2019, social media, Uncategorized, work, work sample

November National Pet Cancer Awareness Month Campaign for MedVet

Overview: November is National Pet Cancer Awareness Month and MedVet ran a campaign on social media to engage and educate our audience about cancer in pets. Medical Oncology and Radiation Oncology are unique life-saving services that MedVet hospitals offer to pets.

Goal: See a 15% increase from last month in Shares and Interactions. (Last month we had 8,074 Interactions and 1,464 Shares, so our goal is 9,286 Interactions and 1,683 Shares).

Results: We did not meet our goal. We had 3,428 Interactions and 501 Shares on our Facebook posts for this campaign. For comparison, our October campaign had 2,040  interactions and 850 Shares and was for only 10 days rather than 30 days like this campaign.

Our overall numbers were down for the month of November. All our Facebook posts had 6,334 Interactions and 1,168 Shares. Compared to October, overall we saw a 19% decrease in Interactions and Shares.

I think I underestimated how Share-worthy the Pet Cancer Awareness Month content was. I was surprised at how few Shares and Interactions Titan’s video received as well as some of the infographics. I think perhaps information on pet cancer is less “shareable” than information on keeping your pet safe over the holiday.

In the future, I’m going to prioritize Facebook content about pet owner safety information that’s holiday focused. My next campaign will be focused on the 12 Dangers of Christmas (it’s a veterinarian’s take on the classic 12 Days of Christmas, get it?)

 

Campaign Assets with screenshots of their posts:

About 50 of canine cancers are treatable if caught early
November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month. While cancer in pets cannot be prevented, it can be treated if caught early. Talk to your family veterinarian if you notice any changes in your pet’s lifestyle like loss of stamina, loss of appetite or new lumps or bumps.

nov 5 post

Facebook post of Titan

Titan FB story

words of encouragement
Coping with a cancer diagnosis isn’t easy. What words of encouragement would you share with pet owners whose pets are fighting cancer?

columbus encouragement

What is a veterinary oncologist
A common question we are asked is “What’s a veterinary medical oncologist?” They are board-certified veterinarians who treat common and rare cancers in pets. They use state-of-the-art equipment and advanced techniques to safely and effectively diagnose and treat various forms of cancer. Read more about veterinary medical oncology: https://hubs.ly/H0lD3rd0
Preventing Cancer in Pets
November Social November Social 100% 10 There are steps you can take to lower your pet’s risk of developing cancer. Always spay or neuter your pets, limit their sun exposure, keep them at a healthy weight, avoid secondhand smoke, and most importantly, schedule annual wellness check-ups for your pet with your family veterinarian. Screen reader support enabled. There are steps you can take to lower your pet’s risk of developing cancer. Always spay or neuter your pets, limit their sun exposure, keep them at a healthy weight, avoid secondhand smoke, and most importantly, schedule annual wellness check-ups for your pet with your family veterinarian.
detect oral cancer_with logo
When is the right time to check for oral cancer? Anytime they say “AHHH!” Take the opportunity to examine your pet’s mouth for unusual masses while they are sedated for an anesthetic procedure or anytime your pet yawns. For more information about cancer detection for your dog or cat, talk to your family veterinarian.
How to talk to your kids about your pet going through cancer treatments
Telling a child their pet has cancer is something many parents would prefer to avoid. However, no matter the child’s age, being honest about a pet’s diagnosis can be beneficial for you and your children. Be prepared for reactions of anger, sadness, and guilt. Reassure them that it’s not their fault. Together, remember some of the fond memories you shared.
Types of Radiation Treatments
It can be scary when your best buddy is diagnosed with cancer. At MedVet, we offer different types of Radiation Therapy Treatments to safely and effectively treat cancer in pets. Read some FAQs about Radiation Oncology services: https://www.medvetforpets.com/frequently-asked-questions-faq-radiation-oncology-dogs-cats/

nov 27 chicago

November Cancer Awareness Month_What side effects can chemotherapy cause
Most patients tolerate chemotherapy very well and maintain an excellent quality of life during a chemotherapy treatment protocol. Approximately 80-85% of patients have minimal to no side effects from chemotherapy. Patients typically are sent home with anti-nausea and anti-diarrheal medications for use as needed. Because the priority in veterinary medical oncology is to maintain a patient’s high quality of life, veterinary medical oncologists use doses and schedules of chemotherapy with the goal of minimizing side effects. Learn more: https://www.medvetforpets.com/specialty/medical-oncology/
Possible signs of cancer
As National Pet Cancer Awareness Month winds down, learn some of the early signs of canine cancer. If you notice any of these symptoms, make an appointment to see your family veterinarian to discuss your pet’s specialty healthcare options.

nov 30


Throughout the month, we also highlighted local patient stories on Facebook.
buddy facebook medvet
Sharing real stories of patients who have beaten cancer.

meeet queenie

 

nov dallas cat

Before I created graphics for this campaign, I did some research about what other groups had posted. I was really inspired by the graphics that AAHA had created and shared.
cancer nov inspiration
Inspiration from the AAHA Facebook page for this campaign
social media, Uncategorized, work, work sample

A simple recipe for Facebook succuss

I like social media marketing because I’m always learning and experimenting. The main ingredient of a strong social media strategy should be innovation.

Recently, I shared on MedVet’s Facebook pages a recipe for dog treats, as part of a larger Halloween Pet Safety campaign. I got the idea from another animal hospital’s Facebook page and saw the high levels of engagement their post was getting. So, in Canva, I made this graphic for Facebook and added this post to my content calendar in Google Sheets. I made sure to give credit in the lower right-hand corner to the blog where I got the recipe from.

Sharing a treat recipe was something MedVet had never done before. I knew our audience loved pet safety tips, education, and helpful insights. From tracking the best performing post each week, I knew those types of posts had performed well in the past. I was pretty confident this recipe would be something of value to our followers and would be appreciated.  My hypothesis paid off and the post was a success across our 24 Facebook pages, getting as many as 63 shares! I hope to share other treat recipes in the future, perhaps themed for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

63 shares
This recipe got 63 shares!
Screen Shot 2019-11-06 at 8.45.26 PM
58 Shares!

peanut butter pumpkin dog treats

 

 

 

2019, social media, Uncategorized, work, work sample

MedVet Halloween Pet Safety Facebook Campaign

I want to talk about the Halloween Pet Safety social media campaign I ran for MedVet.
Campaign Goal: Increased brand awareness. Make sure MedVet is top of mind for pet owners in case their pet faces an after-hours medical emergency.
We will measure the number of post shares.

Over October 20-31, our goal is to see a 15% increase in the number of Shares on all Facebook Pages
From September 20-30, 2019, we saw 286 total Shares on Facebook across all our Pages, so our goal was to see an increase of 43 shares, so we aim to see 329 Shares.

Campaign Results: On November 3, I looked at the analytics to see how many Shares across all our 24 Facebook Pages these Halloween Pet Safety posts had gotten.

I used HubSpot to schedule the posts and track the success of the campaign. In HubSpot, I marked each post related to this campaign “Halloween 2019” so I could easily pull a report only on posts for the campaign

We far exceed our goal of 329 Shares. We got 845 Shares!

Screen Shot 2019-11-06 at 8.38.28 PM
Far exceeding our goal of 345 Shares.

Purpose: To use our emergency veterinary expertise to educate pet owners about the dangers of pets accidentally ingesting chocolate.

Our desired reaction from the campaign was for users to share the Facebook post with their friends and family. We also want them to remember the key idea that MedVet is open 24/7 in case of a pet emergency and provides expert

Opportunity: Become the trusted source for accurate and easy-to-share pet safety information on Facebook.

When: October 20-31 on MedVet’s 24 Facebook pages

Target audience: Pet owners and those who currently like a MedVet Facebook page

Tone: Knowledgable, expert, pet-loving

Key messages:

Even in small amounts, chocolate may cause serious health problems if ingested by your pet. Chocolate toxicity can
cause vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, heart failure, seizures, and in some cases even death.

While chocolate is a favorite treat of ours, it can be harmful, sometimes fatal, to our canine companions. With
Halloween right around the corner, please remember to keep all chocolate and other candy, such as raisins, sugar-free
candy, and sugar-free gum, safely out of reach of curious noses!

Dogs and cats are particularly sensitive to a chemical in chocolate, coffee and tea called theobromine. Theobromine is found in very high levels in bakers and dark chocolate. If a dog eats a lot or is a smaller dog, milk chocolates can
cause problems too. Be careful when you have chocolate in your home and keep your four-legged friends far away from Halloween baskets this year!

Campaign Assets:

animation (3).gifchocolate halloween holiday dogs.jpgchocolate mixes only in labs (1).png

 

Camapign in action: 

Screen Shot 2019-11-06 at 8.31.09 PMScreen Shot 2019-11-06 at 8.32.32 PMScreen Shot 2019-11-06 at 8.33.01 PMScreen Shot 2019-11-06 at 8.34.10 PM

2019, blog, Uncategorized, work, work sample, writing

Trick or Treat Blog Post for MedVet

Trick or Treat Raisins

In October, I wrote a blog post about foods pets should avoid eating. We’d found that on social media these pet-education posts, especially seasonally related perform very well. We didn’t have much fall-specific content so I set out to write this blog post.

Who: MedVet

What: Seasonal Pet Education Blog Post

Where: MedVet’s blog on their website and shared on all 25 hospital Facebook pages

When: Written and published in early October 2019

Why: The goal of the blog post is to build trust among pet owners that MedVet is leading specialty healthcare and is a trusted resouce during pet emergencies. We want to increase the amount of time people spend on our website so the CTA at the end of the blog post is to read similar pet education blog posts we’ve written.

When we shared this blog post on social media, our goal is to drive users to our website. Once they are on our website, we want them to learn more about MedVet and keep us top of mind for their pet’s emergency and specialty needs.

The blog post was reformatted and repurposed to become a print handout for each of our 24 hospitals. I only wrote the text, I didn’t design this. Our amazingly talented graphic designer, Ashten, designed this in Adobe InDesign.

 

A photo of my friend Becky's cat name Pumpkin
A photo of my friend Becky’s cat name Pumpkin (or as I called her, Plumpkin)

Trick-or-Treat: Test Your Knowledge of These Deadly or Delightful Foods for Your Pet

 

Fall is such a festive season but it can be a bit of a tricky and scary time for pet-owners. How can I keep my dog safe this Halloween? What do I need to keep out of reach of my cat? MedVet’s team of board-certified veterinarians want to educate pet-owners about how to keep their dog and cat safe this fall.

Let’s play a game of Trick-or-Treat! Guess if the food listed is a treat that’s safe to give your pet or if it’s a trick, meaning something harmful you should not give to your pet.

(On the live blog post, these are hyperlinked to take you to the right spot on the page.) 

Grapes

Trick or Treat?

 

Raisins

Trick or Treat?

 

Pumpkins

Trick or Treat?

 

Chocolate

Trick or Treat?

 

Sugar-free Candy

Trick or Treat?

 

Apples

Trick or Treat?

 

Peanut Butter

Trick or Treat?

Trick or Treat Apples

 

Answers:

 

Grapes

Trick

Even a small amount of grapes can cause a cat to show symptoms of lethargy, diarrhea, abdominal pain and decreased urination. It can even cause kidney failure in dogs and cats. Each pet reacts differently to grapes and the exact toxicity levels are unknown. We recommend avoiding grapes all together.

If your pet eats a grape-flavored product (found in some pet products and synthetic grape-flavored medications) no need to worry, that’s not toxic. Most products are made with diluted grapes, not enough to cause any alarm.

 

Raisins

Trick

Like with grapes, raisins are not safe for cats or dogs. Raisin toxicity can cause severe kidney damage leading to acute kidney failure with lack of urine production. If a pet has consumed raisins, they might show symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, foul breath, lethargy, or loss of appetite. Make sure to keep raisins in a sealed container in a locked drawer or pantry, out of reach of your cat or dog.

 

Pumpkin

Treat

Both raw and cooked pumpkin is safe for dogs and cats. Pumpkin is a great source of fiber and can help relieve constipation and diarrhea. Adding a tablespoon of pure pureed pumpkin to a pet’s regular food can be beneficial for pets with upset stomachs. But, do not give your pet the leftover jack-o-lantern or the pumpkin stem, skin or pulp. Pumpkin stems and leaves are covered in little sharp hairs which can cause irritation in your dog’s mouth and intestinal tract.

 

Chocolate

Trick

Chocolate can be poisonous for both dogs and cats. Even in small amounts, chocolate can cause serious health problems if ingested by your pet. Chocolate toxicity can result in vomiting and diarrhea in addition to tremors, increased heart rate, heart failure, seizures, and in some cases, death. Generally darker chocolates are more dangerous than milk or white chocolates. Keep your trash out of reach of sniffing noses because chocolate candy wrappers can also be a serious hazard.

 

Sugar-free candy

Trick

Sugar-free candies contain a chemical called xylitol, which is harmful to pets. This artificial sweetener is highly toxic to dogs and can cause low blood sugar and liver failure. Xylitol is found in some chewing gum, mints, baked goods, cereals, jellies, jam, pudding, toothpaste, and mouthwash.  Always read the label carefully because you’d be surprised what products have xylitol in them. The effects of xylitol in cats are not fully understood so we recommend not giving your cats sugar-free candies.

 

Apples

Treat

Apples are an ideal snack for pets. Apples are a good source of antioxidants as well as Vitamins A and C.  They are high in fiber, which can help with a dog’s digestion. They are great for overweight or geriatric pets who may have a lower metabolism. Make sure to remove the leaves, core and seeds from the apples because they can contain cyanide. Also be sure you’re using fresh apples. Consuming rotten apples can be harmful to dogs.

 

Peanut butter

Trick or Treat

This answer is a bit more complicated. Must dogs absolutely love peanut butter. However, make sure the peanut butter doesn’t contain xylitol, which is a chemical that’s highly toxic to dogs. Look for unsalted peanut butter with no added sugars. Peanut butter can be a great treat, high in protein and healthy fats. Like with any treat, make sure to give peanut butter in moderation.

Leave the peanut butter for your dogs. Cats should not be given peanut butter.  It’s not toxic to them but it doesn’t provide them any nutritional benefit. Your cat is a carnivore that wants to eat animal-based protein, not a plant-based protein, like peanut butter.

 

 

Make sure food in your kitchen is stored out of your pet’s reach. To discourage pets from exploring in the kitchen, don’t feed pets table scraps or allow them on the counter.

If you suspect your pet has eaten any of these Tricks, call your family veterinarian right away or find your nearest MedVet emergency hospital.

 

Additional Emergency Pet Care Articles that May Be of Interest 

 

 

2019, august, social media, Uncategorized, work, work sample

Sharing the news of MedVet Chicago’s brand-new hospital on Facebook and LinkedIn

Last week I traveled for work to Chicago to support the opening of a brand-new state-of-the-art veterinary emergency hospital.

Another Marketing team member and I drove to different referral partners (this is what we call veterinary practices that refer patients to MedVet’s emergency and specialty hospitals) around Chicago. We told the staff about our new hospital opening up, explained the phone number was staying the same and how we were expanding our services.
I admit it was outside of my comfort zone a bit because I don’t usually have a lot of face-to-face interactions with veterinarians, practice managers or our referral partners. I prefer to stay behind-the-scenes as support, but I can certainly muster up the courage and extroverted side of my personality and talk to new people. I learned a lot from the team members I was with about how we speak about MedVet to referral partners and how MedVet is perceived by others.

We were able to take a tour of the new hospital in Chicago before it opened to the public and I was blown away by how large it is. I believe it’s 6,000 square feet. The old hospital was comprised of two different buildings with multiple floors so doctors and clients had to do a lot of walking up and down flights of stairs. This new hospital is all one floor, which I’m sure the staff is very excited about.

The day the new hospital opened, I set into action my digital marketing plan that I’d made with the Chicago Regional Marketing Director to update the hospital address across our digital channels. I updated our address on our:

  • Facebook page
  • Yelp page
  • Google My Business listing
  • Apple Maps
  • Multiple spots on our website

Updating an address online is important but this felt more important than normal because the stakes were higher. We needed to ensure that no one accidentally drove to the old hospital, especially during an emergency with their pet.

As part of this plan to tell our audience about our Chicago hospital moving, I worked closely again with the Chicago Regional Marketing Director and the Marketing leadership to write a press release that was shared on our website and distributed through PR Newswire. 

I posted on Facebook and LinkedIn. I wanted to take a moment to talk about how well those two posts did.

We posted on the Chicago hospital’s Facebook page about the move and boy, did that post explode. I mean, it was a positive explosion of engagement.

chicago medvet hospital facebook
This Facebook post had the most engagement in MedVet’s history. I admit I wasn’t expecting this strong of a reaction from our Facebook audience to this news. I should’ve expected it because at Volunteers of America, I’d actually experienced something similar where a post about the grand opening of our new Pickerington thrift store has uncharacteristically high engagement. I learned that social media posts about new locations tend to go viral. 
page analytics facebook medvet chicago
You can see we gained 479-page likes in just one week; a huge increase from our normal growth. More importantly than the increase in page likes, we saw a 537% increase in Post Engagements.
facebook likes increase chicago medvet
Before this post, we had 4,624 likes. After the post, we has 5,099 page likes. That’s a 475 increase!
chicago medvet facebook likes
Showing the increase in Page Likes through a visual graph. 

 

We also shared the news of the new hospital on LinkedIn and again, our audience was very excited, resulting in high levels of engagement.

You can see the copy of the LinkedIn post is very similar to the Facebook post copy but we chose to use two images rather than just one.

Screen Shot 2019-08-31 at 1.26.12 PM
In our LinkedIn strategy, one of our goals is to gain more engagement in the form of comments so we were pleased to see six comments on this post where we usually only see 1-2 comments on a post. 

Screen Shot 2019-08-31 at 1.26.29 PM

linkedin analytics medvet
You can see here how this post had significantly higher engagement and impressions that our previous posts.

 

 

2019, blog, blog post, Uncategorized, work sample

A blog post I wrote for MedVet

I wanted to add this blog post to my online portfolio, here. I worked with our MedVet marketing team to create this.

This piece of content started when I reached out to our resident content pro, marketing team member, Debra who is a veterinarian. She’s like our subject matter expert. I asked her if she could help me write a blog post about how ibuprofen can be toxic to dogs. I’d heard from friends and family that people were giving their dogs ibuprofen, intending for it to relieve their pain, but instead, realizing it can be harmful to dogs. Debra wrote up a draft, chock full of valuable information to pet owners. I made some edits to the post to try and make it more targeted to pet-owners, rephrasing some of the technical terms and using laymen’s terms. Then the post was also revised and edited by my boss and my boss’s boss.

I reached out to our marketing team to ask if anyone would be willing to photograph their dog next to a bottle of ibuprofen, for this blog post. Jenn sent me these awesome photos the very next day. She assured me the seal was still on the pill bottle, so no dogs were harmed in the making of these photos. I love using photos from our team rather than stock photography. It helps distinguishes our content and helps us be a thought leader.

Here’s the blog post: 

 

Is Ibuprofen Toxic to Dogs?

The most common cause of ibuprofen toxicity is a well-meaning owner trying to alleviate pain in his dog.

Some commonly used medicines that are safe for humans are very toxic to pets. Ibuprofen is helpful to humans but harmful to dogs. Remember to always consult your family veterinarian before giving your pet any medicine, especially if it’s from your own medicine cabinet.

What is ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (commonly referred to as an NSAID- pronounced with the letter n-said). Ibuprofen is a popular and effective over-the-counter medication available to treat pain and inflammation in people.

What are other names of ibuprofen?

Human formulations of ibuprofen include: Motrin® (McNeil), Advil® (Whitehall-Robins), Haltran® (Lee Pharmaceutical), Midol® (Bayer), Menadol® (Rugby), PediaCare (Pharmacia & Upjohn), and various generic forms of ibuprofen.

What is ibuprofen toxicity?

For dogs, ibuprofen can easily exceed toxic levels. Ibuprofen has a narrow margin of safety in dogs. Signs of toxicosis can occur when as little as half a 200 mg pill is given to a 25 pound dog.The most common cause of ibuprofen toxicity is a well-meaning owner trying to alleviate pain in his dog. The owner administers a dose he thinks is adequate without knowing that it’s a toxic dose. The most common toxic effects are to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, kidneys or liver.

Ibuprofen in dogs eventually lead to kidney failure and, if left untreated, can be fatal.

What are the signs of ibuprofen toxicity?

In as little as 12 hours, signs of toxicity can begin to appear. The initial toxic effect is bleeding stomach ulcers. In addition to ulcers, increasing doses of ibuprofen eventually lead to kidney failure and, if left untreated, can be fatal. Symptoms of ibuprofen toxicity in a dog may include not eating, vomiting, black tarry stools, abdominal pain, weakness, lethargy, increased thirst and increased urination. Signs can range from mild to severe.

How does a veterinarian diagnose ibuprofen toxicity?

Diagnosis of ibuprofen toxicity is generally based on a veterinarian performing a physical exam and obtaining a history of access or exposure to ibuprofen. Blood tests are done to determine the overall health of the dog. If ibuprofen was ingested, blood tests may reveal anemia from a bleeding ulcer or abnormalities secondary to kidney damage.

How is ibuprofen toxicity treated?

Treatment will depend on the dose ingested and clinical signs. Veterinary care can include hospitalization with continuous intravenous fluids for one to two days. All steroids and NSAIDs need to be discontinued immediately. Activated charcoal may be given if ingestion was recent (less than two hours). Blood transfusion can be recommended in dogs with severe anemia due to bleeding ulcers. Stomach protecting medications are commonly given.

How do you prevent ibuprofen toxicity?

The best preventive care is to give your dog medications only if directed by your veterinarian.

If your dog appears to be in pain, talk with your family veterinarian who may be able to prescribe you a dog-safe NSAID such as Dermaxx (also known as Deracoxib), Rimadyl (also known as Carprofen), or Previcox (also known as Firocoxib.)

Call the Pet Poison Hotline at 855-764-7661 and your family veterinarian immediately if you think your dog or cat has ingested any ibuprofen. They will be able to provide life-saving advice and treatment for your pet.

 

2019, social media, Uncategorized, work, work sample

How a Facebook Post Can Evolve Through Teamwork

I wanted to highlight a recent example of how a Facebook post went from concept to publishing and the beauty of how that idea evolved and changed through collaboration.

Concept: Hurricane Barry was barreling right into the path of our New Orleans and Mandeville MedVet hospitals so we were concerned about pets being displaced.
The Regional Marketing Partner reached out suggesting we post on Facebook if lost pets are brought into the hospital. The hospital was set up to temporarily shelter any found pets during the storm. I agreed this was a great idea and set out to make a “found pet” template in Canva.

This was my first draft. I knew it needed to have the pet’s picture, pet’s information and be on brand. I wanted a simple and straightforward design.
This is the second draft, that the Regional Marketing Partner made. I was really impressed by the sense of urgency this post conveys and the icon in the top left corner which could add consistency if we used this template on multiple posts.

Based on feedback from my manager, and from consulting our graphic designer, the post was revised a third time. The background color became lighter, the top left icon changed and we used our brand’s emergency color which is red.

So, after a couple days of back and forth and making three drafts, we needed to use this post template.

This dog was displaced in Hurricane Barry and we used the social post template our team created to find her owners and get her back home safely.

Over the weekend, a female chocolate lab came into our Mandeville hospital. We posted on Facebook about her, using our new template, and it worked! She found her owners.

2019, social media, Uncategorized, work sample

MedVet Facebook Posts I Created

I’m proud to share some of the Facebook posts that I created for all of the 24 MedVet Facebook pages recently. My goal with the content creation has been to engage our audience while still maintaining our commitment to leading specialty healthcare for pets. I’m learning that our audience loves to interact with us, whether it’s sharing pet photos or answering our questions. I made these graphics in Canva and wrote the copy.

This informative post was targeted to cat-owners looking to learn more about what symptoms of arthritis to look out for.
We’re fortunate to have a strong base of digital cheerleaders who leave MedVet glowing 5 star reviews on Facebook, Google, Yelp and other sites. I wanted this post to thank our supporters as well as subtly encourage others to leave us a review.
Here’s another informative post we did to help pet owners protect their pets from snakes. With the temperatures rising and more dogs outside this time of year, the hospital emergency rooms often see an increase of pets coming in suffering from snake bites. I wanted this post to give practical steps a pet owner could take to snake-proof their life.
I was proud of how clever this post was. I’d like to repurpose it again closer to Halloween and Valentine’s Day too.
To increase engagement, I created this post asking our audience to guess the name of this dog. I struggled to think of a hint that would be helpful but not too easy. My hint ended up being “4+2=” and most people correctly guessed his name was Six. Our audience loved this post, not only because they got to interact with us and each other but also because they got to learn more about a police dog.
This post was a two-for-one engagement driver. Not only did we ask people to comment True or False, we also asked our audience to visit the blog post on our website to learn more about skunks. (Oh and the answer is True.)
This post drove engagement and educated pet owners about micro chipping. Polls on Facebook Pages are a relatively new feature and I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to ask our audience a simple question and try out this type of content.

The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of MedVet.

2019, blog, blog post, blogpost, Uncategorized, work, work sample

Blog Post I wrote for Volunteers of America Ohio & Indiana

For Volunteers of America Ohio & Indiana, I wrote a blog post essentially about how to be the best at donating to a thrift store. I was inspired by my own personal experience of donating to a thrift store. When I would gather up the clothes in my closet to donate, I wondered things like “Should I wash them first?” “Should I tie shoelaces of shoes together so they stay together?” “Should I keep jewelry untangled?”  I wanted to answer these questions for our donors and I knew that answering these questions would help our SEO too. With people asking more and more long-form questions in search, your content needs to answer what people are asking.

I had learned a lot of these answers from responding to questions on social media and by speaking with our thrift store managers. I double-checked these tips with the managers to make sure I wasn’t giving false or misleading information.

 

11 Tips to Maximize Your Thrift Store Donation

11 Tips to Maximize Your Thrift Store Donation
I made the graphic in Canva

Is your New Year’s Resolution to get your life organized? Perhaps you’re tidying up your home, inspired by Marie Kondo and her life-changing KonMari method. When you get organized and declutter your home that creates piles of unwanted stuff that needs to be donated to the thrift store.

With every donation that you make to Volunteers of America thrift stores, you are giving hope to families, veterans and individuals in need. Your stuff is sold in our thrift stores and the revenue is used to fund our community programs across Ohio and Indiana. Thank you for donating your items to Volunteers of America, a 100% non-profit thrift store.

CHECK OUT THESE TIPS TO MAKE YOUR NEXT THRIFT STORE DONATION QUICK AND EASY:

Capri donating her stuff to Volunteers of America

Wash clothes before donating

Toss them in the laundry one last time before donating them. This will ensure the clothes are clean, fresh smelling and ready to be sold in our thrift store.

Check your pockets

Double-check that you’ve removed any coins, business cards, receipts, keys, notes or important items from your clothing. Once donations start going through our sorting process, it becomes hard to track them down again. So, as much as we would love to find a $20 cash donation in one of your pants pockets, make sure you check your pockets.

Tie your shoes together

Keep shoes as a pair by tying shoelaces together or putting a rubber band around the shoes. We need both shoes in order to sell them in our thrift store. Have you ever seen just one shoe for sale in any of our thrift stores? Now, that would just be sad.

Tape the controller to your device

If you’re donating a TV with a remote, be sure to tape the remote to the TV so it stays together. The same goes for video game systems or other electronics. Keep all pieces together. Pay it forward to the shopper who will buy your TV and give them the remote.

Keep like items together

If you’re donating a set of dishes or like items, pack them in the same bag or box so they arrive at our donation center together. Y’know what they say, dishes of a feather, flock together.

Sort your donations into two categories

You can help us out by sorting your donations into two easy categories: Clothing and Household Items. Place all your jeans, shirts, socks, dresses, linens, and anything that has fabric into one bag. In the other bag, place the kitchen, household and miscellaneous items. Bonus points for labeling your boxes or bags! This will help us when we sort your donations.

Keep jewelry untangled in small bags

Place jewelry like necklaces and bracelets in individual bags so they don’t get tangled up together. Nothing is worse than a big ball of tangled up jewelry, right?

Label your fragile donations

Mark on the box if items inside are fragile. We don’t want any of your stuff to be broken!

Double-check your donations before you drop off

Before you load up your car or contact us to schedule a free home pickup, check our list of items that we do pickup and our list of items that we do not accept.

Note that we’re not able to accept donations of certain items like mattresses, pianos, beds, chemicals, or large appliances.

We also can’t accept broken, hazardous, toxic or recalled items for safety reasons. Examples of these items include old paint, cribs, car seats, or fire extinguishers.

When we receive donations of items that we don’t accept, we have to spend money properly disposing of those items. This means, less money to help veterans in our community.

If you’d like to donate something that we do not accept, you can reach out to another non-profit thrift store or your local trash company, and they might be able to take it away. Often you can contact their customer service center to schedule bulk item pickups. In Columbus, Ohio you can contact the City of Columbus Customer Service Center by calling 311 or 645-3111, or online at www.311.columbus.gov

Marie Kondo and her life-changing KonMari method of tidying
One of my favorite Instagram posts from @voathrift

Schedule a hassle-free pick up

Scheduling a home pickup is the best way to avoid driving around for weeks with your old stuff in trash bags in your trunk. We’ll pick up your donations, no problem. Schedule your free pick-up by calling us at 1-800-873-4505 or emailing us at askthrift@voago.org.

Be sure to leave your items out in a spot that’s visible to our truck drivers. You can leave your stuff on the curb, on your porch or any spot that a driver would easily be able to see.

We can pick up anything on our list of accepted items that one man can lift.

Get a tax-deductible donation receipt

When you drop off your donations at one of our thrift store locations, be sure to ask an employee for a donation receipt. This will come in handy if you choose to itemize your taxes and would like to deduct your donations.

Tip: Take a picture of your items before you donate them. Show your tax professional the picture for help in determining the value of your items.

The value of your donations depends on the specific items and their condition. Be sure to use the current fair market value to determine their value. The IRS has a handy guidebook to help you determine the value of your donated stuff.

If you forget to grab a receipt, that’s not a problem. We are happy to send you one. Give us a call at 1-800-873-4505 or email askthrift@voago.org

When you donate your stuff to a non-profit organization like Volunteers of America, you can easily help your community thrive. So clear out your closet, find a Volunteers of America thrift store near you, and do your part to make your community a brighter place.

SCHEDULE YOUR FREE DONATION PICK UP TODAY

social media, work, work sample

LinkedIn Paid Advertising

After merging with Indiana, Volunteers of America Ohio & Indiana has been growing at a rapid pace and we have a lot of job openings right now. To assist HR with finding qualified applicants for these positions, I ran a paid campaign on LinkedIn from 12/27 to 1/2/2019, targeting people in Evansville, Toledo, Fort Wayne, Bloomington, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton, and Columbus with the listed job function of Community and Social Services. (These are the cities we are hiring in.)

For the Text Ads, since you could have multiple variations, I used this as an opportunity to do some A/B testing with the language, the links and the creative.

Three of the Text Ads took people to: https://www.voaohin.org/careers  and three of the ads took people directly to the job listing page. I used a Bitly link to shorten the job listings page.  The top two performing ads pointed visitors to https://www.voaohin.org/careers  

Sponsored Content on LinkedIn. I made the image and wrote the copy.

We ran 5 versions of Text ads on LinkedIn and it’s clear the one with “We’re Hiring” in the headline performed best.

The Text Ad variations. The top performing ad had over 20,000 impressions and 14 clicks.

I definitely want to do more paid advertising on LinkedIn to recruit applicants and to do more A/B Testing.