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Social Media for Public Relations and Citizen Engagement

by on Jan 14, 2011

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There are many applications of social media outreach, and this session will look at its application to non-profit objectives such as public relations, constituency building, citizen engagement, health ...

There are many applications of social media outreach, and this session will look at its application to non-profit objectives such as public relations, constituency building, citizen engagement, health behavioral change campaign, or fundraising.

The workshop will comprise presentations with case studies, one paper-based exercise, and open question time. We wish to run a needs assessment before the workshop to ensure the workshop meets participants' expectations.

The workshop will provide participants with a brief overview of communication models, social media trends, and a bigger picture view on how social media has changed the rules of online engagement. It will help participants better appreciate social media, assess its pros and cons, and evaluate if their organization should use or expand the scope of their social media activities.

Topics will include background information on social media; how traditional (one-way) communication paradigms no longer work in interactive media; and how two-way communication models operate online.

A key focus will be to help organization evaluate the pros and cons of social media, and then assess if social media offers any benefits to their organization. Participants will be asked to assess how social media can advance their organization's mandate, whether it is a viable channel for their constituents, its pros and cons for their situation, and then to review other relevant assessment criteria. Midway through the workshop, participants will be invited to complete a paper-based form to help them assess if social media offers enough benefits for their organization to adopt or expand the scope of their social media outreach.

The remainder of the presentation will focus on practical guidance for organizations that wish to implement or expand the scope of their social media outreach. Topics covered will include reassessing organizational goals; researching constituents; starting an incremental approach to social media outreach; defining the scope of your social media activities; mainstreaming into institutions; daily operations; responding protocols; institutional policies; tools of the trade; and methods for prioritizing resource allocations.

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