It truly is a jungle out there in the world of social media. A mass of information can be found with a click of your TV remote, car radio, cellular phone, computer, and with the millions of sites that can be viewed can be overwhelming at times. How does social media impact public relations for non-profits organizations?
The American Cancer Society (ACS) uses media and social networking to advocate cancer awareness to reach millions of worldwide cancer survivors, newly diagnosed cancer patients, researchers, doctors, media, and the general public. The ACS utilizes social media to educate the general public on exercise, health, cancer research, assist with funding and much more. On any given day the ACS utilizes and maintains 7 Facebook pages, 9 separate Twitter accounts, a YouTube channel, an ACS app for iPhones, My Space page, and of course their main website at www.cancer.org. Social media has allowed non-profits to reach a broad audience enabling them to educate themselves on the warnings signs and detect certain cancers before diagnosed to prevent this deadly disease. This has the potential to save millions of lives.
The ACS also uses social media outlets as a way to fundraise to help in the assistance of cancer research expenses. Personally I have used this method time and again to raise funds within my network of friends and family via emails, texting, Facebook page, and the use of the YouTube videos on the ACS YouTube Channel to share with others to gain interest for potential volunteers and donors as well. Without social media in the non-profit realm, fundraising would be drastically different. There is nothing like a good old fashioned face-to-face meeting to supplement that personal touch, but by use of social media I can reach 30 people in 5 minutes, share my passion in a quick personal message and link a video to add that extra touch to reel in my audience hoping they will be hooked and donate to the cause. This method has actually worked for me in the past as I gained $75 in 5 minutes by only sending a personal email out to 5 friends. Social media made it easy using the ACS account info to link their payment options all within a click of a few buttons. Who knows maybe those few dollars I raised are the ones that will find a cure cancer one day.
Resources: http://pressroom.cancer.org/index.php?s=63 ACS Press Room Social Media page