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Mark Petersen

Thanks Beth; great article.

Joe Mueller

I wanted to introduce a nonprofit CEO to your list of successful Twitter users: Ethan Draddy (@EthanDraddy), executive director of the Boy Scout Council in Baltimore.

Here's a link to a post I wrote on Ethan and why CEOs should use Twitter:

Keep up the great work!

Beth - another great post! I wanted to second the idea that the CEO has to be willing to hear criticism. I've definitely grown a thicker skin since I started tweeting and blogging. The criticism has actually been great though. I've learned to see it as an opportunity to grow, both personally and professionally, and to build strogner relationships. When we hear negative stuff out in the space, it makes us pause and reflect "could we be doing this better?", and this makes our work stronger. It's also a chance to reach out to the commenter and engage in a conversation. Most often, we both walk away feeling better for the conversation.

Beth Kanter

Thanks Holly! We had a fantastic session!

Sidney Hargro

Excellent as always. I hope all is well. Do you know of a list of foundation or nonprofit CEOs that have blogs?


I WISH we had a lonely intern managing our social media from the corner of communications. Our online presence is as scattered as our internal communications. Kind of frustrating when we could really be part of a great conversation but its all these last minute after thought things and one poor woman who tries to implement things that get the kibosh constantly. There are just so many links to make but we have yet to get there. I get my social media fix after hours.


Thanks for this post. Definitely it's a judgment call about whether or not an ED or CEO should blog or tweet or both. I'd say it definitely depends on how that person feels about social media and how much time he/she is will to give it. A seldom updated blog or twitter account says something and it ain't a good something. I hope that nonprofit boards and staff take this into account when considering who should be their social media face.

Jayne Cravens

Is there any doubt that most quotes in press releases are written by the PR manager, not the executive director? Or that a speech isn't written 100% by the person delivering it? When I draft quotes or speeches for someone else (and I've done so for 20 years), I write based on what I've heard the person say or articles he or she has written, and I ensure the person reads over the text to make their own changes. By the time the text is delivered, I couldn't say with all honesty that the words are entirely mine and not the words and sentiments of the person who delivered such. I think it is absolutely possible to write for someone else and be "authentic" and "reflect the CEO's (or whomever's) personality" -- several Presidential writers have, in fact, done it many times.

Claire Jarrett

As you said, vitally important to let personality shine through. I think that's the beauty of Twitter, allowing people to see the person behind the job title.

Ashley Messick

Great article Beth! One of the other advantages to having your ED/CEO involved in social media is the "buy in" factor. If our President at Blood Centers of the Pacific wouldn't have been a believer in the power of social media it definitely would have been harder (than it already was) to get buy-in from department heads and our board.

I really like your #4 tip and I would encourage people that it doesn't have to just be a "start with" a small step. They can all be small steps. Our President isn't a weekly contributor to our blog. But we do ask her to contribute ever so often, especially when we have a big announcement or when we did our New Year post. In my opinion getting them involved at the level they are comfortable and that is sustainable is so important. Don't let the fact that your CEO may not be ready to have a full blown Twitter account and blog of their own stop you from getting them involved on a consistent basis in whatever way makes sense.

Rebecca Arno

Beth: Thanks for the great article! The Denver Foundation's CEO David Miller just started blogging at about a one-year project to collect ideas and information about where the Foundation should be 10 years from now. Your tips will be very helpful -- and luckily he, and the foundation as a whole, are extremely open to input and suggestions. As you say, that seems to be a requirement for succeeding with social media.

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