“We need people to know what we’re doing,” says founder Richard Stellar. Before adopting Agility’s media database and integrated email outreach platform, the non-profit used a newswire service to send press releases. “We got a horrible response,” says Stellar. “It wasn’t person-to-person, it was more like a platform-to-platform.”
Sharing space in a newsroom with hundreds of other press releases wasn’t cutting it. They needed their story to reach an active audience. “What was most important to us was getting our message and our content in front of a person—not a website,” says Stellar.
The switch to Agility has given Stellar more control over what goes out when and to whom—making his former tool obsolete. “We’re using the Agility platform to do our outreach and to connect ourselves to the media,” says Stellar. “We could shotgun our message, which means just spray it out over social media, or we could define our audience and that’s what Agility lets us do.”
Agility’s database allows users to build extremely targeted lists of only the most relevant media contacts—a feature Stellar takes full advantage of. “I can do a search: cable news segment producers who like the Beatles,” says Stellar. “We just did work with Paul McCartney. We launched a video where he gave us license to one of his songs. As matter of fact, we’ve handed out our 50,000th meal and we owe all that to the video and to the connections that Agility gave us.”
Connections with real people—not platforms. “What we like about the database is that it goes right to individuals.” With the reporting function, Stellar can see who opens the email, allowing for optimized follow up.
As mentioned, Agility also gives Stellar more control over when his distribution goes out—an important consideration given the tumultuous media landscape. “With newswires, a press release has to go through a couple of editors,” says Stellar. “I make changes. And then sometime during the day it will hit the wires. Agility lets you operate things in real time.”
Better still, all these capabilities come in an easy-to-use platform. “The interface is really intuitive,” says Stellar. “I love using that word: intuitive. The layout is great.”
With Agility, Stellar and his team have been able to get the person-to-person connection they were looking for. “We have sent out a couple of mailings and were able to get a healthy open rate and some personal responses.”
Stellar is happy with the work Agility allows him to do on behalf of the homeless, and the many other causes The Man/Kind Initiative champions. “There are a lot of components that go into what we do, where the end result is to save someone’s life,” says Stellar. “Agility is an integral ingredient in that.”
The platform has been so good to them that Stellar has no hesitation recommending it to others. “I have talked to some other people about Agility. I say, ‘You’ve got to check out this platform, it’s incredible.’”
The Man/Kind Initiative is a small but powerful 501(c)(3) non–profit whose mission is to fight racism and religious and cultural intolerance. Founded in 2016 by Richard Stellar, The Man/Kind Initiative’s team is made up of activists who came together from the entertainment, philanthropy, media, and tech industries. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the non-profit prioritized caring for the homeless.
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