Random Thoughts on Life and Work

October 27, 2006

Internet Communications Specialist

During an ad-hoc sit down recently with an associate, we were discussing all of the Internet based activity that is occurring related to a particular non-profit that we work with.  As we discussed how the relationships that were being built as a result of all of this activity might be developed and enhanced, we realized that there is enough activity that either exists externally or is possible internally (implemented by the organization) that it could justify a full-time position. 

The thought of having somebody on staff who does nothing but “play” on the Internet is really outside the box for most non-profit organizations.  I would hazard a guess that most organizations want to limit the time a staff member spends on the Internet rather than increase it. 

If your organization is successful at creating a “buzz”, be it local or national, there is likely a lot more going on around you than you might be aware of.  Unofficial endorsements, ‘blog posts, linkages, etc.  How do you keep track of all the official Internet activity, let alone the unofficial?  That’s when I started noodling on the following job description. 

Development Specialist – Internet and New Media

  1. Responsible to interact with the web design team to initiate relationship building through the organizational website.  Review all pages for “stickiness” and facilitating donor interaction.
  2. Responsible for creation of regular weblog posts on the organization’s website and for moderating the incoming comments and responses from the organization’s constituency. 
  3. Responsible for daily research on the Internet to find constituents who are promoting the organization through personal website and/or weblog activity.  Respond to weblog posts as appropriate and acknowledge constituents who are promoting the organization through their personal websites. 
  4. Responsible to monitor 3rd party funding opportunities such as shopping portals, eBay/Missionfish, and others.  Make sure that information about organizational activity is kept current.
  5. Interact with media group to create podcasts, vcasts and blogs of current activity.  Develop posting strategy for ‘casts including the use of organizational website and alternative locations such as Google Video, Youtube, iTunes, etc.
  6. Stay abreast of trends and developments within Internet technology.  Recommend new openings and opportunities to communicate the mission of the organization.
  7. Think “outside the box” and develop and implement strategy that will provide the organization with opportunities to interact with its constituency “where they are”.
  8. Responsible to implement community/individual fund-raising opportunities utilizing technology such as FirstGiving or other community based site.

The ideal candidate for this would be someone who understands personal interactions but who is also web savvy and is monitoring trends and developments throughout the Internet.  The candidate should be a good communicator and should preferably be a blogger and user of various social networking sites.  Having some background in web-site creation would be helpful. 

This is not meant to be exhaustive but hopefully it will help you think through the process of establishing your Internet strategy and recognizing that your constituency will experience your organization through multiple layers.

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