Cultivating Culture

In my ongoing mission to foster and cultivate a culture that is more open and embracing of social media at jhr, I held a "Social Media 101" workshop a couple of weeks ago for all of our staff members and interns. I set out initially to demonstrate what exactly this "social media thing" is and how our organization is currently using it to advance our mission. It was a great way to get everyone on the same page because oftentimes, we get so busy and caught up in our own individual departments that we forget to actively involve ourselves and work in synergy (yes, I used that favourite buzz word) with the other departments. Working in social media, I have the pleasure of working with all the various departments on a frequent basis. Synergy, not silos! Rah, rah, rah!



Many non-profit organizations are quickly capitalizing (though many more are still hesitant) on the potential that social media has to offer to expand their donor and volunteer base and to raise awareness for their cause. I follow the work of many charities and NPOs very closely, trying to learn from their successes and yes, more importantly, their failures. I wanted to share these teachings with my colleagues too to show them that social media does work and that it can have an impact. And really, what better way to demonstrate the success and failure of another NPO than to actually hear from another NPO? The lovely Erin Swanson, Communications and New Media Coordinator of, graciously spared her time to tell us about her experiences with and the many lessons she's learned from managing their online media channels. It was such a great learning moment for everyone (myself included!) and I know that our staff and interns left that boardroom feeling more inspired to join the social media bandwagon. In fact, I've been watching my "jhr team" list on Twitter and seeing a lot more activity from them. And in the past few weeks, there's been so much more dialogue on how to really amp up our social media efforts. I know it's geeky but I won't lie, it makes me feel oh so warm and fuzzy inside! ONWARD WE GO!

Tech for Change - July Round Up!

As I wrote a month ago, in an attempt to inspire my co-workers at jhr to take on and embrace social media, I've started a sharing program where I highlight how various non-profit organizations are successfully using social media. Take a look at this month's picks!


Epic Change started "TweetsGiving" in 2008 with the aim of raising over $10,000 to build a classroom in Tanzania. How? By getting their networks to mass tweet about it! People were asked to tweet about something they were thankful for and include a link to the campaign's website where they could donate. And bam! 48 hours later, they got themselves $10,000 to build their classroom. And today, the kids educated in that classroom are tweeting too (read their tweets here). Pretty cool, I think. A prime example of how Twitter can be used to exponentially leverage word of mouth!, an international campaign that is working to find solutions for the climate crisis, has been actively using videos to convey their message to the public. I had a chance to speak to Jon Warner,'s Internet Director, and he told me that with all the different languages in the world, they wanted to come up with something that was truly universal and inclusive. That's why their promo video was made entirely out of symbols that anyone anywhere would be able to understand.

Global Voices is a community of more than 300 bloggers and translators from around the world who "aggregate, curate, and amplify the global conversation online" by emphasizing voices that are not traditionally heard in mainstream media. They cover all sorts of topics from around the world in an attempt to make the Internet a more even playing field. Browse their website to get an alternative view on some of today's major issues. And while you're at it, watch this TED Talk by Co-Founder Ethan Zuckerman to gain a better understanding of his vision for this community and for the Internet as a whole. It's one of my favourite TED Talks and it's incredibly fascinating, I promise!

Online Outreach on a Budget

This month IssueLab hosted the Non-profit Blog Carnival, compiling a great collection of resources on how nonprofits can effectively reach out to their existing and potential supporters on a budget. It includes some insightful pieces from a wide and diverse range of nonprofit communicators. And I'm just thrilled that my piece made it on to that list! There's still lots to learn and this compilation is truly contributing to the complex conversation that seems to be taking place more and more these days...

Check out the list here Online Outreach on a Budget: January Non-profit Blog Carnival.

WTF is "Social Media"?

It's an exciting time over at Journalists for Human Rights with new projects and new hires flying left and right. But excitement is often a sign of hectic schedules and that was definitely the case yesterday with the office buzzing with our new batch of interns. It was a full day of training and introductions trying to get our fantastic new team ready to take on the craziness that's in store for the next few months. Anyway, just thought I'd fill you in on what I've been up to and share a presentation I had to deliver yesterday afternoon...enjoy :)