Social Media at Shelterbox

February 2, 2011

I am looking into the different media outlets that adopt social media and the ways that they do it. My last post briefly introduced how the Sports industry uses sites like Facebook and Twitter as important elements to spread news fast not only to those within it but to the fans and public too.

This post shall look at how more and more now charities are adopting social media to spread their news to the public, their sponsors and those who make donations.  There seems to be a new industry now opening up for fellow journalists within the charity sector. As well as PR jobs, there are job titles available now like ‘Head of News,’ which I saw advertised recently on the Cancer Macmillian website.

Shelterbox is a charity based in Cornwall. It provides disaster relief to countries where naturals disasters have happened, like extreme floods or earthquakes. Tommy Tonkins is the Communications Officer there and he talks about the huge impact that social media has made on the charity in terms of spreading the news and connecting more people to the organisation:

“Social media has enabled ShelterBox to engage and interact with our supporters in a way charities have traditionally struggled with. By fostering and developing a wider conversation with our ‘audience’ through different social media channels, we’ve been able to raise global awareness of our mission. Our use of social media has empowered our supporters and engendered a sense of community on a global scale.”

“In terms of spreading news, nothing can rival the immediacy of social media. Our Response Teams tweet live from disaster zones as the situation unfolds around them providing a real-time snap shot of what life is like on the ground. Social media has revolutionised the way we communicate and the way we consume information.”

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