event called Give Camp, where technology professionals, such as developers and designers, donate their time to a local non-profit in need. Having several people interested in volunteering for Give Camp, we decided to work with the American Red Cross and address the challenges they were facing.
Media coverage is an essential piece of organizational awareness for the Red Cross. It is one of the main tools they utilize to drive donations and gain volunteers. Because of this, they needed to constantly, organize, track, store, and report on their media outreach efforts. All of this work fell on the shoulders of the Communications Director, Deanna, who was using several different tools to get the job done. With no single tool for organizing, tracking, storing, and reporting, she was spending hours each day hunting down and compiling data instead of performing the actual tasks of her position.
We needed to create a tool that would save Deanna time when organizing, tracking, and storing data. The tool had to be easy for her to use and navigate so that she could spend less time digging through documents and more time focusing on the parts of her job she loved.
We realized Deanna needed a cohesive database that would store links, articles, videos, and other important pieces of information. The database had to be well organized and designed specifically to meet her needs.
Overall, the Media Tracker makes a monumental difference in the amount of time Deanna has to spend collecting and organizing press coverage, which means she has more time to devote to other core functions of her job. She is incredibly happy with her custom software and is excited to see it implemented around the country.
One of the biggest problems Deanna was facing was in storing information. She often found herself jumping from source to source from tool to tool making the process of compiling data a long one. To make it easier for Deanna to store and keep track of important sources, we developed a simple process for adding new information.
To save Deanna time on finding information on different outreach events, we created an organizational structure that grouped media outreach into specific category types (media mentions, press releases, search hits, etc.). This allowed Deanna to easily browse media categories when looking for broad information.
While compiling reports, Deanna often had to hunt down specific articles, videos, and links. We built in multiple filtering options such as title, reporter, and media outlet so she could more easily find and download the exact information she needed for her reports.