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Kayla L. McKinney,
ASU Lodestar Center
As a Project Specialist at the ASU Lodestar Center, I get to put my social media skills (and many hours spent facebooking…) to good use. With the explosion of micro-blogging, the nonprofit world has a fantastic new tool to connect with the public in exciting and creative ways. But what happens when bad tweets happen to good nonprofits?
A few days ago, as part of ASU Lodestar Center's promotion for our upcoming 13th Annual Forum on Nonprofit Effectiveness, we posed this scenario to our social media followers:
A nonprofit has a public scandal. How does it go about restoring credibility with existing funders and position itself with possible new funders to help "bring them back" and make the organization stronger than before?
Scandals have been all-too-common on twitter. Recently, the Red Cross faced this issue when a staff member accidentally posted a (very) personal tweet on the organization's (very) public twitter account. The organization maintained its cool and handled the PR nightmare well, though, and has been tweeting normally since the incident.
The Red Cross tweet mix up occurred because the staff member in charge of the account was unfamiliar with HootSuite, one of the many programs that allow users to access multiple twitter accounts from one dashboard. These programs, including TweetDeck and Seesmic, can be incredibly helpful for managing many of your nonprofit organization's social media outlets, but you'll want to make sure you spend time playing around with all of their various functions before you start sending out official tweets.
Have you ever had a social media nightmare? Tell us how you handled it in the comments section, or join us for our Spring Forum to discuss this scenario as well as many others!
(Psst! Click here to follow us on twitter!)