Sunday, August 8, 2010

Need some tips for embracing social media? Check out Jeff Guin's blog

Last Friday night I attended the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinee's Dinner in Canton, Ohio, and as it turned out, one of the guests at our table was a woman who serves as the volunteer director of a nonprofit that teaches traffic safety to children. We talked at length about her organization, entirely run by volunteers, and their desire to embrace the wave of new media to better promote ongoing programming and reach an ever-changing audience of parents and their young children. She had already reached out to a local college for an intern to help them handle day-to-day posting beginning this fall. We discussed the merits of this initial set-up, along with some pitfalls to avoid, and by the end of our conversation she seemed encouraged by the potential of developing a well-conceived social media plan, and ready to embark on that task.

Launching a social media initiative can be as nerve-wracking as any other new and unfamiliar program undertaken by a lean organization of well-meaning, but unconfident staff. This particular nonprofit leader had done her homework and needed only a few pointers to reassure her that she and her organization were on the right track. Regardless of whether your staff are full-time professionals, or part-time volunteers, the proper amount of preliminary planning will make a huge difference in the roll-out of your social media campaign. So, where to begin?

Several months ago Jeff Guin tackled this very issue in his blog for Voices of the Past Heritage Media, specifically addressing the needs of heritage organizations. Jeff's post from March 31, 2010, Social Media Planning for Heritage Organizations: Differentiating Goals, Objectives & Tactics, is an excellent primer for those who are considering swimming in the social media pool. If your organization has yet to undertake the seemingly daunting task of developing a social media plan, or you have tried social media, but are frustrated by the difficult task of measuring your success, check out Jeff's article for a common sense approach to planning the application of 21st century media in your PR portfolio.

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