Some of you may or may not be familiar with my work as Campaign Manager for Donate Life Illinois on behalf of Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network. I won’t tread into client work here, but I do love working with them and the donation community at large.
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to present on social media at the American Association of Tissue Bank’s annual conference here in Chicago. I was honestly surprised to see so many in attendance considering it was an early Saturday session and ideal weather outside. It’s always exciting to speak to a new crowd about the power and potential of social media. It can also be quite a challenge.
People often don’t realize that they are very much embedded in social media just through their everyday activity online. I did a quick survey at the beginning of my presentation to see how many people have hopped on YouTubeor watched a YouTube video – all but a few in the crowd raised their hands. A true sign of the times in terms of how we’re all communicating and consuming content.
During the Q&A, it was interesting to hear that two major concerns about diving into social media revolved around A) allotting personnel and devoting time to social media B) message control.
Regarding A, I found this to be a great opportunity to emphasize the importance of incorporating social media into any overall communications strategy. Social media is not going away anytime soon. It’s taking our fundamental forms of communication and using new tools and technologies to assist with online engagement and interaction. I promise, devoting time and focus to social media is worth it (especially for the donation community!).
It may only make sense for your organization to enter a listening and monitoring phase for the time being. That’s perfectly okay and an ideal first step. Point being, don’t sit by the wayside. I assure you that the chances are pretty good that your organization is being discussed in some capacity online. It will only take a few minutes of your day, but start monitoring.
As for B, message control is going to be a big concern for any organization looking to embrace social media, especially for management making the decision whether to allot time and personnel. Take control of your own messaging and beyond that, be creative in working with your creatorsto establish healthy online relationships and build out your messaging framework.
It’s been great to see donation agencies from other stateshopping onboard with social media efforts and I look forward to helping the community continue to push forward in embracing online communities around the issue of organ/tissue donation.