July 22, 2022 4 minutes read

Ayana was inspired by the mission of Hack the Hood, a social justice organization that empowers and provides career support to the youth of color, and she ended up joining their communications team after the first year of the pandemic.

Transcript (auto-generated)

0:20: I ended up in this role at Hack the Hood after the first year of the pandemic had started, so everyone– the world had come to a standstill and things had started to pick back up. And I have always been in communications and marketing and creating like visuals and and social media content for other organizations that I had worked for, also building websites and doing graphic design, logo branding etc. So my form of communications was more on the visual side and making sure that your brand tells the story about you know what you’re about and and also attracting who you want to be your clients or customers. So I saw a position available at Hack the Hood. I really liked their mission and what they were doing and which was you know empowering our communities, our youth of color and its merged with tech skills and building and giving career support. And it’s also grounded in justice and social justice issues and so that sounded really attractive to me and I wanted to be part of helping our next generation be successful and continued success and being able to gain wealth and traction in their family.

Understanding data

1:53: First understanding of data might have been when I was using when I first got an iphone and there was something in the privacy settings about sharing your location and I was like why would I want to share my location? Basically, actually, tagging your pictures for sharing your location and I was like something feels a little bit strange for that for me because somebody could look up that data and find out where I am. And you know I just don’t want people knowing where I’m at all the time, you know or some it could get into the wrong hands. And so I was like well what other data am I contributing to and sharing that you know people have access to. So that began my thirst for knowledge I guess for the data realm to find out like how data is being used and how it’s being tracked and how it can be manipulated or you know things can be manipulated for you as far as content-wise and and then I would see, you know, I would have a conversation with friends on the phone and then the ads would pop up on my facebook or something. So you know there’s listening things like Siri and other applications that listen to your conversations whether you know they’re– I have no idea what they’re doing with all that data but that’s that was my first sort of introduction to it.

Integrating data into stories

3:39: Yeah so there’s kind of different sets of data that we have, we have data on the demographics of our learners—learners that we want to attract and also the learners that are in our courses that are progressing what they’re learning, what they’re experiencing as they’re going through our programs. So, I use that data to then create content that is attractive or either highlights some of the great things that we’re doing or that the learners are learning about, you know, and so I’m able to use that in a sense to create content that’s for that audience as well. And hopefully, you know it has been working but hopefully gaining more traction. I mean you have to sometimes spend money for ads and etc. So hopefully, we can get a bigger budget in order to spend money on ads and attract the larger groups of people that we want, who don’t have access to technology and and programs like this. So our programs are free, we give away free laptops. We’re definitely looking for our communities of color who don’t have the benefits that some of the other learners of their generation do. So that’s that’s how we use our data. We also use the data to create annual reports. I just did an annual report earlier this year that was released about our programs and the accomplishments and the successes and some of the challenges that we had last year with our programs and we used the data to be able to communicate like what’s going on in our organization. So I think it’s really good to see the impact that we have on our community, the impact that we have on the small businesses, the impact on the learners, you know, and what they’re learning and what they’re excited about as well.

The go-to metric

6:01: I’m mostly on the communications and social media side. So my metrics are like engagement and link clicks and so I’m looking to see who’s engaging with the content that I put out there and what’s been promoted. And so I go and look at the metrics of from Instagram and Facebook and also on LinkedIn. There are different audiences on these different channels. So it’s interesting to see who’s engaging with which content and where 

Tools for data insights

06.38: Well Facebook and Instagram have their own analytics platform. So I go in and I use those sodas linkedin and so I use all of those. There’s also a platform that we use for posting, which is Loom Lee and they run analytics as well and they tell us about the engagement. They also funnel in all of the messaging, so it’s easy to just go to one platform and to see everything all there at once.

My 2 cents

7:10: Just be open and flexible and always willing to learn. Communications is always evolving. There are different mediums and platforms and as we’ve seen with social media and also with the pandemic forcing everybody to be virtual and communicate through these different types of mediums. So being open and flexible and willing to learn different platforms and see how or which combination of ones works best for you, and which ones are exciting for you. And, just be willing to learn.