Ken Krogue, President of InsideSales.com and friend of Scouting, spoke to three BSA councils today on how to tell the story of Scouting using social media. As a leader in social media currency he really knows his stuff, but he’s also an ardent Scouter.

Ken described how he first learned the value of social media when he wrote an article in Forbes that went viral after he tweeted about it to his friends—all while he was attending a key 3 training at Philmont Scout Ranch as a district chair. Late nights hunkered down in a tent with limited WiFi responding to all 400 plus comments and reposts can really make a man see things differently. He found that there is a model for bringing your stories to the forefront of google searches and thus to the forefront of everyone’s minds.

InsideSales.com has a philanthropic initiative where they give 1% of the company’s money, employee time and products. Since Ken Krogue is such a strong advocate for Scouting, the local Utah National Parks Council was a clear match for this program. He joined the council executive board as the vice president of fund development to help get donations for the capital campaign, but was met with more resistance from donors than he expected. He realized the council and Scouting had a serious PR problem.

So he looked into how Scouting communicated with its audience. Starting with his local roundtable, he found that maybe 80 people were attending the monthly training when there could be about 1,700. Then he wondered why there were only about 40 newsletters sitting on a table at the entrance. “Are these newsletters what you use to communicate with unit leaders?,” he asked. Supposedly the only reason they printed 40 newsletters was because that was how many people would take them. Then means that only 5% of the Scouters were ever receiving any communication. So he emailed the newsletter to all 1,700 and low and behold roundtable attendance increased. Amazing how simple it was to solve their communication problem!

Ken Krogue presentationAgain, Ken felt that there had to be a way to get the information to the end of the row to help with perception of Scouting in the council. He brought other companies in to donate their time and services and devised a plan to create a council blog called The Boy Scout. This blog would go on to tell the true story of Scouting more effectively than ever before with over 120,000 subscribers, two marketing awards, and growing popularity. They were able to cut out the newspaper middle man and tell, straight from the source, the true living stories of Scouting that happen every day.

But that’s not the end of the story. The point he wanted to make goes back to the revelation Ken learned in a tent at Philmont. He had an army of social media followers who pushed his article to the top of Forbes. The point is: we cannot do it alone. Social media is the key to sharing the message of Scouting with the world.

Here on the Voice of Scouting this is our mission; to share the stories of Scouting. Here we gather stories from all over the nation and the world and put them online for the world to share. Join us in our cause and share your favorite Scout stories on social media. Spread the good news of Scouting.

To learn more about how to use social media to make a difference check out our social media certification.

How have you used social media to spread a good message? Tell me in the comments.

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Melany Gardner
Is the editor for the Voice of Scouting and marketing specialist at the Utah National Parks Council. She is a benefactor of Scouting through her Eagle Scout husband and loves to test his Scouting skills every time she breaks something.

2 comments

  1. Avatar
    Steve Faber says:

    I have some questions about Ken’s simple and amazing solution to RT communication problems.

    – By how much did RT attendance increase because of the emailed newsletters? Was it 81 at the next RT or 100 or 1000?
    – Has the increased attendance trend continued?
    – What kind of amazing content was in the newsletters that were emailed out that motivated people to show up in person to RT? Could the reader just find out what they needed from the emailed newsletter, and add back a night at home with the family?
    – How did he get the 1700 email addresses in the first place?
    – Why was email chosen as the communication method (vs. text, facebook, twitter, instadamage, etc.)?

    I ask these questions because I asked these same questions of myself when I was serving as the Venturing Forum Advisor in my district. I’d only make 3-5 handouts for my forum topic because I knew that was about the average attendance to my break-out session. Sometimes I’d get surprised and have 10, but I think 12 was a record. I started a Venturing blog and did an email blast of the highlights of the prior month’s session. I dangled the carrot for upcoming forum topics through email blasts a day or two before RT. I did this for three years with no noticeable increases in RT or break-out session attendance.

    I have some ideas as to why RT attendance is low in the first place, I’m just curious to know from you or others any creative ways to employ technology to not just get the water to the end of the row, but to let the water rain from Heaven.

    Ken reads these blogs, right? 🙂

    p.s., Melany, I really like the eyeball count on the Voice Of Scouting blogs. Wish we could have the same indicator on “The Boy Scout” blog, because based on the number of comments to each blog post on “The Boy Scout”, it does not seem like anyone reads it.

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