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Managing Multiple People Doing Online Communicationseq19x605tch58t2721j46yyzahq24608Managing Multiple People Doing Online Communications

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Translators:

Social networks were not invented for ease of organizational use. Individual accounts… Attached to personal networks… New Year’s Photos seen by all… Cats and Dogs LIVING TOGETHER. Many a sticky situation has arisen from the organization using tools designed for individuals to try to get actual work done. Then trying to add a couple more people into that mix to have multiple online communicators at a single organization? Gag me with your preferred food intake device. o1qsdxactmazbyxt5d7efplkzecvxcfcManaging more than one person speaking for the organization can be pretty tricky in this distributed online identity world we live in. However, there are some things an organization can do to start getting organized. Let’s check ’em out.fk76d0l5u207158wugn4lps3sgow3lm9

Have a Point Person and Regular Meetingsjggusarq5l83owjxpaa0t0n0ax73slw2

Point Person

However your organization slices up its communications pie, it’s important and many times necessary to have someone overseeing Communications as a whole. Usually this is a Communications Manager but it could be an Executive Director or anyone else who can be the final word. This point person acts as the gatherer, the organizer, the tie-breaker and the straightener-outer (it’s a word, I swear). n6y0aozxrblrfd7e3cno3kvm0n6jbjcpHaving someone whose responsibility it is to make final decisions and keep different communications streams going smoothly is essential for having a functioning communications team.6qxhfvlpboda5tzro8jpl310f21zwbkt

In addition to having a point person, it is also important to set up a regular check in for those people who are communicating for the organization. If there are many messages going out, a weekly meeting to check in about communications for the coming week is a great way to get everyone on the same page, update shared documents and untangle any snags before they happen in realtime. drquovv8pkosb26vuqmpkxx4rv6n2z05If weekly doesn’t make sense at your organization, find some timeframe (and keep it regular) to check in with all communicators. It not only acts as an organizer for your communications but also gives communicators a resource in the form of bouncing ideas off each other and receiving support and encouragement.eykka0femtv6q50i5r53kt6ekfk8z2f3

Have a Shared Message Calendar5yjgalrp5aleyubmccmb9cvgdhw9nt5i

An important part to any communications plan is a calendar to make sure everyone is aware when and how much content is being pushed out to whom. With multiple communicators and streams, the name of the game is “Avoiding Spamming your Constituents”. Following a message calendar and tracking your email statistics (e.g. open rates, unsubscribe rates) can help you prevent this from occurring. tzbtjl0815fwll18ib6bp59knr0w9yktA message calendar can also serve as a place to plot out communications for different programs and people so everyone is on the same page in terms of who is pushing out the content for what.2haoiobi24m4cactpfnjdof3gavef697

For more information about putting together a message calendar, including a couple templates to get your started, check out:ibc6v7cw7qd6d2ma80y2o9zv693ap05y

http://blog.socialsourcecommons.org/2011/09/a-template-for-calendaring-your-messaging/wwi8xkawxl3qp8gw8cp5szyjrt8l9yqw

Have an Agreed-Upon Publishing Matrix0trwuugyrmtmtzrf3ouj09tgrbrszzip

Publishing Matrix

Publishing Matrices can be an effective way to have a skeleton communications plan at your organization. The simple grid dictates to what communications channels different messages go. For instance, when there is a new blog post, do you tweet it? Post it on Facebook? Call up your members on the phone and tell them to read it? What is in bounds for each type of content that you’re trying to push out? mm5uspnm8r3nrlh7qvc29p4he7svd7mqAgreeing upon these standard procedures can give multiple communicators more freedom in the content that they need to push out to their individual communities.sepqhmvicfawsmtwdn7a7b6whsysqhy8

For more information about setting up a Publishing Matrix check out:ynrn5j3eymh4tn52zgk15wqs2d562rrr

http://blog.socialsourcecommons.org/2009/10/online-communications-publishing-matrix-tools/ztmd9o6mve6i9qh8th4f6sz3efks0upp

Have an Organizational Online Communications Policy8tlqrrzweverhxstzklnus55oyet5lw3

Agreed-Upon Plan

What is in-bounds and what is out of bounds for the content of the communications at your organization? Do your fellow staff know? Do you know? Having agreed-upon standards for what your organization comments on, the language that is ok to use and the process to get it done is essential to have a fully functional communications team at your organization.zt1lqts6wb4hp4ldnnjv0atohhptas2z

Consider Scheduling Content to Post Automatically533zx90300t78nfksxe4yvv3k2ep4kdz

Many communications tools like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, VerticalResponse and WordPress allow you to set up content to go out automatically in the future. This can be useful if you’re working with another person on content. Communicators, at their weekly meeting, can agree on content AND publish dates while everyone is present. These messages can be added to the message calendar and then set up to go out automatically thereby getting group buy-in for communications.qiuob1nnuj1lvw735rji658hk2xeclnt

Consider Multiple Accountsjclr28i9nnpohvku3tpkkgl2yoxmmkvv

Multiple Accounts

For most small nonprofits, having one Facebook page is enough of a committment. Building up a community, engaging allies in conversation and providing collaborative space can take time. The thought of doubling that committment to have two Facebook pages? Yikes. Bite off only as much as you can chew. Start with one social media account, work with it a while and see how it goes. If your organization has got that account down pat, think about adding another if there is an organic reason to (e.g. 5jlxk48z9uktqcqsiuj8tibnnee1mzaia separate community within the work that you do, a specific news stream that isn’t relevant to your general audience, etc.) AND if you have staff capacity to do so. Hopefully, if and when you do decide that you want to have more than one Twitter or Facebook account, you will have the other tips above in place (e.g. regular comms mtg, shared strategy docs) so the account addition is logical and makes sense for the organization.9gv3zfwklea7d31tv664jb62owfrci2c

If you do have multiple accounts here are some general tips in addition to those above:amqbl2hr06z4todh6q802pgvihcds40t

  • Some orgs find it useful to “sign” their posts so people know which communicator is posting. One convention (on Twitter) is to use a karat with your initials:tb31qp2yfyp0q9pn0sbf34p6u2rz9qht

    Check out this new article from @aspirationtech: http://bit.ly/123 ^MGuzx9ccnnu8ewncistcvbm0ygom5l7txr

  • Use the main organizational account to repost content from the the other accounts. For example, selectively retweet tweets from program-specific Twitter accounts through the main org account to highlight the different programs and issue areas.82lbvp34233ghhbwa54v7of4p59dqpyo

To wrap up, remember a few things as you embark on your merry multiple-communicators strategy at your organization:r8y1zuotzdsdekn1mpo9pk6w1qoh6sen

  • Share documentsxiifo9wqlkhmgmh8rh1ioo9umtdfjl86
  • Check-in regularly3r2cu64478ouyntfvrwqlqs87wkbdcj6
  • Have a point person for communications as a wholeembf3dz8iduxl456takbhjnbli2knbrr
  • Take small stepss7gg5qxqqq2hf9hstmuv3qmz5kouoqt6

What are your tips for managing communicators at your org?od7ljxr2djjruie026bsbph10e1xn5d2

 lnqcpxsr06y83qj9v249ga7iej3u56eg

(original) View Deutsch translation

Social networks were not invented for ease of organizational use. Individual accounts… Attached to personal networks… New Year’s Photos seen by all… Cats and Dogs LIVING TOGETHER. Many a sticky situation has arisen from the organization using tools designed for individuals to try to get actual work done. Then trying to add a couple more people into that mix to have multiple online communicators at a single organization? Gag me with your preferred food intake device. Managing more than one person speaking for the organization can be pretty tricky in this distributed online identity world we live in. However, there are some things an organization can do to start getting organized. Let’s check ’em out.

Have a Point Person and Regular Meetings

Point Person

However your organization slices up its communications pie, it’s important and many times necessary to have someone overseeing Communications as a whole. Usually this is a Communications Manager but it could be an Executive Director or anyone else who can be the final word. This point person acts as the gatherer, the organizer, the tie-breaker and the straightener-outer (it’s a word, I swear). Having someone whose responsibility it is to make final decisions and keep different communications streams going smoothly is essential for having a functioning communications team.

In addition to having a point person, it is also important to set up a regular check in for those people who are communicating for the organization. If there are many messages going out, a weekly meeting to check in about communications for the coming week is a great way to get everyone on the same page, update shared documents and untangle any snags before they happen in realtime. If weekly doesn’t make sense at your organization, find some timeframe (and keep it regular) to check in with all communicators. It not only acts as an organizer for your communications but also gives communicators a resource in the form of bouncing ideas off each other and receiving support and encouragement.

Have a Shared Message Calendar

An important part to any communications plan is a calendar to make sure everyone is aware when and how much content is being pushed out to whom. With multiple communicators and streams, the name of the game is “Avoiding Spamming your Constituents”. Following a message calendar and tracking your email statistics (e.g. open rates, unsubscribe rates) can help you prevent this from occurring. A message calendar can also serve as a place to plot out communications for different programs and people so everyone is on the same page in terms of who is pushing out the content for what.

For more information about putting together a message calendar, including a couple templates to get your started, check out:

http://blog.socialsourcecommons.org/2011/09/a-template-for-calendaring-your-messaging/

Have an Agreed-Upon Publishing Matrix

Publishing Matrix

Publishing Matrices can be an effective way to have a skeleton communications plan at your organization. The simple grid dictates to what communications channels different messages go. For instance, when there is a new blog post, do you tweet it? Post it on Facebook? Call up your members on the phone and tell them to read it? What is in bounds for each type of content that you’re trying to push out? Agreeing upon these standard procedures can give multiple communicators more freedom in the content that they need to push out to their individual communities.

For more information about setting up a Publishing Matrix check out:

http://blog.socialsourcecommons.org/2009/10/online-communications-publishing-matrix-tools/

Have an Organizational Online Communications Policy

Agreed-Upon Plan

What is in-bounds and what is out of bounds for the content of the communications at your organization? Do your fellow staff know? Do you know? Having agreed-upon standards for what your organization comments on, the language that is ok to use and the process to get it done is essential to have a fully functional communications team at your organization.

Consider Scheduling Content to Post Automatically

Many communications tools like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, VerticalResponse and WordPress allow you to set up content to go out automatically in the future. This can be useful if you’re working with another person on content. Communicators, at their weekly meeting, can agree on content AND publish dates while everyone is present. These messages can be added to the message calendar and then set up to go out automatically thereby getting group buy-in for communications.

Consider Multiple Accounts

Multiple Accounts

For most small nonprofits, having one Facebook page is enough of a committment. Building up a community, engaging allies in conversation and providing collaborative space can take time. The thought of doubling that committment to have two Facebook pages? Yikes. Bite off only as much as you can chew. Start with one social media account, work with it a while and see how it goes. If your organization has got that account down pat, think about adding another if there is an organic reason to (e.g. a separate community within the work that you do, a specific news stream that isn’t relevant to your general audience, etc.) AND if you have staff capacity to do so. Hopefully, if and when you do decide that you want to have more than one Twitter or Facebook account, you will have the other tips above in place (e.g. regular comms mtg, shared strategy docs) so the account addition is logical and makes sense for the organization.

If you do have multiple accounts here are some general tips in addition to those above:

  • Some orgs find it useful to “sign” their posts so people know which communicator is posting. One convention (on Twitter) is to use a karat with your initials:

    Check out this new article from @aspirationtech: http://bit.ly/123 ^MG

  • Use the main organizational account to repost content from the the other accounts. For example, selectively retweet tweets from program-specific Twitter accounts through the main org account to highlight the different programs and issue areas.

To wrap up, remember a few things as you embark on your merry multiple-communicators strategy at your organization:

  • Share documents
  • Check-in regularly
  • Have a point person for communications as a whole
  • Take small steps

What are your tips for managing communicators at your org?

 



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