Thursday, August 30, 2012

Up For Hire!

Hello everyone!

I am diverting from my typical blog posts to make an announcement. I was laid off from my position at the YMCA of Metro Chicago and am now seeking new employment or consulting\contract opportunities. I am still a stronger supporter of the YMCA cause and mission! I hope to find a way to still belong to the movement that has impacted my life in so many ways.

But it is time to begin a new chapter in the story that is Steve. My career has been anything but traditional. Although I have only held two jobs over the last 14 years, the number of roles that I have played in those organizations is vast. Between the big picture, best practice, national scope at the YMCA of the USA to the tactical, hands-on, one man team at the YMCA of Metro Chicago, I have a wide range of expertise.

You can learn more about me with a fun little PowerPoint!

As this change was unplanned, I am open to either finding a permanent position or working on some consulting\contract project work.  I have written up descriptions of the type of services that I can offer, but they include:

  • IT Alignment Planning and Assessment
    • Business Process Improvement
    • Software Selection
  • Digital Content
    • Social Media Planning and Assessment
    • Website Content Management System Strategy\Setup
    • Content Strategy
    • Content Creation
    • Storytelling Development
    • Listening Post and Social Media Management
  • Staff Training
  • Executive Staff Private Social Media Training

I have a vast network in the Nonprofit Technology Community that can vouch for me, my skills and my expertise, if you would like references, please let me know.

Thanks everyone for your support and I look forward to working with you!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Prepare your staff (Give staff a voice! Part 5 of 10)

Imagine sending one of your staff members to a press conference without any notice, without telling them what to talk about. Just train them about what a press conference is and how it works. Then hope for the best.

Yeah, it's like that.

It is easy to memorize a speech and post prepared content. It is not easy to manage a community and reply to the tough questions.

We can spend as much time as we want training people how to use social media, how it works, how to create good content, but do we prepare them for the questions, flashing cameras, criticisms and onslaught of a press conference?

In social media you have to expect some unhappy people, some trolls (people who like to complain and start fights) and some mistakes.  Do we do enough to make our staff ready?

In our trainings we focused on what our staff were already comfortable with. We started with talking about what people call about the most. We then talked about what are the most common and most difficult questions they get in their onsite comment boxes.  We asked them to think through their replies that they use in person. Then we helped translate those to an online situation.

The big trick is deciding when to reply, how much to say and knowing when to take it offline.

One big thing we emphasized was to not to jump to deleting a post or banning a user. Can you say backfire?

Our training was two parts.
Motivation - First we used the Air Force blog response chart to talk about how to understand WHY people are commenting. Because understanding motivation is key to the reply.
Respond - Then we had a comment response chart of our own to help them to decide if and how to reply\act.

That was our idea of how to prepare them.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Recruit your team, define the roles (Give staff a voice! Part 4 of 10)

Social Media is marketing so they will do it. 

Nah, Social Media is all Tech so they will do it.

Wait, we are raising money right now so let the Fundraising team do it.

Nobody steps up, takes leadership and establishes a rule book, so eventually something bad happens or there are conflicts in what gets posted. Then all collaboration breaks down and one person or a small team controls everything. All posts have to be approved and everything gets filtered. In some ways that may seem appealing. And if that is the accepted culture in your org, then you may as well stop reading this post because you won't be enabling anyone...

But if you are ready to collaborate within defined roles with the same playbook, then read on.

First document who will be on the team, heck maybe even have tryouts or an application process. There are a number of ways to go about this. You could collect everyone that is interested and then determine what role and permission they will get. Or you could establish the structure and roles, then identify the people to fill them. Another approach would be to start small with some experienced players and grow as you learn what works.

But the key is to know who will play each of the roles.

  • Listening- who will be out there actively scanning for what is being said about your org, cause or brand
  • Monitoring- who will watch your channels for questions, comments, problems, inactivity, etc.
  • Managing- who will keep the tools working, identify tech changes, administer permissions, etc.
  • Planning- who will create the content calendar, define themes, focus the communications, define content frequency, etc
  • Posting- who be creating the content, keeping the pages updated, etc.
  • Promotion- who will spread the word about your social media efforts, run contests, create custom pages\content

And there may be more roles, but that is a good start. You might enjoy this article from the Content Marketing Institute to dig deeper.

Once you have the team and the roles then you need a Playbook. The glue that will hold this together is a content calendar (editorial calendar). As possible to supplement this content calendar there should be content templates. As the themes and business goals are defined, you can create standard text, flyer formats, images and other reusable content for others to pull from.

Here are some awesome articles on creating an editorial Calendar and process:
How To Create the Online/Offline Editorial Calendar - Razoo
11 Editorial Guidelines Every Business Blog Needs - Hubspot

In my next post I will talk about the Comment Escalation Chart and how to make people comfortable with responding.