Blogs. They are a powerful tool for communication in our society, as seen by the “Dell Hell” fiasco with prominent blogger and industry leader, Jeff Jarvis. This example, if nothing else proves the capacity blogs have to engage a community of people to come together for a common cause. There is a large community of online users that engage with blogs frequently in order to share information, retrieve updated and current news, and voice their opinions for their followers to hear.
Blogs are a great, inexpensive tool used for conversation in a NPO’s communication strategy, and Jason Dick’s article, “Reasons Your Organization Should Blog” offers advice on this technology. He says that blogging can help your organization begin a relationship with a new donor, while it also allows you to share your mission, success stories, and important content with people who already follow your cause. The March of Dimes is an example of a blog that was created for families to share their story about dealing with NICU infants, and this is a forum where people from different parts of the world can come together to offer support, advice, and information for one another. This is beneficial for the March of Dimes because this is a personal and unique way for them to communicate with supporters of their mission, and this helps them to create trust and authentic relationships with the individuals who participate on the site.
He also says that this is a great way to increase your search engine optimization, also known as SEO, because donors that are looking to find non profits that deal with the issues that they believe in will be able to easily locate the keywords that are in your blog. Another blog post titled, “8 Ways Nonprofits Can Use Blogs” by Britt Bravo says that a blog is a great way to share your expertise and educate the public on your mission. Blogs also have the ability for your NPO to share news and information as it is happening, and update it in real time for millions of people to have access. Our society thrives on connectivity and we are constantly seeking new information, so a blog like the American Red Cross is a perfect example of how to utilize this technology. The American Red Cross regularly and consistently updates the public on news around the world, and this is useful for them because it allows them to share photos, breaking stories, and what the Red Cross is doing to help the situation.
Beth Kanter, a prominent and well-respected blogger in the non profit world, wrote a blog post on Blog Action Day 2009 which caught my attention. This is an opportunity for bloggers across the world, to unite on the same day and start a discussion on their blog dealing with the same topic. The power in this movement is the idea of conversations, which is a fundamental element of social media and one that your NPO can benefit from. If your non profit creates an online presence, bloggers will be able to link to your blog, post their comments, and continually stay engaged with the progress of your cause and your organization’s success, which will prompt them to help you spread the word and reach more people.