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Mandy Burrell Booth, Metropolitan Planning Council

Who’s Responsible for Getting the Story Out?

Mandy Burrell Booth, an assistant communications director at Metropolitan Planning Council talks about who’s responsible for getting the word out about nonprofit’s stories and issues.

While social media tools allow nonprofits to circumvent the lack of mainstream media coverage to tell their stories, who should be telling these stories? And do nonprofits have a growing responsibility  to use social media to engage key audiences?

A year ago, the Metropolitan Planning Council [1] was not utilizing social media and their blogs only announced the completion of their projects. By shifting to continuous blogging, tweeting and facebooking, the information flowing from these different channels allowed them to target their message accordingly.

Mandy Burrell Booth, assistant communications director at MPC, says as audiences gather more news from blogs and social media over daily newspapers, nonprofits have a role in this burgeoning network and need to take responsibility for joining the conversations happening in the social media landscape.

Even if nonprofits are working harder to get their stories to targeted audiences, there is still confusion surrounding how to integrate the technology into an organization’s larger communications plan.

Facebook [2] helps MPC connect with concerned citizens, Twitter [3] magnifies their message beyond Chicago, and blogs highlight staff expertise and projects. Yet, is it increasing civic engagement?  MPC is monitoring traffic to their site, and they are seeking ways to increase comments on their blogs, says Booth.

The shortage of media coverage doesn’t indicate to Booth that traditional news is going by the wayside, but rather people are looking for information all over the place.

How the Public is Gathering News Information

Mandy Burrell Booth, an assistant communications director at Metropolitan Planning Council talks about how the public is gathering their news information.

Find MPC’s blogs at http://www.metroplanning.org/news-events/blog-posts/ [4] or follow the group on Twitter @Metroplanners [5]