How Awareness Really Catches Fire

The phone is ringing and a friend is excited to tell me there’s a discussion about frogs right now on WNYC radio. Robin Moore, the author and photographer of “In Search of Lost Frogs,” is being interviewed on the Leonard Lopate Show (The Conservation Efforts Trying to Keep Frogs From Going Extinct). At the same moment, a Jersey City colleague is emailing me about the same thing and writes that she’s left a comment about Frogs Are Green and our kids frog art project on WNYC’s website.

During the interview they discuss many of the issues that frogs face today, including the deadly Chytrid Fungus and climate change. One caller asks about the drought situation in California and its toll on frogs. They also talk about how many frog species have gone extinct in the wild and at the same time new species are being discovered, as close as New York. They also talk about how important the medical research is as they test the poisonous skin of dart frogs.

dart frog by devin edmonds
Dart Frog courtesy of Devin Edmonds

Almost every day, Facebook friends post on my timeline or the Frogs Are Green page, or Tweet at us about frogs and/or the environment.

I’m sharing this because it was six years ago this May that I founded Frogs Are Green, and so many people laughed at this cause. They’d say, “Frogs? … Who’s going to care about frogs?”

I’m happy to tell you that in six years we have reached over a million people. Each month we have 13,000 visitors who look at more than 32,000 pages, which gives us an amazing bounce rate of 1.8 %. Yes, that is not a misprint, we have a 1.8% bounce rate. These stats have been holding steady for years and are again on the rise.

We didn’t used to post on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn (groups) and Twitter every day, but in 2014 we made a commitment to do so and reach more people than ever.

As the above story shows, our mission is working. Awareness really begins to catch fire when others know you so well that they support and advance your campaign goals without hesitation.

It all comes from zeroing in on a niche and being consistent by sharing every day. By being “top of mind” on a particular thing that’s so different, so unique, they just see frogs and think of Frogs Are Green.

10 Tips for building your nonprofit’s awareness and following

  • Make sure that your website (the nucleus of your online presence) is 100% on target in expressing your mission and goals. On your homepage be brief and entice, don’t overwhelm with too many calls to action. Make sure your brand and mission are crystal clear. Be sure you are blogging and/or adding new, valuable content consistently.
  • Be sure when you blog, post, or tweet, you are adding an appropriate and eye-catching photo that will prompt others to share it, not just “like” it.
  • Be sure you are using #hashtags but don’t go crazy with them, lest no one will see or read your post… (I see this a lot on Instagram; so many hashtags I can’t find the message!)
  • Don’t try to sell all the time with posts/tweets about buying products, classes or donating to your cause. Once in a while is all right, but you will really build your audience by sharing significant information. As they move around your website reading articles they will come to respect your efforts and just may click that donate button on their own.
  • Your “competition” organization is your friend. Remember, you are both trying to help others, save wildlife and the environment, and so those that follow those other organizations may follow you too! Be kind and retweet.
  • If you are planning to boost or advertise, make sure you are being selective about the information and target audience. Do your homework and know where your target is, both online or offline.
  • Remember that your target audience can be in many different places. Be sure to review your Google Analytics each week and identify if what you are doing is working. For example, if you are spending most of your social media time on Facebook but when you look at your stats you have more people visiting your site from Twitter, you should tweet more often than you are!
  • People consume content in many different ways, so be sure you are creating video for YouTube, audio for Podcasting, Powerpoint (for Slideshare or LinkedIn), photo galleries on Flickr, Pinterest and Facebook, blog posts that can embed these other media files, graphic images, and more… (and then share across social sites).
  • When you have new media to share, don’t post on every social site at the same time and then not post for a week until the next post. Schedule different places each day so your content is circulating all the time.
  • Be sure to alert the local media about events and other important news so that they can write about you. If you don’t tell them yourself, how do you expect them to know? Publicity helps awareness and begets more publicity.

Frogs Are Green was fortunate to interview Robin Moore on a podcast also. Listen here >> Robin Moore

Originally published on Frogs Are Green by Susan Newman.

10 Tips for building your nonprofit’s awareness

The phone is ringing and a friend is excited to tell me there’s a discussion about frogs right now on WNYC radio. Robin Moore, the author and photographer of “In Search of Lost Frogs,” is being interviewed on the Leonard Lopate Show (The Conservation Efforts Trying to Keep Frogs From Going Extinct). At the same moment, a Jersey City colleague is emailing me about the same thing and writes that she’s left a comment about Frogs Are Green and our kids frog art project on WNYC’s website.

During the interview they discuss many of the issues that frogs face today, including the deadly Chytrid Fungus and climate change. One caller asks about the drought situation in California and its toll on frogs. They also talk about how many frog species have gone extinct in the wild and at the same time new species are being discovered, as close as New York. They also talk about how important the medical research is as they test the poisonous skin of dart frogs.

dart frog by devin edmonds
Dart Frog courtesy of Devin Edmonds

Almost every day, Facebook friends post on my timeline or the Frogs Are Green page, or Tweet at us about frogs and/or the environment.

I’m sharing this because it was six years ago this May that I founded Frogs Are Green, and so many people laughed at this cause. They’d say, “Frogs? … Who’s going to care about frogs?”

I’m happy to tell you that in six years we have reached over a million people. Each month we have 13,000 visitors who look at more than 32,000 pages, which gives us an amazing bounce rate of 1.8 %. Yes, that is not a misprint, we have a 1.8% bounce rate. These stats have been holding steady for years and are again on the rise.

We didn’t used to post on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn (groups) and Twitter every day, but in 2014 we made a commitment to do so and reach more people than ever.

As the above story shows, our mission is working. Awareness really begins to catch fire when others know you so well that they support and advance your campaign goals without hesitation.

It all comes from zeroing in on a niche and being consistent by sharing every day. By being “top of mind” on a particular thing that’s so different, so unique, they just see frogs and think of Frogs Are Green.

10 Tips for building your nonprofit’s awareness and following

  • Make sure that your website (the nucleus of your online presence) is 100% on target in expressing your mission and goals. On your homepage be brief and entice, don’t overwhelm with too many calls to action. Make sure your brand and mission are crystal clear. Be sure you are blogging and/or adding new, valuable content consistently.
  • Be sure when you blog, post, or tweet, you are adding an appropriate and eye-catching photo that will prompt others to share it, not just “like” it.
  • Be sure you are using #hashtags but don’t go crazy with them, lest no one will see or read your post… (I see this a lot on Instagram; so many hashtags I can’t find the message!)
  • Don’t try to sell all the time with posts/tweets about buying products, classes or donating to your cause. Once in a while is all right, but you will really build your audience by sharing significant information. As they move around your website reading articles they will come to respect your efforts and just may click that donate button on their own.
  • Your “competition” organization is your friend. Remember, you are both trying to help others, save wildlife and the environment, and so those that follow those other organizations may follow you too! Be kind and retweet.
  • If you are planning to boost or advertise, make sure you are being selective about the information and target audience. Do your homework and know where your target is, both online or offline.
  • Remember that your target audience can be in many different places. Be sure to review your Google Analytics each week and identify if what you are doing is working. For example, if you are spending most of your social media time on Facebook but when you look at your stats you have more people visiting your site from Twitter, you should tweet more often than you are!
  • People consume content in many different ways, so be sure you are creating video for YouTube, audio for Podcasting, Powerpoint (for Slideshare or LinkedIn), photo galleries on Flickr, Pinterest and Facebook, blog posts that can embed these other media files, graphic images, and more… (and then share across social sites).
  • When you have new media to share, don’t post on every social site at the same time and then not post for a week until the next post. Schedule different places each day so your content is circulating all the time.
  • Be sure to alert the local media about events and other important news so that they can write about you. If you don’t tell them yourself, how do you expect them to know? Publicity helps awareness and begets more publicity.

Frogs Are Green was fortunate to interview Robin Moore on a podcast also. Listen here >> Robin Moore

Children Learn About Frogs and Earth Day

Ask any child whether they like frogs and the answer is always YES!

When I walk around my own neighborhood, I see children with frog umbrellas, boots, hats and they can easily imitate the sound of a frog too! Ribbit!

310-kaunas-art-gymnasium-lithuania-12yrs-ula-lekecinskaite-500px

This is why Frogs Are Green was founded in 2009. Bringing awareness everyday to what’s happening on our planet and that frogs everywhere are disappearing.

We’re giving children the opportunity to learn about the environment, frogs and amphibians and express themselves. It’s through art that even 3 year old’s can share what they think.

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This past April, Frogs Are Green partnered with The Distillery Gallery and Artspace in Jersey City, to exhibit 100s of artworks received from children around the world. This was the 1st exhibition of artwork received from international children for the annual Frogs Are Green art contest, 2009 through 2013. Some artwork was hung on the walls of the gallery space and 162 were shown via digital projection.

The Distillery Gallery and Artspace was chosen for this exhibition because they have children’s art classes on Saturday mornings and those young artists participated in the show as well, by displaying their frog pictures and beautifully painted flowerpots created for the Earth Day / Save The Frogs Day events.

teacher and students painting in art class

Won’t you please share our efforts, so we’re building awareness in children, who are the future stewards of our planet.

It’s our Green Dream that this exhibition will travel to a city near you now!

Susan Newman, founder of Frogs Are Green is now taking this international frog art education exhibition on the road. To learn more about this presentation for your school, library or exhibition space, contact Susan today!

Why Frogs Evolve with Bright Vivid Colors

posted in: frog evolution, frog facts | 0

Most people think frogs are green, right? And it’s true, most frogs are a greenish, brownish, yellowish color, the better to hide from predators among grass and other vegetation.

But frogs can be many different colors, even bright crayon colors like sky blue.

This three-centimeter-long blue tree frog in a tree in Chofu, western Tokyo. Courtesy of Toba Aquarium, Japan.

Why would a frog species evolve such a bright vivid color that would make it stand out? In most cases the frog, such as the colorful dart frogs, are giving a strong warning to predators: Don’t eat me! I’m poisonous! Either through instinct or through learning the hard way, predators will avoid them. These brightly colored frogs contain poisons that can kill or paralyze an animal that comes into contact with it.

The frog’s skin is not actually blue. The color comes from layers of chromotophores, or pigment-containing and light-reflecting cells between the dermis and epidermis (inner and outer skin layers). A blend of the three types of chromatophores creates the color, or in some cases, even transparency:

melanophores: contain pigments that appear black or brown from melanin

xanthophores: contain yellow colored pigments

iridophores: contain reflective or iridescent pigments

So although most of the time, frogs are green, sometimes Frogs Are Blue!

2012 Frogs Are Green Kids’ Art Contest: Now Open for Submissions!

Artwork by Valeriy Karabchukova, 7 yrs old, Belgrade, Serbia.
Artwork by Valeriy Karabchukova, 7 yrs old, Belgrade, Serbia.

We are very excited to announce that the 3rd annual Frogs are Green Kid’s Art Contest is now open for submissions!

Contest theme: IT’S EASY BEING GREEN!

Your artwork can be about frogs and how we can help them, or it can also be about ways we can be green at home, at school, or in the community.

We will award winners based on age in these age groups: 3-6, 7-9, 10-12. The winners will receive a Frogs Are Green poster of their choice from our store. All kids who enter the contest will receive a certificate of participation that can be downloaded from our site.

We’re looking for drawings, paintings, sculpture, collage, mixed media, or whatever format helps you express yourself.

Deadline for submissions is November 30, 2012, and the winners will be announced January 15, 2013. The winners will be featured in a post.

This year we have a new contest area using Flickr, where you can enter yourself. You must add a caption/ description with your Name, Age, and Country or your submission will not be added. Please see the contest page for more details.

Teachers: Please print out the attached flyer to post in your school.

We can’t wait to see your artwork!

2012 Frogs Are Green Photo Contests: Now Open for Submissions!

One of the winning photos from the 2011 contest. Photograph by Krista Herbstrith, Northfield, MN.
The 4th annual Frogs Are Green photo contest is now open for submissions. We hope you take your camera with you while you’re on vacation and get some great photos of frogs or other amphibians! Or you might take some great photos in your own backyard.

As in the past, we will be accepting submissions in two categories: Frogs in the Wild and Backyard Frogs.

Backyard Frog photos would include such photos as a frog perched on your picnic table or other unusual place. One year, for example, we received a photo of a frog sitting on a pool hose.

Frogs in the Wild photos, on the other hand, should feature frogs, toads, or other amphibians in their natural habitat: frog ponds, marshes, in the woods, and so on.

PLEASE—no photo manipulation and no photos of pet frogs. Please do not move the frog to get a better photo.

Photos of amphibians of all kinds, including salamanders, will be accepted.

This year we have a new contest area using Flickr, where you can enter yourself. You must add a caption/ description with your Name, Title and Location or your submission will not be added. For more information, please visit the contest page.There are three different group pools, two for photography so be sure to enter your photo into the right group pool.

Frogs Are Green Backyard Frogs 2012 Photo Contest

Frogs Are Green Frogs in the Wild 2012 Photo Contest

All entries must be received by November 30, 2012. Winners will be announced January 15, 2012.

The winner will receive a Frogs Are Green poster or t-shirt of his/her choice from our store.

We look forward to seeing your photos!