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Current nonprofit sector research and recommendations for effective day-to-day practice from ASU faculty, staff, students, and the nonprofit and philanthropic community.
Abbie S. Fink,
Vice President /
HMA Public Relations
Do you have a fan page? What’s the hashtag for that conference? Did you see that great blog post? Will you write a LinkedIn recommendation for me?
These phrases and others are becoming increasingly more common among marketing, development, and communications professionals at nonprofit organizations. And with the ongoing support for the value of digital communications strategies, they are sure to stay part of our business lingo for a long time to come.
Digital communications has found a permanent place within organizations. Those that embrace it, making it a part of their daily communications efforts, will find it a worthwhile and beneficial means to talk to and with your organization’s stakeholders.
When it comes to digital communications, it is about engagement and influence, not numbers. Yes, it is exciting when your Facebook fan page hits a major numbers milestone. Or you reach a couple thousand followers on Twitter. But in order for your Facebook or Twitter stream to impact your organization, those fans and followers need to act on the information you are sharing. It may be that a fan page of 500 engaged followers will be more beneficial to you than a fan page of 5,000 inactive or passive followers.
Digital communications is most successful when your content is being shared across other platforms. And content should not be all about you and your organization. Consider sharing information about successful programs in other states, sending kudos to other nonprofit executives in your community, and serving as a resource for other social service organizations. This mix of information about the community, as well as your organization, will make your social networking efforts a success.
Engage a variety of staff members in your social networking efforts. Most often, the responsibility for the strategy and content falls to the communications team, but others in your organization can play an active part in the process. Keep in mind, social networking is a wonderful tool to communicate with your important stakeholders. Be sure to share the goals and objectives with your team and monitor the activity to ensure that it stays true to your organization’s mission.
If you invest in digital communications and engage and converse with your fans and followers, you will begin to see the benefits. It is not automatic, and it takes time to build your presence, but social media is here and here to stay.
Attendees of the upcoming NMI 122 - Digital Communications: Social Media Tools & Strategies, instructed by Abbie, will learn about the social media tools available to them, why it is important to develop a strategy, and how to use these tools to effectively grow their nonprofit’s presence in the social media space.
Attendees are encouraged, but not required, to bring their own laptop with a wireless connection, as well photos and information/content regarding their practice. Participants will develop real social content as part of the class. Click here to register.
Abbie S. Fink is vice president/general manager of Phoenix-based HMA Public Relations. A long-time communications professional, her varied marketing communications background includes skills in media relations, social media relations, special event management, community relations, issues management, and marketing promotions for both the private and public sectors, including such industries as law firms, health care, financial services, professional services, government affairs, and tribal affairs, as well as nonprofit organizations.
She is a recognized authority on media relations and social media relations/digital communications and has made presentations to a wide variety of organizations including the Southwest Legal Marketing Association, Public Relations Society of America’s Counselors Academy, the Arizona Fire Captains Association, Financial Aid Directors Association, Public Relations Global Network, among others.
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Click here to read "State of the Sector 2011: All quiet on the nonprofit front" — by Angela Francis.