11.12.2014

How We Organized a Media Blitz for Our Adoption

This post is for any readers who are prospective adoptive parents. With changes to LDS Family Services as well as a different culture surrounding many other adoptions today, being able to reach out and try to find expectant parents considering adoption for their children is really important and helpful for any hopeful couples. 

Part of adoption nowadays often involves networking. Networking to find your future-child feels a little bit weird at first, to be totally honest. It's just so...different! I graduated college in advertising, and frankly, I never anticipated using ideas from school to help my husband and I market ourselves as good potential adoptive parents. It feels super awkward, but at the same time, there are many people I know who found their children through networking. You never know--maybe your friend's mom's friend has a niece who is pregnant and thinking about placing her baby in an adoptive family. Or maybe you're future kids will find you in another way. Frankly, no matter how your family comes together, it's so worth it to try whatever you can to find the child(ren) who are supposed to join your family. 

Our first time adopting, we networked with facebook for the most part, but also once with linkdin, which actually connected us with an expectant mom. She was very lovely. We got to have some really neat conversations with her while she was deciding. In the end she chose to parent. (It was literally weeks later that our profile was found by Bean's birth parents. It seriously worked perfectly!) Even though she did not choose adoption, it was wonderful to form a relationship with this mother. We feel like she helped prepare us for the time we met Bean's birth parents. We never would have met her without networking. (For anyone wondering, Bean's birth family found us the "traditional" way, with our online profile.)

With Lil'Man we began our second adoption wait with minimal networking, on facebook again, but as the months passed we began to feel antsy. Eventually, our caseworker suggested a media blitz for our blog to get the word out. It was an awesome thing to plan! Lil'Man's birth parents found us with our profile through our agency yet again, but these networking tools DO sometimes unite birth parents and hopeful adoptive couples in the perfect way. For that reason, we wanted to share our media blitz experience with you. You can see our "Adoption Week" here on this blog. 

For our "media blitz" our primary tool was our blog. In addition to blogger, we used Facebook and Pinterest.

The first thing we did was make a plan. We picked the dates to begin and end our blitz. We decided on certain topics that we wanted to discuss during our media blitz. We made a list of friends and adoption contacts who we thought would write good guest posts for our adoption blog. We worked on making some simple movies about ourselves and even about Bean's adoption. 

We also made a list of things that our family and friends could possibly contribute for giveaways, nothing was very expensive and almost everything was homemade. We tried to keep it pretty simple, but a few of the things included baby blankets, inspirational quote signs, homemade ruffled bags, chocolates, earrings, jewelry boxes carved by my brothers… We then clumped things together into 4 separate giveaways, and supplemented some of them with a couple of things that we bought, including a book about adoption and a movie. For the giveaways, people were able to enter once by commenting on the blog, and then receive multiple entry is if they posted our families profile on Facebook, or pinned any of our adoption week posts on Pinterest. (One tip-- I would suggest making sure that your giveaway rules are very simple, I feel like ours may have been a little overwhelming for our readers. I wonder if we would have had more people enter if it was more simple.)

Now back to the guest posts: We asked a variety of friends from the adoption world for help-- our daughter's birth family, a friend who is a caseworker, friends who were also hoping to adopt, and friends who adopted in the past. We asked these friends if they would be able to write about specific topics, and asked if they could have their posts and any pictures they wanted us to include emailed to us within two or three weeks. I gave them a set date that I needed everything by. I tried to have everything that we needed for a media blitz already and scheduled the post a few days before the blitz actually began. We tried to cover some of the biggest basic topics related to adoption that we wished more people understood. 

The most read post from our blitz was about respectful adoption language, which was really exciting to see get so much traffic. I still see it floating around on Pinterest every now and then. It's such a great post, from our friend Jen, and I love that so many people saw (and hopefully read) it. All of our guest posts were highly trafficked, which was really neat. It was also helpful for friends who were hoping to adopt who wrote guest posts, because they were able to receive more traffic through our media blitz as well. Win-win! (We made sure to link their profiles on their posts.)

Even though neither of our kids came to our family through our specific networking efforts, working on these projects and hopefully educating some people about adoption was a wonderful experience and helped us feel proactive during what felt like (but really wasn't) a very long wait.

If you have any questions about how we planned our media blitz or what we'd suggest to someone looking at organizing one let us know!

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