10+ Social Media Best Practices for Non-Profits

June 28, 2011

Late in 2010 I wrote about my experiences working with one of our customers on developing a comprehensive social media policy to be used for their summer camp counselors. At the time, social media was on everyone's minds. Well guess what? That hasn't changed... not even a little bit. In fact, just today Google announced it's new social network, Google+.

As more and more people become fully immersed in social networking - and electronic communication in general - it will become increasingly important for organizations to

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Developing a Culture of Safety at Camp - Part 3

April 29, 2011

Effectively teaching or leading a group of peers requires a dynamic personality. The ability to demonstrate a skill is only half of the equation.

If counselors, trainers, supervisors, or coaches lack the skills to effectively communicate instructions, your campers or program participants will be put at risk. As Su Rider of Wesley Woods mentions, a special focus should be placed on

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Who Knows Best: Doctor or Lifeguard?

April 15, 2011

A drowning tragedy that took place in the Bahamas earlier this week is raising questions about the response of the waterpark's lifeguards. We encourage you to read more about the circumstances leading up to the drowning, but in short, an unresponsive five-year-old girl was pulled from the water by a waterpark guest. Another guest, who happened to be a registered nurse, immediately began providing rescue breathing. Shortly thereafter, an emergency room doctor

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Social Media and Children: Implementing and Enforcing Unpopular Employment Policies

December 16, 2010

Four weeks ago I met with a group of YMCA employees to discuss the implementation of a new social media policy. The question on everyone's mind was, should summer camp counselors be permitted to contact minor campers outside of Y programming? I was so enthralled with the discussion that I decided to blog about it that night. You can read more about that discussion at Social Media and the Children: A Fine Line.

After an hour or so, the meeting ended with no clear resolution; at least one more meeting was going to be necessary. So, we met yesterday. This time, we gave ourselves two hours and agreed we needed to stay focused on coming up with some clearly defined social media policies and procedures. I'm happy to announce that we accomplished that goal rather quickly. The new policy will state something to the effect of

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Social Media and Children: A Fine Line

November 15, 2010

I had the pleasure of meeting with a great group of employees from one of our YMCA partners this afternoon.The group, which included Y summer camp directors and employees in marketing, human resources, and risk management departments, was assembled to assess and update the Y's policies on social media and external communications. I was asked to represent West Bend and share my thoughts on the insurance and liability implications of any new policy decisions.

Ultimately, we wanted to reach a consensus on a single question. Should employees be permitted to communicate with minors outside of the organization's programs? After an hour of listing the pros and cons of a wide variety of ideas, we reached a consensus. The consensus was

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