Evolve CommunicationsSocial Media

Posts Categorized: Social Media

The Shifting Locus of Community

As students of the media, as well as participants in the news process, Evolve Communications has taken the time to think critically about the role media plays in society. If you look back at the origins of the newspaper and news organizations, their mission was to be the voice of already existing, highly localized communities. Even when news organizations shifted to mass media (i.e. radio, television and widely distributed print publications), there was a strong commitment to being the voice of a group of people tied together by a set of cultural commonalities.

As the profit motive grew into an imperative by media organizations, the focus shifted away from community to ratings and settled on what we would call bottom-line thinking. Before the Internet existed, news organizations’ sole focus on profits contributed to the fragmentation of audiences (ala cable TV), with critics bemoaning the quality of news and its lack of ability to foster community.

Today, of course, community has taken on an entirely different meaning. Today, communities can still be localized, but they can also span geographies as they unite people with both common interests and culture. It’s common knowledge that the place where communities are formed has moved online.

Some news organizations are doing a great job of refocusing on building community by engaging people through social media. Others still don’t get it. Case in point: the Washington Post’s memo stating that the paper’s sole use of social channels should be to spread news and not engage readers online.

Communities happen where there is conversation. We don’t know yet if community can support for-profit media, but what we do know is this: for-profit media needs to support the communities they serve. And they can do that by communicating with their audiences–wherever those audiences may be.

Why Evolve Doesn’t Have a Facebook Page

Someone recently asked us why Evolve Communications doesn’t have a Facebook page. There’s a very simple, direct answer to that:

We value confidentiality and discretion.

In an age where transparency is touted as the cornerstone of social media, confidentiality and discretion are valuable gems that are coveted for their rarity. As we state on our Clients page, we keep our clients confidential unless they agree to publicly talk about their relationship with Evolve. We’re happy to be brought on as a strategic partner, but for some of our work, we’re brought on as a member of the team. We provide white-label services, and confidentiality is an essential ingredient to the continued success of Evolve.

Relationship building–which is at the core of what Evolve does–isn’t just about engagement and exchange of information. It’s also about trust. And for us, we build trust with our clients by ensuring that their business stays their business (except, of course, when they need us to tout their accomplishments–which is an entirely different story).

Getting back to the question about a Facebook page for Evolve–we’d love to have one. In fact, we love working on them for our clients. But to ask our clients to like an Evolve Facebook page would, potentially, betray our confidentiality with our clients. That’s not to say that we won’t have a page in the future, of course.

We value our relationships with our clients more than we value self-promotion, and we simply believe that is more important to Evolve’s long-term growth.

Social Media for Nonprofits

Weinberg FellowsTonight, Evolve Communications had the opportunity to make a short, social media presentation for a group of executive directors of Maryland nonprofits as part of the Weinberg Fellows Program.

In preparation for the presentation, we asked our Twitter network for a little help with finding examples of other nonprofits who excel at using social media. Here’s the list of organizations that were suggested (listed in no particular order):

Thanks to all our Twitter friends who contributed!