Helping Nonprofits Communicate

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Nonprofit Communications Commandment #5: Honor your online etiquette

Thou shalt behave yourself online.

What happens in Vegas may very well stay in Vegas … unless of course it ends up on social media first. In this world of increased connectivity and information sharing, don’t run the risk of oversharing. Here are a few tips to keep your online image and that of your nonprofit organization looking squeaky clean.

  • Remember that your personal social media accounts may be able to be viewed by professional contacts and those who are connected with your nonprofit organization.
  • Once a post goes up, even if it’s deleted, it may not ever really be gone. Remember to never tweet or post anything that you’ll regret later. Even if you later remove it, it may live on in cyber space.
  • Proofread your posts. Use good grammar, spelling and punctuation. It will make you look smart and professional and won’t reflect badly on your organization.
  • Weigh in on controversial issues not at all or with extreme caution. The last thing you want to do is stir things up and risk alienating friends or professional associates.
  • Know that you don’t have to be all business all the time. Your coworkers and associates might find new things in common with you if they see a picture of you hiking with your family, walking your dog or snapping a picture of a beautiful sunset.

Want to read more? The Emily Post Institute, the authority on all things etiquette, has an up-to-the-minute guide called Manners in Emily Post’s Digital World: Living Well Online. In keeping with the times, it’s the first-ever e-book to come out of the organization. The book’s author, Daniel Post Senning, has been at the helm of technology at the Emily Post Institute for years, building their first website, figuring out analytics and e-newsletters, and a WordPress blog to answer etiquette questions from the general public, among other things.

You can follow the Emily Post Institute on Twitter @EmilyPostInst and see what others are tweeting about with the #etiquette hashtag.

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