spokesperson Archives - Syneka Marketing

Radio Interview on Great Ocean Radio 3WAY 103.7 FM

By Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities 2 Comments

This morning I was interviewed by Great Ocean Radio (103.7 FM) to discuss my upcoming workshop on social media for not-for-profit and community organisations.

The interview discussed the use of social media as a marketing tool for an organisation. Social media should complement existing marketing tools by extending the reach of an organisation and engaging in its community. I also outlined possible approaches in managing social media, including the need for a designated spokesperson to manage the official online presence of an organisation.

The workshop, which was organised by Warrnambool City Council, will include a three-hour interactive session designed to discuss marketing in not-for-profit organisations and the use of social media. The Social Media and Volunteers Training Session will be held from 1pm to 4pm on Wednesday the 14th of March.

For details please visit warrnambool.vic.gov.au/volunteering

Hume Moreland Volunteer Coordinators Network

Using Social Media for Recruiting Volunteers – Hume-Moreland Volunteer Coordinators’ Network

By Advice, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Government, Presentations, Resources 5 Comments
Hume Moreland Volunteer Coordinators Network

Hume Moreland Volunteer Coordinators Network

The Hume-Moreland Volunteer Coordinators’ Network is a bi-monthly forum specifically designed for volunteer coordinators and managers for organisations within the Cities of Hume and Moreland. The forum covers a range of topics that are relevant to not-for-profit organisations, including associations that are entirely operated by volunteers.

I was invited by Hume City Council to be the keynote speaker for today’s session, where I discussed the use of social media for recruiting volunteers and promoting organisations. While the usage of social media is increasing, the outcomes are not always consistent within the context of an overall marketing strategy.

The discussion highlighted the importance of utilising social media to complement existing marketing activities. This approach ensures that an organisation is achieving its marketing objectives and is able to measure the impact of social media.

The forum was designed to be interactive and there was a lot of discussion on several of the social media tools, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Computers were provided to each participant, enabling attendees to see live examples of branded Facebook pages, Twitter profiles and LinkedIn.

Like any form of media, there is always the potential of adverse publicity through social media. Organisations should have a Media and Communications Policy that covers interaction with media, including the designation of an official spokesperson. Social media should also be covered by this policy and an official spokesperson should be authorized to access the organisation’s social media services.

While board, staff and volunteers should be encouraged to use social media to promote the organisation, only the spokesperson should have authority over official accounts. Formal announcements should be made through the official social media accounts to ensure credibility.

The spokesperson should also be utilized if negative comments occur on social media. This helps prevent escalating situations and helps board members, volunteers and staff avoid negative situations. While some organisations take the approach of restricting access to social media, a more effective approach is often achieved by ensuring members utilize social media in a positive manner.

For example, social media can be effective in recruiting volunteers. Sharing content via social media is the online equivalent of word-of-mouth recommendations and this can be an effective tool in promoting volunteer experiences. Research undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicates that 35% of people become volunteers because they were asked, while 29% knew someone involved. Organisations are able to reach prospective volunteers through social media by utilizing the experiences and networks of their existing volunteer base.

It is imperative that organisation’s take part in the discussion that occurs within social media, rather than simply trying to ignore this dialogue. Social media can be effective in promoting your organisation’s and objectives if it complements existing marketing activities, such as newsletters, websites, leaflets and media releases.

The Hume-Moreland Volunteer Coordinators’ Network is a valuable forum for not-for-profit organisations. I will be delivering a similar presentation to not-for-profit organisations in Warrnambool next month.

#npau TweetChat – Balancing work and personal use on social media

By Advice, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, News No Comments

Connecting Up Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to enhance the information technology capabilities of other community based not-for-profit organisations.

Connecting Up hosts regular tweetchats to share knowledge between not-for-profit organisations on topics relevant to their use of social media, the Internet and Information Technology. A tweetchat is a conversation conducted via Tweeter, enabling people to participate in the chat through the #npau hashtag.

This afternoon we participated in the first #npau tweetchat for 2012, with the topic balancing work and personal use on social media. This is an area particularly relevant to not-for-profit organisations, given that many staff work on a part-time basis, while others may be interacting with the organisation in a variety of ways, such as being a client, volunteer or board member.

The conversation began with the question: Does your org have guidelines/polices (maybe unwritten) which impacts your personal use of social media?

The importance of policies cannot be underestimated, as this will provide guidance in using social media. Typically a social media policy will share some similarities with your communications policy, such as identifying a principal spokesperson who speaks on behalf of the organisation.

@ConnectingUp staff & volunteers encouraged to use social media respectfully. Difficult situations are handled by spokespeople #npau

More than one person in your organisation can utilise social media and this should be encouraged to maintain ongoing engagement with your stakeholders. It is advisable however to also establish a designated spokesperson that speaks in an official capacity via social media. Your spokesperson should be used for official announcements or to manage difficult social media situations.

This approach ensures that you are able to engage your online community while also providing support through an official spokesperson.

The second question asked how have you found staff react to a social media policy?

Staff should be encouraged to participate in policy development, with the board of management adopting policies that have incorporated feedback across an organisation. This approach ensures collective ownership, which is particularly important in communications, given that non-compliance could diminish the reputation of the organisation.

We find most staff appreciate guidelines, very similar to standard media policies – provides clarity and assurance #npau

Most staff members appreciate policies, difficulties may arise if social media usage is restricted and this approach should only be considered as a last resort.

Social media works effectively through active engagement, restricting its usage diminishes the ability to engage and create an online community. Staff members should be encouraged to consider how they could positively assist in fostering this community, while also ensuring that they undertake their job requirements.

The last question asked: Does anyone else feel “always on” when it comes to social? Where do you draw the line between work/personal?

Separate Facebook / Twitter profiles can help in creating a distinction between personal & professional #npa

Separate profiles ensures that the organisation maintains a distinct identity to that of individuals. This also assists with succession planning by enabling someone else to manage the organisation’s official social media accounts.

Ultimately the individual will need to establish their own boundaries regarding the amount of time they spend on social media. An organisation should encourage social media usage while ensuring it does not detract from other work commitments.

Connecting Up holds regular #npau tweetchats throughout the year. For the full archive of this chat please visit storify.com/connectingup/balancing-work-and-personal-use-of-social-media