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May 2010

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« Reflections and Follow Up Questions from Techsoup/NTEN Share Your Story: Social Media ROI Webinar | Main | I'm speaking at SXSW or rather reciting a poem! »


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Amber Naslund


I love the Red Cross's story. They're such a great example of what's possible through listening and engagement. I'm especially giddy about Wendy's approach and discussion of negative comments. That's one of the biggest fear factors for companies just getting started in social media.

The truth is absolutely what Wendy said: negative comments mean that someone cares enough to express their disappointment. And if you can respond and address those concerns, the results of that outreach can pay off multiple times over. I'm fond of saying that people don't expect businesses to be perfect. They expect them to be responsive. And Wendy and the Red Cross are doing wonderful things to demonstrate best practices in not only listening, but really engaging their community.

Thanks for the recap. Oh! And my elevator pitch: "Social media expands the communication network to include online channels, and it's my job to make sure we're cultivating relationships with the people that we touch across the web. It's part customer service, part business development, part communications, and all dedicated to stewarding our brand in the online space."

It's not perfect yet, but hey, we're always evolving. :)

Amber Naslund
Director of Community | Radian6

Maryann Devine

Beth, thanks so much for highlighting what Wendy and the Red Cross are doing, social media-wise. A large and well-known organization like the Red Cross can be held up as an great example by staff of smaller nonprofits, in convincing their leadership that social media can be worthwhile. After all, if the Red Cross isn't afraid of negative comments, then maybe we can deal with it, too.

George Nemeth

I love the rule about note saying "anything that would embarrass her mother".

Catie Magee


Thanks so much for summarizing the points of yesterday's webinar. I attended it as well and found it so helpful and informative.

As a public health practitioner who believes deeply in the power of technology for education, advocacy and community-building, I'm beginning to work with non-profits in my field to begin to integrate social media strategies into how they do their work. I'm particularly interested in the idea that Wendy mentioned yesterday around social media and collaboration--using the listening process to tap into a wealth of support in people who are engaged in what the Red Cross is doing. Amber reiterates that point above in her comment about the value of proactively responding to people's concerns.

Hearing examples of work being done in the field, from very large organizations like the Red Cross and smaller ones, like some of the examples I learned about today during a talk by John Kenyon at the Foundation Center in San Francisco (, help me to continue to revise and refine my own "elevator speech" for the work I'm doing. I love the evolutionary, organic process inherent in this work.

My elevator speech: "Social media lets public health do what it does best: meet the people where they are and directly engage communities. By tapping into the conversation online, we find out what people need, what they want and what works for them. When we do this well, we expand education, advocacy AND financial support; and we invest in people and programs that promote positive social change and health equity."

Thank you for being such a great resource!

Catie Magee, MPH
Public Health Consultant


Hi Beth-

To respond to your tweet this morning re: elevator pitches for social media, I wanted to share a response to a question that you RT'd for me a while ago:

kristianakocis @kanter describe social network fundraising in a single tweet? Need it for board members!

Here was a response that I received that I thought was fantastic:

philklein @kristianakocis @kanter social network fundraising taps the trusted networks of friends, families, colleagues, orgs most efficiently for $

I loved this tweet because before I repeated it verbally, I said that I was going to use social media to describe the power social media. This started a lively conversation as to what social media is, who can be engaged, etc. I thought it was neat to catch their attention by NOT using a traditional elevator speech to tell them about it, but rather hook them by utilizing the social media tool itself.

Beth Kanter

Thanks for sharing this back .. I never know what happens when I tweet things into the ether. Thanks again.

Barbara Kelly

Hi Beth: I always pay especially close attention to your posts/updates that reference Wendy and the American Red Cross. This detail is great for those of us who missed the NTEN webinar. I'm sure that Wendy also adds something to her elevator pitch about the substantive, on-the-ground impact that social media has played for the Red Cross. My favorite is the story of how Twitter was used to communicate with volunteers in the field during last summer's midwest floods. Also, not part of the pitch, but relevant to MaryAnn's comment is the leadership role that the Red Cross is playing in this area vis-a-vis other nonprofits. Best wishes, hope to see you at SXSW Interactive (my first time representing ammado). Barbara

islami sohbet

Read and saw all messages within it and agreed with Social media expands the communication network to include online channels, and it's my job to make sure we're cultivating relationships with the people that we touch across the web. Interesting idea.

Marc Perton

Love this. We've done huge decks and detailed strategy documents, but the elevator pitch may be the most important piece of the puzzle, especially when speaking to senior management or board members.Thanks!

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