Mouse's meanderings

Revealing our real selves
November 3, 2009, 10:43 pm
Filed under: charity, social media | Tags: , , ,

One of the most commonly offered pieces of advice in the social media world is: be authentic. I know I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve said it. But in terms of charities, how realistic is this? Yes, you need to sound like a real human being; yes, you need to respond to people like a real human being; and yes, you might want to tweet/blog/whatever about the plumbing/fire alarm/staff lunch or birthday flowers…

And yet… we all selectively edit. We tweet about our supporters or our great event, or minor complaints like the email being down or the builders being noisy. But as a charity, we want to present a positive image – so we’re not going to blog about the presentation that bored everyone half to death, or the cranky staff member who’s driving everyone up the wall with their sniping.

Which is all fine. I don’t want to hear charities griping about this stuff. When I’m having a bad day at work, I make sure I think double-hard before I tweet or post. But can we really say that we’re being ‘authentic’ when there is such obvious self-editing going on? And if not, should we stop telling these poor charity communications people that ‘authenticity’ will be one of the key elements to their charity’s social media success?