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Beth Kanter on social media for nonprofits

I have posted few words about this Monday morning meeting with Beth Kanter at the Guardian in London on my company’s blog already, so I would hate to repeat myself. Here, however, I would like to share some of my very personal thoughts about her presentation, and the book itself. Both the Monday presentation, as well as the book reflect clearly my initial experiences with the nonprofits sector when it comes to the challenges of social media adoption. Social media changes the way we think of our organisation, the way our organisations work. Once we step into the new media world we start to question and ultimately re-define our brand (how many times as a blogger have you had to do that?;)). It forces us to respond and communicate clearly and transparently with all stakeholders – and most of it in real-time. Terrifying! But is it really? We, as consumers, have we not changed? Are we not questioning our brand loyalty? Do we not want or sometimes even expect the human contact and personal touch in each of the e-mails we receive from customer service? Do we not hate to wait on the phone for hours? Than why are we so surprised when suddenly our organisation is openly challenged – at the end of the day for good, actually? What Beth Kanter does might seem like stating the obvious – nonprofits are running a bit late with social media adoption, however, the shift is happening within this sector and we have some good case studies to follow. We also have plenty to discuss. I suggest we put aside the endless debate about terminology if it stands in the way of consistency and progress. Let’s just look at good work of people who dare to change and to improve, open up and show the great work they have been doing for years – here and now. And let’s keep up, contribute, drive the change! Beth Kanter’s book is a good catalyst and I truly hope to see more literature on the topic from many more talented and experienced social media marketers – both int he UK, as well as globally.

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