Case study: social media staff guidelines for the Red Cross Red Crescent

A while ago I posed the social media staff guidelines that I created for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Since then, I have been asked by a few organizations to talk about the process of getting there. It seems that more and more organizations see the need and usefulness of having such a document.

Below you find a presentation I have given on two occasions on that topic. At the bottom of my previous post you can also download the social media staff guidelines.

I decided to use Camtasia this time to create a presentation that includes the audio, which is why it’s embedded as a YouTube video. Of course you can also download it from Slideshare as powerpoint without my explanations.

I hope you find it useful and please tell me what you think.

  • Hello,
    Thanks a lot for this presentation.
    Very usefull for me.

  • isaacgriberg

    Hi Timo! Really excellent presentation. I've published the clip and a credited you on my blog. Enjoy Berlin and let's keep in touch. All the best /Isaac

  • Thanks Timo : Très instructif ! 🙂 I'm actually using your guidelines to do a french version for french Red Cross Staff and Volunteers and I was already convinced that your guideline is a really good material. Keep up the good work !

  • Jörg Eisfeld-Reschke

    Thanks a lot for your insights!
    You might give us some feedback on our ebook: "Social Media Policies für Nonprofit-Organisationen"

  • France Hurtubise

    Ciao Timo, As a communicator for the Red Cross is it ok to tweet or retweet news concerning the government of the country where we work. There seems to be a grey line and I'd like to have your opinion on this. Great presentation. A plus

    • Hi France!

      That's a tricky one. The IFRC's Humanitarian Diplomacy policy – which I believe was endorsed by the General Assembly – says that advocating on behalf of beneficiaries is not a violation of the principle of Neutrality. In fact we have to advocate on behalf of them. But of course there can be and a conflict with neutrality. If someone was asking me who was neither a communicator nor working for humanitarian diplomacy then I'd probably say: "better not".

      But your question was specifically about communicators: If it is something that is in line with your communication goals then I'd say go: ahead. The thing that I think is important to keep in mind is that whatever you RT can quickly become "Red Cross says…" or "Red Cross agrees that …", particularly if you are a communicator.

      In the field I think it would also depend a little bit on how the head of operation sees communication and humanitarian diplomacy. After all you don't want to do anything that runs counter to his strategy. But of course your communications strategy should be aligned with his strategy anyhow.

      That's just my two cent. I'd be careful about it.

  • Ash Shepherd

    Thanks for this helpful post. Not only was the information solid but I like that you make the info accessible in multiple ways and even link through to the tools you used to create the presentation.

    Sure to be a useful resource for others to reference.

  • France Hurtubise

    Thanks Timo, your comments were very helpful.

  • Thanks Timo! / Karin Tengby, Swedish Red Cross

  • Jens

    Very interesting. Great choice of pictures. I understand this about guidance to individuals in the organization and what they post on their personal social media outlets. Any guidance on how the organization as such could make its voice heard out there?