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Tips for Writing An Awesome Social Media And Communications Guide

The American Red Cross recently updated their Social Media and Online Communications Guide for their staff and it’s packed with some great tips that any organization can adapt. Check out some of their great suggestions below.

Be a Good Social and Mobile Citizen


“Your network depends on you to tell the truth. Have fun, but make sure any news you report has been verified. If you’re retweeting, sharing, or otherwise linking to someone else’s content, give him/her credit,” said the Red Cross. 

I’d like to add check the links before you RT a post. Sometimes, the link can be one character off and lead your followers to a different article you did not mean to share. I speak from personal experience. :)



“Post content that invites responses – then stay engaged. Find others who have shared interests, cite them and ask them questions,” said the Red Cross.  

I wholeheartedly agree with staying engaged, especially when you invite responses. Sometimes I see organizations ask questions but then they never to respond to their constituent’s answers or comments. That is just bad manners.



“Encourage healthy debate but don’t inflame others,” said the Red Cross.

A healthy debate can be a wonderful way to spark discussions with your community. However, nonprofits must be prepared to deal with the tough questions in a public space and develop a plan well in advance about handling conversations that get out of control or hostile.



“If you make a mistake, admit it. Be upfront and be quick with your correction,” said the Red Cross.

Remember the Komen VS Planned Parenthood? Don’t ever let that happen to your organization by burying your head in the sand and think “things will just blow over.”



“The social web is like a dinner party. Be yourself, but with good manners,” said the Red Cross.

I think the social web is more like a cocktail party. It’s a place to be social, see friends, meet new people, network, etc. But don’t be the party pooper who ruins the cocktail party by being the obnoxious drunk.


Balancing Your Professional and Personal Life

As social media becomes increasingly part of our daily lives professionally and personally, it can be a challenge to navigate these new waters. Check out the chart blogger Allison fine created that discusses the Old Professional (pre social media) and the New Professional (in the age of social media).



Personal Social Engagement Guidelines 2.0

Reader Comments (2)

I think it is wonderful that the Red Cross shared this document.
August 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLiz P.
Thanks for this write-up, Allyson. What strikes me about these particular tips and Allison Fine's chart is how much we are (and should be) shifting our overall approach to our work and our professional roles, regardless of whether we're talking about communicating via social media or not. Allison Fine and Beth Kanter's work on the Networked Nonprofit provides some great guidance in this area, and for me the take-away is that our culture is changing, period. Transparency, accountability, and recognizing "humanness" rather than "institutions" is the cultural shift social media has helped to enable, but those things aren't about social media. I'm really excited about the impact our organizations can make now that walls are being broken down!
August 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnnaliese

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