Creating, Developing, Implementing the Social Media Policy That’s Right for Your OrganizationBeth Kanter, Visiting Scholar, Packard FoundationLiz Karlin, Grant Operations, Packard Foundationhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/theimagegroup/369893824/sizes/o/in/photostream/
I wear many hats these days. I’m the CEO of Zoetica, write Beth’s Blog, and have been Visiting Scholar for Nonprofits and Social Media at the Packard Foundation
I’ll be talking about a couple of themes from my book, The Networked Nonprofit.
It isn’t a nonprofit with an Internet Connection and a Facebook Profile …Networked Nonprofits are simple and transparent organizations. They are easy for outsiders to get in and insiders to get out. They engage people to shape and share their work in order to raise awareness of social issues, organize communities to provide services or advocate for legislation. In the long run, they are helping to make the world a safer, fairer, healthier place to live.Networked Nonprofits don’t work harder or longer than other organizations, they work differently. They engage in conversations with people beyond their walls -- lots of conversations -- to build relationships that spread their work through the network. Incorporating relationship building as a core responsibility of all staffers fundamentally changes their to-do lists. Working this way is only possible because of the advent of social media. All Networked Nonprofits are comfortable using the new social media toolset -- digital tools such as email, blogs, and Facebook that encourage two-way conversations between people, and between people and organizations, to enlarge their efforts quickly, easily and inexpensively.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicmcphee/422442291/Problem statement: Explosion in size of nonprofit sector over last twenty years, huge increase in donations and number of nonprofits, and yet the needle hasn’t moved on any serious social issue. A sector that has focused on growing individual institutions ever larger has failed to address complex social problems that outpace the capacity of any individual org. or institution to solve them.
Problem statement: Explosion in size of nonprofit sector over last twenty years, huge increase in donations and number of foundations, and yet needle hasn’t moved on any serious social issue. A sector that has focused on growing individual institutions ever larger has failed to address complex social problems that outpace the capacity of any individual org. or institution to solve them. That’s why feel strongly that nonprofits need to work more like networks.http://www.flickr.com/photos/sorby/258577150/http://www.flickr.com/photos/uncultured/1815645413/
The transition from working like this to this – doesn’t happen over night, can’t flip a switch
The transition of how a nonprofit goes from institution to looking like and working more like a network is what our book is aboutThe transition isn’t an easy, flip a switch – and it happens – it takes time Some nonprofits, newer ones like Mom’s Rising have networked nonprofit in their DNA, while others – institutions – make the change slowly.Way of being transforms into a way of doing
So what happens is that we treat this skepticism like the black smoke monster on LOST – we’re afraid to have those difficult conversations that gets us to a social culture.
How many LOST Fans? Pick your boggyman – the blob, the attack of the killer tomatoes
Andy Bales Union Rescue Mission
There is also a need to describe your social media strategy in terms of the value – how it will help you reach your goals. Many leaders are “yellow thinkers” – that is they need to see the results laid out in advance before they will say.Pre-school California – there is also a conversation about value – and that happens by connecting social media strategy to communications objectives.
Rewards learning and reflectionTry it and fix it approach – fail fastAppreciates individuality and that does not indicate a lack of professionalism or caringTrusts staff to make decisions and respond rapidlyhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Vo4M4u5Boc
The opposite of Fortresses, Transparents can be considered as glass houses, with the organizations presumably sitting behind glass walls. However, this isn’t really transparency because a wall still exists. True transparency happens when the walls are taken down, when the distinction between inside and outside becomes blurred, and when people are let in and staffers are let out.University of California Museum of Paleontology, “Introduction to Porifera,” http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/porifera/porifera.html (accessed on May 21, 2009). Opening the Kimono in Beth’s Blog: A Day in the Life of Nonprofit Social Media Strategists and Transparency,” Beth’s Blog, posted August 3, 2009, http://beth.typepad.com/beths_blog/2009/08/opening-the-kimino-week-on-beths-blog-a-day-in-the-life-of-nonprofit-social-media-strategists-and-tr.html (accessed September 30, 2009).
http://www.flickr.com/photos/uncorneredmarket/370672187/“You cannot be fully transparent all the time because you need to give people a safe place to have the discussion without disrespecting others.”Not black and white – line the Esther Dyson Story at Transparency CampWhat is TransparencyTransparency isn’t black and white. It is very tempting to grade organizations as either transparent or not. However, transparency isn’t quite that simple, it is a sliding scale of openness that changes upon the circumstances and needs of an organization and its network. Organizations certainly need to be open to people on the outside, easy to enter, understand, and navigate. However, this does not mean that every conversation, every piece of paper, every decision, needs to be open to everybody. “You cannot be fully transparent all the time because you need to give people a safe place to have the discussion without disrespecting others.”This black and white notion scares a lot of organizations. Their is definitely a need for a safe place for private conversations – but I our default impulse is to do things in screen – is to build a Robert Frost mending wall. I wonder what it would be like if the default was – everything is open and you had to decide what should be closed?
They also know that in order to have more impact, they need to scale. They wanted to go beyond having social media be a silo in the communications department, and through the Target experience they realized the value of employee use of social networks/social media. They worked on a social media policy, guidelines and an operational manual so that anyone working in affiliates as well as national could be ambassador on social networks. The guidelines also extend to volunteers. The overall policy is encouraging, not controlling. The operational handbook gives them specific steps, examples, and tips for being effective.
Don’t do anything stupid – Social MediaDon’t moon anyone with camera
Testing of the policy – and there may be things that you didn’t think
I’ll be talking about a couple of themes from my book, The Networked Nonprofit.
Loss of control over their
branding and marketing messages<br />Dealing with negative comments<br />Addressing personality versus organizational voice (trusting employees)<br />Make mistakes<br />Make senior staff too accessible<br />Perception of wasted of time and resources <br />Suffering from information overload already, this will cause more<br />
Social Culture<br />Treats skepticism as
a conversation starter, not stopper<br />Leaders understand the power behind the tools<br />Leaders are open to reverse mentoring if needed<br />Describe results<br />Social is the cultural norm<br />Try it and fix it approach<br />Value learning<br />Social media policy is not just a piece of paperTransparency is not viewed as black and white <br />
Does Your Organization Need a
Social Media Policy?<br />Does your organization already have a Social Media policy in place? What issues might you be interested in covering with a policy that are important to your organization?<br />
Where Do We Begin?<br />Asking
questions:<br />Internal<br />How are staff currently using social media? <br />What questions do staff have about how/when to use it? <br />What are the most important issues to be covered by a policy?<br />External<br />What are our peers doing? What does a Social Media policy look like?<br />
Start with a Philosophy <br
/>The guiding principle that describes the organization’s overall approach to Social Media use<br />Packard Social Media Philosophy:<br />Staff are encouraged to be good ambassadors for the Foundation in their work online and offline. Staff may use social media to listen, learn and share information in an immediate and transparent manner in pursuit of impact; and to do so in line with our values, with good judgment and respect. <br />
Identify Key Topics for our
Organization<br />Personal vs Work-related Identity<br />Lobbying <br />Non-partisan organization<br />Networking<br />
Personal or Work-Related Identity<br />Personal
Email<br />Identifies Employer<br />Packard’s Approach:<br />Personal vs Work-related identities are not always clear from profiles or content. Be sure to claim your views as personal when appropriate. <br />
Lobbying and Partisan Activities<br />Packard’s
Policy:<br />“If you are blogging or posting to social media sites in your professional capacity, you may not engage in lobbying activities or political campaigns. <br />You may exercise your right as an individual to participate in the political or legislative process, but the Foundation asks that you take utmost care to ensure that your position with the Foundation is not involved and not perceived to be involved in these activities.”<br />