Random Thoughts on Life and Work

November 20, 2006

Monitoring the Blogosphere Pays

Filed under: Charities,Community,Internet,Non-Profit,Online Community,Promotion,Strategy — Darren Mullenix @ 2:50 pm

I have mentioned before that Samaritan’s Purse is one of my favorite charities.  This time of year happens to be one of the busiest times for them as they are right in the middle of their Operation Christmas Child program.  It also is a time when they generate a lot of press, both favorable and not so favorable.  So this is the time when they need to be monitoring and respondingto those who post information about their activity on their blogs.  I actually found a couple of spots where they got it right! 

Here is a favorable postabout the Operation Christmas Child program and the blogger’s personal involvement in this aspect of their mission.  Samaritan’s Purse happened to pick up on the blog and did an admirable job of responding to the post.  I think it paid off.   The subsequent postby the blogger was almost ecstatic.  One more loyal constituent added!

Here is a not so favorable post.  As usual, Samaritan’s Purse receives a fair bit of negative press during OCC season due to the Christian message that they have.  However, in this case, it appears that the original article that was posted on the Daily Mail (UK newspaper) website missed some vital information.  As is often the case, bloggers picked up on the article and without checking with Samaritan’s Purse, the information spread.  Some volunteers did check with Samaritan’s Purse and received a response from the Operation Christmas Child department which they proceeded to share on a few blogs. 

I share all of this for a couple of reasons:

  1. In the first case, Samaritan’s Purse has probably won a lifetime fan through a simple thank you.  The blogger may have been committed before but I bet she is for sure now.
  2. In the second case, doing “damage control” can turn into a positive thing if crafted correctly.  Providing factual information can really offset some of the negativity that might spread very quickly otherwise.

Note that Samaritan’s Purse did not respond directly to the negative blogs.  At least the ones that I could find.  I find this interesting and welcome comments regarding the advisability of this.  But they did take the time to thank directly.  In my books, this is a definite win!

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