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James Fratzke: [00:00:05] Hi, I'm James Fratzke, and this is Back to Business: COVID-19 & You, powered by Fratzke Media.
James Fratzke: [00:00:17] Before we get started, I want to share with you that today's episode of the Back to Business podcast is brought to you by Infinity Bank. Infinity Bank is Southern California's newest bank, specifically designed to help you and your business succeed. When you call Infinity Bank, you will speak to a real person who works in the office, not someone in another state or even another continent. The people at Infinity Bank are business owners just like you. So they understand what it takes to own and operate a business, especially in times like these. Call Infinity Bank today. I have personally spent time with both Bolla and Victor, the CEO and president. They will work with you to find ways to help. Don't waste any more time hoping your bank will get back to you. Call them today at six five seven two two three one zero zero zero or visit them at go Infinity Bank dot com.
James Fratzke: [00:01:12] Alrighty, everyone. Welcome back to the podcast today. I talked to Vikki Shepp, the CEO of the Girl Scouts of Orange County. And on this podcast, we talk about lots of different things like her leadership style and some of the ways that the Girl Scouts has reacted to these lockdown orders and COVID and some of the things they're thinking about for the future. But one of my biggest takeaways was how excited at the end of this I was about getting involved and being a participant. You know, Vikki does a great job and it's contagious. Just hearing how excited she is about the Girl Scouts. But she does a great job telling their story.
James Fratzke: [00:01:49] But more importantly, the story of how important it is for the young girls of today, the young women today to grow up and become leaders of tomorrow and how Girl Scouts is helping equip them to do just those things.
James Fratzke: [00:02:04] So let's jump into my interview with Vikki. At the end, we're going to be talking about my three takeaways and some of the digital marketing strategies that you can implement in your business.
James Fratzke: [00:02:14] Before we get there, let's jump into my interview with Vikki Shepp of the Girl Scouts of Orange County already. Vikki, welcome to Back to Business. Thanks so much for being here with us today.
Vikki Shepp: [00:02:25] Well, thank you so much for the invitation. I'm excited to chat with you today.
James Fratzke: [00:02:28] Yeah, me too. You know, I think I'm there's a lot of different ways that we could take this conversation, but I kind of wanted to start with all the ways that Girl Scouts Orange County is kind of helping create the new leaders of tomorrow because, you know, this pandemic has kind of accelerated the digitization of our life, you know, through social media and e-commerce and all those things. But it's been kind of going on for a while. And you guys have been building towards setting up some different things in the STEM community in different ways that empower young girls to be the future leaders of tomorrow. So I want to start there and hear a little bit about some of the things that you guys have been doing to kind of help with this new kind of trend that we're all in.
Vikki Shepp: [00:03:12] Well, thank you so much for the opportunity. You know, we have been building female leaders for a hundred and eight years. I know I'm a product of Girl Scouts of Orange County, as are thousands of girls, you know, probably hundreds of thousands of girls at this point. As long as we've been around and that's what we pride ourselves on, is really developing female leaders. And when I was a girl and growing up in the program, it certainly looked different. And yet there's some elements that are the same. So we have built girl leaders through opportunities to lead their troops are the bigger groups. We've built that through our fabulous cookie program where girls get to lead their own business. We've built it through girls leading trips and all kinds of things. And so recently since I've been involved with Girl Scouts of Orange County in a leadership role. We have definitely,, it looks different. The whole opening of technology and just the way the world has been changing has allowed our girls to develop new ways, the leaders. And so about five years ago, we did start what we call the Girl Scouts of Orange County STEM Consortium. And we had Broadcom Foundation and many other businesses. Broadcom Foundation has been the one who's really been our starting supporter. And all of that get together other STEM companies from Orange County to give us their expertise in the STEM fields where we have the expertise, expertise in girls. And so it's just been a great combination of skill sets and passion. And all of the companies are really passionate about developing the pipeline of their workforce as well as giving girls these opportunities. And so, like I said, started about five years ago and girls have done things like robotic competitions and different engineering fairs and coding and Raspberry Pi programs and so many things, I don't even know. I mean. They can they can write languages that I don't even have a clue what what it is until it pops up on my screen and it's fantastic. So that's been a wonderful way for us to help girls get those type of experiences and ways. We've also changed some of the way we've done our cookie program. So girls now have ways to do that in a digital space. Still, it's their business. But because, you know, hey, we're all living in e-commerce now. Right. You know, they're learning about that from their own their own businesses. So they also are learning how to lead in the outdoors in a virtual space. Talk about taking you know, like I was talking to some friends about taking really in, you know, opposite ends. It's like, how do you take the outdoors and in a virtual space? And they're leading in some fabulous programs that way as well in all of our life skills. So we have these four program pillars of life skills, outdoors, STEM, and entrepreneurism that they have the girls with fantastic leaders, wonderful volunteers. We have just such a great deal. Know thousands of dedicated volunteers right here in Orange County helping these girls in that space.
James Fratzke: [00:06:48] Now, you mentioned kind of the the e commerce nature of the world that we live in. And that's one of the things with this COVID-19 pandemic, there were a lot of people that were late to kind of adopting shopping online or takeout and delivery and those types of things that this kind of just accelerated their need for those digital platforms, and so, yeah, I mean, when we think about Girl Scout cookies, I know where I get my Girl Scout cookies. I'm walking out of the supermarket and they're there. And it's an impulse buy and it's an easy one at that because you want to help and you know that cookies taste good. But, yeah. Talk to me a little bit about the need to shift that online, especially now with everything going on.
Vikki Shepp: [00:07:34] Yeah. Well, this year we were lucky. We actually ended our product program just before folks went to shelter at home. Although girls had been selling online even before that. And then they also they had in through the month of March to continue to sell. So we had girls who were placing order, who were working with their customer and their customer would place the order online. And there were a couple of different ways that they could they could do contact lists where they dropped it off at the doorstep or they actually had it shipped out. So, you know, we have a platform for the girls to do that. So they had already been doing that up to the shelter at home. And we we finished out with the fantastic cookie program this year. And we really think the supporters in Orange County for that. So they were able to do both. They've learned how to use technology in that space and we're able to just take off and run with that.
James Fratzke: [00:08:31] Now, you guys have a program coming up and you can fill in some of the blanks because you're the expert on this. But I think it kicks off June 29. And so this episode will come out before that, and so anybody is listening to this, is interested in getting their girls involved in a great program with Girl Scouts, Orange County. Now is the time to to go. And we can include that information at the end of this. But think about the folks that might be listening to this right now that are like you, that, you know, lead a nonprofit or their business model, whether it's tutoring or it's after school programs or whatever it is being so physical, but now needing to convert to online. This is six week program that you guys have coming up during the summer is all online. It's all virtual. Talk to me about what it was like to go through that process of saying, OK, how do we still offer something that's uniquely Girl Scouts but fits within this framework that we're kind of dealt now with this pandemic?
Vikki Shepp: [00:09:31] Yeah. And I think you're talking about our Camp Scherman Adventure Anywhere program. So we we did you know, this was this was an ongoing process. Right. We all know when we first went to shelter at home, it was a couple weeks and then it became a month. And then we we saw our camp calendar getting closer and closer to this. And so we have daily conversations about our resident camp program, which is a phenomenal resident camp experience, Camp Sherman. And so when we decided that we always take girl safety first, like that is our line is a girl safety, volunteer safety, our staff safety. And we realized that there was no way we could send girls up to our camp. And I really feel like it was the best decision. And so we made the hard, hard decision because I went to Camp Sherman. I know it's just such a fabulous place to convert it to this other experience. Well, we're talking about the outdoor and our camp with, you know, just these iconic parts of it. And so the staff just pivot. You know, they were able to look at the best parts of Camp Sherman. And we always talk about the magic. I mean, the place is great, but it's about the people. It's our counselors. It's our camp director. And they took the best that they of all of those pieces of our different units. If a girl loves art or or stargazing or cooking in the outdoors and have packaged them into these weeklong experiences where literally they get a package, a little backpack that has the supplies for the week, and then they'll go through a process and they're not going to be on the screen the whole time. We know they got to do that for a couple of months with school and they had a lot of screen time. So they will have some some face to face time with the counselor. And that's fine because we have so many great traditions of camp songs and different things. So they'll have a little interaction there with their counselor and then within their backpack and with supervision from somebody at home, or if they're an older girl, they might be able to do some of the activities on their own. They'll do their their traditional camp activities and then come back and share and talk about it. And we're just really excited to give girls this opportunity because camp and the outdoors is such an important part of Girl Scouts. And we wanted to make sure that our girls got the experience and were as safe and healthy as possible. I'm thrilled and it is starting, yes, as you said at the end of the month, and it's running for six weeks and there are lots of opportunities for girls of different ages and they don't have to be Girl Scouts to participate. So any girl anywhere can join in the fun. And the information's on our website. So it's it's just exciting. It's an exciting time.
James Fratzke: [00:12:33] Well, that's kind of neat because my understanding of how Girl Scouts work. And I did a little boy scouting in my my time as a young chap. But, you know, you kind of have to you kind of have to buy into it. But what I just heard you say is that folks that maybe haven't bought into the Girl Scout program yet will be able to participate in some of these things.
Vikki Shepp: [00:12:55] Yes, absolutely. So for Adventure Anywhere any girl can join can join in the process. And what it is, is you don't have to be an existing Girl Scout member to join. So the when you register, the girl will become a Girl Scout. It doesn't obligate or to anything other than the week of active flight activities. She's going to want to stay on because there's to be other things that she can do. But any girl anywhere can participate in this program. And it's a great way, actually, for a girl and her family or her caregivers to decide if Girl Scouts is right for them as well. So it gives a nice taste of what we're about and in a really fun way. And like I said, any girl we want, I am really committed and we are committed to every girl having a Girl Scout experience is I'm very passionate about making sure that girls have this opportunity. And we do that in a lot of ways. And we also offer financial assistance if girls need it. We don't want the finances to get in the way of a girl having the experience.
James Fratzke: [00:14:07] I love that. How has that shift to digital allows you guys to open up the Girl Scout experience to more people? Right. Because if it's limited to you have to have one leader for every X amount of girls, you know, it's can it can be limited in scope. The nice thing about digital is that you can kind of make it unlimited. So how has that shift that you've been making over the last few weeks and months due to the circumstances, helped maybe expose the brand or the idea of Girl Scouts to more people in the community?
Vikki Shepp: [00:14:43] Yes, I think it is an opportunity because as you said, in our experience, we have what we call safety wise, and that's a ratio so that there is a proper number of adults with girls for supervision. And so what we find is that just as you said, this kind of breaks down that particular restriction. And girls can come into a process and we still keep it very safe. You know, we do all the safety protocols for online experiences and they don't have to drive somewhere. They don't have to have a lot of hoops to to go through. So it really does open it up. We've had things that are open to the to the what I would say the public. So even if they don't register as a Girl Scout, we had a great singalong a couple weeks ago and there were like 900 people registered. You know, we don't even have a facility for nine hundred girls do something where we wouldn't have you know, we all would have to go rent out, you know, as a stadium somewhere to be able to do that. We're able to have a sing along and each girl feels like that sing along is for her. And it's someone who's never been with Girl Scouts can just experience it in such a way. And we hope that that gives them a little taste and that they'll want to join because we know girls will want to be back in person. And those girls who can will. But for now, those who can participate online and in these settings get that opportunity.
James Fratzke: [00:16:19] Right. Right. I love that. I think that's one of the interesting things that a lot of folks are kind of business owners or people within the community leaders, business leaders within the community are saying, oh, wait up this thing that maybe at first seemed like it put us at a disadvantage, almost allows us to drop down some of those barriers to entry that used to exist and just go directly to the the audience in a low fruit, easy way of entry.
James Fratzke: [00:16:49] Come on in and see if you like it. If you do stay a while. If not, you know, we are glad you tried it out. As we kind of get back to business, as things start to open up, you know, obviously, Orange County is unique to the rest of the country and a lot of different ways. But what are some of the. Things that you're looking towards as the CEO of Girl Scouts, Orange County in the next month, two months, three months. You know, the situation is constantly changing. What are some of the things that that you're thinking through at this time during this pandemic?
Vikki Shepp: [00:17:24] Yeah, that's a great question and two, I'll back up just a little bit. You know, we've been working from home since the middle of March. Like most people and our staff was just incredible. I have to really commend them for their ability to shift and to figure out how to work from home and just really cooperate and collaborate to be able to provide the resources to our volunteers, to our girls and parents so that the girls can continue to have the experiences. And so, you know, we've done every Monday. Which was unique. We used to have a once a month all staff meeting. But I decided right away that every Monday we would just have a check in. So every Monday, our staff gets together on on team. So it's like, you know, it's the same kind of thing. So. Right. And and I start that off. I don't know why I started it, but I started it off with a poem. So it's either one that comes from another poet. And I've written a couple in the process and it's just it's really not meant to be a business meeting per say, but just to get us all kind of going. So that's been a shift. And then we open it up to questions and we talk about what we need to talk about. And so we've been able to do that shift and certainly every week. We've had this conversation about when are we when are we going to all be back in the office working? No one has stopped working. And then also the question about when can the girls meet, when can we have in person? We've had to shift things like recognition where we would go out and have a gathering where girls receive their Girl Scout Gold Award, our highest award. Instead, we're taking these great yard signs to glass houses and wearing our mask and standing six feet apart. And I have one of those clapper things that I can hand things to girls through my car window, you know, so we we've been able to do those shifts and then we're having these conversations right now. We're staying very close to the governors outline. And so looking at right now, we are still not doing in-person gatherings. And if we are doing these what we call porch presentations or the car parades, we're wearing the facial coverings, we're doing that social distancing and we're really complying with all of those because, again, safety is so critical to what we do. And we're looking at at what point can we say, okay, troop leaders, you know, you can you can gather girls because they're girls, they're kids. They want to play and they want to hug each other. They haven't seen each other. And we are very mindful of that. So I would say we're taking extraordinary care and consideration, as a matter of fact, later this afternoon I have a meeting with our chief operating officer to just look at maybe when we can start allowing the small groups, the troop meetings. You know, it's going to be a while before we have a large gathering. But I think, you know, in the next six weeks, we're still going to be in this place of let's do as much as we can digitally and from a great distance so that we keep our girls in our county and our work so community oriented. We have girls who are making masks. I mean, we have one troop and I think there are over 2000 massive staff members making masks. And, you know, so we're so invested in making a community and making the world a better place that we certainly don't want to do something that's counter to our mission, you know. So I think it's going to be a while still before we have regular troop meetings. You know, it pains me to say that because I as much as anybody want our girls and our volunteers to be able to have that sense of normalcy and priority again on the health and wellness of our girls and our community. So we are we're taking it week by week. You know, like a lot of businesses. And so, you know, it is one of those hard things in leadership, as you know, you know, to to make those those calls. And there are people who, you know, want us to be a hundred percent back to normal and doing everything. And there are people who are saying, I'm not going outside till there's a vaccine. So, you know, I have a large group of stakeholders to consider and stay mindful of what's best for the girls, what's best for the community.
James Fratzke: [00:21:59] All right. I want to take a quick break and pass it over to our head of client strategy here at Fratzke Media, Lisa. Lisa, take it away.
Lisa Fratzke: [00:22:08] Thank you, James.
Lisa Fratzke: [00:22:09] I'm really excited to talk to this audience today because we've been talking to a lot of our clients at Fratzke Media and truly believe that now more than ever, it's important for mid-sized businesses to connect with their customers online. I think we've all seen that COVID-19 has had widespread impacts on companies, our employees and our economy. We fundamentally believe at Fratzke Media that the rebound will be digital. If you don't know where to start and you want to make digital your competitive edge, we can help. Visit FratzkeMedia.com to schedule your free consultation. Our digital marketing experts specialize in helping mid-sized businesses like you leapfrog the competition. We look forward to talking to you soon.
James Fratzke: [00:22:51] Thanks, Lisa. All right. Let's get back into it.
James Fratzke: [00:22:54] We were kind of in this situation, again, specific to Orange County, but this happens all across the country. You know, where you have people that are saying, yeah, let's get back to normal, let's go outside. And some people are saying, hey, the vaccine or let me get to 100 percent before I come out anywhere, you know, and I can imagine being a business leader and more importantly, is being a leader of all these young, impressionable girls that, again, are going to grow up. I was looking at some of the stats of the girls that were in Girl Scouts that ended up being leaders in the business community.
James Fratzke: [00:23:31] You know, it's just some amazing stuff that you can probably speak to a little bit more clearly than I could. But you have a big responsibility. So it's it's not it's not an easy job. One of the things that that I've noticed through this process is this. There's these fundamental truth that I have been kind of surfacing up and that you wonder, OK, these going to be things that get taken with us past, you know, once we do get back to normal.
James Fratzke: [00:23:59] As an example, doing these meetings over video, you know, maybe you don't do as many business trips as I do, but I get out and I go across the country and I meet with people. And now all of a sudden it's like, wait. A fundamental truth that I'm learning is that just having this connection where I don't have to get on a plane and fly thousands of miles the country. This is what's really important. Have you kind of come across any fundamental truth or principles through this that you're like, oh, wow, a mine was a little clouded before because all the noise. But because I've been able to kind of focus these things have stood out to me.
Vikki Shepp: [00:24:34] Yes. There are a few. One is I think we'll be a hybrid. You know, I think both from a staff perspective as well as from a ground perspective, that we will have this hybrid. There is something about being in person, right? I mean, there is there is that as well. And so one thing we know for sure is that we will have in person girl and other experiences that is critical to who we are, and now we have the muscle built to be able to have this participation in a virtual space that does allow our girls, you know, to have an experience. We had a group that planned something for Saturday, and part of the planning included a girl from London and a girl from Hawaii and then a troupe from Orange County. And so here they were planning this virtual camp in and they were able to do this in a global, not just a national, but a global space. So how beautiful is that? And I know that some of that will continue, you know, so. So those trees. The other truth and and I'm going to mention is that we have girls who can't participate because of this, because they don't have the resources. And so it makes me more if anything's become more crystal clear, it's like getting those girls the experience and understanding. It's not just about giving them a computer or a laptop or an iPod or whatever. It's about finding ways to make sure that they still have the faulty experiences, you know. So in addition to perhaps they have a school issued tablet or what have you. We we can't just assume that they can get on for a troop meeting. Maybe there's multiple people using the computer or their Internet study at home or whatever. And so how we can serve those girls and we made wealth wellness calls to be able to ask, you know, is it better for us to send you a box of supplies and the instructions because we need to know what it is that that every girl needs. And that's tough. You know, there's a lot of girls in Orange County, so if it's made me even more passionate about making sure that every girl has the experience. So we have a number of girls in Orange County who can certainly do a Zoom experience or achievement or you name it YouTube or what have you. And we still have this persistent problem where we have a number of girls within Orange County who are still in a space where that's not possible. And I want to make sure that those girls have the experience. So this is helping us. It is helping us see some of those gaps, you know, and our gaps in our own ways of doing things and assumptions as well as how do we how do we then how do we work on that? How do we make sure that we're doing our best to deliver on our mission? And we have partners who are helping us look at, you know, what and examine what is it that we need to do to to to adapt and not the other way around. Right. You know, so really, it's like, what is it that we need to do to make sure that that we're creating an environment that is most suitable for every girl, not trying to take every girl and put her into our environment? Does that make sense?
James Fratzke: [00:28:00] That makes a lot of sense. And I think that one of the things that's surfaced out of that for me now is really cool and exciting to hear you talk about is that idea that not every girl at a home or a boy for that matter. We have these these children that are going to have different levels of sophistication from a computer literacy standpoint, from an Internet connection standpoint, from the ability to carve out that time to do these dedicated things, to learn and to grow.
James Fratzke: [00:28:33] And so I like that out of this kind of very stressful situation. It's helped put into focus for you and in the organization that you lead. How do we meet those girls where they are and make sure that all girls can move forward and nobody gets left behind? I absolutely love that concept.
Vikki Shepp: [00:28:53] Yeah. You know, we launched our All Girl initiative in February and we've been working on that for almost two years. And a big part of that is what we were talking about. So it came out before the shelter at home. And and yet it is magnified. And my commitment to that is enhanced because of the reality of what some of our girls face right now.
James Fratzke: [00:29:22] I want to shift gears a little bit as we kind of get to tell in this conversation and shift to kind of how can folks get involved locally here in Orange County. I know there is a leadership conference of some sort or a roundtable coming up in September. I'd love to hear more about that. But just in general, before we get into that, how can folks get involved?
Vikki Shepp: [00:29:41] Well, there are a number of ways, and the first way is to get their girls involved, right? So it's super easy. Go to our website, GirlScoutsOC.org. Or you can join as an adult. So an adult that even men we love our men, volunteers. We call them man enough to be a Girl Scout. So love men over 18 and girls under 18. So the joining part is pretty self-explanatory. Volunteers is constantly a way for folks to get involved. And that does it mean that someone has to be a troop leader and dedicate, you know, that expanse of time and energy? We have lots of volunteers who offer expertize in different ways. So teaching girls how to do a podcast, I can sign you up James. There you go. Our next conversation. You know, so more volunteers. This is really the lifeblood of Girl Scouts to deliver the Girl Scout leadership experience to our girls. We are always looking for individuals and companies to support us financially. We are a nonprofit. Sometimes people don't realize that, but we rely on charitable giving as well as our cookie program, which is a way to support us. And really having companies invested in what Girl Scouts is doing. We're developing the workforce and we are developing an amazing workforce. Girls with planning skills and entrepreneurial skills. So I don't know why more businesses aren't investing. And individuals who want to invest in us, individuals who believe in what we are doing. So there are lots and lots of ways. And we're also looking for in kind donations. And we have properties that need carpet and a camp that has maintenance and all kinds of other things that we are looking for. So there are a lot of ways to support us. And definitely, as I said, you know, I'm going to end where I was just minutes ago. The volunteer part is our biggest need. We have girls who want to be Girl Scouts and can't because we don't have enough leaders.
James Fratzke: [00:32:00] Yeah, yeah, I love that. And, you know, this this whole idea has really become popular in social media right now about being a girl dad, you know. Yes.
Vikki Shepp: [00:32:11] Yeah, I've seen. Those are great.
James Fratzke: [00:32:13] Yeah. And it's great. Right. And it's I think sometimes as a as a man, maybe you feel like, oh, I can't get involved in that. But to your point, there is the possibility to be man enough to be a Girl Scout. I absolutely love that tagline. I think I said it right. And being somebody that has a five year old niece and seeing just all the beautiful things about her and and how she's growing up in this world, where there seems to be a lot of opportunity, you know, getting her in a program like Girl Scouts where you're training her or giving her the tools and resources to to be innovative, to to look to the stars, to kind of shoot for the moon is pretty neat. So with that being said, I'd like to give you the final word. You may have already used it with all those great things you just said, but is there anything else you'd like to leave the listeners with? Before we wrap up today.
Vikki Shepp: [00:33:08] Now, more than ever. Girl Scouts is important. It's not just nice. A lot of times people say, oh, that's Girl Scouts. That's nice. We are necessary. We are a vital part of the development. You just said it really beautifully about equipping girls. We are providing them experiences they cannot give get anywhere else. And we're dedicated to that. We're dedicated to making sure that girls have the right people to give them that inspiration that you've talked about and the right program. And we have a, you know, over 100 year history of it. And so now more than ever, is the time to put your own resources into Girl Scout, be that your time, be that your treasure or your other ways of advocating. So we look forward to hearing from those listeners and to hearing their ideas about the ways that they want to get involved.
James Fratzke: [00:34:06] Yeah. Love that.
James Fratzke: [00:34:20] Vikki, thank you so much for your time today. I thought it was inspirational. I love all the things that you're doing here locally in our community. I love hearing about all the things that just Girl Scouts in general does for the young girls in our country and our society. So thank you so much for your time today. And hopefully we can talk soon.
Vikki Shepp: [00:34:39] Thank you again. I really appreciate it.
James Fratzke: [00:34:41] Thanks Vikki.
James Fratzke: [00:34:43] All right. That wraps up my time with Vikki from the Girl Scouts, Orange County.
James Fratzke: [00:34:48] And if you're like me, you're listening to that episode and you're saying, wow, how can I get involved with this? Well, you can go to our Web site or you can rewind to listen to some of the resources that Vikki just shared. But there's lots of ways for you to get involved, whether that's your time finances or even your expertize and skillset, teaching that to the younger generation of these girls that will go on to be our future leaders here in Orange County and beyond. All right. As you know, if you've listened to any of the Back to Business podcast episodes, I'd like to go back to the interview and dissect and pull out three digital marketing strategies that you can take from our guest and translate them into your business. And today, I thought there were three really great takeaways, because you think about the Girl Scouts and how that experience is so much about the in-person coming together, the selling cookies outside of supermarkets. How do you transition out of that and into being forced into this kind of digitalization of this post pandemic world that we're in so take away? No one is be a great storyteller and share that story online. I think Vikki was a great storyteller. I think the Girl Scouts here in Orange County does a great job of telling their story. Now it's about how do you do that online? Is that through social media? Is it creating video content for your Website, for YouTube, even maybe getting into TikTok? Maybe that is a great way for you to share your story online. There's so many different channels, but being a storyteller was important then. It's important now and I'll be imported in the future. My second takeaway is. How can you take a uniquely in-person experience and translate it to an online experience? Think about what Girl Scouts is doing with their summer camps. They're taking it all online. They're saying how can we continue to provide something that is uniquely Girl Scouts but is through a different medium. So that take away number two is how can you think of something for your brand that is uniquely your brand but is just translated into this digital world that we're now all spending more and more and more and more time on? And that leads me nicely into my third take away, which is kind of so much of the second, but a little bit different. You need to be actively right now looking for those processes that might have physical barriers, like, for example, selling cookies, physical barriers. It's all about being in person so that that impulse buy. You need to be looking at your business right now and looking at those things that are dependent on being in person and start thinking about digital solutions that do that thing just as good or even better. Girl Scouts is doing it through taking the online cookie outside the physical cookie sales and moving them online and allowing girls to sell cookies online and do delivery or do no contact delivery. I think that's a really great example. I want you to leave this episode thinking about what are some of those things that have been impacted by this pandemic. And quite frankly, as we continue to go into this unchartered territory, will there be another lockdown? What does the future hold? Don't think that we are out of the woods yet. We are not. Now is the time. If you are feeling comfortable with where things are headed to get back into that mindset of how do we make it digital, how do we adapt? Because if we've learned anything, it's that world changes faster than we know already, folks. Thank you so much for spending time with me here today. I'm looking forward to continuing this podcast and sharing some more great information with you. Thank you for your time. And we'll talk soon.
James Fratzke: [00:38:44] Well, that's it for today's episode of the Back to Business podcast. You know, if you like what you heard today, joined the bank that believes in businesses like these and like yours. Infinity Bank. I was just speaking with Victor and Bolla at Infinity Bank recently, and they shared with me how they find ways to help businesses and their owners succeed regardless of the challenges they're facing. Come to Infinity Bank.
James Fratzke: [00:39:07] They will remind you why having a banker is more important than just having a bank. Infinity Bank. Southern California's best bank.
James Fratzke: [00:39:22] Everyone, one last thing before you leave. Make sure you go to whatever platform you're listening to, the Back to Business podcast on and leave us a positive review. Every rating and review really helps us grow the show and make sure you share it with people in your professional network so we can help other people like you and your mid-sized business get back to business. undefined
As the world recovers from COVID-19, we believe the rebound will be digital. In each episode of the Back to Business: COVID-19 & You Podcast, we interview leaders of mid-size businesses to define best practices and next steps companies should be taking to thrive in the new normal. If you are a mid-size business navigating COVID-19 setbacks, and don’t know where to start or need help defining your strategy, this podcast is for you.
James Fratzke is a Co-Founder and Head of Client Success at Fratzke Media. His passion for storytelling comes from his time at the Walt Disney Company where he and his team executed record-breaking media events. He has helped tell the stories of major brands like Dollar Tree, Advance Auto Parts, and Jelly Belly.
When you bank with Infinity Bank, you are not banking with a faceless corporation. You are banking with industry leaders who want to know you and your business well. They are here to serve and partner with you to help you achieve all of your financial goals and dreams. To learn more visit www.goinfinitybank.com or call (657) 223-1000 today.
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A non-profit organization rooted in face-to-face interaction, Girl Scouts of Orange County quickly shifted its focus to digital to keep members safe. With no set reopen date, Vikki Shepp, CEO of Girl Scouts of Orange County, shares how the organization is working to meet the girls where they are, fundamental truths she’s learned throughout COVID-19, and ways the community can help. Learn all this and more in this episode of Back to Business: COVID-19 & You.
COVID-19 has changed the way people interact and receive information, and it has accelerated the push for digital. Vikki shares how her organization has widened their reach, and recently had over 900 people sign up on their website for their Zoom sing-along. They’ve consistently shared posts about their troop members activities on their website, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
According to Sprout Social, there’s been an increase in social media engagement, and healthcare and entertainment posts. Consumers are looking to stay informed, and also want to read something heartwarming during a time like this. Now is the perfect time to grow your online presence by sharing your stories and engaging with your community.
Many aspects of the Girl Scouts are rooted in face-to-face interactions, whether it’s troop meetings, selling cookies, or going to Camp Sherman. Vikki Shepp had to find a new way to translate the unique aspects of her organization into the digital world. Members have found ways to translate Camp Scherman activities into an at-home experience, so troops can “go to camp” while staying safe at home. Vikki shares her motivation to ensure all girls are able to participate and receive the full Girl Scouts experience.
Creating a seamless omnichannel experience makes it easier for customers to interact with your brand online. By integrating your offline and online presence and ensuring alignment with the unique aspects of your organization, it can reduce friction for those who desire to participate and interact with your brand digitally.
The first thing many people think of when they think of Girl Scouts is cookies. Troops are often standing in front of markets or college campuses selling these infamous treats, but they’ve had to adapt in light of the pandemic. Vikki shares that troops were already learning about e-commerce and how to sell their cookies online. So luckily, they were able to transition relatively quickly, and now offer delivery or contactless delivery for orders.
When navigating the pandemic, Stanford Social Innovation Review shared that nonprofit’s should evaluate their social impact and ways they can expand their reach and capacity to receive support and impact their communities. As part of this, nonprofits should focus on using their online presence to reach their communities where they are at. Vikki accomplished this by pushing for a digital-first mindset and high social media engagement to continue to provide learning opportunities for Girl Scout troops in the midst of social distancing guidelines.
A lifelong Girl Scout, Vikki Shepp has been with Girl Scouts of Orange County for over 10 years holding numerous leadership positions, including Director of Volunteer Management, Vice President of Fund Development, and Vice President of Mission Operations, and is currently the CEO of the organization. Vikki is dedicated to guiding her leadership development organization to ensure every girl has the opportunity to learn and grow from the Girl Scouts.