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12/20 #NoKidHungry Give-A-Thon: We Can All Help End Childhood Hunger!

19 Dec

Happy Holidays!  This is the time of year when we all are even more touched by that giving spirit, and I am honored to be part of an amazing cause and campaign, #NoKidHungry, that’s fun, rewarding, and easy to participate in!  Just follow the #NoKidHungry hashtag to see the generosity live in action, all day on 12/20!

No Kid Hungry Give-A-Thon 12/20/2012 to end childhood hunger 2

On Thursday, December 20, please join in the effort to help end childhood hunger by helping spread the #NoKidHungry word through tweets, Facebook posts, emails, and/or direct (gentle?) nudging of friends and family. 😉

We will be having a Give-A-Thon all day 12/20, with some amazing surprises and prizes for those generous souls who spread the workd and MAKE A DONATION!

* A generous Share Our Strength donor decided to do something extraordinary this holiday season: personally match all gifts up to $500,000. This means the impact of our Give-A-Thon will be doubled at the end of the day, making twice the difference for kids struggling with hunger!

Team No Kid Hungry Holiday Give-A-Thon

Our Partners

No Kid Hungry Give-A-Thon 12/20/2012 to end childhood hunger

Author note: Join us! Help us spread the word this Thursday! Visit the Team fundraising page.

This Thursday, December 20, we are excited to work with our amazing online community to hold a Team No Kid Hungry Holiday Give-A-Thon. Why now? Why in the middle of the holiday season? There are a number of reasons.

Primarily, hunger doesn’t take a holiday. When EVERY child should be excited for winter breaks, many know exactly how many school meals they will miss over the holidays, and don’t know from where their next meal will come. It is important for us to remember these children and their families during this time.

Fortunately, you can help. A $25 donation can connect a child to up to 250 meals. Are you wondering what to get that family member who has everything? Or are you trying to find something special for a friend? Consider giving the gift of No Kid Hungry this holiday season – a meaningful, and truly life-changing gift.

Through our countless online advocates and our Team No Kid Hungry community, we are making a day of it, and hosting our Holiday Give-A-Thon, complete with incredible prizes throughout the day that will amaze you! If we hit $10,000* in donations, one lucky donor will receive an iPad mini. Drawings will take place all day, so please spend the day with us!

Are you on Facebook? Be sure to like our Facebook page and follow our posts this week. On Twitter? Follow us here, and join in the #nokidhungry conversation. Check back on Facebook as we post our list of giveaway items!

How can you help prior to the Give-A-Thon? Share our Facebook posts, retweet our Give-A-Thon tweets, and spread the word. Plan your holiday shopping list, and do some one-stop, tax-deductible shopping here on Thursday.

The day will be hosted by our No Kid Hungry Social Council. Find out more, and consider getting involved!  Click “Join the Blogger Council” and we will be in touch. Thank you for all you do, for sharing your strengths with us.

Special thanks to friends (and Good Plus Tech client) AnchorFree for donating many annual HotSpot Shield Elite annual subscriptions (valued at $29.95 each!) , to be given to donors around various goals during the day on 12/20!  Stay safe keeping in touch, shopping, and making donations on all those mobile devices!


Crisis Management: How To Handle a Crisis Using Social Media (5 Steps)

23 Aug

This article originally appears in The Huffington Post.

Amy Neumann

Writer, Speaker; Social Good Consultant

5 Steps for Crisis Management Using Social Media

Posted: 08/20/2012 1:03 pm

Today, good news — or bad news — breaks in real time. And anything can go viral in short order. This is great for cute babies laughing in videos, or heart-warming tales of good deeds. It’s not great, however, for the unexpected, semi-inevitable crisis that any organization can face suddenly. Luckily, nothing in the social media world is too much different than in the “real world.” Quotes emphasizing that, like it or not, they are virtually the same now — online and offline worlds.

So how can one be prepared?

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.” — John F. Kennedy

Thinking about and detailing a crisis management plan in advance is of course ideal; getting at least prepared with the basics is a necessity. One critical component of planning on a small or large scale is social media strategy. A 2012 Gartner study reports, “75% of organizations with BCM [Business Continuity Programs] will have public social media services in their crisis communications strategies by 2015.” And why is that?

It’s because the fastest way to spread any message now is via social media.

Outlined below are five steps organizations can take to help successfully navigate and manage a crisis smoothly, using social media.

Although these steps do have a definitive chronological order, the diagram [below] includes a star pattern across the five areas, indicating that as things progress, new information and feedback emerges. And positive progress is made, the steps become more fluid.



Social media is most beneficial to everyone when it is conversational and engaging. Part of that is being aware of the conversations happening. Although some people are hesitant to “get involved with social media,” the fact is, every public and private organization is already involved with social media.

Think of social media like this: If you walk into the center of a crowded room, and then cover your ears with your hands, people don’t stop talking; you only stop hearing what they’re already saying.

How do you stay aware? By monitoring the outside social media world. Keeping tabs on the major platforms, like Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, YouTube and blog comments keeps companies informed. This can be as simple as setting up free Google alerts. Or, there are numerous platforms available to make listening (and interacting) simple, even with large teams. A few currently popular choices would include Hootsuite, CoTweet , Sprout Social, Argyle, Radian6, Sysomos, and Vitrue. Some of the more sophisticated tools even track Sentiment, meaning whether mentions are positive or negative overall… which can be a good heads-up that somethings amiss if sentiment suddenly turns more negative.

With any of these, including Google alerts, here are a few key things to track:

• Organization name
• CEO and other high-profile people
• Marquee products or services by name
• Social media accounts (if not tracking with social media tools)
• Your blog name
• Your events
• Competitors


“There is a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path.” — The Matrix

Awareness is important, but what next? Unless one side is listening while the other is talking, there’s no conversation happening.

Where there isn’t conversation, there’s everything else: opinion, gossip, hearsay, irritation, confusion, assumption. None of these are ideal for organizations that pride themselves on trust, credibility, honesty and two-way communication.

So what does “listening” mean? It means noticing, and responding, to comments and social media mentions. It also means not deleting negative comments (unless extremely profane, abusive, racist or otherwise severely questionable), as that is equivalent to hanging up on someone who calls customer service. That almost always backfires and makes the person not only more angry, but also more prone to escalate their negative comments. At that point, when feeling “dismissed,” people are more likely to mention their annoyance to their social media networks, which can rapidly become viral, in a bad way. And most of the time, exactly like in the “real world” (vs. online), a few things become important.

These are things your customers want during a crisis:

• Feeling like I’m heard.
• Feeling like my opinion matters.
• Feeling like someone hears me and will do something.


Hmmm… Is there trouble brewing? Photo by Amy Neumann


Updates should be as real-time as possible. Don’t admit fault if it’s not determined, but at the same time, acknowledge the hardship that the confusion or changing circumstances warrant. And when it’s clear the fault lies within, acknowledge it, thank people for their feedback, and say how and why it won’t happen again. People want the real story, and appreciate it — even more than “perfection.”

Transparency shows in statements like these:

• We are aware of the issue, live updates are here: (site URL)
• Here’s what we’re doing to solve it
• Here’s how we’ll prevent it in the future
• Thank you for your patience and feedback


This step is important, and not too far from listening. But in addition to hearing what people are saying, it’s critical to let them know they’re being heard. Providing feedback can be as simple as “Thank you for your feedback, more details are available at ___,” or for more complex matters, provide and email address they can send messages to for deeper interaction. Then, of course, follow up. At the feedback stage, it’s all about helping customers/constituents feel “in the loop,” like they are being heard, because someone is responding.

Feedback to the broader audience as a whole is also vital. Some ways to do this are through updates on websites and blogs, YouTube videos from executives or others within the company providing updates (normal quality is fine — it’s about the message, not the medium), Facebook updates, Tweets, LinkedIn status updates from executives, and posts on Google Plus.


Now we’re getting somewhere… Photo by Amy Neumann


Any crisis should at some point, hopefully quickly, come to a resolution. If the steps above have been happening ongoing, when there is resolution, it will be quick and easy to update those affected, using social media. The messaging at this point should thank people for their feedback and patience, outlining what the solution was, apologizing as needed, and reassuring customers that this has been a learning lesson and steps are in place to avoid a similar situation in the future. This messaging should flow through all social media channels, as well as be presented to the media, and posted on websites and blogs.

And at this stage, like all the other stages, the principles of listening for understanding, being empathetic and polite, and being helpful are key. If it feels like the stages have almost morphed into one fluid loop, you’re probably doing a great job.


Ahh. Much better. Transparency and feedback triumph again! Photo by Amy Neumann

A good company can shine bright in the face of adversity or crisis. The expectation is not perfection, but real, honest, understanding, helpful behavior during and after a crisis. With a goal to make things right during and after an issue, social media is an ideal tool to make that process as smooth, easy, and fast as possible for both sides.

“The reward of a thing well done is having done it.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Social Media Can Save the Day

In a crisis, these five steps can make things smoother and easier for customers and company alike.

• Stay on top of conversations about your company with simple tools
• Watch for sudden changes in tone and sentiment from positive or neutral to negative
• Set up and monitor keywords related to your business

• Monitor who is talking to you across social media platforms and website comments
• Respond, both individually and more broadly
• Use updates on the same platforms someone talks, and invite them to email you if deeper interaction is needed

• Acknowledge there is a situation
• Keep real-time updates flowing
• Be honest and straightforward with details

• Make sure customers feel heard by replying, directing them to resources for updates
• Answer questions directly
• Be gracious for their feedback, and don’t delete negative comments

• Update social media platforms with outcome, update websites
• Notify the media for additional outreach
• Outline the resolution, what was learned, and how similar situations will be prevented in the future
Amy Neumann is a social entrepreneur, writer, speaker and consultant on social good marketing. Check out her Charity Ideas Blog and follow her on Twitter @CharityIdeas.

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The Rise of Social Business – Cheryl Burgess

22 Feb

This is a great new post by Cheryl Burgess on the Network Exchange Blog.  You can follow her on Twitter @ckburgess.

The Rise of Social Business – Broader than Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ Combined

February 7th, 2012

Cheryl Burgess (@ckburgess) is a digital and social brand consultant, blogger, and speaker. Her knowledge of business strategy, passion for creative expression, and marketing technology helps businesses achieve the remarkable. AT&T has sponsored the following blog post.
The transformational trend of social business is disrupting and revolutionizing large and small businesses alike as the world becomes increasingly more interconnected, rewired and reoriented by social technology. Businesses are in the midst of fundamental changes that will neither reverse for stragglers nor offer them mulligans. Innovative leaders must rethink their social strategies and move beyond the linear, process-driven approach to dynamic, collaborative, networked organizations. Executing these changes may prove difficult, but it’s imperative for forward-looking organizations to be competitive in the global bazaar of the digitally powered landscape.

What Does Social Business Really Mean?

Social businesses implement social technologies, strategies and processes that span across their entire enterprise, creating and optimizing collaborative ecosystems of employees, customers, partners, suppliers, communities and stakeholders in a safe and consistent way. To transform into a social business, companies need to have more than a mere linear presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and blogs.

To achieve this, successful businesses must align their core goals and objectives in cross-enterprise collaboration and create a socially integrated organizational blueprint that focuses on people and culture.

Reason for Social Business?

Simply put, unless a company communicates well internally, it will not be able to communicate its brands effectively to the public. Social business deepens internal and external business relationships, which builds brand awareness and in turn drives profits. Companies that embrace social business will build stronger relationships and make better decisions with their employees, business partners and customers.

The State of Social Businesses

This dynamic business model is still in its infancy stage, but this tectonic shift in approach will eventually integrate itself across entire enterprises. As the social networking phenomenon continues to grow exponentially, more forward-thinking organizations will embrace social business’s “holistic” approach to communication.

Humanizing Future Businesses & Brands

Before a business can humanize its brand, it is imperative that it humanizes its business first. This process involves more than just meetings, lunches, phone calls, emails, golf outings or office parties. Instead, such an evolution requires the adoption of social behaviors and communication in every facet of the organization. People don’t think of a brand as a series of departments. Rather, they think of a brand as a whole entity. Businesses must live up to this perception and restructure both internally and externally in order to function as a cohesive unit.

What is a Social Brand?

Social brands are the sum total of the entire customer experience. Marketers constantly struggle to humanize their brands and seize upon opportunities to engage customers across a multiplicity of touch-points and social media channels. Scott Goodson in an article for Forbes claims, “It’s not just about ‘going social.’ It’s about becoming a social business. It’s realizing that marketing doesn’t work like it used to. Today, successful brands become social ones.”

Many organizations have evolved into social brands, but few have developed internal social processes. Behind the corporate firewall businesses are scrambling to engage effectively with their consumers. Despite their frantic efforts, however, their lack of internal communication and processes inhibits sustainable growth. Inconsistency in ROI measurement, corporate governance, culture, technology,  executive endorsement and internal conflict have created a great deal of chaos in many companies which lack the necessary social infrastructure.

Tearing Down Silos & Boundaries

This paradigm shift requires organizations to tear down the silos that keep them from creating future brands that are social, engaging, agile and rife with purpose. The same principles of trust that consumers demand from their preferred brands also apply to the way companies must learn to trust their employees.

Businesses must better define their employees’ roles and responsibilities, encourage cross-departmental communication and collaboration, build trust and encourage a culture of recognizing employees’ skills and talents, connecting metrics with objectives, training and educating, developing governance and policies, crowdsourcing creativity and innovation, and using a collaborative process-driven approach for selecting new technology.

It is imperative that the “turf wars” and dysfunctional deep-rooted behavior that exist between many CMOs and CIOs must cease. As I wrote in my article, “Quest for the Marketing Technologist,” the era of digital engagement demands collaboration between CMOs and CIOs in order for companies to remain competitive and relevant. “It isn’t about making the marketing team or the IT team look smarter, it is all about satisfying the customer’s needs better than the competition.” The effective implementation of social business will improve efficiencies and productivity not only in marketing and IT, but also in the supply chain, HR, sales, marketing, financial, research, etc.  Interconnected organizations will reap the rewards.

We’re in an era of collaboration, regardless of the size of our businesses; companies need to leverage collaboration to become more efficient, innovative and creative.

Is Social the Future of Business?

In my article, “2012 Social Media Business Trends  – Is Social the Future of Business”?, I stated that the migration process from social media to social business will vary depending on the nature, size and strategy of your business. Regardless, the change will happen, and it is in your best interests to begin learning about some of these emerging social trends and tools as you consider how to capitalize on opportunities and achieve your business goals.

In the future, big companies will need to start acting more like smaller companies by connecting all their employees in order to achieve the unified vision of a social business. Conversely, small businesses have an advantage over their larger counterparts. Since both culture and people are essential to social business, small businesses can adapt easier because of their flexibility and ability to change quickly. In today’s digital market, small businesses may function with only a few employees, but their audiences may number in the thousands. Small businesses can leverage social business via their network of business alliances, suppliers, vendors, sub-contractors, freelancers, interns and customers.

Businesses Getting Personal.

In a survey conducted by AIIM, over 50% of organizations consider social business to be either imperative or significant to their business goals. Companies like IBM, Nokia and Ford are fast becoming social businesses by restructuring to put social media at the heart of their business, encouraging internal collaboration and communication and insight sharing. IBM’s white paper, “The Social Business,” states that “Social Business can orchestrate and optimize new ways of generating value through innovation, creativity and utilizing the right skills and information at the right time.”

“People don’t do business with companies.

People do business with people.”

Source:  IBM

IBM’s belief is that it takes networks of people to create business value.

IBM’s definition has three tenants that underpin its social business:

A Social Business is engaged—deeply connecting people, including customers, employees and partners, to be involved in productive, efficient ways.

A Social Business is transparent—removing boundaries to information, experts and assets, helping people align every action to drive business results.

A Social Business is nimble—speeding up business with information and insight to anticipate and address evolving opportunities.

Why is Social Business so Relevant to my Company?

The Social Business Forum answers this question by pointing to the extensive studies that show how social business can accelerate organizational efficiency both internally and externally. A few of the internal benefits include: stronger employee engagement and motivation, better business performance, small travel expenses, richer cross-department collaboration, stronger outcomes from knowledge intensive work, facilities for collective social capital and limiting duplication of effort, etc. Benefits outside your organization include: reduced customer care costs, improved client satisfaction and loyalty, increased lead generation, shorter sell cycles, improved cross-channels to customers, etc.

Fundamental Change

Social business is shaking the foundation of both large and small businesses. While change is never easy, companies that implement the best social media business practices and migrate from rigid to social business models will win in the end. The new social landscape is rich with opportunities as companies are challenged to elevate their relevance and become social businesses.

Social Media and Nonprofit Infographics – Curated by Beth @Kanter

27 Jan

Here’s an incredible collection of Social Media Tips and Best Practices Infographics and Nonprofit Infographics, curated by Beth Kanter on Pinterest:

– Thanks Beth!

(Beth is one of my Social Good Stars and personal heroes – follow her on Twitter @kanter and check out her amazing blog!)

HOW TO: Set Up and Start Using Twitter in 3 Minutes

3 Nov

New!  Here’s a great Infographic Twitter Cheat Sheet from Guy Kawaskai’s AllTop page.

Twitter Cheat Sheet Infographic from


1. Sign Up:

2. Use your name or pick a short, simple, memorable or self-explanatory name.
-Only letters and numbers (and underscores) are allowed. Try to avoid an underscore ( _), as it’s tough to type on mobile devices. Use numbers sparingly. (Mine is @CharityIdeas)

3. Fill out the 140-character bio fully. Many people won’t follow anyone who doesn’t have a bio.

4. Add a link to a site of yours, or an organization you like. You can take out the www part so people can read more of it at a glance. Sample:

5. Upload a picture or “avatar”. Most people won’t follow someone with a default avatar (square with a bird) as it’s a spammer favorite.
-A real picture of yourself works best for most personal accounts.

6. Always shorten URLs with a link-shortening tool like so you have more room in your tweet.

7. If you see an interesting tweet, you can “forward” or ReTweet (RT) it by putting: RT @username123 Copy of what their tweet said.

8. Try to keep tweets under 120 characters so others can easily RT.

9. To send a reply to someone specific, start the tweet with @theirusername , i.e. @ClaireD Love your “Twitter for Good” book!  #Twitter4Good
-To see who’s sending you messages or mentioning you, check your “@Mentions”
-Direct Messages or DMs are messages sent “privately” to one user from another; someone must be following you for you to be able to DM them.

10. The # is called a “hashtag”, used to tag tweets. If you add a # (hashtag) in front of a keyword, people can track & find easily with tools and search.
-It shows a purposeful use of a word so others can find it. i.e., #philanthropy will be found by others interested in philanthropy.

11. Try a tool like TweetDeck or HootSuite to make it easier once you get going. Hootsuite, Seesmic and CoTweet allow multiple users to tweet on one account.

Great resource from

50+ Awesome Twitter Tips to become a Pro:

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