If a charity leader is on social media, they are praised as “digital pioneers”, and “applauded for their online efforts”. But social media is now so commonplace that an online presence should be part and parcel of a charity chief executive’s role.
Or so an anonymous charity professional writes for the Guardian’s Voluntary Sector Network.
“In today’s digital world a charity chief executive, a leader who represents an important cause, should be accessible and accountable to their charity’s supporters,” they write.
“Yet, there are many charity leaders who won’t go near social media or new forms of communication, including my boss. And, frankly it is holding us back.”
Eight out of 10 people are more likely to trust – and therefore buy – from an organisation whose chief executive and leadership team are active on social media.
“This shows that, increasingly, stakeholders expect leaders to act as an ambassador and point of contact for the organisation on platforms such as Twitter.
“It can be a useful and cost effective way for charity leaders to talk directly to our stakeholders and raise their and our profiles. It really is a no-brainer.”
But many charity leaders ignore the need for a presence on social media, often arguing that it is the sole realm of the communications department.
Communication with supporters and on behalf of stakeholders is a requirement of a chief executive’s job, the charity worker writes, not an add-on.
As a “custodian(s) of an organisation”, senior leaders “need to embrace new technology and communications and be a proud face of the organisation and brand.”
“Their lack of buy-in is harmful to the organisation and we will be left behind in what is already a fast-moving world,” they warn.
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